What do Germans do in their spare time? How have the interests of Germans changed during the lockdown? How do you support a conversation about hobbies in German? Today we will talk about hobbies and find out what they are called in German.

Normal everyday life still seems far away, and the world will probably reckon with the limitations of social life for some time yet. The situation with the epidemic has given us plenty of time to devote to new hobbies that we have been missing for so long.

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For some of us, being forced to stay at home has been the perfect excuse to watch every soap opera possible. Others have used this time to discover new hobbies.

Whatever your interest, any hobby, new or old, is a lot of fun. After all, hobbies allow us to rediscover ourselves.

Most people have a hobby of some kind – whether it’s playing video games, sports or cooking, hobbies diversify our routine and sometimes become a way of life. We’ve compiled the top 9 hobbies that Germans devote their free time to:

#1: The most popular hobby is gardening

More than 30% of the German population spend their free time gardening. This is also a health hobby, as spending time in the fresh air and exercise is very rewarding.

#2: Shopping

Whether it’s food or clothes – we all love to go shopping. Don’t have anything to wear again? You can take a walk to the nearest clothing shop!

#3: Riddles.

No, we weren’t wrong to include this hobby in the list. Many people in Germany remark that they like having something to think about.

#4: Dinner

Friday evenings are often spent having dinner with friends or family. It is more of a ritual than a hobby, but cooking together or organising family gatherings like this can become a real hobby. And let’s not forget the famous German barbecue!

#5: Gambling

Most people have already forgotten about the time before gaming consoles, but in Germany they are still popular.

#6: The gym

We’ve all had the idea of exercising more at some point. Germans haven’t given up hope.

#7: Hiking

If you have spent any time in Germany and have friends there, you know that Germans love to go for long walks, hiking and even journeys on foot.

#8: Jogging

If a sport, then jogging in the fresh air.

#9: Board games

A hobby that can easily be combined with Friday nights out with friends.

Social distance and supermarket entry control, fewer tables and meals in restaurants have all led to more and more Germans ordering food and groceries online.

Car cinemas were just something of a nostalgia for years, but lately this entertainment – especially in summer – is back at the peak of popularity. Some markets, parks and sports stadiums in Germany have been adapted to car cinemas and show both classic and modern films.

Today, anyone can see the Mona Lisa in the Louvre, stroll through the Guggenheim Museum in New York, listen to a concert in the Elbe Philharmonic or attend a concert of a famous band. All of this is possible, at least virtually, and this kind of entertainment has become very popular among Germans.

Many have decided to try something completely new. Whether it was a new language, a sport or a craft skill. Others, on the other hand, used the time to rediscover an old hobby, decorate or renovate their own home or devote themselves to new projects.

Those who can’t or don’t want to meet in person have moved into the digital space. Zoom, Team, Skype or any other program: video calling has become a viable alternative. Not only are many companies moving their meetings into virtual space, but family conversations, meetings with friends, parties and even weddings often take place in the online space.

To stay in shape, many people continue to exercise vigorously at home. This can be a workout in front of the television, a virtual yoga class or a treadmill in the study, as German citizens, like many others, have had to give up going to the gym, team sports and other sporting events.

During the pandemic, the number of subscriptions to online movie and TV series watching services rose sharply. Almost three out of five citizens regularly use offers from Netflix, Sky, Amazon Prime or similar services.

Hobbies in German

With the verb spielen

Ich spiele gern Fußball.I like to play football.
Basketball spielenplay basketball
Tennis spielenplay tennis
Volleyball spielenplay volleyball
Brettspiele spielenplay board games
Ich mag Brettspiele spielen.I like to play board games.
Schach spielenplay chess
Ich spiele gern Schach.I love to play chess.
Musikinstrumente spielenPlay musical instruments
Mein Hobby ist Musikinstrumente spielen.My hobby is playing musical instruments.
Klavier spielenplay the piano
Gitarre spielenplay the guitar
Flöte spielenplay the flute

With the verb gehen

Ich gehe gern spazieren.I like to go for walks.
ins Kino gehengo to the cinema
ins Theater gehengo to the theatre
ins Museum gehengo to museums

