Campus & Student Life
CBS International Business School, 22 March 2024

100 Interesting Facts about Germany You Probably Didn't Know


You may know Germany as a country that loves beer and sausages, but it’s also a really interesting and vibrant place that’s full of history.

Don’t worry if you’re an international student that doesn't know too much about the country, these Germany facts will help you get to know the country a lot better before you move here. Even if you’ve lived in Germany for a long time, we’re sure there will be some facts in here that you never knew before!

We’ll cover some basic information about the country and all the facts about Germany you should know as an international student before you move. We’ll also be including some cool and interesting facts that you might be surprised about!

Here are some of our favourite facts about Germany that we think everyone should know!

Where is Germany?

Germany is located in central Europe and shares borders with a lot of nearby countries, including Denmark, the Netherlands, Poland and Czech Republic. You can see where Germany is located on the map below.


What is the population of Germany?

The population of Germany is 84.7 million (2023), which is the third-largest in Europe.

Here’s the population of some other European countries, for comparison:

  • France - 68 million (4th largest)

  • UK - 67.87 million (5th largest)

  • Spain - 48.44 million (7th largest)

  • Netherlands - 17.61 million (12th largest)

What is the capital of Germany?

The capital of Germany is Berlin, which is located in the northeast part of the country.

Berlin has a population of 3.576 million and is a very popular destination for expats and international students.

Learn more about our campus in Potsdam, which is just half an hour away from Berlin

How big is Germany?

Germany has an area of 357,386 km², making it the 7th biggest country in Europe.

Here’s the area of some other European countries, for comparison:

  • France - 551,695km² (3rd biggest)

  • UK - 243,610km² (11th biggest)

  • Spain - 505,990km² (4th biggest)

  • Netherlands - 41,543km² (32nd biggest)

What is the currency in Germany?

Germany’s currency is the Euro, which we’ve used since 2002. Before that, we used the Deutsche Mark as our currency.

When did Germany become a country?

This is a bit of a tricky question, which there are 3 answers for:

  • February 2nd 962 AD - the date Germany was first recognised as a region

  • January 18th, 1871 - the date where Germany became a unified state

  • October 3rd, 1990 - the date when East and West Germany were united to form the current Federal Republic of Germany

How many people move to Germany every year?

Germany is the second most popular destination for expats in the world. In 2023, 1,545,503 people moved to Germany and around 458,210 of these people were students. At CBS, around 20% of our students are international students from across the world.

Check out our internationally oriented and English-taught undergraduate and graduate study programmes here!

In total, Germany is home to 15.3 million immigrants who are most commonly from Turkey, Poland, and Italy. 

A lot of people are attracted to Germany because of our robust economy and well-developed education system.

Here you can learn more about your chances and job opportunities in Germany after graduation!

Fun facts about Germany facts for international students

Facts about German food and drink

  • In Germany we have 1,500 different types of beer, 300 types of bread and 1,000 types of sausage

  • In the state of Bavaria, beer is actually considered a food!

  • Germany is home to the biggest Beer Festival in the world, Oktoberfest in Munich, where the standard glass of beer is a whole litre!

  • If you want to order 1 beer in Germany, you show your thumb and for 2 beers you show your first finger

  • More than 800 million currywurst sausages are eaten every year in Germany. The snack is so popular that there’s even a museum dedicated to it in Berlin

  • Germany is the second largest beer consumer in Europe - we usually drink around 2.55 billion gallons of it a year

  • In Germany, there are over 1,200 breweries that produce over 5,000 brands of German beer

  • Most German main dishes include meat and sometimes fish - the most popular kinds are pork, beef, veal or fish

  • The most famous German food exports are sauerkraut, sausages and brezeln (pretzels)

  • The sweet maker, Haribo, runs a scheme where local children can exchange acorns for sweets. Their acorns then get sent to nature reserves to feed animals.

Check out our undergraduate degrees 

Check out our graduate degrees

Facts about the German language

  • German is the most popular third language that’s taught in the world. 

  • German is the most common native language in Europe and is 11th on the list of most widely-spoken languages in the world

  • There are 35 different dialects of the German language

  • Because there are so many different dialects in Germany, people may have problems understanding those from different regions - some regional films even have to be shown with subtitles!

