Germany Shopping, Embassy and Communication

Germany Shopping, Embassy and Communication



Official language is German. High German is used as the standard language in the national media and as a written language. The numerous regional dialects sometimes deviate greatly from High German, with the use of the dialect being common, especially in the southern German-speaking area. A large part of the population speaks English as a foreign language. French, Spanish, Russian and Latin are also taught at the schools. In western North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony, Dutch is also often offered. In some schools, students can learn Chinese or Italian. In the north of Schleswig-Holstein there is a Danish minority, and Danish is partly used in schools. A Sorbian minority lives in Brandenburg and Saxony, and Sorbian, a Slavic language, is the language of instruction in around 50 schools. Other minority languages ​​are Frisian (in Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony) and Romanes (minority language of the Sinti and Roma). Low German (Low German) is a regional language in Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg, Lower Saxony, Bremen and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, as well as in North Rhine-Westphalia, Brandenburg and Saxony-Anhalt. Due to the large number of immigrants, Turkish (approx. 2 million native speakers), Russian (approx. 3-4 million native speakers) and Polish are also widespread. German is one of 23 official languages ​​and one of the working languages ​​of the European Union (EU) alongside English and French.

Public Holidays

01/01/2022 New Year

01/06/2022 Feast of Epiphany

04/15/2022 Good Friday

04/18/2022 easter monday

05/01/2022 Labor Day

05/26/2022 Ascension of Christ

06/06/2022 Whit Monday

06/16/2022 Corpus Christi

08/15/2022 Assumption Day

03.10.2022 Day of German unity

10/31/2022 Reformation Day

11/01/2022 all saints day

11/23/2022 Day of Prayer and Repentance

12/25/2022 Christmas


[1] Only in Baden-Württemberg, Saxony-Anhalt and Bavaria;

[2] only in Baden-Württemberg, Saarland, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse, Bavaria and Catholic areas of Saxony and Thuringia;

[3] only in Saarland and in Catholic areas of Bavaria;

[4] in Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt and in predominantly Protestant communities in Thuringia;

[5] only in Baden-Württemberg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Saarland, Rhineland-Palatinate, Bavaria and predominantly Catholic communities in Thuringia;

[6] only in Saxony.

Duty free shopping


The following items can be imported duty-free into Germany by persons who are at least 17 years old (when entering from non-EU countries): 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250 g of tobacco; 1 liter of spirits with an alcohol content of more than 22% or 2 liters of spirits with an alcohol content of 22% or less or sparkling wine; 4 liters of table wine; 16 liters of beer; Gifts/other goods up to a total value of €430 (air and sea travel) or €300 (travel by train/car); Children under 15 generally €175. Tobacco products and alcohol may only be imported duty-free by persons over the age of 17. Imported wine exceeding the alcohol content is taxed at 19%.

Import Restrictions

The import, transit and export of weapons and ammunition is only permitted under strict legal conditions. Due to species protection, strict regulations also apply to the import, transit and export of numerous animal and plant species. More information is available from

Import regulations

Travelers who bring meat and milk products, among other things, into the EU from outside the European Union must declare them. The regulation does not apply to the import of animal products from EU countries, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland. Anyone who does not register these products must expect fines or criminal prosecution.

Prohibited Imports

The import, transit and export of illegal drugs is prohibited. There is a general ban on imports of live poultry, meat and meat products from third countries (with the exception of the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland).

Import/Export to the EU

The movement of goods within the EU is unrestricted for travelers as long as the goods are for personal use and not for resale. In addition, the goods must not have been purchased in duty-free shops. Travelers may be asked to provide proof of their own personal needs. Member States have the right to levy excise duty on spirit drinks or tobacco products if these products are not intended for personal use. The following maximum quantities apply as personal requirements: 800 cigarettes (persons aged 17 and over), 400 cigarillos (persons aged 17 and over); 200 cigars (over 17s); 1 kg of tobacco (persons aged 17 and over); 10 liters of high-proof alcoholic beverages (persons aged 17 and over); 10 liters of alcoholic sweet drinks (persons aged 17 and over); 20 liters of intermediate products (e.g. liqueur wine, vermouth wine) (persons aged 17 and over); 60 liters of sparkling wine (over 17s); 110 liters of beer (over 17s); 10 kg of coffee or goods containing coffee. Perfumes and eau de toilette: No restrictions if it can be shown that the amount is for personal consumption. Medicines: Amount corresponding to personal needs during the trip. Other goods: The movement of goods within the EU is unrestricted for travelers. However, this does not apply to gold alloys and gold plating in the unprocessed state or as a semi-finished product and fuel. Fuel may only be imported free of mineral oil tax from an EC member state, if it is in the tank of the vehicle or in a spare container that is carried along. A fuel quantity of up to 10 liters in the reserve tank is not objected to. If additional quantities of these goods are carried, e.g. For example, a wedding is an event that could justify a bulk purchase. Note: However, there are certain exceptions to the free movement of goods regime. They relate in particular to the purchase of new vehicles and purchases for commercial purposes. (More information on car taxes can be found in the European Commission’s Guide to Buying Goods and Services in the Internal Market.


