Whether you are an early riser or prefer to get out of bed closer to midday, knowing how to greet someone in another language in the morning is always useful.
Using greetings specific to the time of day makes for much more pleasant interactions and allows you to mix up your vocabulary so you don’t get bored of saying the same “hello” every time.
Germans value a morning greeting as it is seen as polite and so wishing someone a “good morning” will not only make people open up to you more, but you will likely get a nice greeting said back to you.
German is not only spoken across all 18 of the federal German states but also in Switzerland and Austria and each area has its own colloquial morning greeting.
This guide will teach you how to say “good morning” in all the different German-speaking regions so you can wish someone well in the morning no matter where you are.
How to Say Good Morning in German at a Glance
- Guten Morgen – Good morning
- Morgen – Morning
- Grüß Gott – Good day. (lit. Say hi to god for me)
- Grüß Dich – Hello there
- Moin – Good morning – Northern Germany
- Moin Moin – Good morning (Informal) – Northern Germany
- Moinsen – Good morning (Informal) – Northern Germany
- Servus – Hello
- Mojen – Good morning – Berlin
- Grüezi – Good morning (Formal) – Austria and Switzerland
- Grüessech – Good morning (Formal) – Austria and Switzerland
- Hoi – Good morning (Informal) – Austria and Switzerland
- Tschau – Ciao – Austria and Switzerland
- Sali – Salü – Hello – Switzerland
- Hallo – Hello
- Tag – Good Day
- Alles klar? – All good?
- Wie geht’s – How are you?
How to Say Good Morning in Germany
First, we will look at good morning greetings from Germany before moving on to other German-speaking countries later.
Guten Morgen! – “Good Morning” in German
The most common way to say “good morning” in German is “Guten Morgen” and you can use this greeting across the whole of Germany.
Since “Guten Morgen” is such a common greeting, it is important to learn it when you are travelling around Germany so you can say “good morning” to anyone you interact with.
Actually, it can even be considered bad manners to not say “Guten Morgen” when you enter a business or meet up with someone.
Morgen – “Morning” in German
If you want to save time, or if you are not having a good morning, you can shorten “Guten Morgen” to simply “Morgen”
This abbreviated version expresses the same sentiment in a slightly more casual way and will enable you to greet people in a quick and simple manner without feeling like you are being rude by ignoring them.
Grüß Gott – “Good Day” in German
If you want to keep it nice and pleasant in the morning what better way to do it than to wish someone a “good day” in German which is “grüß Gott”.
Although “Grüß Gott” translates literally to “say hi to God for me”, it actually isn’t used in this religious sense and just means “good day” in German.
“Grüß Gott” is used commonly in the region of Bavaria as well as the whole of the south of Germany so if you ever want to say “good morning” in these parts of Germany “grüß Gott” is a great phrase to know.
Grüß Dich – “Hello There” in German
A variation of “grüß Gott” is “grüß Dich” which is a morning greeting that roughly translates to “hello there”.
“Grüß Dich” is also used in the south of Germany and so is a good greeting to know if you want to mix up your vocabulary.
However, since “grüß Dich” uses the informal “du”, it can only really be used with family and friends or people you already know, as it is a casual phrase.
For a safer bet use the more standard “grüß Gott” or simply stick with “Guten Morgen”.
Moin – “Good Morning” in German
“Moin” is a great German word to use in the morning as it simply means “good morning”.
This easy-to-remember word is used commonly as a “good morning” greeting in the north of Germany.
“Moin” can be a bit confusing however since you can also use this word as a greeting at any time of the day.
Since people wrongly believed “moin” was derived from “morning”, the greeting became associated with the early hours of the day. However “moin” most likely comes from the Northern German word for “pleasant” which is “moi”.
Moin Moin – “Hi There” in German
“Moin moin” is a variation that doubles up the use of the word “moin” and creates a fun greeting that can be used with friends.
Similar to saying “ciao” “ciao” in Italian, “Moin moin” is basically like saying “hi there”.
This greeting is more informal than the singular “moin” and so should only be used with friends or when you are entering a casual situation.
Moinsen – “Hey” in German
There’s even another version of “moin” which can be used as an informal greeting, this is “moinsen”.
Much like “moin”, “moinsen” is commonly used in the North of Germany and it is often used between friends to say “hey” or “hello”.
Servus – “At Your Service” in German
“Servus” actually translates to “at your service” and is a polite way to say both “hello and “goodbye” in German.
This greeting is used across most of Germany but is very common in the south of Germany as well as the country Austria.
“Servus” is a versatile word that not only means “hello” and “goodbye” but can also be used at any time of day, this certainly makes it a good greeting to remember.
Mojen – “Good Morning” in German for Berliners
If you are ever in Berlin and want to fit in like a local then use the greeting “Mojen” to wish someone a “good morning”.
You may not find a translation to “Mojen” online since it is only ever used in Berlin, so make sure you only use this greeting in the nation’s capital to be understood correctly.
Since Berliners can often be a bit unwelcoming to tourists, using “mojen” when you visit Berlin will allow you to say “good morning” whilst blending in with fellow locals.
How to Say Good Morning in German – Austria and Switzerland
There are many different ways to greet someone in the morning between the different areas in Germany itself, these differences increase between Germany and its neighbouring countries Austria and Switzerland.
