16 Pros and Cons of Living in Germany

Updated On October 9, 2023

High-quality education, including free tuition in institutions of higher learning, high living standards, and efficient transportation, are some of the unique things that characterize Germany.

Apart from these, Germany has an astounding cultural diversity where beer is categorized as food, especially in Bavaria.

Did you know that the average person in Bavaria drinks approximately 150 liters of beer annually?

Well, that one fact explains why Germany is a country with a unique and exciting culture.

Germany is an incredible country to live in, but as with any other country, there are both advantages and disadvantages.

If you want to move to Germany for educational or work reasons, this piece will give you a clear picture of what awaits you. 

Hamburg, Germany
Hamburg, Germany

Pros of Living in Germany

Here are eight pros that describe life in Germany.

1. Germany is Covered in Greenery 

You’ll love your life in Germany if you are a green freak.

One-third of the country is still covered in forests and greenery.

This is one unique feature of Germany because most countries these days have few green landscapes.

Germany is an excellent fit if you love the view of green landscapes and the breath of fresh air.

2. Among the Safest Countries in the World

According to the Global Peace Index, which rated 163 nations on their level of peacefulness, Germany ranked 22 in 2019.

These statistics mean that the country is very safe to live in.

Gun ownership is permitted, and according to Gunpolicy.org, the country has stringent gun laws.

Yet, interestingly, the country still has the highest gun ownership rates in the world.

Before owning a gun, Germans must have a license, undergo a background check, and do some tests to ensure every gun holder is responsible. 

3. Exemplary Public Transport System

Germany is known for its excellent roads and efficient transport system.

Car enthusiasts will love traveling within the country.

For those who prefer trains and buses, Germany will not disappoint you.

Germany is home to the best public transport system too.

Commuting to and from work or school is easy, efficient, reliable, and affordable for most people.

Taking a train in Germany means total efficiency and comfort.

You also do not have to worry about late arrivals.

For example, when you factor in travel time to and from the airport, rail travel between the central districts of most German cities is as quick as or faster than flying.

In addition, the speedy InterCity Express (ICE) trains run on Germany’s privatized national railroad at intervals connecting all significant cities, making it almost needless to own a car.

4. Excellent Healthcare System

Living in Germany automatically means having health insurance because healthcare is statutory funded and available for all.

According to the 2018 Euro Health Consumer Index, Germany is ranked 12th among the countries with the best healthcare systems in the world.

So, who can access it?

To get healthcare, non-residents must have private insurance.

Usually, temporary visitors must pay for the cost of medical care upfront before claiming reimbursement.

You may use your EHIC card if you are from the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), or Switzerland and are just temporarily visiting.

German health insurance is required as soon as you are granted formal residency.

In addition, you must have statutory insurance if your gross earnings are under a fixed limit.

If you earn more than that fixed limit, then you are free to have private health insurance.

Statutory health insurance means you have a right to medical care and continued payment of wages even when you are ill.

5. Affordable Higher Education

If you are moving to Germany for your studies, here is some good news.

First, most universities in this country have zero tuition fees.

Do not get it wrong, though.

Some still charge tuition but at a minimal rate, making higher education in Germany affordable when compared to other European countries. 

Overall, student life would be very affordable because life is also affordable in Germany, which brings us to our next point.

6. Relatively Low Cost of Living

Germany is among the wealthiest nations in the world, with a GDP per capita (PPP) of $55,891.2.

It is among the greatest exporters around the globe.

The nation boasts the greatest manufacturing economy in Europe.

Although most people would assume life in Germany is high, this is far from the truth.

The country makes a lot of money from its trade in products such as automobiles, chemicals, electronic and electrical goods, equipment, etc.

This has made life in the country easier due to more money in circulation, the availability of high-paying jobs, and cheap goods.

Even though it is ranked 10th in the cost of living by The Global Economy, life in Germany is still cheaper compared to the Netherlands, France, Norway, or Denmark.

7. Forced Quiet Times

Do you crave quiet, peaceful nights?

Germany has laws in place to ensure that everyone can have a peaceful night’s sleep or a quiet night.

During the week, by law, the quiet hours are 1:00 to 3:00 pm.

On Sundays, however, the quiet hours are 10:00 pm to 6:00 am.

During the quiet hours, you are not permitted to vacuum your home.

You are not even allowed to conduct some home repairs in your home.

However, the quiet hours are good, especially after a day at work.  

On public holidays such as Good Friday, All Saints’ Day, and All Souls’ Day, activities such as public dancing and public showing of inappropriate movies are also banned as a way of enforcing silence.

Some violations may even attract fines.

8. Rules are Strictly Followed

This is a good thing because when people follow the rules, there is less confusion and less crime.

For example, quiet times in Germany are a rule, and everyone follows it.

This ensures that you do not suffer the ‘noisy neighbor’ syndrome.

Germans follow their rules and laws, and if you are not good at following rules, you may frequently find yourself in trouble.

