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Sublet Contracts In Germany

Subletting is legal in Germany, but there are some restrictions. You should know about these before actually going for the sublet contract. You can learn more about the rules for subletting in Germany here! Upon having the green light for subletting your apartment, you will need a sublet contract. Discover more about sublet contracts in Germany in this blog post!

A written contract is normally not required for an apartment sublet in Germany. However, it is a good idea to have everything written down in paper to avoid any misunderstandings in the future. 

Sublet contract draft

Most sublet contracts in Germany contain the same basic information. Make sure your contract clearly states the following details:

  • The names of the main tenant and its subtenant
  • The exact address of the apartment (street name, number, building, etc.)
  • Start and end dates of the sublet
  • The rent to be paid and any extra costs (such as for internet, water, electricity)
  • How to pay for them (e.g. directly into a bank account or via a money transfer).
  • Which rooms can be used
  • How many keys were given
  • How much deposit was paid
  • What condition the rented flat is in
  • House rules regarding things like smoking and pets
  • Signatures of both parties

You can download a free subletting contract template here

Cancelling a sublet contract

The German rental law states that the subtenant must give a notice period of atleast three months to the main tenant if they wish to move out before the end of the previously agreed date and it must be done before the third day of a particular month. 

On the other hand, if the main tenant wishes to cancel the contract, they can only do so by giving the subtenant a minimum notice period of six months unless they have a good reason to end the contract earlier (for example, if the subtenant did not pay the rent or is not abiding to the rules of the contract).

Liability

After the sublet, the main tenant is still the only one who has the main contract with the landlord. Therefore, the main tenant is fully liable towards the landlord for the whole rented apartment or room in case of a breach of contract or damages to the property. Any damage by the main tenant or the subtenant will lead to the main tenant being responsible for them. The main tenant is also required to cover the subtenant’s share of the rent if they refuse to pay.

Anmeldung

Remember, even if you are a subtenant of an apartment, you still have to register your address at the registration office. By not doing so, you may have to pay fines, which you obviously do not want to! 

Are you new in Germany and you have lots of questions concerning Anmeldung in Germany? Check out our YouTube video to get your questions answered!

Germany is the land of bureaucracy! So, if you are an international and are having troubles with your landlord regarding some misunderstandings due to language barriers, do not worry, it is not your fault! Booka Local can help you deal with such issues by acting as a bridge between your landlord and you. Simply book a helper here with minutes!

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Life In Germany – How to fight back expat blues?

Leaving your home country and your family behind to travel to Germany must have been really hard for all expats. Most of us must have experienced depression, anxiety, sadness and what not during our first months in Germany. And why not? Germany was a new place with a completely new culture, new people and not forgetting new language for almost all of us. And the depressive winters, TRAUMATIZING!

Well, if you think you are the only one experiencing these feelings, then trust me, you’re not alone!

Expat blues also known as expat depression is when people who move overseas feel what psychologists call the depression of new culture shock. When someone is going through an expat blues, one of the worst feelings that can happen is apathy. This is typically expressed as a lack of engagement and joy. Some common physical symptoms of expat blues are, among others, fatigue, insomnia, crying, loss of appetite or overeating. 

But do not worry! Expats usually get over it with time! 

Here are some ways to control your expat blues to make your stay in Germany more pleasant:

Gather information about Germany

One of the best ways to prevent a culture shock is to gather as much information about Germany as possible. Search about the culture, the people, the places. it is highly recommended you to also join Germany expats’ forums, communities and Facebook groups to see what the expats already here are talking about. You will get a clearer idea of the topics they talk about and also important information about life in Germany.

You can also check InterNations and MeetUp, two very popular expats forums in Germany!

Booka Local also has its own meetup forum for expats where we often have online meetups to chat about different topics! We also hope to plan meetups offline as summer approaches…so, make sure you check out this link of our forum to stay updated with our meetups!

Exploring Germany

Think about it! You are now in GERMANY!!! It is one of the most historical places in Europe. So, why waste such an opportunity? Go explore the country, organise weekend getaways to the castles, visit the spatis with your new friends and attend events which are always happening throughout Germany. These will help you to get more familiar with the country and also keep your mind away from homesickness thoughts…

Exploring Germany also means getting to know the locals! Yes, it is not always easy to befriend Germans, we’ve all been there! Oh, btw speaking of getting to know the Germans, Booka Local has recently launched its ebook “Ask the Locals” where we asked the locals questions that we expats have most certainly have had in our minds! You can now get your own FREE copy!