Duty-free sales at airports and seaports have been abolished for travel within the EU. Only travelers leaving the EU can shop cheaply in duty-free shops. When importing goods into an EU country that were bought in duty-free shops in another EU country, the same travel allowances and allowances apply as when entering from non-EU countries. Further information is available from German customs.

Contact addresses

Consular section of the Embassy
Willadingweg 78
+41 (31) 359 41 11.

Office hours: by arrangement.

Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany

Honorary consulates in Basel, Geneva, Lugano and Zurich.

Willadingweg 83
+41 (31) 359 41 11.

Telephone information: Mon-Thu 08.00-12.30 and 13.15-16.45, Fri 08.00-12.30 and 13.15-15.00.

Legal and Consular Department of the Embassy
Strohgasse 14 c
+43 (1) 71 15 40.

Mon, Wed-Fri 09.00-12.00 and Tue 13.00-16.00.
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany

Honorary consulates in Dornbirn/Bregenz (+43 (5572) 20 71 87), Graz (+43 (316) 69 49 70), Innsbruck (+43 (512) 57 01 99), Linz (+43 (732) 79 77 01 ) and Salzburg (+43 (662) 88 02 01 121).

Gauermanngasse 2-4
+43 (1) 71 15 40.

Mon-Fri 08.00-16.30.


Business etiquette

Business appointments should be arranged well in advance and strictly adhered to. In many companies, the office closes early on Fridays. Punctuality is very important. Germans are very professional at work and this is reflected in their expectations of punctuality, businesslike manners and attention to detail. On the phone, you always use your last name instead of a simple “Hello”. People should be addressed by their title (e.g. Herr Doktor) and last name. Many business people speak English or French, but sometimes prefer to conduct business in German. Business cards are frequently exchanged. With conservative clothing you drive better at least at the first meeting. Meetings are usually between 11am and 1pm or 3pm and 5pm, although late afternoon meetings (excluding Fridays) are not uncommon. Business lunches (the inviter usually pays) are quite common, but breakfast is rare. Transactions may also be concluded in the private sphere, but more with business friends who you know well. Germans rarely invite their colleagues home. Outside of the office, the host is expected to start the business conversation. Business lunches, often with alcohol, are very popular. Visitors should bear in mind that when enjoying beer, the toast is usually “Prost”, while when drinking wine, the somewhat finer version ”

Opening hours

Business hours are normally Mon-Fri 08.00/09.00-16.00/18.00, although these times may be shorter as Germany has some of the shortest working hours in Western Europe. In many companies, Fridays are already over at 1.00/2.00 p.m.

Business contacts



According to, the country code is 0049 and the area code for Berlin is 30. There are no more telephone booths in Germany. Telekom’s multimedia TeleStations, which can be used with a calling card or credit card, are also being gradually phased out. They are usually located in train stations, airports or in heavily frequented places. In cities, international calls are also possible from telephone cafés. There are prepaid cards available in newspaper shops and kiosks for cheap calls abroad.

Mobile phone

GSM 900, GSM 1800, 4G and 5G (in Berlin, Bonn, Darmstadt, Cologne and Munich). The most important mobile phone companies include Deutsche Telekom, o2 and Vodafone. There are roaming agreements with international mobile phone companies. Roaming abroad can be used within the EU at the regular home tariff of the respective provider. Roaming charges were abolished within the EU in mid-2017.


Wireless Internet access (free for the first 30 minutes) is possible in Germany at most train stations and airports thanks to Wi-Fi. In Hamburg, free surfing for one hour on the Internet is possible in many areas. There is also free Wi-Fi service in Munich, including at Marienplatz, Am Sendlinger Tor Platz, Odeonsplatz and Stachus. Berlin has a hotspot network that can be used free of charge for an unlimited period. Hanover and Stuttgart also have free WiFi hotspots. Deutsche Telekom alone offers the use of over 3 million HotSpots. In addition, you have free internet access via Wi-Fi in numerous hotels, cafes, restaurants and libraries. Internet cafes are widespread. There are Internet centers in all major cities. Internet providers include Deutsche Telekom, o2 and Vodafone. Mobile surfing on the Internet is also made possible, among other things, by the Goodspeed Wi-Fi hotspots, which are subject to a charge.

Post office

You can get stamps in post offices, from vending machines and in hotels. In holiday regions they are often also available in souvenir shops and kiosks. Poste restante items should be labeled as follows: name of recipient, poste restante, main post office, zip code and city name. Post offices are open Mon-Fri 8am-6pm and Sat 8am-12pm. Smaller post offices are often closed at lunchtime.

Germany Shopping

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