Thinking of moving to Germany? We look at the advantages and disadvantages of living in Germany for expats
If you’ve secured a job or are contemplating moving to Germany, there are numerous compelling reasons to do so. But, as with any major life decision, there are important factors to consider before taking this significant step. To assist you in making an informed decision, we have compiled a list of 20 pros and cons of living in Germany.
Notably, Germany is home to about 168,000 British citizens, largely drawn by career advancement and attractive salaries. Our pros and cons list is based on talking to customers who have used PSS International Removals in the past to move overseas to Germany, if you too are looking to move, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
Now, read below for an insightful exploration of 20 pros and cons of living in Germany.
- 1. Pro – There is a high standard of living in Germany
- 2. Pro – Lots of job opportunities and great salaries
- 4. Pro – Germany is multi-cultural
- 5. Pro- Clean Cities
- 6. Pro- English widely spoken
- 7. Pro- University is cheaper
- 8. Pro- The landscape is great for exploring
- 9. Pro- The urban areas are great too
- 10. Pro- German food is delicious
- 11. Pro- The people are very reliable and punctual
- 12. Pro- Germany is a safe country
- 13. Pro- The public transport network
- 1. Con – It can be hard to learn the language
- 2. Con- Expensive housing
- 3. Con- It isn’t easy for cyclists
- 4. Con- Things often close early
- 5. Con- The rules can be hard to learn
- 6. Con – Taxes and cost of living is high
- 7. Con – It can harder to make friends
- Are you looking to move your household belongings to Germany?
1. Pro – There is a high standard of living in Germany
One of the main reasons that people seem to want to move to Germany, is because there is a real sense of having a high standard of living, for everyone.
There are not only great housing options, but the healthcare and education system in Germany is of a high level too! Everything that you could ever want to make your life that little bit easier.
2. Pro – Lots of job opportunities and great salaries
Another plus point to living in Germany is the job opportunities and high salaries on offer. Popular industries include engineering, IT, sales, and marketing as well as finance and accounting. It is important to note that speaking German will help your career opportunities, so it is advisable to start learning if you plan to move.
3. Pro- A focus on a work-life balance
When it comes to working and having a career, one thing that many people seem to be chasing is the idea of a work-life balance. Compared to some other countries, Germany seems to be able to help those who are working to find a way to have a successful career, whilst also having a life that is fulfilling too.
Germans work a lot fewer hours than other countries may and they are also given more vacation days to enjoy time with their family and friends.
4. Pro – Germany is multi-cultural
When you have just moved to a new country, there is always going to be a chance that you feel a little out of your depth and that you have left your “normal life” behind. When this happens, the last thing that you are going to want is to feel that you are entirely alone in feeling this way.
The good news is that Germany is a multicultural country, and whilst the people who call it their home may not have the same cultural background as you, knowing that they have also started a new life somewhere else, will bring you some comfort in your journey.
Whilst clean air is not something that everyone is going to consider to be high up on their list, it has to be said that being able to breathe clean air, in a city setting, is something that you should never undervalue. Germany works hard to ensure that even the more built-up areas are as clean as possible.
We have already discussed above how speaking German is going to help you to be able to branch out on your career journey. However, if you are someone who doesn’t feel confident in being able to speak German just yet, then you will be relieved to know that many people in the country can speak English (even in small amounts) which will be helpful for your everyday life.
Many people say that German universities are amongst some of the best in the world, and if this wasn’t enough to tempt you to learn there, then it may also be good to know that they are seen to be some of the cheapest ones to attend too.
If you are an EU Citizen then you can attend a German university free of charge, however, if you are from outside the EU, then you will need to pay, however, the fees are much less than you will pay in the UK or the US.
One thing that you will never find in Germany is that you have run out of wonderful places to explore and see. Germany is home to an assortment of forests, lakes, and mountains, which means that if you crave the adventure that can only come with nature, then you are going to be spoilt for choice.
