My fourth FAM / Press Trip to Hamburg – Holy Hamburg!

My fourth FAM / Press Trip to Hamburg – Holy Hamburg!

So Hamburg.

Yeah!

As you know, last week I told you about how I was invited to Hamburg, as a guest of Hamburg Marketing.

What you don’t know, are the details of my press trip!

BUT WHY HAMBURG?

There’s usually no time to dilly-dally in Hamburg. But this time, there was!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

Why not?

The thing is, I’ve been to Hamburg many times, but I’ve never been to Hamburg as a tourist!

Not Ever!

Why is that, you might ask?

To be honest, I simply don’t know!

But I wanted to shake things up a little, and change!

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The Hamburg stand at ITB Berlin was very busy & here’s why – An artificially intelligent tourism robot!

If you recall, almost a year ago, I went to the International Trade Fair in Berlin, otherwise known as ITB Berlin, and met up with some of the marketing people of Hamburg.

You could say, that we actually met on Twitter, ‘cos a British blogger – Eat Shoot Sleep Travel asked me about the traditional Fish Market in Hamburg, and I didn’t know!

Cringe!

The fellows at Hamburg.com saw this, reached out and said,”Hey! Come to Hamburg. See for yourself!”

She wanted to know about the Fish Market in Hamburg. Ha! Ha! I still don’t know!

So I did!

Thanks so much Hamburg Marketing!

WHY GO TO HAMBURG?

HafenCity – Hamburg – Summer in Germany – Simply the Best!

Hamburg really isn’t that big, so follow my footsteps and don’t just talk the talk, but walk the walk too!

A BRIEF PIECE OF HISTORY:

Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg!

Hamburg, otherwise known as the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, is the second-largest city in Germany, and has a population of about 1.8 million people!

Just so you know, Berlin, with a population of just 3.55 million people, is the federal capital, and the largest city in Germany!

And let me tell you, it doesn’t even feel like a city…!

Hamburg: An Introduction to a Port City!

Hamburg lies in a very strategic position with Continental Europe to the South and the Nordic States to the North. The North Sea is to the West and the Baltic Sea is to the North-East.

Hamburg stretches out on the River Elbe, has many small islands and lakes, and borders the states of Schleswig-Holstein with lovely places like Lübeck and Lower Saxony.

Hamburg is the type of city that I respect because like Berlin, Manchester and London, it’s a City State and has existed since the time of the Holy Roman Empire!

Book your hotel here!

History & Glory days at the Internationales Maritimes Museum Hamburg, Germany!

Hamburg is also a member of the medieval Hanseatic League, a World Heritage UNESCO site, with signs of wealth and glory all over the region. Of course, during the Great Fire of Hamburg, and during the Second World War, the importance of the harbour made it an important target, such that many parts of the city, was destroyed.

During the 13th – 16th century, Hamburg was considered second only to the port and city of Lübeck, as a central trading hub for sea-borne trade.

With the discovery of the Americas and the emerging transatlantic trade, Hamburg exceeded all other German ports, and became the main Central European hub for freight travel, transatlantic passengers and from 1871, the principal port of trade in Germany!

Wow!

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WHAT IS A PRESS OR FAM TRIP?

Me in the Philippines, but could this be a James Bond moment!
©Scott Herder – BoboandChiChi.com

A PRESS TRIP is normally described as a visit to a destination, country, city, hotel, venue etc, organised for media groups.

It usually introduces and presents the best bits of a particular itinerary and is usually for a small group of journalists or bloggers, or an organised private trip.

Although a press trip could be for a few hours, it usually refers to a trip of a few days.

Should I take the train in France or not? It’s obvious though isn’t it!

A familiarization trip, or FAM TRIP as it is better known, is similar to a press trip however, it usually includes a visit to a number of sights, venues, activities, accommodations, or restaurant spots, in one area or region.

It is typically organised for travel industry professionals, to give them a better understanding of the regions and products they are trying to sell to their clients.

Lots of different activities are included so that as much as possible can be experienced. Sometimes journalists might attend a FAM TRIP too.

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At the Milk Thistle in Bristol.
©The Milk Thistle.

In both instances your costs will usually be covered, though this will vary depending on the organiser.

I categorise official FAM / Press trips as different to customised press trips.

On official FAM / Press trips, pretty much everything is paid for. Including transport, hotels, food & entertainment such as the following:

FRANCE:

My first press or FAM trip ever to Nord-Pas de Calais otherwise known as, Northern France!

ENGLAND:

10 amazing reasons why you should Visit Bristol!

THE PHILIPPINES:

Is Manila a crime-ridden place or is it something completely different?

GERMANY:

Hamburg: An Introduction to a Port City!

However, once I confirmed it, a very important client also contacted me, so I ended up arriving one day earlier than the other participants, and leaving earlier too, so I paid for my own dinner and refreshments.

It would have been ideal, but my hotel had lost the press package that should have been waiting for me, and by the time I had contacted everyone to find out where it was, all the tourist sights had closed!

I never did find my press package, but that’s a story for another day!

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The horror of Christmas shopping – Get me out of here!

My visit to Hamburg was a press trip.

Once the Press trip officially started, we didn’t have to pay for a single thing!

Of course, if you suddenly fancied a spot of your finest whisky, Monsieur. Or felt that snacks and drinks from the minibar were perhaps included. You’d be wrong!

Your hefty bill and service charge, would be all on you!

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HOW DID I GET INVITED?

I absolutely love walking! ©Pascale Scerbo Sarro
I absolutely love walking!
©Pascale Scerbo Sarro

Well, my first big break came just five (5) months after I started writing as a blogger.

To be quite frank, I have been extremely lucky to be at the right place, at the right time.

In 2014, I happened to be at the Sony Centre in Berlin where I got chatting to a PR person who promised to put me on the guest list of the Berlin Music Video Awards. She did, and even though, I never saw her again, my pro-active activity coupled with an outgoing personality, and a genuine interest to get involved, opened the door to being invited into the VIP section, a glimpse into the media world, and a whole host of people who had a friendly eye, and were willing to help me in my quest for knowledge and information.

Press documentation for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week - Autumn/Winter 2016.
Press documentation for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week – Autumn/Winter 2016.

A press card and a TV documentary about me came about because of the simple matter that when I undergo to write a piece, I make a thorough job of it.

People really like my personality, so I’ve often been an invited guest of city-destinations in which trips have been organised and customised to my own personal requirements. This is the best type of press trip to have, so I consider myself extremely lucky and very honoured. You can read more about them here.

However, on every group FAM trip, I’m usually either the only blogger in vicinity, or the only European there!

You can imagine my  anxiety.

