Public Holidays

Official holidays in North Rhine-Westphalia are as follows:

New Year's Day 1 January - Neujahr
Good Friday - Karfreitag
Easter Monday - Ostermontag
Labour Day 1 May - Tag der Arbeit
Ascension Day - Christi Himmelfahrt
Pentecost Monday - Pfingstmontag
Corpus Christi - Fronleichnam
German Unity Day 3 October - Tag der Deutschen Einheit
All Saints' Day 1 November - Allerheiligen
Christmas 25 and 26 December - Weihnachten

Please note that shops are closed during public holidays!

School Vacation

Easter: Two weeks
Pentecost: One day (Tuesday after Pentecost Monday)
Summer: Six and a half weeks (dates change regularly)
Autumn: Two weeks
Christmas: Two weeks
For more information please visit:

Basic Shopping Information

Shop opening hours are generally from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. - although some open later and may stay open until 8 p.m., whereas smaller shops may be closed at lunchtime. Most supermarkets open earlier and stay open until 8 or even 10 p.m.

On Sundays and on German public holidays, shops are closed. You will find a few essentials at gas stations. Some bakeries, flower shops, and kiosks are open on Sunday mornings as well. Bakeries and hair dressers may be closed on Mondays. Many smaller stores do not accept regular credit (or debit) cards, but EC cards or cash only. Shopping bags are not free in most stores, especially supermarkets. A 1 Euro coin is needed to use trolleys and shopping carts in the supermarket.

For online information for expatriates in Germany, visit:

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