10 Things NOT To Do in Germany

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If you’re planning a trip Germany, use this quick guide of things you should avoid doing if you don’t want to ruffle feathers!

1. No Pillow Fights!
According to German law, a pillow can be regarded as a passive weapon. Injure someone with a pillow and you could be charged with assault. Unless of course, it’s on International Pillow Fight Day.

2. No Drilling on Sundays
Germans take the day of rest seriously, and no loud activities are allowed on this peaceful day. Vacuum at your own risk.

3. Avoid Talking about the War
Most Germans believe the war to be a huge embarrassment to their nation, and would rather not discuss it. Never do the Nazi salute as it’s an imprisonable offense in Germany.

4. Don’t Close Your Door to a Chimney Sweep
It’s actually illegal to refuse entry to a chimney sweep, and all Germans pay for this service whether they have a chimney or not. The law stems from the Middle Ages, but was reinforced back when Hitler used them as a network of spies.

5. Don’t Sing the Original First Verse of the National Anthem
During the Nazi era only the first verse was sung.
In an effort to distance themselves from Nazi connotations, the official anthem is now the third verse. Pete Doherty once made this highly inappropriate mistake and was booed.

6. Don’t Run Out of Gas
Doing so on the superhighway can lead to fines. The law is primarily against unnecessary stops, but has been applied to fools who drive without adequate fuel.

7. Never Walk in Bicycle Lanes
Most German cities have plenty of these; numerous cycle lanes for people to get about. However walking on them is not only extremely annoying to pedal pushers, it can be downright dangerous.

8. Don’t Be Late
Being late to appointments is severely frowned upon. The more relaxed attitude typically found in southern European countries simply doesn’t cut it here. Aim to be punctual if not a little early.

9. Don’t Keep Your Shoes on in Homes
Taking your shoes off when enter somebody’s home is widely expected in Germany. Hosts will often provide you with some indoor house shoes.

10. Never Drink Without a Toast
Germany is famous for its beer scene, however it is considered bad form to take the first sip without giving a toast. Usually a toast is as simple as saying “Prost” (cheers!) Make sure to keep eye contact as not doing so is believed to bring bad luck.

Now you know what NOT to do, enjoy your time in Germany! Prost!


LordNibbler1976 says:

Do Austria!!!!!! (And you didn’t say “Prost” right. [Pr-œ-st]

LordNibbler1976 says:


Cedros says:

Ok, most of these are just horribly out of context, incomplete or utterly wrong. As a German, let me clean this up for all those, who may plan a trip to Germany and watch this video in preparation for the trip:

#1: This is kind of true. However, the connection to pillow fights is completely ridiculous. A pillow can only be considered a passive weapon, if you use it as such (meaning: your intention in using it is to inflict harm). This is clearly not the case in a pillow fight. If you were to accidentally ingure someone with a pillow in a pillow fight, it would simply be considered an accident; you wouldn’t be charged with assault.

#2: Kind of true, but not entirely. It is true, that you are not allowed to do “loud activities” on sundays, if you can avoid it. To clear this up, here are two examples: 1. You want to mow your lawn on a sunday – not allowed, because there is no reason, why you can’t do it on a saturday or a monday. 2. You accidentally drop something (let’s say a cup of flour) in your kitchen on a sunday and want to clean it up – no reason not to do so using your vacuum cleaner.

#3: Yes and no. Yes, you shouldn’t talk about the war every time you talk to a German and you probably shouldn’t joke about it, unless you know German history, culture and humour very well. But, no, it is not like “do never ever mention the war, when a German is around”. If you have a reason to bring it up in conversation or just want to talk about it in a respectful discussion, most German will not have a problem with that.

#4: First of all: that is only relevant, when you actually live in Germany. Also, the way it’s presented in the video is just utter nonsense. A chimney sweep in Germany does not only take care of chinmey as suggested in the video, they also take care of all other kinds of heating systems. So, if you do not have a chimney, you will always have another kind of heating system installed, so you don’t have to pay for nothing. The way it works is: If you own a house, you have to have a chimney sweep inspect it in regular intervals; therefore you have to call one and make an appointment. If you live in a rented appartment, your landlord will do this and tell you about the appointment at least one to two weeks ahead. So, if a chimney sweep were to knock on your door unannounced, it is certainly not illegal to refuse them entry.

#5: No complaints about that; this one is correct. However, unlike claimed by some people (but not in this video), it is actually not illegal to sing the first and second stanza of the “Deutschlandlied”, it is just considered inapropriate by most Germans.

#6: True.

