Knowing how to ask questions in German can be a struggle for beginners, but it can be an especially daunting task to have to ask for the bill when you don't know the language very well just yet.
But the good news is: If you just remember a few key phrases, you should be good to go and be able to pay for lattes left and right 😊
Here's a quick overview of what we're going to cover:
Let's start with an overview of different ways to ask for the bill:
|Can I pay please?||Kann ich zahlen, bitte?|
|Kann ich zahlen?||Can I pay?|
|I would like to pay||Ich würde gerne zahlen|
|Can I have the check please?||Kann ich bitte die Rechnung haben?|
|Can I have the bill please?||Kann ich bitte die Rechnung haben?|
Using any of the above phrases is fine. Just remember that they're written in the singular and that if you continue talking to the waiter you would most probably use the formal "you" (Sie).
It would go something like this:
Entschuldigen Sie? Wir würden gerne zahlen, bitte.
Gar kein Problem, ich bin sofort bei Ihnen. Möchten Sie bar zahlen oder mit Karte?
Mit Karte bitte! Vielen Dank.
Now let's talk about ways to ask for the check in German in a bit more detail.
Asking for the bill in German by saying "Bill please" or "Check please" would simply be "Die Rechnung, bitte". You could say that. But you shouldn't be suprised if some people might think you're a bit rude (and maybe also a little old school).
Die Rechnung bitte!
What we recommend instead is to say "Can I have the bill, please?".👇👇👇
The better & more polite version of asking for the bill is to just a tiny bit longer. The English equivalent would be to ask "I would like to have the bill, please?" or "Can I have the bill, please?":
Ich hätte gerne die Rechnung bitte.
Or, if you're with multiple people you'd use the plural:
Wir hätten gerne die billRechnung bitte.
If you stick to one of these two options, you will be fine.
It's nice to be nice!
You probably should not ask for the bill without any preamble. You will first want to get the waiter's attention by saying " Excuse me? (casual)Entschuldigung" or " Excuse me? (polite)Entschuldigen Sie?". Only then would you politely ask to pay.
Ich würde auch gerne zahlen, bitte!
Wir würden auch gerne zahlen, bitte!
Lastly (and not less polite), you could also ask for the check by saying "Can I Pay Please?":
Kann ich zahlen, bitte?
Können wir zahlen, bitte?
If you're wondering what "bill" is in German, or how to say "you can keep the change" whilst on holiday here in Berlin, here is a quick overview of words & handy phrases:
|Kann ich mit Karte zahlen?||Can I pay by card?|
|Das stimmt so!||You can keep the change|
|Es hat wirklich gut geschmeckt!||lit.: It (the food / drinks) were delicious!|
|Zusammen?||(Are you paying) together?|
|Getrennt?||(Are you paying) separately?|