1. I think every restaurant I went to in Germany charged for water. It's always bottled water, either still water, or sparkling water.

  2. Just to be fair to the germans; I’ve been to Berlin four times and regularly drinks water in restaurants and I can’t remember that I ever had to pay for water.

  3. this is always a big culture shock for me while travelling - where i live not offerring free water will cost you your alcohol license

  4. When I was working as a waitress we had to serve water with alcohol. I would get people super angry if I put water on the table. I'm like take that up with the ABC board. I'm not getting in trouble because your ass can't handle water in the freaking table.

  5. Apparently NYC doesn’t have to provide tap water if the restaurant is within a food hall or airport. My guess is that the larger establishment must provide free water one way or another (eg, water fountains).

  6. In germany, it is mandated that the cheapest drink needs to be non-alcoholic. Usually it's plain water - and if that was really 5 Euros, OP went to an extremely expensive restaurant.

  7. Generally you can get water for free if you ask for "Leitungswasser" (tap water). The default option given is bottled water - not saying it's not predatory but it's considered normal.

  8. One time I ordered still water in France and the asshole waiter smirked and pointed toward the river and said "here's your still water!"

  9. try asking for 'kranewasser' in future? a lot of restaurants will be fine with giving you tap water, it's just that bottled is the default, and significantly more expensive. that said, unless this is some premium shit, 5€ per cup is wild

  10. As a french (free water, free bread) paying 5€ per 75 cl of water was a big turn off in restaurants, because some will bring you bottled water and if you don't refuse, they will charge you. I was in North East coast for some time.

  11. Must have been a fancy one, usually it's 5-7€ per liter bottle. Dafuq is Kranewasser? (Okay, apparently it's a word that exists. Must be from one of those weird provinces with their made up languages :D) most of Germany will call it "Leitungswasser" (pipe water).

  12. But it isn't 5 euro. He says me and 20 others, we drank several times and refilled 2 to 3 times. We paid 100 euro in water. So to me it just seems the usual 2 euro per glass.

  13. In the netherlands, you can specifically ask for water from the sink (water van de kraan) if you want free water. It's mostly used for when you need to take medication, but is probably also fine if you have it as an extra next to a regular drink.

  14. In America water with lemon and ice is standard and free. How expensive can a slice of lemon be? I buy lemon for 25 cents and make 10 slices on average from one.

  15. 5 Euros for water, even if it's bottled, sounds wild. And apparently they brought the water in a cup rather than in a bottle, so there's less volume and you need more refills. Everywhere I've been they actually bring the bottle to the table.

  16. As tourists we ordered water in Germany. There was always a choice of sparkling or non-sparkling and it always came with a bottle.

  17. The math in this story doesn't add up. 20 extended family, 18 of which drank water. 5€ per cup would already equal 90€. One refill per person lands you at 180€ already.

  18. My thoughts exactly. OP even said almost everyone got a refill once or twice, meaning almost everyone had two or three cups of water

  19. 18ppl, everyone refilled, that 36, maybe 6 took a 2nd refill. Thats 42 drinks of water. Equals to 210€ on water in total. But OP said it was 100€ for water. It was maybe 2.5€ per glass of water. Wich is fair.

  20. It's likely per litre and they just said cup. I wouldn't be surprised if that's what it came to, it's not like in the US where a waiter brings you an actual glass of water or has a pitcher to refill. It's a bottle put on a table and you fill your glass when you want.

  21. €5 for a cup of water—even bottled sparkling—is extreme. And they’d definitely charge by the bottle, not cup.

  22. A lot doesn't add up. 5€ for a cup of water is even here in Germany expensive. So it wasn't some cheap restaurant. And that they don't have the price of water on the menu is something I don't believe in any kind of way. Especially because it is normal to pay for it here so people want to see the prices.

  23. When you’re in Prague you shouldn’t get bottled water, they have some of the cleanest and best tasting tap waters in the world. Also, thanks god Pilsner Urquell isn’t expensive, it’s the best tasting pilsner in my opinion

  24. I did a home stay in Germany when I was high school. I remember asking for water and the son went to get me a bottle of sparkling. I told him I prefer still water and he was like "like water from the sink...?" I said yes, water from their fridge's water dispenser would be fine, and he was so confused. He said "ok, here's your water from the refrigerator" like it was pond water or something lol.

