Editor's Note: this article was originally published May, 2018, by Heike Mueller.
In Germany, the pharmacy is called an Apotheke and can be identified by the large red A outside locations.
But not all pharmacies in Germany operate 24 hours. German pharmacies take turns operating throughout the night.
There is always at least one Apotheke open near you. Here’s how to find one.
FINDING A PHARMACY NEAR YOU
A list of rotating 24-hour pharmacies near you is available at the group’s official website, Aponet.de.
- After Hours. After normal working hours, and in the event of an emergency, go to the tab Notdienst (which means emergency) and type your town or zip code in the top-right search box for Apotheke locations, telephone numbers and operating hours.
- Normal Hours. During normal working hours, click the Tagsüber (which means normal day hours) and type your town or zip code in the top-right search box for Apotheke locations, telephone numbers and operating hours.
The list and area view of the Apotheken is provided in real-time, whether it’s 2 p.m. or 2 a.m.
The actual list of pharmacies on-call within the area can also be found at the physical Apotheke location, typically posted in the store front. If uncertain, simply ask the Apotheke employee.
An Apotheken app for your smart phone is also offered through iTunes. Search “iTunes apotheke app” in your search engine to download the free app.
- Pharmacists in Germany take years of schooling in English and most still speak some English, especially around U.S. military installations.
- But to play it safe, research what you need. Feed the words “cough syrup” through Google Translate, for example, and take the word “Hustensaft” to the pharmacist at the Apotheke. If it is something special, you can call prior to be on the safe side.
- Only use the Apotheke after hours for emergencies or for serious health issues. Don’t use it after hours to pick up a late night snack.
- When you are at the Apotheke after regular hours, ring the bell at the entrance and wait for the pharmacist. Sometimes it might take a little bit, so be patient. If you want to be sure that the medicine you need is available you can call first.
- For those who need to fuel up their vehicles late-night, there are 24-hour gas stations available off post. Most of the time you need to use the Tankautomat where you can pay with credit card.