Germany

Germany

Etymology

The terminology for “Germany”, the “German states” and “Germans” is complicated by the unusual history of Germany over the last 2000 years. This can cause confusion in German and English, as well in other languages. While the notion of Germans and Germany is older, it is only since 1871 that there has been a nation-state of Germany. Later political disagreements and the partition of Germany (1945–1990) has further made it difficult to use proper terminology. [wikipedia]

Places to Meet People

Places to Meet People

Berlin Organisatoren Meetup – Join up with local Organizers to share your community experience and learn tips and tricks for organizing great Meetups. We usually hold Meetups where guest speakers do short talks focused on specific topics followed by activities and Q&A. Please introduce yourself and come Meetup with us! [meetup]

Berlin Skills Exchange – The Berlin Skills Exchange is formed with the spirit of continuous education, collaboration and knowledge transfer in mind.  We aim to bring together talented people who can mutually benefit from each other’s ideas, skills, knowledge and connections. [meetup]

Business Speed Dating – Find new business contacts, meet interesting people with fresh ideas, exchange.
This is a networking platform for entrepreneurs, founders, business-minded people. [meetup]

Drink and Chat – This is a group for everyone who is interested to meet new people and enjoy some casual conversation over few drinks. You are local or foreigner, don’t be shy, drop by and have fun 🙂 [meetup]

Frankfurt Fun Hiking Group – This is a group for anyone interested in hiking. The idea is not to make it a big sport event. Sorry, you won’t find here bungee jumping, rock climbing or other adrenaline-packed things. It’s more about enjoy nature, have a wine/beer or two and make some new friends. [meetup]

Frankfurt Girl Time – This is a group for girls in their 20s and 30s who live in the Frankfurt area. Sometimes we all just need some quality girl-time! 🙂 This is an opportunity to socialize in a relaxed and welcoming environment! Activities will include dinners, movies, coffee, drinks, dancing, theatre, museums, sight-seeing, etc. [meetup]

Frankfurt Lunch Lovers – Have you ever wished there were more meetups during the day, short enough to fit into your business schedule? Have you ever wished to meet new people during your lunch breaks? Have you ever wished to explore more restaurant options? In this group we want to do all of this. Welcome to join Frankfurt Lunch Lovers! [meetup]

Hamburg Hikers – We organise daytrip hikes in and around Hamburg and Germany’s North. Once in a while we may organise overnight trips to further destinations. We want to enjoy the time outdoors with like-minded people and like to discover nice trails with you. Please note that nobody is paid to run Hamburg Hikers – it is a 100% volunteer effort. [meetup]

Munich Photographers – This group is for anyone interested in photography. You don’t need to own a fancy camera, because the camera is only a tool and the photographer is taking the picture. This group is about improving the skills, sharing knowledge and having fun taking pictures. [meetup]

Munich Singles Club Meetup – This is a group for discerning singles who would like to meet like minded singles for conversations, connections, friendships and maybe more. You may have outgrown your frenetic clubbing years but are not ready for quiet evenings alone at home, especially on weekends. [meetup]

How to Find a Date

How to Find a Date

DatingCafe.de – Launched in 1998, DatingCafe is a dating site for German speakers in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. It is a well-designed website, albeit minimalist compared to a lot of other dating websites I’ve tried in the past. Nevertheless, it is packed with quality features. [visa hunter]

eDarling.de (Targeted towards age 35+) – EDarling.de is the best online dating site in Germany if you are 35+ years old (if you are in your 20s or early 30s, continue on to the #2 site below). It is widely considered the most important dating website across the whole of Europe. [visa hunter]

Finya.de – Finya is a dating site for residents of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The site launched in 2001, has over 1 million members, and is completely free to use. This can have both positive and negative effects on your experience of this site. [visa hunter]

LaBlue.de – LaBlue is a German dating website started in 2002. It has over 500,000 members. LaBlue has a clean, uncluttered website and simple features. The site is mostly free, with a premium membership available for a few perks. Despite being almost completely free, I came across very few fake or scammy looking profiles, which was a pleasant surprise. [visa hunter]

