German in Germany

Asking for the Time

A golden clock on the outside of a tower

In Germany, the 24-hour clock is used in all situations. Operating hours for basic stores and institutions are as follows: bakeries are open from 6:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., with a mid-day break from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.; supermarkets are open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on weekdays, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays, and are closed on Sundays; shops open between 8:00-10:00 a.m. and close between 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.; elementary schools run from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.; high schools open at 8:00 a.m. to some time between 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. Punctuality is very important in Germany even in social situations. Even for informal gatherings, guests are expected to arrive on time.

Sunday is the day devoted to rest and relaxation. On Sunday, it is not acceptable to create any kind of outside noise, which precludes the use of a lawnmower or electric yard equipment.