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Hamburg City Guide

Hamburg, meine Perle – City Guide

Hamburg, my pearl – that’s how the locals or newcomers call their home. Hamburg is also one of the three city-states in Germany. This means the city has the same rights and the same responsibilities as the rest of the states in Germany. After moving to Hamburg and going through a difficult initial period, expats living in Hamburg will be rewarded for their perseverance for sure! The architecture, the sights, the restaurants, the harbour, the small city beaches, and last but not least, the people, make the second-largest city in Germany something very special!

City and Sightseeing

The cityscape of Hamburg is characterized by the two rivers and the port. Add to these the impressive architecture that makes Hamburg unique. The Elbe and Alster rivers have a positive influence on life in the city. Both the rivers invite you to linger as well as to indulge in water sports.

But this city has much more to offer: In addition to the numerous cultural offerings and the opera that hosts the most diverse selection of musicals, Hamburg also impresses with its modern architecture. The Elbphilharmonie is not only the new concert hall of Hamburg, but also a new landmark of the city, just like the Michel. The nave including the five organs, the vaulted cellar, and the mesmerising view from the church tower, are especially remarkable. In its nearly 400-year history, this church had to be completely rebuilt twice.

The Speicherstadt and the Harbour

The Speicherstadt also characterizes the cityscape. By far, one of the most celebrated photo motifs in the Speicherstadt is the moated castle at the end of the Holländischer Brook, which is now used as a tea office with gastronomy. It forms the centre of the third construction phase of the Speicherstadt and was built between 1905 and 1907. At that time, it was the solitary place in the Speicherstadt that was allowed to be inhabited.

An absolute must for tourists and expats living in Hamburg is a harbour tour. The Port of Hamburg, or the “Gateway to the World” as the locals call it, has something to offer for everyone and is truly impressive. There, you will also find museums and historic ships that remind you of the respective eras of the city’s history. If you want, you can end the day in the Strandperle, a famous restaurant.

Nightlife and the Kiez

Two highlights besides those already mentioned, however, are of course the world-famous Reeperbahn and the Hamburg fish market. Once considered wicked, the Reeperbahn is now an entertainment mile for everyone. Numerous bars characterize the streetscape. In contrast to the linguistic usage in Berlin, for Hamburgers, there is only one Kiez: the entertainment district in the St. Pauli district around the most sinful mile in the world. Roughly speaking, Hamburg’s Kiez consists of the Reeperbahn, the Grosse Freiheit, Hamburger Berg, and Hans-Albers-Platz – at least in terms of going out in the evening. During the day, the Kiez seems rather quiet and inviting to one or the other. But as dusk falls, the Reeperbahn and the adjacent streets and squares come to life. Locals and tourists alike then visit the city’s most famous nightlife district.

In the Grosse Freiheit, a side street to the Reeperbahn, music history was made in the 1960s, as the Beatles had their first performances there. First, they performed in the club Indra, which is still open today after some renovations, followed by the still existing Kaiserkeller at Große Freiheit 36, and in the famous Star Club, which is only remembered by a memorial plaque.

St. Pauli also offers a lot of culture and art besides the Reeperbahn. You should take your time to discover the individual galleries and small museums, which will surely be a rewarding experience.

The Fish Market and the Canals

The Hamburg fish market is also a Hamburg institution. Every Sunday morning, this fish market attracts thousands of visitors from Hamburg and all over the world to the Elbe. If you want to be there, you have to get up early – but it’s worth it. With its long tradition, maritime charm, and quick-witted market criers, the Hamburg fish market in Altona makes weekly shopping an experience for the young and old. However, besides all these sights, which actually cannot be overlooked, it is worth taking a second look at the city.

If you want it a little quieter, retreat to the small canals and enjoy the peace and quiet in the big city. The canals run through the entire city and shape the cityscape just like the architecture. All these aspects make Hamburg an interesting city, which is an attraction for immigrants and expats due to its internationality.

