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Prost! Going out – The German way


The week is over. You’ve spent days in the office in front of your laptop, but now it’s Friday and time to get out. New to Berlin? Here are a few things you want to know about when going out.


Girls drink, boys pay

Not in Berlin. Most of the time people just get rounds. The gender does not make a difference. “This is on me” may happen, but it’s only polite to get the next round.

Kein Bier vor Vier

Different to the image of Lederhosen and Weizen 24/7, Germans don’t drink during their lunch break. Usually. On Fridays or on the weekends, it’s ok to have a small drink after 4 pm. “Kein Bier vor Vier” means “no beer before four o’clock”. During picnics on the weekends, people are not so strict about it.

The Dating Difference

Different to the U.S., Germans don’t “date”. Germans know about dating from Hollywood movies, but it’s not as official here. You simply ask the other person how (s)he feels about grabbing food or a drink – and hope (s)he doesn’t bring all her friends.


“Wegbier”, a drink while walking from one place to another, is probably just as popular to foreigners as “Autobahn”. Walking through the streets at night, you’ll see many people hanging out outside, having a drink and a chat. Completely legal.



This is not bar, but it’s a great spot to hang out!

It’s summer in Berlin, so you decide where you want to hang out outside where you can finally enjoy the sunshine. Many people sit by the Spree, on the Admirals Bridge or wherever there is a comfortable spot to lay out a blanket. The good news is that you can also buy a beer or two at a Späti (Kiosk) and sit by the water or in a park.

Putting the empty bottles next to the trash

In Germany, there is a refund on most of the plastic and glass bottles. Many (often poor or homeless) people collect the empty bottles. To make it easier for them, don’t throw your 8 cents (refund on beer bottles) away, but put them next to the trash can.

IDs please?

In Germany, you don’t get asked for ID as much as in the US. With the drinking age being between 16 (soft liquor like beer) and 18 (hard liquor like Tequila), you hardly ever get asked for IDs to enter a club or order a drink.


Every store can be a liquor store

Beer, wine, tequila, rum – you find the most common brands in pretty much every supermarket and in every kiosk.

Open no tab

As we have already learned, somes place don’t accept debit or credit cards. Also, the bartender won’t understand what you want if you just throw your plastic card over the bar and say to put the tab on your name. In bars, you usually pay our drinks right away. That differs when you and others sit at a table. In that case, the waiter will hand you one bill when you’re ready to pay.

Split a check? Ahhh, no.

While you might get separate checks in the U.S., that is not common over in good old Germany. This means there is usually one check per table. It also means that the waiter will usually ask what each person had. Sometimes, but that really depends on the people you are with, you simply divide the amount though the number of people on the table and pay separately (in cash!).

Come as you are

Dress and heels? This is not London. Neither for girls, nor for boys there is a strict dress code when going out. Come as you are and you shouldn’t have a problem with getting into a place. In Berlin, the mantra is to really wear what you feel most comfortable and yourself with. Just the other night I spotted a guy in a ONEPIECE when grabbing food. Nobody cared.

Image Source: Some rights reserved by Sascha Kohlmann and smokingcrayons

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