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 (for the next winter): 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!

Translation Booka Local

How To Spend Christmas Alone In Germany As An Expat

Being away from family and friends during the holidays can be difficult for anyone who lives abroad, especially in Germany with the cold and grey winters. However, there are things you can do to make the most of the holidays and enjoy them even if you’re alone. We gathered few ideas for you about how you can spend Christmas if you’re an expat in Germany.


You could volunteer your time or offer your services to people who need them. Many organizations, such as charities and churches, are looking for volunteers to assist with Christmas events and activities, and this can be a great way to connect with others and give back to the community. You can also offer your help to a neighbor, a friend, or someone else who might be alone or in need during the holiday season.

Join Traditional German Festivities

If you want to celebrate Christmas alone in Germany, you could embrace German culture by joining in traditional festivities. Germany is famous for its festive Christmas markets. These are a great way to enjoy the holidays and immerse yourself in German culture. You can also try traditional German Christmas dishes, such as roast goose or roast pork with dumplings and sauerkraut, or bake your own German Christmas cookies, such as Lebkuchen or Spritzgebäck.

Connect With Your Own Traditions

You can also find ways to connect with your own cultural traditions and create your own Christmas rituals. You might want to decorate your house, cook your favorite meals, watch your favorite holidays movies or TV series. If you’re not able to find any local events celebrating Christmas, you could try contacting other expats or foreigners living in your area, or joining online communities or groups that promote Christmas celebrations in your own language or country.

Invite New People to Your Christmas Dinner

You might want to invite some new people to join you. It’s not fun to spend Christmas alone, so why not invite some friends over to share the holiday cheer? Ask your friends to send out invitations to other expats that they personally know. You could even post an invitation on a community board for your city or town so that interested locals can contact you. You might even make some new friends for your kindness. If you want to save time and money, you could organize a potluck, where each person brings a different type of food. Here are some Christmas dinner ideas you might want to check!

Ultimately, the key thing to doing well at Christmas alone in Germany as an expat is to focus on what makes you happy and meaningful, and to be open minded and willing to try new things and connect with people. Whether you choose to volunteer, embrace local traditions, or celebrate your own cultural practices, there are many ways to make this holiday special and memorable even when you are on your own.

If you’re more of an adventurous type of person, you can check our latest blog on the best places to visit for Christmas in Germany.

Best Places to Celebrate Christmas in Germany

Best Places To Celebrate Christmas in Germany

It’s finally (almost) the most wonderful time of the year! Whether or not you are new in Germany, you must be planning for your Christmas holidays already, who isn’t?! We made a list of the top places to visit for Christmas in Germany to help you plan your best holidays for this year. From Christmas markets to historical places, we have everything covered in this blog post!

Christmas is more special when celebrated with friends and families. But for most of the internationals in Germany, especially the newcomers, the first Christmas away from home can be really challenging. If you are one of them, you can read our article on how to fight back expat blues in Germany. We hope it helps you!


Visit Nuremberg and you’ll be able to experience one of the largest Christmas Markets on the planet, attracting more than 2 million people annually and featuring hundreds of unique vendors selling everything from handcrafted gifts to traditional German foods. You can also enjoy delicious smells and flavors of Glühwein, Gingerbread, Wurst, Sweet Roasted Almonds, waffles and so much more in an unforgettable holiday experience in the old town. The Toy Museum and Grand Carousel are particularly delightful in this charming Bavarian city.

Christmas Eve at Berlin Cathedral

Other than its amazing Christmas markets, Berlin has much more to offer for Christmas. Located in the Mitte, the Berliner Dom dominates its surroundings with the Fernsehturm and River Spree in the background.On Christmas Eve, people go to the cathedral to hear heavenly choirs perform. If you want to experience such a serene atmosphere, then the Berliner Dom is the place to be. 


