5 thoughts on “Top 10 German Culture Faux Pas to Avoid When Traveling

  1. Either things have changed greatly since I was last in Germany, or most of these rules don’t apply in Bavaria, where I spent ten years. 1) Ever been to a Gasthaus? Drunks everywhere! SAme with 3) and Oktoberfest? Forgetaboutit! 4) Seldom was corrected for eating pizza or fries with fingers. 5) “You are American?” Then the usual litany of what movie stars or politicians they love or hate. Of course during the cold war, I also got a few “American go home!” (To be fair, heard this in London as well). Also, the author may feel that Germans are well traveled, but they usually stay within Europe. My German visitors usually go wide-eyed when they see a Super Wal-Mart or Target – most Germans still shop in small local stores (think Aldis). 7) jaywalking was common in downtown Munich “Munchen” and Nurnberg. and finally 10) I was amazed on how my German in-laws and acquaintances would announce how much their purchases (including gifts) cost and would ask the same of me. And polite? Not when it comes to movie lines or ski lift lines where it was every man for himself!
    Don’t think I am denigrating Germans, I LOVE Germany and Germans! My first your of duty was in Bad Toelz, southern Bavaria, 5000 plus foot elevation with snow in June occasionally. More than once, kind-hearted Germans stopped to help push my car out of snow banks or ditches on the small, winding mountain roads. Great country and folks! Would love to retire in Munich!

  2. Being German but married to an American, I find it very interesting how different the cultures are. But some things I have to correct as a German – It all depends where in Germany you are. In the north, of course you use for each and everything a fork, but do not be surprised about the looks you get in the south, if you try to eat a Brezel with a fork, that is very funny there! Also questionable – the shoe issue. In the south, they like you to wipe your shoes on the front carpet bevor walking in, but they do not like to meet your nude feet, may be in the north or middle it is a bit different but I would suggest to leave you feet in your shoes unless bevor walking in, you are told to put your shoes off. To be drunken is def. a no go accept at special parties (Oktoberfest, Seenachtsfest ect.) or in small countryside pubs. The Germans are well traveled but it depends on their age – where the 50+ indeed does like to trip arround Europe the most junger people are more travelling arround the world. It is not needed to bring flowers if you are invited, but it is a nice gesture and will bring you a truely warm smile. What kind of flowers you bring matters to the person that invited you, ask in the flowershop and you will never be with the wrong ones. Because we are a very interested and open society, it does not matter if you are from the US, Spain or China, nobody will be treated different, but your own story is interesting. At least, do not be surprised if a German is holding on to his or her opinion, even if unpleasant, they will not agree with something what they can not sign for. Don`t be offended by this, they are just a very truthful folk.

  3. Hi, I want to correct one thing, Leitungswasser means tap water, not plumbing water.
    A lot of people drink tap water, even in restaurants, people will judge you and think you are stingy for just ordering tap water and not buying a regular drink, but as long as you also order something else asking for tap water is fine. Also, tap water is drinkable and actually of very high quality in most regions in Germany.

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