Some people prefer the more spacious and green spots, whilst others are more at home in cities and towns. The good news with Germany is that no matter what you prefer, there is a good chance that you are going to find exactly what it is that you are searching for.
10. Pro- German food is delicious
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It always seems that when it comes to cuisine, Germany is often overlooked compared to other European countries, and this is a real shame because German food is delicious.
Not only this, but much of the delicious food that is enjoyed in Germany is more on the comfort side of things, which is always welcome if you are feeling that you need a little pick me up.
11. Pro- The people are very reliable and punctual
Notably, Germans are known for their punctuality, with one expat pointing out that “In Germany, everything operates with precision, with people usually being punctual and rarely late. This adherence to time is also evident in their transportation system” – an ideal environment if you value order and structure.
If you arrange to meet someone, say for a business meeting, then you can be sure that they will arrive on time.
12. Pro- Germany is a safe country
If you are worried about how safe you will be living in a new country, then one thing to put your mind at rest is that Germany is seen to be an incredibly safe country to live in.
The crime rate is low and attacks or robberies in the street are few and far between, which will help to put your mind at rest. As well as this, Germany is also a country that respects and places a high value on law and order and keeping to the rules that are set out.
If you would like information on where to live in Germany, make sure to read our previous post on this subject.
13. Pro- The public transport network
Getting around in many cities can be a bit of a headache, but this is not true in Germany. The country is well-known for having one of the best public transport network systems in the entire world, one that is incredibly easy to get around and use.
1. Con – It can be hard to learn the language
If you are thinking about learning German whilst you are living in Germany, then one thing that you need to know is that it does take some time (and effort) to learn to speak German to a high level. There are lots of factors in this particular language that make it tricky to learn.
This includes grammar and pronunciation. However, one thing to remember is that many of the German people are going to be more than happy to help you along the way.
2. Con- Expensive housing
A key thing that people moving to Germany are going to need to consider before making the move, is just how expensive it can be to buy or rent a house in the country, particularly in the more built-up city areas.
However, whilst the cost is more than in some of the countries around Germany, it has to be said, that when compared to the UK and America, it is going to save you money.
3. Con- It isn’t easy for cyclists
Cycling is a great way to get around Germany, much like many other European countries. However, if you are someone who prefers to move around on two wheels, then you may find that there are a few more rules than you are used to.
Cyclists who are new to cycling in Germany often find it much harder to move around the country than they might in other places.
Not only are there lots of rules to follow, such as where you can cycle (the pavements are a big no-no) but if you don’t follow these many rules, then you may find that you get yourself a pretty big fine.
4. Con- Things often close early
We mentioned earlier that Germans are very keen to have a high level of work-life balance. The only issue that can come with this is that many things in the country may close earlier than you may expect.
As well as this, most shops are closed on either Sunday or Monday, which gives people a chance to take a break from work, but can make it harder when you are first getting used to the country and where and when you can buy the things that you need.
5. Con- The rules can be hard to learn
It is not just a myth that German people like to be organised and follow the rules, if you spend time living in the country, then you will soon discover that this is the case. Whilst this can be great in so many ways (we get onto this later on) having lots of rules that need to be followed can quickly become exhausting.
This is particularly true when it comes to certain things, such as starting a business, which can often be subject to bureaucracy. You may even find that something that should be relatively simple to do, such as renting somewhere to live, can quickly become a bit of a paperwork-laden nightmare.
6. Con – Taxes and cost of living is high
Germany has one of the world’s highest text rates, a factor that influences on the overall cost of living. The country has an extensive social welfare system, offering comprehensive healthcare, education and unemployment support.
It’s worth noting that despite higher taxes and living expenses, the exceptional quality of life, state-of-the-art infrastructure, and top-notch public services compensates for it.
7. Con – It can harder to make friends
If you are a British expat making the move to Germany, you might encounter some challenges in forging friendships at first. The language barrier can be an issue, and the naturally reserved nature of German citizens may require patience.
However, joining local groups and participating in events is a great way to make friends in your new surroundings.