Tag Archives: Germany

Most Common German Stereotypes when on Holiday thumbnail

Most Common German Stereotypes when on Holidays

With the rise of travel lovers around the globe, it is very easy to confirm that every country has its own stereotypes when it comes to behaviour during the holiday season. Now that COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted worldwide and we start to see the light at the end of the tunnel, we thought that it’d be nice to refresh the most common German stereotypes on vacation while you get ready for the upcoming holidays. Have you chosen your destination yet? Let’s see how the locals will perceive you over there!

Sandals and socks – an eyesore?

If you find yourself in a Mediterranean or exotic country with temperatures ranging from 25 to 35 degrees, spotting a German will be an easy task. Being one of the most well-known German stereotypes, brown leather sandals and white socks are the holiday essentials that most tourists pack in their hand luggage. Leaving this terrible attack on the fashion world aside, what most locals wonder is the following point: if it’s warm enough to wear sandals, why would you want to wear socks with them? Many Germans would defend themselves against this cliché by arguing that socks are useful to prevent blisters on their feet!

The early bird catches the sun lounger

It’s 10 o’clock in the morning and you wake up to the peaceful sound of the chirping of birds. You’re enjoying your summer vacation in a wonderful 4-star hotel. After your breakfast buffet, you decide to go down to the swimming pool and sunbathe while you read your favourite book. All of a sudden, your relaxing dream turns into a nightmare: there’s not even one spot left! Does this ring a bell? Germans have an obsession with throwing their towels into the sun lounger at 7 a.m. to reserve them for later, so it’s no surprise that this has become one of the funniest German stereotypes. The reason behind waking up this early on their days off remains a mystery, but it’s worth saying that this accurate stereotype infuriates tourists worldwide!

Mallorca, Ibiza and Formentera – the German Paradise 

It is no surprise that the most popular destination for German tourists is the Mediterranean. According to tourism statistics, over 4.5 million German citizens have visited the Balearic Islands every year since 2016. This figure pops up a question: have you ever met a German who hasn’t been to Mallorca – or better said, the 17th Bundesland, like Germans call it?

In addition to tourists, the German community on the island continues to stand out from the rest of foreigners with more than 36,000 people registered in their local municipalities.

But what stereotypical conceptions do locals have about them? Well, as rough as it may sound, we could say that especially young tourists don’t have the best of reputations over there. In fact, they are well known for partying until sunrise and drinking beer and sangria in abundance.

However, it is not only the nice weather and cheap prices that make the Germans want to return to this top summer destination, but rather the endless wonders that can be found in this charming island.

Farmer’s tan

Have you ever taken your T-shirt off and realised the lower part of your arms was tanned or sunburnt but your torso was completely pale? Then you know what we’re talking about! During their holidays, some Germans forget to put on sunscreen whilst the sun is at its peak, resulting in a natural good-looking body painting they wish they had avoided!

Sparkling water: hate it or love it

Even though sparkling water is quite common among many European countries, if we take into consideration that the biggest holiday destination for Germans is Spain, ordering a bottle of mineral water might end up in disappointment. Carbonated water is not everybody’s cup of tea outside of Germany. We can assure you that waiters prefer not to be yelled at if they bring still water to their customers. Moral of the story: you’d better wait to have your Sprudelwasser at home.

To end this article on a good note and avoid potential offenses, keep in mind that these are just funny and sometimes exaggerated stereotypes – we know that not all Germans are the same!

If you wish to find out more curiosities about Germany, check out our blog article on German superstitions! 

Bringing your Family to Germany

Bringing your Family to Germany: Step by Step

We are aware of the fact that moving to a new country can be very challenging, especially if you find yourself alone through all the changes that you have to face. Therefore, being able to bring your family to Germany with you can make the whole experience so much easier. This is why we would like to offer you all the information that you need to know in order to reunite your family in Germany – keep reading!

EU/EEA/Switzerland citizens

If you and your relatives are citizens from the European Union, European Economic Area or Switzerland, there are no kind of restrictions for them to enter Germany. They do not need a visa nor a residence permit to move to the country and they can stay there for as long as they want to.

