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Between work and pleasure
The connection to the Rhine has turned Düsseldorf into a great and prosperous business centre. But this is also a place of great natural beauty and a wide offer in leisure activities: over 20 museums, 100 art galleries, hundreds of restaurants and bars, and an extensive ecological public transport system.
Places and experiences
Tourist attractions include the “Old City”, Altstadt — Düsseldorf’s historical centre — several parks and green areas. Not to mention the banks of the Rhine river running through the city and crossed by eight bridges. Make sure you are here for the Karneval — a great street festival with parades and all sorts of entertainment which takes place during November!
Culture and Business
Make sure you have your identity card or passport and boarding pass with you. Depending on your country of origin, take care of your visa or other necessary documentation ahead of time.
During the summer, average temperatures are around 22ºC and in winter 3ºC, depending on the region. In winter, temperatures can reach -10°C with rain and snow, so be sure to take a good jacket, gloves and a pair of boots suitable for ice.
When meeting someone for the first time, greet them with a handshake. If you’re invited to someone’s house, take a bottle of wine and a bouquet of flowers as a thank you gesture.
Geography & politics
Germany is located in central Europe, between the Netherlands and Poland. It is a federal constitutional democracy and part of the European Union.
Languages & useful phrases
Most Germans who live in major cities also speak English, but learning a few German phrases will definitely be useful: "Wie geht es Ihnen?" = how are you?; “bitte” = please; “danke schön” = thank you very much; “entschuldigung” = sorry.
GMT + 1
Tipping & paying
There are several places that do not accept credit card payments, so it’s recommended to always have some money. Germany is part of the Eurozone, so the currency is the Euro (EUR). It is common to leave a tip of 5 to 10%.
What to wear
Especially regarding business, German culture is quite formal. Depending on the context, if you’re not sure it’s always best to choose a more conservative and professional look. Even in less formal situations, it’s important to maintain a neat and organized appearance.
What you should do
Be on time. Whether it is for a business meeting or a cup of coffee with a colleague, Germans are usually never late. When going out for dinner or having a drink, it’s normal for everyone to pay their share of the bill.
What you shouldn’t do
Don’t jaywalk — you’ll risk getting a fine and uncomfortable disapproval stares from the locals.