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Heidelberg, Germany

William Russell Health Insurance
William Russell Health Insurance
William Russell Health Insurance
William Russell Health Insurance

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Feb 02, 2023

Summary: Heidelberg, Germany is a picturesque city with a rich history and culture. Expats love the city's vibrant atmosphere, its proximity to nature, and its excellent public transportation system. The weather in Heidelberg is generally mild, with temperatures ranging from the mid-30s to the mid-60s Fahrenheit. The average cost of living for an expat is estimated to be around $2,000 per month. The cost of a one bedroom apartment is around $1,000 per month, while a two bedroom apartment is around $1,400 per month. The population of Heidelberg is approximately 150,000.

What do I need to know about living in Heidelberg?

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

"Before retiring in Heidelberg, it is important to understand the cost of living and the options for housing. When it comes to housing, the city offers both rentals and homeownership opportunities. It is important to research potential housing costs, taxes, and other related considerations before making a decision. Additionally, it is also important to understand the local economy and the availability of medical care, transportation, and other services that can make a retirement more enjoyable. Additionally, considering the culture and traditions of the city will allow for a smoother transition upon retirement. Knowing the language, customs, and popular attractions in the local area can make a significant difference in how comfortable and happy you are while living in Heidelberg," explained one expat living in Heidelberg.

"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," said another expat in Heidelberg.

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What do I need to know before moving to Heidelberg?

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

"• Heidelberg is located in southwestern Germany, in the state of Baden-Württemberg. • The population of Heidelberg is about 157,000, and the city is home to numerous universities, research institutes and major companies. • The city has an excellent public transportation system, with trams and buses running throughout the city and to nearby destinations. • Heidelberg is a traditionally beautiful city, with a picturesque old town and stunning views of the Neckar river valley. • The climate in Heidelberg is fairly mild, with warm summers and cold winters, with occasional snowfall. • The cost of living in Heidelberg is slightly higher than the national average, due to the city's high cost of housing. • Heidelberg is considered a safe city, with low levels of crime compared to the national average. • People in Heidelberg generally speak German, although some people can also speak English. • Heidelberg is a great city to explore, with numerous parks, museums, and cultural events to take advantage of," replied an expat in Heidelberg.

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How do I find a place to live in Heidelberg?

We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"There are various options for housing in Heidelberg, including student dormitories, private apartments, and rooms for rent. You can search online real estate portals such as ImmobilienScout24 to find listings of apartments, as well as websites catering specifically to students or expats, such as wg-suchende.de and kolumbus-wg.de. You can also search Facebook groups, particularly the International Student Network Heidelberg, to find a room or apartment. You can also check the notice boards around town or get in touch with one of the local real estate agents," replied an expat in Heidelberg.

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Homelike Rentals

We've partnered with Homelike, to connect expats and newcomers with temporary accommodations in Germany. If you're moving to Germany, rent a short-term, furnished apartment or home for the first few months from Homelike and take your time figuring out the best place to live in Germany.

SEARCH RENTALS

Homelike Rentals

We've partnered with Homelike, to connect expats and newcomers with temporary accommodations in Germany. If you're moving to Germany, rent a short-term, furnished apartment or home for the first few months from Homelike and take your time figuring out the best place to live in Germany.

SEARCH RENTALS

What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Heidelberg?

"Expat housing in Heidelberg is usually modern and comfortable, with most homes and apartments equipped with amenities such as dishwashers, ovens, and washing machines. Expat accommodation in Heidelberg typically consists of one, two, or three bedroom apartments located close to the city centre or in the surrounding Palatinate forest region. The majority of these apartments come furnished, and many buildings feature useful amenities such as communal gardens or terraces with views of the city. Overall, expat housing in Heidelberg is of a high standard and ideal for those looking to live in the historic city while still feeling at home," said another person in Heidelberg.

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What is the average cost of housing in Heidelberg?

If you are thinking about moving to Heidelberg, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"The average cost of housing in Heidelberg is generally considered to be relatively high. Prices for apartments start from around €1,000 per month for smaller studio apartments and can reach up to €2,000 per month for larger properties. Rent also varies, depending on factors such as location, size, and amenities," added another person living in Heidelberg.

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We've partnered with Homelike, to connect expats and newcomers with temporary accommodations in Germany. If you're moving to Germany, rent a short-term, furnished apartment or home for the first few months from Homelike and take your time figuring out the best place to live in Germany.
Homelike RentalsFurnished Rentals in Germany from Homelike

We've partnered with Homelike, to connect expats and newcomers with temporary accommodations in Germany. If you're moving to Germany, rent a short-term, furnished apartment or home for the first few months from Homelike and take your time figuring out the best place to live in Germany.
SEARCH RENTALS

How do I meet people in Heidelberg?

When we asked people living in Heidelberg about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"Heidelberg has a rich social life with plenty of opportunities to meet people. Joining a sports team is a great way to make connections with others who share similar interests. There are also several student organisations and associations which offer courses, workshops, and even trips and other activities. Additionally, there are many local bars and cafes where you can socialise with locals and other visitors. Finally, why not try volunteering in your community? This is an excellent way to get to know new people and to learn more about the culture of Heidelberg," said another person in Heidelberg.

"In churches, recreational activities for seniors, possible employers with courts and retail or federal government jobs, AA, domestic violence experience helping people, va," remarked another expat in Heidelberg.

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William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance in Germany

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.
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What should I bring when moving to Heidelberg?

