What are some unexpected things first-time visitors to Germany notice?

There are many things that will strike you as different or out of the ordinary when you visit Germany for the first time – the Germans just have a different way of life that is difficult to find anywhere else in Europe, let alone the rest of the world. If you’ve just booked a Germany holiday package, you may want to use some these as a heads up:

One of the first things you’ll notice as is that the way they package a pastry is different: The ingenious way in which the person behind the counter prepares your pastry into a little to-go-baggie is a way of folding without crunching the baggie closed in such a way that it creates a dome-like air pocket in which your pastry is kept safe until you decide it is time to consume it. The brilliance of this packing technique is that none of the sugary, gooey goodness gets stuck to the paper. Germany truly is the cutting of all technology, even the one that goes into pastry packaging.

Most Germans respect ‘Quiet Time’ on Sundays, when they don’t vacuum, use lawn mowers or other loud appliances and generally keep decibel levels to a bare minimum. In some parts, an unspoken evening Quiet Time is enforced, via disapproval or neighbourly note leaving. Peace and quiet is important and they won’t be shy about asking for it.

When you arrive at a major station in Berlin, or when the train reaches its final destination, it quite literally sings a 10 second, up-beat, strangely national anthem-esque tune breaking the otherwise silent journey from platform to platform. It is unexpected and quite pleasant and Berlin is one of the best places to visit in Germany to travel to other parts of Europe by train.

Another thing that you may not know as a first time visitor to Germany is that they take asparagus very seriously. Besides a normal menu, many restaurants will have a special “Spargel Menü” complete with an asparagus based starter – like a creamy soup, asparagus based main course options, and even an asparagus dessert like caramelized asparagus with vanilla sauce. In fact, Germans quite enjoy dairy products too. The refrigerated section of their supermarkets are an ode to yoghurt and quark and they will put a cheese or cream-based sauce in most food items.