German Fun Facts

This is a list about some interesting German Fun Facts that we have noticed during our travels throughout Germany. Some of these German Fun Facts might sound weird to outsiders, but we swear it is the truth and nothing but the truth.

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Back to the facts: We'll start with the basics:

There are over 82 million persons living in Germany. And that, for a land about the size of Montana, U.S.A.(Germany is 357,021 km2, slightly less than Montana). Making it one of the most densely populated countries in the world.

Even though there are that many people living in Germany, the Germans have succeeded in keeping almost 1/3 (31%) of the country covered with forests and woodlands. And, as you rarely see buildings on top of the mountains, you have the feeling of being surrounded by green vegetation and of wilderness close by. Which makes Germany one of the most beautiful countries in Europe.

Really Funny German Fun Facts:

Quark in Germany does not refer to a concept in quantum physic (at least, not only to that) but to a sort of cheese. It is made usually from skim milk and has the consistency of very thick yoghurt. It is in fact made from non-processed cheese or curd. It does not taste much and is used to make dessert such as cheesecakes.

The working week in Germany also includes Saturday! So, when looking at a schedule for the bus or the train and it is written "werktage" (work days), they mean Saturday too, even though most stores close at 1 pm on Saturday afternoon! The mail is also delivered on Saturday mornings.

Even though they have one of the best public transport systems in the world, a lot of Germans own a car. They love cars - just think of famous brands such as BMW, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, and the Autobahn where you can drive at 300 km per hour!

Still more German Fun Facts...

According to my Mann, only in Germany can you be almost hit by a supermodel riding a bike! Several times a day!

There are hundreds of castles in Germany! Some are still inhabited by aristocratic families, others have been transformed into hotels and restaurants, and still others are in ruins. All have their particular charm and they are "THE" Attraction in Germany!

German Fun Facts about food and drink:

You would have to try one kind of German bread per day for almost a whole year in order to be able to taste them all! There are over 300 different kinds of bread in Germany.

Germans really do love beer; they rank second in world-wide beer consumption per person after Ireland. Bier is officially considered a food in Bayern, where the normal size beer glass, the Mass is 1 liter.

Germany is the cheapest place in Europe to buy beer, but also the most difficult in which to make a choice - there are over 1,500 different brands and types of beer in this country! We recommend the dark beers - the "Dunklesbier". Rich and creamy, it is the perfect cool drink after a walk or on a sunny terrasse with friends.

Germans like beer so much that they even have an expression with it: Das ist nicht mein Bier, meaning "That is none of my business!"

When answering the phone, Germans do not say Hi or Hello or Hallo, they first say their surname. At first it might take you by surprise, wondering if you have called the right place or whether you have a store or an agency at the other end of the line. After a year I still can not bring myself to do it.

Germans are very curious about who their potential employees are going to be: they want to see a photo on the CV and to know if you are married or not. Such thing would be considered a breach of privacy in other countries.

Schools are not all really full time in Germany as some of them finish at 1pm or thereabouts. So, the kids are sent home for the whole afternoon with homework to do, and as there are more and more families where both parents are working, it creates a bad situation. Kids are often left by themselves, or can be found on the streets because there are not enough after-school daycare spaces available and after school activities. There is a push to change this system and quite a few "Land" have changed it already.

There are more football (soccer for the North Americans) fan clubs in Germany than anywhere else in the world.

It is a German Fun Fact that Dogs are kings in Germany: they can go just about everywhere: first class restaurants, trains and buses, even clothing shops and bookstores. But NOT in a Metzgerei (butchers) and rarely in a Konditorei or a Bakerei. They even have their own pools.

The following are more true German Fun Facts. We swear it!

An un-furnished apartment or house in Germany means exactly that: there is NO furniture of any kind including kitchen cabinets, bedroom closets and light fixtures. Sometimes there is not even a toilet in the bathroom! For such an environmentally, recycling, re-using friendly country as Germany, this makes no sense at all.

At the end of the rental contract the renters have the very rare possibility of selling the cabinets and closets to the owner or to the next renters, or taking them with them or, as a lot of them do, throw them away!

So, when choosing a rental place make sure to ask what is included. You might end up having to pay during the first month: for 2-3 months of rentals, plus Kaution (security deposit), plus fridge, oven, cook top, kitchen cabinets, bathroom and bedroom closets, light fixtures etc. You will need a loan from your bank just to cover these costs!

And the only people that make money out of such a system are the cabinet makers and the companies such as IKEA. Maybe it is due to their lobbying.

More German Fun Facts:

Germans love Paprika, and not just the spice, the vegetable too, the one we call green pepper or capsicum, only the one they like is red. And they put Hungarian paprika in everything that can be eaten. You can barely find a bag of chips without it and even the Pommes (comes from the French Pommes de terre, meaning potatoes and in this case French Fries) have some Paprika on them. So, before coming, you might want to bring some non-paprika bags of chips with you!

Little German Fun Facts for those of you who like their comfort:

Toilet paper in Germany has the softness and consistency of paper towels back home. I think that Germans don't believe in softness for the... butt.

Germans, like most Scandinavians, do not sleep between two sheets. They like to sleep with one sheet underneath and a duvet directly on top of them. And their pillows are not rectangular: they like big very fluffy square pillows.

Shopping German Fun Facts...

Don't go looking for "bleach" or "Javex" in grocery stores: you will find the approximate equivalent in the Drogerie under the name of Klorix or Klorex or something similar to that name, usually in a blue bottle. Germans don't use much of this stuff even at the water treatment facilities. They use other technologies (more environmentally friendly) to clean up the cities' water.

Language German Fun Facts:

As there is no "w" sound as in English and the "v" is pronounced as an "f", the BMW is actually called: Be (as in Bay) M Ve(as in Vay) and the Volkswagen is a Folksvagen. And Vikings is written Wikings.

You might encounter strange names for places such as: Fucking (a small city in Germany), Assmanhausen (meaning the hause of the "Ace" man), Titting, Volkhof river (pronounce Folkhof as the V is like a F), etc. Just try to keep a straight face when you hear them, they don't mean in German like anything you are thinking about right now.

Why not take a little Deutsch course and learn all about it?

More German Fun Facts about beer...

The biggest Beer Festival in the world is of course the Oktoberfest in Munich, Bavaria, where the size of the beer glass is not 500ml but a whole liter, the Mass!

Bavaria has also the oldest Brewery of Germany still in operation, funded in 1040 by the Benedictine monks in Freising, the Weihenstephan Brewery. It is possibly the oldest still in operation in the world!

As mentioned earlier, there are many types of beer in Germany: from the blond Pils (pilsener) to the very dark DunklesBier and Schwarzbier. All very good and cheap. Even the smallest region usually has its own brewery.

To get ONE beer in Germany, you show your thumb. To show your first finger means that you want 2 beers: one with the thumb, and one with the finger. So, unless you really want 2 beers, be careful what finger you show!

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