LoveScout24.de – LoveScout24 is the second best online dating site in Germany. The site was started in 1997 under the name People United. LoveScout24 is available to users in Germany, Spain, Holland, Italy, France, Switzerland and Austria, with around 1 million active members in Germany alone. This site is available in the native language in each of these countries, but is not available in English. [visa hunter]

OKCupid.com – OKCupid is known for relying heavily on user-provided data to find better matches for its diverse user base. This free service lets you answer as many or as few questions as you prefer, and it uses your responses to calculate good potential partners. [visa hunter]

Parship.de – Parship.de is a good third choice if you’ve run out of options at the site above. Parship.de is the German version of Parship, a dating website that was originally launched in Germany in 2001 and went international in 2002. Parship is now available in many European countries (England, France, Holland, Italy, Spain and Sweden), and Mexico. [visa hunter]

Walking Tours

Walking Tours

Macs Adventure – Our philosophy is to offer holidays for the individual, and as we know that different people have different interests, you are never required to conform to the wishes of a group, and you walk at the pace that you decide, not that of anyone else. [macs adventure]

Sherpa Expeditions – Germany’s landscapes and towns are as diverse as anywhere else in Europe, making it an ideal location for walking holidays. It’s northern lowlands stretch from the Netherlands to Poland, past southern Denmark where it bridges the North and Baltic seas. The magnificent Rhine and Main Rivers, cut through the Central Uplands. To the south, the infamous Danube River runs from the Black Forest, near France & Switzerland, to Munich. [sherpa expeditions]

Free Things to Do

Free Things to Do

Bamberg and the Bürgerstadt – In the valley of the Regnitz where the river divides into two arms, Bamberg, the old imperial city and the most important town in Upper Franconia, is one of the best preserved of Germany’s many charming old towns. Its old episcopal quarter is home to the 13th-century cathedral and the old Benedictine abbey of Michaelsberg. [planet ware]

Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate – Modeled on the Acropolis in Athens and built for King Frederick William II in 1791, the monumental sandstone Brandenburg Gate in Berlin’s Mitte district was the city’s first Neoclassical structure. Measuring an impressive 26-meters in height – including the spectacular four-horse chariot perched atop – its six huge columns on each side of the structure form five impressive passages: four were used by regular traffic, while the center was reserved for the royal carriages. [planet ware]

Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom) – The towering Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Mary, Kölner Dom, on the banks of the Rhine is Cologne’s most impressive landmark. This masterpiece of High Gothic architecture, one of the largest cathedrals in Europe, was begun in 1248 and was the most ambitious building project of the Middle Ages. As imposing as its façade, its magnificent interior covers an area of 6,166 square meters and boasts 56 huge pillars. [planet ware]

Insel Mainau: the Flower Island of Lake Constance – Insel Mainau, the spectacular Flower Island on beautiful Lake Constance, covers an area of 110 acres and attracts many visitors with its beautiful parks and gardens, luxuriant with semitropical and tropical vegetation. Access to the island is by boat, or via a pedestrian bridge connecting it to the mainland, so be sure to allow a little extra travel time in addition to the two or more hours needed to properly explore this stunning property. [planet ware]

Königssee (King’s Lake) – This lovely Bavarian lake is one of the great beauty spots of the region known as Berchtesgadener Land. Also known as the King’s Lake, this area near Salzburg is a walker’s paradise. One of the most popular routes is the attractive footpath along the east side of the Königssee to the Malerwinkel, or Painters’ Corner, with its superb views of the lake and the mountains. [planet ware]

Miniatur Wunderland and the Historic Port of Hamburg – In the heart of the historic Port of Hamburg, the magnificent Miniatur Wunderland, the world’s largest model railway, is an attraction that appeals equally to young and old alike. Boasting more than 12,000 meters of track, this massive scale model includes sections dedicated to the USA and Scandinavia (as well as Hamburg) and incorporates 890 trains, more than 300,000 lights and in excess of 200,000 human figures. It’s not unheard of for guests to spend many hours exploring this fascinating world with its remarkably detailed miniature airports (and planes that actually take off!), crowded cities, quaint rural scenes, and bustling harbors. [planet ware]

