Monthly Archives: October 2021

best German health insurance

Health Insurance in Germany

If you are an English-speaking expat, it is crucial for you to understand the system of Health Insurance in Germany. There are various types of health insurance plans available and choosing one that best suits your needs can be challenging.

This blog will make sure that you have all the essential information to make informed decisions about your healthcare coverage in Germany. We’ll provide a comprehensive guide regarding health insurance in Germany so that every expat can navigate this often confusing area without incurring any significant financial cost. From decoding the different options available in regards to the country’s healthcare system to providing details on different types of insurance plans, we aim to cover everything for you!

A guide through one of the best health care systems in the world.

 

One of the most important steps when coming to Germany as an expat is to take out health insurance.

However, the German health insurance system can be a bit confusing. There is statutory health insurance (Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung), there is private health insurance and there is supplementary insurance. But which of these do I need? What is right and important for me?

We explain.

Which Is Better for Expats in Germany: Public OR Private Health Insurance
State Health Insurance („Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung“)

One thing first: Health Care Insurance is mandatory in Germany, however you do have options.

You are required to have state health insurance unless your annual income before tax is over €64,350, you earn less than €450 per month, or you are self-employed. In these cases you can choose to insure yourself privately instead.

Your employer will pay half of your health insurance costs, including the supplementary charge. However, the maximum amount they will contribute is €384.58/month for your health care and €73.77/month for your nursing care insurance. If the premiums are higher, you will be responsible for covering the costs on your own.

The Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung (‘GKV’)  is a family insurance plan, which means that your spouse and children are automatically insured under your plan at no extra cost.

There are, however, hidden costs in the ‘GKV.’ An excess of €10 will be charged for each day spent in hospital (max. €280) and up to €10 per prescription (only generics). Glasses are not covered (apart from extreme medical cases) and dental health is only partly covered. It is possible to supplement your health insurance through supplementary private insurance cover.

Despite any prior medical history, the ‘GKV’ is mandated to provide coverage for you.

Health Care in Germany is of a very high standard, regardless of which system suits your personal situation best. To meet the standards of German authorities, health care must include all medically necessary treatments; reimbursement restrictions are not allowed.

Private Health Care

In addition to the state health insurance, there is also the possibility of a private health insurance. This offers many advantages, but usually also has its price. There is no family membership available in German private health care insurance, meaning everybody has to pay premiums.

The premiums for private health care are based on age, specification of the health care cover and health. If you are single and earn a good income, you can usually get much better health care coverage than the state health care plan for lower monthly premiums. If you have a partner who does not work or several children, private health care is usually less cost-effective than state schemes.

If someone joins a private health scheme, it is hard for them to go back to the state health scheme later if they want to.When a person is covered by private insurance after the age of 55, there are only limited avenues to move to the state system.

The PKV

The Private Krankenversicherung (PKV) does not have to supply insurance coverage if you do not fit the qualifications for health that are needed. Without prior residence in Germany, certain private insurance companies will not extend coverage to individuals coming from abroad.

Customizing your health care coverage is possible with the many tariffs available. This allows you to create a plan that is precisely tailored to your requirements. Patients have the freedom to choose their doctor and hospital, with options for single or double rooms. Additionally, alternative health care, dental care, and opticians services are included in the coverage.

Depending on the tariff you select, a yearly additional payment or payments for particular benefits like dental care or alternative medical treatment might be required.

Waiting times for private healthcare patients are usually much shorter than those insured by the state system, due to doctors getting higher payments from them.

Generally with most tariffs the level of cover is higher than in the state health care schemes. This results that in certain medical situations there are different treatments, precautionary check-ups and medications available. In contrast to the state health care system, with this type of care there are no additional costs that must be paid solely by the patient.

Supplementary Health Insurance & Dental Insurance Germany

If you choose to be state health insured or if you do not meet the criteria to insure yourself or your family privately, you can upgrade your state health insurance through a range of supplementary insurances. The supplementary insurances are designed to fill the gaps, both in treatment and financially, within state health care, making it possible for you to design the cover that suits your needs and wishes. It is possible to achieve almost the same coverage that a private health insurance offers. There is no obligation for you to be granted supplementary cover, and insurance companies will make you answer questions about your state of health.

Gaps in the State Health Care System

Alternative medicine and natural remedies are not a part of the state health system and therefore have to be paid privately. Alternative medicine includes treatment through homeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine and osteopathy.

The costs of dental treatment and prostheses are only partly covered by the state system. The rule is that dental prostheses will be paid for at roughly 50% of the most economic but functional treatment. Should you wish for a higher standard of treatment the costs you have to pay are even higher. For a dental implant, which can cost up to €4000 you have to cover around 80% of the cost.

Visual aids such as glasses and contact lenses are not paid for unless you have a serious eye disorder.

Prescribed medications are solely generics and for these you also have to pay between €5 and €10 per prescription (children excluded).