It's embarrassing. I had no idea who I would be meeting, I just knew that I would be going to France!
It’s embarrassing. I had no idea who I would be meeting, I just knew that I would be going to France!

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WHAT WAS I SUPPOSED TO BE DOING ON THE HAMBURG PRESS TRIP?

Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg!

The point of this PRESS trip was to introduce the region as not only an interesting place to visit, but a historical cultural one too. A destination that would hit all the right spots for someone like me.

And ultimately, someone like you!

This press trip was a three (3) day exploration, starting from Friday and finishing on Sunday.

I didn’t have any information as to who was going to be there, and what type of bloggers would be attending.

You tend to get a little anxious that you’re going to be too shy, people aren’t going to like you, you’re not going to like them, you end up being that blogger, or that you’re going to be completely out of your depth and thus, comfort zone.

I also felt a little nervous about the sleeping arrangements.

WOULD I GET MY OWN ROOM ON A PRESS TRIP?

Don’t laugh! Would I get my own room on a press trip?

Don’t laugh.

I always do of course, but still, I constantly worry, and it brings me out in a sweat since nobody actually tells you!

And because I arrived one day (1) day before the others, I was placed in a grown-up more corporate-like hotel called the Scandic Hamburg Emporio, while the others were in a young-ish boutique hotel called the Fritz im Pyjama Hotel.

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My bedroom at the Scandic Hamburg Emporio Hotel!
My delicious breakfast at the Scandic Hamburg Emporio Hotel!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

At first, I was a little disappointed not to be placed in the same hotel as everyone else, but when I saw my room at the Scandic Hamburg Emporio, I soon forgot all about it!

Yes, I know.

Silly isn’t it, but there you have it!

Book Scandic Hamburg Emporio, the Fritz im Pyjama Hotel, or your own Hamburg Hotel here!

WERE WE GIVEN ANY DETAILS AT ALL?

Marvellous news. I’m doing a radio programme with the BBC. And other stuff!

Yep!

The Host was Hamburg Marketing. They were highly organised and thoroughly fantastic.

On this press trip we were expected to be doing the following:

HAMBURG PRESS TRIP – HOLY HAMBURG!

Hamburg: An Introduction to a Port City!

NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: 12

DEPARTURE: December 1st

RETURN: December 3rd

A DESCRIPTION:

My fourth FAM / Press Trip to Hamburg – Holy Hamburg!

SPEICHERSTADT AND HAFENCITY: TRADITION AND MODERNITY

Located in the very heart of the city, the innovative architectural design of HafenCity on the waterfront, make it well worth exploring.

You will find the historic Speicherstadt warehouse district with its beautiful canals, red-brick facades, winding bridges and picturesque views, which together with the Kontorhaus district and Chilehaus, were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites in 2015.

Speicherstadt is the world’s largest coherent warehouse complex and includes a number of interesting museums and exciting exhibitions!

Hamburg is a city with a rich choice of top-class cultural events for all lovers of culture, renowned orchestras and theatres, a vibrant museum landscape with spectacular exhibitions, as well as experimental dance theatre and world-class ballet productions that reflect Hamburg’s great cultural diversity.

Hamburg has plenty to offer.

All are welcome in Hamburg. And depending on when you visit, not crowded at all!

Yep!

I was excited!

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MEDIA TRIP PROGRAMME:

DAY 1

My bottled beer at the Störtebeker Braumanufaktur – Elbphilharmonie
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

Eek!

DAY 2

Our awesome Hamburg guide – Marc Müller –
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

Phew!

I managed to join the group for a quick dinner, had a glass of champagne, then took off!

DAY 3

I wasn’t able to stay, but I did have sushi at Mikawa #2!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

‘Would have been:

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Free time

HAMBURG MARKETING RECOMMENDED ACTIVITIES:

I spent an evening at the famous Hanseatic Gänsemarkt Christmas Market! ©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

I didn’t have time to do any of these activities, but as I arrived a day earlier, I was able to make my own way around, and spent quite a pleasant afternoon (with sprinklings of snow) at the Hamburg HafenCity, the Speicherstadt or Warehouse District, the Altona-Altstadt or Old Town, the UNESCO Kontorhausviertel, and the Elbe Philharmonic Hall, otherwise known as the Elbphilharmonie!

The Christmas Market is not to be missed in Hamburg. Or anywhere else in Germany!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

Since it was around Christmas when I went to Hamburg, I also managed to fit in the historical Roncalli Christmas Market, and the very famous Hanseatic Gänsemarkt Christmas Market, otherwise known as the Goose Market!

Mind you, I would have quite fancied going to the Hamburg Dungeon!

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SO HOW WAS IT?

I bet you wouldn’t mind calling this sexy hot German guy!

It was a pretty packed programme, but awesome!

As I write this, it’s February 10th, and so much has happened since!

ANY TIPS GOING ON A FAM TRIP FOR THE FIRST TIME?

Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner for Bild am Sonntag
©Christian Spreitz
  • Leave plenty of time for trips, tours and meet-ups both before, and after the conference
  • You don’t have to have a huge following to be accepted onto a FAM / Press trip
  • Improve your photography
  • Have great content
  • Educate yourself and if you don’t know, ask your fellow invites
  • Networking is key to putting a face to a name in the blogging / press community
  • Take your business cards
  • Try to get some sleep
  • Get comfy but smarten yourself up, if the venue demands it
  • Be punctual
  • Stay professional
  • Don’t whinge
  • Follow the programme
  • Be a team-player
  • Keep smiling
  • Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone
  • Don’t be stupid either
  • Be yourself
  • Write about your FAM trip and send it to the host or organiser
  • Thank the host or organiser
  • Have a great time

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VERDICT?

My fourth FAM / Press Trip to Hamburg – Holy Hamburg!

The staff of Hamburg Marketing (Jessica & her team), and awesome guide for the weekend –  Marc Müller – were all warm, welcoming, hilariously funny (you should hear the stories!!), but very professional.

They made sure that we were well-looked after, nobody got lost or forgot anything.  And nobody got left behind or ostracised.

There were moments of laughter, but most importantly, lots of smiling, laughing, and learning from each other.

We all got on extremely well!

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ANYTHING ELSE?

You can just about see some of the other bloggers, while we were at the Ottensen/Altona Christmas Market!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

Yep!

We were a small group of just ten (10) bloggers (including myself) from five (5) international countries.

Our job for that weekend was to visit and see the region for ourselves and hopefully, discover the many interests and joys of Hamburg, so that other travellers and visitors are encouraged to come and visit themselves.

And we did!

Victoria’s Hamburger Labskaus, which I had at Altes Mädchen. Try it!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

By the way, a Hamburger Labskaus is a speciality usually only found in North Germany.

