Sunday remains a rest day for shoppers in Germany. Unless you’re heading to the Central Main Station (Hauptbahnhof), airport or petrol stations in Frankfurt, you won’t be getting any shopping done.
For four decades, German consumers were restricted by a law passed in the 1950s that allowed shops to remain open till 6.30pm on weekdays and 2pm on Saturdays. It wasn’t until 1996 that the law was relaxed in favour of consumers. Today, shops are open till around 8pm from Mondays to Saturdays. Supermarkets have longer retail hours as they usually close at 10pm in Frankfurt.
One thing that remained unchanged is that Sundays are generally still no-shopping-days. In Frankfurt, the local authority has defined 4 Sundays in 2014 in which shops are allowed to open. The operating hours are between 1pm and 7pm.
Here are the dates:
9. February 2014
30. March 2014
31. August 2014
12. October 2014
I was put off by this whole “everything is shut” nonsense when I first got to Germany. I knew about it, but I simply wasn’t prepared. I’m Singaporean, I love my malls even if it’s just window shopping. I love convenience stores like 7-11 which are open 24/7. How boring it must be for the Germans, I thought to myself.
However, it wasn’t long before I started to appreciate Sundays in Germany. It’s really THE day to enjoy, relax and NOT run any errands. Sundays are better spent over a cup of coffee & cake with friends, visiting a nearby town/village/city, hiking, chilling out in the sauna, hanging out in a park or just spending quality family time together.
I won’t deny that running out of toilet rolls or milk on a Sunday isn’t a pain, but that’s the sort of lifestyle habit that one can change (always be prepared!) to make life easier. Given that many have hectic schedules during the week, surely a 100% errand-free day would help restore some energy. I used to join the crowd at malls in Singapore on Sundays and in the UK, I would be running errands at the supermarkets. At the end of those Sundays, I think to myself “Gosh! Where did the time go?”
Now, Sundays are days I will do absolutely nothing.
What activities are you usually up to on Sundays? Reckon you’ll enjoy a German Sunday?