Check-ups and screenings are limited in form and frequency. Should you wish for better or more frequent care you have to pay for it privately.

There is a system of co-payments in place for items such as prescriptions, external remedies (such as massages), and €10 per day for hospital stays (up to 28 days per year).

In hospital, the state inpatient care consists of multi-bed rooms and the doctor on duty. There are high costs that you will need to cover if you want a single or double room, or to be seen by a senior physician.

The system in place for medical aids (hearing aids, wheel chairs, orthopaedic shoes and stockings, etc.) is similar to the dental system. The state health insurance will cover half of the costs for the most basic and cost effective solution. However, it is doubtful that this would be the solution you would choose.

Need help?

Our service partners from MW Expat Solutions are experts in the field of health care insurances for expats in Germany.

As an independent insurance broker, they work together with all the major insurance companies represented on the German market today. This means that MW Expat can help you find the insurance that you need at a good price.

Get in touch
Working in Germany – How to Find a Job in Germany

phone: +49 89 2441729 0

 

German Car Insurance

3 Car Insurance Options in Germany

As an English-speaking expat, navigating the world of car insurance in Germany can be overwhelming. Understanding the terminology can be difficult, and the laws and regulations are frequently different from what you may be accustomed to. Yet, in order to safeguard both you and your vehicle while traveling on German roads, you must have the appropriate car insurance.

We will give you a thorough explanation of everything you need to know about vehicle insurance in Germany in this blog, including the various kinds of plans that are offered, what is required by law, and how to locate the best insurance for your requirements.

3 Car Insurance Options in Germany MW Expat

In Germany we say: “The car is the German’s favourite child.” It just says, that Germans love their cars and that’s why we have numerous car insurance options and providers here.

We have three main insurance options for cars. These German vehicle insurance works with a system on no claims bonus (Schadenfreiheitsrabatt ‘SFR’), meaning the longer you drive without having an accident, the cheaper your insurance becomes.

The 3 Main Kinds of Vehicle Insurance Cover Available

Third-Party (Kfz-Haftpflichtversicherung)

This is the minimum requirement for you to register and legally drive a vehicle in Germany (and the EU). This insurance covers damages caused to a third party in an accident for which you are at fault. It does not cover damages to your own vehicle.

Third-Party Fire & Theft (Teilkaskoversicherung)

This is a complimentary insurance to your third-party insurance. It covers damage to your own vehicle arising through fires and explosions, theft of your vehicle (or parts), broken windscreens and windows, electrical short circuits, damage through martens, accidents with game (wild) animals and damage due to storms, hail, lightening and flooding. There are differences in the cover offered by different insurance companies. The basic rule is that the more cover they offer, the more expensive their premiums are.  It is important that you choose the amount of cover that could apply to you.

Full Comprehensive (Vollkaskoversicherung)

This is also complimentary to your third-party and fire & theft insurance. It offers you insurance cover for vandalism through a third-party and for the costs that incur to repair the damage to your vehicle if an accident was your fault.

Need help?

Our service partners from MW Expat Solutions are experts in the field of car insurances for expats in Germany. As an independent insurance broker, they work together with all the major insurance companies represented on the German market today. This places them in a position to find the insurance cover that most suits your needs at the best possible value for money.

 

Get in touch

https://mw-expat.com/ 

phone: +49 89 2441729 0

email: office@mw-expat.com

 

 

 

 

Expat experience

UK Expat Living in Germany: Wish you had been around then!

Richard, a UK expat living in Germany; specifically, shares his experience of how the country’s bureaucracy and regulations resulted in him spending a night in jail.

I moved to Bavaria from London 31 years ago to set up a sales support, marketing and technical support office for southern Europe and the German-speaking countries for an American software company. As a UK citizen taking advantage of the EU freedoms of choosing my own place of work and residence, I expected things to be easy. However, soon found that things which should have been simple, involved fighting with bureaucracy, discovering rules which it was impossible to have foreseen existed, and occasionally getting caught in a web of rules and regulations which were sometimes based on misinterpretations or defiance of EU rules.

I could not find any experts who could advise me on how to avoid pitfalls or guide me to others who could help in particular areas. I was on my own, apart from the head of European Operations in London, and just had to “muddle through”.

This led me into a couple of very “interesting” situations, ones which I would happily have done without.

German bureaucracy jungle

I did know, that I had to register myself and my offices at my local council offices. That was when the fun started.

I was told that I needed a residence permit, but after some research I found out that this wasn’t the case. The EU rules state that where you live within the EU is entirely your own choice. It only took a few weeks and some letters back and forth to sort this out. Then I was told that I needed a work permit. Despite spending weeks trying to sort this out with the local bureaucracy, they would not budge on this point, even though it was clear they were in the wrong. I would have been happy to give them a permit to get the problem out of the way, but since it was no longer necessary for citizens within the EU to obtain such permits, there was no one who could issue one anyway.

Finally, they backed down and I could open my office.