Rest of citizens

For the rest of nationals, there are some requirements to meet in order to bring your family to the country. First of all, you must be in possession of a valid residence permit. There are four kinds of residence permits that allow expats to bring their family members to Germany: the EU Blue Card, the long-term residence permit, the settlement permit and the residence permit for highly-qualified individuals. If you want to find out more information about what kind of visa you and your relatives will need, you should check the website of the German Federal Foreign Office.

Official requirements

Once you make sure that you have a valid residence permit that allows you to bring your family to Germany, you must be able to prove the German government that you are financially stable. This means that you can support yourself and your family members with regards to funds, accommodation and health insurance. The German government claims that every family needs to have “sufficient living space” and all the household facilities must be included in the property.

If you wish to bring your wife or husband to Germany, you must be able to prove that they are officially your partner. Therefore, you will need to provide a marriage certificate or a civil partnership record.

With regards to family reunification, you must prove that you have the custody of your children. However, if both parents share custody of the child and one of them is not moving to Germany, the other parent must provide their consent before the child can move to the country.

Identity

The last step is related to the verification of the identity and nationality of your family members. For this purpose, they must be in possession of a valid passport. Since the German government needs evidence that this person will enter Germany legally and not pose any kind of threat to the country, their criminal record might be required in some cases.

There are many benefits to sharing a family life in Germany due to its safety, its high-quality school system and many others advantages. We hope that this guideline helped you understand all the steps that you need to follow if you want to bring your family to Germany!

Join the Community!

The most important to a make new country home, is building friendships and networking. We highly recommend you to join our Facebook Group “Project Expat Community” to connect with other Expats in your city and to stay tuned about Project Expat Events and new Partners.

Best day trip ideas in Germany

A Day Trip in Germany: 5 Top Ideas

As we transition from the cold and moody weather to the sunny and lovely summer, we all start to get excited about the upcoming holiday season. If you’re tired of always hanging out with your friends in the same old boring places and are looking for alternative plans, we’re here to help. There are a lot of beautiful hidden jewels worth visiting on a day trip in Germany, so let’s dive right into them!

Zugspitze – a nature’s gem

Being the highest mountain in Germany, it goes without saying that this beautiful location will blow your mind away. The Zugspitze is situated on the Austrian border –in the southern part of a town called Garmisch-Partenkirchen– and is fairly easy to reach by public transport, especially by train.

For those of us who wish to escape the everyday stress of vibrant cities, this spot in the Bavarian Alps is the definition of paradise. Whether you’re a hiking enthusiast or a nature lover, a breath-taking view of more than 400 summits in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy awaits you on the top of the mountain. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a professional athlete to climb the Zugspitze – there are easier routes that lead to its peak and it is also possible to hop on a cable car!

The best time of the year to visit this magnificent scenery is the month of August, since the risk of avalanche is lower during the summer. Biking, hiking, strolling around with your friends or simply tasting some traditional Bavarian dishes – we are sure that this day trip in Germany won’t disappoint you!

Starnberger See – the best getaway

If you want to take a break from the crowd in Munich and enjoy some quality time while you breath fresh air, Starnberger See is the place to go. Less than one hour and a half away from the capital by S-Bahn train, the second largest lake of the Bavarian state offers an endless range of options to choose from.

From a cultural point of view, Starnberger See holds a significant historical value, since the king Ludwig II drowned there in 1886. However, despite being a popular touristic destination, you may as well find the peaceful moments you’re searching for.

Several paths along the shore will allow you to have relaxing walks and find nice cafes, restaurants and even Biergartens with an impressive view of the Alps in the background. Besides having picnics and going for a swim with your friends, it is also possible to take a boat tour from spring to autumn and explore the villages and properties around the lake. Trust us, it will be worth it!

Heidelberg – a picturesque old town

Located in the state of Baden-Württemberg, Heidelberg is one of those cities that you cannot miss as a day trip in Germany. Once you set foot in this town, you will feel like you stepped into the pages of a fairytale. If you don’t trust us, a quick Google search will be more than enough to get a glimpse of what we’re talking about.

This quaint city surrounded by forests becomes even more captivating in the spring, when flowers start blooming and the sun shines bright. With a medieval castle and a charming market square, there is almost nothing that this town cannot offer. Its main streets are bustling with visitors who enjoy wandering around the city and dining in good restaurants, while a stroll around the Neckar River will help you connect with nature. What’s more, we forgot to mention that Heidelberg is a famous university town, and therefore its nightlife will not disappoint you!

