10 things to love about moving to Germany
Germany can be a culture shock for some. But once you’ve gotten over the jetlag and have made your house feel more like a home, you can embark on quite the adventure. From its local cuisines to its castles in the hills, here is why moving to Germany will be a time you will never forget.
1. Castles - Step back in time and visit some of the beautiful castles that Germany has to offer. Unless you’ve grown up during the middle ages, the magnitude of these incredible structures will amaze you. There are many castles in Germany, some are everyday sights to locals that live near them. The more famous castle, Neuschwanstein, inspired the design of Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle and is the most visited by tourist.
2. Christmas markets - Plan on attending one of many Christmas markets while you are here in Germany. The markets are the staple and heart of the season. They usually start around late November and end a day or two before the 25th of December. Most cities in Germany have their own version of a Christmas market, so make the rounds to get a full experience. Remember, Germans celebrate Christmas on the 24th of December, so plan accordingly as you don't want to miss out on getting unique gifts for family and friends back in the States.
3. Hiking - You’ll quickly realize that there are lots of trails in Germany. But don't be fooled into thinking that these are your run of the mill routes; some of the pathways can go for long distances, so make sure you have proper shoes. Most trails are well maintained and frequently traveled. Pack a lunch or even dinner, as you will find yourself coming across benches and tables. Be sure to take great pictures! Germany’s beauty is jaw dropping!
4. The history - Germany is filled with lots of history. Most people read about sites like Auschwitz-Birkenau, the former Nazi concentration and extermination camp, in history books. Having the opportunity to visit places first hand will give you a better perspective on how things came to be the way that they are now. A city like Berlin still has parts of the Berlin Wall placed in different sections of the city for tourists’ viewing. The wall was destroyed back in 1989 when Berlin was a divided city.
5. Summer festivals - Germany’s winters are sometimes harsh. You’ll learn to appreciate the warmer weather after spending what feels like months without the sun. During the summer, it seems as if there's something going on every weekend. Fests are frequent and always involve lots of food, so bring your appetite.
6. Travel options - Yes, you are in a foreign country, but you are close to other countries as well. Germany is centrally located and other countries such as France, Belgium and Switzerland are just a few hours away.
7. Driving - Germany is spread out, with small towns and cities nestled in the hills and valleys. You’ve probably heard of the autobahn. It sounds scary if someone is telling you about it for the first time. But it’s just another name for highway or interstate, whichever you prefer. Cars typically go faster in the left lane, as on any other highway. But be careful, the speed limit can change without you noticing it, putting you at risk of getting a hefty fine when caught by a speed camera.
8. Cleanliness - It’s fair to say that Germany is probably one of the cleanest countries; crossing borders of neighboring countries you’ll notice the difference. From your local park to the autobahn, being a litterbug is frowned upon.
9. Cheap Flights - Although countries are close, flying is sometimes a better option. Hopping on a flight from Germany isn't complicated all. RyanAir, ABC Travel, and Sato Travel Europe are normal go-to airline and booking agents. Prices are cheap year round and can be purchased online.
10. The people - Despite what you may have heard about the German culture and its people, you'll be quite surprised at how fun and pleasant most of them are. Spending time with family and friends is important, so much so that most businesses are closed on Sundays. You’ll also notice that there's no one working around the neighborhood either (no grass cutting, working on the house, etc.).
With so many things to enjoy and get used to once you’ve settled in, moving to Germany will be one adventure you’ll never forget!
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