german passion for mallorca

German Passion for Mallorca Demystified: A Love Affair with the Mediterranean

The apple of Germany’s eye is Mallorca, a jewel of the Mediterranean, as complex as it is passionate. But what exactly fuels this fervent German love affair with a Spanish island? Let’s dive into the heart of the German passion for Mallorca, from amusing attempts at beach towel reservations at daybreak to their uncanny ability to find the best Bratwurst south of Berlin.

A Medley of Activities: The German Checklist

Imagine arriving in Mallorca and being greeted by not only sun, sand and sea but also by a variety of activities that perfectly suit the German tourist. From water sports in which Germans surfed like professionals up to hiking trails where they march in an orderly manner just like any well-oiled machine, this all-you-can-experience buffet offered on Mallorca will provide an assortment of relaxation and thrilling experiences. According to Travel FAQ (2024 Edition) – NCESC, every German tourist finds his or her slice of vacation heaven on this island that has something for everyone be it sailing away in to sunset or conquering mountain peaks.

Note from the founder of Booka Local: Because so many Germans vacation there, some joke about Mallorca being the 17th Bundesland. 😂

Climate and Culture: The Mediterranean Magnet

Mediterranean climate is a kind of siren song for Germans, who cannot handle the gloomy skies in their native land. Mallorca is a promise of constant summer joy with its sunlit beaches and mild nights. What’s more important, says Absolut Travel, cultural changes have made this island an extraordinary mixture due to German emigrants adding a pinch of their national traditions into local ways of life. Just imagine when you think you are going to participate in a normal Spanish fiesta but eventually are involved into beer stein holding contest.

Community Spirit: Finding Heimat Abroad

As per Balearic Properties, the fact that there are many Germans on Mallorca makes it seem like home away from home. This type of close-knit community not only helps newcomers integrate faster but also facilitates creation of an environment where Germans can enjoy their traditions while basking under the summer sun in Majorca. Think about your favorite local bar which serves tapas with some sauerkraut on the side and you will start getting it.

Nature’s allure: Messages from Eden

Germans cannot resist the temptation of the natural beauty in Mallorca. The island’s pristine shores, clear waters and verdant lands offer a sharp contrast to Germany’s more temperate landscapes. According to Spain Homes and DW – 06/23/2020, this paradise is perfect for relaxation and connecting with nature. The Germans are fond of doing early morning yoga on beaches as they try to welcome sunrise in Spanish.

In Conclusion: More Than Just a Holiday Destination

The German obsession with Mallorca conspires adventure seeking, yearning for warmth, fostering close-knit communities and preserving unadulterated Mother Nature. It shows how deeply Germans can fall in love with places that allow them to live their best lives. Therefore, when you next happen to be in Mallorca overhearing a heated discussion on the ideal way of grilling bratwurst at a beach BBQ; remember that it is a love story between people and place that has only grown stronger over the years. For Germans however, this is not just about holidays on the Balearic gem; it is almost like home away from home.


Exploring the Depths of German Beer Culture: It’s Not Just Oktoberfest!

When the world thinks of German beer culture, the mind immediately travels to the bustling tents of Oktoberfest, filled with lederhosen-clad patrons hoisting massive steins of frothy beer. However, to distill German beer culture down to just Oktoberfest is like saying the only good use for hops is making rabbit stew! Let’s dive into the rich, frothy depths of German beer culture, beyond the well-trodden paths of the famed Oktoberfest, and explore what makes it such a cherished part of Germany’s heritage.

The Heart of Beer Culture: Bavaria and Beyond

Bavaria stands as the bastion of beer culture in Germany, home to traditional beer halls, breweries, taprooms, cellars, and the iconic beer gardens that dot its landscape. For those seeking an authentic beery adventure, Bavaria is akin to Disneyland for beer enthusiasts. VinePair’s article, Beyond Oktoberfest: Everything You Need to Plan a Beercation, paints a vivid picture of the beer pilgrimage one must embark on to truly understand the essence of German beer culture.

Take, for instance, the legendary Hofbräuhaus in Munich. Not just a beer hall but a historical monument, this establishment dates back to 1589 and was the royal brewery of the Bavarian court. Here, history is not just told; it’s poured into every stein. Imagine the tales those ancient walls could tell – if they weren’t too busy keeping the beer cold, that is.

More Than Just a Beer Festival: Cannstatter Wasen

While Oktoberfest steals the global spotlight, the Cannstatter Wasen in Stuttgart offers a more local but equally intoxicating experience. This fest is a kaleidoscope of beer, traditional fare, and festive vibes, showcasing the diversity and communal spirit of German beer culture. It’s like Oktoberfest’s slightly less rowdy cousin who still knows how to throw a great party.