Germans are also punctual, so be cautious to keep time for every appointment.

If you are a timekeeper, you will love the punctuality trait of Germans.

Cons of Living in Germany

Here are some factors that may make you rethink living in Germany.

1. Very Cold Winters

Germany experiences long winters and short periods of summer.

If you are used to warm weather, then getting used to Germany can be tricky.

The sunny days may feel very little compared to the dark, cold and gloomy days.

Sometimes, extreme temperatures reach -10° C (5°F). 

During winter, the sun tends to go down as early as 4 pm, depending on where you live.

So if you love your summer holidays, you may want to think twice about living in Germany.

However, you can always find equipment and clothing to keep you warm.

2. No Air Conditioning

There is poor air conditioning in Germany, and it is easy to understand why – there is very little hot or warm weather.

You may not find good air conditioning in homes, office buildings, hospitals, or public transportation.

Sometimes the hot weather in Germany can go up to  35° C (95° F) for several days.

During such days, it can feel like hell for most people.

3. Germans are Not Very Friendly

Most people moving to Germany for the first time may find that Germans are not so welcoming.

This may be due to a language barrier or just the natural demeanor of Germans towards foreigners.

However, after a short while and settling in, the locals might start warming up to you.

Germans can be tough to relate with, but once you immerse yourself in their culture and perhaps learn their language, they may start to make it easy for you to connect well with them.

4. Language Barrier

Few Germans may speak fluent English, but most of them may not speak it due to embarrassment or the fear of engaging in long talks.

The German language can also be tough to learn, so it may be tough to communicate.

5. Cycling Is Not Easy

Remember when we mentioned following rules as a pro in Germany?

Well, that can also serve as a con for cyclists.

There are many cycling rules that you need to follow while in Germany.

Failing to follow each one of the rules could anger most road users and could result in fines or even jail time depending on the severity of the crime. 

So, if you are used to cycling freely on other roads with no rules, this can be a significant disadvantage for you.

Vehicles also tend to use the bicycle lanes for other reasons, which make it harder for cyclists to use their routes effectively and easily.

6. Unrealistic Government Taxes

Church, TV, and radio taxes may sound unrealistic to some people, especially if you are a resident.

However, the government requires that everyone belonging to a religion must pay church tax. 

Also, whether you listen to or watch local programs or not, you must pay the radio and TV tax monthly.

These are known as broadcasting fees.

They are also non-negotiable.

7. Fatty Foods

If you are trying to avoid a lot of fat in your body, living in Germany can be pretty challenging.

The traditional foods in Germany generally have a lot of fat because they mainly involve meat, cabbage, and potatoes.

8. Long Contracts

In Germany, most contracts you sign up for, whether gym membership, internet, insurance, e.t.c. last 12 to 24 months.

If you do not cancel the contracts on time, they renew automatically for another 12 months.

You also have to give a one-month notice.

This means that it is somehow difficult to cancel any contract. 

Frankfurt, Germany
Frankfurt, Germany

Pros and Cons of Living in Germany – Summary Table

Pros of Living in GermanyCons of Living in Germany
1. Germany is Covered in Greenery 1. Very Cold Winters
2. Among the Safest Countries in the World2. No Air Conditioning
3. Exemplary Public Transport System3. Germans are Not Very Friendly
4. Excellent Healthcare System4. Language Barrier
5. Affordable Higher Education5. Cycling Is Not Easy
6. Relatively Low Cost of Living6. Unrealistic Government Taxes
7. Forced Quiet Times7. Fatty Foods
8. Rules are Strictly Followed8. Long Contracts

Germany Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Germany Safety Review

Safety Index:

Frequently Asked Questions

Is moving to Germany a good idea?

It depends on what you intend to do once you move to Germany.

If you want to move to Germany for educational reasons, it can be an advantage because you might not need to pay tuition fees.

Overall, Germany is an excellent place to live, especially if you are looking for a cheaper place.

Is it Expensive to Live in Germany?

Compared to other European countries, Germany tends to be cheaper.

To cover all your household expenses, including rent, food, and transport, you may need 850 Euros, which may be around $1,002 per month.

This is quite affordable for most people.

Is Healthcare Free in Germany?

You must have statutory health insurance as a German resident.

This ensures that anyone can have access to free medical care.

Can I Live in Germany as a Foreigner?

If you get a temporary residence permit, you are allowed to live in Germany for a specified time and go back to your country.

However, if you get a permanent one, you can stay in the country as a citizen.

Do German Companies Hire Foreigners?

Germany has the largest economy among European countries and the fifth largest in the world.

This means there are many jobs for locals and foreigners with unique skills.

Casual jobs are also easy to come by, so if you move to Germany without a foreigner, chances are you will get a job quickly.

1 Comment on 16 Pros and Cons of Living in Germany

  1. Germany is a country with unique cultural diversity, high-quality education, efficient transportation systems, and excellent living standards.

    Like any other country in the world, there are both advantages and disadvantages of living there.

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