It’s a gripping combination of corn beef or cooked salted meat, beetroot, potatoes, pickled gherkins, onions, rollmop, and a fried egg plopped on top of it all!

Gulp!

Thanks guys!

Book your hotel here!

MY FOURTH FAM / PRESS TRIP TO HAMBURG – HOLY HAMBURG!

My fourth FAM / Press Trip to Hamburg – Holy Hamburg!

This article is part-sponsored, and even though I was invited on this trip as a guest of Hamburg Marketing, Visit Hamburg, Deutsche Bahn and the Scandic Hamburg Emporio Hotel, all opinions and the hearty markets that I visited in Hamburg, are my very own!

I’ll be continuing my last visit to the UK and telling you all about my visit to Belgium later in the season!

I’ll be at the UK Germany 2018 Launch Party on Valentine’s Day – on the 14th of February, 2018. Tickets are free of charge, so if you’re in Berlin, join the party!

I’ll be at Berlin’s most famous film festival – The 68th showing of the Berlin International Film Festival, otherwise known as the Berlinale, taking place between 15th – 25th February, 2018.  Everyone’s most excited! Tickets are on sale from 12.02.18.

I’ll be at the ITB Berlin or the Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin – the world’s leading travel trade show, taking place between 7th – 11th March, 2018. You can buy tickets here.

Save the Date!

I’ll be there. Will you?

If you’re not in Berlin in February, then move on!

February is going to be busy!

See you next week!

My fourth FAM / Press Trip to Hamburg – Holy Hamburg!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

My fourth FAM / Press Trip to Hamburg – Holy Hamburg!

What did you think of press trips? Would you choose sushi with a fried egg, rollmop with a fried egg, or both? Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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Hamburg: An Introduction to a Port City!

Hamburg: An Introduction to a Port City!

Moin! Moin!

So I went to Hamburg a couple of weeks ago!

And I was very kindly invited by Hamburg Marketing, to join them on a press trip.

But OMG!

I so need to go again!

Grandfather and “The Tall Young Gentleman” sailing in Mardorf.

To be clear, Berlin will always be my first (1st) love so nothing is going to take that away.

Not anywhere in Germany.

But it’s nice to see the competition!

Now the thing is, I’ve been to Hamburg many times, but I’ve never been to Hamburg as a tourist!

Not Ever!

Why is that, you might ask?

To be honest, I simply don’t know!

There’s usually no time to dilly-dally in Hamburg. But this time, there was!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

It could be that Hamburg is so close by, that one always thinks, “I’ll go there later!”

It could be that Hamburg is an inter-city hub, so I’m always changing trains, and passing through Hamburg!

It could be that most of the time, I’m on a business trip. And short of having a quick drink, one doesn’t really have time to dally, as time is money people!

I wanted to change this.

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The Hamburg stand at ITBBerlin was very busy & here’s why – An artificially intelligent tourism robot!

If you recall, almost a year ago, I went to the International Trade Fair in Berlin, otherwise known as ITB Berlin, and met up with some of the marketing people of Hamburg.

You could say, that we actually met on Twitter, ‘cos a British blogger – Eat Shoot Sleep Travel asked me about the traditional Fish Market in Hamburg, and I didn’t know!

Cringe!

The fellows at Hamburg.com saw this, reached out and said,”Hey! Come to Hamburg. See for yourself!”

She wanted to know about the Fish Market in Hamburg. Ha! Ha! I still don’t know!

Now the funny thing is.

I don’t like to travel in December.

It’s my birthday month, and my “rest” time.

It’s also the festive season.

And when I say festive. I mean the German Christmas Market daaarling!

The Christmas Market is not to be missed in Hamburg. Or anywhere else in Germany!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

However, I had a tiny wndow where I could travel so I reached out to my Hamburg contact, thinking I’ll probably be there in about 6 weeks, and she told me that they could add me in at very short notice.

Very short notice indeed.

I was escstatic.

Thanks so much Hamburg Marketing!

My first official press card ‘back in 2014. Yeah!

However, once I confirmed it, a very important client also contacted me, so I ended up arriving one day earlier than the other participants, and leaving earlier too.

It would have been ideal, but my hotel had lost the press package that should have been waiting for me, and by the time I had contacted everyone to find out where it was, all the tourist sights had closed!

I never did find my press package, but that’s a story for another day!

Book your hotel here!

Right! We’re in Hamburg. Where to start?!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

Right!

Where to start?

WHY GO TO HAMBURG?

HafenCity – Hamburg – Summer in Germany – Simply the Best!

Hamburg really isn’t that big, so follow my footsteps and don’t just talk the talk, but walk the walk too!

A BRIEF PIECE OF HISTORY:

Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg!

Hamburg, otherwise known as the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, is the second-largest city in Germany, and has a population of about 1.8 million people!

Just so you know, Berlin, with a population of just 3.55 million people, is the federal capital, and the largest city in Germany!

And let me tell you, it doesn’t even feel like a city…!

Hamburg: An Introduction to a Port City!

Hamburg lies in a very strategic position with Continental Europe to the South and the Nordic States to the North. The North Sea is to the West and the Baltic Sea is to the North-East.

Hamburg stretches out on the River Elbe, has many small islands and lakes, and borders the states of Schleswig-Holstein with lovely places like Lübeck and Lower Saxony.

Hamburg is the type of city that I respect because like Berlin, Manchester and London, it’s a City State and has existed since the time of the Holy Roman Empire!

Book your hotel here!

History & Glory days at the Internationales Maritimes Museum Hamburg, Germany!

Hamburg is also a member of the medieval Hanseatic League, a World Heritage UNESCO site, with signs of wealth and glory all over the region. Of course, during the Great Fire of Hamburg, and during the Second World War, the importance of the harbour made it an important target, such that many parts of the city, was destroyed.

During the 13th – 16th century, Hamburg was considered second only to the port and city of Lübeck, as a central trading hub for sea-borne trade.

With the discovery of the Americas and the emerging transatlantic trade, Hamburg exceeded all other German ports, and became the main Central European hub for freight travel, transatlantic passengers and from 1871, the principal port of trade in Germany!

Wow!

Book your hotel here!

The Hamburgers in Hamburg. Rich, wealthy, and confident – Prof. Peter Tamm.
© Christian O. Bruch

Hamburg, like Liverpool leads to the sea, and it’s waterside – the river Elbe – is so placed that Hamburg has the second largest port in Europe, the oldest Stock Exchange in Germany, and is the seat of Berenberg Bank – Germany’s oldest private bank, and the second oldest bank in the world!

It’s famous for being one of Europe’s most well-known entertainment districts, otherwise known as the St. Pauli Reeperbahn Quarter, and is also proud of the fact that Hamburg introduced The Beatles to the world!

In fact, Hamburg boasts the city with the wealthiest Germans, and the most millionaires in the country!

