10 Ways to Say “Good Evening” in German

The evening is a time for connection, relaxation and enjoyment.

It’s also a time for greetings! When a simple German “hello” doesn’t quite cut it, you can say “good night” in German, instead.

Learn the different ways to say “good evening” in German, from the polite Guten Abend and beyond.

And stick around to see other vocabulary words and phrases for talking about evenings in German.


Guten Abend — Good evening

This is the most common way to say “good evening” in German. It can be used in any formal or informal setting, and it’s appropriate to use from around six in the evening until bedtime. It’s a polite phrase, and the universally accepted way to greet someone in the evening, no matter what their relationship to you is.
You can also use it when answering the phone in the evening.


Guten Abend! Wie war dein Tag?  (Good evening! How was your day?)

Schönen Abend — Lovely evening

This informal greeting is used to wish someone a pleasant evening, and is suitable for casual settings with friends and family. While less formal than “Guten Abend,” it’s still a polite way to greet someone. This phrase is a good choice when you’re meeting someone you know well or when you are in a more relaxed setting. You can also use it when answering the phone in the evening, if you want to sound more casual.


Schönen Abend noch! Bis Morgen. (Have a lovely evening! See you tomorrow.)

Einen schönen Abend wünsche ich dir/Ihnen — I wish you a nice evening

This phrase is still polite but is a more personal way to wish someone a nice evening… literally! It also doubles as a friendly goodbye when parting ways. This phrase works well as a closing remark in written messages or during face-to-face interactions. Make sure to use dir with friends and familiars, and Ihnen with those you don’t know or have formal relationships with. 


Einen schönen Abend wünsche ich Ihnen, Herr Scholz! (I wish you a pleasant evening, Mr Scholz!)

Abendliche Grüße — Evening greetings

This phrase is used in a business setting, or when greeting someone you don’t know very well. It’s frequently utilized in emails, text messages and other forms of written communication.


Abendliche Grüße aus New York City!  (Evening greetings from New York City!)

Erholsame Abendstunden — restful evening hours

This phrase is quite poetic, and is another phrase often used in written communication and more formal situations. Use it to wish someone a pleasant evening, specifically focusing on the hours ahead.


Gönnt euch erholsame Abendstunden! (Treat yourselves to a relaxing evening!)

Herzlichen Abendgruß — Warm evening greeting

This is another more formal option you can opt to use among acquaintances and in professional settings. 


Ein herzlicher Abendgruß an Sie!  (A warm evening greeting to you!)

Schönen Feierabend — Enjoy your evening off

Is your colleague heading out from work? This is the phrase to use in this case. “Feierabend” refers to the time after you finish work for the day, similar to “home time” or “quitting time” in English. Even though it’s a work-related phrase, it’s a relatively informal way to wish someone a pleasant evening after they’ve finished work. 


Schönen Feierabend! Bis Morgen! (Enjoy your evening off! See you tomorrow!)

Friedvollen Abend  — Peaceful evening

This warm expression can be used in both formal and informal contexts.  Whether spoken or written, this phrase carries a sense of genuine care and a desire for the recipient to experience a peaceful end to their day.


Ich wünsche dir einen friedvollen Abend.  (I wish you a peaceful evening.)

Gute Nacht — Good night

“Gute Nacht” is the German equivalent of “good night” in English, and is pretty much used the same way. It’s a common way to say goodbye in the late evening or when someone is heading off to sleep. It’s all-purpose: Use it to say good night to your work friend after a late evening or when you’re tucking your kids in.


Gute Nacht, schlaf gut und träum süß. (Good night, sleep well and sweet dreams.)

Träum schön! — Sweet dreams

When “good night” isn’t enough, you can also wish your loved ones a good night’s rest with this expression. Similar to “Gute Nacht,” you can use “Träum schön!” when saying goodbye to someone in the evening or before they go to bed. 


Ich hoffe du schläfst gut! Träum schön. (I hope you sleep well! Sweet dreams.)

More German Words Related to Evenings

Meeting a German-speaking friend for an evening drink? Saying “good evening” will only take you so far. Here are some more German vocabulary words you might need to know for evenings:

der Abend The evening
die Abendaktivitäten The evening activities
das Abendessen The dinner
die Abendgebete The evening prayers
die Abendgewohnheiten The evening routines
das Abendrot The crimson evening sky
der Abendspaziergang The evening walk
die Dämmerung The twilight
die Entspannung The relaxation
die Erholung The rest
die Familienzeit The family time
der Feierabend The end of workday/home time
sich mit Freunden treffen To meet with friends
der Kinoabend The movie night
das Nachtleben The nightlife
die Nacht The night
das Nachtessen The late supper
die Nachtruhe The bedtime
schlafengehen To go to bed
die Gutenachtgeschichte The bedtime story
der Sonnenuntergang The sunset
spät am Abend Late in the evening
der Spieleabend The games night
vor dem Schlafen Before sleeping
Was machst du heute Abend? What are you doing tonight?
Wie wäre es mit einem Abendessen? How about a dinner?


Did I miss any? You can find any word you need for discussing evenings in German on the FluentU program.

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Whether you’re saying “Gute Nacht” or wishing someone “Träum schön,” these ways to say “good evening” in German will help you find the right evening expression for every occasion. 

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