20 Tips for Americans going to Berlin


I’ve been out here a week now (in total I should be out in Berlin for a month) in this week many things have arisen that I didn’t know about before I came here.

  1. Jogger Pants are EVERYTHING.  These people out here perpetually look like they are about to take off running somewhere.
  2. Black Clothes.  Berliner’s generally dress pretty blank.  There isn’t a lot of flash in their culture.  They are more about necessity and what works.
  3. Prepare yourself for going out LATE.  Often the clubs don’t even close from Friday-Sunday.  Out here they usually meet up at someones house around midnight and don’t leave for the club til 2 am.  So keep it together.  No reason to black out at Magnus’ house.  Oh also you may not be able to get into the club in the first place if you are dressed too flashy or with too bright of colors.  Leave that bullshit for back home.
  4. Bringing us to time in general.  Military time.  11 pm is 23:00.
  5. Germans bring a beer for that walk to wherever they are heading.
  6. Ketchup does not always taste the same.  Sometimes it does sometimes it doesn’t.  Don’t complain about it, just shut up and move on.
  7. They prefer CASH.  Your American Express Gold Card doesn’t work EVERYWHERE.  Sorry but no one cares about your reward points.  Shut up.
  8. A Spliff is mostly tobacco.  Due to this fact, make sure if you roll a joint and are about to share with Berliner’s, make sure you tell them it is PURE.  Trust me I saw a German go blind because it wasn’t a spliff.
  9. Weed is everywhere and can generally be smoked in public.  But don’t be an ass about it.
  10. Everybody still smokes cigarettes.
  11. Their diets are similar to ours, except everything is in much smaller portions.
  12. You don’t need to tip.  Your welcome socialism.
  13. People don’t care out here.  In the sense that you can do pretty much whatever you want as long as you aren’t BOTHERING everybody.  Yes your group of twelve Sig Ep’s are bothering EVERYONE.
  14. Everyone speaks English is a pretty accurate statement.  At least everyone under 40.
  15. Don’t be afraid to get lost a little bit.  It’s safer in Berlin than any major city in America I’d imagine.
  16. No STD’s aren’t rampant in Europe.  WE are actually more likely to be dirty AF lol.
  17. Yes you can party and BBQ and do drugs and play with dogs, and see families having a lovely time in Hitler’s old airport.
  18. Berlin is not a very picturesque city.  That actually isn’t true.  I’m just saying if you are looking for building from the 1700’s forget it.  We blew all those up.  And then when we were done doing that the Soviets built a wall through the middle of it, so yeah.
  19. What is beautiful about Berlin though is the Graffiti.  It’s everywhere.  From tags, to big pieces. Traditional writing, stencils, murals, stickers, etc.  It’s all over the place.
  20. Odds are most Germans under 40 understand the english language even better than you do.

So there you go 20 tips on what to expect as an American heading to Berlin for vacation, dodging student loans, flexing on a warrant, for school, for work, for whatever.  If you are going, these things may help prepare you.