It’s fair to say that every country is unique in its own way, so Germany isn’t exactly an exception on today's list. This otherwise beautiful country has become known for its strict rules, which is partly (or mostly) due to its historical background. But besides being a European destination with unusual laws and odd road regulations, Germany is also one of the world’s leading countries.
But if we must look at Germany from a less glamorous perspective, we’ll probably come across a few head-scratching facts as well. But before we dive headlong into it, let us just warn you that not all of the things you've heard about Germany are true.
To prove this statement, we’d love to ignite your curiosity by stating the truth: Germany is no less hospitable and friendly towards first-time travelers than any other big European country, such as France or Italy. So, if you’ve visited Germany before, then you must know how warm, easy-going and helpful most Germans are. Frankly, Germans seem to be super positive and charming despite the harsh sound of their language.
Now, without more curious revelations, why not go ahead and find out more about Germany's culture and traditions?
20 True: Their Language Is Often Too Hard To Learn Or Follow
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? You’re already confused, aren’t you? Well, the good news is that you’re certainly not the only one in this game of words. Most people have difficulty learning the language because of all these oddly written words.
Also, do you know that the longest German word consists of almost 80 letters?
Well, this probably sounds like a real-life nightmare to anyone who’s trying to improve their German. On top of all, speaking German almost seems like you’re about to launch into a beast mode of verbal attacks. So even though we appreciate Germany’s culture, traditions, and beauty, we cannot deny this simple fact, can we?
19 True: Pillows May Be Considered "Passive Weapons"
As a kid, you probably enjoyed playing with your siblings and jumping around the house with soft pillows. Well, these days may be long gone for us all, but it’s never been a huge thing in Germany. In fact, this country qualifies pillows as passive weapons. Although it makes perfect sense to us, it’s quite unusual that Germans have got such a twisted version of what pillows can be used for. On the bright side, though, you’ll know not to offer “pillow fights” when visiting Germany. All jokes aside now – this country can be quite weird at times.
18 True: Germany Has Got A Universal Place of Worship
Despite the historical background of Germany and its dramatic episodes, this charming country managed to build a universal place of worship for Muslims, Christians, and Jews. The fact that there’s such a place in Germany makes it almost odd, right? This building is now known as The Berlin House of One, and it welcomes anyone who wants to come and say their prayers no matter the religion. The hospitality of the House of One has quickly turned the building into one of the most impressive religious sites in Germany. Well, we definitely suggest that you pay a visit to it while exploring Berlin.
17 True: East And West Berlin Look Somewhat Different From Space
How can East and West Berlin look so different from above, right? Well, you’re right but so are we. It all goes back to the old days before the western and eastern parts merged into one entity. Each region used different street lights which made East and West Germany look unique and incomparable when looked at from space. In other words, the aerial views of these two regions could draw more differences than similarities. Also, we were lucky enough to find this beautiful satellite picture of the two areas. You can now see that they're both illuminated in a unique way.
16 True: Germany Is Still Covered With Thousands of Unexploded Bombs
The year is 2018, but this beautiful country still keeps a bitter memory of the World War II and the bombardment at the time. What’s even more interesting is the fact that thousands of World War II bombs are annually discovered within the country’s limits. And if we must do the math, we’ll probably get a large number of over 5,500 unexploded bombs on an annual base. In a nutshell, the German military force discovers about 15 unexploded bombs every single day, and that’s another odd fact you probably didn’t know about Germany.
15 True: Show The Correct Sign To Get The Right Number of Beers
Do you know that before getting your beer, you have to prove that you’re perfectly sober? Well, this is quite interesting, isn't it?
In Germany, you’re required to show the correct finger sign for the number of beers you’d like to buy from the local store. So, before you get to savor your most favorite drink, you’ll need to do your part of the “deal.” Show your thumb, and you’ll be served only one beer. Well, ironically, we doubt that you’d be in a perfect physical and mental state to show more fingers for another “happy order" anyway. So, how about enjoying the first one without complicating your life too much, right?
