Most/least friendly areas of Germany

114 posts in this topic

 

I think that there are a lot of towns in eastern Germany where an american restaurant would be welcomed. many of these places have few restaurants and you would not face much competition. A touristed area such as Wittenberg would be a good coice. I would also look at Dresden and Leipzig. Or how about Görlitz? Tourism plus right across the border from Poland.

 

Sorry, I'm locked out of editing and forgot to quote you. I live in Dresden, and I would not recommend it, especially due to the fact of rampant Anti-Americanism existing here, and also during the yearly Nazi march. The nazis are very anti-American, and the people of Dresden still believe they were victims of American aggression during WWII, rather than willing participants in Nazism. Due to this, it's not uncommon to see "Death To America" graffiti throughout the city.

 

Leipzig is back and forth. One has to research there, and choose to go in the face of their increasing threat of racial violence, as well as a now-international reputation for random violence.

 

I spoke of Goerlitz. Most of the German side is an absolute dump. They made the border area look beautiful and impressive, but in a radius around the train station, it's literally a ghost town, with blocks and streets of empty, abandoned stores. One doesn't need to look to far to see there is clashing there between the nazis that live there and openly preach, as well as spray their propaganda on walls, and anti-nazi protesters who try to advertise protests against them. I have some pictures from my visits there. Overall, Gorlitz is a dump, with some minor ok blocks, but it's not a great place to live, nor have a stable business, and it's miles away from anything in Germany.

 

Hell, if someone was going that far east, I'd recommend Bad Schandau and in the surrounding areas of the Saechsiche Schweiz. It's heavily traveled by tourists from within Germany and the surrounding areas, and on the Czech border. I'm sure a rock climbing, mountain biking, kayaking, or hiker theme to some of the restaurant selection can really work there. plus there's train travel direct from both sides of the border. It's a fairly prime location about :40-1:00 from Dresden.

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Berlin would be my guess. Hamburg perhaps?

 

Everywhere you go you will have to a certain extent people barking at your over bullshit. Not once have I heard "Scheissausländer" or some of the other stuff that people have written on TT.

 

But then again I'm a 6'2" skinny-ass white kid with blue eyes. :P

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Short answer -- > Rural and/or depressed = unfriendly, closed minded, scary. Urban and/or thriving = friendly, more tolerant, not so scary. It's also a gradient from East to West (not friendly to friendly, obv.). So anywhere in the former DDR for any foreigner is a bad idea; any rural area in any part of reunified Germany if you're not white or an Asian tourist is also a bad idea. Also stay away from Berlin's Marzahn if you're not white. It's all very sad.

 

The friendly/unfriendly factor goes hand-in-hand with the tolerant/intolerant factor -- so Germany (and probably most other large European countries) are kind of like the USA, Canada and Australia: the residents of larger cities or areas with more exposure tend to be generally "friendlier" and also less likely to feel threatened by the presence of foreigners. Economically depressed and/or rural areas in Germany, like in the USA, are more likely to have the unfriendly/threatened/xenophobic residents.

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If you want some old fashioned fun and games then head got Cottbus or Frankfurt an der Oder.

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Short answer -- > Rural and/or depressed = unfriendly, closed minded, scary. Urban and/or thriving = friendly, more tolerant, not so scary. It's also a gradient from East to West (not friendly to friendly, obv.). So anywhere in the former DDR for any foreigner is a bad idea; any rural area in any part of reunified Germany if you're not white or an Asian tourist is also a bad idea. Also stay away from Berlin's Marzahn if you're not white. It's all very sad.

 

The friendly/unfriendly factor goes hand-in-hand with the tolerant/intolerant factor -- so Germany (and probably most other large European countries) are kind of like the USA, Canada and Australia: the residents of larger cities or areas with more exposure tend to be generally "friendlier" and also less likely to feel threatened by the presence of foreigners. Economically depressed and/or rural areas in Germany, like in the USA, are more likely to have the unfriendly/threatened/xenophobic residents.

 

What a total crock of prejudice, myopia, and ignorant generalizations..

 

So what, downtown or side-alley Hamburg or Frankfurt are automatically safer than Erfurt or Schwerin?? I know I'd sure as hell rather be lost in the middle of the night in the latter than the former..

 

THE nicest people I've ever met in Germany were from Eisenach.. The shadiest probably in Hamburg..

 

I guess all this multi-culti, big city friendliness applies to places like Marseilles and Barcelona too... :rolleyes: :rolleyes: Those places are chock-full of North Africans just waiting with friendly smiles and good intentions for the likes of me...