  25. People can be SO weird about drinking tap water for no reason. That bottled water marketing has really gotten to them

  26. I've bought flat water from the store in Germany and you could still taste a slight hint of the carbon :( Also, the tap water is perfectly good to drink but it still tastes like shit if you are used to a better cleaning system like the ones they use in the Netherlands. I'd recommend to get those big 2L bottles at any supermarket.

  27. Restaurants in Germany make a lot of their income with drinks. That is the reason you're allowed to stay as long as you want if you keep drinking. My mother and her friends got kindly asked to go when they were the only guests and the staff wanted to go home xD

  28. No one gets tap water in Germany at a restaurant. Last time I asked I got half a tiny glass to take pills but that's about it. German restaurants often sell their food at a rate that doesn't bring them any profit so the profit is mostly made in what you drink.

  29. When I went to South Africa I was warned by the family we were staying with that if you order water you'll get sparkling water. I've read online in the past (specifically about Europe) to ask for still, or tap.

  30. In France it's definitely free, I've lived here my whole life and I've never seen anyone pay for it unless it's bottled but that's not standard

  31. I’d really hate the idea of coming into a restaurant on a hot summer day for food and then having to pay an extra couple euros just for the privilege of drinking water as if it’s a luxury and they don’t get it for pennies from the tap. I drink a lot of water though so I like practically never having to pay for it in the states. Or rather, the default is always tap water and they don’t try to trick you into drinking “premium water” and charging you by giving you bottled.

  32. How do you know if it is tap water if you never asked and never expected to pay? It was a long time ago, but when I went to Europe (except UK) they always brought bottled water in a glass or bottle unless specifically asking for tap water (or sometimes they ask).

  33. I don't know about Germany. In Italy water is usually 1.50 per bottle. 5 euro for a cup... It's either bs or Germany is just crazy.

  34. I was in Italy on a class trip. We were right by the Vatican. We didn’t order the water, it was placed on the table open. We just assumed it was free. When we got the bill we found a lot of shit that we didn’t order, like bread and water that we assume as Americans is complimentary. Suddenly the waiter didn’t speak English very well. Fucking shady as fuck.

  35. Because of that they changed the law in Portugal. Now u dont have to pay if u didnt ask for it. Some restaurants still try to trick you.

  36. You ~Would~ might expect Germany to serve tap water for free (if you receive that courtesy in your own country) but like the chap above said this isn’t the case! Anecdotal experience of a recent visit to Berlin meant that every restaurant charged us for water when asking for ‘tap water’, it simply doesn’t seem to be a thing there. This was with the water coming out in a plain, unlabelled, refillable bottle with swing top lid leading you into a sense of false security!

  37. There are definitely cultural differences between Germany and the UK around water in restaurants - most places in Germany won't charge for tap water, but it's a lot less common to ask for tap water when you're out, mainly because sparkling water is a much bigger thing there. They usually won't bring the bottle over, as it's poured from 1l bottles rather than the wee bottles they use in the UK. There are probably also differences between North and South Germany - I see lots of comments saying it's normal to be charged for tap water in Berlin, which was never my experience living in Bavaria.

  38. Yeah, I’m not German, but I was born there, visit family and friends as often as I can, and frankly these days I’m thinking about expatriating.

  39. Wdym "don't go"?? Are you saying people should stop traveling to Germany because you assumed water was free but had to pay?

  40. There often is a machine most known from Brita which makes sure it's a extra filtered water. It has nothing to do with being a "dumb Amerikaner" and I can 100% be sure it's on the menu for drinks otherwise they aren't allowed to charge for it.

  41. Plus you have to have a drink cheaper than alcohol on your menu and from a business perspective that's water. From the cheapest restaurant, to the most expensive one, no matter if they were in a rural area or right in the capital I have never seen a restaurant not having water on their menus.

  42. Living in Germany I always asked for "Leitungswasser," because I absolutely cannot stand fizzy water. It makes me more dehydrated and was absolute chaos when dealing with dry mouth the next morning from drinking

  43. I like how you finish with "don't go, would not recommend" even though it's your fault for not knowing they charge for water in lots of places in Europe.

  44. Even here in Canada when you go to a fancy restarsunt they may ask you if you want sparkling or still water .. both of those cost money as they are some branded bottle.. you have to specifically ask for TAP water for them to give you the free stuff..

  45. You're Americaning all wrong. Next time just start screaming "WE DIDN'T WIN BACK TO BACK WORLD WARS TO PAY FOR NO FUCKIN' WATER!!" They really appreciate that.