The Art of Beer Steins: More Than Just a Mug

In Germany, a beer stein is more than just a vessel; it’s a canvas, a collector’s item, and a storybook all rolled into one. The artistry behind these ornate mugs, as celebrated during Oktoberfest and beyond, is a testament to the deep-rooted connection between German culture and its brewing traditions. Each stein tells a tale, from historical events to folklore, making it a cherished part of the beer-drinking experience.

A Toast to Tradition

German beer culture is steeped in a tradition that marries craftsmanship with community. Whether it’s the meticulous brewing process protected by the Reinheitsgebot (the German Beer Purity Law) or the communal joy of sharing a pint in a bustling beer garden, beer is more than just a beverage in Germany; it’s a way of life.

A Journey Through Hops and History

To truly immerse yourself in German beer culture means to explore its many facets, from the ancient breweries that have stood the test of time to the lively beer festivals that bring people together. It’s about appreciating the craftsmanship that goes into each brew and recognizing the role beer plays in connecting communities.

Prost to German Beer Culture!

As we’ve seen, German beer culture is a rich tapestry woven from centuries of tradition, craftsmanship, and communal celebration. It extends far beyond the grounds of Oktoberfest, inviting beer lovers to explore its history, its festivals, and, of course, its beer. So the next time you raise a stein, remember you’re not just enjoying a beer; you’re partaking in a tradition that’s as old as Germany itself. Prost!

FKK beach

Embracing Nature in the Buff: The Liberating World of FKK Beaches in Germany

In the heart of Europe lies a cultural phenomenon that has bared its essence to the world with confidence and pride: Freikörperkultur (FKK), or Free Body Culture. This uniquely German tradition, deeply rooted in the historical context of the country, champions the practice of social nudity, advocating for the health benefits and personal freedom it brings. Let’s strip down the facts and uncover the naked truth behind the FKK beach culture in Germany, peppered with amusing anecdotes and insightful examples.

A Brief Undressing of History

Originating in the late 19th century as part of the Lebensreform social movement, FKK was more than just a practice; it was a statement. It emphasized the return to nature through social nudity, absorbing the natural elements of light, air, and sun directly onto the skin. As Keon West’s 2017 research suggests, FKK is not merely about shedding clothes but about embracing a lifestyle that celebrates the harmony between the human body and nature.

The Nude Norm

In Germany, the sight of a naked body isn’t confined to the changing rooms of saunas or the privacy of one’s home. From the balmy coasts of the Baltic Sea to the serene parks nestled in urban centers, nudity is as natural as the country’s famed forests. CNN’s Nudity in Germany: Here’s the naked truth unveils the country’s nonchalant approach to nudity, where FKK beaches stand as bastions of this cultural heritage, inviting everyone to bask in the freedom of their natural state.

FKK: A Lifestyle Beyond Beaches

FKK is more than just an occasional skinny dip in the sea or a sunbath in the nude. It represents a lifestyle that transcends age and societal norms, advocating for a communal experience of nudism in the great outdoors. Whether it’s families gathering at FKK beaches or individuals seeking solace in nature sans clothing, the practice is emblematic of a broader cultural acceptance of the human body in its most natural form. The New York Times’ exploration into The Naked Truth About German Nudists delves into FKK’s role as a form of liberation from societal constraints, highlighting its enduring appeal.

Fun in the Nude Sun

Imagine setting up for a day at the beach: sunscreen, check; towel, check; bathing suit… well, not at an FKK beach! Here, the usual beach prep is humorously simplified. Visitors might worry about evenly applying sunscreen but can forget about the woes of sandy swimwear. The beaches buzz with activities from volleyball to swimming, proving that fun at the beach knows no bounds, even when it comes to clothing (or the lack thereof).

Cultural Bare-riers Broken

The FKK movement, with its historical roots and modern-day manifestations, stands as a testament to Germany’s open-mindedness and its pioneering role in Europe’s nudist movement. As Medium’s The Shocking Truth Behind the Nudist Movement in Germany suggests, this cultural phenomenon has not only endured but flourished, influencing nudist practices across Europe and beyond.

Advice from the Founder of Booka Local:
If you’re fully dressed and need to walk across an FKK beach, do so quickly and avoid staring at the bodies on the beach.

In Conclusion: The Bare Essentials

Germany’s FKK beaches offer more than just a place to sunbathe; they provide a sanctuary for those seeking to connect with nature and embrace the liberating experience of social nudity. In a world often constrained by norms and expectations, FKK stands as a beacon of freedom, health, and unity with nature. So, if you find yourself in Germany, consider visiting an FKK beach. Who knows? You might just discover the liberating joy of a day spent in nothing but your birthday suit, feeling the sun’s warm embrace, unencumbered and utterly free.

Sauna in Germany

Sweating it Out: The Whimsical World of Sauna in Germany

In Germany, the sauna is more than just a place to sweat; it’s an institution, a cultural phenomenon, and a testament to the German way of relaxation. Here, the sauna is not just about warming up during the cold winter months; it’s about embracing wellness, community, and, believe it or not, a good dose of humor. Let’s dive into the steamy, and occasionally hilarious, aspects of “Sauna in Germany.”

