Top 5 Shopping Destinations in Germany

Top 5 Shopping Destinations in Germany

The country that fascinates us with its rich culture and bountiful beauty is also a place where all the shopaholics around the world would love to be. Shopping in Germany can definitely be a joyous and satisfying experience. The best of things at the cheapest prices will be offered to you only in this prime country. It does not stop there; the prices dip even deeper during the sale season when Germany becomes an absolute shopping hub! Check the post for the Shopping Destinations in Germany.

Though shopping malls are not a major thing in this country, you can find the best luxury brand outlet boutique stores on the streets stocked with some of the best things to buy. If you are a tourist with a good eye for great products, Germany is the place for you!

Here we have listed down 5 of the best streets to go shopping when you are in Germany: –

Schildergasse, Cologne

Schildergasse has to be one of the busiest streets in all of Europe. With people walking everywhere shopping for the best of brands such as Zara, H&M, etc, it is an absolute delight to visit. This street has a long history which marks its dates to the olden Roman Times. A street so old with a touch of the ancient times, now is a shopping hub for the modern Germans. Welstadthaus, a huge glass structure resembling a whale which also happens to house a cloth store is known to be the centre of attraction for the shoppers walking down this street.

Mauerpark Flea Market, Berlin

The Mauerpark flea market in Berlin is one of the vibrant and fun places to shop from on a lovely Sunday afternoon. From souvenirs, to clothes, to some cool second-hand furniture, this place will not disappoint you with it’s shopping options. This market is entirely situated on the street and is clubbed with some scrumptious street food, live music and colours. If you are in Berlin on a Sunday, you should definitely visit the Mauerpark flea market to witness the unreal vibe!

Kleinmarkthalle, Frankfurt

If you are in the mood to have a unique experience of grocery shopping in Germany, you have to check out the Kleinmarkthalle in Frankfurt. Bustling with people and activity, this market stretches to accommodate about 150 stalls selling gourmet products, wine, flowers, fresh produce, etc. This place comprises of everything a cooking enthusiast could dream of; and that also, at some really good prices!

Ingolstadt Village Designer Outlet

The shopping village of Germany is home to outlets of some crazy luxury brands such as Gucci, Prada and Versace. If you are game for a different and relaxing shopping experience, you should definitely include this place in your travel list. During the sale season, you can get products from these brands at some stellar prices. While it is just an hour away from Munich, you can reach here by a local bus which will turn out to be very reasonable.

Ku’damm, Berlin

Ku’ damm is one of the best streets in Berlin if you are looking for an enjoyable evening filled with loads of shopping. Here, you will get a dose of the best on going fashion trends. You can get your hands on some classy and chic stuff from Chanel, Armani and YSL at amazing prices during the promotional discount season.

Conclusion

Every city in Germany has their own little shopping streets where you can get the best of clothes and souvenirs. If you are a shopaholic looking for some good stuff at the best prices in Germany, here is an article with the list of places you can visit!

Click here to know more about Top Ten Places to visit in Germany.

Tourist rules in Germany you should not voilate

Tourist rules in Germany you should not voilate

When travelling to a foreign land, one should always research about the local customs, rules and regulations of the country. Different countries have different customs due to which they end up having very different rules. A few things of your daily life might just be a task or a gesture to you but might be a crime in some part of the world. Well, let’s back it up with an example, chewing gum is banned in Singapore. Unbelievable, isn’t it? Something as basic as chewing gum.  But yes, such rules exist and before visiting a country, you should be well aware of all of them unless you want to end up behind bars! 😀 Read through the blog post to see the Tourist rules in Germany.

Germans are the kinds who love to play by the rules, and while you’re on their turf, we would advice you to do the same. Do not try to violate a single regulation since the consequences can be pretty grave. Germans have great respect for their society and as a tourist visiting their country, you should abide to all the rules even if you do not approve of them. Your code of conduct is certainly going to be valued in their country.

We at Germany Simplified, have made a small list of the things you are not allowed to do in Germany which you might not even know. This will make your trip to Germany a lot easier and safe. You can thank us later!