  46. I‘m german and I highly doubt it was tap water. Tap water would have been free although it usually isn’t served and if so, only after you explicitly asked for free tap water. Otherwise what you had might have been stilles Wasser. Our tap water and bottled water taste almost the same if you’re not used to the difference. Pro tip: everything costs money. German restaurants mainly make their money with drinks.

  47. For german restaurants margin comes from the drinks, not the food. You wont get free water in most if not all of them.

  48. My family hosted a German exchange student when I was in HS and she was so excited to find out about free refills lol. We noticed she was barely drinking her soda the first time we took her out to a restaurant and it turned out she was trying to save it for when she actually got her meal. No need for that lol. She ended up drinking about 4 glasses of coke that meal 😂

  49. It's not obvious, and I've made this mistake many times in Switzerland. If you just ask for water you will frequently receive a bottle of water for CHF 5 or 6.

  50. You can’t really say “don’t go, wouldn’t recommend” for a fuck up that falls squarely on your shoulders. It SUCKS, I agree, I went to Italy with my family as a child and we needed to carry around our own water bottles because even restaurants would charge us. But still, you shouldn’t act like it’s an awful place to go because YOU weren’t aware of the norm.

  51. Your mistake wasn’t ordering water thinking it was free, but actually just ordering water full stop in a country known for its quality beer. What group of cheapskates takes 20 people to a small restaurant and then orders what they think is free tap water?

  52. Yeah water isn't free at the restaurants in Germany. So if you're going to use that as your metric for a good restaurant you're in for a bad time LOL But they also pay their employees a living wage.

  53. Unless you asked for tap water, you did not get tap water. If you only ordered “water” then you got bottled water. Germans don’t drink tap water, and wouldn’t give you tap water unless you explicitly asked for it. All Germans would know that it wasn’t free, and that it wasn’t tap water.

  54. "Germans don’t drink tap water, and wouldn’t give you tap water unless you explicitly asked for it."

  55. I’m an American and I’ve never been to Europe but even I knew that restaurants in Europe charge for water. Though I’m surprised it wasn’t on the menu.

  56. It really depends. The thing is if you just order "water" you usually will get bottled water and it WILL cost you money. However, sometimes you can ask for tab water, which will be the same, or better quality and will be for free.

  57. Europe isn't a country. I'm from Europe, but a complimentary carafe of water with ice and glasses for the water is always served on the table first thing when you sit down in any restaurant. Buying other things to drink costs money, of course, but free endless supplies of ice water is always on the table.

  58. His math doesn‘t check out. 20 people that refilled once or twice would end you at ~50 glasses of water so they paid about 2€/glass

  59. How about not assuming. I am an American and I have known for a long while that water being free is majorly an Americanism. It is a lesson learned but it does not make the business bad…. time to put on grown up pants!

  60. I was always told beer was cheaper than water in Germany. When I went to Berlin, it was confirmed. Think I had water once or twice at restaurants because of it.

  61. We had to pass a law that restaurants, bars and clubs have to offer one non-alcoholic drink that is cheaper than beer. Otherwise beer would still be the cheapest option.

  62. To be fair, assuming bottled water is free is pretty fucking dumb. If they bring you bottled water in the US it's clearly not free either.

  63. I want to know if they poured the bottled water into glasses before serving it? Then I’d think it was tap water and would also be confused at being charged.

  64. I think it's funny that people aren't absolutely roasting Germany like if this were a TIFU on an American thing like this and instead it's like ahh well it's our culture you see!! lol

  65. If you pay a bill (especially in a foreign country) that “seemed really high” without examining it, you can either afford it or you’re just an idiot.

  66. Now imagine the opposite: a german tourist needs to visit the hospital in the US and finds out it's not free

  67. 5 euros a cup I don't think, 5 euros a bottle seems plausible, a little high but considering that is Germany it may be correct. In Italy you pay at least 3 euros for a bottle of water at a restaurant, and the average wage is 2/3 of the one in Germany so overall it doesn't seem too off.

  68. I mean I guess I'm also just a dumb American but it seems pretty shitty to charge for water. People don't drink enough water to begin with and now you are making it so much more difficult.

  69. Did the same when I was in the navy in Australia. I was at a bar and every time I paid, the bartender handed me a bunch of coins back. So I kept saying keep them. I guess they were a bunch of 1$ and 2$ currency coins. No wonder why she was happy to keep 5 coins a drink. Woke up like what happens to my money. Lol. Great country though !

