What you don't know about Germany
Almost 25 million travellers visit Germany every year to admire its cities, landscape or taste local cuisine.
Germany boasts a diverse and rich history, incredible landscapes, strong cultural and linguistic traditions. You can talk about this country for hours, there are many interesting facts which will boost your interest in the country's culture and history. We have selected the most interesting ones - to stimulate your curiosity even more before the trip to Germany!
Image credit: Nico Meier
History of Germany
Prior to Berlin, there were five other German capitals, including Aachen, Regensburg, Frankfurt am Main, Nuremberg, and Bonn.
The Germans were the first to start turning the clock twice a year - it started in 1916.
Almost a third of the German population uses renewable electricity sources such as solar panels and windmills.
Although the population is declining, Germany boasts the largest population in the European Union, with a population of 81 million people.
Image credit: Karsten Würth
German is the official language in five countries: Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein. Nevertheless, the dialects can be very different!
German is the third most widely taught language in the world.
In German, the word 'danke' or 'thank you' actually means 'no'. If someone asks if you want a drink, answer “bitte” or “please,” because that’s what “yes” means.
There are two main German dialects: High German or Hochdeutsch and Low German or Plattdeutsch.
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Traditions and superstitions
Most Germans believe that open windows and drafts can cause diseases such as sore joints or flu. As a result, windows or shutters are tightly closed even in the best weather.
In Germany, it is believed that if you bury a dead dog under your doorstep, his ghost will protect the house.
Instead of waving to German friends, greet them by knocking on the table. Knocking on an oak tree is believed to bring success.
The Germans consider it a failure to celebrate birthdays earlier than the actual date of birth. They believe in a philosophy that roughly means "don't count your chickens until they hatch."
Image credit: Markus Spiske
The Weihenstephaner Brewery, located north of Munich, has been operating since 1040 and is the oldest brewery in the world.
There are 1,300 breweries in Germany producing over 5,000 types of beer. It is not surprising why the Germans are second in beer consumption in the world.
The world's largest beer festival, Oktoberfest, which actually takes place in September, consumes 6.7 million liters of beer.
When ordering beer, the Germans have their own system. To order one beer, raise one thumb. To order two beers, lift your index finger. Be careful not to confuse your fingers and thumbs unless you want to order drinks for the whole bar!
Image credit: Markus Spiske