featured image store closures

Did you ever get up at stupid o’clock, loiter away half an hour composing an exhaustive shopping list – the one where you put the items in the same order as they are at the store – before jam-packing your car with empty Pfand bottles, and driving off to Kaufland, Rewe, or Edeka, only to pull in to an empty parking lot, National Lampoon style, realizing the place is closed?

Rookie mistake. But don’t worry, we’ve all been there.

With 12 German public holidays per year, it’s easy to miss one. Even more so, since only nine of them are observed nationwide. The rest, plus some additional federal ones, vary by state.

Fun fact: Augsburg has its very own citywide holiday – the Peace Festival.

German stores aren’t only closed those days, but also every Sunday. Plus, they may have shorter hours on special days like December 24th or New Year’s Eve. However, for emergency purchases, there are always gas stations and airport or train station stores.

A lot of other places stay open on holidays and Sundays, including restaurants, museums, pools, and other leisure facilities. So, do as the locals. Carpe diem and flock to your nearest mini-golf course, movie theater, or ice cream parlor to enjoy idling away among sweaty strangers. Please note: Exceptions to opening hours may apply, so always double-check before making the trip!

If you plan on using public transport, know that buses and trains may run less frequently on holiday schedules. However, in many places – though not all – parking is free those days.

Pro tip: Avoid shopping the day before or after a holiday – especially if stores are closed several days in a row. Germans may be used to this, but that doesn’t mean they don’t act like they need to prep for a category five hurricane paired with an alien invasion every single time stores close during the week.

So what are the exact days this happens, you ask? Well, I can’t help you with the official dates for any future annexations by extraterrestrials, but here’s a list of holidays in the state of Baden-Württemberg. If you want to learn about store closures in other areas, check out this website.

January 1st 2021New Year’s Day
January 6th 2021Three Kings Day
April 2nd 2021Good Friday
April 5th 2021Easter Monday
May 1st 2021Labor Day
May 13th 2021Ascencion Day
May 24th 2021Whit Monday
June 3rd 2021Corpus Christi
October 3rd 2021Anniversary of German Unification
November 1st 2021All Saints’ Day
December 25th 20211st Christmas Day
December 26th 20212nd Christmas Day
January 1st 2021New Year’s Day
January 6th 2021Three Kings Day
April 15th 2022Good Friday
April 18th 2022Easter Monday
May 1st 2022Labor Day
May 26th 2022Ascencion Day
June 6th 2022Whit Monday
June 16th 2022Corpus Christi
October 3rd 2022Anniversary of German Unification
November 1st 2022All Saints’ Day
December 25th 20221st Christmas Day
December 26th 20222nd Christmas Day