Create a home

You are now living on your own! Yay privacy!!! Think about it in this way – you can now decorate your new place as YOU want it. You can create your own comfortable little bubble that makes you feel safe and relaxed. Trust me, this makes a huge difference! Try it, buy frames, flowers, plants, lights, and whatever you like and create your personalized home! You will love it.

Keep up with old habits

Once you are in Germany, you do not have to change yourself or your habits. Keep up with your old habits! That is, if you used to exercise in your home country, continue in Germany too! Germany has splendid running and hiking tracks! Make sure you explore them! They’re so worth it! If you were always a person who loves connecting with nature, then Germany has a lot of it’s natural places to offer…You can also find friends online or offline who have the same hobbies as you and plan something together! 

Plan something with family and friends

Invite your friends or family from back home to Germany. Planning a trip with familiar people will give you something to look forward to and the opportunity to see more Germany. 

Many expats make Europe tour plans with their friends and families back home and create great memories. Get yourself motivated for these kinds of trips too. These will help you get more used to Europe as a whole and make you feel more a part of this new continent. 

Share your thoughts

A very important thing to do when you’re having the expat blues is to talk it out. As mentioned earlier, you are not the only one who has been experiencing such feelings, most of the expats have too! Talk to other expats, share your thoughts and feelings! It will make you feel much lighter and will help you to get through those hard days! 

If you are having communication problems due to the language barriers, it is recommended to search for other people from your home country in Germany. This can give you a sense of belonging and therefore make you feel like home. 

Talking to your friends and families back home can also help a lot. Video calling them or chatting with them can help ease your pain and sadness from being away from them. 

Finally, living far from your family and your home country can be really difficult. But remember, among millions of people who dreamt of travelling to Germany, you were in the lucky group who actually made it here! And it’s worth celebrating…expat blues is very natural and goes away with each day you spend in Germany! We hope you can find these few tips helpful to make your days better here!

Anmeldung in Germany

5 Questions About ‚Anmeldung‘ In Germany

You have just arrived in Germany and you are asking yourself: Why am I being asked to make a portfolio for renting an apartment? Am I expected to be interviewed? Am I going to check an apartment with 70 other potential tenants? And why do some people have to brag about getting their Anmeldung done? Well, we have your 5 most asked questions about Anmeldung in Germany answered in this blog post!

„When I moved from Hong Kong to Berlin, a lot of people said to me ‚Congratulations! You have just moved from one place with serious housing problems to another place with serious housing problems.‘ Like, seriously?“ – Mei Chi Lo, CEO & founder of Booka Local.

We all have like thousands of questions in mind when we first landed in Germany. Let’s talk about the most popular questions every new international might have about Anmeldung in Germany!

Question #1: What’s wrong with airbnb?

First, it’s not cheap if you are to stay for a long time. Okay, if you are rich, then it’s probably not a problem for you. But the second thing is, in Germany, there’s a term you need to learn before knowing how to order a beer, that is, Anmeldung.

Anmeldung means registration. Most internationals simply use this word to refer to the process when you register a new address in Germany. This term also means browsing like a 1000 apartments, sending 500 applications, viewing 100 apartments with 80 other people, receiving 50 rejection messages, 30 scam emails and finally finding one apartment that allows you to do Anmeldung.

So, what’s wrong with airbnb? Well, most of the apartments there do not allow you to do Anmeldung. 

Question #2: What happens if I don’t register my address?

We are in Germany. No rules are set to be ignored. 

Anmeldung is needed for all sorts of important things, like, opening a bank account, getting your tax ID, extending your visa, basically your whole life in Germany depends on it. If you fail to register your address or are late for doing so, you might have to pay heavy fines, so beware!

Are there any exemptions for Anmeldung in Germany? Learn about it here!

Question #3: I need Anmeldung asap! What can I do?

Everyone asks this question. One popular option is short-term service apartments or something similar that allows you to register the address. Simply google something like “short term rental with Anmeldung in berlin”. There are plenty of options there. Although they are more expensive than long-term rental apartments, you can at least cross out “Anmeldung” from your checklist. 

