One of the most populous nations in Europe, Germany is home to roughly 82 million people. The country is a global political and economic leader, as well as a cultural centre. Germany's economy is one of world’s largest, with strong manufacturing, science, technology and trade sectors. A high quality of life makes Germany a desirable destination for many expats and other foreign travellers.
There are a variety of living options in Germany. On your first weeks before you have found a permanent housing you can book a hotel room for about 90 euros per night. If you are looking for something cheaper you can find a place in hostel for about 20 and 30 euros per night. You can also find a temporary flat (furnished) to rent for about 500 to 1,200 euros per month, depending on its location.
When you begin to look for an apartment in Germany, we recommend you to seek the help of a real estate agent if you are not yet fluent in the German language. Rental agreements may sometimes be difficult to understand, and you may end up paying hidden costs.
If you want to plan your relocation on your own, you will find that most local newspapers — such as the Berliner Zeitung, the FAZ, or the Süddeutsche Zeitung — offer a section on housing in the region, as do websites such as immobilienscout24.de or immowelt.de (both websites in German only).
House and flat shares, called “Wohngemeinschaften”, or “WG”, in German, are good alternatives for people who want to save money on the rent. Usually in this kind of shared accommodation, each person has their own private room with the kitchen and bathroom to be shared. Bills including electricity, Internet and phone costs are normally shared too.
Living Costs’ break down:
- Monthly ticket public transport: 77 Euro
- Basic Lunch in Business District: 11 Euro
- Combo Meal in Fast Food Café: 7 Euro
- Basic Dinner for 2 people: 32 Euro
- 2 Movie Tickets: 21 Euro
- Beer in a pub (1 pint): 3,35 Euro
- Gym Membership (1 month): 43 Euro
Opening a Bank Account
Documents required for opening a bank account in Germany:
- Your passport
- Your certificate of residency
- A pay statement from your employer (depending on the account type)
for some banks: your work permit
With these documents you can apply for a current and an EC card with the bank of your choice. Current accounts with some banks do not allow overdrafts. Some banks also require that a minimum amount be deposited each month. Make sure to clarify both of these questions before opening an account.
Healthcare and Insurance
To be an employee in Germany you must get a German Health Insurance, your home country insurance won’t be valid in Germany. About 85% of the German population is insured under the Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung (GKV), the German version of a national health system.
Employed persons making more than €4,687.50 monthly (€56,250 per year) have the option of either remaining in the statutory health insurance plan or taking out private insurance.
The statutory health insurance system includes the following benefits:
- outpatient medical treatment, for example in a physician’s office dental care medication;
- remedies and medical devices inpatient medical treatment, for example in a hospital medically necessary rehabilitation services during pregnancy and childbirth It also compensates persons for loss of income due to illness;
- If you have wife and kids, they can be also covered by your statutory health insurance policy at no extra charge.