German health care system

“Bist du krank?”

Are you sick? – Get used to listen to this question almost everyday because… the weather is so crazy in Germany!

One day we wake up in a 20 degrees sunny day and the day after it is rainning and the temperature does not reach the 10 degrees.

Spring season is back!

Germans love drinking tea as a first step to recover themselves from sickness, however, and just in case this german technique is not helping you, we would like to let you know how the german healthcare system works.

German healthcare system

The german healthcare system assures universal coverage to all the citizens. Therefore the most recommended thing to do when you register yourself as a resident in Germany is to take out a Krankenkasse (a public health insurance company).

In case of unemployement you will have to carry out a fix monthly payment (between 140-160€) to the Krankenkasse that you choose. However, if you are employed, an amount of 8,2% of your income will be substracted to pay the public health insurance.

If you are willing to have more coverage you can always enrolle in a private insurance. In this case be aware of two things; the older you are the more expensive the insurance will be, and the doctors you can attend to are usually the same in both cases (with public and private insurance).

How to go to the doctor

In Germany practitioners are not associate to the Krankenkasse, so the best option, if you need to visit one, is to google it or to ask a friend if he can recommend you a good doctor.

If you are a european citizen and you are living in Germany for a short period of time (2-3 months) you can always use the european health insurance card and you won´t need to pay for the consultation.

In case you are a resident in Germany you will be asked to show your Krankenkasse card every time you visit the practitioner.

The consultation

First of all you have to visit the Allgemeinarzt (general practitioner) and then he will transfer you to a specialized medical practitioner.

Allgemeinarzt practices have also their own laboratory, in case some blood tests are required. However, if you need more specific tests the doctor will transfer you to another practicioner (in most of the cases you will have to look for one on your own, so check google or talk to your friends once again for a recommendation).

Taking time off for sickness

If you are employed you can take a day off to stay at home without going to the doctor, however, after the second day you will need to visit him to get diagnosed and to take time off for sickness.

In Germany it is really easy to book off sick at the office since they are really afraid of being contagious, therefore they prefer to stay at home instead of going to work (a time off sick due to a light cold can last 3 days).

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Medication

In comparison to other european countries Germany is really cautious regarding the selling of medical products. Basic things such as peroxide and mercurchrome are hard to buy without a prescription.

Whenever you need to go to the pharmacy visit your doctor first and ask him for a presciption. If you contract a public insurance it will take care of the costs of medicines.

Following you can find a list of the existing Krankenkassen and the private health insurance companies in Germany.

I hope it was a usefull post and you enjoy a nice spring season!

Kölner oder Düsseldorfer?

Ahora tenéis la opción de decidir de que lado del Rhein estáis 😉

Aquí os dejo el link para que podáis votar:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/karstenschmehl/welche-stadt-ist-die-nummer-1-am-rhein?utm_term=.wi4036YGG#.hnWJ20Q11

Y vosotros, sois más de Düsseldorf o de Köln?? Si ya vivís en Alemania seguro que hace tiempo que os habéis decidido por una de ellas, por la altbier o la kölsch, por la Kö o por Rudolfplatz, por un Altstadt o por el otro 😉 Los que estáis pensando en venir a Alemania… Aquí os lanzo la pregunta!! Así igual os apetece curiosear en internet información a cerca de ambos sitios.

Mi opinión: Las dos son unas ciudades preciosas y llenas de vida!! Aunque… Yo ya he elegido una 😉

Seid ihr Düsseldorfer oder Kölner??

Brunch in Düsseldorf

Although I thought everybody knew what a Brunch is, it seems I was wrong. So here I show you which I think are the best places to have brunch in Düsseldorf for you to try them ;).

Pempelfort 

Löffelbar

Tußmannstraße 3, 40477 Düsseldorf

Huge variety of brunch!! Among its offer you can choose a classic breakfast with nutella and croissant or a breakfast for two, with eggs, sausages, cold meat… Attention carnivorous!! The burgers are really good here!!! And… Do not forget to try the homemade french fries… really really tasty!!

Schnell Veg

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Bagelstraße 130, 40479 Düsseldorf

The place to be for vegans and vegetarians. This cozy restaurant is located in Pempelfort and they serve healthy and tasty food. It is a place made for vegetarians but thought for vegans, since they have a assorted offer for them. Its menu is really interesting. Have you ever tried pasta made by vegetable dough? And corn french fries? Both are really delicious! I recommend you to try them!

Breaking News!! After three years delighting us with its tasyt food, Schnell Veg closed its doors one month ago… Althought we are really sad about it we are, at the same time, excited to discover the new restaurant that is coming soon. Stay tuned!! 

Ab der Fisch

Moltkestraße 124, 40479 Düsseldorf

I just discovered this place thanks to a friend of mine. Located between Löffelbar and Schnell Veg, this restaurant can surprise you. At the very beginning you might think you are entering to a traditional german restaurant where to eat german food, but… it is not so!! Its brunch menu is small and international. You can order, for example, an italian brunch or an american one. Its original and tasty teas are the best accompaniment for its meals.