Jaywalking

Walking around the streets of Germany, the first thing you will notice is how each and everybody patiently waits for the traffic lights to turn green even if there are no other cars on the road. The Germans strictly follow all the traffic rules and expect each tourist to do the same. If anybody is seen violating this rule, they are bound to pay a fine of 5 Euros. If you find the fine nominal, that is not it. Other pedestrians will take the initiative to educate you with bad remarks and comments because they do not approve of this behavior. So if you are heading to Germany, always remember to walk only when the traffic lights turn green!

Recycling

Germany is one of those countries which want to go absolutely green to save the environment. When it comes to recycling, they take it up very seriously. They have an elaborated waste discarding and recycling system. When a tourist enters Germany, they might find it a little confusing at first but eventually they too get the hang of it. Following the recycling system in Germany is a must because if you don’t do it, there is going to be severe action taken up against you.

Keeping Someone Waiting

Germans are all about punctuality. Thus, it is a crime to keep someone waiting in Germany. They respect the time of others and they expect you to do the same. While you are in Germany, come what may, you cannot afford to get late and have somebody waiting for you be it whatever the case. Wasting anybody’s time is considered to be rude and unacceptable. If you are someone who is usually late to places, we would advice you to change your habit if you are planning a trip to Germany.

Nazi Symbols

If you are caught displaying any Nazi symbol in Germany, you are going to be sentenced to 3 years of jail. Anything and everything that displays the Nazi symbols such as the flag, the salute or the slogan is prohibited. The Germans do not stop at only taking offence about this but consider it to be illegal. Do not try and violate this rule even as a joke because you would surely be inviting too much trouble on yourself!

Conclusion

Germany is a country with great principles and history. If you are planning to head to Germany for a holiday, we hope you don’t violate these rules after reading the article !

Top 12 Job Websites for Finding a Job in Germany

Top 12 Job Websites for Finding a Job in Germany

Are you looking for a great job website in Germany? Like the United States, Germany has many job websites that people can use to find a job that they love. There are job websites in both German and English, so even if you don’t speak the language, you’ll be able to find a great job.

You may be asking yourself, ‘Can I get a job in Germany without speaking German?’ There is some good news as it is totally possible!

Of course, being able to speak German will be a great advantage to find a job in Germany. It makes you more marketable and attractive as an employee. Here are some job search sites for finding a job in Germany.

Job websites in German for non-native speakers

Even though they speak German in Germany, some companies are actively seeking English-speakers for recruitment positions. There are several job websites in which the job postings are primarily in English.  They also have resources in English for foreigners seeking jobs in Germany.

  1. The Local
    The Local is a great job website for foreigners to find a job in Germany. It is in English, and jobs are divided into categories, such as Software Engineering and Sales. You can also search by location. The only downside to The Local is that it has a limited number of jobs posted, and most of them require very specific skills.What makes The Local somewhat different is that it also has a News section. You can read news articles relevant to job seekers or foreigners living in Germany. It also lists apartment rentals by city and has a business directory.

  2. Monster Germany
    The nice thing about Monster Germany is that you can toggle it between English and German. The website is called ‘Monster’ because of its huge size, which gives an indication of the possibilities. It has thousands upon thousands of job listings just for Germany, and it has other great features for jobseekers to sweeten the deal.It has a net salary calculator so you can see exactly how much of your income will go to tax, National Insurance, and other deductions, so you can what you’ll take home. You can also upload your Curriculum Vitae so that employers will be able to find you, instead of you finding them.
    Like most job websites, you can narrow your parameters based on keyword, industry, job title, hours, and experience level. What makes Monster Germany unique is that you can also narrow your search by a specific company. Have you ever wanted to work for German Amazon? You can surely do so.
  3. Naukri 
    Naukri is an Indian job website with job listings in Europe and Asia. It has a section for jobs specifically in Germany, with hundreds of jobs posted. You can sort by values like industry, salary, education, and job type.What is unique about Naukri is its resources available to jobseekers, apart from the standard job search function. It will pair you with someone to help you write or evaluate your resume, cover letter, and job letter. You can increase your visibility to employers by paying to highlight your profile to make it stand out.The website also offers a newsletter in which they will mail you in real-time about job openings you may be interested in applying for right away. There is an option to prepare for your interview with an interview coach who can advise you on how to improve your interviews so you can land a job in Germany faster.
    If you live in India, Naukri is a great website to prepare you for finding a job in Germany.

