Sundays in Germany

Old Aug 21st, 2002, 07:50 AM
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Sundays in Germany

I have heard that shops are closed in Germany in Sundays. Is this true? If so, is it worth it to spend a Sunday in Rothenburg in December? From what I have read, there is not much else to do there at that time of year (that is not all outside--burr!!)
Old Aug 21st, 2002, 08:14 AM
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Yes, most shops are shut on Sundays in Germany. But in December, many towns and cities will have Christmas markets which will be open all weekend, which are fun to visit. Try checking the tourism website for Rothenburg for the dates of its Christmas market.
Old Aug 21st, 2002, 02:10 PM
Tom Campbell
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Retail establishments in Germany are tightly regulated by law.
Until about 3 years ago, all stores had to close by 6PM on weeknights, opened at 10AM and closed at 2PM on Saturdays, and remain closed on Sundays.
The laws now allow stores to remain open until 8PM on weekdays, and from 10AM to 4PM on Saturdays. Sundays are still closed. This includes department stores AND grocery stores.
Since the change only occured a few years ago, you cannot safely expect stores to be open all the way until 8PM or 4PM - check first since many shopkeepers and stores have kept the old hours.
Exceptions: Gas stations, video stores, and similar types of services may stay open later.
Additionally, some bold store owners keep longer hours, but they are fined for doing so. Occasionally a number of stores in a shopping district will also decide to break the law for a specific weekend and stay open longer hours (and pay the fines).
During the holidays, the laws are relaxed for longer hours - although most states still prevent Sunday hours.
Another interesting point - sales are regulated too.
Pricing is generally regulated so that prices are the same among competitors. Larger chains get around this by having manufacturers create custom model numbers (this is why ProMarkt and Saturn never carry the same models).
Also, only two official sale periods are allowed, one in the fall and one in the spring. Sales held outside those times result in fines.
All in all, it's pretty nice for shop owners, but a pain for consumers.
One final piece of advice - do NOT wait until 3:45 to take your items to the checkout on a Saturday afternoon. Elbows get thrown around, and tempers flare. A nasty scene all around.
Old Aug 21st, 2002, 05:37 PM
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Kaethe Wohlfahrt shop in Rothenburg is open every Sunday and holiday from 11:00 to 6:00 pm, from the middle of May through Christmas eve. I imagine her competitors are too. The rules simply don't apply in Rothenburg. It's Disneyland.
Old Aug 21st, 2002, 06:11 PM
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Have only been to Munich, and there were lots of things to do on Sundays. The museums and restaurants are open. Just plan your shopping for another day. It was fun just to be out with the other families window shopping and walking around town.
Old Aug 21st, 2002, 10:20 PM
Tom Campbell
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The prior post mentioned museums - a very good point. Museums are open on Sundays, some until 4, others until 8. In most states, admission is free on the first Sunday of each month. This can be good or bad - good if you want to save money, bad it you want to avoid the crowds.
Old Aug 22nd, 2002, 04:02 AM
Hans H
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It's not just Rothenburg. Shops selling touristic souvenirs etc. are allowed to open on Sunday.
As for regulated pricing: No, there is competition.
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