Liv Hambrett

Germany + Australia + Culture + Motherhood + Home

German Culture, Travel + Life Abroad, Travel: Germany

How to Do Good Weather Like a German

And suddenly, the sun is out. It’s bright and sparkling, and it hurts your wintry little eyes. The sky that has been a lovely shade of chalk for months, is suddenly so, so blue. People around you are scuttling about wearing as assortment of outfits – a few have cottoned on to the sun early and have dressed accordingly. Most went the safest route with a decent jacket and a pair of boots and look both out of place and as if they know something that you, in your canvas slip-ons, don’t. It’s like someone switched on the light and caught everyone out doing what they’d normally do in the dark – it’s both illuminating and weird, and takes some adjusting to. Particularly when someone switches on the light early. I mean, yesterday was the first day of Spring, but first days of seasons (namely warm ones) mean nada over here.

This was April last year. April.

This was April last year. April.

So how does one fit in with the Germans, when the sun comes out? Or, more pertinently, how does one avoid being stared at when the sun comes out and the entire population of your city finds itself outside and face to face with each other, as opposed to staring at the icy ground so as to avoid slipping on it? (Germans, my sweet loves, you stare. You may not know it, or indeed realise it, but you do. It’s okay. It’s a social trait of yours, it’s part of who you are. Own it. But please stop staring at my feet if I’m in ballet flats before 90% of the population deems it appropriate to wear them.) Apart from keeping a keen eye on the state of Spargel in your nearest supermarket, here are some surefire tips on how to do the year’s first warm weather like a German.

– Flock to the nearest cafe with outdoor seating. But none of our cafes have outdoor seating, I hear you bleat. Look again! Rub your eyes, if you must. Magic, isn’t it? Each and every cafe will suddenly have forty chairs crammed into their portion of front pavement, all facing the sun, and if you are like lightning, you will be able to squeeze yourself into one of them – and indeed the conversations of everyone around you, because you’ll be nice and close to each other.

– Once seated, shrug off your jacket. It’s okay if others around you remain bundled up, you won’t get sick. In fact, you’ll probably keel over from heat if you don’t divest yourself of your safety blanket (which is what, after 4 months of daily wear, a winter jacket becomes). Smile around at others as you do this, share the wonder of outdoor divesting of jackets.

– Tip your face to the sun. Leave it there, no matter what.

– Order a beer.

– If you live in a town or city that is near water, make sure you do all of the above as close to the bank of said body of water, as possible.


Don’t feel like going to a cafe with a million people, or indeed simply cannot find a seat? You have but one other option.

– Source out your nearest ice cream shop. There will be at least four per ten-person town. The most popular will have a queue snaking back about a hundred people, but you’ll deem to worthwhile waiting for. Join the queue.

– Order an enormous cone, because ice cream in Germany is wondrously cheap and generally delicious. Or, go all out, and get some sort of monstrous Sundae concoction. There will be a generous menu to choose from. Don’t hold back.

– If you’re feeling particularly brave, go for the Spaghetti Eis. It’s a bit of a thing here.

– A banana split usually does the trick, and doesn’t contain any ice cream in noodle form.



After a while, when you feel it’s appropriate, begin to gently murmur about how perhaps it is a little too warm. Perhaps two or three degrees less would be just right



  1. Anika

    21 March, 2014 at 10:15 am

    LOL, we stare??? really? **gg** I never really noticed but if u say so…I don’t like Vanilla ice cream but thank god there are plenty other choices at my fav ice cream parlor 🙂
    Other than that u sure did the right thing to enjoy that fabulous weather !! Maybe get a big ice cream to go , grab a blanket and lay down near the river. Safes the hunt for a table and it’s not as crowded … Enjoy the weekend ( bad weather though if one believes the forecast… )

    1. Liv

      23 March, 2014 at 11:05 am

      If this weather keeps up through April, I shall be beachside at the Baltic as often as possible. Or absolutely on a blanket, in the park, grilling natürlich.

  2. Lutz Mowinski

    21 March, 2014 at 11:22 am

    I thoroughly enjoyed the first few warm days, and while I didn’t go out without a jacket, it was warm enough to dust off one of the light jackets reserved for Summer 🙂
    Going down to the Rhein and eating my Pizza there was magnificent 😀

    1. Liv

      23 March, 2014 at 11:03 am

      I love that you have a summer jacket – superb.

  3. Brigitte

    21 March, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Well done!
    Ich liebe Spaghettieis, besonders die versteckte Sahne!!

    1. Liv

      23 March, 2014 at 11:02 am

      Man muss immer Sahne haben!

  4. Isa

    21 March, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    One of my strategies for dealing with the ‘starers’ – smile brightly back and ask “na, wie geht’s? schon lange nicht mehr gesehen”. It works magic. Not sure if you’re cheeky enough to do it, though. Actually, even a big fat grin is enough to make ’em nervous.

    1. Liv

      23 March, 2014 at 11:02 am

      I smile too! And they always look at me as if I am the weird one to acknowledge their relentless gaze.

  5. Hemborgwife

    21 March, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    Yes the patios! They do the same thing here in Sweden and I am not so patiently waiting for those first beers out in what used to be the walkway in a chair that is not stable since it is on cobblestones!

    1. Liv

      23 March, 2014 at 11:01 am

      Hahahaha so true, the old shaky chair and table, that sloshes your drink everywhere, every time you move.

      1. Hemborgwife

        23 March, 2014 at 2:30 pm

        Yep, we are looking to get some patio furniture this year and I keep rocking on the chairs in the store to make sure they are actually stable and am getting some odd looks!

  6. Gaby

    21 March, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    It hits above 40F here in the Midwest and suddenly my fellow university students deem it appropriate to wear flip-flops (thongs, right?) and shorts.
    This weather is so fleeting and fickle though! It was 40F (like 3 or 4C?) and sunny yesterday. Then this morning there was snow on the ground. And today it’s going to hit 15C and full sun. Until snow returns on Tuesday. Dressing is really hard right now.

    1. Liv

      23 March, 2014 at 11:00 am

      Okay 4 degrees is NOT THONGS OR SHORT WEATHER. But you guys have had such an awful winter, I’d probably be getting around in a maxi dress once it went above 0. It’s all relative, isn’t it hahaha. And yes, dressing in this between seasons, where the weather is so fickle, is a tricky game.

  7. Carmel (@carmelblanch)

    22 March, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    I officially put “away” my heavy winter jacket last weekend. The weather has been so warm and sunny here I have dusted off the light ‘spring’ jackets I bought from NZ. It is just like someone has suddenly switched on a powerful lightbulb – so intense! and the sky SO blue after the grey winter..trees glowing white, laden with blossom..oh and the sound of so many birds singing at once!

    1. Liv

      23 March, 2014 at 10:58 am

      Ohhhh that wonderful moment of putting away the winter jacket – is there any greater feeling? I was up rather early the other morning and the birds were too, singing from 4am. It is just the best. I love this reawakening, it’s so visible, almost tactile.

  8. vegasmike433

    24 March, 2014 at 6:23 am

    You explain everything so easily and your keen powers of observation compliment your exceptional literary gifts. And most of all your name is Olivia, the same as my daughter.

    My Best Always,

    Michael P. Whelan

    1. Liv

      25 March, 2014 at 8:53 am

      Thank you so very much, as always!

  9. vegasmike433

    9 June, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Liv, You are so deservedly welcome, Always Michael

  10. hermann_eg

    13 April, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    “gently murmur about how perhaps it is a little too warm” ha, ha … very well observed 🙂

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