Don’t be fooled by the hard exteriors! Germans, like every person in the world, are very friendly and accommodating. The work ethic is just so strong here and people really focus on their work. To a traveller who thinks he/she is entitled to everything, Germans can appear “rude” when interrupted in the middle of their work.
So before setting foot on Germany, understand and respect the reality that people work doubly hard, steer away from the “Germans are this and that” thinking, and you’re off to experiencing the best of one of the most economically powerful European countries to date.
Some Tips on Visiting Germany:
- Affordable accommodations are everywhere in Germany! As a student and traveller haven, you will be surprised by the host of choices the country has to offer. I experienced staying in a university gym (in Meschede and Cologne), a quaint guesthouse named St. Paul Strabe (my favorite of all! The service is amazing!), and a couple of B&Bs. Your best bet would be to stay near subway stations.
- Germany is a big, picturesque country. You will never run out of transportation options in the city however, once you decide to visit the countryside you will find high speed trains are very expensive. If you’ve got the time, you can take a regional train or overnight bus, which are a quarter of the price of high speed trains. My favorite? Megabus!
- Download the DB Navigator app. This will save you loads of time in trying to find the best subway and train routes.
- Why I want to go back: Germany is such a massive country and there is so much diversity all across this history-rich area. I have yet to visit areas outside Berlin, Cologne, Heidelberg, Meschede, Munich, Nuremberg, Oberammergau, and Schwangau; and yet to explore these areas some more. My curiosity hasn’t been satiated just yet, so I definitely want to go back.
- As with any country in the world: Do not quickly assume. Make sense of the why behind the what first and while you’re at it, get lost and find yourself. Happy travels! 🙂
P.S. The keys to sustainable travels are universal: take public transportation | stay in accommodations where cooking is allowed (private or shared, it doesn’t matter) | walk as much as you can | wake up early | stay away from guidebooks | immerse yourself in the local language, culture and history | visit local cafés | know that the possibilities are endless | listen to your gut ❤