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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 citizen’s card or passport and boarding pass with you. Depending on your country of origin, arrange your visa or other required documentation well in advance.
Average temperatures in the summer are around 22ºC and 3ºC in winter, depending on the part of the country. In winter, temperatures can reach -10°C with rain and snow, so be sure to take a warm jacket, gloves and a pair of boots suitable for ice.
When meeting someone for the first time, greet him or her with a handshake. If you are invited to someone's house, bring a bottle of wine and a bouquet of flowers to show your appreciation.
Geography and Politics
Germany is located in central Europe between the Netherlands and Poland. It is a federal constitutional democracy and is a member of the European Union.
Language and expressions to memorize
Most Germans who live in major cities speak English, but learning a few German phrases will help you: "Wie geht es Ihnen?" = how are you?; “bitte” = please; “danke schön” = thank you very much; “entschuldigung” = excuse me.
GMT + 1
Tips and Payment
There are businesses that do not accept credit cards, so it is always useful to have cash with you. Germany is part of the Eurozone, so the currency used will be the Euro (EUR). It is good practice to tip 5 to 10%.
What to wear
German culture is quite formal, especially as far as business is concerned. Depending on the context, if in doubt it is always better to dress in a more conservative and professional manner. Even in less formal situations, it is important to maintain a neat and organized appearance.
What to do
Be on time. Whether it is for a business meeting or a coffee with a colleague, the Germans are not usually late. When going out for dinner or having a drink, it is considered normal to split the bill.
What not to do
Do not cross the street outside the designated zones (jaywalking) or when the traffic light is red - this will not only result in a fine but also a look of disapproval from the locals.