Tips and Advice for Moving to Germany

Moving house, especially to another country can be a stressful time – often there will be something you’ve forgotten to do or something you’ve missed along the way. This guide provides insight on things you need to consider if you’re relocating to Germany.

If you’ve made the decision to start a new life in Germany there are a few things you can do to make your transition into your new community that much easier. However, first things first. You may need to hire a professional mover (possibly from a website similar to to make the moving process easier. As well as you will have to arrange all the necessary documents that would be required for this move.

As soon as you have sorted out both of these, you can decide how to proceed with your existing home. Depending on your needs, you can rent it, sell it (to companies like Crawford Home Buyers), or leave it alone if it will serve as your second home. After completing all the necessary formalities, you are ready to move to Germany.

Make an effort to speak German
It’s advisable to make an effort to speak German on a day to day basis as Germans appreciate and are more accommodating of foreigners who do so. Being immersed in a new country is also the fastest way to learn a new language, the more you practice the more proficient you’ll become.

If you’ve never studied German then consider purchasing a small pocket book of useful German phrases before moving to Germany. These phrases will help you complete simple tasks such as purchasing goods or asking for directions. If you plan to relocate to Germany for an extended period of time then it might be worthwhile to sign up for weekly language classes. Becoming fluent in German will also help you succeed should you wish to pursue a career in Germany.

Register with the appropriate authorities
If you intend on living in a community long term it is advisable to register your arrival at the local town hall within a few days. This process of registration is referred to in German as anmeldung.

If you choose to rent an apartment you’re also required to register your new address at your local police station. This registration must take place within seven days of moving into your new apartment. Also take note that in Germany it’s illegal to make copies of house keys without first seeking permission from your landlord.

Read up on what taxes you may have to pay on your finances – it can be confusing and you don’t want to face a tax bill for not having done your homework. If you’ve got savings that you’re not sure what to do with, consider using offshore investment funds to look after your money and ensure you don’t owe thousands in unpaid taxes.

Make friends and practice German customs
By making friends with local Germans you’ll ensure a smooth transition into German society. German friends are especially useful as they’ll help you learn how to survive and complete day to day tasks in Germany. As an example friends may be able to assist you with setting up a bank account or finding the best local markets.

As with all cultures the German people have a few social customs which you should make an effort to follow. As an example if you’re invited to a friend or acquaintances home it’s customary to purchase a gift to present to the host or hostess.

Typical gifts include chocolate, wine and flowers. Also remember to turn up on time as Germans are rarely late.

Be prepared for cold winters
Winters in Germany are extremely cold and it’s not unusual for temperatures to drop below zero degrees centigrade. Typically the further south you are the colder it is. If your country of origin experiences mild winters you may want to invest in buying warmer clothing such as winter coats, scarves and boots. Rest assured however that winter in Germany can be a fun experience. Make sure to visit Germany’s famous winter markets.

Also be aware that in Germany it is the legal responsibility of residents to keep the area directly in front of their home free from ice and snow. If a pedestrian slips and injures themselves it is the resident of the closest home who is liable for any medical costs associated with the incurred injury.

Learn how to live within your budget
While settling into your new life in Germany you may be budget conscious. If you’re looking for a cheap and affordable meal make sure to visit a local Turkish cafe or restaurant as they provide cheap healthy meals. A variety of Turkish cafes can be found in most German towns and cities. It would be wise to register for an international bank account so you’re not hit with fees each time you make a purchase or withdraw cash.

For the first few weeks until you’ve settled in you might find yourself asking family and friends to send you money, but be sure to tell them to use a trusted brand when sending money abroad.
Another easy way to save money is to make the most out of Germany’s reliable public transportation system. Most German cities boast efficient underground train systems and most towns offer frequent bus services. If you intend to travel frequently by train or bus be sure to purchase a discounted monthly pass. For those who intend to study at a university most university students can travel on public transport free of charge within a certain distance of their university.
Finally, if you choose to move to Germany do so with an open mind. If you make an effort to make new friends and become part of your local community you’ll find it much easier to transition into your new life.

About the Author