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FACTS AND FIGURES

The Hamburg Harbour is so important that the district is actually called HafenCity!

The Hamburg Harbour is so important that the district is actually called HafenCity.

Hafen means harbour.

Hamburg: An Introduction to a Port City!

DID YOU KNOW THAT THE PORT OF HAMBURG IS…

  • The largest seaport in Germany
  • The second-busiest port in Europe. After Rotterdam!
  • A hub for the entire Baltic State region!
  • The third (3rd) largest sector in the German economy
  • As old as the hills, having been founded by the Holy Roman Emperor – Frederick I,  in 1189!
  • Home to 8,700 ships per year
  • Home to 7,300 logistics companies
  • Home to 280 berths
  • Home to four (4) state-of-the-art container terminals
  • Home to three (3) cruise terminals
  • A hub for more than 2,300 freight train services
  • Able to handle cargo weighing 138.2 million tons!
  • Able to handle 50 speacialised facilities handling freight of all types and sizes
  • Able to handle 43 kilometers of quay, for seagoing vessels and ships
  • The top 18 largest container port in the world!
  • The Leading hub for the Baltic trade route
  • Responsible for more than 1,300 freight trains per week
  • A leading employer of over 3 million people, not only in Hamburg, but Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony, and even Berlin, as corporate professionals have been to take the 90 minute-non-stop-intercity express train to commute to Hamburg, ‘cos the money is fabulous, and it’s really not that far away!
  • Making a turnover of €258 billion+

I don’t know about you, but I find this type of stuff enormously impressive!

Book your hotel here!

TAKE ME THERE?

How to use the train in Europe: 10 tips to help you.

You know how much I love trains.

They’re just so comfortable and full of ease. And if you’re on the European Continent, it’s the easiest and sometimes, cheapest way to travel.

If you’re coming from North Europe, South Europe, Britain or anywhere over the water, I recommend flying!

Get a train ticket and travel through Europe!

I went to Hamburg from Berlin. And since this was a press trip, a train was booked on my behalf.

If you’re anywhere in Germany, it’s quite easy to use the Deutsche Bahn – German Trains by either booking from 6 months ahead on the long-distance train Sparpreis Aktion Saver Fare ticket from €19.90. Or by using the ICE – InterCity Express trains Sparpreis Saver Fare ticket across Germany, costing as little as €29.90!

And the wonderful part?

Children under 15 travelling inter-city or inter-country, with their relatives, usually travel on the European train, for free!

Children and grandchildren aged 15 and under, travel for free, as long as you include them when booking your ticket.

Yep!

For free!

“The Tall Young Gentleman” didn’t look too happy that for Switzerland, we took the Sparpreis Europa city night line train!

But don’t forget, if you’re in Germany already, or planning to travel to Eastern Europe by train, DO NOT buy the Eurail train pass. There is simply no need, as the tickets are far cheaper if you book them on the Deutsche Bahn website. And as for Eastern Europe, tickets go for peanuts, if you book them on their own train websites too!

If you need any help with booking trains, contact me for a European travel consultancy, and I’ll book them for you. Do that here!

You really couldn’t get any better than that!

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IS IT GOING TO BE CROWDED?

All are welcome in Hamburg. And depending on when you visit, not crowded at all!

I didn’t think so.

I suppose, it depends when you go!

Hamburg is a really nice city, but I don’t see it as an OMG-we-have-just-got-to-go-visit-Hamburg type of place!

Not yet anyway.

It’s too far North for a start!

WHAT IS HAMBURG REALLY LIKE?

Nikolaus Storzenbecher / Klaus Störtebeker in Hamburg – Germany’s most famous piratate!

I was in Hamburg for 2.5 days and it’s definitely a city that I would like to visit again.

I found Hamburg to be very pleasant.

Some people think that they can compare it to Berlin.

I don’t think so!

It’s very different.

Certainly, the Altona-Altstadt or Old Town is most beautiful, and the Schanzenviertel Quarter has “edge,” but Hamburg is a place that you can take your parents to, and they won’t be shocked.

Shock your parents by taking them to the Reeperbahn in St. Pauli. – Hamburg’s Red Light District!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

Unless they go to the Reeperbahn.

Ahem!

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I DON’T SPEAK GERMAN!

We won’t put you in the Schirmerturm Tower if you can’t speak German!

Not.

A.

Problem.

You’ll find that a lot of of young people speak English.

‘Better than yourself sometimes!

And French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic. Most of the major languages really.

AM I GOING TO LIVE IN A HUT?

You’re not going to live in this abandoned hut, so don’t worry!

Hardly.

It’s Germany!

I’M ON A BUDGET. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Don’t be frightened. It’s Germany. The standard of hostels will always be high!

There are plenty of hostels to be had.

And since it’s Germany, the standard will always be high, and you’ll have a good time.

Since I was on a press trip, I didn’t need to worry about this.

Book the best hostels in Hamburg here!

I’M LOOKING FOR A BIT MORE LUXURY, IS THERE SOMETHING FOR ME?

Sometimes, it’s alright to admit that hotels are better than hostels!

Delightfully so!

As I told you previously, I arrived earlier than the other press hacks.

And let me tell you, even though this wouldn’t be my first (1st) press trip, but effectively, my fourth (4th), I always feel a little nervous about the sleeping arrangements.

WOULD I GET MY OWN ROOM ON A PRESS TRIP?

Don’t laugh! Would I get my own room on a press trip?

Don’t laugh.

I always do of course, but still, I constantly worry, and it brings me out in a sweat since nobody actually tells you!

And because I arrived one day (1) day before the others, I was placed in a grown-up more corporate-like hotel called the Scandic Hamburg Emporio, while the others were in a young-ish boutique hotel called the Fritz im Pyjama Hotel.

Book your hotel here!

My bedroom at the Scandic Hamburg Emporio Hotel!

At first, I was a little disappointed not to be placed in the same hotel as everyone else, but when I saw my room at the Scandic Hamburg Emporio, I soon forgot all about it!

The wonderful thing about this hotel was not only the location being right next door to the Laeiszhalle Concert Hall – the home of the Symphoniker Hamburg and the Philharmoniker Hamburg, a five (5) minute walk from the famous Gänsemarkt Square, but also the view from my huge wall-to-wall window, was pretty fantastic.

Book your hotel here!

Don’t you think the Laeiszhalle Concert Hall – Home of the Symphoniker Hamburg and the Philharmoniker Hamburg – is pretty fantastic?
©Thies Raetzke

It suited me just fine.

More details next week!

Book Scandic Hamburg Emporio, the Fritz im Pyjama Hotel, or your own Hamburg Hotel here!

WHAT ABOUT TRANSPORT POSSIBILITIES?

