There are many ways to say hello in German - as you are about to find out. They are used in different situations (with friends or with colleagues), and some are used more commonly in the different regions of Germany.
Follow the rules bellow and you will have no fear about saying the right greeting!
Hallo - Hello
Simple and informal. People use it in casual settings.
Wie geht es dir/Ihnen? / Wie geht’s?
Only use this one with people you know.
Wie geht es dir/wie geht's with friends, and wie geht es Ihnen with older people whom you know.
Literally meaning "good day", this is used in a more formal settings, when you would refer to the person you are speaking with with a "Sie".
Was ist los?
This means what's up? It is used casually and only with young people.
Grüß Gott/Grüß Sie/Grüß dich
This is used in Bavaria.
Grüß Gott means "God greets you", Grüß Sie is used with someone you don't know, and Grüß dich is used with friends or people you know.
This is also popular in Bavaria, and used in slightly more informal contexts - you will hear hikers say it passing one another in the mountains, for example, or between people who know each other.
You will hear this in Hamburg and in other regions in the North - it just means hello!
Why not say servus in our online German meetups (7-day free trial) or try our online intensive courses from A2-C1 and business German.