The USA’s company accountant became embroiled in a complex argument over my offices’ funds and taxes, which the local government wanted to take advantage of due to our new presence. I ended up spending more time translating letters, documents, and representing during long-distance phone chats than actually doing the work. Although experts were available, the internet was not yet in existence; thus we had to make do with what we had.

The everything went smoothly for a couple of months but then came the next surprise.

Sorry, that is the rule in Germany

While driving to Zurich for a scheduled meeting with the IT management of a well-known bank, I was stopped by German border police at the boundary. They inspected my documents and those related to the car, which were all in order until they asked me how long I had been in Germany. At that time it was about 9 months. The following conversation took place in German!

“And are you a registered resident?”

“Yes”

“Do you have the registration form with you?”

“Yes.” It is always best to be prepared for the worst, and a simple “yes” is a good way to do so. I gave it to him.

“Please wait here” and he disappeared into an office. Without my pass, driving licence and registration document I wasn´t going anywhere anyway.

After some five minutes he came back and said:

“You cannot drive in Germany. Your driving licence is invalid.”

The driving licence had an oval with a large GB in the center and “Driving Licence” inscribed in four European languages. It was a standard EU pink licence. And it had no expiry date. It was, as far as I could see, fully valid.

“What´s wrong with it?”

“You have been resident in Germany for more than six months, so it is invalid.”

“What? Why”

“That is the rule. You need to get a driving licence issued in German after six months.”

“But it´s a European licence, not a German one.”

“Sorry, that is the rule in Germany.”

“So what should I do now?”

“When you come back from driving through the border, someone must meet you at the border. You will not be able to drive in Germany again until you get a licence issued in Germany.”

“But if it is invalid, wont the Swiss stop me?”

“No, it is valid in Switzerland”

And if I go on to France, or home to the UK, can I use it there?”

“Yes, there it will be valid.”

“You mean, my European licence is valid everywhere else except Germany, because I live here?”

“Yes”

This was just the beginning

Maybe I´m a bit naïve, but I really didn´t see that one coming!

I was informed by the border policeman that I would likely be receiving a warning in the mail about needing to obtain a new license and I must get myself a new licence.

That was the start of the fun.

One night into police cell

I received a letter a few days later, notifying me of a 600 DM (300€) fine for driving without a valid licence. It specified I must present one at the local police station and that, since it was not a traffic offence, my violation would be documented in the civil register. In other words, I was to receive an official criminal record – unbelievable!

I appealed my case through a lawyer and got a date for a court hearing. I had been invited to a significant contract discussion with a client in Madrid, and the deal was valued at a considerable amount of money, right before the trial. I got in contact with my legal representative to make sure he could handle the situation without me being there; he confirmed that I had given him written authorization to take action for me, so everything would be alright.

But it wasn´t. The judge declared that he couldn´t accept my non-appearance and set a new date.

On the date of the hearing, due at 13.30, two police arrived at my home at 7:15 and arrested me. After being held in a police cell during the morning, I was transported to the courthouse 20 kilometres away and given to the clerk of court. Once this was completed, I had the liberty to move around freely until my case was heard.

My conviction was overturned and I only had to pay the fine at the end of a ridiculous hearing in which I reprimanded the judge for his racist comments. This local law, though later overturned, caused many people to be affected by it before its repeal.

Wish you had been around then!

Fortunately, I was able to find humour in the situation, nevertheless, I still had to overcome obstacles which kept me from doing my job. If Project Expat had been available back then, I would have had a much simpler time. They currently assist me with various matters and recently provided instructions on how to quickly resolve a lawsuit against me.

It´s good to know that when I need help, Project Expat and the MW Expat people are there, friendly, helpful and really well informed. I can honestly highly recommend them. The problems I encountered are all resolved, but bureaucracy is very inventive in creating new ones. At least you don’t have to face them on your own!

Berlin German Capital City Guide

Berlin the German Capital

Berlin the German Capital! Everybody knows Berlin or at least has heard of it, which is why many expats in Germany prefer moving to Berlin when starting their stay in the nation. This city has become increasingly popular worldwide in recent decades since the fall of the Berlin Wall, both as a tourist destination and a place to settle down.

This is true not only for Germans but for people from all over the world. These facts have led to Berlin’s international cosmopolitan flair and charm. When you are strolling through the streets of Berlin, you can see the internationality not only in the people but also in the restaurants.

Even the art scene presents to its audience artists from all over the world. The Berlin International Film Festival has been one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world for decades. One could continue this list endlessly, but everyone who comes to Berlin has his/her own preferences that are important to him/her. Berliners themselves have become accustomed to living in a multicultural society. For example, Berlin is home to the largest Turkish community outside of Turkey.

In addition to this modernity, you can always find small retreats that offer you peace and relaxation. The residents of each district and neighbourhood have a strong influence on that area, so they all differ from one another. For instance, you will find variety in what the pubs and cafés have to offer and their designs. Something you will find in every district in Berlin is Spätis. Spätis are small shops that sell goods to customers until late at night.