Museum Island in Berlin – World-famous Museumsinsel, or Museum Island, lies between the River Spree and the Kupfergraben – a 400-meter-long canal off the river – and includes many of Berlin’s oldest and most important museums. The heart of this pedestrian-friendly district is the Old Museum, constructed in 1830 as a place to exhibit the royal treasures. Soon after, the land behind the museum was set aside for art and the “knowledge of antiquity.” [planet ware]

Rothenburg ob der Tauber – The old Franconian imperial city of Rothenburg, one of the most attractive places on Germany’s famous Romantic Road tourist route, lies on the steep banks of the picturesque River Tauber. With its walls and towers untouched since the Thirty Years War of 1618, this completely preserved picture-perfect medieval town offers endless charm. Individual buildings of note include the imposing 13th-century Town Hall (Rathaus); the wonderful Ratstrinkstube, or Council Tavern, built in 1466 with its interesting clock; St.-Georgs-Brunnen fountain, built in 1608 near the end of Herrngasse; St. James’s Church with its fine high altar dating from 1466; and the Imperial City Museum. [planet ware]

Sanssouci Park and Palace, Potsdam – Spectacular Sanssouci Park, laid out between 1744 and 1756, is considered the most celebrated example of Potsdam Rococo. Reflecting the personal influence of Frederick the Great, the park includes a lovely Baroque flower garden, more than 3,000 fruit trees, and numerous greenhouses. It’s a pleasure strolling around this huge park, especially the straight-as-an-arrow, two-and-a-half-kilometer-long avenue, shielded on each side by trimmed hedges, perfect lawns, and gorgeous gardens. A number of park buildings are worth exploring, too, in particular the Picture Gallery with its many works of art; the exquisite Chinese House, an extremely elaborate garden pavilion; and the wonderful Roman Baths complex. [planet ware]

The Berlin Wall – While not exactly the most picturesque of places, the Berlin Wall – or what’s left of it – is one of those attractions that any visitor to Berlin simply must see, if only to say they’ve been there. Built in 1961, the wall was the most visible manifestation of the Cold War mentality that existed after WWII, and by the time it was torn down in 1990, it extended some 155 kilometers. Thankfully, all that remains of the wall today are small graffiti-covered sections, stark reminders of the more than 70 people who died trying to escape from the East. [planet ware]

The Black Forest – The beautiful Black Forest with its dark, densely-wooded hills is one of the most visited upland regions in Europe. In the southwestern corner of Germany and extending 160 kilometers from Pforzheim in the north to Waldshut on the High Rhine in the south, it’s a hiker’s heaven. On the west side, it descends steeply to the Rhine crossed by lush valleys, while on the east it slopes more gently down to the upper Neckar and Danube valleys. [planet ware]

The Island of Rügen – Rügen is the largest and most beautiful of the German Baltic islands, separated from the mainland by the Strelasund and linked to the mainland town of Stralsund by a causeway. The island’s beauty stems from its diversity of landscape, including everything from flat farmland and forest-covered hills to expansive sandy beaches, lagoons, and lovely peninsulas. Highlights of a visit include the Jasmund Peninsula, reaching heights of 161 meters, and the beautiful Stubnitz beech forests, which come to a dramatic end on the Königsstuhl where a sheer chalk cliff plunges down to the sea from a height of 117 meters. [planet ware]

The Rhine Valley – The Rhine is Europe’s most important waterway, and its most beautiful. With a total length of 1,320 kilometers, this magnificent river stretches from Switzerland through Germany all the way to the Netherlands. While there are many places in Germany to enjoy this majestic river, the lovely Upper Middle Rhine Valley section is probably the best place to see it. Here, this often-dramatic 65-kilometer stretch of river boasts more than 40 castles and some 60 picturesque medieval towns all just waiting to be explored either by river cruise or by car. [planet ware]