Transportation

Likewise, the connection through the airport, the port, and the location should be noted. The Helmut Schmidt airport is the fifth-largest in Germany. Hamburg’s main train station is one of the most important railroad hubs in Germany. The S-Bahn and U-Bahn networks are also excellently developed, which simplifies daily life enormously. Four subways and six suburban trains crisscross the entire city, which helps you to get from point A to B quickly. This way, expats living in Hamburg are well connected both locally and globally !

Food and Restaurants

In addition to all these cultural and practical aspects that make Hamburg attractive, physical well-being will also be catered for. The restaurant scene is determined by regionality as well as internationality. There is, so to speak, the right choice and variety for everyone. The Schoppenhauer, right next to the Speicherstadt, stands for modern Hamburg cuisine. There you can order both Labskaus, a typical dish for Hamburg, and a refined 3-5 course menus. The Go is run by the famous German TV chef Steffen Henssler, and is known for his sushi creations. These are just two examples of the city’s diverse cuisine. Of course, there are still various restaurants that should be mentioned here, but it is easier to find them out on the spot.

For expats living in Hamburg, therefore, it is a city that is both attractive and exciting. Many Germans move to this cosmopolitan metropolis due to the above-mentioned aspects. All these make it an attractive place for expats moving to Germany and working here. Good luck and have fun exploring this extraordinary city!

Düsseldorf City Guide

Living in Düsseldorf, the Art Metropolis

With about 620.000 people living in Düsseldorf, it is sort of the antithesis of Cologne. Even though it is much smaller than Cologne, it is the capital of North Rhine-Westphalia, which annoys many Cologne residents a bit.
Düsseldorf ranks second in NRW and seventh in the whole of Germany. Still, these two Rhine metropolises are rivals. This is true for sports, culture and drinks. While Cologne is known for its Kölsch (a light beer), people in Düsseldorf drink Altbier (an old and dark beer). In addition, Düsseldorf is considered the city of the rich and beautiful, who enjoy life there.

Living in Düsseldorf

As in Cologne, several million tourists come to Düsseldorf every year because there is a lot to see here. In the old town of Düsseldorf, there are several pubs and restaurants. A tour of the old town with its narrow streets is a must. The longest bar in the world is located here! However, only theoretically: only if you were to line up the counters of all 250 pubs, it would really be the longest counter in the world.

Along the Rhine you can take a nice walk, especially in summer. If you walk long enough, you end up in the Media Harbor. Many important companies are located there, and less than 100 people really live in this part of town. Instead, you’ll find the Rhine Tower there. You can see it from far away when you drive into Düsseldorf. It looks a bit like the Colonius in Cologne, but it is as striking for the Düsseldorf cityscape as the cathedral is in Cologne.

The landmarks of the Media Harbor are the three buildings by Frank Gehry, with their curved facades. In addition, Düsseldorf is known for its art scene. Along with numerous museums, there are countless galleries and art stores that make this city an art metropolis.

Must Visits

Especially the , the Königsallee is the place to do shopping in the city center, if you have the necessary change. A walk on the is always worthwhile, because there is something for everyone to see. At the new Kö Bogen, architect Daniel Liebeskind has built an impressive building complex that combines gastronomy and retail.

In addition, Düsseldorf offers a home to about 7000 Japanese, as over 400 Japanese companies are located there. Their district is also called Little Nippon on the Rhine. There you will find not only traditional restaurants, (the Takumi is considered an insider tip) but also selected grocery stores for the Japanese cuisine.

In addition to the museums and galleries already mentioned, Düsseldorf has a lot to offer in terms of sightseeing. For example, the Basilica St. Lambertus, the Basilica St. Margareta and the Berger Church. The Botanical Garden is also worth a visit, as well as the Art Academy, which makes its contribution to the fact that Düsseldorf is considered an art metropolis.

Architectural structures worth seeing include the before mentioned Gehry buildings, the Dreischeibenhaus and the Düsseldorf Schauspielhaus. But you can also just drift and visit one of the numerous small breweries for a beer tasting. The Rheinterassen are an absolute must for everyone, whether tourist or local. Düsseldorf simply has something to offer for everyone, like all major German cities.

