Amazing Places to Live in Germany and The Industries That Thrive There

Home to an estimated 250,000 expatriates, Germany is an option for entrepreneurs and professionals looking to build their careers, with expats making up around 0.3% of the population. And for good reason.

Berlin, Germany

Berlin, Germany – photo credit: anna-m. w. / Pexels

The country offers a good standard of living with significantly higher wages than other European countries, like the UK, and the opportunity for new businesses to thrive. The start-up culture throughout German cities is perfect for the longevity of a range of industries, while still offering a generous work-life balance for all.

Choose Berlin for creative & hospitality industries

Berlin creative scene

Grafitti in Berlin, Germany – photo credit: Xu Chen / Pexels.

Germany’s capital city is brimming with culture and is home to a huge number of creative businesses including the likes of Zalando and SoundCloud. There are around 30,000 creative companies employing 200,000 workers, according to Kreativ Kultur Berlin, a sector which generates around €36 billion turnover annually. The city also boasts a huge number of venture capitalists ready to invest in startups.

But it’s not just the rich opportunities for businesses that attract entrepreneurs to Berlin. The city’s rich culture and history has long attracted tourists and expats to the area, and the nightlife is known for being one of the party capitals of the world.

North Rhine-Westphalia is a tech mecca

Cologne, Germany

Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany – photo credit: Pixabay

Germany’s biggest, and most densely-populated state, North Rhine-Westphalia is home to 40 universities and colleges, making it ideal for startups looking to scout the freshest talent. For the tech industry, this is crucial.

The area is the birthplace of enterprise software, and the industry is constantly growing and evolving with new hires, such as SAP. The Systems Applications and Products in Data Processing software is an incredibly niche software, but used increasingly by most major global organisations. North Rhine-Westphalia is the largest hub for hiring SAP consultants.

With the huge number of further education establishments, it’s only natural that North Rhine-Westphalia has a rich culture and nightlife. The capital city, Düsseldorf, is also the fashion and media capital of Germany, and many global businesses are headquartered there.

Opt for Stuttgart for automotive & engineering industries

Stuttgart, Germany

Stuttgart, Germany – photo credit: Andreas / Pexels

Home to two of the biggest automotive companies in the world — Porsche and Mercedes-Benz — Stuttgart is perhaps the global leader in the automotive and engineering industries. As the automotive industry in Germany is one of the largest employers in the world, it makes sense for anyone within the sector to look to the city for jobs and industry opportunities. In fact, Germany exported 3.49 million cars in 2019, at a value of €217.8 billion. And with the industry set to come out stronger after the Covid-19 pandemic, Stuttgart may well be the place to consider for any automotive and engineering professional.

If you’ve never visited Stuttgart before, you may be surprised to see how hilly the area is, especially the further out of the city you go. And while this can be a logistical nightmare — city congestion and traffic jams can cost you hours a week when driving to and from the city — the breathtaking views, plentiful job opportunities, and high quality of life more than make up for it.

You can spend your free time taking advantage of the buzzing nightlife, exploring one of the many parks on offer in the city, or taking a short drive to visit the nearby lakes, hills, and vineyards.

Frankfurt is a centre of financial services

Frankfurt City Center, Germany

Frankfurt, Germany – photo credit: juv / Pexels

The financial industry in Germany accounted for almost €120 billion of German GDP in 2019, with assets of around €8.4 billion, with Frankfurt acting as Germany’s own financial hub. In fact, since Brexit, Frankfurt has attracted many of London’s coveted banking businesses, and experts now estimate that non-German banks in the city could contribute a massive €675 billion to Europe’s economy. All things considered, it makes perfect sense for anyone interested in establishing a career in financial services to focus their eye on Frankfurt.

Frankfurt offers an incredible quality of life, with some of the best value for money when it comes to rent prices. The city also has low rates of unemployment with a number of specialist industries established there. While healthcare expenses are covered by insurance (which your employer will likely contribute towards), the service received is second-to-none. However, you may find yourself struggling in some areas if you can’t speak conversational German. While you can get away with speaking English in the main city centre, it can be more difficult communicating the further out you travel.

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