 

But seriously, gotta call that out.. I made the very conscious choice to live in East Germany precisely because the people are friendlier.. - FAR friendlier than in the West..(here I find myself, not for the first time, second-guessing myself in saying this - I don't want anymore people coming here - it'll just make the East like the West.. And that would really be a shame...)

 

Sorry, but those are really some bunk generalizations...

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The best place for a restaurant, especially a BBQ is Frankfurt. Full of friendly people who are from all over the world, you can't go wrong here. We are just about the most diverse city of all in Germany and it is what makes this city so interesting and fun. There aren't over whelming pockets of any one country here which I find a huge plus, simply a mix of cultures from eveywhere. Native English speakers make up 2 % of the population, and Wiesbaden Airbase is close-by as is Heidelberg and Mannheim if you are looking for American customers. The consulate employs a ton of people too. The Trade fairs bring in a good portion of big business for restaurants and I speak from experience here.

 

Neo Nazis don't stand a chance walking down the street in Frankfurt, they would get the crap beat out of them. Gotta love it!

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Rural doesn't necessarily mean anti-Ausländer. I find locals' attitudes brighten if one attempts to speak a little German. Least friendly experience...probably the controller who busted me for Schwarzfahren in Frankfurt for going one stop too far on a Kurztrecke.

 

Innsbruck and surrounding valleys in Austria were very friendly, though their dialects were unintelligible. Never had problems there.

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Thanks for all your comments, everyone. :) I'm just trying to get a general sense of your experiences with the Germans and Austrians. (Trek11000, that was great info in your posts!)

 

While there are of course other factors to consider regarding the restaurant location, but it's very important to me personally that I not pull up stakes and move to a place that's going to be a constant, neverending uphill battle for acceptance.

 

Besides, I'm not as sold on Germany/Austria as one of my partners. I'm still looking at other places, esp. The Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries.

 

Thanks again!

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I love it here and people are always nice to us. We live out in the Western Part of Germany in the country/hills.

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I live right here in Dresden, the East (ost) of germany. Ya right it is all Nazi and racist. I work in a company here with Chinese, black, italian, etc, coworkers. My friend from Canada and the US have been here, taken the transit late at night, and alone with no issues. ME TOO, but I am white.

 

Go to some of the villages and they are pretty friends also. Like anywhere you have cunt faces that speak bullshit and no clue what they are talking about. East if anything has problems with black people more so that they are not as common. There is a lot here though and we are talking about the small minded people with no exposure and who have not been outside a 100KM radius of their village. I kid you not that these people are around. There is many blacks also left over from communist times out of places like Cuba.

 

Learn your history before you spout off!

 

Anyways bigger cities like Berlin I have seen more shady shit that here. Yes I also lived there. However over Canada and Toronto things are a lot more safe. I have yet to see a fight here, Guns shot, or drug deals. Yes it happens but far more rarely and overall people are a lot closer to being humans than resource sucking pigs that have not clue on what it is to be human.

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I've been in Munich for nearly 2 months now, so far my experience is positive.. the people are friendly and polite, not only my neighbors and people at work, but also random people in the road, at shops, and cafes... but for some reason... i always get that strange look from old ladies in the underground... I'm not sure if that's a look of disgust, fear, or if I'm just imagining and that's just their usual expression...

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"Short answer -- > Rural and/or depressed = unfriendly, closed minded, scary."

 

I don't know about Germany as a whole, but in my experience this is nonsense. The small town at the edge of the Teutoburger Wald where I live is much friendlier than Kleve where I used to live and that wasn't so bad in general. Here, even teenagers usually will say "moin" or other greeting to older passersby on the sidewalk. Clerks in stores are typically friendlier everywhere than they were when I arrived in '98. Like when New Yorkers move to California, they seem to be changing.

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I have worked in West, South and East Germany. BY FAR the most unfriendly area towards foreigners is the east. Cities like Leipzig and Dresden are OK as long as you stick to the nice areas or you work somewhere civilized. Otherwise avoid the former east, especially the rural areas where the people are mostly extremely narrow minded and provincial. I briefly lived in a WG in Leipzig with a bunch of guys from small town Thuringia, every other swear word was the "n-word", their "Weltanschauung" was EXTREMELY narrow. Most of their friends wouldn't talk to west Germans, especially Bavarians whom for some reason they had a huge chip on their shoulder about, let alone English people. Well I got the fuck out of that WG fast. The most friendly and tolerant places in Germany IMHO are the big international towns like Hamburg, Cologne, Frankfurt, Munich and Berlin.