Cost of Living in Düsseldorf

Living in Düsseldorf is unfortunately expensive. The average rent in Düsseldorf is €12.69 per square meter, while the average rental price in all of Germany is around €7.68 per square meter. So the cost of living in Düsseldorf is significantly above average, but for many people still worth paying.

A trendy neighborhood in Düsseldorf is Flingern. It is easy to recognize by the numerous graffiti that adorn the walls there. While the apartments there were once cheap, they are now modern and pricy. But there is the Cafe Hüftgold, which is said to serve the best cake in town.

Oberkassel on the left bank of the Rhine is one of the most expensive but also most exclusive residential areas of the city. From the Rhine meadows you can enjoy a fantastic view of the old town.

Public Transportation

As far as transport links are concerned, Düsseldorf – like Cologne – is very well developed and connected. With 25 suburban train stations, 18 city and streetcar lines and around 50 bus lines, Düsseldorf can be easily experienced by public transport. The subway, for example, takes travelers from the main train station to the city center in just three minutes. The S-Bahn takes them from the main station to the airport in just ten minutes.

The DUS (Düsseldorf Airport) is not only the largest in North Rhine-Westphalia, but also the fourth largest in Germany. It is connected to 230 destinations in 65 countries, thanks to 80 airlines. About 25 million people use it per year and it is ideal for people who travel a lot for business.

Restaurants

The Brasserie Hülsmann is considered one of the best restaurants in the city. Here, upscale brasserie cuisine is presented in a casual atmosphere. The aforementioned Takumi will probably also soon lose its status as an insider tip. The Bar Olio is a casual scene restaurant serving modern crossover cuisine. If you prefer Italian cuisine, Riva at the harbor is the place to go. In addition, there are also the numerous inns and pubs in the old town, which you stumble upon during a visit, and which invite you to linger and feast.

Of course, it is impossible to name and recommend all the great restaurants and bars in a city. It is always a subjective evaluation. Therefore, you should always get an impression yourself and maybe just try a restaurant that you like. You will find something for every taste in Düsseldorf.

Summary

So let’s summarize the most important facts about Düsseldorf again:

  • Düsseldorf is the capital of North Rhine-Westphalia.
  • Düsseldorf, like most big cities, is a bit more expensive, but it’s worth it if you want to live there.
  • The city is considered a metropolis for art.
  • The people are open-minded and make it easy for foreigners to get used to the typical charm of the city.
  • Little Nippon on the Rhine makes the city interesting for Asian immigrants.
  • Düsseldorf has a lot of green areas, which makes the city interesting for families.
  • The transport links allow fast travel both within Germany and internationally.

So if you are willing and can afford it financially, Düsseldorf is a good place to be.

Cologne City Guide

Home Is Where the Dom Is – Cologne City Guide

Home is where the Dom is – that’s what the people of Cologne say about their city. Few Germans are as proud of their city as the people living in Cologne. Germany’s fourth largest city with over 1 million inhabitants is characterized by its location on the Rhine and, of course, the Cologne Cathedral, which you can see from almost all over the city. In addition, there is the fifth season, the carnival, which dominates the city life between November and February.

Living in Cologne

Cologne, or Kölle as the locals say, is not only Germany’s fourth largest city, but also a very special metropolis. Those who decide to move to this beautiful, unique city should be prepared to get to know a special place with extraordinary people. Et hätt noch jot jejange – it has always gone well so far – means no less than the following: What went well yesterday will go well today. Every Jeck is different. Which means as much as: Every fool is different. Exercising tolerance and forbearance towards the other in the knowledge of one’s own imperfection characterizes the life of the people of Cologne, just like the local dialect in general. This attitude makes it easy for foreigners in particular to gain a foothold in this city.