Question #4: There’s no available appointment slot???

In order to register an address, you have to make an appointment at Bürgeramt. You do not need to stick to the one in your neighbourhood. You can go to any other ones in the same city. However, unfortunately, it can be very hard to book an appointment online. It can be completely full. „Two years ago, I even called the Bürgeramt near me and told them I needed an appointment but it’s all full on the online system. Surprisingly, they simply asked me to send them an email and then they sent me an appointment slot within a short time. I was lucky. This method is not guaranteed. But you can try“ – Mei Chi Lo. You can also check the Bürgeramt‘s website every morning at 8 am because they normally add new slots.

Alternatively, you can subscribe to Booka Local’s email notification. When the team spots an available spot on Bürgeramt’s website, you will get notified. It may not be as good as refreshing the website every 5 mins like a robot, but at least you can sit back and enjoy your life.

Get notified when there's an appointment spot!

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Okay, so imagine you have successfully booked an appointment at Bürgeramt. One last thing is, make sure you prepare all the documents you need. You don’t want to miss any piece of paper and get sent away. You will need to book ANOTHER APPOINTMENT if you fail to give them everything they need. For the complete list of documents you need, you can check our blog post about Anmeldung documents here! Get it done and don’t mess it up!

Question #5: Do I need to speak German at the appointment?

It’s very hard to say, mostly yes. Most people would bring someone with them to translate if they do not speak German, because the officers at Bürgeramt mostly do not speak English. Or yes, if you are lucky. What is good with bringing a German-speaking person with you is that, if there’s something wrong with your documents, at least you know what went wrong. If you do not know anyone who can go there with you, check out this link and you can book a local helper at Booka Local.

Do you have more questions about Anmeldung in Germany or other German bureaucratic topics? Send them to us and along with answering your questions, we‘ll make sure we get them covered in our next blog post to help others!

GREAT NEWS! We are now on YouTube and we make Life-in-Germany related videos. Make sure you subscribe to us here to stay updated!

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Is there a difference between North and South Germany?

With an area of 357,386 km², Germany is not that big of a country. However, many have still noticed that there are quite some differences between the Northern and the Southern part of the country. You might have also experienced the changes in culture, food and dialect while moving from the North to the South of Germany. This blog post shares what German people think about the differences between the two parts.

Some believe that, it might partly have to do with religion, but not all of it. Northern Germany is predominantly Protestant, while most of southern Germany is Catholic. The main problem is prejudice. According to The Spiegel, „People in the cool, practical, intellectual, industrialized, liberal north of Germany think the lazy hick farmers in the south are backward and racist, and they talk funny too“. They also state that Berliners will even hate the southern German mountains because they make them feel claustrophobic!

Booka Local recently published its ebook „Ask the Locals“ where we asked locals if they think there is a difference between North and South Germany and this is what they said:

„There is a gradient in Germany, you can say the further south the more conservative people are. People in the north are cool and liberal, in the south more cordial but more conservative. In the north more fish, in the south more meat. As I said, this is a rough guide. In general, Germany is quite different in its regions in terms of mind- set, dialect, culture, food, customs, and so on.“ (Jens, 36)

„The southern Germans love the cosiness and are very tradition- al. The northern Germans are cool.“ (Johannes, 35)

„JAAA! They are two different cultures.“ (Silvia, 27)

„Yes! With the southern Germans, it’s often about their reputation, while the northern Germans don’t care.“ (Karin, 27)

„Northern Germany appears more open.“ (Hanna, 26)

„There are cultural differences between regions in Germany. Even between Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. A prejudice against Bavaria is possibly regional patriotism. Or socializing in the Bierstübl. I think, however, one should not refer to the Munich Schickeria or the Oktoberfest to the whole of Bavaria. Baden-Württemberg stands for a lot of money and industriousness, but also for stuffiness. Northern Germans are said to have a roughness and a sober manner. They often don’t talk to people directly and prefer to keep to themselves. But once you’ve cracked the ice, there’s a warm core underneath. I think the statement “hard shell, soft core” applies well.“ (Emilia, 30)

Do you want to know what else the locals think about the difference between the two parts of Germany and about other German stereotypes? Download our ebook for free now!

