Why we like living in Germany: our top 9 best reasons

I think I may have been a little negative lately about Germany and German habits. You see, I have criticised the Germans clothing habits and their rudeness. As most expats will tell you, living in a new country has ups and downs and adjusting to a new way of life takes time. I think our family was/is experiencing what some call a culture shock. Yes, it is possible to have culture shock within Europe.
why we like living in Germany


To redeem myself, I thought I'd write about why we like living in Germany and in Karlsruhe, in particular. There are indeed some good things about living in Germany too. (Bare in mind that we lived in the UK before, so this often is my comparison point).

- Playgrounds

The first thing, I instantly loved about Germany and Karlsruhe, in particular, were the many playgrounds for children. Within walking distance for a toddler and young child, we have about 7 large playgrounds (not counting the small structure in our complex's courtyard) and they are all fabulous. Health and safety has not gone mad with reducing risks to 0. Kids are encouraged to be kids. Water play is common (water is switched off in the winter). The sand is clean. The structures are age-appropriate and there are some for all ages (from toddlers to teenagers). Wood is omnipresent (as opposed to plastic). Love them!

our nearest playground

- Euro

Yes, I am going to say that the Euro is a good thing. I will leave the political and financial debates to others. But from the point of view of expats and travelling, the Euro is great. We don't need 3 wallets with different currencies. We can go 'home' to France or Portugal and still use the same one! We can transfer money to family more easily. We don't need to pay so many bank charges. We can buy things without having to have a degree in maths.

- Cycling

Where we live is quite flat, but even across Germany generally, cycling is much more common than in Britain. We own a little bike trailer and a child seat. Our daughter has a balance bike and my husband has more bikes than I dare count. We love the fact that a lot of people cycle everywhere. Cycling is safe, practical and great for you whatever the season

Fake crash!

- Europe

Germany is at the centre of Europe. I don't mean politically (even though it may be true too)! I mean geographically, we are pretty much at the centre of Europe. Why should you care? Well, because holiday planning is so much fun! In one day's drive we can reach about 12 different countries. Multiculturalism has never been so easy.

- Seasons

The continental climate of Germany makes it very enjoyable for a family stuck in Britain for 13 years. We have proper seasons, at last. Winter is cold, very cold. And summer is hot, very hot. I guess the downside of this is that spring and autumn don't last long.


- Schooling age

We haven't reached that yet. But, we are quite pleased that children are left to be children until they are 6 years old. Almost every child goes to kindergarten from 3. But these are far from being the equivalent of the French Ecole Maternelle, for example. Children play and discover things through play and not formal teaching. Our daughter may not know how to write her name at 4, but being a child is important too.

- Brezels

I am sure that if you asked my daughter what her favourite food was in Germany, she would say brezels. Over last summer, we went away for 6 weeks and on our way back, while waiting for our train home, she requested a brezel as her first snack. German cuisine is not the most refined one but if there is something they do well, it is bread. I love this recipe.
 

- Language education

Living in the North East of England, we would have had to put our daughter in a mainstream school. There were no such things as bilingual schools. Languages are introduced at primary level but it is far from being ideal. Here, there are a number of bilingual kindergartens (French-German and even one English-German). There is also a European school where children can receive their education in German, English or French with other languages being taught early on.

- Speed limit

While writing this blog post, P happened to have a look at what I was doing and mentioned I had to put this down! This was going to be a list of 8 reasons we liked Germany, but it became 9. For him, driving enthusiast, the no-speed-limit rule on some German motorways is one of the best things about Germany!!

See more about what I think about living in Germany as an expat here: the good and the bad about living in Germany is here.

http://www.thepiripirilexicon.com/2016/02/expat-in-germany-good-and-bad.html


What about you? Do you live in Germany? What is your favourite thing about Germany? If you live abroad, tell me what you like most about the country you live in.

35 comments:

  1. Thank you for posting this. I've read so many negative things about Germany that it's difficult for me - German in my passport but never lived in the country - to really "like" being German. Really. - But I agree with all the points you mention. I have a post in the pipeline about the things I like living in the Netherlands on my blog. - Thank you again for this positive view. I like that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You see, this is me trying to make our life here better by seeing the positives. We love the lifestyle, geographical, social style of Germany... we are still struggling with the people....

