German loves shopping whether it is clothes, books, shoes, groceries, and the likes. If you are new in Germany or visiting Germany for the first time, you should know what to say when shopping. It is true that it is easy to shop in Germany, but how to say it? Well, it’s a different thing considering the fact that Germany is a non-English speaking country.
Shopping in Germany
Many Germans have good command of English, but most of the time they are hesitant to use it because they are aware that their English isn’t that perfect. As you know, Germans are perfectionist. So, what are the basic German phrases? Keep on reading below.
- I am looking for- Ja, ichsuche…
- Do you have- HabenSie…?
- I like that- Das gefälltmir
- I don’t like that- Das gefälltmirnicht
- How much is that- Waskostet das?
Where should you shop in Germany?
Almost all cities in Germany have shopping districts and they are closed to vehicular traffic. You will find specialty shops, department stores, malls, indoor and outdoor shopping complexes, bookstores, pharmacy, souvenir shop, and many more.
In Germany, you cannot find a designated liquor store. You can find liquors almost anywhere such as in the food section of the department store or even at the kiosk, convenience stores, and even in the gasoline station.
How to Pay?
Major credit cards are usually accepted in most German stores, but if you have any doubts, then you should first ask prior to choosing your shopping items. If you enter a German shop, it would set a good expectation if you are going to say hello or even just a common German greeting. A simple thank you before heading your way to the exit is a way of showing your politeness.
If you have been to Germany, then most likely you are aware of the fact that shopping in Germany is a totally different thing. There are things that organized differently. Structure wise, the stores are a bit smaller and you will have lesser options. For you to have a worthwhile shopping experience, feel free to take into account the following tips:
- Have your own water bottles. The shops in Germany have tiny water bottle sucker upper machine that will pay you for every empty water bottle. By simply feeding the machine, you will be able to earn money. Kids as well as kids at heart love doing feeding the machine.
- You should have your own bag. Most of the stores there have green campaign, which expect you to carry your own bag. You need to load the cart in a logical way; the same thing goes when unloading the cart.
- Always have 1 euro with you. For you to avail of the cart, you need to pay 1 euro and once you return the cart, your 1 euro will be given back to you.
Also: If you ever have interest in watching fussbal: It’s not free to watch in Germany. Therefore, you should visit a website like Bundesligalivestream.eu to watch all matches.
Germany is indeed the best place for shopaholics. If you visit Germany, you will surely be delighted by its huge shopping centres and low prices, which is very good for season sales. If you wish to have tax free return, then you need to purchase goods for only 25 euros. In this blog, I will reveal to you the top three must visit shopping places in the beautiful country of Germany. If you are in Germany, make sure to visit these shopping sites to get a taste of how it feels like shopping in Germany.
If you love to shop for stylish and unconventional outfits, then this street is the best place to be. It has numerous exclusive shops selling distinct pieces. It also has numerous dining points and cafes and so you can just chill out right after shopping. Research showed that on a Saturday about 9,390 people visit this place.
This place is considered the busiest trade route in the country, which attracts nearly 10,500 shoppers. There is a huge array of goods to choose from and you can find almost anything from the cheapest things, middle class, to the most expensive goods.
On this street, you will find a huge array of shops that will surely suit your taste and budget. It houses Zeilgalerie, which is a huge department store. It has a 10 storey commercial complex designed uniquely in a spiral way.
Market in Germany
What’s good thing about shopping in Germany is that you can smell fresh products the vendors are selling. The weather is fine, the prices are great, and the fragrance of food is truly appetizing. The vendors can perfectly explain to you the components of what they are selling; be it fruits, veggies, or your favorite cheese and sausages. If you really want to experience how it feels like living and shopping in Germany, then I strongly suggest that you spend at least a year in the country. That way, you will know the best season to do your shopping, especially if you are shopping for particular goods.
If you know how to do your research right, then you will be able to find independent bakers and pastry chefs in the country. There are so many big companies in Germany and their products are being resold in smaller shops. However, if you want to taste the best tasting pastries and breads, then you can find it at small independent bakeshops. You have to remember that the bigger the production, the lower the quality. Once you find a highly reputable mini bakeshop, then you will truly differentiate the taste.