A Historical Steam

The significance of saunas in German culture is steeped in history, tracing back to the ancient Germanic tribes who first introduced the concept of communal bathing and relaxation. This tradition has evolved into what we now recognize as the German sauna culture, a blend of health, relaxation, and socializing. Imagine ancient warriors discussing battle tactics in nothing but their birthday suits — quite the strategic planning session, right?

The Finnish Influence… With a German Twist

While the Finnish may have perfected the art of sauna, the Germans have certainly made it their own. Characterized by high temperatures and an aversion to chit-chat, the German “Ruhezone” or quiet zone, takes the sauna experience to a level of solemnity that could rival a library… if libraries allowed you to be stark naked. Imagine trying to maintain a serious demeanor while sitting au naturel next to someone discussing Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason — only in Germany!

The Bare Truth About Nudity

Speaking of nudity, the German acceptance of being in the buff in saunas might raise an eyebrow or two among the uninitiated. It’s a place where body positivity is not just practiced but celebrated. Think of it as the ultimate test of openness: if you can sit naked among strangers discussing the weather, you’ve truly embraced German culture. And yes, it’s as liberating as it sounds, though it might make you think twice about making eye contact! (Please do not check other people’s naked body out… it’s just rude!)

Rules of the Sauna

German saunas come with their own set of rules and etiquette, which, if not followed, might earn you some disapproving looks or even a polite but firm correction. For instance, forget to lay down your towel before sitting, and you might just become the subject of the next day’s gossip in the locker room. It’s all about respect, cleanliness, and, occasionally, learning from mildly embarrassing mistakes.

Embracing the Heat and Humor

Beyond the health benefits and the relaxation, the sauna culture in Germany is imbued with a unique sense of humor. From inadvertently walking into the wrong changing room to attempting (and failing) to pronounce “Aufguss” (a sauna infusion ritual), the potential for light-hearted mishaps is endless. It’s a place where laughter is as healing as the heat itself.

Steaming Conclusion

The sauna in Germany is more than a wellness trend; it’s a way of life. It’s a place where history, health, and humor intertwine, offering a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Whether you’re a sauna veteran or a curious newcomer ready to dive into the world of German wellness, remember: when in a German sauna, do as the Germans do — relax, embrace the nudity, and if you accidentally sit on someone’s towel, apologize profusely and chalk it up to the sauna experience.

For anyone looking to explore the cultural tapestry that is the German sauna, sources like Cheros Abroad and Sunrise Specialty offer insightful guides into making the most of this quintessentially German experience. Just remember, when it comes to sauna in Germany, it’s all about the heat, the history, and the hearty laughs.

bird watching berlin

Bird Watching Locations in and Near Berlin: A Feathered Paradise

Berlin, the vibrant and culturally rich German capital, is not just a haven for art and history enthusiasts but also a paradise for bird watchers. With its diverse landscapes and ecosystems, the city and its surroundings offer numerous bird-watching opportunities. If you’re a birding enthusiast, pack your binoculars, and get ready to explore these avian hotspots.

1. Tempelhofer Feld: Urban Birding at Its Best

Tempelhofer Feld, a former airport turned public park, is an urban oasis for bird watchers. The vast open space attracts various bird species, from sparrows and finches to kestrels and falcons. Keep an eye out for migratory birds, which often use this open area as a stopover on their journeys.

2. Müggelsee: A Waterfowl Extravaganza

Müggelsee, Berlin’s largest lake, is a prime location for spotting waterfowl. Take a leisurely stroll along its shores or go boating to catch sight of swans, grebes, and perhaps even a majestic osprey hunting for fish.

3. Moorlinse Buch: Year-Round Birding Delight

The Moorlinse – Lietzengraben – Karower Teiche loop is a treat for bird watchers throughout the year. Whether you visit in spring to witness songbird migrations or in winter to spot waterfowl, this area offers a wealth of avian diversity.

4. Landschaftspark Rudow-Altglienicke: Untamed Beauty

This expansive park, located in the southeastern part of Berlin, offers untamed natural beauty and diverse birdlife. Be sure to explore its meadows, wetlands, and forests to encounter a range of bird species.

5. Great Bustards in Western Berlin

If you’re looking for something truly special, head west of Berlin, where you can find the only populations of Great Bustards in Germany. These remarkable birds are an exciting find for bird enthusiasts.

6. Gülper See: A Day Trip Adventure

Venture outside the city to Gülper See, a serene lake that attracts thousands of geese during migration. Accessible by public transport, it’s an excellent day trip option.

7. Nationalpark Unteres Odertal: A Nature Lover’s Dream

This national park offers a direct train connection to Schwedt, where you can explore the vast wetlands and their diverse avian inhabitants. Walk or use the local bus to delve deeper into this natural wonder.

