Relocating to Germany from any country is easy due to the superb international connections the country has. However, this does not mean that there aren’t any factors that you need to consider before finalising your decision to make the move. That said, here are 5 things about Germany that we think you will find useful to know:
Cost of Living
We’re not going to beat around the bush here. Germany is one of the most expensive countries in the world to live in. However, it is important to bear in mind the cost of living will vary depending on what town or city you decide to live in. However, on average the rent index is 27.84 while the groceries index is 75.32. On the other hand, the restaurants index is 76.07 while the consumer price plus rent index is 68.19. Local purchasing power is said to be 116.60.
What do these indexes mean? Before anything else it is important to understand that the aforementioned indexes are relative to New York City. For instance, the rent index of Germany is 27.84. This means that rent rates in Germany are 72.16% less expensive than in NYC; while an imaginary index of 110 would mean that rent rates are 10% more expensive than in NYC.
When it comes to Germany’s cities, you may just have a problem picking out the one you would like to live in as most of Germany’s cities have something special to offer. Berlin is both the capital of Germany and also its largest city. Berlin is bursting with excitement and it has no lack of art, nightlife and architecture. Munich, the gateway to the Alps, is another Germany city that is not to be overlooked. If you are looking for beauty, history and stellar architecture, Munich is the place to be. Munich is also the home of the world famous Oktoberfest.
If you are in search of a city that couples both the old and the new, look no further. You might want to consider Dusseldorf as your new city of residence. It is also an option for the ladies as Dusseldorf is home to the world’s biggest fashion trade fair. For the history buffs, Cologne is a good option. The Cathedral of Cologne is one of Germany’s most famous landmarks and is testimony to Germany’s rich architectural history. It is also an ideal place that young people would enjoy due to its contemporary art scene, museums and carnival celebrations.
Customs and Traditions Unique to Germany
In Germany people greet each other formally and handshakes are customary, even with children. It is very important to use titles until given permission to do otherwise. It is important to use the titles Herr (Mr.) or Frau (Ms.) along with the title of a person (if any) plus their surname. It would be wise to wait before introducing yourself and wait for the host or hostess to do so.
When invited to a person’s home, bringing yellow roses or tea roses would be much appreciated. Red roses, carnations, lilies or chrysanthemums are all no-no’s as they all have significant meanings which may be considered inappropriate by the host or hostess. It is recommended to bring a French or Italian bottle of wine. Never give German wine as it communicates that you do not think the host is deserving of a high quality wine. Do not arrive early as it is considered rude.
5 Websites That Are Useful
While Germany is a relatively safe country to live in, you can never be too safe. It is important to have a list of websites that you can log on to immediately should you find yourself in any undesirable or unfortunate situation. Here are 5 websites that you should bookmark on your browser:
1. British Embassy Berlin. It is wise to be aware of how to contact your embassy for emergency situations or any inquiries that might arise during your stay in Germany.
2. German Law in English Language. Laws differ across countries and it won’t hurt to familiarise yourself with German laws if you are planning to move there. It is always better to be aware of the laws than to make a mistake and realise the hard way.
3. Toytown Germany. It is difficult to emphasise how useful this site is for English-speaking people who have decided to move to Germany. There are myriad articles to peruse on this website as well as a forum where you can ask and discuss anything you please—from tips to advice to sharing information or what have you. The forum is also divided into Germany’s various regions to help organise concerns and topics better.
4. TripAdvisor. There’s not a more reliable website out there for when it comes to travel advice. Whether you have a question about the least expensive method of transport to get from one German city to another or you want to do your homework on hotels in Heidelberg, this is the website to visit. It is sure to come in handy as you map out your German travels.
5. Germany.info. Germany.info provides very useful information on how to bring certain items into Germany. Here you will find a list of German regulations and the 411 on how to bring pets (if you have any) into the country.
5 Landmarks to Visit in Your First Year
1. Neuschwanstein. The most famous castle in the world makes its way in Germany and that said, this landmark is a must visit. You will find it comfortably nestled in the Alps. Sleeping Beauty was inspired by this breathtaking site and it is the most photographed building in all of Deutschland.
2. The Romantic Road. For those who love the scenic route, you can’t live in Germany and not pay a visit to this legendary road. It offers the best of German scenery and culture and the food and beer is as good as it gets. Bask in the medieval atmosphere at the picturesque Romantic Road.
3. The Cathedral of Cologne. The Cathedral of Cologne is the third tallest cathedral in the world. This cathedral certainly wasn’t built in a day—in fact it took over 6 centuries to construct it. Interestingly enough, the Cathedral of Cologne was the only building that survived the World War II bombings.
4. Hofbrauhaus and Oktoberfest, Munich. Whether or not you drink, there’s something for you to see. This is the most famous beer hall in the world and for good reason. Oktoberfest truly is a sight to see with over 6 million people feasting on German fare and throwing back Oktoberfest beer.
5. The Black Forest. This is a genuine treat for nature lovers as the hills, valleys and forests are truly majestic. Whether you choose to walk, bike or drive there, you will find villages, wineries and monasteries that are sure to take your breath away. The Wine Route and the German Clock Road are two of the most recommended tours on the Black Forest.
So if you are planning on relocating to Germany, be sure to keep all of this information in mind as you never know when it might come in handy. Bon voyage!