Christmas is a time of traditions everywhere, but nowhere is this truer than in the city of Munich in southern Germany. With its rich history, Munich has been celebrating Christmas for centuries. Thanks to the conservative nature of southern German cities, they’ve managed to preserve their traditional culture for centuries.

One of the most famous of the Munich Christmas markets takes place at the Old Town Hall square in the heart of the old town. It’s no surprise that the Christmas tree has become one of the most popular sights in the city. You can also enjoy live performances by musicians playing at the Town Hall every day after lunch.

Image credits: iStock


Dresden has the largest number of Christmas market stalls in the eastern part of Germany and it also holds the oldest annual Christmas market, dating back to 1434. Located at Altmarkt Square, it’s surrounded by numerous themed Christmas markets that stretch from the main train station to the Albertplatz. Here you’ll find some of the best handcrafted products Germany has to offers, including ceramics from Lusatia, biscuits from Pulsnitz and much more.


Freiburg is an enchanting small town in Germany with an amazing atmosphere throughout the entire holiday season, located at the foot of the Black Forest, but it’s especially wonderful during the holidays, when the festive Christmas market sets up shop in the heart of the historical old town. Here people from all age groups can enjoy a variety of traditional arts and craft products, including glassblowing and colorful wooden toys. There’s lots of roasted chestnuts, mulled wine, gingerbread, and sausage with the smells of Christmas waft through the air. You can shop for ceramics, candlesticks, puppetry, holiday decorations, and so much more.


With its large population, Cologne also makes it to our list of best places to celebrate Christmas in Germany and it already offers plenty for visitors throughout the entire calendar. During the coldest months, the city remains warmer and less snowy than most of Germany. There are some fantastic Christmas markets in Germany, including one in Cologne which is especially beautiful. The biggest Christmas market in Cologne is located right next to the Cologne Cathedral’s 157 meter tall Gothic tower. At this market, you’ll find everything from handmade Christmas ornaments to gingerbread cookies, traditional wooden toys and quirky Tassen plates.

Not a fan of Christmas? Well, winters in Germany are not the coldest in Europe which is a good news. You can check out these amazing winter destinations in Germany here if you specially love adventures!


Germany’s 9-euro ticket: Things you need to know

GOOD NEWS! After long negotiations, Germany finally agreed to allow the 9-euro ticket to go into effect on June 1, 2022. Summer, a ticket to explore the whole of Germany at only 9 euro per month, what else do we need? Here’s some things expats in Germany need know about the 9-euro ticket!


What is the 9-euro ticket all about?

To help consumers cope with the rising cost of energy in Germany, the federal government announced last month that it would be offering discounts on monthly public transport passes for three months. During the period between the beginning of June and end of August, it is possible to purchase the special passes, valid until one calendar month each, at just 9 euros per pass.

Wanna know where the locals like to visit? Check out our free ebook here!

How exactly is the 9-euro ticket valid?

The ticket will be valid on all forms of public transport across Germany, including buses, U-Bahns, S-Bahns, trams, and local and regional trains. With the 9-euro ticket you can use these forms of transport nationwide except the long-distance transport services, such as ICE, IC and EC trains run by Deutsche Bahn, and FlixTrains and FlixBuses which are are not covered.

You can’t issue a ticket for a specific date. It will always be issued for that month. For example, if you buy a ticket at the beginning of June, it will only be good until the end of June. You will then need to buy a new ticket for July. To make the most out of the offer, it’s best to book your tickets as soon as possible.

Are there refunds for monthly passes?

Individual transport operators will automatically reduce their monthly subscriptions by 9 euros, or they’ll pay back the difference in subsequent months.

Transport operators are also looking into different ways to reimburse their passengers for their monthly passes and other tickets. Students might also get their semester tickets refunded.

When will the 9-euro ticket be available?

To ensure everyone has enough tickets, transport associations in some German cities plan to start a pre-sale as soon as May. The federal government is working on an online ticketing system for people to purchase their tickets. They will also most likely be sold through traditional sales channels, including from ticket machines and mobile phone applications.

