SkyscraperCity Forum banner

Where to live in Germany?

65109 Views 280 Replies 60 Participants Last post by  Hightower87
Although I have traveled to many parts of Germany, I need advice as to where I should live...
I am a Canadian with strong ties to Germany, and can obtain a one year work/live visa.

I am not interested in Munich because it is too touristy, nor Berlin or east Germany. I have a decent understanding of German and am graduating with an honours business degree. I'm in my early/mid 20s and looking for a city with culture, atmosphere, nightlife, the best weather i can get, good transit system, urban density, pubs etc...I don't want to get bored too quickly.

I really like the baden-wuertemburg area as it's close to switzerland, where I can go hiking etc...but i've never been as far north as Hamburg so i'm looking for input. Also, Uni towns have a good amount of student hustle and bustle...

What are your thoughts between Hamburg, Koln, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Freiburg, Wurzburg, Nurnberg, etc?
See less See more
1 - 20 of 281 Posts
Hamburg - biggest city apart from Berlin, both populationwise and how it "feels". It's also (next to Berlin) the only city with a real nightlife with a great variety from upper class events to trashy backyard-clubs. I was born in Berlin and chose Hamburg because you won't find a real metropolis otherwise and Hamburg doesn't lack anything (good and bad).

The atmosphere is great, because the town really "lives" in contrast to most other german towns. If I was older I may have chosen a rich southern german town where the world is still an ok place and everthying is neat and fine. But I'd die of boredom. So if you're also like that and want to enjoy a non-bourgeois life, Hamburg is the town to go to.

The only downside is the weather, which however isn't half as bad as people want to make you believe. Anyway, that's why I'll write a little more about it. I compare it mostly to munich, even though I know you don't want to go there. But many people think it's a town with good weather overall, but I myself don't really like the weather there.
Hamburg is supposed to be a rainy and cloudy city and sometimes I also think like that. But that's just because I'd like to see the sun 24/7 ;)

Truth is, it has more rainy days than munich for example but way less precipitation after all. That's because some days it rains a little for two to five minutes. That goes into the statistic as rainday. In Munich however you often have cloudbursts and it rains the whole day. Not everytime of course and you have that in Hamburg too sometimes.

Hamburg also has more hours of sun than any west-german town, still none of them have a worse weather-reputation. Not even the ones that also have more rainy days. Don't ask me why.
Temperature-wise I think as a canadian you won't feel too dissappointed. First of all, the average's a little warmer than canada and secondly you know it's not the friggin bahamas. Canadian weather in most parts contains of pretty hot summers and fucking cold winters. It's (on a warmer level) the same in Munich. In Hamburg the differences of temperature are more narrow due to the maritime climate.

Otherwise it's a draw between Frankfurt and Köln-Düsseldorf.
Frankfurt as a town is more interesting than Köln (let alone Düsseldorf). On the other hand Köln and Düsseldorf are a stone's throw away to a dozen other towns in the ruhr-area. None of them of proper interest however, but it almost cost nothing to get anywhere there. The public transportation system is superb so you have a slightly larger variety.
While Frankfurt is the center of the whole region for anything from culture to events, the Ruhrarea is more like "Today, I'm into something else...let's drive to X for a change".

I myself wouldn't live in either one of those regions as long as I don't have a job there. So I hope someone else can tell you even more positive things. And I can'T tell you anything about Freiburg, Würzburg and so on. They were simply too small for me when I decided to move.

All in all, I really recommend you Hamburg. Especially because you're only here for a year. Hamburg is lively, interesting, is mostly pretty beautiful. It was incredibly easy for me to find new friends and there's a lot you can do here.

Btw: What's wrong with Berlin?
I mean, I could tell you a million things wrong in berlin, but what about you? :D
See less See more
Well, you already excluded two very nice cities, but in the end it's your choice.
You will definitely be satisfied regarding culture, atmosphere and nightlife when moving to Berlin. As well as with urban density, pubs and a good transit system. Speaking roughly, the same can be presumed for Munich.

As for Hamburg, it's a lovely city, but just in case you attach a lot of importance to great weather, I wouldn't recommend the city, as it's raining quite often. (Welfe knows more about that as I'm only an outsider and not living in Hamburg).

I'd suggest Heidelberg as a possible choice. It's one of Germany's most beautiful cities, although it definitely is[/b] very touristy. Pros: You won't find more pubs and nightlife as it's an student city; You won't find a city that offers a better weather. Cons: Apparently, it's quite small (150k inhabitants).

Coming back to Hamburg, just visit it in order to see whether you like it or not. I'm sure, Welfe can help you with that.
See less See more
What are your thoughts between Hamburg, Koln, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Freiburg, Wurzburg, Nurnberg, etc?
Hamburg or Freiburg.
Tübingen or Heidelberg are great as well.

But, may I ask: What's wrong with the East? Don't tell me you're scared of racism or BS like that...
If I'd choose where to live in Germany I choose Hamburg or Stuttgart.

