You’ve probably heard of auf wiedersehen, the classic way to say goodbye in German.
But there are so many other ways of bidding your friends farewell and you can change it up based on different contexts.
Read on to see how you can learn to confidently say goodbye in German with these 14 new expressions that will make you sound like a local.
From formal settings over informal get-togethers to international goodbyes, we have you covered.
Goodbye in German at a Glance
Goodbye / I'll see you again
Goodbye (phone) / I'll hear you again
See you later
See you soon
Until next time
Have a good day
Have a good evening
Have a nice weekend
All the Ways to Say Goodbye in German
Auf WiedersehenAuf Wiedersehen is one of the most common and also the most formal way of saying goodbye in German.
“Sehen” means “see” and wieder “again” so the expression can be loosely translated to “I’ll see you again”.
Similar to “auf Wiedersehen”, auf Wiederhören is a formal expression. You only use this form of goodbye in German when speaking to someone on the phone and hanging up.
“Hören” means “hear”, so the expression can be translated to “I’ll hear you again”. Don’t confuse “Auf Wiedersehen” with “Auf Wiederhören”. It has happened to me more than once and makes for an awkward moment.
Read next: 18 Ways To Say Good Morning in German
TschüssTschüss is a simple German goodbye that can be used in any context, formal or informal. It’s like saying “Bye!”
The word tschüss is one of the most widely used expressions to say goodbye in all German speaking countries.
A common, informal expression, Bis später means “I’ll see you later”.
“Bis später” is used primarily if you see that person or group of people again that same day. If, for example, you leave the office for lunch but will come back later, “bis später” is the ideal goodbye for your colleagues.
“Bis” simply means “until”, and “spater” means “later”. There are more expressions with “bis” further down.
Bis baldBis bald means “until soon”.
You use “bis bald” when you expect to see your conversation partner in a few days, weeks or even months (as long as you both interpret that as “soon”).
The expression “ Bis dann ” literally translates to “until then”.
Similarly to Bis bald , you use it when you aren’t sure when you will see the other person or group of people again.
It is also a rather informal way of saying goodbye. You can use it with family, friends, or close colleagues only.
Bis zum nächsten MalBis zum nächsten Mal which means until next time, is used for gatherings such as birthdays or Christmas parties.
You say it to indicate that you will see the group of people in question at the next gathering. This is the perfect expression for those relatives that you only see once a year.
Schönen Tag nochSchönen Tag noch means something like “I wish you a nice rest of the day”. Literally it means “still a nice day [ahead]”.
You use this form of goodbye in German in the morning or afternoon and want to wish them a good rest of the day.
Read on to find out about the similar expression you can use to wish someone a good evening.
Read next: 10 Ways of Saying Good Night in German
Schönen Abend noch
When you say goodbye to someone in the late afternoon or evening you can say Schönen Abend noch and wish them a nice rest of the evening.
You can use this phrase for goodbye in German as you leave work, a function, or a party.
You can use this expression when you say goodbye to someone on a Friday or early Saturday morning.Schönes Wochenende simply means “have a nice weekend”.
Germans are quite international and many of them speak at least one other language, most notably English or French.
While “goodbye” as a whole isn’t used at all, you will hear bye frequently, especially among younger people.
The Italian Ciao has a prominent place in German and is used by young and old to say goodbye.
In German, the Italian “Ciao” is sometimes written as “Tschau”, but pronounced the same way.
Another language that German borrows a word for “goodbye” from is French with the expression Adieu .
“Adieu” literally means “to god” but the French rarely use it to say goodbye, as it’s a little formal in French.
It is however frequently used to say Goodbye in German speaking areas particularly in the South of Germany and in Austria.
A variation of “Adieu” is Ade .
Used predominantly in Bavaria, this expression is another way of saying “bye” in German and one of the easiest ones in terms of pronunciation.
Mix and Match Goodbye in German
Germans often use many of the expressions above combined in a sentence. Check out these examples. As you’ll see, the possibilities are endless!
Goodbye, see you later.
Goodbye, I wish you a nice rest of the day.
Bye, see you soon.
Have a nice evening, I’ll talk to you soon (on the phone).
Until next time, bye.
Now that you’re armed with a whole new batch of words, put them to use! Even if you don’t speak fluent German, finishing up a conversation with a German goodbye can give you a couple of brownie points in the eyes of many German speakers. Memorizing at least Tschüss and Auf Wiedersehen can go a long way.