98 oddities and curiosities about Germany that you probably didn't know | CBS (2023)

You might know Germany as a country that loves beer and sausages, but it's also a very interesting, vibrant place full of history.

Don't worry if you're an international student who doesn't know much about the country, these facts about Germany will help you get to know the country a lot better before moving here. Even if you've lived in Germany for a long time, we're sure there are some facts here that you didn't know before!

We cover basic information about the country and all the facts about Germany that you, as an international student, should know before moving. We will also include some cool and interesting facts that will surprise you!

Here are some of our favorite facts about Germany that we think everyone should know!

Where is Germany?

Located in the center of Europe, Germany shares borders with many neighboring countries, including Denmark, the Netherlands, Poland and the Czech Republic. On the map below you can see where Germany is.

98 oddities and curiosities about Germany that you probably didn't know | CBS (1)

How many inhabitants does Germany have?

Germany's population is 83.02 million (2019), making it the third largest in Europe.

Here is the population of some other European countries for comparison:

  • France - 67.06 million (fourth largest)

  • United Kingdom - 66.65 million (5th largest)

  • Spain - 46.94 million (7th highest)

  • Netherlands - 17.28 million (12th largest)

What is the capital of Germany?

The capital of Germany is Berlin, located in the northeast of the country.

Berlin has 3.645 million inhabitants and is a very popular destination for expats and international students.

Discover our campus in Potsdam, which is just half an hour from Berlin.

How big is Germany?

With an area of ​​357,386 km², Germany is the seventh largest country in Europe.

Here is the area of ​​some other European countries, for comparison:

  • France - 551,695 km² (3rd largest)

  • United Kingdom: 242,495 km² (11th largest)

  • Spain - 498,511 km² (fourth largest)

  • Netherlands - 41,198 km² (32nd largest)

What is the currency in Germany?

Germany's currency is the euro, which we have used since 2002. Before that, we used the German mark as our currency.

When did Germany become a state?

This is a rather complicated question, to which there are 3 answers:

  • 2 February 962 AD: The date Germany was first recognized as a region

  • January 18, 1871 - the date when Germany became a unified state

  • October 3, 1990 – Date of the merger of East and West Germany to form the present-day Federal Republic of Germany

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How many people move to Germany every year?

Germany is the second most popular destination for expats worldwide. In 2019, 1,558,612 people moved to Germany, including around 400,000 students. on CBS,around 20% of our students are international students from all over the world.

Take a look at our international focus and teaching in English.bachelorjdiplomatCourses here!

A total of 13 million immigrants live in Germany, mainly from Turkey, Poland and Italy.

Many people are drawn to Germany because of our strong economy and our well-developed education system.

Here you can find out more about your chances and opportunities to work in Germany after your studies!

Germany is worth seeing for international students

Facts about German food and drink

  • In Germany there are 1,500 different types of beer, 300 types of bread and 1,000 types of sausage.

  • In the Free State of Bavaria, beer is considered food!

  • Germany hosts the biggest beer festival in the world, Oktoberfest in Munich, where the standard glass of beer is a full liter!

  • If you want to order 1 beer in Germany, show your thumb, and for 2 beers, show your index finger

  • More than 800 million currywurst are consumed in Germany every year. The snack is so popular that there is even a museum dedicated to it in Berlin.

  • Germany is Europe's second biggest consumer of beer: we typically drink around 2.55 billion gallons a year.

  • In Germany there are over 1,200 breweries producing over 5,000 German beers.

  • Most German main dishes include meat and sometimes fish; The most popular varieties are pork, beef or fish.

  • The best known German food exports are sauerkraut, sausages and pretzels (biscuits).

  • Haribo bakery runs a program where local children can exchange acorns for candy. Your acorns are then sent to wildlife sanctuaries to feed the animals.

Consult our diplomas

Consult our postgraduate courses

Facts about the German language

  • German is the third most taught language in the world.

  • German is the most common mother tongue in Europe and is the 11th most spoken language in the world.

  • There are 35 different dialects of the German language.

  • As there are so many different dialects in Germany, people can have a hard time understanding those from different regions - some regional films even need to be shown with subtitles!

  • Germans are very careful with their language, so most films with local actors are dubbed in German. this made dubbing a €115 million industry.

  • In the German language there are three genders - the third is "neutral"

  • German has a unique letter not used in any other language, ß, called "Eszett", which is pronounced like a double s.

  • German has many words that do not exist in other languages. For example, "shaming others" means being ashamed of another person and "wandering" means the feeling of wanting an affair.

  • German languages ​​share 60% of their vocabulary with English

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  • German is also the official language in Austria and Liechtenstein and one of the official languages ​​in Switzerland and Luxembourg.

