Main train station in Frankfurt, Germany
Main train station in Frankfurt, Germany
Main train station in Frankfurt, Germany

Living in Germany

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Dec 02, 2021

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees discuss what it is like to live in Germany: Cost of living, Finding a home, Meeting People and more.

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What do I need to know about living in Germany?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Germany, they said:

"Just try to learn the language; it isn't really necessary but it will increase your opportunities and help you forge friendships with the locals (some Americans here never venture out, socially or culturally, out of the large and established American community.) Other than that just to have a good time and enjoy the area, its a great city with beautiful architecture and a thriving international culture," added another expat in Heidelberg.

"Do it! Munich is on the cusp of the Alps. Good ski areas are 1 hr. south of Munich. Lake Garda (for wind surfing, MTB, etc.) is 400 km south of Munich in Italy. Prague is a 4 hr. drive to the east. This is a safe, clean city," remarked another expat who made the move to Munich.

"LEARN THE LANGUAGE!! Never move to a country where English is not the Mother tongue and expect it to be easy as English is the world language, because barriers will be faced on every corner. Ensure that you have checked out your qualifications, and determine their German equivalent. Accept culture differences and do not resist intergration. For English readers, stock up on OXO cubes, Cornish pasties, Scampi fries etc, etc... For American readers: Beware most German beer is 4.9% vol. Enjoy!," explained one expat living in Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany.

"Don't plan on being welcomed. And if you are be wary...landlords enjoy Americans/foreigners because they pay top dollar for rent," said another expat in Boblingen.

"Learn German first. Learn the language before coming. Learn to speak and understand the spoken language. Otherwise, you have no hope. Most here speak German and Russian. Only the very young, under 16 know much English at all. And the local library has fewer books than most homes," added another expat who made the move to Brandis im Wurzen.

"It is a nice town and a beautiful region of Germany. In Nuernberg it is difficult to get by with just English skills. So study up on your German or take classes here," explained one expat living in Nuernberg, Germany.

Expats in Germany may get a free expat health insurance quote from our partner Allianz Care, whose plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Allianz's flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. Get a Quote

Expats in Germany may get a free expat health insurance quote from our partner Allianz Care, a leader in international insurance for expatriates. Allianz's plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Their flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget..

How do I meet people in Germany?

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000. Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Some of Joshua's more popular articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 8 Best Places to Live in Croatia and the Living in Mexico Guide. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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Main train station in Frankfurt, Germany
Allianz Care Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote

Living in Germany GuideLiving in Germany Guide

Guide to Living in Germany covering expat life, local culture, finding a home, diversity and more.

Germany Forum Germany Forum
Meet other expats and talk about living in Germany.

Best Places to Live in Germany Best Places to Live in Germany

Expats love Germany for its historic towns, festivals, Christmas markets and diversity. In this article, we cover 8 of the best places to live in Germany.

Cost of Living in GermanyCost of Living in Germany

Expats offer insight into the cost of living in Germany.

Moving to GermanyMoving to Germany Guide

Expats in Germany share 10 things they wish they had known before moving to Germany - from the importance of learning German to residency permits to understanding the culture and more.

Real Estate in GermanyReal Estate in Germany

Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in Germany.

Pros Cons of Living in GermanyPros & Cons of Living in Germany

Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what expats have to say about the biggest challenges and the greatest rewards of living in Germany.

Retiring in GermanyRetiring in Germany

Advice for people retiring in Germany.

Contribute to Germany Network Contribute
Help other expats and newcomers by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Germany.

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