Using the train in Hamburg
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

Hamburg has plenty of variety in trains, trams, buses, and bikes.

I used the overground and underground trains, as well as the tram. Hamburg isn’t as big as Berlin, so public transport was very easy to use.

I was given the Hamburg Card which made unlimited travel on public transport around the city so much easier, included discounts at more than 150 tourist attractions, which proved very useful in my spare time! You can get your Hamburg Card here.

As well as the Hamburg Official Digital travel guide App. Free of charge!

You won’t get lost…!

Book your hotel here!

ANYTHING ELSE?

Victoria’s Hamburger Labskaus. Try it!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

Try a Hamburger Labskaus!

What’s a labskaus? I’ll tell you next week!

Yay!

MY VERDICT:

On the river Elbe in Hamburg!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

I like Hamburg.

It’s a wealthy waterside city.

Sold!

WOULD I COME AGAIN?

Totally!

Book your hotel here!

HAMBURG: AN INTRODUCTION TO A PORT CITY!

Hamburg: An Introduction to a Port City!

This article is part-sponsored, and even though I was invited on this trip as a guest of Hamburg Marketing, Visit Hamburg, Deutsche Bahn and the Scandic Hamburg Emporio Hotel, all opinions and the good times that I had in Hamburg, are my very own!

I went on a press trip to Hamburg. Watch out for more details next week!

I’ll be continuing my last visit to the UK and telling you all about my visit to Belgium later in the season!

I’ll be at the Press Conference of the exhibition: Eduardo Paolozzi. Lots of Pictures – Lots of Fun, organized by the Whitechapel Gallery, London, in collaboration with one of my favourite art galleries – the Berlinische Galerie, otherwise known as the Museum of Modern Art! Taking place in Berlin, on the 8th of February, 2018.  Admission is free of charge to the public from 18:00 on the day!

I’ll be at the Medientournee of Atout France – the France Tourism Development Agency, taking place on the 8th of February, 2018. I’m going to be quite busy that day!

I’ll be at the UK Germany 2018 Launch Party on Valentine’s Day – on the 14th of February, 2018. Tickets are free of charge, so if you’re in Berlin, join the party!

I’ll be at Berlin’s most famous film festival – The 68th showing of the Berlin International Film Festival, otherwise known as the Berlinale, taking place between 15th – 25th February, 2018.  Everyone’s most excited! Tickets are on sale from 12.02.18.

I’ll be at the ITB Berlin or the Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin – the world’s leading travel trade show, taking place between 7th – 11th March, 2018. You can buy tickets here.

Save the Date!

I’ll be there. Will you?

If you’re not in Berlin in February, then where the hell are you?

February is going to be great!

See you next week!

Ships and boats are everything in Hamburg!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

Hamburg: An Introduction to a Port City!

Have you ever been to Hamburg? Do you like ports and harbours?  Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

How to get German citizenship if you’re British – How to be a German via Double Nationality!

28 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Berlin, I’ll never let you go!

Yes!

It happened!

OMG!

So a fortnight (two weeks) ago, was a really great day.

Have you ever been to Blackpool – Britain’s version of Las Vegas – OMG!

As you all know, I’m a very proud British person.

However, after the very disappointing result of the Brexit Referendum in 2016, many of my fellow British citizens began to wonder whether the discussions and talks would lead to a better understanding of British / European relations, or a hardline stance.

Berlin – very British – rbb

I’ve always been determined to remain British to the core.

Indeed, I even told a reporter of the Bloomberg newspaper that the only way you would get me out of this country, would be kicking and screaming!

But the writing on the wall was crystal clear, that British – European relations was not going to get better anytime soon, but effectively worse.

So at the end of 2016, I changed my mind, and decided to apply for double nationality.

I love both England – my original birth country, and Germany – my adoptive new country, and I don’t see why I should have to choose! ©Reuters

There is no doubt in my mind that regardless of the dismal politics, I love both England – my original birth country, and Germany – my adoptive new country, and I don’t see why I should have to choose, as I have spent a lot of my life and money, in both.

In fact, I’ve written about both how to be British and how to be a German.

And, I’m not alone!

Put the kettle on. We’re going to be here all day!
How to be a German – 10 ways to do it!

Basically, I want to be both British and German, and to effectively have the best of both worlds!

And while the UK is still in the EU, I certainly can!

Now for British citizens living on the European continent, and European citizens living in the UK, what’s next, is a constant worry, and I attend many a meeting, press sessions and network groups, on this very question.

If you’re British, & have the opportunity to apply for European citizenship anywhere in the EU, do so as quickly as possible!
©Dr. Meddy – The Cartoon Movement

If you are British, and have the opportunity to apply for European citizenship anywhere in the EU, do so as quickly as possible, as the clock is ticking, and even though 2018 has only just begun, 2019 will be upon us sooner than you or anyone else anticipated, and then it will be too late.

If you’re a British national of Irish descent or anybody born in Northern Ireland, you have the right to acquire Irish citizenship, so if there’s a whiff of Irishness in your ancestral tree, go and get it!

I can’t tell you what to do and where to choose, but I can give you some simple tips and guidelines as to how to apply for German citizenship, if you’re British.

HOW TO GET GERMAN CITIZENSHIP IF YOU’RE BRITISH – HOW TO BE A GERMAN VIA DOUBLE NATIONALITY!

I’m not a lawyer, so you should seek legal advice!

Before we go any further, let me make it clear that I am not a lawyer, so if you need legal advice, go ahead and contact an expert specialised in naturalisation / citizenship matters. This post is based on my personal experience. I assume no liability for the accuracy of the enclosed data.

Right, now that’s out of the way, let’s go on.

THE RULES:

How to get German citizenship if you’re British – How to be a German via Double Nationality!
  • If you live in Germany permanently, and have done so for at least 8 years, you can apply for German Citizenship
  • If you’re a member of the EEA, a Swiss citizen, or the EU, citizenship is not required. EU law allows for the Freedom of Movement Act which effectively means, that you can live in any Schengen country, whenever, and however you like
If you’re highly qualified in fields such as science, research, IT, or have a firm job offer, immediate permanent residence is usually offered in Germany!
  • If you’re highly qualified in fields such as science, research, IT, or have a firm job offer, immediate permanent residence is usually offered
  • If you’re a self-employed entrepreneur, Germany is happy to have you
  • If you have German skills, can support yourself financially, have health insurance, and no criminal record, residency shouldn’t be an issue

Then there is naturalisation.

HOW TO APPLY FOR GERMAN CITIZENSHIP via NATURALISATION OR DOUBLE NATIONALITY

Summer in Germany – Simply the Best!

WHAT DOES NATURALISATION MEAN?

