Most/least friendly areas of Germany

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One probably shouldn't make sweeping generalisations about the entire population of any country, but here goes - in my experience the Germans in towns, trains and supermarkets are quite reserved with strangers (and some of the more teutonic-looking ones don't give off a particularly friendly vibe) but most people are very friendly and helpful once you start talking to them. Even the ones in socks and sandals are mostly ok.

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Even the ones in socks and sandals are mostly ok.

Why wouldn't they be? As long as they are not wearing socks and military boots it should be OK.

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When i visit Germany i like to visit the small corner pubs ,to hopefully interact with the locals. However i wont impose myself . They usually recognise my rusty german and i answer as fully as possible and a bit of good humour. On a recent visit to Berlin, Mitte area near natur Kunde museum .One elderly local delighted in telling me i was too fat, i deflected it telling him i was enjoying the good life and i had a good night in there. Loved the NCIS poster on toilet door and the chalk outline of a dead body...will visit there again

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I found Leipzig very friendly when I stayed there. Very easy to make friends, lively, arty, lots of music, whether bands or classical, low cost of living, pretty much stress free.

I found Berlin hit and miss but full of interesting looking people and as it's so enormous you can't expect spontaneous friendship in a city like that. It's very friendly to Americans.

I flew a few times from Dusseldorf and killed quite a few afternoons there and found it pretty friendly also.

Not so friendly would be places that are the big, hard working business centres like Hamburg, Cologne, Munich and Frankfurt where people are more stressed and busy and keep themselves to themselves much more.

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I've lived in Germany for about 8 years, mostly in Frankfurt and I can say that locals are indeed very friendly, but I've encountered some that are tricky to deal with. For doing business, Frankfurt could indeed be tricky. Some people here seem to look into the smallest detail and generally feels tense as I have to calculate my every possible step to avoid getting myself in a situation where the other party finding something fairly insignificant to bother me with. Nice people I've encountered pretty much everywhere in Germany, which is amazing. The nicest, probably in Cologne, very relaxing to do business with, kind, friendly and flexible. Bavaria is a mixed bag - from the greatest experiences with Germans ever in Munich to inflexible in Nuremberg especially, Bamberg and close to the Austrian border and on the opposite in Salzburg, Austria. Essen, Dortmund are not the friendliest, nor most flexible. Berlin - always good experiences, not great, but good.

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Which Frankfurt was that?

..

I did many different jobs in different places. Met some very nice people but a lot of thoroughly nasty ones. That is probably the same anywhere else.

 

I experienced great friendliness in Colditz, I was invited to tea. Unlike the PoWs who were incarcerated there in ww2.

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One thing I've discovered is that the Hamburgers reputation for keeping a distance with strangers is pretty much true. You never see spontaneous conversations at bus stops. In fact some seem to react with shock if someone starts talking.  (Actually pretty much ideal for Corona social distancing!)  The only way of getting to know people,outside of work, is through clubs or organisations or frequenting the same cafe over a period. When confronted with this, Hamburgers stock reply is that once you know one, then you have a friend for life!. They then go onto explain that Rhinelanders jolly cheerfulness and wanting to be mates is all superficial!  To some extent this keeping a distance, also called 'sturheid',  is also a North German thing.   

 

I will say I have encountered scarcely any racism in Hamburg. This may be because being a large port, they are used to foreigners of all types.  Even though many of the seamans hostels have been replaced by third world refugees, they are very accomodating towards refugees.  The distant behaviour is not specifically directed to foreigners, they are the same with other Germans. 

 

I would also say the Rheinlanders reputation as being out-going is largely true. It may have something to do with Carneval. Obviously if you land in a small village cafe for the first time, you will be viewed with a certain amount of suspicion, as you would elsewhere around the world, but in the towns and cities its easy to make contact with locals. Cologne, inside or outside of Carneval, especially.  

 

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"The German is a troublesome fellow. Without warning he whips a book from his pocket and [tries to] start a discussion about philosophy".

 

After Heinrich Heine

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On 21/07/2021, 14:52:32, SStefano said:

Berlin - always good experiences, not great, but good.

 

You can't have visited for long if you didn't experience Schnauze! It's certainly part of the authentic Berlin experience :lol: 

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3 hours ago, john_b said:

 

You can't have visited for long if you didn't experience Schnauze! It's certainly part of the authentic Berlin experience :lol: 

 

What is the Berliner Schnauze? Is it being loud and opinionated? 

I haven't lived in Berlin, but have visited frequently and my impression is that they have a good sense of humour (by German standards!).  They remind me a bit of cockneys. 

Obviously I understand that like lots of capital cities, it has attracted all sorts of people of many origins, so I'm referring to authentic Berliners born and bred. 

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Actually there are parts of Berlin these days where you will hear English, Spanish & Italian rather than German on the street, let alone Berliner Schnauze which is highly sarcastic and pretty much downright rude if you find yourself on the receiving end. I've always thought it more resembles an aggressive NY attitude rather than a chirpy cockney twang, but you can come across loud and opinionated locals most everywhere.

 

https://needleberlin.com/2014/04/26/the-rise-and-fall-of-berliner-schnauze/

 

 

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33 minutes ago, john_b said:

Actually there are parts of Berlin these days where you will hear English, Spanish & Italian rather than German on the street, let alone Berliner Schnauze which is highly sarcastic and pretty much downright rude if you find yourself on the receiving end. I've always thought it more resembles an aggressive NY attitude rather than a chirpy cockney twang, but you can come across loud and opinionated locals most everywhere.

 

https://needleberlin.com/2014/04/26/the-rise-and-fall-of-berliner-schnauze/

 

 

Interesting article.  And I learned about NY "sass" as well. 

 

I expect I'd be on the receiving end should  I choose not to give any Trinkgeld! 

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1 hour ago, john_b said:

Actually there are parts of Berlin these days where you will hear English, Spanish & Italian rather than German on the street, let alone Berliner Schnauze which is highly sarcastic and pretty much downright rude if you find yourself on the receiving end. I've always thought it more resembles an aggressive NY attitude rather than a chirpy cockney twang, but you can come across loud and opinionated locals most everywhere.

 

https://needleberlin.com/2014/04/26/the-rise-and-fall-of-berliner-schnauze/

 

1 hour ago, john_b said:

 

 

Very interesting! As is the link to the pyschological study about  different senses of humour and the funniest joke in the world!

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2002/oct/03/3?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487

 

 

And, of course, Monty Python fans will remember the funniest joke in the world!

https://youtu.be/FBWr1KtnRcI

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