14 True: No Drilling On Sundays
Well, you didn’t expect that, did you? It turns out that drilling the walls on Sunday is absolutely forbidden in Germany. Originally, the idea was accepted as a cunning way to stop people from ruining the relaxing times of one another. Therefore, drilling, along with any other form of noise pollution, is simply forbidden during the weekend. Another curious fact about the people of Germany is that they aren’t really fond of doing laundry on Sundays. Who knows, perhaps they’re equally scared of being way too noisy while doing it. You see, Germany is quite serious when it comes to rules and laws.
13 True: It's Not Okay To Run Out of Fuel On The Highway
You’ll never believe what’s coming next if you dare to avoid this precious advice. If you run out of fuel while racing along the German highway, you’ll be considered a small-time law-breaker. Seriously, toying with the country’s strict laws or temper is highly inadvisable. So, instead of taking any chances with the German police officers, you should pay attention to the fuel. Besides, it’s not only illegal to run out of gas on the highway, but it’s also hazardous for the other drivers on the road. Additionally, nobody likes to pay for penalties anyway, right? Then do not allow yourself the luxury to run out of gas. You see, it’s clearly “verboten”!
12 True: Prison Escapes Are Almost Forgiven By The German Law
What if we told you that prison escapes are not punishable in Germany?
Indeed, that’s the real icing on the cake today. Prison escapes may be punishable by law in most modern and advanced countries, but somehow Germany sees things differently. It turns out that it is not unlawful to break out of jail here; however, if you’re out of luck and you get caught by the authorities, you’ll be thrown back in prison. Sorry, pals, there’s just no way around it. But if by any chance the prisoner doesn’t get caught, then he’s practically no longer a subject to the German law. Running for one’s life is thought as the most basic human instinct in Germany, and this sort of explains the existence of the law.
11 True: NO College Tuition Fee
Although this is barely the most bizarre thing in Germany, it is for many other European countries. It’s a considerably old practice in the country, but it’s quite strange for many other places. On top of all, the college tuition fee is not only free for all German students, but for all international students as well. Besides, there’s a ton of U.S students seeking admissions in the best and top-rated German universities as well.
Upon admission, students will be able to save thousands of dollars which they can invest in something else. Well, isn’t that nice?
10 Myth: Oktoberfest Doesn’t Start In October
Contrary to common belief, the world’s most famous and largest beer festival in Germany begins no sooner than the late September. Although the name suggests that the annual event is held in October, the truth is slightly different.
Germany’s most spectacular beer festival takes place in the charming city of Munich and draws millions of people every September.
This major event has been an essential part of the Bavarian culture since the early 18s. So, if you plan on coming here this autumn, make sure to visit the world’s most appreciated and exciting beer festival. Tip: do not miss out on the extensive range of traditional German foods there as well.
9 Myth: German Roads Have Got No Speed Limits
If you happen to be a car enthusiast, then you must've disobeyed the speed limits more than just once. Somehow Germany has made a name for itself as the best European country where you can take your driving experience to a whole new level; however, it’s not true that all German roads lack speed limits.
Most of the people think that Germany is super liberal and friendly when it comes to overspeeding. Well, guess what – that’s not true either. The only place which allows car enthusiasts to put their driving skills to the ultimate test is called The Nürburgring. This particular stretch of road was explicitly made for such adrenaline-packed driving experiences.
8 Myth: Germans Don't Speak English
Well, this is half-true. Actually, if you've been to Germany before, then you must've noticed that Germans do speak English. The only problem, however, is that they want travelers to speak their language. In fact, they understand what you're saying, but they still prefer to answer you in German. So, imagine getting lost while exploring the beautiful capital of Berlin. What happens next? How are you going to find the way back to the hotel? Well, you can now see the importance of speaking a little German, can't you? Now, without wasting more time, we suggest that you hit the books asap.