#7: Also true. However, in some places, you will see sign indicating, that a path can be used by both bicycles and pedestrians.

#8: This is certainly true for any official appointments, including business related stuff as well as doctors appointments, etc.. If we’re talking about meeting a friend somewhere, this still is true, however a 5-10 minute delay is no problem at all. Just don’t let them wait for you for hours…

#9: This really depends on the household. Some may want you to take them off, others won’t. If they do want you to take them off, they will tell you. This is something, you should be prepared for, if it is customary in your home country to leave your shoes on all the time.

#10: The way, it is presented in the video, it’s wrong. If nobody is drinking an alcoholic drink, you usually don’t say anything and just start drinking. If you are drinking alcoholic drinks, you usually just raise your glass and say “Prost” (best translated into English as just “cheers”). If it is a special occasion, there may be a proper toast. However, if you are not German, no German would see you as rude, if you don’t say “Prost”, because they know, that you are probably just unaware of the custom; they might explain it to you though. Out of all these points, this one is the one that belongs into this list the least; you really can’t do much wrong there.

Lulu Lumbur says:

I am from germany and we are allowed to do pillow fights…

AgentBubbles says:

I’m going to go to Germany and do all these things

Mr. J says:

pillow fights long as there is no bricks in there!

that crazy guy says:

so can we draw swastikas in Germany or is that with dont talk about the war

Jan Seidel says:

Vin Diesel – the german – walks away from an interview??
never drink without a toast is the same BS as expecting to get indoor house shoe.
Not looking into the others eyes is not bringing bad luck. it is rather an insult.
Salute but don’t look into the eyes?

Trawler says:

i feel like the only thing that is actually right in this video is the last thing, it IS pretty “rude” to just start drinking without saying something like “prost”

itsThatPlanty Guy says:

When i saw the picture of this vid i thought it was DONT THROW A FUCKING SHOE AT SOMEONE

Hugh Jazz says:

Liebe Deutsche, der Fakt über Kissenschlachten und Kissen als Waffen im Sinne schwerer KV stimmt tatsächlich. Ist nur unwahrscheinlich, dass jemand deswegen angezeigt wird.

TeamWifi EZ says:

prost means dumb in romanian xD

Nearly Evil 665 says:

2:45 its not mandatory to have eyecontact to the eyes of the other people on the table if its more people than you can simultaniusly look at.
of this is the case the eyecontact meets at the center of the table where the glasses meet.

Mika says:

what? I’m german and I never knew that I’m not allowed to hit someone with my fucking pillow wth xD

CyberCitizen says:

This list is fucking stupid… Nobody gives a shit about the war. Why should anyone be embarrassed about it anyway? nobody alive today has anything to do with it. And all the other points should be renamed to either “How not to be an asshole” or “how not to be a moron”. Should be common sense to not walk on the bike line or to not be late to an appointment.

Maren J says:

Dear foreigners,
pretty much all of this is wrong

Luna LP says:

most people give a damn about the bicycle road when they’re on the road where the people walk. in some citys it is divided on the same street but even then they’re some few people who ignores the bicycle painting on the street and still walks on it XD

Michael Wernsdorfer says:

I am german and that is not right

cezar terciu says:

I rate this 19/39

Lulu Lumbur says:

nobody cares about these things in germany.

American Imperialist says:


Matthew Lui says:

number 3 I didn’t feel surprise.

Ryan Sace says:

Hold my Saurkraut

toki doki says:

can you make one about the netherlands

Father Dougal McGuire says:

Like the german accent very strong, i’d make a good german i like driving fast, love beer and I;m always on time

wheelier of wonder says:

Guy from us goes to Germany hails once everyone starts hailing for no reason hilters ghost comes out of hell to give one last sig hail

Melis says:

how about people who ride their bikes on sidewalks even though there is a bike road designated for them?

shahnaz uddin says:

Please do things not to do in Italy

Da Guys says:

I don’t get the pillow fight thing, I usually fight once a week.

Til Sieger says:

Funny but seriously there’s even worse stuff

LordNibbler1976 says:



dont raise the right arm in Public…lol

AntoniaLuise アントニア says:

The no pillow fight Thing is stupid…we do it anyway

clnbhr says:

lol im german.. and tbh you talking bullshit XD

sasha6z says:

“No drilling on Sundays” is actually a great law, wish it was implemented in my country as well

LordNibbler1976 says:


NatureEvolution says:

whaaaaat the fuuuuuuucckkk drink with toast?is not true(FAKE NEWS!)

Amirah Fangirl says:

I’m from Germany and I can’t agree with most points.

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