5 Common Ways of Saying Good Afternoon in German

Share this:

Have you ever wondered what Germans do in the afternoon? Kaffee und Kuchen (“coffee and cake”) is a German tradition that takes place during the Nachmittag (“afternoon”).

Your visit to Germany isn’t complete until you have participated in this cherished ritual. If you’re wondering when the Nachmittag is, it’s between 3pm and 6pm.

But if you want to wish someone a good afternoon in German… Guten Nachmittag is probably not your first port of call.

In this post, we’ll show you five ways of wishing someone a good afternoon in German to best leave you prepared for your next adventure.

Read until the end if you want to find out how to say good afternoon in German in different regions of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

Read next: 105 Basic German Words – Best Vocab List for Beginners

Good Afternoon in German at a Glance



Guten Tag

Good day

Guten Nachmittag

Good afternoon

Schönen Nachmittag

Nice afternoon

Angenehmen Nachmittag

Pleasant afternoon

Ich wünsche Ihnen einen schönen Nachmittag

I wish you a nice afternoon

The Most Common Ways of Saying Good Afternoon in German

Good afternoon in German woman waving

Guten Tag

You might recognize Guten Tag , a classic German Greeting.

This phrase means “Good day” in English. While this greeting isn’t strictly used for the afternoon, it’s the most common way to say hello in the afternoon. People use Guten Tag all throughout the day.

Read next: 18 Ways To Say Good Morning in German

Guten Nachmittag

While you can say Guten Nachmittag to wish someone a good afternoon in German, this expression is not used often on its own. But it does exist.

When you enter someone’s house or an establishment it’s much more common to say Guten Tag (good day) instead of Guten Nachmittag, even if it’s between 3pm and 6pm.

It is not unheard of though. See the following examples of how to use Guten Nachmittag:


  1. Guten Nachmittag alle zusammen!
  2. Hattest du einen guten Nachmittag?
  3. Guten Nachmittag, kann ich bitte Herrn Meier sprechen?


  1. Good afternoon, everybody! (As you enter a room and greet a group of people)
  2. Did you have a good afternoon? (to ask about someone’s day)
  3. Good afternoon, may I speak with Mr. Meier? (to greet someone on the phone)

Schönen Nachmittag

The phrase Schönen Nachmittag is a way of parting while wishing someone a nice afternoon.

You most often say Schönen Nachmittag to say goodbye, either in person or on the phone.

You can also accompany this expression with the word noch, to form the expression Schönen Nachmittag noch, which roughly means “Have a nice rest of the afternoon”.

Angenehmen Nachmittag

The phrase Angenehmen Nachmittag means “pleasant afternoon” in German. You can use this like schönen Nachmittag.

The time period of Nachmittag is often related to Feierabend (the end of the workday) since most Germans finish work at around 5pm. 

Ich wünsche Ihnen einen schönen Nachmittag

The phrase Ich wünsche Ihnen einen schönen Nachmittag is the perfect way of saying “I wish you a nice afternoon”.

You can use it to say goodbye to someone or wish them a nice rest of the day. The word Ihnen indicates a formal relationship with the person you are addressing. Substitute it with dir in cases of informal relationships with friends and family. You can also switch out schönen with guten or angenehmen.

Read next: 14 Ways to Say Goodbye in German – Beyond Auf Wiedersehen

Good Afternoon in Northern Germany

The above-mentioned expressions are all used and understood in Germany. But there are also some regional variations on the expressions.

Germans from the capital (Berlin) like it simple. Say Hallo to say “hello”, and tschau to say goodbye. These are commonly used expressions no matter the time of day or night.

You will also hear tach (“day” as in “good day”) and Guude (also “good day”) in the north of the country.

Don’t be surprised if you hear Moin throughout the day — although it refers to the morning, it is used all day long in some regions.

Read next: 10 Ways of Saying Good Night in German

Good Afternoon in Southern Germany

In Bavaria, it is common to say Servus to greet a person, no matter what time of day.

In Baden-Württemberg (to the left of Bavaria) locals prefer to say Grüß Gott (it literally means “greet God”, but can be translated to “good day”.)

Good Afternoon in Austria and Switzerland

Since the German regions Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg are close to both Austria and Switzerland, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that greetings are similar too.

In Austria, the expression Grüß Gott and Servus are frequently used in the afternoon and throughout the day.

In Switzerland, locals opt for Salü and Grüzi , which can also be used to greet someone all throughout the day.


If you have read this post until the end, you have learned that German speakers don’t care much what time of day it is — greetings are versatile and frequently used throughout the whole day.

While nobody expects you to say Guten Nachmittag in the afternoon, it’s a fun one to keep in the arsenal.

Feel free to try it out and let us know how it goes!

Share this:

Similar Posts