Today I am going to share with you 40 awesome tips for Germany. If you would like to make your adaptation easier in Germany, below is the second part of awesome tips.
If you have not checked 30 Awesome Tips for Germany yet, click here to read part I.
1) Be careful for riders on right turns
You can see riders everywhere and when you are driving a car it is very critical to be careful on right turns.
2) Do not walk on bicycle road
Germans are so sensitive about the bicycle roads and riders can honk at you. Because riding bicycle is a daily routine for German people.
3) Open the doors by push-button
Most of the doors in shopping malls, huge markets have push-button. Therefore keep your eyes open!
4) Rent a car in your market shopping
You can rent a car hourly from different companies like car2go, drivenow. For that you should annually register and pay. You will be member of the car sharing and have an identity card to unlock the car.
5) Use your wife/husband’s health insurance
If you don’t have an income over 450 Euro, you don’t need to pay for health insurance additionally. You can inform health insurance provider about your marriage and work situation. It is called Family Insurance (in German Familienversicherung).
6) Pay attention to the details of your rental contract
I highly recommend you to take a look at the details of your rental contract. Because it can have some consequences. For example if you are responsible to plough the snow in front of your door, any accident happened in front of your door due to your negligence is your responsibility.
7) Rent your parking lot
If you are living in a place that has limited parking lot and you do not have any car, then you can rent your parking lot and contribute to your rent with it.
8) Be ready for the exams in lecture free periods
Depending on the university, there could be exams in lecture free periods. Therefore you should not directly understand the lecture free period as holiday.
9) Use water filter to decrease lime in the tap water
In Germany, tap water is drinkable but the level of lime is really high. Therefore, if you want to decrease the level of lime and drink better tasted tap water, you can use water filter. We are using Brita filter and it definitely increased our water drinking amount.
10) Do not help the older people without asking
When you would like to help to older people, the perception could be “I don’t need your help. I am self-sufficient and independent person.” Therefore, you should always ask first to help older people. You can say “Darf ich Ihnen helfen?” means Can I help you?.
11) Take train cost back, if there is delay
If the train has delay more than 30 min, you can get %25 of your ticket back. You just fill the refund form called Erstattungform by taking from controller at the train or Deutsche Bahn info desk in train station.
12) Order your drink first
In a restaurant, it is common to order the drink first instead of the food. Before the waitress comes, it is wise to select drinks first. Food can be ordered later on.
13) Make the ticket machines accept your coins
If the ticket machine does not accept your coins and keep giving them back to you, you can rub your coin against the surface of ticket machines. It is interesting but machines accept such coins. You can also see in most of the machines scratched surface. That is the reason of it. 🙂
14) Get information about tax refunds
In Germany, it is possible to get tax refunds from many payments during the year. It is called “Steuererklärung” in German. You can further information in detail from here.
15) Early bird catches the worm at Bazaar
It is expensive than the markets and you can find bio products there. If you want to check them, I need to warn you that they are open very early in the morning and close at noon.
16) Have only one exam in courses of your study
There is only one exam for courses in German education system and it can be done as written exam, oral exam, project, presentation or research homework.
17) Follow Primark for fair price and trendy clothes
Primark is the cheapest shop that sells trendy products for woman and man such as clothes, bags, shoes, sport, make-up and hair products. If you do not want to spend so much money, but be trendy you can take a look.
18) Do not fall for shopping nights
Time to time shopping nights are organized in some cities. But I can tell that there is no additional discount in the prices in these nights. Only shopping centers are open until 00:00 o´clock in that days.
19) Do not exaggerate Black Friday
Definitely there is not so much discount! I can tell that it is possible to buy some clothes cheaper but the electronics prices are generally same.
20) Do not use German address in your invoice for tax free
Once I have bought smart phone from Germany and my husband was living in Germany. Although my residence address was in Turkey in that time, I have wrote his Germany address on the invoice of the smart phone. I thought that if there is a problem about the phone, we can solve it easier with this way. But don’t do it!
If a German address is written in your invoice, the tax-free point in airport do not pay back you the tax. Although they could have understand from my visa that I was not living in Germany, they used their chances not to pay the tax back. I have experienced it badly and lost 80€ because of it! So I recommend you to use your hometown address for tax free.