What should you keep in mind?
If you are in Germany, then you have to keep in mind that meat is one of the most expensive things to purchase. You have to literally find an independent butcher as most big stores are selling pre-packaged meat. If you are in a hurry, then shop at Lidl, Aldi, and other big grocery stores.
These stores sell almost anything you want, but you have to be aware that there products are pricy. These stores have longer working hours as compared with small stores. Most stores in Germany are close on Saturday afternoons, but big stores like the ones mentioned above are open even in the afternoon of Saturdays.
The heart and soul of Germany can be experienced in the centre of the city. Germany is the home to some of the best shopping sites in the world. The liveliest day in Germany is Saturday. Every Saturday, you will find a bunch of people down the street. Most of these people are having coffee at their favourite coffee shop, beating the heat by eating ice cream at the top notch ice cream parlours, attending mass, going to theatres, dining out at a world class restaurants, and the likes.
Cologne’s Shopping Street
Schildergasse is the centre of the city and is also the busiest shopping street in Europe. Research showed that about 13,000 of people are passing through it per hour. It offers international department stores including high end architectures.
Frankfurt’s Shopping Street
When in Frankfurt, don’t forget to visit Zeil. It is considered “The Fifth Avenue” of Germany and it offers everything you need when shopping. It has international department stores and chic boutiques, which are truly discerning to shopaholics. Don’t hesitate to visit ZeilGalerie; it is a shopping center consists of 10 floors. From there, you will be able to view the rest of the city.
Berlin’s Shopping Street
Ku’damm is Berlin’s most famous shopping street. From there, you will find so many international shops including Mango, Zara, Esprit, H&M, and the likes. There are also restaurants, five star hotels, movie theatres, and amusement centres.
Of course a lot of tourist visit Germany by plane. A lot of us are having issues with car parking.
Don’t you know that airport parking service is now available?
I have tried it several times and I am very satisfied and glad with the kind of services I am getting.
Even some Dutch are very satisfied about airport parking at Dutch aiport Schiphol.
Schiphol parking can be hard, but you have the right resources.
In this article, I will point out to you the benefits and advantages you can get if you avail airport parking service.
I noticed that it is more convenient to use airport parking because it is close to the main terminal. Aside from that, the airport also offers shuttle rides in case the lot is not directly located to the terminal.
Safety and security
It is safe and even more secure to park in the airport because it is well taken scared off by the airport securities. If I am going to park the car in the vacant lot, then chances are criminals will be enticed to target my vehicle. As I mentioned above, the airport parking is supervised by armed guard round the clock so I am confident that my car and my valuable assets inside it are protected. Parking my car in the airport also gives my car added protection from natural calamities that might jeopardize the safety of my car such as floods, accidental drop of heavy branches that might damage the roofing of the car, and other disastrous calamities. Placing the car in the airport parking before leaving can benefit us in many different ways. We can drive to the airport, avail great parking space, and have the peace of mind as we travel the world. We don’t really need to worry that much when it comes to the welfare of our vehicle. I myself strongly recommend airport parking as it makes life easier for all of us. We can travel peacefully knowing that our precious cars are in good hands.
Shopping on a Saturday is highly discouraged
Saturday is a grocery day not only in Germany, but also in other countries in the planet. However, Saturday crowd is worst in Germany because shops are closed on Sundays. So, chances are most people would head onto grocery centres on Saturdays. Saturdays are complete insanity. You will surely bump so many shoppers and their abandoned grocery cart will surely cause blockage.
PS: I prefer to schedule my grocery shopping on weekdays as it is more convenient than shopping on Saturdays. I don’t have to endure long lines in the cashier counter.
Always have 50 cent or 1€
If you want to use the grocery carts or chariots, then you need to prepare 50 cent or 1€. Yes, using grocery cart isn’t for free. You have to rent. Hence, it is best to keep coins in your pocket. If you don’t have coins, then the service desk will make change if you need it the most. How to avail a cart? Simple insert the coin in the hole and presto!