Living in Berlin

Moving to Berlin means learning the special vocabulary for Germans as well as for foreigners. As mentioned above, Späti is one of them. Another one would be Schrippe, which is a word for bun. Fisimatenten describes the word excuses, and meschugge is another word for crazy, for instance.  Familiarity with them is something that everyone has to acquire. One must also know that Kiez is the word the district one lives in. What everyone should take into account is that rents in Berlin have gone up quite a bit. This means you should have enough on your hands time to search and find a suitable apartment.

It is also helpful to concentrate on one or two neighbourhoods to get insider tips to make an informed choice. For instance, an insider tip could be about regular viewings, which usually involve a massive crowd of people that reduces your chances of seeing the property correctly and evaluating its condition. These facts await someone in everyday life of Berlin.

Must Visit

There are many sights to see in Berlin, and it can be difficult to know where to start. However, after a while, everyone will find the sights they are interested in. Therefore, we will mention only the really famous ones everybody should visit. Remember that this list is not a rating of the sights but is just a list.

1. Der deutsche Reichtstag

The German Reichstag is an impressive building and the seat of the German parliament. Its architecture, history, and awe-inspiring view from the roof or the dome are already something exceptional that everyone should have seen

2. Die Berliner Mauer

A gigantic wall ran right through Berlin until reunification, dividing the city into East and West Berlin. Even today, you can see parts of it along the 7-kilometer-long Wall Trail. The path starts at Potsdamer Platz and ends at WarschauerStraße. On your way, you’ll pass the permanent exhibition “Topography of Horror,” which combines the original form of the wall with stories from people who were affected by its cruelty.

3. Das Brandenburger Tor

The Brandenburg Gate was a component of the Berlin Customs Wall. Construction of the Berlin Cathedral began during the reign of Frederick William II and was completed in 1791. On it, there is the Quadriga. In the chariot pulled by four horses is Victoria, the Roman Goddess of victory.

4. Der Fernsehturm

The TV tower is the highest tower in Germany that stands tall at 368 metres. It is located at the Alex and, of course, offers an incredible 360-degree view over the entire city. The most beautiful view is during sunset, when the city is bathed in a beautiful light.

5. Der Gendarmenmarkt

Gendarmenmarkt is Berlin’s most beautiful square. It is located between three large buildings. In the centre is the Concert Hall of Berlin. On the sides, you can look at the German and French cathedrals. The market is a place to linger with exciting and interesting restaurants and cafés.

Gendarmenmarkt Berlin

6. Die Museumsinsel

The Museum Island is part of the Unesco World Heritage Site, where you will find several museums such as the Bode Museum, the Old Museum, the New Museum, the Pergamon Museum, and the Old National Gallery. The best way to learn about the exhibitions hosted here is to search online.

7. Die Spree

Last but not least is the Spree. To experience Berlin from the water is something very special as a boat trip is totally worth it. Berlin’s many sights can be seen from the banks of the Spree. In addition, there are several landing stages where you can leave the boat or get back on. It’s a very relaxing way to visit the sights after moving to Berlin.

Typical Food

The topic of food in Berlin is a difficult one to discuss. Not because there is not enough excellence related to it, but you do not know where to start with your recommendations.

Traditional Foods

When you think of Berlin and traditional food as a German, you automatically have to think of currywurst and kebab. The city is full of currywurst stands and kebab stalls. the traditional dishes don’t correspond to the German mainstream, but are still worth a try. But of course there are also delicious, old dishes cooked according to grandma’s recipes. Berliners love boulettes with potato salad, false rabbit, a meatloaf stuffed with egg,. But there is also a false Heinrich, which is nothing more than bratwurst with false sauce and mashed potatoes!

Who of course wants something special must try quite clearly Königsberger Klopse, They are an East German specialty. It consists of Frikadellen in a Bechamel sauce with capers. Despite having the reputation of being poor but sexy, Berliners still prefer simple dishes. Potato soup with sausages is just as popular as liver with apple, onion and mashed potatoes. For those who like it meaty, it must be Kassler with sauerkraut, fierce and crude. However, it is a dish that corresponds to the basic idea of our capital, keep it simple.

Cured pork knuckle with pea puree, is another Berlin specialty worth trying.

Berliner Favourites

Brined eggs are a traditional dish that is often served in Berlin pubs. They are hard-boiled eggs that have been pickled in a strong saline solution and thus preserved. Rollmops is herring fillet with a filling of onions and gherkins rolled into it. The rollmops is held together by two small wooden sticks. It is not eaten with cutlery, but put into the mouth as a whole and is a traditional part of the hangover breakfast.

In Brandenburg, the special Teltower Rübchen can be consumed both raw and steamed. To finish off the meal, Berliner Luft is suggested – a cream dish accompanied by raspberry sauce or Berliner pancakes. As for drinks, it is recommended to try a Berliner Weisse with shot; this type of wheat beer comes with either raspberry syrup or woodruff. It is probably common worldwide, one could still list numerous dishes that are typical of Berlin, if you move there, you will in the course of time, certainly get to know one or the other curiosity of the local cuisine. Have fun tasting!

