With its marvellous landscapes, organised cities and high standard of living, it’s easy to see why more and more people are moving to Germany. The beating heart of Europe is the continent’s most prosperous country, attracting people from all over the world – 100,000 people from the UK and another 100,000 Americans have chosen to live there, not to mention people from all corners of the globe.
Cities like Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich are renowned for their lively nightlife and excellent shops, and they also boast fantastic opportunities for employment. The easy-going lifestyle in Germany makes it an easy place to live.
But not everyone is built to love Germany. There are pros and cons to living there – so what are they?
Cons of living in Germany
Closing times are early
People in parts of the world who are used to the convenience of shopping, eating and drinking seven days a week will get a shock in Germany. Sunday remains a special day and very little is open. On weekdays, most shops are shut by 8pm. So life requires a little more planning for some people.
Taxes may be higher than you’re used to
Although the basic rates of tax are similar to countries like the UK, in Germany there a number of hefty add-ons that means citizens keep less of their take home pay. Expect to pay extra for the state pension, healthcare, unemployment and care – as well as the church tax of up to 9%. It all adds up.
Bureaucracy is everywhere
Filling in forms is a German pastime, and there are plenty of forms to fill in. Living in Germany is easier if you have the right documents and can produce them at the right time, so checking what you need before you head out.
Everyone follows the rules
In Germany, rules are made to be obeyed. Sidestepping the rules is frowned upon. That means not crossing at pedestrian crossings until the light turns green even if the road is clear, having all the right equipment on your bicycle or when you can hold a barbeque.
Pros of living in Germany
Everyone follows the rules
Yes, it’s a con, but it’s also a pro – there are tons of advantages to living in a country where rules are followed. It means the country is generally safer and more pleasant to live in than other parts of the world. For example, long-term residents of Germany start to appreciate that not crossing the road till the light turns green sets a good example for children.
Low cost of living
Taxes may be higher, but things are pretty cheap in Germany. Rent is lower than in most Western countries and the quality of housing is excellent, which means that it’s far more common for people to rent their home long-term. Basic amenities like electricity, water and internet access are generally cheaper, as is eating out in restaurants or having a stein in a bierkeller.
Transport is easy
The other benefit of higher taxation for Germans is a pretty good transport system. The autobahns are well-maintained and offer easy routes through the country. Within the cities, public transport is cleaner and more punctual than the vast majority of other places.
Lots of public holidays
Depending on which part of Germany you live in, you can expect to enjoy as many as 14 public holidays a year – as well as a good amount of paid leave from your employer.
If you’ve decided that relocating to Germany is for you, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with Santa Fe. Our relocation service makes moving easy and we provide full support for people looking to relocate to Germany. For further information, please visit the Contact Us page.