Find a place to park
For your comfort during shopping, it is best to find a place to leave your cart while searching for items that you want to purchase. If you are unsure as to what things/goods exactly to buy, then parking your cart is a good strategy. Bringing your cart can be a stressful ride. You don’t have to worry though because in Germany, nobody will take your grocery cart. You can leave your cart there and your goods are still intact. Germany is indeed one of the safest and liveable countries in the world.
The use of credit card
Never assume that all stores and dining places accept the use of credit card. Most German stores prefer cash. You don’t need to worry if you don’t have cash because you can find ATMs in shopping centers and stores.
Specialty stores and shops are very common in Germany and a significant number of people prefer small specialty stores because it gives them advice on what they really need.
When shopping in Germany, what you see is what you actually get. Tax is already included in the price and you will see the actual price on your receipt.
There are instances wherein you will get a full VAT refund, especially for larger purchases. But to be able to avail VAT refund, you have to prove that you are going to purchase the items out of EU within three months. You also have to go through complex procedures, including forms that need to be filled out.
When is the best time to shop?
In Germany, the shopping hour is very limited. Most stores in Germany close at 8PM, but in Berlin shopping hour is most liberal.
Germans love shopping. However, if you visit Germany you will be somewhat disappointed to know that the malls in Germany are not as well developed as the malls you used to. The good news is that you can find a number of big box stores in Germany. You can find stores that specialize in:
- Do-it-yourself stores
- Hyper stores offering a huge array of household goods, groceries, pet supplies, clothing and so on
- German discounters specializing in selling various things at unbeatable prices
The public transport system in Germany is very good, especially if you are going to shop downtown. There is no need for you to bring your car when shopping. Shopping is even made a pleasant experience because of outdoor cafes, benches, sidewalk, weekly fruit, fountains, market stands, and the likes.
If you don’t like the idea of shopping in a huge store, then there are a few small shops that offer a huge array of goods such as leather goods, china, shoes, electrical supplies, optical and musical instruments, flowers, books, sports equipment, and candles, among many others. However, these small shops charge higher prices.
Germany is equipped with shops that sell everything you needs. You can find small shops, butcher’s hop, and baker’s shops in almost all residential areas. However, if you want to purchase clothes, garments, electrical equipment, and household goods, then you need to travel to the town centres, especially in the primary shopping streets.
Shopping hour in Germany is different than the usual shopping hours. Hence, you have to be aware of your store’s opening hours for they are not open round the clock. Basically, most stores in Germany close around 6PM to 8PM. Do not go shopping on Sundays because stores are closed at that time. In Germany, what you see is what you actually get. The displayed price is inclusive of value added tax.
A travel experience is not complete without shopping. Most people who visit Germany are in search for memorabilia rather than purchasing expensive items like clothes and other stuff. However, for you to have a wonderful shopping experience in Germany, you have to consider the following tips:
- In Germany, stores are usually close on Sundays and Holidays. Before a long weekend, you will find shoppers all around the mall, especially on Saturdays. You also have to check the mall schedules during Saturdays because a lot of small stores close early.
- In Germany, store employees know what they are talking about. If you are unsure of something, then feel free to ask the store employees and they will be more than willing enough to help you with your concerns.
Are you looking for fresh foods? If yes, then you cannot only find them at the local shops, but also in markets. It would help a lot if you are going to ask the town hall about the schedule of street markets. I really love shopping in street markets because I can shop for fresh foods without compromising my budget.
What about online shopping in Germany?
Online shopping is becoming increasingly popular in Germany. Most people in Germany order goods and services online. There are highly reputable sites that sell high quality products exclusively for people in Germany. If you are not happy with the quality of items, then don’t worry because you can return the goods within 14 working days. To prevent any problems, it would help a lot if you are going to read legal notice of online shopping sites. That way, you will know what to expect when placing your order.
If you are in doubt of something, then you can ask the store employee, but the thing is that if you can’t find someone to help you, then go to the checkout and ask them to send help for you. The German culture is basically assertive and strong, but set aside your emotion.