How to apply for German Citizenship via Naturalisation or Double Nationality

Legally, naturalisation (or naturalization) is the documented act or process, by which a non-citizen, may acquire citizenship or nationality, of another country. This may be done by statute, without any effort on the part of the individual, or it may involve an application and approval by legal authorities.

Britain opted to leave the EU, therefore, after March 2019, no UK citizen will have automatic free access to the EU, and no EU citizen will have automatic free access to the UK either.

This has brought about a Pandora’s box of conflicting problems.

This also means as a UK citizen, if you live in the EU and wish to ensure a continuation of EU rights, then the path to go down for legal certainty is either naturalisation, or double nationality.

WHAT DOES DOUBLE NATIONALITY / DUAL CITIZENSHIP MEAN?

Can you have dual citizenship / double nationality, and not know it?
©i.redd.it

Double Nationality or Dual Citizenship, is the concept where an individual is a national or citizen, of two countries at the same time.

In Germany, it’s the norm to give your nationality up, in order to get German citizenship. However, German law permits certain people to hold two citizenships if:

  • A child, with a parent who has double nationality
  • A child, who has one German and one foreign parent, and therefore, automatically acquires all the citizenships their parents have
  • A person of ethnic German descent
  • A German citizen who also holds citizenship of another EU country, or Switzerland

If you have Double Nationality, under German law you are viewed as a German citizen, and have the same rights as any German National. However, you lose your right to claim German consular protection if you chose to live in your original home country, (or any other country where you hold citizenship). In this case, you will be viewed by that country as one of its citizens, and their own services will apply

I chose double nationality.

The Tall Young Gentleman and the Boy Scouts of America – Troop 46 – Berlin. Having German, British, American & French dual citizenships / double nationalities, works just fine!

Either way, there’s a lot of red tape to get through.

There was a time, when there was an unwritten thing about fast-tracking Brits who wanted to become German citzens before the Brexit Referendum, but that’s stopped now…

I choose to have both German and British passports!
©DPA

According to the BAMF – Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge, otherwise known as the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, the process of Naturalisation is extremely challenging, and can only occur under certain circumstances and conditions.

THE CONDITIONS:

My beer at the NeuenSee lake in Berlin!

You have a right to Naturalisation, if you fulfil the following conditions:

  1. You have an unrestricted right of residence, at the time of being naturalised
  2. You have passed the Naturalisation Test (knowledge of the legal and social system, as well as living conditions in Germany)
  3. Your habitual, lawful place of residence has been in Germany for at least eight years (this period can be reduced to seven years if you attend an integration course and pass, and can be reduced to as little as six years, in the case of special integration measures. A reduction can also be made for marriage, the co-naturalization of spouses and children, foreign spouses of Germans, or under the laws of asylum or refugee status
  4. You have independent means of securing a living (including dependent family members), without resorting to social welfare payments or unemployment benefits (Arbeitslosengeld II)
  5. You have adequate German-language skills
  6. You do not have any criminal convictions
  7. You are committed to the free democratic constitutional order of the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany
  8. You have lost or given up your former nationality (exceptions apply, depending on the country of origin)

It is however possible to obtain “discretionary naturalisation.”

This means that the naturalisation authority can agree to naturalisation if there is public interest in your Naturalisation, and some of the basic requirements have been fulfilled.

CHILDREN:

Children under 15 travelling inter-city or inter-country, with their relatives, usually travel on the European train, for free!
  1. Children born in Germany have an automatic right to German nationality if their mother, their father, or both parents, are German
  2. Children of foreign nationals take German nationality if they were born in Germany and if, at the time of their birth, Germany was the habitual, lawful place of residence of at least one parent for eight years, and the parent has unlimited right of residence
  3. Children of foreign nationals, must decide when they are aged between 18 and 23, whether they wish to take up German nationality, or retain the nationality of their parents
The Music Producer and “The Tall Young Gentleman” in beautiful Osnabrück, Germany.

Luckily for us, The Tall Young Gentleman is half German (by virtue of his German father) – half British (by virtue of his British mother – me) by birth, and has always been entitled to both nationalities.

I’m extremely glad that I had the foresight to register him at the British Embassy in Berlin, at birth, and have it recorded on his birth certificate too!

As far as being British is concerned, point Nr. 8 above “you have given up your former nationality (exceptions apply, depending on the country of origin)” is extremely important, because the way to bypass that point as of now, is still double nationality. After 2019, if you are British, you’ll have to choose.

HOW DO YOU START THE PROCESS OF NATIONALISATION / DOUBLE NATIONALITY:

Now that Brexit & Article 50 has been triggered, as an island nation. We’re out. Alone.
  • The first thing you have to realise is that the clock is ticking, and the UK government is not backing down from Brexit, so if you want double nationality, you ought to start processing it. Like YESTERDAY!
  • Next, you must submit an application.

Parents can make an application for children who are under 16. Anyone over 16, must submit their own application.

You can obtain application forms from the following places:

Bremen – Old Town Hall – Germany
  • The city / town council
  • The local authority
  • The regional district office
  • The local immigration office or authority for your town or community
  • Youth migration services
  • The immigration advice service for adult migrants

To find out which authority handles the citizenship process in your area, ask your local advice office, regional advice office, or local foreign affairs office. The information and documents that are required for your specific case, will be provided by your local authority.

Take me to the Baltic Sea in Geeeeermany!
51 reasons to go to the seaside. In Germany! ©Usedom Tourismus GmbH

If you are applying for German citizenship while in the UK or abroad, you need to seek advice from your local German Embassy, German Consulate, or German Diplomatic Mission.

Before submitting your application, you should schedule an appointment for a free-of-charge advice session with your local authority office, so that you can ask any questions necessary, make sure that your documentation is complete, and also pay the Naturalisation Application fee.

Sonderzug nach Pankow – the cult song of my Regional District Office in East Germany – sung by Udo Lindenberg!

I scheduled my advice session at my Regional District Office.

I live in Berlin.

Berlin is the capital of Germany.

It’s a very busy important city.

  • The only way to schedule a meeting is by online appointment only – nur nach Terminvereinbarungvia the electronic appointment scheduling system

You won’t get it any other way.

  • And you must be a resident of the district
Light the way to German citizenship!

My Naturalisation Office would only take appointments on two (2) days of the week, and so the next available appointment slot would usually be about 5 weeks ahead, and even then, you really had to be snappy with your fingers, ‘cos if you weren’t fast enough, that would be another week lost!

And right now, that office is so over-whelmed, consultation hours have been cancelled until the middle of February!

Some districts are flexible, and will take applications from anywhere in the city, via open consultation – offene Sprechstunde ohne Terminvereinbarung – but right now, many offices have enough worries of their own!