  4. Berlin Startup Jobs 
    Berlin Startup Jobs will match you up with positions are great startups in Germany. The job website itself and most of the job listings are in English, while some of the job listings are in German.The downside to this job website is that it doesn’t have a particularly robust search engine for jobs; you can only search by skill area and little else. It also has very specific skill sets. Most of the jobs are in fields such as web development, editing, and marketing. They also only have a few jobs available.
    If you live in Berlin, they provide resources to information related to living and working in areas like housing, cost of living, and contracts. You could also subscribe to their newsletter.


    Job websites in German for native speakers

  5. EURES
    (European Employment Services)
    EURES is a great way to find a job IF you speak German. You can narrow results by many factors, such as field of work, type of position (such as apprenticeship, temporary, etc.), by job experience, education level, keyword, and location. You also have the security of knowing that the jobs posted on the website are legitimate because it is run by public employment services and an official agency of the European Union.Though the job listings for Germany are primarily in German, many of the resources on the website are in English. They can help you with creating your skills passport and Curriculum Vitae, have someone advise you on your move or job search, gives labour market trends for living in Germany, and informs you about the living and working conditions in your chosen country.EURES also holds job fairs in spring and autumn, so you can get an up-close and personal look at prospective employers and what they want.
  6. Stepstone Germany
    Though there are few job listings in English, Stepstone Germany is a job website that is primarily focused on German-language jobs.  Like EURES, you can narrow your search options by limiting profession and city. You can also upload your resume so that employers come to you, sign up for a mailing list which will match jobs to you and send them straight to your inbox, and provides an informational library for jobseekers.Stepstone has a blog with informative articles all about finding a job in Germany, as well as the app so you can take Stepstone wherever you go. Stepstone was founded in 1996 and is very respected in Germany’s online job seeking community. It has, at the time of this writing, over 94,000 jobs listed. You’re sure to find the right one if you look hard enough!
  7. Bundesagentur für Arbeit (Federal Employment Agency)
    The Federal Employment Agency is a German federal agency that manages unemployment centres and provides unemployment benefits. You can still use the website even if you are not a German citizen. Like most job search sites, you search by job title keywords, location, and employment model. They have profiles for job seekers, where you can post your qualifications and what you’re looking for in a job.However, it also has many other resources for foreigners living in Germany. They will provide you with information about integrating into German culture and learning German, financial benefits, education in Germany, legal protection like insurance, learning how your degree qualifies you for work, opportunities for vocational training, career counselling, and other general information about living and working in Germany.You know you can trust this website because it is run by Germany’s government, so you won’t need to worry about scams. The agency has a huge network of over 700 smaller agencies and offices all over Germany.There’s a small, poorly-translated section in English for foreigners on the website, but it’s a much easier job website to navigate if you speak German. You could also use the ‘Translate to English’ option upon right-clicking the screen. Be careful of doing this, as some words may get lost in translation. If your German is limited, try scheduling an appointment to find someone who can help you.
  8. Indeed Germany
    One of the United State’s leading job websites, Indeed, has a German section. You can search for a job using the job search function, narrowing down your results by location, job title, specific company, and the other standard values. Unlike a plain job website, it also offers other resources to help you land your dream job in Germany.
    They will help you create your Curriculum Vitae, as well as store your resume for sending to prospective employers. They post news articles detailing Germany’s current labour market and employment statistics. Indeed is a widely-used website and has over half a million jobs posted. Individual employers also have ratings, so you can know if it’s a scam or not.