8. Rietzer See/Streng: Worth the Journey

While transportation to Rietzer See/Streng can be a bit tricky, the rich birdlife makes it worth the effort. Keep an eye out for geese and other migrating birds.

9. Linum: A Must-Visit for Bird Enthusiasts

Linum is famous for its annual crane migration spectacle, where thousands of cranes gather in the surrounding fields. Witness this breathtaking phenomenon up close.

10. Victoria Park: A Hidden Gem in Kreuzberg

Victoria Park in Kreuzberg is a small yet diverse area, perfect for a quick bird-watching session. Despite its size, it boasts a wide variety of bird species.

Remember to check the local bird-watching groups and events, as well as guided walks offered by Volkshochschule, to make the most of your bird-watching experience in Berlin. Whether you’re a seasoned birder or just beginning to explore the avian world, Berlin and its surroundings have something remarkable to offer.

Happy bird watching!

Exploring Berlin's Diverse Neighborhoods

Exploring Berlin’s Diverse Neighborhoods

Berlin, the vibrant and ever-evolving German capital, is a city of neighborhoods, each with its own distinct personality and charm. From the trendy streets of Friedrichshain to the quieter corners of Wedding, Berlin’s diversity is what makes it an exciting place to live. Let’s take a closer look at various neighborhoods and the pros and cons of calling them home, according to the online community.

Friedrichshain: Where the Party Never Ends


  • Central to Prenzlauer Berg and Mitte: Located right in the heart of the city, Friedrichshain offers easy access to the rest of Berlin.
  • Plenty of Bars and Nightlife: You’ll never run out of options for a night out.
  • Cool Alternative Vibe: Friedrichshain’s artistic and alternative atmosphere is perfect for free spirits.


  • Very Loud at Times: The party scene can be a bit much for those seeking peace and quiet.
  • Persistent Fundraising: You might find yourself frequently asked to donate to various causes.
  • Culinary Scene Still Developing: While improving, the food scene is not yet on par with other neighborhoods.

Tegel: A Tranquil Oasis in Berlin


  • Multiple Lakes and Beaches: Enjoy natural beauty in Tegel with its nearby lakes and beaches.
  • Safety: Tegel is known for its safety, making it an ideal place for families.
  • Mix of Village and City: Experience the best of both worlds with a village-like atmosphere near Tegeler See.


  • Connectivity Challenges: The U-Bahn construction until 2025 has affected transit.
  • Fewer Youngsters: Tegel tends to attract an older demographic.

Mariendorf: Quiet Green Spaces in the Heart of the City


  • Quiet and Green: A peaceful neighborhood surrounded by nature.
  • On a First-Name Basis with Local Shopkeepers: Enjoy a sense of community.
  • Safe: Mariendorf is considered a safe place to live.


  • Conservative Vibes: A more conservative atmosphere might not suit everyone.
  • Few Cafés and Bars: Limited options for those who enjoy a thriving nightlife.
  • Limited Public Transportation: Dependency on buses can be inconvenient.

Schöneweide: A Hidden Gem with Great Connectivity


  • Excellent Connectivity: Numerous public transportation options make traveling around the city easy.
  • Green Areas: Enjoy the lush surroundings, including Wuhlheide Park.
  • More International Than It Appears: Schöneweide has a diverse population.


  • Limited Variety in Restaurants: While there are many restaurants, the variety is lacking.
  • Far from the Center: A 40-minute journey to central Berlin may deter some.

Karlshorst: The Quiet Retreat


  • Great Transportation: Enjoy easy access via the S3 line.
  • Wulheide Park: A green oasis offering a forest-like atmosphere.
  • Quiet and Safe: A peaceful neighborhood that’s safe for families.
  • Great for Kids and Pets: The neighborhood is excellent for families and pet owners.


  • Lack of Nightlife: If you’re looking for vibrant nightlife, Karlshorst may not be the place.
  • Limited Services: The neighborhood lacks some amenities you’d find in more central areas.

Wilmersdorf: A Slice of Elegance Amid Berlin


  • Beautiful and Quiet: Wilmersdorf offers a calm and elegant atmosphere.
  • Good Dining Options: Enjoy fine dining and great cafes in the area.
  • Well Connected: Quick connections to Mitte and Charlottenburg.
  • Altbauten: Stunning old buildings add character to the neighborhood.


  • High Rents: Expect to pay a premium for the upscale surroundings.
  • Limited Street Food: The neighborhood lacks a vibrant street food scene.
  • Predominantly Older Population: Fewer young people in the area.

Schöneberg: A Relaxing Corner of Berlin


  • Quiet and Peaceful: Schöneberg offers a serene living environment.
  • Old and Hip Shops: Explore vintage and artist shops.
  • Good Public Transportation: Well-connected via U-Bahn and S-Bahn lines.


  • Late-Opening Cafés: Some places open late, affecting breakfast choices.
  • Limited Nightlife: Schöneberg’s nightlife scene is more subdued compared to other districts.