Oh, and don’t forget to take along your current passport!

Don’t forget to take your British passport!
©dpa- A. Rain

Once the local authority office is satisfied that you fit the requirements for Naturalisation or Double Nationality, you might also be asked to provide evidence of the following:

  • A sufficient knowledge of German, which is at least equal to the level of B1, in the Common European Framework of Reference

If you have a Deutsche Sprachdiplom, a B1 Zertifikat Deutsch, a Deutsch-Test für Zuwanderer (DTZ) – German Test for Immigrants, were educated at a German High School, a German University, or a German institution of Higher Learning, you will not be required to do anything more than show proof.

If not, you might be asked to do a language test.

You can do that test, or find your German language ability, here.

  • General knowledge skills regarding the political, social and legal aspects of living in Germany. Proof of that is usually derived by taking and passing, the Naturalisation Test.

WHAT IS THE NATURALISATION TEST?

Should you go to Oktoberfest!
©Adam Fletcher – How to be German

The Naturalisation Test is proof that you have the knowledge of the legal, social system, and living conditions in Germany that you need, to understand, successfully integrate, and be Naturalised, in Germany.

HOW TO PREPARE:

Oh no! I’ve got to do the Naturalisation Test, & learn stuff!

The best way to prepare for the Naturalisation Test is by using the government’s Online Test Centre.

The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) has more information about the test including how to prepare, free online tests, and where to take it.

There are many platforms that you can use to practice online.

I used this Einbürgerungstest online platform – which is totally free of charge – because not only did it provide the test from each Bundesland, but it also gives you the possibility to test yourself from Easy to Very Hard, and if you get them wrong, you’d be provided with the correct answer, and why!

Ha! Ha! Ha!

I started with Very Hard (obviously), and got all the answers right, but struggled with all the simple easy questions, so it was good practice!

WHAT DOES THE GERMAN NATURALISATION TEST CONSIST OF?

  • You have one hour to answer 33 multiple choice questions, and you have to get at least 17 questions correct, to pass the test (you have the right to re-sit it, if you don’t)
  • Topics covered include: ‘Living in a Democracy,’ ‘History and Responsibility,’ ‘People in Society,’ as well as some specific questions about the particular State / Region in which you live. In my case, Berlin
  • The local Naturalisation Office in your area, will tell you where your nearest test centre, is so you can register.

Again, it’s a bit of a long process and requires hours of queuing to register.

HOW TO REGISTER: 

I allocated an afternoon to do this.

After waiting for hours, I approached an officer, who told me to go around the corner, and register with another office that had absolutely no one in it!

I was the only person there, and within 5 minutes, filled in the required form, paid the fee, and received a choice of dates.

Victoria’s Einbürgerungstest / Naturalisation Test 2016
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner

I registered and sat my test at the Kultur- und Bildungszentrum Sebastian Haffner in Berlin.

I answered 30 questions correctly out of 33, so I was very pleased!

  • The cost of the test is a €25.00 fixed fee
  • It takes a couple of weeks, then if you pass, you’ll receive your certificate with the test results, from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, by post.

Once you have the Einbürgerungstest – Naturalisation Test Certificate, you then send a copy of it (do NOT send the original document, as they can’t send it back) to the Naturalisation Office, you applied to.

WHAT NEXT?

Make it crystal clear that you’re applying for Double Nationality, so that you don’t have to give up your British passport, & there’s no misunderstanding later on! ©Lifehack Quotes

Referring back to your original advice session at the very beginning of your application:

Remember to make it crystal clear that you’re applying for Double Nationality rather than full Naturalisation, so that you don’t have to give up your British passport, and there’s no misunderstanding later on!

Then pay the fee.

Pay the fee with the Bürgeramt Kassenkarte!
Erfurt Bürgeramt ©Friedhelm Funke – Instagram – @friedhelm_funke
  • The process of Naturalisation costs €255, but you’ll be required to pay €191 at the initial stage.
  • Minors who apply with their parents, pay a fee of just €51.00
  • A reduced fee, or payment by installment, is available for low-income earners, or applicants with large families

Remember!

Once you have the Einbürgerungstest – Naturalisation Test Certificate, send a copy of it (do NOT send the original document, as they can’t send it back) to the Naturalisation Office, you applied to.

Then you wait.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week:
Come to Berlin. We’re waiting for ya!

The average process time takes between 6 months and a year, depending on where you live, and the number of applications.

British citizens applying for German citizenship, have increased tenfold!

My advice is to stay in touch with your Naturalisation Office, and give them a quick call every 3 to 6 months, just so that you know how far they’ve got, and if they need anything else.

I bet you wouldn’t mind calling this sexy hot German guy!

They really don’t have the time or resources to contact YOU, so make sure that you do everything you can to make their work easier, as in my Regional District Office, only two (2) officers were allocated to Naturalisation and Citizenship, and it’s such a huge task, it’s over-whelming!

Once you get the lucky letter that your application is accepted for Double Nationality, this is what happens next.

YOU’RE ALMOST THERE! 

At the entrance of my local town council – Bürgeramt Berlin Prenzlauer Berg
©Kai-Uwe Heinrich

You’ll receive a letter with the appointed time and date, when German Naturalisation will be conferred upon you.

On getting to the Naturalisation Office, you’ll be required to bring your current passport, one (1) biometric passport photo, and to pay the remaining €64.00 Application Fee, at a special automated machine.

You’ll also have to sign a few more documents, and get your passport photo verified, and stamped.

There will then be a small pledge ceremony.

I was looking forward to a proper Swearing-In Ceremony like the German Naturalisation – Einbürgerungs Ceremony in Stadt Karlsruhe! ©Fränkle

I was extremely excited and very much looking forward to a fanfare ceremony akin to this one.

My husband – The Music Producer – told me to not to expect drums and whistles in Berlin, and sadly due to a lack of personnel, he was right!

Mind you, I signed a petition asking for a proper Swearing-in Ceremony, sometime in the future!

I’m proud to be a German, so I want my bells and whistles!

At least, I got a tiny Naturalisation/ Einbürgerungs pledge ceremony by the time I got outside the Bezirksamt Pankow von Berlin Town Hall!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – Berlin – The British Berliner

At least, I got a pledge ceremony, in which I had to cite my allegiance and loyalty to the Federal Republic of Germany, and tried not to stumble over my words!

My German Nationality Certificate / Einbürgerungsurkunde, was given to me, and my German Permanent Residency Document taken back, (I received this 5 years after I arrived in Germany, and it was always in my passport…) and returned to the Foreign Office!

We shook hands, then I went to collect my new passport, and pop the champagne!

Popping champagne ‘cos Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner, is German now too!

Whooooooa!

Not so fast Missy!