Bodensee – an exciting adventure

Bodensee, also known as Lake Constance, is a wonderful summer retreat during the hottest months of the year. Many cities have direct connections to the lake by train, including Karlsruhe, Munich, and Stuttgart, which makes it the perfect day trip in Germany to plan with your friends!

Not only will you be able to go on a boat ride and visit the idyllic Mainau Island, but also you will have the chance to test your adventurous skills. Action and water sports are the most popular activities at Bodensee. If you are ready for an adrenaline shot, there are several options for you: you can try windsurfing, stand up paddling, canoe trips, diving, sailing and so much more.

In case you prefer to have a calm sunbathing day, you can always choose to stay on the shore. However, you should keep in mind that the water temperature below the surface is really cold (since it is fed by the Alps), so be ready to soak the full experience in!

Neuschwanstein – the Disney fantasy

The German castle that inspired Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle is a must-see for all the Disney fans out there. This 19th century Romanesque palace is one of the most popular touristic attractions in Germany, but this shouldn’t stop you from visiting it. Trekking up to the castle of the King Ludwig II is a magical experience from start to finish. Its magnificent architecture along with the marvellous landscape that surrounds it make it the perfect choice to spend a day with family and friends.

For Instagram lovers, taking the best pictures will be the highlight of the trip. We highly recommend you to walk up to the recently restored Marienbrücke, which bridges the Pollät Gorge waterfall and provides a spectacular panoramic view of Neuschwanstein and the nature around it.

Even though it is possible to reach the castle by public transport, there are no direct connections and it can take quite some time, which is why it might be better to book a one day trip from Munich that will take you directly to the castle and includes a guided tour to visit its interior.

 

If you’re still a bit skeptical about these trips due to their expenses, we have good news for you: as fuel prices continue to rise, the German government will offer a 9-euro ticket for unlimited trains, buses and trams from the 1st of June with the aim of encouraging citizens to take public transport. If you want to get more information about this ticket, check out their webpage. This means that you can spend a weekend in Berlin with your friends and head back home for only nine euros! How does it sound?

Popular Cities in Germany

It is difficult to compile a ranking of the most beautiful German cities, especially when moving to Germany. That’s because every tourist, immigrant, and even every German prefers a different German city. All big cities in Germany provide a wide variety of restaurants, architecture and culture. It’s the nuances that make the difference. Primarily, the local habits, traditions, and customs make the different cities unique. In addition to that, a Bavarian, for example, especially the older ones, could hardly imagine moving to Hamburg or Berlin. Similarly, a north German would probably not move to the south if he didn’t have to. So the best advice is to take a close look at the cities and then make your choice.

The Bavarians will, of course, call Munich the most beautiful city, while a Hanseatic city probably won’t let go of its beloved Hamburg. For many, not just young people, Berlin is surely the place to be. Perhaps that’s why many expats in Germany prefer moving to Berlin when starting their stay in the nation. In the past decade, cities in the east of Germany have grown into lovely places like Leipzig, and of course, Dresden. The difficulty in this ranking is with each one’s personal preference, which means considering what kind of city I prefer. In all the bigger cities in Germany like Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Leipzig, and Dresden, you can enjoy a well-developed nightlife. Each of these cities has numerous sights, which makes each city interesting for different persons. For instance, if moving to Munich is on the cards, you would do well to know a few things about the city. To begin with, Munich is well-known for the Oktoberfest and its numerous beer gardens, which are the places to be during spring and summer. Then, you do have the English Garden where people like to meet all year long. But people in Munich are sometimes unfriendly in the beginning, though that’s sort of a Bavarian tradition. But if they get to know you, they’ll soon become very warm-hearted. If you like winter sports, Munich is the ideal city because the Alps are pretty close, which let many go there just for one day. Another fun fact about this town is the “Schicki-Micki” or “Bussi, Bussi” society. You are called this way if you like to dress well, spend money in fancy restaurants, and simply try to look as good as possible.

