Berlin Business Tips

(Berlin, Germany)

Berlin Business TipsGermany is home to one of the world's leading economies, exporting many goods throughout the world, including cars, aeroplanes, metals and machine tools. Berlin, being the capital city of a unified Germany, is responsible for much of the country's wealth and after the Berlin Wall was demolished in 1989, over 14,000 enterprises, ranging from the smallest corner shops to the largest manufacturers were privatised and foreign investment was encouraged. This has all resulted in a healthy and prosperous city.

Greeting Someone

In Germany a brief and friendly handshake is usually the customary greeting, and even possibly a hug or kiss on the cheek amongst young people. When addressing someone, work colleagues usually prefix names or professional titles wither either 'Herr' or 'Frau', even if they have known each other for many years. For business meetings, suits are normally worn by both men and women, and more casual attire is quite acceptable when not in the office, although some restaurants may request a more formal dress code.

Hours of Business

In general, most offices will operate between the hours of 08:00 and 18:00 weekdays, often closing on Friday at 14:00, although business hours do vary from one industry to another. Banks are usually open from 08:30 to 16:00 during the week and many stay open until 18:00 on Thursday. At airports and main train stations, banks have longer hours, opening from around 06:30 to 22.30.

In Berlin, shops tend to be open between 09:00 until 18:00, but on Thursday and Friday generally stay open later until 20:00. Department stores often stay open until 20:00 every weekday, on Saturday between 09:30 to 16:00 and some also open for three hours on Sunday. Opening hours are often extended at Christmas time and also on 'Langer Samstag', the first Saturday of the month, when some shops stay open until 18:00.

Currency Exchange

There are many opportunities to exchange currency in Berlin and the best places include banks, airports, most major department stores and even at the Bahnhof Zoo. Although hotels and travel agencies may offer bureau de change services, using an ATM to obtain cash provides a more favourable rate of exchange. Two of the largest banks in Germany are Deutsche Bank and Dresdner Bank.

Embassies and Consulates

Open weekdays from 09:00 to 13:00 and 14:00 to 17:00

Internet Access

Probably one of the easiest ways to access the Internet in the city is to use one of Berlin's many Internet cafés. One of the city's largest Internet cafés is called Website on Joachimstaler Strasse near Bahnhof Zoologischer Garten. This café has over 30 computers that can be rented at a small charge per hour.


A drugstore in Germany is known as an 'Apotheke'. There are many in the city centre and outside normal opening hours, a sign in the window will give details of those that remain open until late. Most are normally open Monday to Friday between 09:00 to 20:00 and Saturday from 09:00 to 16:00.