Living in Germany

Is a move to Germany the next chapter in your life’s adventure? Awesome! Maybe you might like a heads up on what living in Germany will be like (unless you prefer surprises 😉). You probably will not be surprised to hear that Germany is particularly expat-friendly, with a diverse population filling up its glistening, modern cities. Read on to learn more!

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Living in Germany

As you look forward to living in Germany, you might be pleased to know that there are a few similarities with life in the US. Depending on where you live in America, the German climate may be very similar (especially to New England). In addition, you will enjoy endless streams of great (cheap) beer.

But living in Germany is a diverse offering, depending on where you live. We touch on a few of Germany’s major cities below:


The capital, most populous, and most expat-friendly city. If you like urban jungles and hearing a mix of languages, Berlin might be calling your name.


The financial capital of Germany, Frankfurt is a highly modern Germany city (being completely leveled in World War II). Like Berlin, Frankfurt is home to a large number of arts and culture institutions.


Bavaria’s capital city, Munich is the most expensive and most conservative city to live in. While beautiful in architecture and landscape, expats not a lack of openness to foreigners.


A medium sized city known for being a liberal paradise, as well as for being super green with many trees and parks in its urban centers


Germany’s small-town big-city mix, doubling as a cycling-friendly startup capital. With a growing technology industry, it has become a hotbed for expat jobs!

walking path in germany surrounded by trees

German Culture

German culture has many sides, as every culture does. The stereotype of direct, organized, rule oriented and humorless Germans has a grain of truth of it, but only on the surface. So what else is there to German culture?


If we take a cursory look at the major cultural achievements of human history, a disproportionate amount are German. Whether this comes in the form of poetry, philosophy, theology, engineering, or science, German minds have been leading the pack for as long as we can remember.

Humanistic Values

How can it be that Germans have achieved so much? Well, education has always been fundamental to German life.

Being the birthplace of Protestantism, a humble, hard-working ethic runs rampant throughout the German soul. Out of that ethic comes a value on perfection, cleanliness, orderliness, and a prospering humanity.


Fun fact: Germans have the highest level of social cohesion in the world. What does this mean? They are of like minds and spend a lot of time getting together, sharing food and activities. There is a great emphasis on belonging, with many Germans belonging to sports teams, hobby clubs, social organizations, etc.

There is a dark side to this, however. Because German culture tends toward German cohesion, some have criticized German culture for being xenophobic. Of course, you see much less of this among younger age groups in urban areas.


As one becomes seduced by German culture, it is surprising to look at its not so recent past. The shadows of Germany’s actions during the twentieth century still loom large, with any form of German nationalism (even simple patriotism) being viewed with the skepticism of taboo.

However, if we look a bit further back in history, there has not been a ‘Germany’ for very long. Because for most of history German culture was a sphere of independent areas united by language and values, it is not so tragic that Germans do not feel much patriotism for the state of Germany.

frankfurt skyline with skyscrapers displayed with clouds in the background

Americans Living in Germany

If all this foreign culture talk has you feeling homesick already, don’t worry! When living in Germany you will have more than a few opportunities to encounter other Americans living in Germany. In fact, around 170,000 Americans are living in Germany right now.

So how to go about it? You may have guessed already that settling in a major city increases your chances of encountering fellow Yanks. It is also useful to check for online expat forums and meetups, which aim to reconcile the lonesome with the like-minded.

german cityscape at sunset with a bridge in the foreground

Moving to Germany?

Planning a move to Germany? Then we can imagine that you will have plenty to arrange before packing up. Why not check out our full expat relocation guide for everything you need to know before moving to Das Land der Dichter und Denker? Or, check out the helpful articles linked below for further reading. Good luck!