What you have to know about quiet hours in Germany

Marle

Updated on Dec 13 • 4 minute read

Quiet hours in Germany set the tone in neighbourhoods for when to tone down the noise and give neighbourhoods some peace of mind. Obviously, that doesn't translate into you sitting stone silent in your flat during quiet hours in Germany and tiptoeing quietly into your rooms. Now, what do you need to know about quiet hours in Germany? More so, when do quiet hours start and stop in Germany?

That's a promise: with our tips, you won't run into an angry neighbour on your doorstep on Sunday.

When are the quiet hours in Germany?

When it comes to Sundays and public holidays, Germans set more store than ever by quiet hours: this is when you should stick to an all-day rest. During the week and on Saturdays, the quiet hours in Germany are usually between 10 pm and 6 am.

Yep, it seems that in Germany just about everything is laid down in law - and with a bit of bad luck, you'll have a hobby policeman as a neighbour who closely monitors people's behaviour during quiet hours in Germany.

Your new home base is in Munich? Well, lucky you! In Bavaria, thanks to the Bavarian Beer Garden Ordinance, quiet hours vary from those in the other federal states. Instead of the normal quiet hours across Germany from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., in Bavaria it's all pushed back by one hour. The beer is poured until 10.30 p.m., which means that the quiet hours start at 11 p.m. and end at 7 a.m.

Here's what quiet hours in Germany mean for you

Do I really have to sit stone silent in my flat after 10 p.m., watching Netflix with headphones on and whispering to my flatmates? Don't worry, it's really not that hard.

Just stick to the rule of thumb of keeping your noise at room volume

Do you want to get into more detail? All right, here's a list of 'must do's' during quiet hours in Germany:

  • Obviously, you can still soak up the sun on your balcony on a summer Sunday. Just keep the conversations in the garden or balcony at a lower volume.
  • Oh yes, we all love listening to the latest tunes from the 'New Music Friday' list on Spotify at full volume. However, turn the music down a bit after 10 pm so it can't be heard in the flat next door.
  • Found your flute again? Rediscover your talent until 10 p.m. (and continue at 6 a.m.!). In the meantime, you have to find a more quiet hobby other than the flute or the drums.
  • You finally managed to buy the shelves for your wall you’ve always wanted? You can't do any noisy work in the house or garden after 10 pm, so wait until the next day to hang them up.

And now to the bad news: Saturdays are treated as working days and therefore have the same quiet hours in Germany as normal working days. What happens to your house party for your birthday then? Of course, you can still throw a house party now and then without your guests being kicked out of the house at 10 p.m. sharp.

Pro-tip to keep the house spirit up and not have the police as party crasher: It's best to put a note on your neighbours' flat doors or a message in the hallway and let your neighbours know a few days in advance that you're having a house party (and you can invite them too!). Add your mobile phone number so your neighbours can text you on Whatsapp if it does get too loud.

What is the German Sunday law?

Pssst, it's Sunday! On Sundays, you can finally catch up on all the things that usually get left undone during the week: You can spruce up the flat and clean every corner, hang up the new wall shelf and throw the mountain of laundry into the washing machine. If there wasn't one problem: the German Sunday law and its quiet hours in Germany.

Yes, Sundays truly are holy days of rest for Germans, where only a handful of necessary jobs get tackled, where restaurants, cafés, galleries and museums stay open. The situation here looks different for supermarkets though:

on Sundays supermarkets keep their doors closed

(except for 'emergency supermarkets' at main stations!). And since everyone is at home taking their day off, Sundays are actually protected from the noise coming from neighbours.

Keep your noise down to room volume all day on Sundays.

Am I allowed to vacuum on Sunday?

Of course, you can do a quick cleaning session on the kitchen floor to get rid of fallen bread crumbs or shattered glass on a Sunday, just as you can hammer a picture on your wall. As a rule of thumb, just don't be noisy for very long. You can vacuum the floor for 20 minutes, not necessarily for hours. Truth to be told though, with modern hoovers, in particular, the volume is usually at room volume anyway.

Can I do my laundry on Sunday?

All right, but I'm still allowed to do my laundry on Sunday, aren't I? To tell you the truth, there is no universal answer to this question. It really depends on the washing machine and the noise level. So take the rule of thumb to heart that the neighbours should not be disturbed by the noise, i.e. everything should be done at room volume. So, it might be worth checking with the neighbours to see if they can actually hear the rumble of your washing machine, or not!

Can I still take showers during quiet hours in Germany?

Don't worry, of course, you can still do your everyday routines after 10 p.m. and also on Sundays and public holidays. You can flush the toilet, take a bath or shower at night as usual.

What happens if I ignore the quiet hours in Germany?

First things first, chances are that you'll cause a rift with your neighbours. In fact, by disturbing the peace you also risk sanctions from your landlord or you may receive a warning.

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