It was shared on Quora that „agriculture and farming is most common in the south because there aren’t as large cities next to each other. There’s a lot of space for livestock and growing vegetables. There are big cities like Munich, but it is definitely different from them because it’s located near smaller towns and mountains. People in the South tend to be very stingy and like to gossip (obviously this happens more in smaller towns since everyone knows one another) but it is definitely more of a southern thing since people in the rest of Germany just like to mind their own business“ (Royce, 2018). 
„Germans who live in the North tend to be very outgoing and talkative in terms of making people feel welcome. It starts with words like “Moin” that make you feel at ease and comfortable. They also tend to have a great humor whereas Bavarians for example tend to be more reserved and they have a very different humor a lot of times. Bavarians are often seen as cold and a lot of people think that bavarians think of themselves very highly so they come off as arrogant which is why Germans joke about Bavaria being it’s own country. Keep in mind that these things are generalizations and not EVERY person who lives either in the North or South is exactly like that but speaking from experience those rumors definitely have some truth in them“ (Royce, 2018).

People living in Germany have seen many differences between North and South Germany. According to them, the cultures, religions and manners are the most different. It is however important to note that not all people from those two parts share the same characteristics as some people might have talked about. Northern and Southern Germany may have its differences, but it is certain to say that both are stunning places to visit!

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How is the German parenting style like?

Are German parents strict and controlling? Do they often set rules and restrictions for their children? Learn how the German parenting style is like in this blog post!

The German culture has long been associated with strict discipline and control. In recent years, however, the country has seen a rise in parenting styles that are less rigid. Today, German parents tend to be more open-minded and flexible. This shift began during the 1970s, when the government started promoting a new approach to raising children called “positive parenting.”

If you want to raise a happy and well-adjusted child, perhaps you can take a lesson from the German parents.

1. Don’t be afraid to let them take risks

Risk taking is something we all do at some point in our lives. It’s part of being a kid and it’s important to teach them how to manage risks (when it is age-appropriate). German parents generally let their children experience real life situations where they could fail. For example, if you want to teach your child to ride a bike, don’t just give him a helmet and send him out to ride. Instead, let him fall off a few times before he gets his balance. This will teach him not only how to stay safe but also how to deal with failure.

2. Let them enjoy freedom and independence

It’s important for parents to encourage their kids to be independent. This is one of the things that struck the international parents the most when they visited kindergartens in Germany.

They often feel surprised at how free the kids are when they visited the kindergartens for the first time. Rules are put into place before children can play in certain places without much supervision. Children learn the rules and once the care-takers feel they are ready, they can enjoy their freedom! They lose their right if they break the rules. Their rights are restored after a specified time has passed, and that the children learn to play by the rules again. You might be surprised at just how well it works out.

Learn more about how parenting in Germany can be different from the rest of the world in this blog post where a mom shares her own experiences!

3. Connect with nature every day

Germans love being outside in any kind of weather. They enjoy going to parks and playing sports. Therefore, German parents also appreciate taking their children out into nature. They don’t want to be stuck inside because of the weather, but they do dress warmly when they go outside. “When I told my doctor that I haven’t been jogging much lately because of the weather, I was told ‘there is no such thing as bad weather, just unsuitable clothing. Go wear something warm!'” said the founder of Booka Local, Mei Chi Lo.

The same logic goes for the kids. They have outdoor recess at school. Even it is rainy or windy, they still enjoy the fresh air outside. No excuses.

4. Respect boundaries and privacy

Yes, you read it right. German parents do respect the privacy of their children. Children are not born with any sense of privacy; they learn about personal spaces from observing adults. 

Over the world, many parents and kids fight over the issue of boundaries. A lot of German parents know where to draw the line when it comes to the relationship with their children. If their teenager is responsible and trustworthy, they have earned the trust of their parents, and respecting their space should not be difficult. Therefore, if you ask around, you will be surprised that German parents rarely spy on their kids. “My 18-year-old son is open with me about his sex life and relationships. I am happy to have earned his trust that he feels comfortable to talk to me about these things.” said Tim, a 47-year-old father.

Are you a parent living in a foreign land with your children? If yes, you might want to check this article about “How to raise kids in a multilingual family“.

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How to raise kids in a multilingual family?

As a parent, you want to raise your children in a multicultural environment. How can you do this without creating too much stress? In this blog post we talk about how to raise kids in a multilingual family!


