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Living in Germany
Germany truly offers something for everyone or, as some may say, everything for everyone. Not only does it have some of the most dramatic and untouched vistas in Europe, it also has some of the most beautiful and subtle landscapes. It also contains some of Europe’s oldest towns and most historic buildings, alongside modern, dynamic, and culturally diverse cities.
It’s also home to one of Europe’s strongest economies, and offers a standard of living that is second to none. It is also a pioneer with a commitment to environmental and technological innovation. In the 2019 Legatum Prosperity Index, Germany ranked 5th in the world for living conditions and economic quality, and 8th in the world for prosperity,
As such, it should come as no surprise that there are approximately 250,000 expats in Germany, with 9% of these Brits.
Benefits of living in Germany
Whether you’re moving to Germany to live and bring up your family, or to retire and enjoy the finer things in life, you’ll soon see there are many benefits this country has to offer.
Escape the big cities and discover the jaw-dropping German countryside. From chalk cliffs on the island of Rügen, to the Triberg waterfalls, the Black Forest in Baden-Württemberg, and of course, The Alps; Germany is home to some of the richest nature in the world.
Once you’ve finished exploring all that Germany has to offer, you can easily hop over one of its nine different borders. You can reach the likes of France, The Netherlands, Denmark, Austria or Poland in just a few hours – and be back home the very same day. And whilst German trains may not be the cheapest, they’re certainly quite luxurious – meaning you’ll be able to travel in comfort and style.
German employers are extremely understanding when it comes to family life. When living in Germany, new mothers and fathers can split 14 months of paid leave between them to bring up their new-born; and the state pays families money for looking after their children, up until they reach the age of 18.
Best cities to move to in Germany
A country of contrasts: from modern, metropolitan cities, to sleepy towns and quaint villages; as an expat in Germany, you certainly won’t be spoilt for choice when relocating here.
- Pint of beer: 3.50 EUR (£3.12)
- Cappuccino: 2.88 EUR (£2.57)
- Meal in a restaurant: 9 EUR (£8.02)
- Monthly public transport pass: 83 EUR (£74)
- Population: 3,645,000
Berlin is renowned for its cutting-edge technology and creative industries, as well as being a hotspot for entrepreneurs. Despite having the highest unemployment rate in Germany, there’s still an abundance of opportunities available.
There is no other city in the world quite like Berlin, and when many expats move to Germany, they choose to settle here. Its rich history is visible on every street corner, from the remnants of the Berlin wall, to the Brandenburg Gate, which was commissioned in 1788. Yet Berlin looks firmly to the future: expats flock to the German capital to enjoy its culture – and of course, some of the best nightlife in the whole of Europe.
Like most of Germany, the majority of properties are rented and not owned. Rents are lower due to them being controlled; and 75% of Berlin’s population live in rented accommodation.
- Pint of beer: 4 EUR (£3.55)
- Cappuccino: 3.14 EUR (£2.80)
- Meal in a restaurant: 13.50 EUR (£12.05)
- Monthly public transport pass: 55.25 EUR (£49.25)
- Population: 1,472,000
Located in Bavaria, Munich is famed for its numerous beer halls, and of course, Oktoberfest. But Munich offers so much more than just beer: its Old Town has a dramatic Neo-Gothic townhall, and it’s also home to Englischer Garten – a park that’s even bigger than New York’s Central Park.
Munich may have a higher cost of living than Berlin, but it’s consistently ranked as having one of the best qualities of life in the world. The areas of Haidhausen and Lehel are popular amongst professionals, whereas families veer towards the suburbs of Berg am Laim and Pasing.
- Pint of beer: 4 EUR (£3.55)
- Cappuccino: 2.82 EUR (£2.50)
- Meal in a restaurant: 10.50 EUR (£9.35)
- Monthly public transport pass: 91.70 EUR (£81.70)
- Population: 753,056
Germany’s financial hub and home to the European Central Bank and Deutsche Bundesbank, Frankfurt is located in the state of Hesse. Its modern skyscrapers may mean that Frankfurt doesn’t have quite the same architectural charm as other German cities, but it certainly makes up for it with economic prospects.
More than 50% of Frankfurt’s population are foreign-born, making it one of the most popular cities in Germany for expats. When it comes to choosing where to live, Bornheim is popular with many expatriates due its mixture of charming architecture, and range of bars and restaurants. In contrast, Westend, with its green parks and tree-lined streets, is one of the top areas for families.
Managing your finances in Germany
Here at Blacktower, we specialise in ensuring our clients benefit from the financial products best suited to their needs and circumstances.
Blacktower’s expat financial advice specialists are truly independent and impartial. We are committed to helping you achieve your goals, whether they relate to tax and inheritance planning, wealth and asset management, pension transfers or just saving for a rainy German day.
If you would like to speak to a member of the Blacktower team, please fill out the contact form above, or give us a call on our head office number Tel: +357 25 566 190
Click here for more information for Residents of Germany with UK Pensions.