What you should absolutely never do when visiting Germany

Have a German vacation planned sometime soon? It’s a beautiful country in Europe, and there are plenty of amazing sights to see. However, before you jet off across the world ready to test your foreign language skills, there are some things you ought to be aware of first. Germany has a strict set of rules that you must abide by if you want to avoid upsetting the locals, or much worse. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Don’t wear shoes inside

Unless given explicit instructions, you should always ask whether someone wants you to take your shoes off when in there home. Most people in Germany don’t wear their shoes inside, so to go ahead and do it could be considered extremely rude. If you feel weird asking, remove them anyway when you go inside to be on the safe side. The last thing you want to is upset someone that’s invited you into their home.

Don’t waste recyclables

Did you know that you’ll be charged extra for buying drinks in bottles or cans when you’re in Germany? It’s part of the country’s initiative to encourage people to recycle and not waste the materials. You’re expected to return the bottles and cans to a shop, although they’re not fussy about which shop you chose. All establishments are required to accept your recyclable waste, whether or not they were the place you bought them from initially.

Don’t be late

One thing you can rarely accuse Germans of not being is punctual. They’re almost always on time, and they expect the same of anyone they’re meeting with. To show up late would be considered rude and a waste of someone else’s time. So, if you make any appointments during your German vacation, make sure that you show up to them on time.

Don’t address people incorrectly

Learning another country’s language is confusing, especially when they have an entirely different set of grammatical rules that you’re not used to. When it comes to greeting people in Germany, there are two different ways to do it. You can either say Sie or du, depending on how well you know the person. Sie is the more formal choice, so it’s what you’re expected to use in something like a business setting. Du, on the other hand, is reserved for more informal conversations. If you’re not sure which to use, you can always ask.

Don’t disturb the peace

If you’re a bit of a party animal at night, then you might struggle during your trip to Germany. The country has a set of laws which prevent you from making too much noise at certain times of the day. You can’t do things like play loud music or vacuum between 10 pm and 7 am, or the entirety of Sunday. That might sound pretty restrictive, but it stops residents from being disturbed at inappropriate times. If you don’t follow these rules, people can complain, and you’ll find yourself face to face with one of the public order officers. You didn’t go to Germany to get in trouble with the law, so try to keep it down at night.

very country is different, and you should never visit somewhere new without first checking what rules are in place. They might not always make sense to you, but it’s important to respect them when you’re abroad. After all, you don’t want to get arrested.