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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture File: Germany series at GermanPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring essential information about Germany, German culture, and German people. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 6 - Opening Hours in Germany. Opening hours are Öffnungszeiten in German.
In Germany, general business hours for shops are fixed from Monday to Saturday, and businesses may be open 24 hours a day if they want. On Sundays, however, shops are not allowed to be open, with the exception of bakeries and florists. These businesses are allowed to be open on Sundays, but only between 7 am and 4 pm.
And naturally, there are other exceptions in Germany as well. Gas stations, or in German Tankstelle, for example, may sell their goods, or in German, Ware, whenever they want – 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Other businesses may open their doors a total of ten Sundays a year, from 1 pm to 8 pm. These Sundays are the four Sundays during Advent, four other pre-selected Sundays, and then two Sundays of the business’ choosing. And if you’re not confused by these rules yet, just wait, because these rules are only valid for Berlin! Other federal states have their own sets of rules.
Knowing this, it will certainly be no surprise if you often find yourself standing in front of closed doors at the supermarket, because even within the same company, different branches may have different closing times.
Looking at the history of opening hours for shops in Germany will only make you more confused. It might give you the impression that early-day politicians had nothing better to do than write new laws about when businesses could be open. This is one of the main reasons why German people are buying more things on the Internet, because Internet shops never close! In German, the Internet is called Internet and Shopping is Einkaufen.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
What are the general business hours in your country?
Leave a comment telling us at GermanPod101.com, and we’ll see you in the next lesson!