7 Myth: The German Chocolate Cake Originates From Germany
No, it doesn't come from Germany although the name suggests something else. If you’ve been to Germany before, then you must’ve been asked at least a dozen times how you liked the German chocolate cake. This delicious dessert has been around since the early 18s and is tightly linked to an American baker, named Samuel German. In 1852, the baker launched a successful sweet baking bar. But this traditional cake has got nothing to do with the German country. Well, we don’t blame people for not knowing this fact. It’s just another myth about this beautiful European country that we’ve just debunked.
6 Myth: Germans Are Crazy About Wearing Dirndl And Lederhosen
This one is quite funny, but it’s just another false fact about the German nation. Wearing Dirndl and Lederhosen is almost like a tradition in some parts of Germany; however, it doesn't mean that Germans are crazy about it. Another myth that most people believe is that Germans wear Lederhosen and Dirndl on special occasions, such as beer festivals. Well, that’s half true as well. The population of Munich – where the spectacular beer festival Oktoberfest takes place – may be fond of Lederhosen and Dirndl to a certain extent. But outside of that, this type of clothing isn't exactly commonplace in the rest of the country.
5 Myth: Germans Only Drink Beer
Well, believe it or not, the population of Germany is quite fond of savoring excellent wine varieties as well. But before you think that Germans drink beer and only beer, why not visit Germany and see if that's true? Also, Germany has long gained worldwide popularity as the country with excellent beer varieties. So, maybe this can explain why first-time travelers get confused in such a funny way. As a matter of fact, some Germans don’t even like the taste or smell of beer no matter the brand, the quality, etc. Yes, it does sound like a myth, but it's true.
4 Myth: All Germans Are Crazy About Punctuality
Well, if we must be 100% honest with you, there’s nothing wrong about being a perfectionist. First of all, it makes you more productive and motivated to get things done in the best possible way imaginable. Secondly, this idea of punctuality and excellence can only lead to success regardless of the industry you’re in. But to make things right, there must be a healthy dose of punctuality and tolerance towards the less organized individuals. Indeed, the German nation is well known for being strict and well-organized, but this doesn’t make Germans crazy believers in punctuality. Well, unlike most elderly Germans who will give you the stare of death if you’re running late for a meeting, the younger generation is more tolerant towards such things.
3 Myth: Germany Is The Most Obese Nation In Europe
Realistically, Germany is not even getting close to being the world’s most obese nation. We firmly believe that it’s not even on the list of top 10 most obese countries in the world.
The delicious German wurst, alongside other traditional desserts and snacks, are anything but diet-friendly; however, they are probably much more harmless when you think of the donut and all those greasy cheeseburgers offered by the most prominent American food chains. So, if we must compare Germany to many other countries, we believe that the US and the UK are great candidates for the N1 place on the same list.
2 Myth: The Little Mermaid Comes From Germany
The Little Mermaid doesn’t originate from Germany although it’s one of the most famous fairytales in the country. Unfortunately for the nation, it cannot take credit for this one. The world-famous Little Mermaid was written by the author and poet Hans Christian Andersen. But much to everyone’s surprise, he was a Danish writer, not a German one. But outside of this, Germans can entirely take credit for other well-known fairy tales, such as Cinderella, Brothers Grim, Hansel, and Gretel, and the list just keeps growing with popular titles. So, if you ask us, Germans did pretty well in the fairy tale department.
1 Myth: East & West Berlin Never Really Reunified
No, that's not true – East & West Berlin were once separated, almost detached from each other; however, the two regions reunified in the end. Well, East and West Berlin might have been just like two different countries, but it all changed after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. So, if you still believe that East and West Berlin are still two hostile regions, then you’ve certainly missed out on lots of facts and details. Despite the historical turmoil back in the day, Germany is now more unified, advanced and modern than it has ever been. So, yes, you can also cross this myth off your list of facts about Germany.
References: www.thelocal.de, www.thecultureur.com, www.expatica.com