 

Flingern 

 

Bethoveen

Ackerstraße 106, 40233 Düsseldorf

It is always a good idea to have a brunch at Bethoveen, one of the oldest places in the city. Did you know that some years ago in this place were only men allowed to enter? Thanks God now women can also go inside, because the brunch menu is really interesting. I recommend you to go there in summer time, when the german sun join us, to enjoy the meal in its outdoor terrace.

Nooij 

Hoffeldstraße 37, 40235 Düsseldorf

Do you remember it?? Some time ago I talked to you about Nooij, a cute restaurant located close to a small park in Flingern. There is an assorted international brunch menu. They also have salats and good cheese. If you do not drink cow milk, then it is your place! They have a wide variety of milk.

Breaking News!! Noiij restaurant closed some months ago and they opened a neew restaurant instead. I didn´t try its food for the moment, but I will do it soon. I will keep you posted! 

Altstadt

Bazzar

Heinrich-Heine-Allee 53, 40213 Düsseldorf

They have not only good brunch offer but well known coffes and teas. Although the place is not that big here you can find tasty classic brunchs: nutella, cold meat, croissant und cheese are the base of its menu. Do not miss them!!

Bistro Zicke

Bäckerstraße 5a, 40213 Düsseldorf

One of the best brunch places in the Altstadt. It is always full due to its assorted menu and its cute decoration. If you wanna eat enough food (not too much not too less) and spend a nice time while having your meal, I recommend you to have a weekend brunch in this place.

 

Next time will be dessert time!! ;);)

 

* If you want to discover new places in Düsseldorf to have a great brunch just click here and check my new post!

Santa is coming to Düsseldorf

It is only 4 days left until Christmas arrives and I would like to show you how we do prepare these special days in the NRW region, in Germany.

As I previously mentioned, the most renowned activity during the months of November and December is to visit the Christmas markets. But, why are they so special? In my opinion, the prettiest part of the markets are not the markets itself but the atmosphere that surrounds them.

 

Each city has different christmas markets where to find christmas traditional food: caramel coated almonds, flammkuche, anisette candies, sausages and our beloved and well-known Glühwein. Another possibility is to buy the christmas presents there and to surprise your family with traditional german products such as: Paper lanterns, advent candles, christmas decoration or leather bags.

 

 

Here I show you a list of some markets I have already visited (and I would like to recommend you):

Düsseldorf Weihnachtsmarkt

http://www.duesseldorf-tourismus.de/top-veranstaltungen/duesseldorfer-weihnachtsmarkt/

Köln Weihnachtsmarkt

http://www.weihnachtsmarkt-koeln.net/

Aachen Weihnachtsmarkt

http://aachenweihnachtsmarkt.de/

And if you wanna find out quiet and unknown places I recommend you the following markets:

Solingen Weihnachtsmarkt

http://www2.solingen.de/C12572F80037DB19/0/BE926AB8173E80D6C12576740029D540?OpenDocument

Leverkusen Weihnachtsmarkt

https://www.christkindchenmarkt.de/

FELIZ NAVIDAD!!! FROHE WEIHNACHTEN!!! MERRY XMAS!!!! JOYEUX NOEL!!!

Advent Zeit in Deutschland

 

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Advent just arrived!!! This time of the year means Christmas markets, Glühwein and christmas deco all around the city. But… What exactly means the word “Advent”?? Why is it so important?? Here, in the NRW region, this time of the year is really special due to the catholic ideology that prevail in the area. But let´s explain what do we need to celebrate advent in a proper way.

Advent

 

Advent is the period of the year were christians prepare themselves to christmas time, usually it coincides with the four sundays previous to christmas. This is a reflexion and prayer time, as well as a time of spiritual preparation for Christ arrival.

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Advent Wreath

 

The most known pre-Christmas ornament. Although the Advent Wreath is more than a simple decoration. Its circular form symbolizes the uninterrupted cycle of the yearly seasons, however, christians relate also this circle with the infinite love of God. It is believed that this symbol was already used in the Middle Ages, although the Catholic religion adopted it as its own symbol.

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Advent candles

 

The four candles are usually placed in the advent wreath. Each candle represents an Advent week, and they are lighted every advent´s sunday. Catholic church considers those candles should have a purple color, however, you can find all kind of colours in the christmas  markets, mostly red and white ones. In some cultures people make a wish once they light up the candle. Usually this wish is to  improve some personal virtue or defect during the four advent weeks.

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Adventskalender

 

And here I introduce you the most tasty advent´s tradition: The Adventskalender. The calendar is formed by small “windows” which can be opened. Inside them you can find chocolate. The kind of chocolate depends on the brand. Last year I had a Lindt calendar which was really tasty! This calendar is use by children to start the countdown before christmas time arrives 🙂

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Happy Advent Time!!! 