Restaurants

If you’re looking for traditional Berlin fare, you should definitely try currywurst and kebab. There’s no shortage of great places to get these dishes, but one restaurant that really stands out is Borchardt. Borchardt has been serving up delicious food for over 150 years and is a favourite among celebrities and politicians. Whether you’re in the mood for something sweet, savoury, or spicy, Borchardt has something to suit your taste.

Another interesting place is ClärchensBallhaus. Established in 1913, the restaurant offers fresh food, which is a combination of traditional dishes with modern influences. Another interesting fact is that they offer dance classes and concerts as well.

Spindler is also a restaurant you should try after moving to Berlin. The cuisine at Spindler is modern, French-inspired, and cosmopolitan. The restaurant overlooks the Spree River and provides an amazing view while serving delicious food.

Cafe Botanico grows all the vegetables they use themselves. Moreover, the pasta is homemade. The farm-to-table restaurant with its own 1,000 square meter permaculture garden in the middle of Berlin works sustainably and with a consistent low-waste approach. The target group here is guests of all kinds who come by not only because the food is organic or fair but because it tastes good and makes them feel good.

Tisk is an old German word for table. The two chefs come from East and West Berlin. They want to combine and present traditional Berlin cuisine with flavours and spices from around the world. At the Tisk, diners can observe their meals being cooked in the open kitchen. Berlin also offers several food markets where one can eat throughout the whole day. You will just have to keep your eyes open though when you visit these food markets after moving to Berlin.

Public Transportation

Due to the large size of Berlin, public transportation has been very well established. Public transport in Berlin consists of a rapid transit system with S-Bahn and U-Bahn trains as well as RE and RB trains. Politically limited mainly to the eastern half of the city, there is also a large streetcar network. In addition, there is a citywide bus network, so that citizens can cope with everyday life well and quickly. The only drawback is the BER. The grand opening of Willy Brand Airport, originally slated for 2011, was ultimately delayed until 2020 due to faulty planning and rising construction costs. Today, 46 million passengers a year can use the national and international flight routes. It is precisely these special exceptions that make Berlin endearing and special.

Dialect

The Berlin dialect is something very special. An important tip for new Berliners is not to try to speak it yourself. It will always sound funny and disturb Berliners. The people of the capital are known for their “Berlin snout,” a saying that is often used in various situations. Although it can be taken as a slight, it’s usually said casually and should not be taken too seriously; it’s just their way of speaking freely. That means they don’t mince words and get straight to the point.

In time, you will become accustomed to it and be able to correctly categorize it.

Here, the most significant proverbs and terms will be enumerated:

Icke stands for I, for example, that you should know as a tourist or expat.

Dit is mir schnurz piepe! means that the matter is not important to the person. Nu aba ran an de Buletten! stands for the fact that one really has to tackle something now.

Dit find ich Knorke means I think that’s great!

Pass ma uff Keule! In Berlin, Keule stands for brother or buddy – “Pass ma uff Keule” means something like “Watch out” or “Listen up, friend”. Note that the warning is not intended to be overly friendly; make sure you take heed.

Keene Haare uff’m Kopp, aba ‘n Kamm inner Tasche! No hair on your head, but a comb in your pocket! This phrase from Berlin jargon is perfect to describe a fake person, an imposter or someone who likes to boast.

Regarding the dialect, one can also only say that it is a real challenge for everyone. This is true not only for expats, but also for Germans who decide to move to Berlin. One can only say that everyone who comes here needs a lot of patience to learn and understand this unique dialect. Good luck!

Munich City Guide

Munich City Guide: Heart of Bavaria

Munich City Guide

Welcome to our Munich City Guide: Heart of Bavaria

The city of Munich is not only Bavaria’s capital but also an extremely liveable metropolis. That’s why moving to Munichis on the top of the cards for many expats coming to Germany. The approximately 1.43 million inhabitants of this city can fall back on a lively cultural scene and the most diverse restaurants offering a wide range of international dishes. In addition, there is, of course, the English Garden, where you can relax in the summer and the annual Oktoberfest, which attracts several million tourists to the city.

The cityscape is characterized by numerous centuries-old buildings, such as the neo-Gothic Town Hall with its carillon. According to the London lifestyle magazine Monocle, Munich is one of the most liveable cities in the world. It is growing fast and has a strong economy. Unfortunately, this circumstance ensures that the cost of living, such as rent or a visit to a restaurant, is more expensive than the German average. Still, in return, one usually earns well. Munich’s universities are some of the best in Germany. This is important for the city’s industries, like BMW and Siemens.. All of this makes Munich an attractive place for investors.