The Ultimate Fairytale Castle: Neuschwanstein – The old town of Füssen, between the Ammergau and Allgäu Alps, a popular alpine resort and winter sports center, is a good base from which to explore nearby Neuschwanstein Castle, one of Europe’s most famous royal castles. From 1869-86, King Ludwig II of Bavaria built this many-towered and battlement-covered fantasy fortress – the inspiration for Walt Disney’s famous theme park castles. A variety of tour options are offered, including guided tours of the sumptuous interior taking in the Throne Room, the Singers’ Hall, and some of the country’s most spectacular views. [planet ware]

Zugspitze Massif – Part of the Wetterstein mountain range, the Zugspitze massif straddles the frontier between Germany and Austria and is surrounded by steep valleys. The eastern summit, at 2,962 meters, is crowned by a gilded cross and can be reached by the Bayerische Zugspitzbahn, a cog railway, or by cable car. Another great way to enjoy this area of outstanding natural beauty is aboard the Tiroler Zugspitzbahn, a railway that runs to the Zugspitzkamm station at 2,805 meters. [planet ware]

Festivals

Festivals

Berlin International Film Festival – The world’s second largest international film festival after Cannes has one massive advantage over its French rival: you don’t have to be invited to watch the Berlin International Film Festival’s 400 films (mostly European and international premieres) as anyone can buy tickets online via their website. [expatica]

Festival-Mediaval – Sure, this major medieval festival held in the town of Selb, close to the German-Czech border, has mock battles, archery, birds of prey and everything else you might associate with medieval life but it’s also Europe’s largest medieval music festival. Take your tent and chill out to modern interpretations of medieval rock, contemporary folk, pagan folk and metal from around the world. [expatica]

Karneval – Karneval or Fasching, the German carnival or mardi gras, officially starts from 11 November at 11.11 to the following Ash Wednesday, but the main celebrations start on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday. Traditionally on this day, women could kiss any man after cutting off his tie. There are huge street parades and parties on the weekend before, on Rose Monday, Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday. Most cities around Germany will put on their own celebrations. [expatica]

Leipzig Book Fair – The Frankfurt Bookfair may be the biggest date on the calendar for those who work in the world of book publishing but for everyone else, Leipzig is the place to go for all things literary. You can meet your favourite authors and find out what’s new in the world of books – be that fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels, and more ­ – at hundreds of different events around the city during the largest literature festival in Europe. [expatica]

Oktoberfest – It’s beer, beer and more beer, as well as traditional Bavarian foods, oompah bands and lots of men wearing leiderhosen at what the Germans call Wiesn, after the fields or grasslands (wiese) where the first Oktoberfest was held. If you’re going in a group of 10 or more to this massive beer festival in Munich, think about reserving a table – free of charge – in one of the 30+ beer and food tents (afternoons are the least crowded times). Each one has its own atmosphere – yodelling, families, celebrities, footie fans – and its own website for reservations. [expatica]

Richard Wagner Festival (Bayreuth festival) – howcasing the work of 19th-century composer Richard Wagner, most notably the mammoth and mythological cycle of four operas called Der Ring des Nibelungen or the Ring Cycle, this famous festival is considered the epitome of German high culture. Most tickets are sold out years in advance but tickets for some performances are available online. If you’re feeling lucky (and rich) then check out the website. [expatica]

Rock am Ring and Rock im Park – What do you get when you have two huge rock festivals held simultaneously over three days in two different locations: A rocking weekend at one of largest music festivals in the world. Rock am Ring is held at the Nürburgring racetrack, in the west of Nürburg, and Rock im Park is held at the Zeppelinfeld in Nuremberg, in the south. [expatica]