  70. This is only just one of my many complaints about living here in Germany as an American. Like why the fuck is it even legal to charge so much for water???? I've even lived in Japan where there is a pitcher sitting on your table as you sit down of fresh cold water at most restaurants. But holy shit, 3 euros for one small water???? and then like 6 euros for a larger one. It's so fucking stupid and everything is so overpriced. I feel so bad for Germans having to get nickle and dimed in every single tiny thing.

  71. It wasn’t tap water. It was bottled stille wasser aka water without bubbles. Germans don’t typically drink tap water. It might have been listed on the menu as stille wasser but you weren’t aware of what it was.

  72. Germany was very hit or miss for us the few times I have gone for work. When we ate just in a small group of 3 or 4 it was fine, but when we tried to eat as a group of 8 ir so we were singled out and treated like shit compared to other large parties of Europeans. Even when we had native Germans with us, they asked the staff if we were being mistreated and they'd say yeah, the kitchen or bar staff hates Americans so they're making your food/drink last. Happened like 3 times in koln and munich.

  73. In Germany, they punish you for ordering water. I guess that the restaurants feel insulted when you order it. It’s somehow literally cheaper to order their delicious beer at restaurants.

  74. Genuine question as a stupid American... what do y'all regularly drink? Do you just only drink water at home? When I was learning German I think I remember seeing in a text book that asking for tapwasser can get you funny looks so I don't think it's regular to just tank the cost

  75. My dear brothers and sisters in Germany, not all Americans are so self centered as to believe that their not understanding how your society works is somehow an insult to them. thank you. Prost

  76. Regardless of if they want to charge for water or not, what the fuck kind of bougie ass shit hole charges 5 euros for a glass of tap water and doesn't even do free refills? Like if they charged the equivalent of a dollar, sure. Still kind of shitty for it being tap water, but sure. 5 fuckin euros? Google says that's $5.26 US for a glass of tap water.

  77. In Budapest, on a scorching fucking day, the restaurant we were at (who sat us outside, in the sun) not only scoffed at the idea of getting us water, they FLIPPED out over us asking for ice in it. Flipped out, as in, nearly told us to leave. We felt like we were taking crazy pills.

  78. Most restaurants in Germany offer food at cheaper priced and make a lot of their profit on drinks (water included). You're also not expected to tip, so that is also kinda included in the price of the drinks.

  79. German waitress here. I really don’t understand why people from other countries are shocked when they have to pay for water in Germany. You do realize that I still have to get paid? In German restaurants the restaurant doesn’t make much profit with food but with beverages. If you buy a bottle of wine I am happy to give you a carafe (actually don’t know if that is the right word here) of tap water for free. But if you only want tap water we simply don’t make any money with that so we have to charge you.

  80. tap water? how do you know it was tap water? you didn't even know you were paying until AFTER you left the restaurant? seriously, HOW DO YOU KNOW?

  81. As a old waiter once said "You aren`t paing for the water, you are paying for the service of someone bringing it to you and someone washing the glas afterwards".

  82. Yeah, In France you don't pay tap water or bread in restaurants, I was in spain with friends and they made us pay tap water and bread in a French restaurant, what a joke haha.

  83. No Restaurant in Germany would serve you tab water unless you specifically ask for tab water. Tab water would be free but you wouldn't exactly make friends if you'd order dozens of glasses of tab water.

  84. I just want to clarify that eating out in Germany is not ludicrously expensive. The water isn't free but it's also definitely not 5€ per glass. You don't even pay that for a beer. OP's math also just doesn't check out at all. As others have already pointed out, this will not be tap water, but bottled water even if you don't get the bottle. It should also be noted that you only tip 5-10% because here, decent minimum wage laws exist - your waiter is absolutely fine with a small or even no tip.

  85. American living in Berlin, Even though I know about how water works, half the time the waiters still ask to make sure I know what I'm ordering when I ask for water. Alternatively, I just order food without a drink and they'll bring a glass of tap water anyway. (not sure if this is common or just in my little corner of Berlin (Mitte))

  86. Sorry buddy, but your ignorance is not the restaurants fault. You are in Europe, not in America. We do have different stuff. Like you get water for free. And we get a healthcare for free. I wouldn't come to USA expecting to have healthcare for free there only cuz it is free in my country.

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