Why Choose Munich

Another aspect that makes living in Munich so attractive for Germans and foreigners is authenticity. The people of Munich live and love their traditions and are very open to modern lifestyles and things. The ability to combine these aspects is one reason that makes Munich special. Many Munich residents refer to their city as the largest village globally because, unlike in other metropolises, you meet people more often.

Lake Starnberg Munich

A City for Nature Lovers

In addition, the proximity to nature is a reason that attracts so many people to Munich. The city is surrounded by numerous lakes, for example, Lake Starnberg, Lake Chiemsee, and Lake Tegernsee. They can be reached within an hour, at the most, and are therefore a welcome destination for weekend excursions. Another advantage is the city’s proximity to the Alps and Italy. Lake Garda is also popular and frequently visited by the inhabitants. Munich is nicknamed the “northernmost city in Italy” because of its climate and the locals’ love for Italy.

An Architectural Delight

Munich is also dotted with many sights and attractions. The Marienplatz, the Hofgarten, and the English Garden are probably the most famous places in Munich that attract tourists from far and wide. But there’s much more on offer beyond these. If you make an effort and explore the various districts of the city centre, you will find small hidden gems that will inspire you, like in the Glockenbachviertel.

Here, you will find small but fine manufacturers that offer individual products. What makes Munich unique is its village-like atmosphere, with each district having its own charm. But what really brings the city together are the inns, which are spread out all over and offer typical Bavarian dishes like roast pork and white sausages with mustard.

A Beer Culture

In Munich, during spring and summer, life shifts outdoors to the many beer gardens found in almost every neighbourhood. Some beer gardens are large, while others are smaller. But all offer a chance to enjoy the warm weather with friends while sampling some of Munich’s famous beers. However, one must not forget that self-service is the rule in most of them. Many people are drawn to the English Garden to picnic, swim. The garden provides a beautiful and relaxing setting for these activities. And in the English Garden, you can even surf on the Eisbach!

If you consider moving to Germany and maybe living in Munich, you need a little list telling you where to go and where to eat. To help you, we will start with the most impressive sights in town. We suggest checking out other guides and local expat communities, too, because such a list is never complete and it’s also more fun to explore together with other people!

Must visits

The Marienplatz

The Marienplatz is Munich’s central square with its two city halls- the old and the new one. From there, it is a short walk to the traditional Viktualienmarkt, another interesting place to visit. The mighty New Town Hall on the north side dominates the quadrangular square.

 

In the tower of the Town Hall, you will find a viewing platform. Below it is the historic carillon that sounds twice a day. At the fish fountain, the people of Munich meet to socialize.

The Old Peter, Munich’s oldest parish church, is just a stone’s throw away and offers a great view over the Old Town. There are stores and restaurants around Marienplatz, and the pedestrian zone begins here.

The Nymphenburg Palace

Nymphenburg Palace is, of course, located in the district of Nyphenburg. For a long time, it was not only the summer residence of the Wittelsbach family but also their favourite castle. You should definitely stopover at the museum and take a walk in the huge park to get an impression of the impressive complex.

The Frauenkirche

The Frauenkirche is the landmark of Munich. It is located near Marienplatz and is the burial place of several monarchs who have ruled Bavaria. If history and architecture interest you, you should definitely visit it!

Deutsches Museum

The Deutsches Museum is a great place for those interested in technology and natural sciences. It is one of the largest museums of its kind in the world and perfect for families since children are allowed to touch many of the exhibits. This allows them to have their own unique experiences. Besides, you should know that it is impossible to see everything in one day. So, the Deutsches Museum is the ideal place for rainy days!

The three Pinakothek museums

For art lovers, of course, a visit to the three Pinakothek museums is a must. The old Pinakothek has over 700 paintings in its permanent exhibition. The illustrious names of the artists range from Dürer to Da Vinci and Rembrandt. Another highlight is the Rubenssaal with its more than six-meter high walls!

The new Pinakothek is unfortunately closed until the end of 2025 due to a general renovation and cannot be visited during this time.The Pinakothek der Moderne offers its visitors art from the 20th century onwards, which means you can see both paintings and selected design pieces that have become classics over the years.

Though we cannot mention all the amazing sights Munich has to offer, I am sure everybody would find the thing for him/her with some research on the internet. We have the same problem with dining too as everybody prefers a different kind of food. Therefore, we can only offer a shortlist of restaurants that we can recommend in Munich, which would help if you plan on living in Munich for long.

Typical Bavarian food

If you move to Munich, whether for a longer or a limited time, you should definitely try the typical Bavarian cuisine. In addition to the international restaurants, there are numerous traditional pubs and especially beer gardens in Munich that offer these delicacies. But it is important to know, it is a very meaty kitchen, so vegetarians have to pay attention.

Of course, you have to eat the famous white sausage with sweet mustard. However, following the Bavarian tradition, this is only offered until 12 o’clock. The typical Munich drinks a white beer with it, maybe two.

For individuals relocating to Munich (Zugroasta) who are unfamiliar with the local customs, it is important to note that the skin of sausages should be removed prior to consumption, rather than being eaten along with it.

