Proper Etiquette for Travel Through Germany

by Eugenia Lazaris

May 10, 2019

Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria, Germany © Emicristea | Dreamstime.com

Tips / Destination

While many countries rely heavily on tourism to boost their economy, tourists often get a bad name. Making an effort to learn and respect the rules and local customs of a country goes a long way in making travelers feel welcomed by locals. Following these tips while traveling through Germany can greatly improve your experience.

Sharing is encouraged. If you’re eating at a restaurant and the host asks to seat strangers at your table, don’t decline. Sharing tables is not only acceptable, but normal. No one will force you to share your table, but saying no is considered rude.

Follow the rules. It’s easy to claim ignorance of laws we don’t know or understand, but, in Germany, rules and laws are strictly enforced, tourist or not. Disobeying the local laws can result in a ticket that will follow you home if unpaid. Just because you don’t live in the country doesn’t mean the legal system won’t hold you accountable for your actions.

Be mindful of the country’s troubled past. Bringing up the unpleasantness of the Nazi regime is not only taboo but in some circumstances can lead to legal action.

Always purchase and validate your train tickets. Again, the German people take their rules seriously. When you purchase your train tickets there are no uniformed workers checking them as you board the trains. Checkers are dressed in plain clothes and traveling incognito. If they catch you without a validated ticket you not only get fined, but publicly embarrassed.

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