As mentioned, you can use the greetings such as “Guten Morgen”, “Grüß Gott” and “Servus” in Austria but the commonly used morning phrases in Switzerland differ even more. There is also a greater difference between formal and informal greetings in Switzerland which is good to be aware of as well.
Grüezi – Formal “Hello” in Austria and Switzerland
A well-known and very common Swiss-German greeting is “grüezi” which means “hello”.
“Grüezi” is actually an abbreviation of another Swiss-German phrase “Gott grüez i” which means “may God greet you”.
However although “grüezi” is not a religious phrase it is still a formal greeting that can be used to greet anyone you meet, from strangers to friends.
Grüessech – Formal “Greetings” in Switzerland
Another Swiss-German formal way to say “good morning” is “Grüessech” which actually means “greetings”.
“Grüessech” is not that common in the whole of Switzerland, it is most commonly used in central Switzerland in and around Bern.
Since “Grüessech” is a formal phrase, you would only ever use it when addressing someone with the formal “Sie”. For less formal situations, like when wishing good morning to family or friends, you can use “grüezi” or other less formal greetings.
Hoi – “Hi” or “Morning” in Austria and Switzerland
In more casual settings, like with family or friends, you can use “hoi” in the mornings to wish someone a “good morning”.
Although “hoi” does actually mean “hi” when saying “hoi” in the morning it is like saying “morning” instead.
Since “hoi” is such a small word it is very easy to remember and so will come in handy when you want to wish someone a “good morning” in Switzerland.
Tschau – “Hello” or “Goodbye” in Austria and Switzerland
Another greeting used in certain parts of Switzerland that can be said at any point in the day is “tschau”.
Since parts of Switzerland border Italy, there are some words in Swiss-German that are influenced by Italian, “tschau” being one of them.
“Tschau” is pronounced similarly to the Italian word “ciao” which is also often used in Switzerland and Germany.
“Tschau” and “ciao” can be used in similar ways, either for a “goodbye” or for a greeting.
Sali or Salü – “Hello” Greetings in Switzerland
Since Switzerland is also bordered by France, there are also greetings that can be used in Switzerland that are similar to ones used in France.
Saying “sali” or “salü” to someone are Swiss colloquial greetings similar to saying “salut” in French meaning simply “hello”.
Much like with “salut” you can use either “sali” or “salü” at any time of the day and so if you are ever in Switzerland and greet someone in the morning with these phrases you will make their day.
Some Alternatives to Saying “Good Morning” the Traditional Way
Since wishing everyone a “good morning” can get boring and tiresome, it is good to know some other greetings that you can use to mix up your vocab when greeting people.
Hallo – “Hello” in German
You can’t go wrong with a well-meant “hello”. Especially if you are confused about when, where and how to use each way of saying “good morning”, a simple “hello” will do the trick and I assure you it will be well received.
Tag – “Good Day” in German
“Tag” is actually a shortened version of “guten tag” which means “good day”.
“Tag” means “day” in German but when said as a greeting it means the same thing as “guten tag” just in short form.
This is a handy greeting to know when it is approaching the afternoon and are not sure when you should stop using “good morning”.
Alles Klar? – “All Good?” in German
If you want to greet someone in the morning but also start a conversation you can say “alles klar?” which literally translates to “all clear” in English but basically means “everything alright?” or “all good?.
You can use “alles klar?” throughout the day but is always a good phrase to use in the morning to see how people are when you see them at the start of the day.
Wie Gehts? – “How Are You?” in German
Another good greeting that you can use in the morning is “Wie gehts?” which means “how are you?” in German.
“Wie gehts?” is a common German greeting but unlike in English this “how are you?” greeting is often answered seriously by Germans so be prepared for a longer response!
Who Do You Say Good Morning To?
Sometimes, the morning is the worst time to wish people well if you haven’t even woken up fully yet, but in Germany saying “good morning” is considered good manners.
Therefore, you should certainly wish your family and friends a “good morning” and you should greet work colleagues and shop assistants and cafe workers with a “good morning” too.
Of course, outgoing people may even wish a “good morning” to people they see on public transport or when walking throughout a city, however, this isn’t an obligation so do not be sad if everyone is just quietly going about their morning as you walk the streets.
It is also good manners to wish someone a “good morning” when texting or emailing someone to start off your virtual correspondence in a polite way.
If you are writing a formal letter, you would not wish someone “good morning” but instead use “sehr geehrte…” meaning “dear …”
What Time Should You Use “Guten Morgen”?
As with all “good morning” phrases in any language, you would only use phrases like “Guten Morgen?” until around 12 pm.
You do not want to look like you have woken up late and forgotten what time it is! After 12 pm you can simply switch to more generic “hello” greetings like “Hallo”, “guten tag” or “Wie gehts?”
When you use a greeting specific to the time of the day like “good morning” you not only show people that you care enough to learn more German than just the basics but you also show them some good manners.
Wishing people a “good morning” will bring you closer to Germans from the very start of the day so you can build connections and increase your conversation practice from as early on as possible.
Also, it is just nice to bring a smile to someone’s face by wishing them a “good morning” and you are sure to get some good morning wishes back in return!