Everything Americans Should Enjoy Before Moving to Germany - cause you won't find it here!

Hope everybody enjoyed my post on what they may want to bring to Germany! But I know you can't bring all of America over so here's me writing about everything you should enjoy while you can. I never knew I would miss such simple things so much 😭


Hands down, the #1 thing I miss. I'm no high class lady. I used to drive right over to a Kroger to buy myself a big cheap steak about once a week to treat myself, but say bye to that my fellow steak lovers! Steak is ridiculously expensive here, even just buying it from the grocery store (beef in general seems to be pricey). I used to be able to get a decent sized steak for around $10 back home, but here, you'll find one small steak in a fancy, vaccuum-sealed packaging for around 25€. That's right, 25 for a small grocery store steak. It doesn't even tasted good! You might as well eat at your local steakhouse because it's not much more...
Thinking that's not too bad, I can still enjoy a nice burger? Nope. For some reason, the ground beef here tastes different! And burgers at the our local restaurants are thin, expensive, and don't taste the same. Even McDonalds doesn't taste the same. I thought I was crazy until I saw other Americans agreed with me. But there is a silver lining: if you prefer Burger King over McDonalds anyways, Burger King does taste the same here! It's just expensive...

Free water "with no gas"

        If you're like my friend who thinks water is the worst thing to drink in the world, this won't be a problem for you 😂 But I get dehydrated easily so water is my best friend. I think I drink at least two cups of water during any meal. So imagine having free water taken away from you! Now I'm left with expensive mineral water in tiny bottles when I eat out. The worst is when I forget to clarify "no gas" and they give me carbonated water! Germans love their soda water. You can technically just bring a water bottle everywhere you go, but apparently, it can be seen as impolite so you'll want to leave it in your bag when you sit and drink from it discreetly.

Free refills

Do you like to guzzle soda freely without a thought during your meals?
Too bad, say bye to free refills! Soda is not only expensive, you only get one serving for that price! Sometimes they even come in the tiniest bottles so you feel even more ripped off.

Ice in your drinks

At least you won't have a lot of ice taking up space in your one tiny glass of soda? Your drinks will come cold and refrigerated, but never with ice. So if you're craving an ice cold drink during a hot summer, you'll have to get it at home. You might get lucky at some bars that may have ice, but remember to ask for it.

Free public toilets

This one hasn't been that big of a deal for me, but my husband has the smallest bladder in the world! Free restrooms are not a concept anywhere in Germany. Gas stations will charge you to use their restroom even if you purchase anything, any train stations, and much of the malls will as well. Even the restrooms at a public park will charge you. Thankfully, most restaurants will let you use their restroom for free if you're dining in so that's been enough for me.

Air conditioning

Coming from Hotlanta, I don't think we'll sweat about this one (haha...). I grew up with 100°F summers with 100% humidity (yes, it was hell), and I hear the hottest Germany ever gets is 80°F. With some personal fans, it shouldn't be too bad, but if you're from a colder area, there is no A/C here so good luck. I've been told the malls should have A/C, but it's nothing like in the US. Apparently, it will be some weak, sub-par attempt at keeping the mall from being a sauna.

Smoke free air

I never thought I'd say this, but smokers in the US are generally more polite than the smokers in Europe. Of course there are exceptions to these generalizations, but for the most part, smokers in the US would go around corners to smoke and try to stay out of the way. Here? It's free reign as long as you're outside! Smokers seem to be everywhere, and they smoke as they're walking (who cares if somebody's walking behind you!), in cafe/restaurant patios, at the Christmas Markets (even if there are children around!). I miss being able to walk right down the street without a cloud of cigarette smoke. And this is coming from me, who was in the service industry for 6 years and constantly surrounded by smokers!

Ethnic Food

As somebody who loves to eat and comes from a culturally diverse Atlanta, I miss good ethnic food. The Mexican food here is horrible, the good Asian food is hard to find and expensive, and Indian food is okay but very expensive. Somebody save me from the bland food here!!! Especially as a Korean, I need bold flavors and spices!


I'm not a frequent coffee drinker, but even I recognize how bad the coffee is here. It all tastes burnt but watery at the same time. It's funny because you see all of the nice espresso machines at every restaurant, but somehow they all produce this horrible mud water. It must be the beans that they use here? What is the point of having these fancy machines if you're just going to use the cheapest beans you can find?

Cheddar Cheese

Don't worry, for the most part, you should be able to find good cheese everywhere of every kind (even if they're called something different in German). But Cheddar cheese isn't common and very expensive here. The only cheddar I've been able to find is Kerrygold Cheddar and it's double/triple the price of any other cheese we buy here 😓

Grocery baggers

I don't mind bagging my own groceries, I even prefer to sometimes because baggers in the US abuse plastic bags as if they need to. But grocery checkout is a sport here. People will frown at you if you don't quickly and efficiently place everything onto the belt and then pack in into your own bags at the speed the lady is scanning all of the items. And you better have your payment ready because the checkout ladies will demand it as soon as they're done scanning everything regardless of whether you're busy packing everything or not.
If you don't finish packing everything by the time you finish paying? Prepare to have the person behind you breathe on your neck as all of their items get scanned and mixed into your items! They will not wait for your slow American efficiency 😂 Makes you miss the good ol' days of leisurely shopping!

Over the counter medicine

Gone are the days where you can simply stroll over to the grocery store for some cold medicine or advil/ibuprofen. Now you have to share with your local pharmacist everything you're feeling and then turn down a bunch of herbal/homeopathic suggestions only to receive a smaller version of what you'd find in the US that's also weaker in dosage and double the price... Also, there's no sudafed here 😭 Seems to be more common to just go to the doctor here since health insurance covers everything, including most of your prescription meds.


Unfortunately, Uber has not been able to enter Germany! I miss the days of a cheap, quick ride. Don't get me wrong. Public transit is fantastic here! I rarely need a taxi, but I have had to use one a few times and the prices really make you miss Uber, especially when you're out late drinking and the buses have stopped running.

Large Washing Machines/Dryers

Not that big of a deal, but large washing machines are expensive, and you might not have room in your place for a dryer too (or the proper set up). Most people line dry their clothes here. Which has been fine, but I miss just being able to pile up your laundry into a giant load. Now, I have to do laundry frequently with small loads as my washing machine is small and I don't have enough space to dry so many clothes at one time. Things like this make you realize how many silly things you take for granted!

Automatic Cars

We didn't realize that cars here were manuals by default. I talk about whether you should bring your car in this post. But if not, know that the standard for cars here is manual. So if you don't know how to drive stick, you can run into difficulties with renting cars and possibly with getting your German Driver's License.

Microwave Popcorn

This one's just a funny one for my popcorn loving husband. He had a hard time finding the microwave popcorn. Only one of the grocery stores in our city had them. Ultimately, I ended up buying him a popcorn machine to appease him 😂 The regular popcorn kernels are super cheap and much easier to find.

***This is simply what I learned from my personal experiences/research. Please take this post with a grain of salt.