Munich Favourites

The Leberkäse is best eaten with sweet mustard. Actually every butcher’s shop in the city has its own Leberkäse, because this specialty has nothing to do with cheese. A Helles, a Bavarian beer, is of course drunk with Leberkäse. Roast porkwith dumplings a hearty classic of Bavarian cuisine. Juicy pork with crust and potato dumplings. Every good Bavarian inn serves this meal fresh every day. The pork knuckle is also a pig specialty, known as Stelze or Eisbein outside of Bavaria. The side dishes are similar to roast pork potato dumplings, bread dumplings, sour cabbage or red cabbage.

Hendl (Chicken) is a traditional dish of Bavarian cuisine served grilled or deep-fried. Side dishes are usually potato salad and lamb’s lettuce. It is an alternative to the otherwise very meat-heavy Bavarian cuisine.

For vegetarians, an alternative to the Obatzda is a small dish consisting of Camembert with onions and peppers, served with brown bread.

Steam noodles are perfect for those with a sweet tooth. They are made from yeast dough.

Reibedatschi are also known as potato pancakes or Reibekuchen. The sweet version is usually served with apple sauce.

 

Modern, traditional Bavarian cuisine now often varies the old familiar side dishes, but as a rule the tradition and history of the above-mentioned dishes remain. There are so man more  delicious dishes like meat salad, Presssack a sausage in a pressed stomach sack and so many more. Everyone who moves to Munich should try one of the traditional dishes!

Restaurants

For lovers of traditional food with a modern touch, we recommend the Xavers. This restaurant mainly uses organic ingredients and offers both typical Bavarian dishes, i.e. roast pork etc., as well as dishes for vegetarians and vegans.

The Menage Bar convinces with a modern and innovative cuisine combined with creative drinks. So, this location is something for open-minded and spontaneous people who would like to embark on a culinary journey.

Neni, on the other hand, combines Israeli cuisine with influences from Romanian and Spanish cuisine. Those who are open to experimentation must pay a visit to the restaurant.

Last but not least, if you like to stay longer in one place, and prefer to try many small dishes instead of a traditional main course, you have to visit Usagi. Many small dishes are offered here, which allows you and your date to virtually eat your way through the Japanese menu together!

Public Transportation

Munich’s public transportation system is very well developed. There are, of course, enough suburban and subway trains, which make daily progress very easy. Ten so-called streetcar lines provide fast connections on the surface. In addition, various regional buses and the inner-city bus service transport citizens from A to B.

The “Franz Josef Strauß” airport is the second largest in Germany. With approximately 44.6 million passengers annually, it is among the top ten in Europe. Munich is an international hub with some of the best transport connections in the world, making it ideal for business travellers.

Dialect

Munich residents are basically proud of their language, or rather their dialect. It is part of daily life and therefore one should be open to it if one wants to feel at home in Munich. If you try to understand the dialect spoken in Munich, you will be respected by the locals. By the way, this rule applies to all major cities in Germany. Of course, it is difficult for an immigrant to understand these local dialects.

Bavarians are proud of their tradition and language. Bavarian is spoken on occasions which makes it difficult for foreigners to understand the meaning. It is best to ask for the translation as a new citizen of Munich, this will make it easier to understand the mood and the conversation. Because the Bavarian dialect (like the German language in general), sounds harsh rough and unfriendly.

You shouldn’t be discouraged by this, because it’s just “typical Bavarian”–a hard exterior with a soft interior. With time, you’ll get used to the language, or your colleagues and friends will adapt and speak High German for better communication.  So the motto should be “stay tuned and do not lose heart! Good luck and patience!

But if you want to impress, here are some typical Bavarian terms:

  • Servus = Hello/ Goodbye
  • Pfiad di = Goodbye
  • An Guadn = Enjoy your meal
  • Prost = Salut
  • Bua = Boy
  • Madl = Girl

We hope this informational guide would help a lot when you execute your plan of moving to Munich and settling in this beautiful city.

Frankfurt City Guide

Frankfurt or as it is also called Mainhattan

If you’re an expat who has recently moved to Frankfurt, or are planning to do so in the near future, then you’re in the right place. In this comprehensive Frankfurt city guide, we’ll take you on a journey through some of the city’s most exciting and noteworthy sights and experiences. From hidden gems to popular tourist destinations, this guide will help you explore all that Frankfurt has to offer, and make the most of your time in this thriving city.

Frankfurt, also known as Mainhattan, is a city in Germany. It is the fifth-largest city in the country, and home to many financial institutions. In this city you can find history, art, tradition as well as a multicultural society. At the same time, Frankfurt is one of the most underestimated cities when it comes to quality of life and variety. As the only German city, Frankfurt is one of the Alpha cities. That Frankfurt is a banking city has tradition. Around 250 years ago, the Rothschild Bank – one of the biggest banks ever – was founded here.

