You’ve chosen a wonderful place to live – thriving cities, beautiful countryside, hearty food and helpful, incredibly direct people. And Schlager music (you might grow to love it). However, while we’re sure every country has its bureaucracy, Germany tends to be a bit bureaucrazy. Whether you’ve been here for a while or have just stepped off the plane, you’re bound to have questions about how things work in your chosen home. And yes, of course the Germans have a word for this, or rather two words stuck together as they just love doing – it’s your Wahlheimat.
On that note, learning (at least a bit of) the language will definitely make your life here easier and we’ll be providing some useful tips on how to do just that. In the meantime, we’ve put together this blog to help you cope with both the big and the everyday stuff. From finding an apartment to finding an English-speaking doctor, from paying taxes to the mighty German health insurance system, all of your questions – and probably some questions you didn’t even know you should be asking – will be answered here. So, sit back, relax and enjoy. We’ve got you covered.
A bit confused by the Berlin public transport system? Not sure what ticket to buy, how to buy it, or even what zone you’re in? What about your dog? Your bike? Your kids? Can they travel with you? We answer your most pressing questions here!
First time going to the doctor in Berlin? Read on to find out how to find an English-speaking doctor and what to expect when you get there. We’re not doctors but trust us - it’s all pretty painless.
You haven’t been living in Germany that long and you wake up one morning to find the cupboard is bare. With a sigh, you pull on your coat and trudge over to the supermarket. Geschlossen. Huh?
You’ve been here a while now and are finally feeling brave enough to start making some German friends. But Achtung – there are some social no-nos in Germany that could trip you up no matter how good your intentions. Read on and you’ll soon be “new friend” Fehler-proof.
You’ve settled into your new life here in Germany. Everything is Bier and Bratwurst, and negative thoughts are the furthest thing from your mind. But… what would happen if there was an emergency? Who would you call? How would it work? In this article, we answer the questions we hope you’ll never have to ask.
Even though you might be feeling a bit sorry for yourself right now, spare a thought for others who might be a bit worse off than you. In our lighthearted look at life during Corona, we also explore some advantages of being housebound and useful ways you could be spending your time.
Black bin, blue bin, yellow bin, brown bin... welcome to the world of rainbow recycling in Germany. Most foreigners are baffled by the waste separation rules when they first arrive so if you want to be a good German, not bug your neighbours and get ahead of the expat pack, read on!
You’ve probably heard some scary rumours about streaming or downloading in Germany. Unfortunately, they’re true. So that you don’t get hit with a whopping fine or lawyer’s fees, check out the facts here before clicking play or download.
Ever wondered if living abroad might be for you? Or living in Germany to be more specific? If you need a little more convincing, read on to discover bestselling author Adam Fletcher’s six compelling reasons why it might be the best decision you’ll ever make!
That’s a big question and there is no simple answer. Telling someone which neighbourhood they should like is a bit like telling someone which food they should like! The good news is that, in Berlin, there’s truly something for everyone so whatever your dreams, budget or life stage, we’ve done our best to help you decide what’s right for you.
Finding a place to call home can be difficult at the best of times, but in a new country and in a language you might not understand, it can be even more daunting. Where do you even start? Right here, as it turns out, with our helpful guide to finding an apartment in Germany!
Kindergeld is something every parent living in Germany should know about. It's money, for you, for free, for every child you have, regardless of your income or marital status. Here's the lowdown.
Fancy moving to Germany? Relocating for work is one of the best ways to begin your expat chapter in any country. In this post, we will try to answer a mammoth-sized question - “how to find a job in Germany”.
Feeling nervous about opening a German bank account? In a German bank? In German? Worry not – it’s not such a big deal. Aside from the titan German banks, there are even purely online options available these days – in English. This might sound like a fairy tale but trust us, it’s true. So, stop with the nerves and start reading!
Taxes in Germany might sound like a scary (and/or incredibly dull) topic at first. But let us (attempt to) assure you that this is not the case in our newcomer’s guide to the German tax system.
If you haven’t already received a letter from the ARD ZDF Deutschlandradio Beitragsservice (catchy), you will very soon. As with most things in Germany, it’s good to be prepared. Read on to find out what it is, why it exists, who has to pay it, how to pay it, and who is exempt.
Between harsh sounds, never-ending words and articles that feel like moving targets, German is a notoriously difficult language to learn. However, its lego-like structure also has its perks, notably the fact that a term seems to exist for EVERYTHING. Here are some of German’s lesser known but finest expressions, that are worth learning even if you’re just passing through. Beware, they could change the way you think forever.
Oh, German Language, why do you have to be so maddeningly, endearingly difficult? That’s one question you’ve probably asked yourself over and over again. Bestselling author, Adam Fletcher, had a few questions of his own, and managed to score an interview with the lofty German Language to get some answers.
Herzlich Willkommen in Deutschland! If you don’t know what that means, you definitely need to read this article. Your life here will be infinitely easier if you learn (at least a little of) the language, and we provide you with some tips on how to do just that here.
Insurance, insurance, insurance. It’s a pretty important topic in Germany, but why? What is it that makes Germans so obsessed with insurance? As an expat, I have no idea either but this is my best guess. Enjoy...
Heard horror stories about people being ripped off by locksmiths? Unfortunately, it does happen as Linda O’Grady, co-author of “From the Bürgeramt to the Bedroom” found out. So that the same thing doesn’t happen to you, read our 4-point guide to finding a reputable locksmith at the end of the article.
The good news is that the number of burglaries in Germany is decreasing - and around half of all burglary attempts fail. Unfortunately, that means around 50% succeed and you could be in the unlucky half. Read on to find out what you can do to protect yourself and your belongings from burglars.
A potential landlord has asked you if you have private liability insurance. You don’t as you’re not really sure what it is, why you need it or if it’s worth getting at all. Read on to be convinced!
The misadventures of Gitti, the unluckiest woman in Germany - an ode to love, loss and Hausratversicherung (Part 4)
Accidents can happen, anywhere, any time - and even more so when you have kids! Luckily, if you have Haftpflichtversicherung, your kids - and any mishaps they might cause - are covered too.
The misadventures of Gitti, the unluckiest woman in Germany - an ode to love, loss and Hausratversicherung (Part 3)
The misadventures of Gitti, the unluckiest woman in Germany - an ode to love, loss and Hausratversicherung (Part 2)
The misadventures of Gitti, the unluckiest woman in Germany - an ode to love, loss and Hausratversicherung (Part 1)
It’s not easy being man’s best friend. Especially when you’ve only got one eye, like Scruffy. Get ready for a story of love, loss and dog liability insurance…
Dating across cultural lines is never easy, especially dating a German, as Spiegel bestselling author Adam Fletcher is about to discover.
When should you take out private liability insurance? Ideally, yesterday. As you may or may not know, this insurance is essential for a quiet, peaceful life in Germany. This article explains some of the reasons why every expat in Germany should take out this insurance.
Expats in Germany often overlook private liability insurance (Haftpflichtversicherung). In 2014, 85% of the German population was covered by this insurance. This post explores the why foreigners in Germany end up without personal liability coverage.
In Germany, health insurance isn’t “health” insurance; it’s “sick” insurance - Krankenversicherung. With that (pretty useless) piece of trivia out of the way, let’s get down to the nitty gritty of German health insurance – how it works, how you get it, how much it costs… All the information you need is right here!