Experience Germany Like a Local

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How the Locals Enjoy a Cheap, Easy Lunch in Germany

How the Locals Enjoy a Cheap, Easy Lunch in Germany • German Travel by Tourist is a Dirty Word Blog

As much as I’d love to plan every meal we have, usually Denise and I want to see the sights of the city that we are in without stopping an hour or more for lunch. Grabbing a quick snack is usually pretty easy, but can cost you in the tourist centers. On a trip to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, we found ourselves hungry in the middle of the city. Luckily I spotted a butcher shop, called 'Metzgerei' [pronounced mɛtsgəˈrai].

What tourists do not know is that almost every butcher shop has a separate display case with cooked, warm and ready meatballs, schnitzel, roast pork and other meats. A good butcher shop will also have deli-style salads, soft drinks and water available - perfect for a quick and inexpensive lunch break! Also, a local bakery usually delivers fresh rolls to the butcher shop in the morning, which is great for you, since you can order a “Schnitzelbrötchen” (schnitzel in a bread roll) usually for less than 3 Euros!

Nothing like waiting in line behind a bunch of locals on their lunch break to make you feel part of the culture.

A local bakery usually delivers fresh rolls to the butcher shop each morning • German Travel by Tourist is a Dirty Word Blog

I was so excited to introduce Denise to her first Metzgerei in Rothenburg ob der Tauber. What was the best, authentic, cheap lunch you had when you were in Germany, Austria or Switzerland? Let us know in the comments.

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​WAIT! Before you throw that plastic bottle away...

Wait! Before you throw that plastic bottle away, read this! • German Travel by Tourist is a Dirty Word Blog

The first time Denise and I went on a family trip in Germany, my Dad kept asking for her empty plastic bottles, which he dropped into his gigantic book bag and carried for the rest of the day.

When she said, "You're Dad is really into recycling! Why doesn't he just use the recycling bins around the city?" I had to laugh.

To promote recycling, in 2003 the ever-clever, thrifty Germans implemented a container deposit legislation, also known as Pfand [pronounced pf‿ant]. If you buy a single-use container in form of a can of soda or a water in a plastic bottle, you will pay a €0.25 deposit, which will be refunded when you bring the container back to a supermarket or shop.

When you throw that bottle away, you're also throwing away your €0.25. The deposit legislation does not cover containers for juice, milk-products, wine, spirits, or liquors. Look for the black and white symbol of the bottle and can with the arrow, see the image above for an example.

Cashing in Your Containers
In smaller shops, visit the clerk at the counter to return your bottle and collect your deposit. Careful though, small shops only accept the bottles of vendors and sizes of bottles which are carried at that shop.When returning at large-chain shops look for reverse vending machines that print a receipt. The receipt can be exchanged for cash or used against a purchase.
So the next time you see someone toting a collection of empty plastic bottles in their book bag you’ll know they don’t have a hoarding problem, they just want their deposit back! Do you think legislation like that would work where you live? Do you have something similar? Tell us about it in the comments.


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Thank you For Reading! Denise & Sebastian | Photo by Irene Fiedler