The people of Cologne are extremely fun-loving and have a mischievous streak. For example, the city is divided into left and right of the Rhine. The left side is the so-called good side, while the right side, the Schäl Sick how it is called, symbolizes the bad because that’s where the poorer people lived. Today, of course, this is no longer the case and you can find apartments and beautiful neighborhoods on both sides of the city.

Must Visits

One of the hippest neighborhoods in Cologne is the Belgian Quarter. There you will find the Aachener Straße, one of the most popular streets in the city, with chic cafes and trendy stores. The locals also call it the heart of Cologne. It is multicultural and reflects the cosmopolitanism of the Rhinelanders.

At the same time as being cosmopolitan, the people of Cologne are rooted in their traditions. The numerous breweries, which also characterize the image of the city, offer both the traditional Kölsch (a special type of beer), as well as traditional dishes, which are usually served by the so-called Köbesse (semi-friendly waiters). But with time, you get used to them.

Cologne is an exciting city, especially for those with an interest in the field of media. Several TV stations are based here, so there are lots of interesting jobs in this industry in particular. Of course, Cologne also offers perspective jobs in other areas.

Cologne does not have to hide culturally either – the most impressive sight is the Cologne Cathedral. Today, it is hard to believe that the Cologne Cathedral in its current form was only completed in 1880. Its architecturally uniform image and quite weathered face make it appear older than most parts actually are. Construction of the Cologne Cathedral began in 1248, and after the presumed relics of the Magi were brought to Cologne from Milan in the 12th century, Cologne developed into a highly frequented pilgrimage site. The old cathedral, which had been standing since 870, was no longer able to cope with the crowds. The style of the new cathedral was to be French Gothic. The cathedrals of Amiens, Paris and Strasbourg served as models.

Museum Ludwig and Roman-Germanic Museum

Not far from the Cologne Cathedral are two of the city’s best-known museums: the Museum Ludwig, dedicated to 20th and 21st century art, and the Roman-Germanic Museum, dedicated to the archaeological history of Cologne. With its extensive Pop Art collection and the third largest Picasso collection in the world, as well as numerous Expressionist, New Objectivity and Russian Avant-garde paintings, the Museum Ludwig is one of the most important art museums in the world and one of the best Cologne sights in the old town.

No less interesting is the Roman-Germanic Museum. On more than 4,500 square meters of exhibition space, you can discover the Roman city history of Cologne.

One of the most diverse sights in Cologne is the Old Town, located in the city center. Not only are the best Cologne sights located here, all within comfortable walking distance from each other, but the city center also stands out for its unique houses, gastronomic and cultural scene and wide shopping offer. Especially famous are the Old Market, Hohe Straße and Schildergasse.

The most famous of the seven Rhine bridges is the Hohenzollern Bridge. Built between 1907 and 1911 to replace the increasingly overloaded Cathedral Bridge, it was the only one of the Rhine bridges in Cologne that was not destroyed by bombs during World War II. The Wehrmacht preferred to do that itself, to make it harder for Allied troops to cross the Rhine. After the war, they rebuilt it as a railroad and pedestrian bridge only. Cars have no access here. However, what the Hohenzollern Bridge is most known for are the love locks, which now number over 500,000. The bridge is one of the main attractions in Cologne for couples.

The Fifth Season: Carnival in Cologne

If you plan on living in Cologne, you can’t miss the fifth season. Carnival, or Shrovetide, has a long tradition in the Rhineland, which can be traced back to the Middle Ages and had a peak especially in the early modern period. Even then, people dressed up and performed carnival games. Today, carnival is associated primarily with costumes, carnival speeches and the Rose Monday parade. The “fifth season” begins every year on 11.11. when at 11:11 a.m. in the old town, accompanied by carnival music, the “Cologne Triumvirate” is introduced. However, it then still takes a while until the world-famous street carnival begins. It is not until the Thursday before Ash Wednesday, Women’s Carnival (which is usually sometime in February) that the big party actually begins. Then, the first big carnival celebrations take place and the streets are filled with revellers and party animals.

But be warned: Men should be careful when visiting the Weiberfastnacht. It is customary for women to cut off men’s neckties!

