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The lowdown on Berlin customs so you can get with the programme

The lowdown on Berlin customs so you can get with the programme

Opinions, Useful Information on March 14, 2012 9:13 am

It can be like stepping out into a minefield when you are in a new city as the cultural norms from your home town may be different. Berliners are pretty laid back and tolerant and will accept little slips up for those new to the city. But to help you here´s our guide to do´s and don´ts in Berlin.

Berlin people

You´re tearing me apart!
get upset if the person you come into contact with appears mean, moody or a little brash, it´s just Berliner Schnauze. Do join in if you can, turn up your collars, rolled up cigarette in mouth and best James Dean stare.


Are you looking at me?
Don´t be alarmed if you are stared at in Berlin. Many Berliner´s have a natural curiosity and may check you out with a longish inspection. Don´t take this as a sign to be defensive and suspicious. Do try and send out a subtle winning smile.

Do leave home without it
Do make sure you have visited the ATM before that dinner date as your Visa or American Express card may not be accepted at a restaurant. Leaving you to do the dishes while your date says bye.

Checkpoint charlie

Hello Charlie, bye Charlie
go check out the free storyboard wall posts at Checkpoint Charlie but don´t be tempted to visit the distinctly average museum unless you are a serious history geek. Also don´t buy a fake visa or get photographed with a soldier, not cool.


Clothes do not make the man
Whether glam or casual Berlin´s sartorial style is refreshingly non-judgmental and all the better for it. Do come as you are seems the message.

Culture in Berlin
Show me the way to go home…
Don´t make a spectacle of yourself by being loud and obnoxious when you are very drunk as it´s generally frowned upon. Do drink copious amount of lush German beer and wine, just show some class after and strive for ´elegantly wasted´.


What a loud of rubbish
Do take back your empty plastic and glass bottles. You can exchange your empties for cash so it´s worth it. Don´t just chuck your old bottles in with the rest of your garbage bin. If you really can´t be bothered to return empties leave them next to your rubbish outside and someone will pick them up.

A ticket to ride

Don´t travel on the public transport without a ticket. The system is built on trust and it´s fairly inexpensive. Also don´t buy tickets from strangers as they can be fakes.

Berlin customsSpeak no evil, hear no evil
talk about the Oktoberfest to Berliners. Do talk about how much you do not care that much for Oktoberfest (even if you did really like it in Munich). Got to love underlying city rivalry.

Culture in Berlin
Do the right thing
Do go the fantastic East Side gallery. A longish stretch of the Berlin Wall dedicated to many artist´s paintings. Don´t write your name or anything on the wall, respect the artist´s work.


So there you have it folks, do you agree with our suggestions or have any of your own? We would love to hear them.


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