  9. Make It in Germany 
    This job website is all about living and working in Germany. It has a job search function, and you can search by such values as keyword, industry, and region. The job listings are in German, while most of the other information is in English. You can subscribe to have job updates sent straight to your email address, so you can always know when a job you may be interested in has been posted.There is also a section for businesses, which can give you an idea what German companies are looking for in employees and what their employee search process looks like.This website offers great resources on German jobs and living in Germany. They can inform you about taxes, social security, work contracts, looking and applying for a job, and more. You can find resources on studying German or obtaining further training and education to make you more marketable as an employee.

  10. LinkedIn Germany
    LinkedIn Germany is a great job website if you have marketable skills. They have nearly 2 million jobs posted just for Germany, and you can clearly see which company is offering the job. You can do some research on the prospective employer and make sure they’re legitimate and a good place to work.
    Most job ads are in German, with some English ones peppered in. You can narrow your search by date the job was posted, the company, and your experience level, among other values.The unique thing about LinkedIn, compared to other job websites, is that they have public profiles for each company that posts jobs on their service. The employer profiles contain an about page, a news feed, the jobs they’ve listed, and people on LinkedIn who work there. In this way, employers on LinkedIn are more accessible than those on other job search websites. On some sites, you don’t even know which company you’re applying for!LinkedIn’s value isn’t just in its job search engine, but in its resources for jobseekers. You can take courses to improve in your chosen field, compare salaries, and network with other professionals in your field. Many people discount the value of building relationships in your area of business, and it may someday be those relationships that help you land a job in the future. Work isn’t only about the salary – it’s about the people you work with.

  11. Jobware
    Jobware, like all the job websites on this list, has a robust search engine for finding the exact job you’re looking for. You can narrow your search by field of work, city, education level, and others. They have a salary calculator and a newsletter, so you can keep up-to-date with your job search.Besides their online job listings, they also have resources for jobseekers in Germany. They can help you with your Curriculum Vitae and your cover letter. One of the unique things about this job website is that they also have a calendar of job fairs in Germany. You can get up close and personal with prospective employers.Try starting a conversation with someone from a company. Ask about their workplace culture, what it’s like to work there, or what they look for in a potential candidate. You might make an impression. If you leave them your business card, they may call you the next time they’re looking for an employee.

  12. XING.com
    One of the largest job websites in Germany is XING. Many people refer to it as the European LinkedIn, and its interface is available in many languages, including German and English. Some job listings are in German, but many of them are in English, as are the resources on the website. The search function is robust, allowing you to choose between employment types, experience level, the field of work, salary, and a radius of your chosen location.XING has many helpful resources for people looking for jobs in Europe. They have an interactive Curriculum Vitae editor with different designs and formats, templates, and articles and checklists for jobseekers.

 

BONUS: Company Websites

Is there a specific company you’ve been dying to work for? Try going directly to their website and see what jobs they’re hiring for. Most company websites have a Careers section (you may have to scroll to the bottom and look at the small print menu to see that section). 

Try applying for jobs at specific companies in Germany. If you can show that company you have a passion for their brand and product, you may not even need a job website to find your job. You’ve already found it.

Conclusion

As you can see, it isn’t nearly as difficult to find a job in Germany as you may think it is. There are many great job websites, both in English and German, to help you on your journey to employment.

Please keep in mind that, even if you don’t speak fluent German, you can still use the job websites we highlighted for German speakers. Many of them have resources and job listings in English, and you can also use the ‘Translate to English’ button in order to get a basic understanding of what they say. Just because an employer posts a job ad in German, doesn’t mean they only want German-speaking applicants.

It may not happen right away. You will need to persevere and prove yourself. If you can make yourself shine and consider all the options, and employers will take notice and hire you. 

One of these job websites is sure to help you on your way. If you have your suggestions for other job websites in Germany then we would be happy to hear about them. You can also look for recruitment agencies which can help you get a job in Germany. 

Alternatively, you can also google for job vacancies in Germany and there might be other job portals as well. We would be happy if you share your results with us.

Do read about the perfect German CV format and a kick-ass Cover Letter format.

