Are you considering a move to Germany? You are sure to have a great time with its delicious cuisine, rich culture, and surprises everywhere you turn.
For some people, there might be some culture shock involved. However, don’t worry,
we are going to give you some tips on all of the important things you should know before you move to Germany.
- Learning the language will go a very long way
Many Germans do speak English. However, locals appreciate expats when they make the effort to speak some German. Also, in more rural areas, a majority of the signage you will encounter will only be written in German.
Learn the basics first:
Hello – Hallo
Goodbye – Tschüss
Please – Bitte
Thank You – Danke
Yes – Ja
No – Nein
Excuse me – Entschuldigen sie mich
- Germany has a great healthcare system
Free healthcare is provided by the German government to all citizens. This includes expats (assuming you have some type of health insurance). Public health insurance is used by approximately 87% of German people. That makes it possible for citizens to join one of the 109 insurers called sickness funds.
Taxation funds the universal public healthcare system in Germany and covers most medical treatments. Even better, usually any statutory copayments on prescriptions that you may need to pay are inexpensive.
- Always follow the rules
Follow the rules if you want to get along well with Germans.
First of all, jaywalking is a huge no-no. If you get caught walking across the street without using the right crossing, most likely you will receive many disapproving stares While walking you should also avoid the cycle paths. Otherwise, cyclists passing by may give you an angry earful.
Above all else, do not ever disrespect quiet hours. The law regulates these hours. This effectively means not making any loud noises on Sundays. Just simply doing a load of washing, vacuuming, or playing loud music could result in public order officers visiting you.
- Germany has a reasonable cost of living
The Expat Insider Survey reports that Germany’s average cost of living is also fairly average when you compare it with countries all over the world.
Although prices will gradually go up, Germany is still among the most affordable countries in Europe to live in. This of course is going to plan on where you are planning to move to. The most expensive cities in Germany are Cologne, Frankfurt, and Munich.
Usually, a German’s average household’s living expenses are normally €850 (£738) a month. 36% of that goes towards utilities and housing.
- Germany has a great work-life balance
Employees in Germany are valued very much.
The Better Life Index from the OECD ranked Germany for work-life balance as 8th out of a total of 38 countries. It is even more impressive when you compare it to the UK’s 28th rank. The index reports that just 4.26% of employees in Germany work very long hours – which is a lot lower compared to 12.7% reported by UK employees.
- You can easily get around
Don’t worry if you don’t own a vehicle. Germany has an efficient and fast transportation system that will get you to wherever you need to go. Options include the following:
- Regional trains – They are either Regionalexpress (RE) trains with fewer stops and are faster, or Regionalbahn (RB) with multiple stops.
- Bus – Often operate at night and links towns that are more isolated
- U-Bahn (Untergrundbahn) – Germany’s version of of the metro
- S-Bahn (Stadtschnellbahn or Schnellbahn) – This is the fastest type of public transport
If you do own a car, it might be a good idea to review the rules before you hit the roads – especially those for the German Autobahn. Motorists on this highway only can stop for emergencies. Apparently, having an empty fuel tank does not count. On the Autobahn, running out of fuel is actually illegal.
- Germany has an outstanding education system
Germany ranked as 8th best out of a total of 40 countries in terms of the average student’s sciences, maths, and literacy results. Germany earned a 508 score, which is well beyond the 486 OECD average.
Germany also has excellent higher education. The state provides most of the funding, and students can choose from about 400 institutions – with most of them being free of charge. It is also possible for international graduates to benefit from the free schooling, and includes the opportunity to stay for an extra 18 months to look for work after their course is complete.
- There are many castles
To be specific, more than 2,000. And we don’t mean just half-fallen-down, old ruins. The castles in Germany are iconic. For example, Neuschwanstein is so impressive that it was used by Walt Disney as the model for his Sleeping Beauty castle.
There is Burg Eltz also, which is tucked within the green valley and is considered to be one of the world’s greatest fairytale castles. If you would like to visit actual royalty, go to Hohenzollern Castle, the home of the Prince of Prussia.
- There are numerous festivals
Everyone loves a city-wide get-together where beer, food, dancing, and music can be enjoyed. Throughout the year, there is a multitude of German festivals, including the following:
Oktoberfest – Held in Munich every year, the folk festival runs for 16 to 18 days, with crowds of almost 7 million people consuming nearly 8 million litres of beer. There will be lots of traditional food, beer, and plenty of family-friendly attractions and rides.
Karneval – Every February, dressed-up performers and decorated floats wide their way around a 6km track in Cologne celebrating the start of Lent.
Wurstmarkt – Each 1st and 3rd weekend in September, more than 500,000 individuals celebrate all things wurst (sausage) and wine. The festival dates back to the 12th century, Germany’s history is woven directly into it.
- Get your stomach prepared to enjoy a feast
Let’s be clear – there is so much more to Germany than beer and sausage.
With a fairly diverse cuisine, Germany offers something for every food lover. If you are planning to move to Germany, this rite of passage involves trying out some of the most traditional dishes in German culture. Some of the more popular meals include the following:
- Maultaschen – This is basically a type of pasta dough that is filled with spinach, meat, onions, breadcrumbs, and various spices and herbs.
- Spätzle – This is a dish of soft egg noodles that are made out of egg and wheat flour and topped with roasted onions and cheese.
- Rouladen – Thin beef slices rolled around mustard, onions, pickles, and bacon and roasted in red wine.
If you have decided to move from the United Kingdom to Germany? Edwards European Moving offers a weekly removals service between Germany and the UK for full loads, part loads or single items. Get a moving quote for Removals to Germany
Hi I am Edward John owner and the driving force behind Edwards European Moving. I and other members of staff are trilingual speaking English, French, and Spanish. Edwards European Moving specialises in providing full door-to-door removal services across Europe. With a strong emphasis on professionalism and competence, the company has garnered a wealth of experience in house and business removals throughout the continent.