Public Transportation

The public transport network in Cologne is well established. The streetcars in Cologne also become the subway on many routes. This efficient and comfortable transport system in Cologne has 34 subway stations and 11 different lines. The trains in Cologne are also called S-Bahn (urban railroad), which is also very well developed with its 5 lines. The S-Bahn trains almost all stop at the stations of the Deutsche Bahn and the different Park&Ride parking lots on the outskirts of the city. In addition, there are about 50 bus lines that travel throughout the city. Thus, living in Cologne can be easily managed without a car. In addition, there is the airport Cologne/Bonn “Konrad Adenauer”. It is an international commercial airport in Cologne, located 12 km from the center of Cologne and 16 km from the center of Bonn.

Cologne’s Culinary Culture

Living in Cologne has something to offer for everyone in terms of cuisine. Be it the numerous breweries, the traditional dishes such as Himmel und Äd, (heaven and earth) a traditional dish of mashed potatoes mixed with apple pieces. Often “Himmel und Erde” is served together with bratwurst, bacon and roasted onions, but also with fried liver sausage or black pudding.

There is also international cuisine in Cologne, from sushi to French to Creole. This selection of restaurants reflects the openness and internationality of the city, which makes it easy to settle down and start a new life in Germany.

We hope this city guide has been helpful to you in getting a better picture of what living in Cologne is like. Should you visit or make this beautiful city your home, we wish you all the best!

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. This internationality can be seen not only when you stroll through Berlin’s streets, but also when you are looking for a restaurant. 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. Every district and every neighbourhood is strongly influenced by its inhabitants, and thus, they are all different. 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. Everybody has to get used to them. 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

Now, let’s talk about sightseeing in Berlin. It is almost impossible to mention all spots one should visit after moving to Berlin. But 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.

  1. 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 the way, you pass the permanent exhibition “Topography of Horror”, where you can see the wall in its original form and cruelty combined with personal stories of people who were affected.

  1. Das Brandenburger Tor

The Brandenburg Gate was a component of the Berlin Customs Wall. It was built under Frederick William the Second and completed in 1791. On it, there is the Quadriga. In the chariot pulled by four horses is Victoria, the Roman Goddess of victory.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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. Most of the sights of Berlin can be viewed from 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.

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 Beschamelesauce with capers.  Since Berlin still has the reputation of being poor but sexy, simple dishes are of course still preferred. 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.

Brined eggs are a traditional dish and are a standard offering in Berlin’s 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. Teltower Rübchen are special turnips that come from Brandenburg and are eaten both raw and steamed.For dessert, we recommend once the famous Berlin air, a cream served with raspberry sauce or the Berlin pancakes. As a drink you have to try a Berliner Weisse with shot. This is a wheat beer, which is served either with 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

What you should definitely try, however, are currywurst and kebab, which are the traditional takeaways in Berlin. Since everybody prefers a different kind of food, it is hard to say which restaurant is the best of its kind. But Borchardt must be mentioned. For 150 years, it has been located at the Gendarmenmarkt, boasts of a long tradition, and is very popular among celebrities and politicians. Its food differs from many others, and it actually has something to appease everybody’s palate.

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. It is positioned directly on the Spree River and offers good food and a fantastic view at the same time.

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. The Tisk has an open kitchen, which lets you watch your dishes being prepared. 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

The fact that Berlin is extraordinarily large in terms of area has ensured that public transport is very well developed. 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 Willy Brand Airport was supposed to open in 2011, but the opening was ultimately postponed to 2020 due to faulty planning and exploding 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 cheeky Berlin snout – in one situation or another they like to say something casual. This should not be taken too personally, because you just talk frei Schnauze. That means they don’t mince words and get straight to the point. In the course of time, you will get used to it and be able to classify it correctly. The most important proverbs and terms will now be listed here. 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”. You should also pay attention, because the warning is not meant to be too friendly.

Keene Haare uff’m Kopp, aba ‘n Kamm inner Tasche! No hair on your head, but a comb in your pocket! A phony, an impostor or a braggart can be aptly described with this saying from Berlin jargon.