Marienfelde: Tranquility and Nature in Berlin


  • Green and Quiet: A peaceful neighborhood with abundant green spaces.
  • Good for Biking, Jogging, and Tennis: Ideal for outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Access to Lakes and Forests: Close to beautiful lakes and Grunewald.


  • Far From the Center: Marienfelde is quite a distance from Berlin’s central areas.
  • Few Bars and Restaurants: Limited options for dining out.
  • Relatively Isolated: Some may find it too remote.

Lichtenberg: A Hidden Jewel in the East


  • Affordable Housing: Lichtenberg is more budget-friendly than many other neighborhoods.
  • Cultural Diversity: A melting pot of different cultures.
  • Beautiful Parks: Enjoy pleasant walks in the local parks.


  • Limited Nightlife: Night owls may find options limited.
  • Less Central: Lichtenberg is somewhat distant from the city’s center.

Charlottenburg: Where Elegance Meets Convenience


  • Beautiful Architecture: Marvel at the stunning buildings and historic charm.
  • Cultural Attractions: Home to theaters, museums, and Charlottenburg Palace.
  • Great Dining Scene: Discover a diverse culinary landscape.


  • Zoo Station Challenge: Some may find the area around Zoo Station less appealing.
  • Distant Nightlife: The heart of nightlife is on the other side of the city.

Potsdam: A Quick Jaunt to Berlin’s Countryside


  • Scenic Beauty: Potsdam’s beauty is captivating, with UNESCO world heritage parks.
  • Nature and Lakes: Enjoy serene lakes and picturesque countryside.
  • Fast Connection to Berlin: A 25-minute train ride to Berlin Hauptbahnhof.


  • Limited Activities: Fewer options for entertainment compared to Berlin.
  • Weekend Tourism: Weekends in Potsdam can feel deserted, with many residents heading to Berlin.

Neukölln: Where Diversity Thrives


  • Cultural Diversity: A variety of restaurants and grocery stores.
  • Great Public Transportation: Excellent access to the U-Bahn, S-Bahn, and Ringbahn.
  • Parks and Open Spaces: Enjoy Tempelhofer Feld, Hasenheide, and Körnerpark.
  • Historical Gems: Explore the unique Rixdorf area.


  • Traffic and Noise: Traffic and emergency vehicle noise can be frustrating.
  • Overflowing Trash Bins: A common issue that could use more frequent collection.
  • Safety Concerns: Though not universally unsafe, some areas may raise safety concerns.

Gesundbrunnen: A Vibrant Corner of Berlin


  • Lively Atmosphere: Enjoy the bustling streets and vibrant community.
  • Diversity: A diverse demographic with an international flair.
  • Transport Hub: Convenient connections through S-Bahn, U-Bahn, and regional trains.
  • Local Amenities: Lots of grocery stores, shops, and options for food and drinks.


  • Occasional Safety Concerns: While some may feel uneasy at times, it’s not universally unsafe.
  • Nighttime Noise: Keeping windows open can lead to a constant hum of noise, but it’s part of the neighborhood’s charm.

Friedrichshain, Wedding: A Triumvirate of Experiences


  • Excellent Transportation: Easy access to multiple parts of the city.
  • Diverse Neighborhoods: Each with its own character and attractions.
  • Lively Nightlife: Abundant bars, restaurants, and entertainment options.
  • Safety: While some areas may have occasional safety concerns, overall, it’s a safe region.


  • Higher Rents: The appeal of these neighborhoods has led to rising rental prices.
  • Traffic and Noise: Busier stations may experience some noise and crowded streets.

Pankow, Weißensee, Prenzlauer Berg: A Blend of Charm


  • Beautiful and Historical: These areas feature stunning architecture and historic appeal.
  • Excellent Transport Links: Proximity to various public transportation options.
  • Diverse Dining Options: Numerous restaurants and bars to explore.
  • Cultural Offerings: Access to theaters, museums, and arts venues.


  • Gentrification: Some find the neighborhoods becoming less affordable and more exclusive.
  • Variability in Prices: While some residents have locked in good rental deals, prices can fluctuate.
  • Mixed Neighborhood Vibes: Different sections offer varying degrees of urban excitement and diversity.

As we’ve seen, Berlin’s neighborhoods offer a wealth of diverse experiences, from the hustle and bustle of Friedrichshain to the tranquility of Potsdam. The key to a happy life in Berlin is understanding what you value most and choosing a neighborhood that aligns with your priorities. With its multifaceted neighborhoods, Berlin ensures there’s something for everyone. No matter where you decide to live in this remarkable city, the adventure and discovery never cease.