Frankfurt is known for its skyline, which is why it’s often called “Mainhattan.” The best view of the city can be enjoyed from the Main Tower. The most skyscrapers in Germany are located here 14 of 15 nationwide.

More than just banks

But the city has more to offer than just banks and the stock exchange. The greatest German writer “Goethe” was born here and the Paulskirche was the place the first German parliament took place in 1848. The almost capital, is a combination of modernity with history. The beautiful old town around the city hall Römer, which was destroyed in the 2nd World War, has now been completely rebuilt. 35 half-timbered houses were restored using old wood from the period.It lasted from 2009 until 2018.

But besides the history, you have to realize that Frankfurt also has a lot of modern things to offer.  Frankfurt’s trade fairs are world-renowned, be it the IAA or the Frankfurt Book Fair, the largest in the world. This city manages to combine modernity with tradition. For strangers or new residents, Frankfurt often seems like a cold city at first glance, because of its skyscrapers but has many cosy little places which make life comfortable.

The Main River shapes the entire cityscape. If you cross it at some points over the numerous bridges, you come to the so-called south bank, meeting place for young people and students. In addition to cheap street food, you will find meadows that invite you to linger. The south bank of the river is also called Museumsufer because of the numerous museums and galleries located there.

Must visits

Here we must emphasize the Städel Museum, which presents art from 700 years. Afterwards, you can refresh yourself at Cafe Mendez, a place run by the Frankfurter Kunstverein, which stands out for its uniqueness. another interesting part of the city is the Osthafen. At the foot of the ECB building, a huge amusement park has been built where you can relax, but also do a lot of sports. Other interesting districts that characterize the image of the city are the Bahnhofsviertel and Sachsenhausen

Sachsenhausen is the city’s nightlife district, while the Bahnhofsviertel is now dominated by the modern and diverse area. Numerous restaurants, bars and clubs determine the image of the affluent district. A small part in Sachsenhausen around the Brückenstraße is the the place where young families live and on can find small interesting and unique shops which offer for example small but fine manufactory products. For Immigrants who are looking for an apartment there is an extraordinary place to check in.

For Architecture Lovers

The Libertine Lindenberg is a special hotel in Sachsenhausen. The hotel is oriented towards the German singer Udo Lindenberg, who has lived there for more than 20 years. So it offers guests the possibility to check in and live there for a longer period of time besides a normal overnight stay.

Besides these quarters there are many places which make Frankfurt special. At the Emperor’s Market, you can find local vegetable stands as well as international specialties. Many of the stands offer the famous “Grii Soas” (Green Sauce). It is eaten with potatoes and egg, and consists of 7 specified herbs. Not far away is the Kleinmarkthalle (small market hall), where 60 vendors offer food, wine and the famous “Ebbelwoi” (apple wine). The hall is one of the meeting places in Frankfurt.

Of course, Frankfurt has a lot to offer in terms of sightseeing. It would lead too far to list them all here. You can find most of them on the Internet, where you can find the most important and interesting information. We want to name here, the most important for us. Everyone who visits Frankfurt or decides to live there will gradually find the ones that fascinate him/her.

 

The old town around the Römer

The smallest part of the city is full of cafes and restaurants. Through the reconstruction of the east line on the Römerberg, typical representatives of half-timbered architecture were rebuilt, which characterizes the neighbourhood and makes it unique.

You should also visit Saalgasse. A whole street was built there with houses modelled after 80s architecture. Each house was designed by a different architect. In addition, there are numerous museums here that have something to offer for almost every taste.

The Goethe House

Perhaps the most important German writer was born and spent his childhood there. At the same time, the building conveys a sense of life in the 18th century.

The Städel Museum

This museum offers art from 700 years. Anyone who is enthusiastic about the old masters or modern art will find what they are looking for there and can devote hours to the extraordinary works.

The Main Tower

This skyscraper is virtually a MUST see. From there you can enjoy the view over the skyline of Frankfurt as well as the view of the Taunus. Who wants to get an overview of the city must go there.

Of course, there are numerous other attractions. Like the Paulskirche, where the first German parliament met in 1848. The zoo impresses with its diversity. The imperial cathedral is also worth a visit as well as the Museumsufer. As you can see, Frankfurt has something to offer for every visitor, you just have to set out to explore the city.

Like in every bigger city in Germany you will find all Kinds of international and traditional restaurants all over town. Ebbelwoi Unser stands for traditional, local cuisine that is based on the recipes of grandmothers. You can find numerous recipes with green sauce but also other delicacies.

Nionryori Ken is known for its upscale Japanese cuisine. There you can choose between a 10 and 8 course menu to indulge yourself. Furthermore you will find many Italian, African and Chinese Restaurants everywhere. I recommend to search in the internet before you make your choice.

 

 

So the alpha city of Frankfurt with all its contrasts captivates many people. If you think about moving there in order to work you can expect an international city which provides in all the above mentioned matters something for everybody. It is a good choice you probably won’t regret.