Life in Germany: what rules expats need to know

One of the nations that took in the most Ukrainian refugees from the conflict was Germany. Nearly 900,000 Ukrainians registered formally and were granted temporary refuge. But everyone is aware that Germany is a nation of regulations and red tape. Read on to learn what you need to know.

Silence mode

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The "mode of silence" is a real phenomena in Germany. On weekdays, it is open from 1:00 to 3:00 and from 10:00 to 7:00 AM. You are not allowed to make loud noises at all on Saturdays between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m., nor on Sundays or religious holidays. Instead, you must remain silent the whole weekend. Nighttime street noise is connected with minor hooliganism.

Mandatory waste sorting

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Garbage sorting has been established in Germany and many other European nations. Pay close attention to the markings on the trash cans; each hue represents a different kind of waste that can be disposed of. 

Paper and cardboard are both blue. 

Yellow or orange-colored artificial materials and packaging, such as aluminum cans, plastic packaging, tetra packs, etc., are recyclable. 

For organic garbage, use a green or brown bin. 

Garbage should be colored gray or black. 

When specific insignia are placed on plastic, glass, or beverage cans, a supermarket or liquor store will pay 8 to 25 cents for them. Either the checkout counter at the business or specialized equipment are used for this.

Roads and transport

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Germany rigorously monitors adherence to traffic regulations. Don't go over the posted speed limit! If you exceed 10 km/h even little, you could be fined. The regulations governing parking should also be observed. By the way, you may use a number of services to park your car safely in any German city.,, and are a few of them. They may determine the actual distance to the closest parking lot, display available spaces, and determine the overall cost of parking. You can use the EasyPark application to not only locate parking areas but also to make an online parking payment. 

Always purchase a ticket or pass if you plan to ride public transportation. After all, the fine for traveling with a "hare" is 60 euros. And it is strictly controlled.

It is also important to keep in mind that bicycle transportation is quite popular in this nation and that there are specific traffic laws for cyclists. Two-wheelers are also prohibited from being transported in public transportation after a specific hour, according to the following rules: 

Monday through Friday, starting at 9 p.m. and ending at 6 a.m. You need a bike ticket from 6 to 9 o'clock. 

Free admission all day on weekends, holidays, and on Saturdays. 

It is generally forbidden to travel with a bicycle. There ought to be ample room. A folding bike is an additional option. You are not required to pay to transport it.

What about pets?

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In Germany, animals must have documentation, a chip, and vaccinations. In the absence of this, you must consult a veterinarian who will inspect the animal and implant a microchip. Register your pet in the German pet registry, "FINDEFIX," as soon as you have the chip number. It's free. Your pet can be immediately located if it gets lost in a strange environment.

What else is worth knowing?

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In Germany, 24-hour supermarkets are uncommon; the only places to find them are at train stations and gas stations. Shops are often open until 21:00–22:00 on weekdays, although it is nearly impossible to locate a store open on a Sunday or a holiday. 

Be ready for bureaucracy if you ever find yourself in Germany. There, normal mail is used for receiving a lot of crucial paperwork. In Germany, for instance, you will receive a letter with a bank card within two weeks, and you will also receive a PIN code by mail within the next five working days, if creating an account in a Ukrainian bank only requires a few minutes. The retention period for all documents is three years.

The nation closely checks compliance with the law, especially when it comes to copyright. Through piracy platforms, it is forbidden to download or simply view movies and other visual content. The same holds true for music downloads. It is acceptable and lawful to use streaming services like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple, Sky, or Disney Plus. Additionally, the majority of German TV networks, including ARD and ZDF, Pro Sieben or RTL, offer their own media libraries where you may watch movies, TV shows, and documentaries for nothing.