Public Transit

Public Transit

Bicycle – Germans love to cycle, be it for errands, commuting, fitness or pleasure. Many cities have dedicated bicycle lanes, which must be used unless obstructed. There’s no helmet law, not even for children, although using one is recommended, for obvious reasons. Bicycles must be equipped with a white light at the front, a red one at the back and yellow reflectors on the wheels and pedals. [lonely planet]

Bus & Tram – Buses are a ubiquitous form of public transport and practically all towns have their own comprehensive network. Buses run at regular intervals, with restricted services in the evenings and at weekends. Some cities operate night buses along popular routes to get night owls safely home. [lonely planet]

Hitching & Ride-Share – Hitching (trampen) is never entirely safe in any country, and we don’t recommend it. That said, in some rural areas in Germany that are poorly served by public transport – such as sections of the Alpine foothills and the Bavarian Forest – it is not uncommon to see people thumbing for a ride. If you do decide to hitch, understand that you are taking a small but potentially serious risk. [lonely planet]

S-Bahn – Metropolitan areas, such as Berlin and Munich, have a system of suburban trains called the S-Bahn. They are faster and cover a wider area than buses or trams but tend to be less frequent. S-Bahn lines are often linked to the national rail network and sometimes connect urban centres. Rail passes are generally valid on these services. Specific S-Bahn lines are abbreviated with ‘S’ followed by the number (eg S1, S7). [lonely planet]

Taxi – Taxis are expensive and, given the excellent public-transport systems, not recommended unless you’re in a real hurry. (They can actually be slower than trains or trams if you’re stuck in traffic.) Cabs are metered and charged at a base rate (flag fall) plus a per-kilometre fee. These charges are fixed but vary from city to city. [lonely planet]

U-Bahn – Underground (subway) trains are known as U-Bahn in Germany and are the fastest form of travel in big cities. Route maps are posted in all stations, and at many you’ll be able to pick up a printed copy from the stationmaster or ticket office. The frequency of trains usually fluctuates with demand, meaning there are more trains during commuter rush hours than in the middle of the day. [lonely planet]

Professional Groups & Events

Professional Groups & Events

Agile Munich – “Agile Munich” is  formed as a community of practice for all agile practitioners to meet, exchange experiences, evangelise, learn, and network. As such, it’s also a local user group endorsed by Scrum Alliance and registered with Agile Alliance. [meetup]

Berlin Architecture & Construction Professionals Meetup – Exchange and networking, regardless of the specific field of work: the main table for architects, technicians, interior designers, craftsmen, engineers and all others involved in planning and building. Meet nice people who share the branche with you and perhaps other interests. [meetup]

Berlin Asian Professionals Meetup – This group is aimed to the young Vietnamese, who are living/studying/working in Berlin. Let us come together for networking, gossipping ;), cooking or singing together etc. [meetup]

Berlin Bodywork Professionals Meetup – This meetup is meant as a exchange group for people who are professionals in the field of bodywork. [meetup]

Big Data Frankfurt – An upcoming regular event for people interested in Big Data, whether you are professionals in the field, enthusiasts, or students looking to build your career in that direction. We’ll host interesting talks from industry experts, a focus on both business and technical aspects of big data, and plenty of time for networking! [meetup]

Frankfurt Analytics – Frankfurt Analytics meetup is a group for aspiring and experienced data scientists interested in shaping next generation analytics applications. [meetup]

Frankfurt AWS User-Group – Frankfurt chapter of Amazon Web Services User Group. [meetup]

GDG Munich Android – This is Munich’s Google Developer Group (GDG) focused on Android development. We organize events with talks and discussions about various topics around Android technology. Let us know if you have something to share, we are always looking for speakers! [meetup]

Software Craftsmanship Meetup – We are the Munich local group of German Software Craftsmanship Community Softwerkskammer founded in 2011. We facilitate the exchange about Software Craftsmanship and all the related topics like Test Driven Development, Clean Code. It is a place for anyone who develops software with passion and wants to meet, share insights, exchange experiences and learn together. [meetup]

