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See the two faces
Ancient centre of the medieval Hanseatic League, Hamburg was rebuilt after World War II. Which resulted in two cities: the one with neoclassical recovered facades and the one with modern architectural concepts. The boat ride is a great way to see the city. And the Hauptkirche St. Michaelis (church) and Rathaus (city hall) are unmissable.
Modernity is also present in the agitated cultural and social life. Just take a look at the numbers: more than 40 theatres, 60 museums and 100 concert halls. Not mentioning bars and nightclubs. Don’t forget to do some shopping at Colonnaden. And, of course, take a walk in the Alter Botanischer Garten.
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.
GMT + 1
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.
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%.
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.
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.
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.
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.