This article is intended for refugees and future citizens of Germany. It’s aim is to provide orientation to refugees when they first arrive in Germany. This is useful information for refugees for the time before they can participate in integration courses and German classes offered by the government.

Germans are more distanced people

People in Germany value their personal space and privacy, so they can sometimes appear distant. For example, it is quite normal to sit next to a stranger on a train for hours and only say hello and goodbye. Most people prefer to sit on their own on public transport.

How to behave on public transportation

In public, particularly on public transportation, it is considered rude to have long, loud conversations. Conversations and phone calls are rather made in a quiet voice.

On public transport special seats are reserved for the elderly, sick, and pregnant women – and there are spaces for buggies and wheelchairs. People usually try to leave these places free or move aside if they are needed.

Things you should know in general

Urinating in public can be an offence. Public toilets (WCs) are available in most places. WCs usually have toilet paper, but not a bidet. It is perfectly OK to throw toilet paper into the toilet. Don’t throw it into the waste bin. However, you should throw sanitary pads or tampons into the bin not into the toilet. There’s usually a toilet brush next to the toilet: use the brush to clean off any marks you’ve made. Make sure you leave the toilet clean and dry. Therefore, it is advisable to use the toilet in a sitting position. Where no urinal is available, this applies for men, too. For reasons of hygiene it is expected that you wash your hands before you leave the toilet.

For privacy and quiet, people usually close their doors, in offices and at home. You should knock on the door before you go in. Usually you will then be made welcome and asked to come inside.

Sunday behaves quite

Sunday is a quiet day. It is the day of christian church and God – to go to church or to have silence, remained on the christian background. Sunday is usually christians church day and also day of liberty – no one should work on Gods’day referring to the bible. Almost all shops are closed and few people go to work. Neighbours might complain if you make a noise and disturb them on Sunday. People in Germany also expect there to be no noise at night while they sleep. Sleep time is between 10 pm (22.00) and 6 am (06.00).