      Delete
    2. Hi Annabelle (sorry, I somehow missed your reply!). I can relate to you struggling with the people. That's the most difficult part for me too. Yes, I am German, or let's say, I'm supposed to "be" (act, think, behave?) German as my passport says so, but I'm not. I really try hard to "fit in" the German groups that you can find abroad, but I don't . I'm different. But that's my problem. I can imagine that living there is a challenge. I hope you'll find some Germans who have also lived abroad (and liked to live abroad!); they tend to be a bit more open minded and curious towards people from other nationalities...

      Delete
    3. How does one move to Germany? I used to live there when I was a teenager for a couple of years, and loved it. Now, that I have a family of my own, I would love to move them there and have my kids experience Europe in the best light! Please advise of any job web sites...or anything you can think of. We love Karsruhe area.

      Delete
  2. I like living in the NL for the same reasons and would have liked living in Germany because of your arguments in favor of living in Germany. One point- as a Polish woman I really have to poitn this out! Germany may be the heart of the EU, but not the heart of Europe- that's Poland (according to some!, such as historian Norman Davies-http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Europe-Past-Polands-Present/dp/0192801260 ) and I agree with you on the Euro- but luckily with credit cards it is possible to pay, and withdraw money even when we're in Poland!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You may be right, I have no idea about geographical centre, I was just talking about centre metaphorically.... Compared to UK, Germany is at the heart of the European continent anyway...

      Delete
  3. I just found you via working Berlin mum. I live in Karlsruhe too! :-)

    I love public transport in Germany. Deutsche Bahn can be annoying, but it's sooo much better than trying to travel by train in England!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh that is a very good one! I forgot about that!!! You are right DB is annoying but nothing can be worse than trains in England!

      Delete
  4. I recently moved to Germany (well Nov 2012) and am having a string of bad run-ins with Germany. Googling "positive things about Germany" sent me to your blog first. I have to say, I'm not swayed by these arguments when the positives about England are so much better! :) I'm trying to stick it out, but everything is soooo hard here!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, how I can relate..... Check out this other post of mine: http://www.thepiripirilexicon.com/2013/02/germans-are-not-polite-or-why-we-got.html
      To be fair, I wrote this as a motivation for myself as I was going through a bad time. You may be experiencing a culture shock (as so many expats do). If you fancy chatting, email me (address is at the top.

      Delete
  5. I used to be all for starting school at 6. Unfortunately, the school age thing hit us pretty hard when moving from Germany to the USA. Our son was half way through first grade in Germany and started first grade in the USA with extreme difficulty. He wasn't academically anywhere near where the other students were and although the school was supportive and helped us, he now needs to repeat first grade. His behavior changed dramatically and his confidence suffered. I just hope this school year goes a lot smoother than last.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel for you. As a mum, this must be difficult. It may not be completely related to the starting age though. But i guess you will never know. Wishing you all a great school year.

      Delete
  6. I lived in Germany a few years ago. I remember thinking that everything was very clean, very "tidy" and well-organised. It always sounds very cliché to say that about Germany but it was one of the first things I noticed!
    My other favourite things about Germany:
    - I only needed to drive 2-3 hours to visit my family back in France! But it's because I lived in Karlsruhe... Would have been totally different in Berlin or Munich.
    - I could speak German all day long. I spoke German fluently at the time and it was a real pleasure to test and improve my language skills;
    - my partner and I particularly enjoyed the no-speed-limit rule on some motorways.
    I cannot find one good thing about the food though... :(
    I will definitely plan a little trip to Germany next time I visit my family...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Judith, you and I have a lot in common. I live in Karlsruhe too!

      Delete
  7. I have been to Kaiserslautern, Germany twice and I can honestly say Doener (when prepared well) is one of the best foods I've ever eaten. It might be better than a hamburger and I'm from Texas so you know that's really serious.

    I just found your blog and I really like it! Mein Deutsch ist noch nicht sehr gut. Aber liebe ich das essen!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hey.
    I am from Denmark, and my girlfriend is from Canada.
    We consider moving to Germany (It's better than Denmark and Canada in our opinion), but we don't know if this can be done. You see, I search for a place where I can be an apprentice (Either as auto mechanic or IT support), and she wants to study in a university. Can we find a place to live there (together) without being in a huge debt?