Hamburg is a good choice if you need atmosphere, night life etc. Although it is students city but it doesn't seem hustly at all. Only the weather can be a weak point but it depends how you feel it.

You know it's pretty good idea just visit some places for a couple of days and decide if possible.

Actually, where d'you live in Canada? May it would be useful information to help you
See less See more
I'm from Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario...a city of about 400,000 residents, less than an hour from the metropolis that is Toronto.
Unlike many Canadians, i'm not in dire need of wide open spaces...I like the bustle of urban city life.

So far, i've been getting some unanimous feedback about Hamburg. My ex-gf also lived in Hamburg and she loved it. How far is it to the beaches on the borth sea...or vacation spots like Sylt?

Although Frankfurt may have job opportunities that would suit my business pursuit, i'm not sure if it has the feel i'm after...that a city like Koln might it seems to be a more important city, perhaps i'm wrong...
Also, I spent some time in Düsseldorf...and although it felt smallish, I loved the waterfront promenade in the summer time...and the old town was packed shoulder to shoulder with people drinking and in cafe/restaurants. That's what i'm looking for...a city with areas full of bars/pubs and people enjoying being outdoors having a drink.

Honestly, I think i'm torn between living in a big city like Hamburg, Koln, Stuttgart or even reconsidering in a busy University town like Freiburg, which gave me a great "vibe" as it's very laid back...but i'm worried that it might not have enough nightlife to offer etc?

Can anyone give me advice on Stuttgart and Freiburg...and also continue to give advice also for every other city...thank you!
See less See more
I would chose Hamburg.

Its a good place to find a professional job and its one hour to the Baltic sea and Northsea beaches. Sylt is aproximately 1:30 hour from Hamburg.

And with global warming, the weather is not as bad as it used to be. 25-30C in summer are not uncommon. And the water can get 21C in July, August. Record was 24C I guess. But you are obviously not going to Hamburg for a beach vacation. A flight to the Mediterranean is about 2 hours and costs you no more than 200 EUR.
See less See more
forget würzburg.
all your other possible choices are more or less ok, i would say
any other recommendations I haven't thought of?
What about Rostock? Collegiate hustle bustle at the Baltic Sea!

It's as big as Freiburg and you won't have any annoying Swabians up there ;)

> A Rostock picture thread
See less See more
What about Buxtehude? The biggest metropolis after Berlin and Hamburg!
Wer hat meinen Post über Buxtehude gelöscht?
what's a priority for you - career or nightlife ))
if a city offers great career and business opportunities in many spheres for sure it's a good place for entertainment and other urbanistic pleasures... so after all I don't think there're could be big difference between large German cities...and if you're quite successful finally, it's not a problem to choose where to go in weekend night or have a summer promenade, in Berlin or London ))))
See less See more
Hamburg, by far. It is my favorite even being Frankfurter... As second I would place Frankfurt, since I am biased! ;)
If you look for a big city and don't want to move to Berlin, than Hamburg would be a good choice. Hamburg has also a vibrant economy so the chances of finfing a good job are high. Apart from that I'm not the expert as I'm living in the south.

This is a smaller city of about 200k inhabitants but has an excellent nightlife and atmosphere due to lots ofs students there. It also has a very cute old city heart.
An advantage of Freiburg is the nature and landscape close to the city. There are the Alps as you mentioned yet, the Black Forest, the Rhine valley with lots of vineyards and Lake Constance, biggest lake of Germany which has (like the Rhine valley, too) a bit a mediterranean feeling and climate.
I don't know the chances of finding a good job in your branch because Freiburg is not that big.

Is a beautiful city with lots of hills in and near the city, lots of green space and also vineyards on some hills. There are lots of international companies having their headquarter or plants in Stuttgart and the surrounding, e.g. Daimler-Benz, Porsche, Bosch, IBM Germany, Microsoft Germany and others. But the focus lies more on engineering companies, high-tech and car makers than on services.

Maybe Cologne is more vibrant and has a better feeling than Frankfurt but regarding the economy and job opportunities Frankfurt wins hands down.
See less See more
Be careful of the german bureaucracy!! Germany is a wonderful country and good place to live, but we tend to regulate everything as complex as possible :nuts:
Obvious answer: Munich. :)

Oh, you said in Germany? Ah, well then perhaps Berlin? :lol:
Perhaps, I need to re-visit Berlin...but it's location doesn't really excite me.

I also need to explore the north of Germany more...because my family and heart typically have been in the south of Germany, therefore with regards to geographic location...the south / down to the alps has been my preferred location in the past.

In my mind, it seems to boil to 1) where I can find a job 2) comparing where I find a good job, to where I truly enjoy living regardless of what kind of job I can get...and perhaps just enjoy my time living and traveling around Germany rather than a career position, as i'm still young.

Hamburg, Stuttgart, Koln, and Frankfurt seem to be the common suggestion.

How are these cities for nightlife mid-week?
See less See more
1 - 20 of 281 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.