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8 Best Places to Live in Germany

By Betsy Burlingame

2 of 9 slides

2) Heidelberg, Germany

Heidelberg, Germany

Rathaus (Town Hall) in Heidelberg

Heidelberg is a smaller city with approximately 150,000 residents. Despite its smaller size, Heidelberg is a picturesque German city with a decidedly international feel. "Heidelberg has a very diverse and international character as a result of several factors. Most notable is the city's large and prestigious university (Heidelberg 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," explained one expat living in Heidelberg

In a discussion about moving to Heidelberg and where to live in Heidelberg, one expat advised a newcomer, "I lived in Heidelberg for 10 years. Its just as pretty as Neckargemund and Ziegelhausen (which is actually part of Heidelberg, I think), if not more so. Heidelberg also has more expats and everyone speaks English. But it's more expensive to live in Heidelberg and parking can be a problem. Fortunately, you do not need a car. I gave birth to 2 sons while living in Heidelberg and everything is easier without a car. We used a bicycle with a trailer when the kids were small and then transitioned them to bicycles. The city is generally flat with mountains on the sides, a river valley. Public transportation is cheap and clean and reliable. They also have a great car share program there, many different models and types of cars and transporters. It's fantastic to be able to choose the perfect car for any given day. To get a drivers licence in Germany can be very time consuming and expensive, driver training is mandatory. Which neighbourhood you choose in Heidelberg may depend on your budget. The Alttown, Neuenheim and the Weststadt are all central and beautiful and expensive and have very little parking. The Alttown can be very noisy at night. A little further out are Handshuhsheim, the Sudstadt, and Rorbach (my spelling may be off), which are more residential, mostly newer, a little less expensive. We lived in Handshuhsheim and the Weststadt. Both have nice markets, and are quiet, convenient and very pretty. Outdoor space for a dog can be difficult in the Alttown. For taking your dog for walks in the woods (on the mountain side) I would recommend Handschuhsheim Neuenheim, the Weststadt and the Sudstadt."

For families moving to Heidelberg, Heidelberg International School welcomes students from 4 years of age through the IB Diploma. "The admissions department have been fantastic in helping us to make the transition from the UK to Germany. We have been supported every step of the way by the both the admissions and the staff at the school," praised one expat parent with children at Heidelberg International School.

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder of Expat Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Some of Betsy's more popular articles include 6 Best Places to Live in Costa Rica, 12 Things to Know Before Moving to The Dominican Republic and 7 Tips for Obtaining Residence in Italy. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

First Published: Oct 09, 2017

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