What leisure activities can you do? There are plenty of options in the city:
Do you like culture? In most German towns and cities there are museums, cinemas, theatre and concert events. Cinemas are increasingly screening the original versions (OV) of international films. You can read books, listen to music and watch films for little or no charge. You can also borrow the books, films and CDs: you take them home with you and bring them back later.
Adult education centres, associations and clubs
Many places have adult education centres. In particular you will find courses for adults, for instance dancing courses or language courses. You can use the link below to find the nearest adult education centre to the place where you live: www.vhs.de
There are often free activities for parents and children. For instance some towns have playgroups for children. Do you like sport? The adult education centres also offer sports courses. But you can also go to a public swimming pool or join a sports club.
Another option is associations and clubs. An association brings together people who share the same interests and goals. For example there are music associations, sports associations, cookery clubs or computer clubs. There are associations for adults and for young people.
Parks and nature
Do you enjoy being outdoors? There are parks in every town. There are many playgrounds for children. You can usually visit them free of charge. You can see unusual plants in botanical gardens. You can visit animals from all around the world in the zoo. There is usually an admission charge for botanical gardens and zoos. Many regions also have lakes, forests or mountains – maybe you even live near the sea.
At home most people enjoy watching television or listening to the radio. Every household in Germany has to register its radio and its television with the GEZ and pay a monthly fee for it. At the moment it costs 17.98 EUR per month. If you don’t have much money, you don’t have to pay anything.
Maybe your building has a yard or balcony. You are not always allowed to do everything there. For instance you are not always allowed to have a barbecue on the balcony. Check the house rules for all information on such matters.
You can also find out information about local leisure opportunities on your town or community website.
You can do sports almost anywhere in Germany. There are many sports clubs and also gyms. Even small villages have clubs that offer a large variety of sports. Popular sports, for example, are football, volleyball, dancing and many more. Against a membership fee, you are allowed to train at the club.
Football is particularly popular in Germany. However, you can also play football without joining a club. People just meet outside on a lawn or in park to play football. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) provides more information on sports and clubs at the following websites:
Other Leisure Activities
Many public institutions offer special leisure programmes for adolescents and adults. Do you enjoy reading? If you do, you can visit a public library. Many libraries offer special programmes for refugees. More information on many other leisure activities can be obtained from migration advice centres, sports clubs and charitable organisations in your neighbourhood.
Frequently asked questions
I am new to Germany. How can I get to know people in the area where I live?
You can join a club in your local area. You can find information about your local clubs from the citizen’s information centre in the town hall. Or you could for instance take a course at an adult education centre. You can also get to know people who live locally at the integration course or another language course.
Where do I go to make contact with people from my home country?
Many migrants in Germany meet up in immigrants’ associations. Some immigrants’ associations will also help you with problems. You can find for information from the “Welcome to Germany” website: “Migrants' organisations”.
Where is there a swimming pool in my town/city?
You can find information about swimming pools and other leisure activities on the website for the town in which you live.
I would like to go to a concert. What concerts are on in the next few days in the town/city where I live?
You can find information about cultural options from sources such as newspapers, the radio, television or the internet. Posters are often displayed around town to provide information about concerts too.
What newspapers are available in my city?
There are many different newspapers in Germany. They often deal with different topics depending on the federal state and administrative district. These newspapers are mostly written in German. International newspapers can often be found at kiosks in train stations. You can find an overview here as well as searching for newspapers available in your area:
The Federation of German Newspaper Publishers
Additional information for asylum seekersOn the "refugee radio network“ you can also listen to up-to-date news in your language. ARD's website also publishes the latest news in Arabic or English.
"refugee radio network“
I am not familiar with the Internet or computers. Who can help me?
You can take part in a computer course at the VHS. Please ask for more information at your local Migration advice.