Cheapest Stores to Buy Winter Clothing in Berlin

The Cheapest Stores to Buy Winter Clothing in Berlin

When winter descends upon Berlin, the city transforms into a snowy wonderland. But as the temperature drops, it’s essential to stay warm and cozy without emptying your wallet. Fortunately, Berlin offers a multitude of options for budget-conscious shoppers to find affordable winter clothing. We’ve gathered valuable insights from Reddit users to guide you through the best places to snag a winter bargain.

Decathlon: Affordable Functional Clothing

Decathlon emerges as a top choice for those who don’t mind functional, budget-friendly clothing. The store’s reputation for quality and affordability makes it a go-to option for many Berliners. Here, you’ll discover everything you need to gear up for the chilly Berlin winters – from layering options to windbreakers, all at prices that won’t freeze your bank account.

Second-Hand Stores and Flea Markets

If you have a penchant for sustainable and budget-conscious shopping, Berlin won’t disappoint. Vinted, Humana, and the countless Sunday Flohmarktes (flea markets) are treasure troves of pre-loved winter clothing. When you buy second-hand, not only do you save money, but you also reduce your carbon footprint. It’s a win-win situation.

Recommended Flea Markets: While some flea markets may leave you empty-handed, there are specific ones to watch out for. Nowkoelln Flowmarkt, NK Kranoldplatz Flohmarkt, and Flohmarkt am Boxhagener Platz consistently attract young sellers with a wide selection of stylish second-hand items.

Charitable Organizations and Second-Hand Stores

For hidden gems and incredible bargains, explore second-hand stores run by charitable organizations such as DRK (Deutsches Rotes Kreuz). These stores, found in various parts of Berlin, offer high-quality clothing at remarkably affordable prices. Dive into the less hip and more normal to upper-middle-class areas like Charlottenburg, Wilmersdorf, and Schöneberg to uncover hidden fashion treasures.

Online Shopping for Bargains

Online platforms have revolutionized the way we shop, and Berlin is no exception. Websites like eBay, Vinted, momox, and sellpy are actively used in Germany. They provide an array of options for buying winter clothing at competitive prices. The convenience of shopping from your own home is a bonus.

Off-Season Sales and Promotions

The savvy shopper’s secret? Timing is everything. Plan your winter wardrobe purchases during the spring when stores are eager to clear out their previous winter stock. You’ll find heavily discounted items that will keep you warm next winter.

Additionally, keep an eye out for store-wide promotions, especially during events like 10% off for students, Halloween, or other seasonal holidays. These special offers can significantly reduce the cost of your winter wardrobe.

Uniqlo and Other Retailers

Uniqlo, a well-known brand for basics, has gained a reputation for its Heattech clothing line, designed to keep you warm during the coldest of winters. Whether you opt for Heattech Extra or Heattech Ultra, Uniqlo provides exceptional options for staying cozy without wearing bulky layers.

Furthermore, for those who prefer to purchase new clothing, visit C&A or other major retailers to find your perfect coat size. Once you’ve identified your ideal fit, search for discounted winter coats on platforms like eBay, Vinted, momox, or sellpy. You can discover hardly-worn €200 wool coats for as little as €40-€80.

Additional Affordable Options

Beyond the well-known options, there are other gems to explore in Berlin:

  • Army Surplus Stores: Trendy Army Store on Skalitzerstr offers a diverse range of budget-friendly winter clothing.
  • Facebook Marketplace: Check out the Facebook Marketplace for local deals on gently used winter clothing.
  • Discount Retailers: Kik is a budget-friendly option that offers a variety of winter wear.


As winter approaches in Berlin, you now have a multitude of budget-friendly options for keeping warm without draining your wallet. Whether you prefer the charm of second-hand shopping, the thrill of off-season deals, or the convenience of online platforms, Berlin has something for every budget-savvy shopper. So, gear up and stay cozy without the hefty price tag.


Tipping in Germany: A Guide for Expats and Travellers

Tipping, an often underestimated social practice, can be a complex dance to navigate when traveling to a new country. In Germany, known for its rich culture and meticulous attention to detail, understanding the nuances of tipping is essential for both expats and travelers. Whether you’re dining at a local restaurant, catching a taxi, or enjoying a coffee at a café, knowing when, how much, and whether to tip can make your experience smoother and more enjoyable.

At the same time, it’s worth highlighting a valuable resource for expats in Germany: Booka Local. Our startup connects expats with bilingual German-speaking translators, making your transition to life in Germany more seamless. Now, let’s delve into the world of tipping in Germany and uncover the answers to some common questions.

Is Tipping Expected in Germany?

When you sit down at a restaurant or receive a service in Germany, the question often arises: Is tipping expected? The answer is generally yes. Tipping is customary and appreciated in Germany, though the culture surrounding it differs from what you might find in other countries.

Germans value the idea of service quality and fair wages, which has influenced their tipping practices. While tipping is expected, it’s not necessarily extravagant. Locals typically tip to show appreciation for good service, but it’s not seen as obligatory. You won’t find waitstaff glaring at you if you forget to leave a tip, but they will certainly appreciate your gesture of gratitude.