21) Be aware of the constant payments within your rent
In Germany your rent is composed of Kaltmiete and Warmmiete. Kaltmiete is your base rent and Warmmiete is Kaltmiete + Nebenkosten. You pay generally heating, water and gas within your Nebenkosten. The householder defines the constant montly payment amount of Nebenkosten. This is just a prediction and you pay the same amount each month. At the end of each year the householder compares the paid and consumed amounts of heating, water and gas. Based on this comparison if you paid more than you consumed, you can get back the delta between them. For further information, you can also read the post about how to find accommodation in Germany.
22) Find best furniture deals
IKEA, Mömax and XXXL provide the best deals in Germany for furniture. As a hint, services are very expensive, therefore if you assemble your own furniture it is much cheaper. In this case I recommend you to buy a electro screwdriver to make it faster.
23) Get used to take your time in making friends
I can definitely say that it takes time to make some friends in Germany. In general, Germans separate the private and professional life. When you want to hang out, you plan it months before. I can assure that spontaneous meeting is not very common.
24) Place your tray at collecting point
It is very common to place your tray at collecting points in self-service restaurants or cafes.
25) Get used to traffic jam on autobahns
Especially on Friday and Sunday afternoons, there could be traffic jam on autobahns and if you are travelling by bus it could be exhausting. Be ready for it and make your plans accordingly.
26) Be careful with the parking lot payments
Saturday is counted as working day. Therefore if you see working day (called “Werktag” in German) you should be aware, they also count Saturdays in it.
27) Consider possible delays in your posts
Christmas time is the most critical time that you can have delay in your posts. Because on the one hand there is a long holiday and on the other hand everyone tries to send something to beloved ones. Therefore if you have critical documents to send, plan with buffer.
28) Be careful when you buy your car
Value of the cars are sharply decreasing after 4th model year. Therefore it is logical to buy the car before that year.
29) Apply for kindergarten as early as possible
If you plan to have a child, I recommend you to apply for kindergarten as soon as possible. Because there are always long waiting lists in big cities.
30) Bring cake to work
In German culture, it is very common to prepare or buy cake for enjoying with your colleagues on your first day, birthday and last day at the company.
If you are coming from a country which has a tradition of being surprised by the people around you, do not expect it in Germany. You enjoy your birthday with the people by making the preparation yourself. 🙂
31) Pay your lunch at the company
Companies do not pay the lunch in Germany. Therefore, you need to take into account your daily lunch prices. It varies between 4€ and 8€ by depending on the company and the food you selected.
32) Do knock the table, do not applause
After a presentation in a company and a class at university, people shows their appreciation to the work by knocking the table (if there is one) instead of applause in Germany. The origin of it is still unknown.
33) Learn the most common word
“Bitte” is the most common word in German with different meanings such as you are welcome, please, you first and not important. Keep it in your mind to make your life much easier!
34) Adapt yourself for changing fuel prices in a day
Fuel prices are cheaper in noon and evening (around 22:00). In the rush hours they have higher prices.
35) No sitter overnight in German hospitals
It is forbidden to have sitter overnight in German hospitals.
36) Address the people with their academic title
It is very important to use academic title when you address somebody. Germans are very sensitive in this topic. You should use Dr. Herr/Frau (Surname) in your conversations and emails.
37) Check the university library rules
In some universities, it is forbidden to enter the library with your backpack. There are some lockers in front of the door and you left your backpack there. Then you use transparent library bags, baskets or you can take your belongings on your hands.
38) Take your course books from university library
In Germany, you can find your course books from library and if they do not have, you can request them from another library without any payment.
39) Check the possibility of tax class change
If you are married, it is possible to increase your net income by selecting logical tax class as couple. You can select among 3-5, 4-4 or 5-3. If your salaries are similar, then you can select 4-4. Otherwise it makes sense to select 3 for higher income, 5 for lower one. If you are interested with the Tax Sytem in Germany then you can read more about it from here and you can get more official information from here.
40) Do wait for permanent residence permit
If you want to buy a house or an apartment and need long term bank credit, you should have permanent residence permit. Otherwise it will not be easy to get the credit or you can get credit with higher interest rate.
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