Munich: Heart of Bavaria

The completely opposite of Munich is supposed to be Hamburg. Though it’s as beautiful as Munich, the city is different than other big German cities. Its inhabitants are often regarded as a bit stuffy and conservative by the rest of Germany. It means they are not as open-minded as others. But this is a typical prejudice. It is right that they are not very friendly in the beginning, but that can change within minutes. The complete opposite of Munich and a must-do activity in the city is visiting the Hamburger fish market. It opens every Sunday at 5 o’clock and all fishmongers of Hamburg are there to get the freshest fish. But basically, everyone can visit it. There, you can get to meet the “normal” people of the city. Another place everybody should visit at least once is the world-famous Reeperbahn. Known for its extensive nightlife, it has to offer something for everybody. In addition, Hamburg has a fantastic harbour, and outstanding architecture when you visit the Speicherstadt or the Elbphilharmonie. So, if you are not annoyed by the fact that it might take a little bit longer to get to know the people, Hamburg is a good place to start in Germany.

Berlin the Geman Capital

Speaking about important German cities, we have to take a closer look at the capital Berlin. No other German city has changed so dramatically over the past few decades than Berlin. Today, it is known for its cultural diversity and somehow for being different than other cities. If you’re moving to Berlin, you’ll soon get to know the “Berliner Schnauze”, which is the slang of the locals that’s really hard to understand, even for Germans who move there. “Dit find ick knorke” for example means I find it really great. So, moving there involves the challenge of understanding the locals. But generally, the people of Berlin are easy to come along with and very helpful to foreigners. Berlin is the most international city in Germany and many foreign tourists visit the city every year. Every “Kiez” or neighbourhood in the city and district is different and so are the people living there. You can find both wealthier districts and poorer districts in Berlin. But what they have in common is that they give the impression of being a little village within the city. The city has also many interesting sights like the Museumsinsel (museum island), the Reichstag, the Pergamon museum, and the television tower.

Carnival and cathedral metropole Cologne

If you are interested in the so-called fifth season, the carnival, you must move to Cologne or Düsseldorf. Both cities are famous for exuberant partying between November and February. But both cities have more to offer than the celebrations. Both are located at the Rhein, a wonderful river. Both cities have many small galleries and extraordinary art museums. Both cities are linked by a rivalry because Cologne is bigger than Düsseldorf but Düsseldorf is the capital of North Rhine-Westphalia. And another “dispute” between them is the question of which town has the better and more famous beer. The inhabitants of Düsseldorf would say their Alt is the best beer in the world whereas the inhabitants of Cologne would insist that their Kölsch is the best one. If you want to decide which one it is, you’ll need to move or travel there.

Frankfurt the financial centre

The financial centre of Germany is definitely Frankfurt am Main. Its skyline is shaped by skyscrapers and it has the biggest airport in Germany, which is helpful if one has to travel a lot. In the old town, you can enjoy Äppelwoi and grüneSoße. Äppelwoi is a bit like cider and the sauce comes along with all sorts of dishes. Frankfurt has many interesting sights like the Paulskirche. On May 18, 1848, in the course of the German Revolution, the first freely-elected National Assembly met in the Paulskirche, which is regarded as a cornerstone for democracy in Germany. Nowadays, a permanent exhibition provides interesting background information on the beginning of democracy through to the development of German unity.

Dresden & Leipzig: Eastern Germany

If you think about moving to East Germany, I would recommend Leipzig or Dresden. Both towns are very modern with interesting old towns. Dresden has a bit more historical sights to offer though. The Frauenkirche, which was completely destroyed during World War II, offers an outstanding view over the old town. The Zwinger provides space for several museums and the Semperoper speaks for itself.

Leipzig also has quite a lot to offer for its inhabitants. For example, the old trading exchange, the Bavarian railway station, the central station, and of course, the Augustusplatz with several buildings from different decades of the last century are worth a visit. At the Nikolaikirche, the Monday demonstrations against the DDR and the Stasi started in 1989. This was the beginning of the German reunion. But just as in Berlin, you have to get used to the Saxon dialect. For example “Eiverbibbsch” is a typical expression you will hear in both cities. Its meaning is you shouldn’t curse.

Lovely small cities

But besides all these major cities, you shouldn’t forget that Germany has also interesting towns, which are smaller than the major cities. When moving to Germany, you should also consider these towns. Nürnberg with half a million inhabitants, for example, is famous for its Christkindlmarkt (Christmas market) in December. Freiburg is famous for its alternative way of life due to the many students who live there. Weimar and Erfurt are well-known for Goethe and the Bauhaus. Thus, as you can see, German cities have a huge variety to offer and there’s a place for everybody moving to Germany to feel comfortable and cosy.