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Eva Shirley

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Good to Know

880 x 125 basics

You have arrived in Siegen and taken care of more or less all the important initial steps. Here, we have compiled some information on a number of matters that might come up during your stay in Siegen or which are simply 'good to know' about.


Important: Shops are usually not open on Sundays in Germany!

A number of types of shops fall within the field of 'shopping'. Below you will find information on a number of categories of shops.


Discounters usually offer a basic range of food, household and hygiene products at low prices and often also have non-food items that are available for a short while only. Some of the discounters you will find at numerous locations in Siegen and the region are:
» Aldi
» Lidl
» Norma
» Penny

Other Supermarkets

There are also a number of supermarket chains that do not belong to the same category as the discounters mentioned above. They usually have a wider range of products (including a constant stock of certain non-food items) and also offer a wider variety of brands.
» Dornseifer
» Edeka
» Kaufland
» Rewe

Sustainable and Organic

While many shops nowadays offer a range of organic products, most of their products are not organic.
» Denn's offers an entirely organic range of food, including vegetables and fruit, and a small selection of zero waste products.
» The association fairwertbar e.V. has a store where it distributes food that is no longer suitable for sale in supermarkets but still consumable. Their vision is to reduce food waste with the help of donations. Their opening hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. More information can be found on their website.

Hygiene, Health and Beauty

Although you will find hygiene, health and beauty products in supermarkets, there are also a number of shops that offer a wider variety of said products. Often, they also offer a small selection of organic foods, too. You will find some of these chains in Siegen:
» dm
» Müller
» Rossmann
» For chemists/pharmacies please see here.


Bread is a very important part of German culture. In fact, it was named an Intangible Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO. Germans are very proud of their bread and bakeries can be found almost everywhere. Typical for the Siegerland is the Siegerländer Schwarzbrot and the potato breads [Kartoffelbrot] Riewekooche (made with raw potatoes) and Bäckel (made with boiled potatoes. As there are so many different bakeries in the region, we will not list them. However, usually bakeries can be found in shopping centers but also attached to larger supermarkets.

International Supermarkets

For those of you looking for a part of home or wanting to try out some new recipes from around the world, there are also a few international shops in and around Siegen. Of course, larger supermarkets will also offer some international products, however, often there is little choice and they are fairly expensive.

» Asian & African Supermarkets: Dang Asia Lebensmittel (Siegen, Oberstadt), Asia Markt (Siegen, city center), Asian & African Shop (Weidenau), Asia-Afro-Lebensmittel (Weidenau, near Kaufland)

» Arabic & Turkish Supermarkets: Aksiyon Markt (Weidenau, Haardter Berg), Bahar Market (Siegen, city center), City Markt (Siegen, Leimbachstr.), Mahmutoglu Market (Geisweid)

» Eastern European Supermarkets: Majak-Markt (Siegen, near Siegerlandhalle), Mix Markt (Fludersbach), Polnische Delikatessen (Weidenau, near Kaufland)


Second-hand Furniture

In case your flat isn’t furnished and you are looking for cost-effective furniture, the second hand market could be a good fit. You can find second hand furniture on flea markets in and around Siegen, at the At Home Factory in Siegen-Eiserfeld or on platforms such as Kleinanzeigen. Moreover, there is the possibility to join a Telegram group to be informed about furniture to be given away for free in Siegen and the area.

Of course, you can also sell things you no longer need on flea markets (or online) yourself and earn a little extra money. Everything you need to know about flea markets, what to look out for and where to find them, can be found here.

Private Liability Insurance

We highly recommend getting a private liability insurance if you are moving to Siegen for an extended period of time. A private liability insurance protects you financially if you damage someone or their belongings/property accidentally. Depending on what is damaged, without a private liability insurance you could be obliged to pay large sums of money. The insurance, which only costs a small sum each month, would protect you, i.e. pay for you up until a certain sum. This is why, sometimes, landlords expect you to have a private liability insurance when moving in. Please find some further information here (only available in German). For an overview and comparison of benefits offered and prices, please see here.


When renting a flat you will often need to find a provider and cover the costs for electricity yourself. Contracts usually have a minimum period of one year but offer some slightly more expensive plans that can be cancelled on a monthly basis. Some providers of green energy are:

» Q.ENERGY EcoFlex online
» Greenpeace Energy
» grünstrom pur
» LichtBlick
» Polarstern
» SVB – Siegener Versorgungsbetriebe

Some providers also cooperate with shops and offer vouchers or a reduction in price if you switch to them. If you know of any offers, please let us know.


The so-called Rundfunkbeitrag is essentially a TV and radio license for public service broadcasts. You will most likely receive mail from ARD ZDF Deutschlandradio Beitragsservice after having registered your address at the Bürgerbüro. It is very important that you do not ignore it. For further information, please see here.


In order to have internet access at home you’ll need more than just the right hardware but most importantly a provider with good internet speed and a reasonably priced offer. German internet providers often bundle the internet access in packages together with mobile or landline phones (if you don’t need landline phone, please make sure to find an offer where landline isn’t included). The most popular types of internet connections in Germany are:

» DSL (Telekom, Vodafone, 1&1, PYUR)
» Cable/Kabel (Vodafone)
» Glass fiber/Glasfaser (Deutsche Glasfaser, PYUR, 1&1)
» LTE (Congstar)

Depending on the internet provider and the type of connection, it can take up to 4 weeks until the internet is installed and configurated. We therefore recommend you to inform yourself as early as possible, either directly with the different providers or on platforms like verifox or check24.


Paying in Cash and by Card

In Germany, paying in cash is still fairly common. Though nowadays all larger supermarkets and shops as well as many restaurants and cafés accept payment by card, there are a number of places (particularly smaller ones) that will only accept cash payments. On buses you will also only be able to buy tickets with cash. Therefore, it is always a good idea to have some cash on you. However, when getting out money from a cash machine/atm, please be aware that banks will usually charge a fee if you withdraw money from another bank's machine. For information on opening a bank account, please see here.

German SIM Card

If you are coming to Siegen for an extended period of time, we recommend getting a German SIM card. There are a number of options here. Some providers (incl. shops, such as Aldi or Lidl) offer a prepaid SIM, which you can top up and pay as you go. Many of these providers nowaydays also offer packages that you can buy monthly, which will give you a certain amount of data, calls and texts. What's great about this kind of SIM card is that you are not contractually bound and you can easily not pay anything for a month if you're traveling to a different country, for instance.

A further option are contracts that have a cancellation period of one month. You pay the same amount each month and the money is withdrawn automatically from your account. This is an easy option but slightly less flexible. However, you are free to cancel the contract quickly, if you need to.

A third option available in Germany is a contract which comes with a mobile phone. These contracts are usually fairly expensive on a monthly basis as you pay for the phone as well as the data and phone plan. A further thing to keep in mind is that often these contracts run for a minimum of two years.


As you may have heard, recycling waste is an important issue in Germany. You can find a detailed overview over the different materials and their corresponding bins here.

Please find information on public transport in Siegen in the Traveling in and from Siegen section.

Hinweise zum Einsatz der Google Suche
International Researchers

Eva Shirley

Contact by email
F-S 405