Better known as the financial heartbeat, one of the largest cities in Germany and has one of the busiest airports in the world that caters for up to 56 million passengers every year Frankfurt is quite the attraction for tourists.
Like any other tourist destination, when visiting Frankfurt, it is important to know what to expect and most importantly what is expected of you.
As much as you are here for leisure and you will probably not be meeting up with anyone, it is still very important to note that people in not only Frankfurt but the larger Germany are very time conscious. In this city, time conscious means showing up for a social meeting on the dot or at least 15 minutes early. For business meetings, people tend to show up a little earlier, and it is important that you stick to the time as well.
There are a handful of laws that are disregarded in Frankfurt, but in general, the people here are very law-abiding and polite. Other than polishing up on your patience, you will also need to learn a couple of words like;
“Danke” – Thank you
“Hallo” – Hello
“Bitte” – Please and You are welcome
“Tschüß or Ciao” – Bye (you can use the Italian word in an informal setting)
“Prost” – Cheers
“Guten Appetit” – Bon Appetit (commonly used before every meal)
There is no question that these words are going to be hard to pronounce but, your effort will be highly appreciated which counts for something.
It’s Not a 24-hour Economy Down There
Don’t expect to come out from your nightspot at 1 am in the morning and walk into a convenience store to grab a snack. Most stores are closed on Sundays and will typically close earlier on Saturdays and on weekdays most of the places will be closed as early as 10 pm. You have to make sure that you do your shopping in time.
In Frankfurt, tipping is not entirely optional but, it is less than you would tip in America. Typically, your bill is rounded off to the nearest Euro in the receipt, and that is your tip. If you have a bill of between €25 to €30, then the tip rate is an extra €1. The percentage of tipping rarely ever goes past 15% of your bill.
Smoking in Public Areas
You might have heard there are new laws in Frankfurt and Germany that prohibit people from smoking in public areas like bars but, don’t go asking someone to put of their cigarette because they are polluting the air. Those laws have been largely disregarded and asking someone to put off their smoke can get them agitated because there, it is common to light up a cigarette in a bar. It’s best to get used to it.
The German Beer
Germany is a beer-loving nation and the same applies to Frankfurt. It is perfectly fine to take your beer in public and don’t be surprised to see workers taking down a cold beer during breaks. It is perfectly normal. You will be spoilt for choice and it might take some time before you find your preferred blend but, you will have plenty of options to choose from.
There are plenty of things that are done differently in Frankfurt. One last one is to remember to wait until the lights turn green before you start crossing the road. It is going to take a bit of patience, but it will save you from the judgmental looks and the disgruntled nods.