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The Best Places to Live in Germany

Martha Lott

Written by

21st Mar 2018 (Last updated on 5th Dec 2019) 7 minute read

The Best Places to live in Germany

With a buzzing culture, incredible food and beer and world famous castles dotted around the country, living in Germany can certainly be a big pull for those looking to experience something a bit different. But ahead of booking your house removal to Germany through Compare My Move, you'll actually have to decide which area to live in. When you take into consideration the lifestyle you want to live, the career you want to pursue and cost of living, many options are available. 

In this article we take a look at some of the best areas to live in Germany and give you the lowdown on why they might be a good move for you. This will include the best areas and cities that are most popular with Brits that move to country and why. We will also run through the associated costs of living in these areas with a particular focus on how much you might expect to pay for rent or buying there.

1. Berlin

The city of Berlin is quickly becoming one of trendiest and hippest hangouts in the world. As much of the city was destroyed in the second world war the streets are a mix of modern buildings and the incredible street art that the area is famed for.

It is such a popular city for Brits to move to for a number of reasons. Not least due to the lush green nature of the landscape, with a massive one third of the city being covered in forests, lakes, rivers and grass covered parks.

The city has already seen an estimated 14,365 expats move to the city in order to benefit from the buzz surrounding the city. Very popular with younger crowds, there is a relatively good level of English spoken across the city and many jobs suitable for Brits.

The cost of living in the city is relatively high. Renting a 3 bedroom apartment in the centre would cost you around €1,500 a month and buying in the same location would set you back an average of €4,900 per square meter.

2. Düsseldorf

Less known than popular Berlin, Düsseldorf is a city that is growing in popularity with expats from the UK. Interestingly, the city was actually ranked as 6th in the world for quality of life and the overall level of infrastructure. The city is very career friendly with a big industry of  banks, media companies, the HQs of massive multinational companies and restaurants all offering a great number of opportunities. It is also appealing due to its culture and things to do including a great range of museums, markets and places to eat.

Although the exact numbers of Brits in Düsseldorf are not widely available, you will likely find less expats walking around the city than others such as Berlin, Hamburg and Munich. That being said there is a strong expat culture in the city and many service people will speak at least basic English.

Living in the area is also a fair amount more expensive than other cities like Berlin. For example an average 3 bedroom apartment in the city centre could set you back around €1,700 per month and purchasing a property would could cost you a pretty massive €6,000 per square meter.            

3. Hamburg

Hamburg is the second biggest city in Germany and a great option of ‘where to live’ for British expats. Although this city is massive, the inhabitants have a great quality of life and boast more living space per person than all the other major cities in the entire world. The surroundings are also stunning with rivers and canals criss-crossing the streets and more than 2000 bridges have been built to cross them. The area offers a great level of variety with different areas offering different experiences from older stunning architecture to newer trendy areas that offer great night life and places to socialise.  

There is a strong expat culture in Hamburg. English is widely understood, although the majority of Germans in the city only have a basic understanding and prefer to converse in German when possible.

Renting in the city can be relatively expensive, although if you are able to buy this can be significantly cheaper than other areas in the country. You should expect to pay around €1,000 to €2,000 per month to rent an average 3 bedroom house in the city centre, but could pay as little as €4,000 to €6,000 per square metre in the centre.

4. Munich

Another very popular area that is well populated by British people is that of Munich. Scratch the surface of this city and it is easy to see why it is a great choice when it comes to finding a new home in Germany. The city ranks highly as 4th for quality of life and joint 2nd for infrastructure in the Mercer Quality of Life Survey.

A city of contrasts, it is popular with Brits for two main reasons. The first being its stunning architecture as well as its sophisticated and fine culture throughout. The other for its fun and boisterous annual Oktoberfest beer celebration which draws crowds of tourists from across the globe every year.

But all this positivity does come as a cost, in fact Munich is one of Europe’s most expensive cities. An average 3 bedroom apartment in the city centre could set you back over €2,000 a month and buying in the city would cost as much as  €10,000 per square meter.

5. Nuremburg

If you are looking for a more relaxed option when it comes to your new home in Germany then Nürnberg (known as Nuremburg in the UK) is a great option. Based in Bavaria, the area is rich in history and a good option for those that want to dive head first into the German food and drink experience, especially to taste their incredible beer.

There is a large culture of expats and English speakers in the city and a large tourist trade means that you can widely get by on speaking English. However, it is recommended that you learn at least some basic German to show you have made effort and meet people somewhere in the middle with the language barrier.

Living in the area is also one of the most affordable spaces in the country. With the average rental cost on a 3 bedroom property reaching around €1,000 per month and purchasing being very achievable with a cost of about €3,500 per square meter of property.

6. Stuttgart

Famous for the role it plays in the automotive industry, Stuttgart is located across a number of hills, valleys and parks. A relaxed city with a great social culture it benefits from easy access to high-quality shops, markets, theatres, cafes and parks.  It also has fantastic cultural roots with many stunning historical buildings and modern architectural sites to take in across the city. For car enthusiasts, the famous Ferrari factory is located close to the city and if you have a few spare euros to buy one you can test drive your new car straight from the factory. Due to the industrial popularity of the area there are many foreigners based there and they widely accommodate for English speakers.

Living in the city is relatively affordable with an average 3 bedroom house in the centre costing on average €1,400 per month. Buying is also fairly achievable, costing buyers around €4,900 per square meter.       

7. Frankfurt

As Germany’s financial capital, Frankfurt offers a wide variety of job opportunities for those that work in the financial sector and those that service that sector. The city is a bustle with people enjoying the excellent food and drink on offer in the various restaurants and bars that are dotted across the city, especially in Sachsenhausen area and parts of Nordend.

Most of the 600,000+ people that work in the city choose to live outside and commute in for their jobs. This is both down to affordability and availability of the relatively over developed and space restricted city centre. Because of this living costs in the centre can be steep, with houses costing on average €5,700 per square meter to purchase and an average 3 bed cost being up to €1,600 per month to rent. Outside the centre is still expensive, but comparatively cheaper with purchasing costing on average €3,600 per square meter and rent for a 3 bedroom house costing around €1,100.

Compare My Move in Germany

In this article we have run through some of the best places to live in Germany, taking into consideration those that are most popular with British expats and why they them may be popular with them. We hope this article will help you plan your move to Germany. For further reading you should check out our guide to moving from the UK to Germany. Then, when you're ready remember to use Compare My Move to get connected with up to 6 local removal companies to take you to your new home in Germany. Just one quick and simple form and you can save up to 70% on your international removals.

Martha Lott

Written by Martha Lott

Having written for Huffington Post and Film Criticism Journal, Martha now regularly researches and writes advice articles for everything moving house related.

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