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The former east is generally horrible and east Germans are mostly rude, intolerant people with chips on their shoulders about everything and everyone. Alot of the East Germans I have met have been lazy, unappreciative, undynamic, rude and narrow minded. This is partly a legacy of communism, where everyone was given a job and a flat and told what to do and relied on the state for everything. The GDR was also a country that was closed off to the world, so maybe it isn't surprising that East Germans find foreigners so difficult. Compared with west Germans, the new generation of Ossis mostly has no self initiative. I suppose if your parents grew up and lived in a totalitarian shithole and were thrown on the scrapheap as soon as the wall came down, that's bound to have a negative effect though.

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I have to agree with Bohemka and Cuznbob about Rheinland Pfalz being pretty friendly.

 

We lived between Darmstadt and Aschaffenburg for a year and didn't make one new friend. In the 5 months we've been in Bacharach we have made more friends than we can fit into our lounge at any one time. We are regularly invited to wine-tastings, dinner parties and the like, invariably walking home in a not-so-straight line afterwards.

 

We have tried to figure out if we have done anything different, but have come to the conclusion that the people here are just very chilled and approachable. Especially the transition from "Sie" to "Du" is sehr schnell and painless.

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The former east is generally horrible and east Germans are mostly rude, intolerant people with chips on their shoulders about everything and everyone. Alot of the East Germans I have met have been lazy, unappreciative, undynamic, rude and narrow minded. This is partly a legacy of communism, where everyone was given a job and a flat and told what to do and relied on the state for everything. The GDR was also a country that was closed off to the world, so maybe it isn't surprising that East Germans find foreigners so difficult. Compared with west Germans, the new generation of Ossis mostly has no self initiative. I suppose if your parents grew up and lived in a totalitarian shithole and were thrown on the scrapheap as soon as the wall came down, that's bound to have a negative effect though.

 

Now that is generalising. I have lived in Germany for nearly 20 years, have travelled through most of the eastern part of Germany. I work with East Germans today in Munich and worked with East Germans in Berlin 15 years ago. I was invited to their homes, given presents and kept getting emails from my working colleagues still years after I left. I have visited Rügen, Darß, MeckPom, Halle, Chemnitz, Leipzig and Dresden, always on holiday. I agree with you that there is a lot of resentment towards foreigners, racism, but not more so than in West Berlin for example where I lived for more than 10 years. Most young East Germans had to give up their home town to look elsewhere for work, you will find them living and working all over the world, not just in the western part of Germany. You call that narrow-minded? I have met many West Germans who are not willing to leave their home town to work anywhere else. And btw, I can say this after having been physically attacked, female, pretty pale arsed, in the eastern part of Germany by an Ossi (I spoke English, naughty me). I still don't think they are more racist than in the western part of Germany.

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In the month I've been here in Stuttgart, I've encountered nothing but very friendly people. Disappointingly, I haven't yet even found any staring Germans on the train, battle grannies, rude sales clerks, or people who run into me with their shopping carts in Kaufland. :D

 

Kidding aside, some of the nicest people I've ever met in my life have been right here. This is the first time ever that I've received housewarming gifts from neighbors/landlords (and that includes living in many different places in Ohio, Miami, and NYC). Everyone whom I've spoken to have been helpful and pleasant, be it bank staff, shop assistants, cashiers, waitstaff, etc. Then again, I live not too far from the Army barracks here, so it's not uncommon for people to see/hear Americans and spoken English. (as a side note, the last two times my boyfriend and I dined out in Vaihingen, we were surrounded by several different tables of Americans).

 

Sarabyrd and a few other posters have summed it up well, though. There are jerks everywhere on this planet, no matter where you live. The absolute worst people I've ever encountered, as far as being rude, narrow-minded, insular xenophobes, were born and bred right in my little area of semi-rural Ohio. People there not only hated "foreigners", they branched out to include "liberals" (i.e. anyone from a large American city), people of different religions, no religion, etc. Then again there was a large enclave of skinheads there, so I guess not a lot is to be expected of the area...

 

Miami was also not a friendly place to live, as there were a lot of integration problems between the three main nationalities there (Cubans, Haitians, and Americans). Overall Stuttgart may be the friendliest, and so far by the looks of it, one of the safest, place I've ever lived.

 

And no, I'm not just saying all of this because I want some good BBQ... ;)

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