Cost of groceries in Germany

Cost of groceries in Germany

Germany is one of the most developed countries in the world, with one of the highest standards of living. In fact, compared to the rest of the EU, you will find that the living cost in Germany is actually quite reasonable. Whether you are working in Germany, settling permanently, or studying as a student, it’s a reasonable estimate to say that you will need between 850 and 1000 euros a month to cover your living expenses. You should always estimate your cost of groceries in Germany to establish your comfortable living experience.

Of course, before we move on to talk about Germany in detail, we would like to point out that the amount of money you’ll need naturally depends on your living standards and how luxurious or frugally you might prefer to live. In this article, we will provide you with a detailed account on how much you can expect to spend in monthly groceries and entertainment.

Cost of groceries in Germany

In this section we’re going to cover the general list for the cost of groceries in Germany. Do note, that this list is an overall, general price list for grocery products. You may find that in some places, like wholesale stores or farmers’ markets, certain products are available at a cheaper price. Depending on how health conscious you are or if you have particular allergies or dietary preferences, you will find that you will need somewhere between 50 and 60 euros for the cost of groceries each week.

Here’s what we included when calculating this figure.

Milk (1 litre)- 0.7 euros

Loaf of white bread- 1.2 euros

White Rice (1 kg)- 2 euros

Eggs (1 dozen)- 2 euros

Boneless Chicken (1kg)- 8 euros

Beef (1 kg)- 12 euros

Apples (1kg)- 2 euros

Banana (1kg)- 1.5 euros

Oranges (1kg)- 2 euros

Tomatoes (1kg)- 2.5 euros

Potatoes (1kg)- 1 euros

Onions (1kg)- 1 euros

Lettuce (1 head)- 1 euros

Water (1.5 liter)- 0.5 euros

Wine bottle (mid-range)- 6 euros

We took an average of four bottles for a week and 2 kg of boneless chicken to come up with an estimated cost of 52.9 euros each week. Of course, this estimate will depend on your taste as well, but this is the general cost of groceries in Germany.

Additionally, we’d like to add that a can of beer can cost around 0.5 to 2 euros depending on your preference, whether you drink imported or domestic beer and your consumption as well. In Germany, a pack of cigarettes can cost between 6 and 10 euros, depending on the brand and the place you buy it from as well. Soft drinks like Coca Cola and Pepsi cost around 2 euros per bottle and a regular cappuccino is around 2 euros.

There are plenty of options to buy your groceries from in Germany. From farmers’ markets to multinational, major grocery stores, each offer you exactly what you’ll need. Below, we’ve compiled a list of the different types of grocery stores you will find in Germany and what you can expect from them.

Where to get them

Wholesalers

Companies such as Lidl, Netto and Aldi offer groceries at the lowest prices possible. Most of the population buys from these places. This is especially because of the weekly and weekend promotions they offer. You can save a lot of money buying from these stores. However, if you’re particularly health conscious, then we would advise that you stay away from the fruits and vegetables aisles. Since most people can simply pick out their choice fruits into bags for measurement, most of the time, the worst looking ones are left.

Avoid missing out on the daily product (that comes once in the morning only). Instead, go to a farmers’ market and pick out farm fresh fruits and vegetables for yourself.

Major grocery chains

Grocery chains such as Real and Kaufland are very much like Walmart and any other major grocery store chain. The best thing about these chain stores is that you’ll be able to find everything under one roof. From household supplies, to groceries to even cheap clothing. These stores aren’t as cheap as the wholesalers. However, they offer a larger variety and depending on your diet, you might like these better. If you care more about the cost of groceries, go to a wholesaler.

Farmers’ markets

These are found in every German town and city and are usually held once a week. You can learn about the farmers’ market in your area by following them on social media. Many people prefer to buy their produce from farmers’ markets, as the fresh produce in the markets tends to run out very fast.

Ethnic stores

If you’re looking to experience the diversity offered in Germany, then look no further than these markets. There are ethnic communities all over Germany, so you will find these markets in almost every city. Here you can find staple items from these cultures which you can use in cooking delicious meals. If you’re an immigrant from these countries or even an expat who enjoys these cuisines, then visiting these markets is a good idea. They provide with groceries not available in German grocery stores and will make your move to Germany feel more like home.

