1. Live in Berlin and Munich.

Munich with Germany’s highest rental prices v Berlin with some of the cheapest. Nymphenburg’s royal beauty v the chaos of Kreuzberg. Munich’s fancy P1 v Berlin’s underground parties. You can love just one, but you should give a fair chance to both of them.

2. Tear up Cologne’s Carnival.

Just shout “Kölle Alaaf” and jump right into the chaos where one million bunnies, bears, and hot nurses party like a boss in their winter coats till the early hours of the morning.

3. Get dirty in the Reeperbahn.

After drinking beers in Dollhouse and watching Germany’s best — let’s call them — exotic dancers, you might even gather the courage to visit nearby Herbertstraße, where the “real” action takes place…

4. Spend Christmas in a cottage in the Garmisch Alps.

You, your friends and family, the stars and a huge supply of mulled wine. Done.

5. Do New Year’s at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate.

A million revellers, tons of beer, a ridiculous amount of fireworks, and free entrance. Did we mention David Hasselhoff and Tokio Hotel play the stage? Take that, Times Square!

6. Eat all the greasy German food you can.

Can’t decide between roasted pork or cheese spaetzle after you’ve polished off your sausage salad starter? Just get them both! Want to crown the whole experience off with a huge, creamy piece of Black Forest gateau? Go for it. As long as you’re still young and your body will forgive you your sins, this is your time to devour your ancestors’ ridiculously calorific recipes.

7. Get drunk at Oktoberfest.

Experience this one while you’re young. Because when you become older and more sensible, you’ll seriously start questioning why you just paid €10 for a liter of beer only to be wedged in with thousands of others in a beer tent and surrounded by the smell of alcohol, sweat, and other human excretions, when you could get a decent €1 beer in the supermarket and just have a chill evening with your friends.

8. Get your Goethe on.

But not just any book. Now that you’re a little bit older and wiser than you were in your high school years, read a German classic. Who knows, now that you’ve got millennial troubles of your own, you might just find a soulmate-like connection with Goethe’s deeply unsatisfied Faust or Fontane’s tragic Effi.

This story was produced through the travel journalism programs at MatadorU. Learn More

9. Take a road trip through Germany’s villages.

Go, grab a friend, and get to know your country. Check out old Stolberg’s timber-framed houses and Landsberg am Lech’s historic Old Town. See where Luther made history in Wartburg, or just road trip through the Rhine, checking out all medieval castles that make Germany so epic along the way.

10. Take part in a counter-demonstration to Pegida.

Because after growing up in a multicultural Germany with kebab for breakfast, after partying whole months away with Erasmus students from Italy, Romania, and Turkey, and after being connected with the whole wide world online, you’re the generation that truly knows that integration and multiculturalism can work.