I was given a waiting number and sent to another department!

More waiting, and a Warteticket / waiting ticket at the Burgeramt in Stadt Neuss!
Instagram – ©Jascha Huschauer – @huschauer

We waited for about 30 minutes, and then went to another office in which I had to:

  • Show my current passport
  • Show my Naturalisation Certificate
  • Show my verified and stamped biometric passport photo
  • Scan a fingerprint of my index finger. On both hands!
This is also the time to apply for a German I.D. card / Personalausweis, too!
©picture alliance / dpa

This is also the time to apply for a German I.D. card / Personalausweis, too because as a British citizen, I only ever had a passport as a legal form of identification, which I was always supposed to take out with me.

And which I never did!

Whoops!

Now I’ll be able to have a German Personalausweis too.

After all that hard work, here's a biometric German / Deutsch passport / Reisepass document for ya!
After all that hard work, here’s a biometric German / Deutsch passport / Reisepass document for ya!
  • The cost of the actual German passport is €60.00
  • The cost of a German passport for anyone under 24 years old is €37.50
  • A German I.D. card / Personalausweis can only be issued to children 16 years and above. For young people under the age of 24, the cost is €22.80
  • For adults over 24, the cost of a German I.D. card / Personalausweis is €28.80

I applied for a German I.D. card / Personalausweis, for both myself, and The Tall Young Gentleman, who will be 16 this year.

He will be pleased.

Gulp!

Very proud. I’ve got my Naturalisation / EinbürgerungsurkundeCertificate & thus Double Nationality!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – Berlin – The British Berliner

So there you have it.

I’m a real British – German now!

Book your hotel here!

SOME VERY IMPORTANT FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

If you want to be a German, ask more questions! How to be a German – 10 ways to do it!

CAN I GET GERMAN CITIZENSHIP, WITHOUT NATURALISATION?

In Stellshagen – Mecklenburg-Vorpommern – Germany.
Our son as a baby – 20 months old!

Yes!

  • You can obtain German citizenship by right of blood or Jus Sanguinis in which you have at least one German parent. It doesn’t matter whether you were born in Germany or not
  • You can get German citizenship by descent, if your parents registered you at the German Embassy or Consulate, in the country you were born in
  • You can get German citizenship by descent, if you were adopted by German citizens, as a child under 18
  • You and your descendents can get German citizenship by descent if you, your parents / grandparents, were German Jews between January 30, 1933 and May 8, 1945, and were deprived of citizenship on political, racial, or religious grounds
  • You can get German citizenship by descent if you’re a spouse or descendant of an ethnic German from the former USSR, or certain parts of Eastern Europe, who previously had German citizenship, and were expelled and deprived of citizenship on political, racial, or religious grounds
  • You can get German citizenship by descent, if you’re a British citizen, and you are a descendant of German Jews who would have been German citizens by birth, but were deprived of citizenship on political, racial, or religious grounds, during World War II
  • You don’t qualify if you were born in a foreign country, and your German parents were also born in a foreign country, after January 1st, 2000
  • Outside of the points above, you don’t qualify for German citizenship through any other ancestor, except your parents

IF I WANT GERMAN CITIZENSHIP, DO I HAVE TO GIVE UP MY FORMER NATIONALITY?

Exit vom Brexit – Wir sind die neuen Germans! / Exit from Brexit. We are the new Germans!
British Berliner BAMS I – ©Axel Springer

Sorry! Under normal circumstances, you do!

However, you can keep your birth nationality, if:

  • You’re a member of the EEA, a Swiss citizen, or the EU
  • You have double nationality

DOES MARRIAGE ENTITLE ME TO GERMAN CITIZENSHIP?

A lovely wedding at Bluecoat Chambers
© 2017 Samuel Docker

Nope!

It certainly helps of course, and once married to a German national, the spouse is usually entitled to a residence permit. However, the legal stance is that if you want German citizenship, you’ll have to:

  • Meet some of the criteria I discussed previously
  • Be married for at least two years
  • Be resident in Germany for at least 3 years
  • Depending on your original citizenship, you can apply for naturalisation later on…

ARE CHILDREN BORN IN GERMANY, AUTOMATICALLY GERMAN?

Children born on German soil to non-German parents – on or after January 1st 2000 – can have German citizenship too.

I’m afraid not.

  • Of course, children born to at least one German parent, even outside the country, are eligible for German citizenship
  • However, children born on German soil to non-German parents, on or after January 1st 2000, can only obtain German citizenship under certain circumstances
  • At least one parent must have permanent right of residency, and have lived in the country regularly and legally, for at least eight years
  • In some cases, children born on German soil to non-German parents, can acquire German citizenship by right of birth in Germany, through Naturalisation, or via Dual Nationality. However, between the ages of 18 and 23, they must decide which nationality to keep, if they have more than one

IS IT POSSIBLE NOT TO TAKE THE NATURALISATION TEST?

At the Humbldt-Universität zu Berlin, and with our British flag!

Yes, it’s possible if:

  • You’re under 16
  • You went to a German High School, or a University in Germany
  • You are unable to meet the testing requirements due to age, disability, or illness

HOW EASY IS IT TO GET GERMAN CITIZENSHIP?

After a hard day at the Berlinale, surely I deserve a glass of champagne!

Ha! Ha!

For a newbie, Germany is one of the most difficult countries to move to, on a long-term basis.

  • If you’re just arriving, it isn’t easy
  • If you’ve been here for at least 3 – 5 years, you’ll know how difficult it really is
  • If you hold a permanent residence permit at the time of application, your legal place of residence has been Germany for at least eight years, (seven if you’ve attended an integration course, or six in special integration circumstances), speak “good” German, have a reliable income, can support yourself and your dependents, and are a British citizen, apply now!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner

Yep!

The British Berliner will be a British – German not just in name, but on paper too.

I’m still British of course, but I’m German too.

And why?

Because I deserve it!

Hurrah!

How to get German citizenship if you’re British – How to be a German via Double Nationality! ©dpa/G. Fischer

For support and advice please contact the following organisations:

HOW TO GET GERMAN CITIZENSHIP IF YOU’RE BRITISH – HOW TO BE A GERMAN VIA DOUBLE NATIONALITY!

We’re not leaving!

This article is not sponsored, and I’m delighted to be a British German!

See you next week!

Be German. Drink up at Oktoberfest! ©dapd

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

How to get German citizenship if you’re British – How to be a German via Double Nationality!
How to get German citizenship if you’re British – How to be a German via Double Nationality!

Do you want to be a German citizen? Are you British? Are you looking to change nationalities because of Brexit? Have you applied for Double Nationality / Dual Citizenship, or are you going the whole hog? How has Brexit affected you as a British person living in the EU? Was this article useful? Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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