Broadcasting License Fees

Leave a comment

This a very useful piece of information from Bielefeld University’s Welcome Center. You need to pay even if you don’t own a TV – internet, radio, smart phones count too! So basically no-one is exempt…

Broadcasting License Fees – Rundfunkbeiträge

Everyone who stays longer than three months in Germany must register and pay broadcasting license fees. You pay €17.98 per month for each household. This means that a flat-sharing community, family, or couple, only have to pay one charge per month.

Why do they collect fees for broadcasting?
The Broadcasting License Fees are a way of financing broadcasting stations subject to public law. The costs cover the usage of television, radio, computer, and smartphone. Since the fees are paid per household, it does not matter how many broadcasting devices are used by the members of a household.

Are there exceptions?
None, unless you are severely physically handicapped (deaf or blind).

How can I pay the fee?
You can get applications online or at city hall, Niederwall 23, 33597 Bielefeld. You will need a German bank account to make the payment via giro transfer or direct debit. Make sure to cancel your contract at least six weeks before you leave Germany in order to stop payments.

More Information


Computer problems?

1 Comment

I can recommend Second Hand Computer shop on Stapenhorststrasse 85. They spoke English, were very helpful and diagnosed my laptop problems (without charging me).

  Tel: 0521 1360160

Board Games from the libary

Leave a comment

We have been staying inside a lot during these cold dark winter evenings. One of the things we like to do as a family is play board games. Did you know the Bielefeld Library has a game room where you borrow games for only 1 euro! It’s on the first floor of the library (see map below) and run by the Spielwiese games club. It’s open on Saurdays from 11 – 13.45. You can borrow up to three games for 1 euro each for  a week (50 cents for Bielefeld university students). They have a huge selection of games from the very youngest (lots of Haba) to grownups. They are serious game experts and love to answer questions.



Christmas market

Leave a comment

The LWL (outdoor historical) museum in Detmold are celebrating Christmas in 1900 in their christmas market this weekend. A great chance to see this popular outoor museum while it’s closed for the winter.


Freitag, den 5.12.2014 von 14.00 Uhr bis 21.00 Uhr
Samstag, den 6.12.2014 von 14.00 Uhr bis 21.00 Uhr
Sonntag, den 7.12.2014 von 11.00 Uhr bis 19.00 Uhr


Advent fun!

Leave a comment

The countdown to Christmas has officially begun! There are two fun advent activities going on in the Altstadt this month.

Daily from 01.12 to 23.12 at 17:00 Theatre Bielefeld will give a short presentation from their balcony. It might be musical, dance or literary. For those who don’t want to be surprised, you can see the advent program here.

There is also a daily free concert from 01.12 to 24.12  at 19:00, usually at Altstädter Nicolaikirche (or sometimes other places).

1  2

Eiscafe Los Andes

1 Comment

I recently spent a rainy Sunday afternoon at the Chilean Eiscafe Los Andes on Dornberger Strasse 274 (in the Jibi shopping center past Tierpark Olderdissen). It’s a lovely cozy place and they have delicious empanadas and Chilean style panini sandwiches, plus very tasty lemon cake. They also offer breakfast and other savoury dishes. My sons loved their chocolate ice cream waffles!

1 (2)  2 (2)

Bird Parks

Leave a comment

We visited two great bird parks at the end of October near Detmold (the last weekend before they closed for the winter).

The first was Adlerwarte Berlebeck and is all about eagles. They have a live show twice a day which is great, even if you don’t speak German. They introduced about 5 different types of predators and the birds flew right over our heads and followed the trainer as he walked around us. My sons loved being able to see these giant birds close up. The observation deck is also in a beautiful setting overlooking a valley and hills beyond. The show is the main reason for coming but they also have different types of birds in cages to see, plus a nice playgroup for kids.

1 2

They open again next March but if you want a take a peek earlier, they have a christmas advent fair on November 28 – 30, 12:00 – 20:00 and entrance is free.

Afterward we went to eat at Cafe Haus Hangstein nearby which has lovely view of the woods and a great kids corner with trains, books and toys.

Ten minutes by car is another great bird park – Vogelpark Heiligenkirchen. A much bigger selection of birds and other animals (wallabys, monkeys etc). You can get up close to many of the birds and animals, the parrots love to sit on your shoulders and nibble on your ears and my son had a great time feeding the parakeets. He had 5 eating out of his hand and about 20 around his feet (don’t forget to buy the bird food at the entrance). At 15:00 everyday they have a feeding tour and explain the different animals. There is a big play area with rides, trampolines, a pirate ship and sand to dig in for treasure, plus a water play area.  They will also open again next March.

3 4

I forgot my camera, so all photos are from their websites.

Older Entries Newer Entries