10 Things No One Tells You Before Moving To Germany

1. Bomb Evacuations will become a regular occurrence to the point where you don’t even get worried about it any more.

2. In at least the first year, if not longer, your mood will depend entirely on whether you were able to successfully order something at the bakery in German

or not.


3. Meeting up with friends in foreign countries for the weekend will become totally normally as will going to a different country just to go to the beach.

4. You will become addicted to either CNN International or BBC World as they are the only English language channels broadcasted in Germany.


5. You will find yourself thinking teenagers buying crates of beer at the supermarket is totally normal.

6. You will start to refer to the seasons by what food is suddenly available eg Spargel season and more importantly, you will begin to get excited about this.

7. Your supermarket suddenly stocking a different brand of Peanut Butter will totally ruin your entire week.

8. After about 18 months, your English will become peppered with German phrases and you will find yourself forgetting English words.

9. Even when not in Germany, you will find that going shopping on a Sunday is unthinkable and if you actually do go shopping you will treat the event like you are visiting an alien planet.

10. You will learn the hard way that the advice ‘Everyone speaks English there’ you received before you left is completely and utterly untrue.

What do you wish you had been told before moving to Germany? Let me know in the comments.


21 thoughts on “10 Things No One Tells You Before Moving To Germany

      • I found it especially funny that I have friends in Berlin and when I’ve talked to them about moving over to Germany and the challenges of getting my kids into school I get the standard “Oh it’s not that bad, most people speak English here anyway.” lol.

        • Actually Berlin is probably the one place in Germany where a large percentage of people speak English, because of the high number of immigrants & expats that live there. Outside of Berlin, that percentage falls dramatically.

        • Most people DO speak Englisch in München, I find. Fortunately, they will generally speak to you in German first, then when they realise you have NFI, they switch to English. It’s good for the language learning.

  1. Not shopping on Sundays… fine (kinda)… but, I must confess, I’m mildly irritated at all the shops being shut on a Saturday afternoon already. What’s up with that?!?

  2. I’d never heard about bomb evacuations being a feature of everyday life in Germany before! Is that due to unexploded bombs left over from World War II, or some kind of modern-day terrorist threat?

    • The bombs are unexploded ones from World War 2 and are most commonly found when rebuilding or roadworks are conducted. Everyone in Germany has plenty of stories of trains not running or having to evacuate their house or workplace during the disposal process of these bombs.

  3. 11. People will walk directly at you and expect you to move out of the way.

    12. People will let a door slam in your face when entering a public building.

    13. You will find your personal space invaded at regular intervals for no particular reason. Especially while using public transport.

    14. People follow the rules. Even when it makes no sense.

  4. Love this list! Also #11-14 addendum. Thankfully around here (Mainz), unexploded bombs are “common” and thankfully in places like open fields. Of course, not the recent one at Frankfurt Airport! And I never thought I’d say that I totally appreciated #14 but when traveling to other (louder) countries, I definitely missed quiet hours at night!

  5. #15 – although you may be trying to learn German, don’t expect to understand the many dialects only 20km apart. Even resident Germans have no idea what the village next door is saying.

    • That’s a good one. The dialects in Germany are definitely something that makes it hard for us expats trying to learn German, especially for those of you located in the South.

  6. Great post, Meg! I can’t think of anything to add at the moment, but this is a brilliant list.

    My office was evacuated last week for a bomb- the fourth one in three weeks.

  7. Generally, if you don’t get to a restaurant/cafe before 2 while you’re out, you will not be eating until 5, when the restaurants re-open for dinner.

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  9. I was shown here from Charlotte’s blog. Although I dont live in Germany, I do want to move there.
    This post made me laugh. Especially the Pulp Fiction gif. And now thankfully I will know these things if or when I move there. Thanks x

    • Welcome to Germany! I hope you have a wonderful time here. Hopefully what annoys and frustrates you now will soon become your new normal or at least something you can laugh about.

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