Germany is one of the most popular destinations in the world. People from the rest of Europe, Asia, Africa, and even North America regularly move to the country and make it their home. Sadly, many people don’t know what to expect when they are planning on moving to Germany.

In this article, we’ll go over some of the most important things ex-pats wished they knew before they made the trip. If you’re planning on making the move yourself, then you’ll absolutely find this list helpful, so read on!

#1 Knowing German is Very Important

If you’ve come from an English-speaking country, you’re used to people knowing how to speak English fairly regularly. Sadly, though, being a tourist isn’t the same thing as living in a country, and when you do, you’ll soon learn that knowing German is vital for survival. Not only do most older people in the country not know English, but you’ll also need German for a lot of your paperwork.

Don’t fret though, despite its reputation, German is a relatively easy language to learn, especially if you live in the country. Start by learning the basics before you move, and you’ll quickly catch up.

#2 Germany is Still a Cash-based Society

Despite Germany being home to many advanced, world-leading industries and the country being one of the pre-eminent advanced economies in the world, the country is still surprisingly cash-based, and this isn’t just rural places as well. You’ll sometimes even fail to be able to pay with a card or phone in local shops in Berlin. This can be quite inconvenient if you’ve come from relatively cashless societies.

To be safe, you should always have some cash on you. This can be a bit annoying to get used to, but after a while, it’ll become second nature. Just know what you’re in for before you visit the country.

#3 Life Comes to a Stand Still on Sundays

The EU has very strict work regulations, and one of those is holidays on Sunday. Almost the entire country comes to a standstill on that day: supermarket chains are closed, banks are closed, and liquor stores are closed. Whatever you’re thinking about, it is likely closed on Sundays. This is very different from places outside the EU, where you can find almost anything on Sundays.

So, when you move to Germany, you need to quickly learn how to plan everything around Sundays. You can’t delegate everything on Sundays like in the United States. While this can be inconvenient at first, with a bit of planning, you should be able to manage.

#4 Learn What Paperwork You need

Depending on where you are from, the process of moving to Germany can be very different. If you are from the United States, you shouldn’t look at a French citizen and how they moved to Germany because France and Germany are both parts of the EU. We recently saw this with people moving from the UK to Germany where the process changed substantially after Brexit.

If you are looking to move to Germany, you need to know the process beforehand. You’ll thank yourself later, trust us!