Expert Info

Posted by DanielDaniel
on 6 Feb 2019

Hello there,


I've been offered a corporate job in Germany.  During the interview, they've asked a very surprising and interesting question:

"Where would you want to be located"

Apparently, it doesn't matter for them where I'll be located in any major city within Germany. Lucky me, I guess...?!

I was not expecting this, so I was a bit perplexed.  I said Frankfurt or Berlin.  But I guess they don't care, we can change that.

While there is a decent pay, 50% taxes goes to the German state, so there isn't a load of money left. And I would obviously get the same salary regardless if I am located in Leipzig, Hamburg, Berlin, Munich or Frankfurt.

From what I've heard, Munich is quite expensive, while Frankfurt or Berlin are less expensive.  I don't know if that is correct.

I've been to Berlin for a couple of times before as a tourist, but I haven't actually lived there. I guess it would be a bit more exciting than Frankfurt, for example, in terms of nightlife, restaurants, entertainment opportunities.



As I work in technology, I also put a price on informal connections and out-of-the-blue opportunities.  I am aware that Berlin is quite a startup hub for many disruptive tech companies, while Frankfurt is rather financial. Would be less likely in Frankfurt than in Berlin to learn the guy you just met last night in a bar is actually the founder/CEO for a unicorn tech startup.

Is this correct ?



My main concern is the cost of living: accommodation, food prices, commute etc


to be located in a "major hub" as if I need to fly tomorrow to Singapore or Moscow or Tokyo or Sao Paolo, I would have a direct flight, not a connection one.  This is very important for me, and I won't go into details.

Which would be these major hubs in Germany?  I know for sure Frankfurt is, but are Hamburg or Berlin the same?



Where I would find the cheapest accommodation at comparable levels, in all major hub/cities ?



except accommodation, is there really a difference between prices for food for example, between Frankfurt / Berlin ?  or prices for electricity or heating between Frankfurt / Berlin ? When I say food, I say discount supermarket => cook @ home, not eating out.


notes about me:

a) I would rent a 2-bedroom apartment (60 square meters or more, the bigger the better), 2 persons, non-smokers, fully furnished, including a dishwasher and a washing machine. Safe neighbourhood mandatory. Parking optional. I can ride train or bike to the office: but no more than 30m commute.

b) I am willing to commute max 30 min to the office, train, car or bike, but I'd prefer to walk if possible and office would be somewhere in the business district / outskirts of the city, not city centre.

c) long term rent, I would prefer to handle all expenses myself (i.e. electricity, heating, internet), but apt should be fully furnished, including appliances.

d) I am an EU citizen.

e) I am 41, male; but we'll accommodate as a couple m+f.

f) no "special" requests (no pets, no smoking - we are the perfect tenants etc.)

g) a guest bedroom would be nice to have; even two guest bedrooms would be nice to have, as I would invite friends from home to visit me.



Thank you




DanielDaniel on 6 Feb 2019 - 22:38

and no, I don't speak German. At all :)

cranberriesfan on 10 Feb 2019 - 07:19

Hi Daniel, as a half German, half American couple (meanwhile with kids), having lived in Frankfurt for the last 8 years, and visited Berlin often in th past few years, i would suggest you live in Berlin, based on your needs and requirements. 

The major air travel hubs are Frankfurt and Munich (in that order). Berlin is less of a hub, but certainly has its share of flights to international destinations. 

Berlin will be more attractive in terms of entertainment, cost of living, food costs, etc. than most other major cities in Germany. It is getting more expensive but hasn’t reached the level of other capitols in Europe.

Frankfurt and Munich are ridiculously expensive for even a two bedroom apartment. I don’t know what furnished apartments cost, as I’ve never lived furnished, but unfurnished with most utilities will run you about €1500 per month in Frankfurt, Munich would be a bit more than that.

Immoscout24 is a good website to check housing for Germany. Kaltmiete refers to rent without utilities, Warmmiete refers to with utilities (but this never includes electricity or internet). 3 rooms is what you will be looking for, as the living room is counted as a room. (A one bedroom is called 2 Zimmer, etc)

Best of luck!

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