im Urlaub oder auf Urlaub? Urlaub vs. Ferien — Vacation and Holidays in German

It’s that time of year again in Switzerland and Europe in general. The cities are quieter than usual and offices can appear as if they were abandoned, but without air conditioning in them, they may as well be when the mercury climbs to 30 degrees. It’s summer and summer means vacation time.

Most employed people in the German speaking countries get 4-5 weeks of paid vacation each year. Inevitably most will take at least 2 of those weeks in the summer and jet off somewhere that is usually even warmer than the place they are leaving. Favourite destinations are: Italy (Italien), Spain (Spanien), Greece (Griechenland) and the South of France (Südfrankreich).

In this post I want to look at different ways of expressing vacation and going on vacation as well as related words, so that you have some expressions to use when talking to your coworkers or people you might meet when visiting a German speaking country on your vacation this summer.

We’ve moved. You’ll find the full article here:



  1. JohnCharles · · Reply

    I find these lesson extremely helpful. However, I need to move on to the next stage and start actually speaking German but lack confidence, i.e don’t want to sound silly. Can you suggest some use listening aid program.

    1. Lieber John,
      ich finde, dass Deutsche-Welle ein sehr gutes Hörprogramm bietet:,,2469,00.html
      Ich hoffe, dass Du es auch hilfreich findest.
      Schöne Grüsse aus Zürich!

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