    Sorry if this is a unrelated question to this blog. I am just a little desperate :)

    - Tudi (Soren)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You will need to do your research thoroughly. As an unmarried couple, for example, you will pay more taxes than a married colleague. Also as a Canadian citizen, she will need a visa. I would look on a website like Toytown Germany. It has a lot of helpful information

      Delete
    2. As an American who grew up with a strong ethnic identity and never identified with American culture, I moved to Berlin after the wall came down. Possessing a wide variety of interests every pub I walked into had stimulating conversation. I thrived living in a real city with the arts and opportunities. The German psyche was too harsh for my sensibilities but looking back now what I loved most was being centrally located, and the diversity, I could travel to any country with the ease of a train ride and get an entirely different flavor, language, culture. etc.

      Linda
      http://lindalaroche.com/blog/category/my-life-in-europe

      Delete
  9. Nice article! I love the tradition in the north when it comes to Carnival - people really let lose and are so happy and open. I like the alpine tradition in the south. Dirndls are so flattering. I love the mountains - Bavaria is gorgeous. I love the proximity and that we can drive anywhere (like you said!) and I like the honesty thing - you'll always know where you stand ;)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh, I also love the sense of friendships. generally, it takes a bit longer to get to know people as it does in the US but once you are "friends" with someone, then you are REALLY "friends" and generally they are very loyal! love that.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Bhaskarowski Deutsche18 Mar 2014, 09:40:00

    Germany and Germans are the best in the world!!! Love you Germany!!! Love you Germans!!! I am living for Germany and I will die for Germany!!! Long Live Sacred Germany and Gorgeous Germans!!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I am a German, living in the U.S. for many, many years. First, I'd like to say that the food in Germany is really excellent, especially the region from where I am (Palatinate). It varies almost from town to town, and I dearly miss it. The country is beautiful and definitely clean, compared to others. Germans are more direct and not "zimperlich", and I've had a few "misunderstandings" here (U.S.), when it came to how I am and how I felt about certain things. Sometimes, it is quite vexing, when over sensitive Americans are trying to censor you. I sometimes feel, that I can't be myself and it bugs me. Almost wish, I could be back in Germany for so many more reasons. Enjoy Germany and its people. They are friendlier than you think, and loyal to a fault. Once you've made a friend in Germany, they are friends for life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes I agree, Germans are very nice people, my late brother-in-law was German he was a lovely man and I miss dearly to this day. I love the German food and I live beautiful Germany, sadly I cannot live there as my husband has a problem learning languages

      Delete
  13. the best part of Germany is the..... BEER

    ReplyDelete
  14. I am British and have lived in Germany for 12 years....feel it is a bit unfair referring to German people being 'rude', people are people, wherever you go. Try living in London for a few years or walk into a particular pub in Glasgow....

    Garry

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am an American and would love to visit Germany. I am not sure how I would feel about living there, however. There is much to be said about the expectations for cooperation and hard work in the workplace. Is that consistent everywhere in Germany, or instead a common but not exclusive quality? The castle at Weisseria (pardon my possible misspelling!) is something I would like to behold in person. It's a wonderful country I'm sure.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm too young to move abroad at the moment because i'm only 17 but Germany really appeals to me to maybe live and work there in the near future (4 or 5 years). I am a student at the moment studying IT in North East England (Sunderland) and I was wondering how hard is is to get a job in Germany in IT. At the moment my German is about average as I studied it at GCSE in secondary school but it will improve as I am teaching myself and getting help with it. I also need to know which part would be the best to live in for a 20 odd year old.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I just found and read this article, and I found it quite relieving to read because I plan on moving to germany and living there someday. I was worried about what it would be like and this cleared up some of those worries!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Germany is a nice place to live. The social system is very good . Families with kids get "Kindergeld" which is 164 Euro each month for each child no matter of your income... daycare doesn't cost that much (it's government funded). In "Rheinland Pfalz" (a state in Germany) daycare doesnt cost anything. There's 3 years maternity leave for each child....In Germany people have six weeks vacation a year.It's probably the only country where you get your vacation leave days back when you get sick while you are on vacation leave...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Kindergeld" is 184€ for each child and you have 30 working days paid vaccation a year, if you're a full time employee.

      Delete
  19. Germany and Germans are the best in the world!!! Love you Germany!!! Love you Germans!!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Playgrounds are the best. My sister lives in Berlin. My nephew is 4 years old and he loves to play outside. They are so happy in this gorgeous country. Moving was stressful at first but Germany is a fantastic place for a new beginning. Greetings!

    ReplyDelete
  21. My new favorite food is definitely Brezels!

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Template developed by Confluent Forms LLC; more resources at BlogXpertise