The global population is growing rapidly. As a result, there has been a rise in the number of families who speak multiple languages at home. According to the United Nations, over half of the world’s population now lives in countries where two or more languages are spoken.


Multiculturalism is becoming the norm today. Parents from around the globe are bringing their children up speaking multiple languages. This means that they should also learn to communicate with each other. If you’re thinking of having children, then you should consider learning a language before they arrive.

Why do you want to raise your kids to be multilingual?

First of all, many believe that multilingual children are better prepared for school and work. They also learn how to communicate with people from different cultures.
However, in today’s world, a lot of parents do not raise their kids to be multilingual out of a choice – they could be immigrants in a new country themselves. It means that, the parents speak another language (or several different languages) at home which is not the native language in the country they live in. Their kids have no choice but to be exposed to different languages at the same time.

Don’t children get confused when they hear two languages spoken around them?

Children are extremely sensitive to the different ways adults speak. Even when they understand only one language, they learn quickly about the differences between how men and women talk, and other differences. Bilingual situations aren’t always a disadvantage. Sometimes it’s an advantage!
Bilingual children may take a bit longer to learn how to speak two languages. Their brains have to work harder to understand both languages. However, bilingual children do develop faster than those who speak only one language.

Raising a multilingual family is hard – what makes it work?

Many books and articles aimed at parents who want their kids to learn languages claim that the best way for them to learn a new language is through OPOL, which stands for “one person, one language.” In this case, both parents speak two languages. One parent speaks English and Spanish; the other parent speaks French and German. In fact, for several reasons, this method isn’t ideal. It is actually found that most children who speak two languages end up using one language exclusively for communication purposes. The success rate was especially high when both parents spoke the home language while the children learned the other language at school. Furthermore, even if the parents were able to speak several different languages, their children would only learn the one they actually use at home. It makes perfect sense because there’s a direct relationship between the amount of time children spend interacting with their parents and the rate at which they learn new words. However, the exact amount of time needed is not known. There is no scientific evidence to back up claims that children need to be exposed to a language for at least thirty percent of their waking hours before they begin to learn it easily (aeon.co).


‘The earlier the better’? Children learn languages best after the age of 12. The current trend in Europe for teaching children English earlier than usual isn’t working well. A child can lose the motivation to learn if starting a language too early – especially if the child is already learning a language at home from one of his or her parents (aeon.co).

How to raise kids in a multilingual family comes with many challenges. If you are a parent living in a foreign land and have to bring up your children with a mixture of languages, make sure you do not put pressure on them to learn different languages or stress yourself about not speaking the foreign language, because they eventually catch up with them by being exposed to them.

Do you have to visit your children’s Kindergarten but do not speak German? We‘ve got your back. Simply book a local now!

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Things You Should Know While Renting a Place In Germany

Renting an apartment in Germany can be stressful. From finding a place to going through the tenancy, living there is all about following laws and rules – one has just got to make sure they aren’t doing anything illegal while renting their home! Discover these main things you should know while renting a place in Germany!

Type of rental contracts

It is important to discuss the type of contract that you want before seeing an apartment. Some rental agreements are for fixed terms, which means they have a move-in and move-out date or indefinite with no end date. In both types of contracts you can end your tenancy by giving a minimum three-months written notice. This can sometimes vary depending on the landlord and the agreement. Thus, make sure you discuss this prior to signing the contract to avoid any issue later.

Utilities (Nebenkosten)

In Germany you can either pay a cold rent (Kaltmiete) that is only rent or warm rent (Warmmiete) which includes utilities (Nebenkosten) such as electricity, gas, internet, etc. Make sure you get all these clarified before signing the rental contract so that you know exactly how much rent you will be paying each month or so you can make the arrangements for the other utilities as well in case of a cold rent.

Tenant rights

Another important thing you should know before renting an place in Germany is your rights. Landlords cannot immediately terminate contracts without any notice unless the tenants have committed serious crimes like not paying rent for months or doing something illegal at their apartment complex – but they can end these agreements if they are renovating the place and keeping it personal use only. If you think you are being evicted unfairly, it is recommended to see a lawyer!