How Much Do You Tip in Germany?

The next question that often arises is, “How much do you tip in Germany?” Tipping percentages in Germany are generally lower compared to countries like the United States, where tipping 15-20% is customary. Here’s a breakdown of typical tipping practices in various scenarios:

  • Restaurants: In restaurants, it’s common to round up the bill or leave a tip of about 5-10% of the total. For exceptional service, you might consider leaving a bit more, but there’s no need to feel pressured into a larger tip.
  • Cafés: When you grab a coffee or snack at a café, rounding up to the nearest Euro is appreciated. For instance, if your coffee costs €2.50, you can leave €3.
  • Taxis: For taxi rides, rounding up to the nearest convenient amount is customary. If your fare is €8.50, rounding up to €10 is a polite way to tip.

Keep in mind that Germans are quite precise when it comes to tipping. If your bill is €22.50, leaving €25 shows thoughtfulness. It’s worth noting that tipping in Germany isn’t limited to food and transportation. You might also tip hairdressers, tour guides, and hotel staff for exceptional service, using similar principles.

Is it Rude to Not Tip in Germany?

One question that often concerns travelers and expats is whether it’s considered rude not to tip in Germany. While tipping is customary, it’s not considered rude to abstain from tipping in cases where you’re dissatisfied with the service. However, it’s essential to differentiate between withholding a tip due to poor service and simply forgetting to tip. In the latter case, it’s more about being polite and showing appreciation rather than an obligation.

Germans appreciate polite gestures, so even if the service was adequate and you’re unsure about whether to tip, erring on the side of leaving a small tip is usually appreciated. It’s a way to say thank you, and it rarely goes unnoticed.

Tipping Practices in Germany

Understanding how to leave a tip correctly is crucial. In restaurants, if you’re paying with cash, simply leave the extra amount on the table when you settle the bill. You can also signal the waiter that no changes are needed (meaning, the charges are the tips), when the cash is handed over to the waiter directly. If you’re paying by card, you can tell the waiter the total amount you’d like to pay, including the tip, and they will charge your card accordingly.

It’s essential to note that in Germany, tips are typically shared among the staff, so your tip goes beyond just the person who served you. This practice helps ensure that everyone working in the establishment benefits from good service.

What Happens if You Don’t Tip the Waiter?

While it’s not considered rude to skip a tip for subpar service, it’s crucial to understand that tipping can be a part of waitstaff’s income in Germany. If you consistently don’t tip when the service is decent, it may affect your relationship with the staff. The staff may remember you as a customer who doesn’t tip, which could influence your future experiences at the same establishment (unless the food and service are really unimaginably bad and you do not plan to visit this restaurant again).

However, this doesn’t mean you should feel obligated to tip when the service is genuinely poor. In such cases, it’s more important to provide feedback politely and explain why you’re dissatisfied. You can be direct with them. Trust us, they can take it.

Is 10 Percent a Good Tip?

While a 10 percent tip is considered standard in many countries, including Germany, the notion of a “good tip” can vary depending on your perspective and the context. Germans often view a 10 percent tip as reasonable and polite. However, feel free to adjust the percentage based on your satisfaction with the service and your budget.

For excellent service, you might consider leaving more than 10 percent as a sign of appreciation. Likewise, if you’re dining with a large group, it’s common to leave a slightly larger tip.

Who Gets the Money When You Tip?

When you leave a tip in a restaurant or any service establishment, it doesn’t typically go directly to your waiter or service provider. Instead, tips are often pooled and distributed among the staff. This practice ensures that everyone, from cooks to servers, benefits from the tips.

In some places, tips may be divided according to a specific formula that considers each employee’s role and responsibilities. This collaborative approach emphasizes teamwork and encourages all staff members to provide a high level of service.

When Should You Not Tip?

While tipping is a common practice in Germany, there are situations where it’s not expected or necessary. Knowing when not to tip can be just as important as knowing when to tip:

  • Fast Food and Self-Service: In fast-food restaurants (like, the one with the big “M” sign) or establishments where you order at the counter and clear your table yourself, tipping is not expected.
  • Public Transportation: When using public transportation like buses, trams, or subways, tipping is not customary. However, you may find some travelers rounding up their fare for convenience.
  • Retail Stores: Tipping is not expected when shopping in retail stores.
  • Government Services: There’s no need to tip government employees, such as postal workers or government office clerks. (It also looks super awkward if you try)

By being aware of these situations, you can navigate tipping in Germany with ease and ensure that you’re showing appreciation appropriately.


Tipping in Germany is a thoughtful gesture that reflects your appreciation for good service. While it’s expected in many situations, it’s not an onerous obligation. Germans value quality service and fair wages, so tips are often seen as a way to acknowledge a job well done. Understanding the nuances of tipping in Germany can enhance your travel or expat experience and help you engage with the local culture more effectively.