  • The Germans are very protective of their language so most movies are dubbed into German using local actors - this has made dubbing a 115 million Euro industry

  • In the German language there are three genders - the third being ‘neuter’

  • German has a unique letter that’s not used in any other language, the ß, called "Eszett" which is pronounced like a double-s 

  • German has lots of words that don’t exist in other languages. For example, "fremdschämen" translates to the shame felt on someone else’s behalf and "Fernweh" translates to the feeling of lusting after an adventure

  • The German languages shares 60% of it’s vocabulary with English

  • German is also the official language in Austria and Liechtenstein and one of the official languages in Switzerland and Luxembourg

Check out our tips to help you learn German fast

Facts about German football

  • The word for football in German is “fußball”

  • Football has been played in Germany since 1974

  • The German Football Association is called Deutscher Fußball-Bund or DFB

  • There are more football fan clubs in Germany than anywhere else in the world

  • Germany has only lost a penalty shootout in a major competition once, in 1976

  • The premier league in Germany is called Bundesliga and includes popular teams such as Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund

  • The German football team has won 4 World Cups, making it the joint-second most successful nation in the tournament

  • Germany also has a record 3 UEFA European Championships (joint with Spain) and won the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2017

  • A popular football chant in Germany is “Ole, Ole, Ole, Super Deutschland, Ole” which is the German version of “Ole, Ole, Ole, We Are The Champions, Ole.”

  • The women’s football team is also very successful and has won two FIFA Women's World Cups and a record 8 UEFA European Women's Championships 

Geographical facts about Germany

  • One-third of Germany is covered in forests and woodlands

  • You can find over 2100 castles throughout the country

  • Our capital city, Berlin is 9 times bigger than Paris and has more bridges than Venice

  • There have been many capital cities of Germany including Aachen, Regensburg, Frankfurt-am-Main, Nuremberg, Weimar, and Bonn - and the current capital, Berlin

  • You can find Europe’s largest train station in Berlin

  • Germany used to be made up of lots of small kingdoms until they were unified as the German Reich in 1871

  • German people love to travel and spend more on their holidays than any other nation

  • The highest peak in Germany is the Zugspitze in Bavaria which is 2,962 meters high

  • Germany has a moderate climate all year round, in July the average temperature is almost 17 degrees and in January it can be -0.5 degrees

  • The highest temperature ever recorded in Germany was in 2019 when it got to 42.6 degrees in Lingen

Interesting facts about Germany

  • 65% of the highways in Germany have no speed limit and are called the Autobahn

  • Germany sells around 6 million cars a year, making it one of the largest car producers in the world

  • The first book ever printed was in German, and the first magazine was launched in Germany in 1663

  • We’re a nation that loves books, we publish around 100,000 titles every year

  • Germany has more zoos than any other country, we have over 400

  • Fanta was created in Germany during the Second World War after Coca-Cola syrup was prevented from being imported into the country

  • Munich is the second most punctual large airport in the world after Tokyo

  • Some of the world’s most famous inventions were created in Germany - the lightbulb, automated calculators, automobiles, insulin, petrol engines, jet engines, and the Walkman (to name a few!)

  • Germany is a very cultured country, with 6,500 museums, 820 theatres, 130 professional orchestras, and 8,800 libraries. 

  • Because we have so many cultural activities for people to enjoy, it was found that more people go to exhibitions than to football matches in Germany

  • In some parts of Germany, owning a dog comes with a tax. Yes, you need to get a license for your dog, and you have to pay a dog tax. The amount depends on the size and breed of the dog. 

  • Dachshunds, the adorable wiener dogs, are extremely popular in Germany. They even have annual events like the Dachshund Race where people gather to watch these small dogs race each other. It's as cute as it sounds!

Cool facts about Germany

  • When visiting Berlin, JFK famously said “Ich bin ein Berliner” which actually means “I am a jelly donut.”

  • Donaudampfschifffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft is the longest word to be published - it’s 79 letters long!

  • The tradition of having a Christmas tree was started in Germany

  • Our Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has a Barbie doll created after her

  • You’ll find the world’s narrowest street in the German city of Reutlingen, at its narrowest point it’s only 31 cm (one foot) wide

  • Locally, we call the Chancellor’s office the “washing machine”

  • Escaping prison in Germany isn’t illegal because it’s a basic human instinct to want to be free

  • There are laws that determine what you can name your baby in Germany - the law bans names that don’t denote a gender or use a family name as the first name

  • When children start school in Germany, they receive a Schultüte which is a cone of presents that helps to ease the stress of entering a new, serious life

  •  Even though it’s called Oktoberfest, the festival actually starts in September! 