Metropolitan cities in Germany are amazingly multicultural. It’s not uncommon to find Turkish, Italian, African, Asian, and much more ethnic food stores all over the country. IT’s not uncommon for ethnic grocers to sell food from their home country right next to German foods in their markets.

Bio/natural/organic/vegetarian/vegan

The word Bio is in reference to organic goods in Germany. You can find a Bio market is just about every town. In major food stores, you can usually find some bio goods as well. Bio has become so mainstream in Germany that you can buy some organic products at Aldi or any other grocer. It costs a little bit more, but those who buy Bio swear that it’s worth it to not put chemicals into your body.

Just like the United States has community-assisted agriculture programs, Germany has them too. You can become part of a CSA, and have fresh, organic, local produce delivered to you ever week for a fee. One such company providing this service is Dirk’s Biokiste.

If you’re looking for a more specific and less mainstream organic food, you’ll need to visit one of the organic supermarkets. It’s also easy in Germany to find ready-made vegetarian and vegan products. As with the organic products, the organic supermarkets will have more choice of vegan and vegetarian food.

Cost of groceries if you buy online

Now, a lot of problems that expats often face when they move to Germany is finding things they use back in their home country. These are things like a specialty sauce or a brand of jam which you may like using. While most products are available in Germany, unfortunately, you won’t find everything in the local departmental stores near your house.

In such an event, you might want to turn to specialty retailers like KaDeWe, short for Kaufhaus des Westens. It is a Berlin-based departmental store where you can find almost every brand available back in America or the United Kingdom. They also offer delivery so that’s an added bonus for you if you are very busy.

Other online stores that will give you a good deal on your cost of groceries include British Corner Shop, AmericanFood4U and Expat Mom.

You might also want to check Real and Aldi as they also offer online grocery shopping services in some German cities. This can save you loads of time and allow you to spend more time with friends and family.

Bottle return (pfand)

While exploring the streets of Berlin, you may notice a conspicuous absence of bottles. Germany has in place a very effect bottle deposit program, like the one in certain US states. The majority of glass and plastic bottles in Germany come with a small deposit that you can get when you return the bottle.

Simply store the bottles in a bag, and when you fill up a bag you return to the store and put them in a machine. The machine will spit out a receipt of how much money you get for returning the bottles. You take the receipt to the cashier and get the money. Returning bottles can help bring your cost of groceries down as you bring back bottles and get a little in return for them which you can put towards your new groceries.

This highly effective system helps keep city streets cleaner. It helps instill a sense of social responsibility and civic pride. If you leave a glass bottle out on the sidewalk, chances are it will be gone when you come back. This can surely help reduce your cost of groceries in Germany.

The German shopping cart secret

If you’ve ever been to an Aldi in the United States, you may have noticed their peculiar system of shopping carts. It’s this way in most stores in Germany. Most carts in Germany operate on a coin deposit system.

You put in a 50 cent or 1 euro coin into the handle of the cart, and then you can unbuckle the cart and take it around the store. When you’re done shopping, you bring back the cart and get your deposit back.

This system helps cut down on cart scattering in the parking lot. In the US, people like to rudely scatter their carts all around the parking lot – it is not so in Germany. People want their deposit back, so they bring the cart right back to where they found it.

Bags

Another small but important detail is bags. You must bring your own reusable bags to the store in Germany. If you don’t, you’ll have to buy your own bags when you check out. This is part of an effort by the German government to cut down on plastic bag use. If you don’t bring your own bags, the overall cost of groceries can be quite high, so bring some bags with you.

Conclusion

There are many great food options in Germany, even if you’re from a foreign country, but it is always better to estimate your cost of groceries in Germany. You can find the foods in Germany to make you feel right at home. They have a wide range of specialty ethnic markets, including American ones. It may also be a great idea to break out of your culinary comfort zone and sample what foods Germany has to offer. You may discover your new favourite snack is a German one. Armed with this knowledge, your next German market trip is sure to be a bountiful one.

Your accommodation can also determine your cost of groceries. Read here more about accommodation in Germany.

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