Remember that your experience in Germany can be further improved by utilizing services like Booka Local. Our startup connects expats with bilingual German-speaking translators, making it easier to navigate the intricacies of daily life in Germany, including communication and cultural nuances. As you explore the diverse landscapes and cultural experiences that Germany has to offer, may your understanding of tipping practices enhance your enjoyment of this remarkable country.


Winter Activities In Germany

With its snow-covered landscapes, cozy markets, and abundance of outdoor activities, winter in Germany is a truly lovely season. Everyone may find something to explore, whether they’re seeking for a winter sports adventure or a leisurely stroll through quaint towns.

Skiing and snowboarding

There are numerous ski resorts in Germany that cater to skiers and snowboarders of all levels. Winter sports fans frequently travel to the Bavarian Alps and the Black Forest because of their well-maintained slopes and cutting-edge lift infrastructure. Another fantastic location for skiing and snowboarding is the Zugspitze, which is the highest mountain in Germany.

Credits: 9GAG

Hiking and biking

Taking a trek or a bike ride through the snow-covered terrain is one of the best ways to see the winter paradise that is the German countryside. There are many routes to explore in the mountains and the countryside, and the calm, serene environment is the ideal place to get away from the bustle of daily life.

Spas and thermal baths

On a chilly winter day, Germany’s numerous top-notch spas and thermal baths are the ideal place to warm up. There are solutions to suit every taste and budget, ranging from conventional saunas to contemporary wellness facilities. Learn more about the best spas in Germany and their prices here!

Ice skating

Ice skating is a well-liked winter activity in Germany. You can skate on the ice in many towns and cities’ outdoor rinks. It’s a terrific afternoon activity for families and a fun way to pass the time.

Christmas Markets

The Christmas market is among the most cherished winter customs in Germany. These markets are the ideal place to find one-of-a-kind items and regional crafts thanks to their attractive wooden stalls and joyful ambiance. There are markets all over the nation, from Frankfurt to Nuremberg, each with a unique personality.

These activities would be so much more fun if you do them with friends. If you are new in Germany and do not know many people yet, here are some tips about making new friends in Germany. Friends will definitely make winters better!

Translation Booka Local

10 Activities You Can Do In Germany On New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve, or Silvester in Germany, is a time for celebration and reflection, and there are do in Germany on many activities that you can enjoy to ring in the new year. Many people, locals and internationals, might make plan to visit other countries in Europe during these festive periods. But for those who plan to spend New Year in Germany, here are 10 ideas for things to New Year’s Eve:

Go to a party or event

There are many cities in Germany where you can go to big New Year’s Eve celebrations, including music festivals, fireworks displays, or balls. These can be a great way to celebrate with others and enjoy music, food, and drinks. Check out your local clubs as most probably all of them have special events with special DJs on this day. You might want to book your tickets in advance just to be safe.

Watch the fireworks

Fireworks are a popular way to celebrate the new year in Germany, and many cities and towns set off spectacular displays at midnight. You can find a good spot to watch the fireworks and count down to the new year with a crowd. Plan your night accordingly if you do not want to miss such a spectacular moment.

Go to a restaurant or bar

One of the activities to do on New Year’s eve in Germany is a simple dinner with your friends or loved ones. Many restaurants and bars in Germany offer special New Year’s Eve menus and events, such as live music, champagne toasts, or DJs.

Take a walk or go for a hike

If you prefer a more low-key celebration, you might consider going for a walk or a hike to take in the sights and sounds of the new year. You can either stay at home and watch the fireworks from afar, or just go out for some fresh air and peace.

Have fun with friends or family

New Year’s Eve is an excellent opportunity to spend quality time with them, and you may want to host a get together at your place or at a friend’s. You can play games, watch movies, or simply spend time together chatting and catching up.

Go to a concert or show

Many cities in Germany host concerts or shows on New Year’s Eve, and you can find a wide range of entertainment options, from classical music to rock concerts to theater performances.

Take a trip

If you’re looking for an alternative way to celebrate New Year’s Eve, why not take a trip somewhere else? You can find a comfortable place to stay and relax for the night or explore the city.

Go skiing or snowboard­ing

If you’re in a region with snow during winter, you may want to hit the slopes on New Year’s Eve. You can take advantage of special deals at German winter sports resorts during the holidays.

Go to a spa or wellness center

If you want to relax and unwind on New Year’s Eve, you might consider going to a spa or wellness center. Many facilities offer special packages or deals for the holiday, and you can enjoy a massage, sauna, or other treatments to help you start the new year feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Have a movie night

If you prefer to stay home on New Year’s Eve, you might consider having a movie night. You can curl up with a blanket, some popcorn, and your favorite films and spend the evening relaxing and enjoying some quality time with your loved ones.

Have an appointment in January that requires German and you’re not fluent yet? Don`t ruin your holidays with stress! Book a local to attend the appointment for you and celebrate New Year with no worries!