Sports activities

Sport machendo sports
Ich mache gern Sport.I like to do sports.
Fahrrad fahrento ride the bike / cycle
Ich fahre gern Fahrrad.I like to go cycling.
skatento skate
Ich skate gern.I like to skateboard.
Rollschuh laufenrollerblading
Mein Hobby ist Rollschuh laufen.My hobby is roller skating.
Ski fahrenskiing
Ich mag Schlittschuhlaufen.I love ice skating.
Ich schwimme gern.I like to swim.
reitenhorseback riding
Mein Hobby ist Tanzen.My hobby is dancing.
Ich wandere gern.I like to go camping.
segelngo sailing


chattento chat
Ich mag chatten.I love chatting.
Mein Hobby ist lesen.My hobby is reading.
Ich koche gern.I like to cook.
Musik hörenlisten to music
Ich höre gern Musik.I like listening to music.
Ich mag singen.I like to sing.
Ich male gern.I like to draw.
fernsehenwatch TV
Ich sehe gern fern.I like watching TV.
fotografierentake pictures
Ich mag fotografieren.I like taking pictures.
im Internet surfenI like to look for things on the internet
sich mit Freunden treffengo out with friends
Ich treffe mich gern mit Freunden.I like going out with friends.
Briefmarken sammelnstamp collecting

Phrases for talking about hobbies in German

Was ist dein Hobby/ Was sind deine Hobbys?What is/are your hobbies?
Mein Hobby ist../ Meine Hobbys sind…My hobby/hobbies are … 
Wofür interessierst du dich?What are you interested in?
Ich interessiere mich für+AKKI am interested in …
Was machst du gern?What do you like to do?
Ich … gernI like …
Was machst du in deiner Freizeit?What do you do in your free time?
Wann hast du Freizeit?When do you have free time?
Ich habe Freizeit nur am Wochenenden/abends/nachmittagsI am free only at weekends/in the evening/in the afternoon
Am liebsten mache ich Sport.I like doing sports most of all.
Ich spiele lieber Fußball als Basketball.I like to play football more than basketball.

An example of talking about a hobby in German

Hallo, mein Name ist Peter. Ich bin 22 Jahre alt. Von Montag bis Freitag habe ich fast keine freie Zeit, weil ich viel arbeite. Nur am Abend habe ich ein paar Stunden frei und dann gehe ich zum Yogaunterricht. Ich mache schon seit 3 Jahren Yoga. Wenn ich nach Hause komme, bin ich schon sehr müde. Ich koche mir etwas Leckeres, schaue fern und unterhalte mich mit meinen Freunden. Wir besprechen unsere Pläne für das Wochenende. Wir verbringen es immer zusammen, z.B. gehen wir spazieren, ins Museum oder ins Kino, oder wir bleiben zu Hause und spielen Brettspiele. Das ist immer ein großer Spaß. Obwohl wir alle sehr beschäftigt sind, finden wir immer Zeit für unsere Hobbys. Ich bin überzeugt, dass jeder ein Hobby haben muss, um sein Leben interessanter zu gestalten.


Hello, my name is Peter. I am 22 years old. From Monday to Friday I have almost no free time because I work a lot. I only get a couple of free hours in the evening and then I go to yoga classes. I have been doing yoga for 3 years. When I get home, I am already very tired. I cook something delicious for myself, watch TV and chat with my friends. We discuss our plans for the weekend. We always spend it together, e.g. go for a walk, to the museum or to the cinema, or stay at home and play board games. It’s always a lot of fun. Although we are all very busy, we always find time for our hobbies. I am convinced that everyone must have a hobby to make their life more interesting.

Quotes about hobbies in German with translation

  • Wenn man Spaß an einer Sache hat, dann nimmt man sie auch ernst (If you get pleasure from an activity/work/object, you also take it seriously).
  • Angeln: die unverdächtigste Art des Nichtstuns (Fishing is a hidden kind of idleness).
  • Wer man ein Hobby hat, macht aus Freizeit auch Freuzeit (Whoever has a hobby makes time of joy out of free time).
  • Ein Mensch ohne Liebhaberei ist wie ein Dampfkessel ohne Ventil (A man without a hobby is like a steam boiler without a valve).
  • Ein Mensch muss sein Hobby schon sehr schätzen, wenn er es ohne Hoffnung auf Ruhm und Geld ausübt, ja sogar ohne jede Chance, es gut zu machen (A man should greatly appreciate his hobby if he does it without hope of fame and money, and also without any chance of doing it well).

Essays on the topic of hobbies

We have also compiled different essays on the topic of hobbies in German which you can take a look by clicking here!

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