Property rules and regulations

As a new tenant, it is your responsibility to visit the property and see if there are any damages before moving in. You should also make sure that all furniture has been moved to its original location before moving out otherwise you may be charged extra rent or deposit for restoring them back again! Landlords are allowed to charge you for any damage of the property, so make sure you return the apartment as it was before you moved in. It is recommended to discuss about all these with your landlord before signing the contract to avoid any unpleasant surprise later.

Subletting

The first thing you should know about subletting an apartment is that there are some rules. You can read more about it in our blog „Can I sublet my apartment in Germany“ here!

Deposit (Kaution)

Being a tenant in Germany, you should also know about how deposits work. Questions that come up frequently are what exactly are tenants paying when they hand over a deposit and when do they get the money back? Read this blog post to go over the basics of how it works so you know what you’re getting into before signing on the dotted line!

Having guests over

Different landlords have different rules about guests at your place. Some allow guests only during certain hours while others charge a fee for each night that someone stays at your place – even if they’re just passing through! The conditions for these are normally written in the contract so make sure you know about the rules properly before inviting anyone over. In case of doubts, it is better to talk to your landlord to clear things out and avoid troubles. Do not hide anything concerning guests in your apartment as it might lead to serious problems with your landlord!

Are you having some issues with your landlord and need someone to converse with them in German? Book a local to help you out!

Sundays in Germany

Things You Can Do On Sundays In Germany

Sundays are considered as a day of rest in Germany. While most people tend to stay at home on these days and catch up on chores around the house; there’s always those who want some excitement! It’s always nice when one has something planned though because not only does doing nothing make Sundays drag but also sometimes boredom gets too much and who wants to bore themselves?! Here are few things you can do on Sundays in Germany:

Visit a Museum

Germany has over 6,200 museums full of culture and histories. Visitors normally have to pay a fee (which varies depending on the museum) but they are open Sundays! You can visit them without getting into physical activities if you want and spend a calm Sunday while enjoying. You can also learn more about Germany by visiting these historic sites with their own unique stories to tell – don’t forget your camera either because there’s plenty worth capturing from inside or outside the building!

Visit a Castle

Home to more than 20,000 castles, Germany is in the list of the countries with the most fascinating castles and palaces in Europe. While some are free to visit, others require an entry fee. If you are fond of fairy tales and histories, then German castles are your go-tos. You can easily spend hours visiting them while learning about German past stories. You should however keep in mind the Covid-19 rules before going to any castle.

Visit a Market

You really want to go shopping on a Sunday in Germany but the shops are closed? German markets are the solution. There you can find all kind of stuffs, from fruits and vegetables to clothing and souvenirs. They are open in almost all cities in Germany on Sundays.

If you live in Berlin or are just visiting, you might want to check this list of markets located there.

Go For a Walk

If you need to relax, the best way is by taking a walk in an open space. There’s nothing like winding through green landscapes and breathing fresh air with nature all around! If that sounds too daunting for your tastes then why not head into town on a Sunday morning when there‘s less people and less noise?!

Go Hiking

Hiking is a great way to get outside and enjoy nature. In Germany, there are many trails that you can explore with friends or family members who also want an adventure in the outdoors! You’ll find yourself far from city life up on top of mountain ridges where it’s quiet enough for some peace & quite time – if only we could all have such adventures every day…

Get Brunch

Germans know how to have a good time. German folklore says that on Sundays, it’s best for friends and family members to enjoy great food together! You can have brunch with your flatmates or invite your friends over. If you do not want to cook then you can go to restaurants or cafes which are normally open middays on Sundays – just make sure not wait until last minute!

Do you want to know what else Germans say they do on Sundays? Check out our free ‚Ask the Locals‘ book here!

Go On A Trip

Germany is full of wonderful sightseeings whether they are in small towns or big cities. You can catch buses or trains that operate on Sundays too and visit a new place every weekend. If you want to travel outside Germany, you can visit the neighbouring countries – The Netherlands, Poland, France, Switzerland, etc, where shops are open.

Go To The Cinema

Cinemas are fortunately open on Sundays in Germany. The German Sunday cinema bill is a mixed bag of international flicks and dubbed blockbuster hits. But don’t let the language barriers stop you from catching your favorite movie! You can find out if there are any original versions playing by checking online to not be disappointed later. Also, make sure to buy your tickets beforehand as cinemas tend to be full on Sundays.