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Sundays in Germany and how to get used to them

Surely many of us are used to Sundays being like any other day, supermarkets open, shopping malls open, 24 hour stores, activities, meetings, etc. Having that as a normal standard, they arrive in Germany and are surprised to find that Sundays in Germany are different and they have to get used to something new. That's why we wanted to dedicate a whole blog post to this special day.

Shopping cart in front of closed supermarket

Many of you may have woken up hungry one Sunday, wanted to go to the supermarket and – oh, surprise – it was closed. Not only do you have to get used to the German Sunday, but you also have to learn to be more organized. If you plan to have lunch or dinner with friends on a Sunday, you will have to do the shopping beforehand. If you forgot to do your weekly shopping and urgently need something, don't worry, the stores in the central station will be open. Here exceptions apply. This is how you can for example buy the basics at the Rossman in the Bremen central station. So, don't worry if you run out of toilet paper on a Sunday, you will find a solution.

Restaurants, cafes and gyms are open

Of course, the restaurants and cafes are open, so it's the perfect occasion to go for brunch with friends. Moreover, Sunday is the perfect day to go for a walk. Either alone or with friends you can go biking, walking, rollerblading, and if it's a sunny Sunday, don't hesitate, you will see everyone sunbathing in the parks. Gyms are also open on Sundays and some even offer courses so that you can also do something fun on a Sunday.

DIY on Sunday rather not

For Germans, Sunday is the day of rest, on which you should do just? Exactly, rest! If you live in buildings where there are many apartments you should be careful not to make too much noise as you may disturb some people. This is not always the case anymore, but there are still cases where it is better to be careful before you get an angry neighbor in front of your door.

Some rules that for many will be somewhat funny about things that in theory you can't do on a Sunday in Germany:

  • You cannot take your empty glass bottles to the containers where you should deposit them.
  • In some apartments it is forbidden to use the vacuum cleaner, so you have to wait until Monday.
  • Hammering or drilling will annoy your neighbors, so don’t do any DIY project on a Sunday.
  • Better don’t do any loud party.

Nevertheless, many rules are diminishing and the tradition of the German Silent Sunday is changing. For example, several cities have something like “open Sundays” from time to time, in which all stores are also open on that Sunday, thus creating new activities to do on that day of the week.

Most of the rules are not invented but come from the German constitution. Yet, every apartment building always has its own rules, that's why you should always read the contract you are signing when you are moving into a new apartment.

Watching "Tatort"

To end the day, legend has it that a large part of the Germans watch “Tatort” at 8:15 p.m. on Sunday, a criminal series on the ARD channel. So, if you want to improve your German, you can't miss the opportunity to watch this series.

Now we’ve told you a little about how Sundays work in Germany. Hopefully you are now more than prepared and organized for your next Sunday and don't worry: You get used to it super-fast! ;-)