Take a look at our tips to help you learn German quickly.

Facts about German football

  • The German word for football is "fussball".

  • Football has been played in Germany since 1974.

  • The German Football Association is called Deutscher Fußball-Bund or DFB

  • There are more football fan clubs in Germany than anywhere else in the world

  • Germany have lost only once in a penalty shootout in a major competition in 1976

  • Germany's highest league is called the Bundesliga and includes popular teams like Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.

  • The German national football team has won 4 World Cups, making it the second most successful combined nation in the tournament.

  • Germany also has a record 3 UEFA European Championships (shared with Spain) and won the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup

  • A popular football chant in Germany is "Ole, Ole, Ole, Super Deutschland, Ole", the German version of "Ole, Ole, Ole, we are the champions, Ole".

  • The women's national football team is also very successful, having won two FIFA Women's World Cups and a record 8 UEFA European Women's Championships.

Geographic data about Germany

  • One third of Germany is covered by forests and forests

  • You can find more than 2100 castles across the country.

  • Our capital, Berlin, is nine times the size of Paris and has more bridges than Venice.

  • There were many capital cities in Germany, including Aachen, Regensburg, Frankfurt am Main, Nuremberg, Weimar and Bonn, as well as the current capital Berlin.

  • The biggest train station in Europe is in Berlin

  • Germany consisted of many small kingdoms until they came together to form the German Empire in 1871.

  • Germans love to travel and spend more on vacations than any other nation.

  • The highest peak in Germany is the Zugspitze in Bavaria, which is 2,962 meters high.

  • Germany has a temperate climate all year round, in July the average temperature is just below 17 degrees and in January it can be -0.5 degrees

  • The highest temperature ever recorded in Germany was 42.6 degrees in Lingen in 2019.

Facts about Germany

  • 65% of autobahns in Germany have no speed limit and are called autobahns

  • Germany sells around 6 million cars a year, making it one of the largest car producers in the world.

  • The first printed book was in German and the first magazine was published in Germany in 1663.

  • We are a nation that loves books, publishing around 94,000 titles a year.

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  • Germany has more zoos than any other country, we have over 400

  • Fanta was made in Germany during World War II after Coca-Cola syrup was banned from being imported into the country.

  • After Tokyo, Munich is the second most punctual major airport in the world

  • Some of the world's most famous inventions were created in Germany: the light bulb, automatic calculators, automobiles, insulin, gasoline engines, jet engines, and the Walkman (to name a few!)

  • Germany is a highly cultural country with 6,200 museums, 820 theatres, 130 professional orchestras and 8,800 libraries.

  • As we offer so many cultural activities to people, it has been noticed that in Germany people go to exhibitions more than to football matches.

Facts about Germany

  • On a visit to Berlin, JFK famously said "Ich bin ein Berliner", which actually means "I am a jelly donut".

  • Donaudampfschifffahrtselektrisierthauptbetriebswerkbauunteramtengesellschaft is the longest published word: it has 79 letters!

  • The tradition of having a Christmas tree started in Germany.

  • Our Chancellor Angela Merkel created a Barbie doll after her

  • The narrowest street in the world can be found in the German city of Reutlingen, at its narrowest point it is just 31 cm wide.

  • Locally, we call the Chancellery a “washing machine”

  • Escaping from prison in Germany is not illegal because wanting to be free is a basic human instinct.

  • There are laws that determine how you can name your baby in Germany: The law prohibits names that do not indicate a gender or use a surname as a first name.

  • When children start studying in Germany, they receive a Schultüte, a gift bag that makes it easy to start a new serious life.

  • Although it is called Oktoberfest, the festival starts in September!

Facts about studying in Germany

  • Germany is the fifth most popular country for international students

  • In 2017, 91% of graduates were active in the job market.Find out about your opportunities in Germany after your studies

  • We have over 380 universities in Germany offering over 17,000 courses

  • The Times Higher Education named Germany the second cheapest country to study in Europe.Find out about the cost of living in Germany as an international student

  • Around 220 German universities offer English courses for German and international students.Learn more about our English coursesbachelorjdiplomatstudy programs

  • The average cost for an international student living in Germany is £7,113

  • In a BBC article, Germany was the best university to offer global education and support international students.

  • If you are an active student, Germany is the place for you, as outdoor activities are very popular, especially sports such as hiking, cycling and skiing.

  • The German school system is extremely well structured and produces some of the brightest students in the world.

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Facts about working in Germany

  • Germany has a very high employment rate: in 2016, more than half of people aged between 15 and 64 were employed (43.3 million people) and unemployment reached a record low of 4.2%.

  • Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) generate around 52% of economic output in Germany

  • Germany is the largest economy in the EU with a gross domestic product (GDP) of US$3.73 trillion, which is also the fourth largest in the world.

  • Germany is committed to sustainability and is a global leader in climate and energy policy: at least a third of Germany is supplied by renewable energy. Here at CBS we are a carbon neutral university.Learn more about sustainability and carbon neutrality on CBS

  • The average salary in Germany is €42,000 a year, the eleventh highest salary in Europe

  • Germany is home to a large number of expatriates, which has contributed to the steady increase in the employment rate over the last 12 years.

  • ¾ of the German workforce is employed in the service sector

  • We are a very hard-working country, but we actually work less than many other countries. In 2017, the average German worked an average of 1,356 hours in 2017

  • The biggest companies in Germany are Volkswagen, Daimler, Allianz, BMW and Siemens.

  • There are many career opportunities in Germany, the most in-demand jobs today are information technology, banking, telecommunications, engineering, marketing and construction.

Find out about job opportunities in Germany after graduation

Facts about Cologne

  • Cologne is the fourth largest city in Germany and has 1,108,000 million inhabitants; It is also one of the oldest cities in the country (it was founded by the Romans in 50!)

  • 99,000 students live in Cologne

  • Cologne Cathedral is the second largest sacred building in Germany and was built in 632 years

  • Cologne has an entire museum dedicated exclusively to chocolate!

  • In Cologne you will find more than 40 museums and 110 galleries.

  • Every year in July, Germany's biggest music fireworks display takes place in Cologne: it's called "Cologne Lights".

  • Kölsch is a beer produced in Cologne with a sweet and refreshing taste; The name is also protected by law, so only beers produced in Cologne can use the Kölsch name.

  • Europe's biggest Pride event takes place in Cologne every year the first weekend in July - over half a million people come to celebrate

  • The people of Cologne have their own language called Kölsch.

  • The city of Cologne, which was destroyed in World War II, was rebuilt in the 1950s using the same layout.

  • Cologne is the only German city where house numbers have four digits.

  • At the top of the Neumarkt Galerie is a very famous sculpture in Cologne - it is a 12 meter high ice cream cone, which is hard to miss when visiting!

Find out more about our Cologne campus with a wide range of English-speaking Bachelor's and Master's programs

More about student life in Cologne


We hope we have helped you to learn many new and interesting facts about Germany. Did any of these facts surprise you?

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If you want to know more or need more information about what you should know about Germany before moving here, visit our other pages atTips for living in Germany,what germany is known for, jWhy should you study in Germany?.

If all these facts have convinced you that Germany is the right place to study, you can take a look at the wide range of offers.diploma&Master-StudiumCourses we offer. Many of our courses are taught in English and we have over 70 nationalities on campus, so we're sure you'll feel right at home.

if you have any questionsBook an appointment with one of our friendly student advisorswho will be happy to help you,Visit one of our virtual information events.


What is the weirdest fact about Germany? ›

Germany Has Over 400 Zoos

Germany is home to 414 zoos! This means that the country of Germany has more zoos than the entire United States. The Berlin Zoolischer Garten is the oldest and largest zoo in Germany. It has the largest collection of animals in the world.

What are 10 interesting facts about Germany? ›

But for now, here are bits for you to chew on.
  • The largest train station in Europe is in Berlin.
  • Berlin is 9 times bigger than Paris.
  • There are more than 20,000 castles in Germany.
  • Germany is the EU's largest economy.
  • German is the third most widely taught language in the world.
  • The German language has 35 dialects.
Jul 2, 2022

What is a fun fact about Germany for kids? ›

Interesting Facts for Kids

Population: 84 million people live in Germany (2021). The majority of the people live in cities and towns. Capital: Berlin with 3.5 million inhabitants is not only Germany's capital city but also the biggest city. Literacy: More than 99% can read and write.

What is the weirdest thing in Germany? ›

18 Weird and Crazy Facts About Germany
  1. On the first day of first grade, every child gets a giant cone filled with toys and candy. ...
  2. Drinking alcohol in public is legal. ...
  3. College is free for everyone (even non-Germans) ...
  4. The government can (and will) reject weird baby names. ...
  5. Prostitution is legal. ...
  6. Everything is closed on Sundays.
Jan 13, 2015

What is the longest word in German? ›

The longest word in the standard German dictionary is Kraftfahrzeug-Haftpflichtversicherung – which is the word for motor vehicle liability insurance. But at 36 letters, it's rather puny. Rechtsschutzversicherungsgesellschaften, a touch longer at 39 letters, is the language's longest non-dictionary word.


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