ThoughtWorks Hamburg – We are a software company and a community of passionate, purpose-led individuals. We think disruptively to deliver technology to address our clients’ toughest challenges, all while seeking to revolutionize the IT industry and create positive social change. [meetup]

Language Exchange

Language Exchange

Berlin Expat Tennis Gathering – We are a group of expats in Berlin and meet up for social/competitive tennis. No matter if you are expats new to Berlin or ein echt Berliner, all are welcome to this group. [meetup]

Berlin Germany – A Group for Expats and Germans living in Berlin, who want to find and make friends, Party, Events, Help about German Culture and Language, Help for new arrivals in town to find work, schools, good outings, food…etc. [meetup]

Canadians in Berlin Meetup – Canada is cold, but sexy — and there’s no better way to meet other cool Canadians than through this Canadians in Berlin Meetup. [meetup]

Darmstadt English Speakers Meetup – This is a group for English speakers, English expats and anybody else who wants to come along. We are a friendly group who like to chat 😉 [meetup]

English-German-Stammtisch Frankfurt – Dear all. this group is best for all people who like to meet other people to improve their foreign language skills basically in English and German but also in any other language on this earth and beyond if you know someone ; ) [meetup]

English speak meetup in Munich! – Let’s meet in a local restaurant and share some stories, food, and drink. [meetup]

Expats Hamburg – This group is for any expat or local wanna blend in. All language levels are welcome. We come here to make friends! [meetup]

Expats in Mainz – Whether you are a new resident hoping to establish roots, a traveler looking to explore a city or a long standing community member willing to share and discuss resources discovered along the way, this group has members of all nationalities on a path not so different from yours, who are willing to both learn and share. [meetup]

Internationals in München – You are part of this treasures: whether you are an expat, or a local or a local expat 😉 you share this wish to discover more of your city! So let’s organize many events, activities, casual meetup and more (all ideas welcome!)… [meetup]

The Expats Club of Munich (GERMANS welcome!) – This is a group for expats and internationally minded expats in Munich. As an expat you leave your social and professional networks behind and have to rebuild them from scratch. As an internationally minded local you also want to engage and interact with other internationally minded people and with expats. Join us to meet such like minded people and make new friends. [meetup]

LGBT Groups

LGBT Groups

Berlin Gay Outdoors Meetup – “This is a LGBT group for anyone interested in hiking, rock climbing, camping, kayaking, bouldering, and the occasional indoor sports and social activities. All skills levels are welcome. ” [meetup]

Berlin LGBT Social Beers – The purpose of this group is to provide an opportunity for LGBT folks to get together to drink beer and have fellowship with other like-minded individuals. [meetup]

Capital Gays – Berlin – Do you live in Berlin or just passing through?  Have you been looking for an opportunity to hang out, have a few drinks and a wicked laugh (or two) ?  Look no more, your bar stool is waiting! [meetup]

Frankfurt Queer Women – This is an English-speaking social group for LGBTQ-identified women in Frankfurt am Main, focused on making new friends and exploring new venues in the city. Future events might include pub nights, barbecues, attending festivals, and coffee meetups. If there’s a bar, a club night, or any other event you’d like to organize/go to, let us know! All who identify as queer women are welcome! [meetup]

Hamburg Gay Mates – We are a fun and relaxed bunch of LGBTQI*-people. You are welcome to join, regardless of sexuality (within the LGBTQI*-community) or gender. This group plans to organise social meetups: nights out, museum visits, cinema trips, eating out, exploring Hamburg and its surrounding area. [meetup]

Hamburg LGBT & friends – This is a group for everybody who is a part of the LGBT community. I wannado so many things like Party, Clubbing, Game Nights, Musical, Theatre, Opera, Cinema, …. but some I don’t do on my own and some would be just more fun with others. If you think alike you should join my group. I guess we’ll have fun. Looking forward to seeing you soon. [meetup]

LGBT Social Meetup – Absolutely no discrimination will be tolerated. Have fun cycling, drinks and general LGBTQIA social meet up. [meetup]

Resources

Resources

Places in Germany

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