Facts about studying in Germany

  • Germany is the 5th most popular country for international students

  • In 2017, 91% of graduates were active in the job market. Learn more about your chances in Germany after graduation

  • We have over 380 universities in Germany that deliver over 17,000 study programmes

  • Times Higher Education named Germany the 2nd cheapest country in Europe to study. Learn more about the cost of living in Germany as an international student

  • Around 220 German universities offer programmes taught in English to German and international students. Learn more about our English-taught undergraduate and graduate study programmes

  • The average cost for an international student living in Germany is £7,113

  • In an article by the BBC, Germany was the top university in providing global education and supporting international students

  • If you’re a student who likes to stay active, Germany is the right place as outdoor activities are very popular - especially sports like hiking, cycling, and skiing

  • The German school system is extremely well-structured and produces some of the most accomplished students in the world. 

Learn more about the German school & education System

Facts about working in Germany

  • Germany has a very high level of employment - in 2016, over half of the people aged 15–64 were working (43.3m people) and unemployment was at a record low of 4.2%

  • Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make up around 52% of Germany’s economic output

  • Germany is the largest economy in the EU, with a gross domestic product (GDP) of 3.73 trillion USD - which is also the 4th highest in the world

  • Germany is focused on sustainability and is a world leader in climate and energy policies – at least a third of Germany is powered by renewable energy. Here at CBS, we are a climate-neutral university. Learn more about sustainability and climate neutrality at CBS 

  • The average salary in Germany is €42,000 a year, the 11th highest salary in Europe

  • Germany is home to a large number of expats which has helped the employment rate to consistently rise over the past 12 years

  • ¾ of the German working population is employed in the services sector

  • We’re a very industrious country, but actually, work less than a lot of other countries. In 2017, the average German worked 1,356 hours a year on average

  • The biggest companies in Germany are Volkswagen, Daimler, Allianz, BMW, and Siemens

  • There are many career possibilities in Germany, the current most in-demand jobs are Information Technology, Banking, Telecommunications, Engineering, Marketing and Construction

Learn more about job opportunities in Germany after graduation

Facts about Cologne

  • Cologne is the 4th largest city in Germany and is home to 1,108,000 million people - it’s also one of the oldest cities in the country (it was founded by the Romans in the year 50!)

  • Cologne is home to 99,000 students

  • The Cologne Cathedral is the second largest religious building in Germany and took 632 years to build

  • Cologne has an entire museum entirely dedicated to chocolate!

  • In Cologne, you’ll find over 40 museums and 110 galleries

  • Every July, the largest musical fireworks display in Germany is held in Cologne - it’s called the ‘Cologne Lights’

  • Kölsch is a beer brewed in Cologne that has a sweet and refreshing taste - the name is also protected by law so that only beers brewed in Cologne can use the name Kölsch

  • You’ll find Europe’s largest Pride event in Cologne that’s held every year on the first weekend of July - more than half a million people come to celebrate

  • People in Cologne have their own language, which is called Kölsch

  • The city of Cologne was destroyed during the Second World War but was rebuilt following the same layout in the 50s

  • Cologne is the only German city where house numbers have four-digits

  • There’s a very famous sculpture in Cologne on top of Neumarkt Galerie - it’s a 12-meter tall ice cream cone which is pretty hard to miss if you come and visit!

Learn more about our campus in Cologne with a wide range of English-taught undergraduate and graduate programmes

Learn more about living in Cologne as a student


We hope that we helped you learn lots of new and interesting facts about Germany. Did any of these facts surprise you?

If you’d like to learn more, or need more information about what to know about Germany before you move here, you can check out our other pages on tips for living in Germany, what’s Germany best known for, and why you should study in Germany.

If all of these facts have convinced you that Germany is the right place for you to study, you can take a look at the wide range of Bachelor's & Master's degree programmes that we offer. A lot of our courses are taught in English and we have over 70 nationalities on campus -  so we’re sure you’ll feel right at home.

If you have any questions, schedule a meeting with one of our friendly study advisors, who would be more than happy to help you, or attend one of our virtual info sessions. 

CBS International Business School

CBS International Business School is a state-recognised private university of applied sciences for business. We offer accredited Bachelor's, Master's and MBA degree programmes in German and English on a full-time or part-time basis. Throughout Germany, the university is represented at three locations in Cologne, Mainz, and Potsdam.

Download a brochure & learn more about us

Would you like to learn more about our Bachelor's and Master's programmes at home in peace? Download the CBS brochure for an in-depth look at our business study programmes.  

We hope that you enjoy getting to know more about our school, study programmes and what we stand for. Follow us on Instagram & Facebook, get to know us at one of our Information Events, or Contact our student advisors to get more info.

Latest Blog Posts