Can dogs travel for free?

Unfortunately, the 9-Euro-ticket cannot be used as a ticket for dogs, but you can buy a regular ticket for dogs. You can bring a dog with you in line with transport associations’ regulations. For example, some bus companies charge an extra fee if you bring your dog on board. Similar to guide dogs and assistance dogs, pets are covered by transport associations’ regulations. Learn more about places you can take your dog to in Germany here!

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Is there a difference between North and South Germany?

With an area of 357,386 km², Germany is not that big of a country. However, many have still noticed that there are quite some differences between the Northern and the Southern part of the country. You might have also experienced the changes in culture, food and dialect while moving from the North to the South of Germany. This blog post shares what German people think about the differences between the two parts.

Some believe that, it might partly have to do with religion, but not all of it. Northern Germany is predominantly Protestant, while most of southern Germany is Catholic. The main problem is prejudice. According to The Spiegel, „People in the cool, practical, intellectual, industrialized, liberal north of Germany think the lazy hick farmers in the south are backward and racist, and they talk funny too“. They also state that Berliners will even hate the southern German mountains because they make them feel claustrophobic!

Booka Local recently published its ebook „Ask the Locals“ where we asked locals if they think there is a difference between North and South Germany and this is what they said:

„There is a gradient in Germany, you can say the further south the more conservative people are. People in the north are cool and liberal, in the south more cordial but more conservative. In the north more fish, in the south more meat. As I said, this is a rough guide. In general, Germany is quite different in its regions in terms of mind- set, dialect, culture, food, customs, and so on.“ (Jens, 36)

„The southern Germans love the cosiness and are very tradition- al. The northern Germans are cool.“ (Johannes, 35)

„JAAA! They are two different cultures.“ (Silvia, 27)

„Yes! With the southern Germans, it’s often about their reputation, while the northern Germans don’t care.“ (Karin, 27)

„Northern Germany appears more open.“ (Hanna, 26)

„There are cultural differences between regions in Germany. Even between Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. A prejudice against Bavaria is possibly regional patriotism. Or socializing in the Bierstübl. I think, however, one should not refer to the Munich Schickeria or the Oktoberfest to the whole of Bavaria. Baden-Württemberg stands for a lot of money and industriousness, but also for stuffiness. Northern Germans are said to have a roughness and a sober manner. They often don’t talk to people directly and prefer to keep to themselves. But once you’ve cracked the ice, there’s a warm core underneath. I think the statement “hard shell, soft core” applies well.“ (Emilia, 30)

Do you want to know what else the locals think about the difference between the two parts of Germany and about other German stereotypes? Download our ebook for free now!

It was shared on Quora that „agriculture and farming is most common in the south because there aren’t as large cities next to each other. There’s a lot of space for livestock and growing vegetables. There are big cities like Munich, but it is definitely different from them because it’s located near smaller towns and mountains. People in the South tend to be very stingy and like to gossip (obviously this happens more in smaller towns since everyone knows one another) but it is definitely more of a southern thing since people in the rest of Germany just like to mind their own business“ (Royce, 2018). 
„Germans who live in the North tend to be very outgoing and talkative in terms of making people feel welcome. It starts with words like “Moin” that make you feel at ease and comfortable. They also tend to have a great humor whereas Bavarians for example tend to be more reserved and they have a very different humor a lot of times. Bavarians are often seen as cold and a lot of people think that bavarians think of themselves very highly so they come off as arrogant which is why Germans joke about Bavaria being it’s own country. Keep in mind that these things are generalizations and not EVERY person who lives either in the North or South is exactly like that but speaking from experience those rumors definitely have some truth in them“ (Royce, 2018).

People living in Germany have seen many differences between North and South Germany. According to them, the cultures, religions and manners are the most different. It is however important to note that not all people from those two parts share the same characteristics as some people might have talked about. Northern and Southern Germany may have its differences, but it is certain to say that both are stunning places to visit!