Leisure: Enjoying in the heart of Europe

For many people in Germany, it is important to achieve a balance between work and leisure. Take advantage of your free time too to enjoy the vast choice of activities. Sports, culture or excursions – we’d like to introduce you to some of the leisure activities that are available in Germany.

Leisure: Enjoying in the heart of Europe

Outdoor activities

Outdoor activities

For many people in Germany, free time is necessarily spent outdoors – whatever the time of year. This is why there is never any lack of things to do. Of course, people in Germany love long, sunny summer days. That’s when nature-lovers really get their money’s worth – days on the beach in the North Sea and Baltic coastal regions, cycling and boating in the countryside of northern and eastern Germany with its meadows and rivers or rambles through the idyllic mountain scenery of the Alps are what many families choose to do with their free time at that time of year. Besides these activities, numerous lakes and open-air swimming pools, summer toboggan runs and rope courses also attract plenty of people on hot summer days.

In the winter, most people head to regions where there’s plenty of snow. That’s the skiing and snowboard season in the south of Germany and the regions with low mountains. However, even right outside your own front door, frozen lakes and snow-covered slopes offer great opportunities for ice-skating and sledging enthusiasts. Cold is no problem with a drink of hot tea, mulled wine, non-alcoholic punch or grog (a hot drink with rum). You’ll find the right equipment as well as warm, waterproof clothing in any large sports store.

Sport

Sport

There are bound to be sports activities to do somewhere near you too. Every large town has its own sports club. Most of these offer all kinds of ball sports, light athletics and other kinds of courses, such as keep-fit, martial arts, dancing or water sports. Just ask at your local town hall or find out what activities are available near you on the Internet.

Another alternative to sports clubs is sport at work. Many companies organise sports activities for their employees outside working hours, such as running, football and keep-fit, as well as health-focused activities such as back-strengthening exercises. You can find out details from your Human Resources department or from other colleagues.

Andrey from Kazakhstan
Starting out in a new country is certainly difficult. I had problems making friends at the start, because I didn't know the language very well. The early days were tough and first of all I had to get used to my new circumstances. I often felt homesick and missed my family and friends. When I started playing handball in a sports club, I got to know lots of people and started to feel at home here. Besides a good sports workout is still a lot of fun! My tip: I can really recommend any migrant to enquire about what recreational activities are on offer locally. Practising sport as a hobby makes it easier to establish your first contacts with the local people.

Culture

Culture

Make the most of Germany’s exciting art and culture scene. Museums, concerts, plays, comedy shows, festivals and local festivities are on all year round, featuring well-known artists or exciting new faces. Germany has something for everyone, from classical concerts to Carnival customs. You can find out what’s on near you from the tourist information office or on the Web site of your town. We provide a first impression of the culture landscape in our portrait of Germany.

Cinemas

Cinemas

The German cinemas attract millions of visitors every year. Most cinema films are screened in German. Nevertheless, many cinemas hold screenings of foreign films in their original language. But German cinema culture is also worth discovering: in 2011, a total of 212 German-made films and international co-productions were shown in cinemas. More and more German cinema-goers are enjoying the possibility of viewing films in 3D. Today, virtually every large town has a 3D cinema. A German cinema film usually lasts an hour and a half, and a visit to the cinemas costs an average 7.70 euros.

Adventure time for children

Adventure time for children

There are also plenty of great possibilities for leisure activities with your children in Germany. The most popular places for families with young children are the playgrounds which every residential area has and which are usually run by the local councils. Collect your children, spades and buckets together, and with the sandpits, climbing frames, slides, see-saws and swings time your children will find that time flies by incredibly fast.

A day trip to one of Germany’s many amusement parks is bound to strike a chord with your children too. Besides outdoor adventure parks, there are also wildlife parks and zoos or aquariums with all possible kinds of sea creatures. Your children can also learn about life on the farm with pigs, cows and cereal farming on one of the numerous adventure farms which are found all over Germany. And in bad weather, a visit to a museum might save the day. With their films and children's programmes, modern museums have something to interest even children.

Complete Guide to "Living in Germany"

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Information on this portal

A bike ride or a football game – Ideas for your leisure time

Much more than Goethe: Discover Germany’s culture

Whether by bicycle, train or car: It’s easy to get to where you want to go

Information on the World Wide Web

Association of German Theme Parks and Leisure Companies

A list of all the theme parks in Germany (German)

Deutscher Betriebssportverband e.V. (German Company Sports Association, DBSV)

A list of all the regional company sports associations in Germany (German)

German National Tourist Board

Germany as a travel destination (German, English, Spanish, French)

German Alpine Club

Tips for hiker and mountain climber (German)