People living in Heidelberg were asked what three things they wish they had brought and three they wish they had left behind. They wrote:

"Clothes, toiletries, bedding and towels, kitchenware, cutlery and utensils, furniture, a good selection of books, entertainment items such as games and electronics, cleaning supplies, basic home repair tools, rugs and carpets, office supplies, pet food and supplies (if applicable), important documents and contact information, umbrellas, raincoats, and appropriate footwear for the season," replied an expat in Heidelberg.

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William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

Where should I setup a bank account in Heidelberg?

We asked expats in Heidelberg what banks they use and there advice about banking. They advised:

"There are several banks that offer services in Heidelberg, Germany, including Commerzbank, Sparkasse Heidelberg, Volksbank Heidelberg, and many more. Most of the banks have multiple locations in the city, and some may have more specific services for setting up a bank account. For more information, it may be best to contact the banks directly to see which one best fits your individual needs," added another person living in Heidelberg.

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Will I be able to find a job in Heidelberg?

When we asked people about industries and career opportunities in Heidelberg, they reponded:

"Yes, you should be able to find a job in Heidelberg. The city is full of opportunity, particularly in industries such as technology, engineering and research. Additionally, Heidelberg is home to many international companies and organizations, making it a great choice for those looking for a job abroad," remarked another in Heidelberg.

"I was a civillian worker on one of the U.S. bases, which is probably the easiest route for U.S. citizens without a strong background in German and will provide access to a lot of the military infastructure (and I believe the Dept of Defense school system as well.) Their job listings are here- http://www.chra.eur.army.mil/ Outside of that, Heidelberg has a very large high tech software and medical research industry, probably as a result of the university. Tourism and acadamia also seem to be very big, though I know less about them. A decent link is here- http://www.e-heidelberg.com/stay/stay.html Mannheim, which is nearby and much larger and more industrial/business oriented than Heidelberg might yield more options," explained one expat.

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What is life like in Heidelberg?

When we asked people living in Heidelberg what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"Living as an expat in an area can vary depending on the location. Generally speaking, expats are welcomed with open arms and have the opportunity to experience and explore a new culture, cuisine, and lifestyle. The cost of living and standard of living can vary in various locations, as well as available resources such as transportation and access to healthcare. Expats tend to find comfort in communities of other expats, English-speaking bars and cafes, and foreign-language social groups. Local language classes, organized with help from the local government or international organizations, are often offered to those who are interested in quickly assimilating into the culture. Expats have specific needs that need to be met, such as access to reliable internet, banking, and visa requirements, which can be challenging to sort through at first, but quickly become routine. Overall, life as an expat can be an enriching and exciting experience for those willing to take the risk and immerse themselves in unfamiliar surroundings," said another expat in Heidelberg.

"It is a university town, so there's always a lot of nightlife and cultural/academic events. It's population is too diverse to generalize, but it doesn't seem to have as much of a materialistic 9-5 business-minded attitude as I'd imagine would exist in a larger city," added another person living in Heidelberg.

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What do expats in Heidelberg appreciate most about the local culture?

"Expats in Heidelberg appreciate its small-town charm, the green spaces, the friendly locals, the many cultural amenities, its proximity to some of Germany's largest cities, its vibrant student population, its interesting history and architecture, its focus on sustainability and its emphasis on locally grown produce," explained one expat living in Heidelberg.

"Americans are often fake in friendships. We'll 'friend' anyone and not take it seriously. Germans take longer to establish friendships but they are solid friends. Germans work to live, where Americas live to work. We put job as a high priority, Germans put the holiday as a high priority. You can laugh about the 30 days of vacation, but they have similiar productivity output as the USA," said another expat in Heidelberg.

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What do expats find most challenging?

"Adapting to a new culture, language barriers, visa and work permit requirements, lack of local networks and connections, high cost of living, finding and keeping a job, basic day-to-day tasks such as opening a bank account, finding accommodation, navigating healthcare systems, and missing family and friends," explained one expat.

"Language, language, language. You figure that out and everything else falls into place by itself. Get the language and you'll get everything else," said another person in Heidelberg.

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Is there a lot of crime in Heidelberg?

We asked people if there is a lot of crime. They answered:

"No, Heidelberg is generally a safe city with a low rate of crime. Although the average criminal activity rate is lower than the national average, it is still recommended to exercise caution and common sense when navigating the city," explained one expat.

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Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in Heidelberg accepting of differences?

"Heidelberg has a diverse population, with a variety of cultures, languages and religions represented in the city. People in Heidelberg are typically accepting of people from different backgrounds and value multiculturalism," explained one expat.

"Heidelberg has a very diverse and international character as a result of several factors. Most notable is the city's large and prestigious university, which attracts lots of German and international students. The city also has large expat and immigrant communities. The U.S. military installations in and around the city and the military personell and civillian workers who live offbase. Because of the academic and international character of the town, most people speak some degree of English," said another person in Heidelberg.

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What are the schools in Heidelberg like?

"Heidelberg is home to several high-quality educational institutions. The city is served by several public primary schools, two secondary schools, and several private schools. Higher education institutions include the University of Heidelberg, the Heidelberg University of Education, and the Heidelberg University of Applied Sciences, among many others. Heidelberg also has an international school with high-quality programs. All of Heidelberg's schools offer a rigorous academic curriculum, modern facilities, and high levels of student support," said another parent with children at in Heidelberg.

"The schoool is a great place for your children, as I have previously mentioned they run the IB PYP programme which is excellent. The teachers are all highly qualified from various countries around the world and truly international. From grades 6-10 the school follows the IB MYP and it is in the process of applying to teach the IB Diploma (grade 11 & 12) in Aug 2009," commented one expat when asked about Heidelberg International School in Heidelberg.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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