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 the heart of Bavaria

The city of Munich is not only Bavaria’s capital but also an extremely liveable metropolis. That’s why moving to Munich is 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 considered to be among the best in Germany, which is important for the local industry like BMW or Siemens. Of course, Munich is very well-connected to the road network and has the Franz-Josef Strauß Airport, the second-largest in Germany, making the city interesting for investors.

Reasons why

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.

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 also called the northernmost city in Italy because of its climate and the love they have for Italy.

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. These stores are why the residents of Munich speak of a village, where each district has its own charm and stands out from the crowd. But what unites them all are the inns. They are spread all over Munich and offer their customers typical Bavarian dishes such as roast pork or white sausages with mustard.

Beer gardens can also be found in almost every neighbourhood though sometimes, they are larger, while at other times, they are smaller, because during spring and summer in Munich, life shifts to the outdoors. 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, or surf. 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

If you are interested in technology and natural sciences, the Deutsches Museum (or the German Museum) is the right place for you. It is one of the globe’s largest museums of its kind. It is an ideal destination for families because children are allowed to touch many exhibits and thus, make their very own 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!

Unfortunately, the new Pinakothek is 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 vegeterians 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…

What one must know as a Zugroasta ( person who moves to Munich), the skin is not eaten along, but it is removed before one eats the sausage.

Likewise, the Leberkäse is 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. Of course, a Helles, a special Bavarian beer, is drunk with the Leberkäse. Roast pork with 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 from the pig and outside Bavaria this specialty is also known as Stelze or Eisbein. The side dishes are similar to roast pork potato dumplings, bread dumplings, sour cabbage or red cabbage.

Hendl (chicken) is another traditional dish of Bavarian cuisine. It is served either 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.

An alternative for vegetarians is the Obatzda. This small dish consists of Camembert with onions and peppers and is served with brown bread.

Steam noodles are just the thing for those with a sweet tooth. These 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. Here, many small dishes are offered, which allows you to virtually eat your way through the Japanese menu together!

Public Transportation

Public transportation in Munich 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. The international hub, which is one of the best in the world, so that business travelers can be connected to their destinations. so you see in terms of transport Munich is very well positioned.

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. The dialect is quite peculiar and difficult to understand, but if you try to understand it, you will be rewarded with the respect of the people of Munich. 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. Bavariansare proud of their tradition and language. They are generally very international, but there are always occasions when Bavarian is spoken, which makes it difficult, especially for foreigners, to grasp the meaning of what is being said. 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. However, you should not be deterred by this, because it is just “Typical Bavarian”, hard shell, soft core! With time, you get used to the language or work colleagues and friends 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 typcial 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 or as it is also called Mainhattan

Frankfurt is a cosmopolitan city, a financial center and an economic metropolis. 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. About 250 years ago one of the biggest banks ever was founded here, the Rothschild Bank.

Frankfurt is visually characterized by its skyline that is why it is also called “Mainhattan”. The most beautiful overview 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 known worldwide, 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 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 is also called Museumsufer because of its numerous museums and galleries.

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. There, at the foot of the ECB building, a huge amusement park was 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. While the Bahnhofsviertel, which used to be dominated by the red-light district, today stands for modernity and diversity, Sachsenhausen is the city’s nightlife district. 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.

The Libertine Lindenberg is a special hotel in Sachsenhausen. It is oriented to the German singer Udo Lindenberg, who has lived in the hotel 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 will local vegetable stands as well as international specialties and you can find many stands offering 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. Most of them can be found 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

In the smallest part of the city you can find numerous cafes and restaurants. Through the reconstruction of the east line on the Römerberg typical representatives of the half-timbered architecture were rebuilt, this characterizes the neighborhood and is unique. In addition, you should visit the Saalgasse. There was built a whole street with houses modeled on the 80s architecture. Each house was designed by a different architect. In addition, there are numerous museums here, which 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.

Restaurants

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.