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New tips to find a flat before your arrival

 

wg looking flat

Although a couple of days ago I already talked about the process of looking for a flat in Germany,

I would like to show you a website I found out a few days ago. This web is really useful to find the perfect flat, not only in Germany but in many other countries.
I know how difficult can be (sometimes) to move to a new country: new life, new people, new culture… That is the reason why I like to live in shared flats. I find them an easy way to meet new people and to spend time with them once you arrive to a new place. The web that I found out helps people in this process. It is called Beroomers and it is a spanish start up located in Valencia which help students to find a flat before moving to another country.

How it works

You just have to go to the website, look for a flat which fits your requirements and book it. I find it a simple and fast way to find a flat before your arrival. I recommend you to have a look to its blog, where you can find advices, where to go in your new city, where to live and personal experiences from other people who was in the same situation as you before.

wg looking flat

Why a shared flat?

I love to share a flat when I live abroad. In my opinion it is an easy way to get to know new people ready to make plans and organize trips and parties with you. I like the feeling of coming back home after a long day and knowing that your roomies are there waiting to tell you all about their day and to listen to your stories. And the most interesting part, most of the roommates are not only simple roomies, most of them become part of your life. They become true friends no matter where you go after this adventure.

Beroomers

Here you can find the links to the website:  http://www.beroomers.com/ and to the blog: http://www.beroomers.com/blog. I recommend you to have a look, I am sure you will find the perfect apartment and the perfect roommates. If you need some advice or you have some doubts you can always contact them by their online chat, it is really helpful.

It is time to enjoy your new flat!

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Sunset and Food in Düseldorf

And once again September arrived…

Some of you have to come back to the office, some others are still enjoying the holidays… and for those of you who still want to enjoy this german sunny days I would like to introduce you some cute places which I recently discovered in Düsseldorf.

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Zur Sennhütte 

Located close to the railroads, this small bar is a unique place to have a drink under the sun while enjoying a good conversation .

The place has two terraces, a shadowed one just in front of the main entrance (Rethelst. 96) and sunny one located next to the railroads.

Although it sounds incredible, the place is quite relax and charming. The small wooden tables and benches are distributed all around the terrace decorated with colored cushions. In the menu it is easy to find all kind of drinks and different kind of dishes.  Inside the bar the ambiance is charming and rustic at the same time.

It is a high appealing place to enjoy a nice sunset.

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Strandbar Tropicana

 

Opened from middle April bis October this bar is located at Meerbusch Camping, just in front of Keiserswerth.

Highly recommended to relax after spending the day at the beach. Its looks like a typical spanish “chiringuito”; sand floor, hammock, chill out area, tables protected form the sun by  beach umbrellas…

Furthermore it is easy to find some “aperó” as well as different kind of food and drinks. You have to try it! 🙂

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Happy September!!!

Gourmet Festival Düsseldorf

This week we are going to talk about food. As I previously told you in German it is usual to organize street festival during the summer season to enjoy the good weather. Ready to know more about it?

Gourmet Festival Düsseldorf 2015 

Last weekend took place the Gourmet Festival Düsseldorf. I have already talked you about this festival. During two days the Königsalle was filled with stands full of food.

The visitor could find everything. The avenue was surrounded with international and national stands where people could eat german, french and brazilian food, among others.

The festival takes place once per year since four years ago and it is a good opportunity for restaurants to come into contact with possible clients.

I hope that I have whetted you appetite and that you are motivated to take part in this gastronomic event. We read us again next week! 🙂

Food is our common ground, a universal experience James Beard

Düsseldorf Sommer

 

After the heat wave we can say again that german summer is back so it is time to enjoy it! :).

Parookaville

 

Last weekend took place the Parookaville festival en Weeze (yes, close to the airport). During two days Dj´s like Armin van Buuren, Aoki, Robin Schulz, Alesso and some others played in front of a huge crowd of fans congregated in this small german city. In the enclosure we could also find some other attractions like a bungee jumping area, a swimming pool, an amusement park and many stands where to enjoy food and bier. If you like House, Techno and Trance music I would recommend you to come to enjoy this successful festival next year.

Rheinkirmes

 

This is the most beloved time of the year in Düsseldorf. The reason is called “Rheinkirmes”.

The Kirmes is an amusement park located at the bank of the Rhein. Among its roller-coasters the visitor can also find different food and beer stands. For me it is really impressive the huge stands assembled by the breweries. There, you can enjoy a good beer at the Biergarten while enjoying a life concert as well as while dancing in the brewery´s disco. It is worthy to have a walk around and, of course!, to enjoy the night fireworks which take place the last weekend of the Kirmes.

 

To say goodbye (until next week) I leave you here a  Martin Solveig live session at Parookaville festival.