If you’re planning to leave your home country and set yourself up in a brand new location, then you will need to put a lot of thought into where that destination will be.
Luckily, there are numerous resources to help. For instance, the world’s largest HR consulting firm, Mercer, releases an annual Quality of Living Index, which looks at cities across the world in terms of the quality of life they offer for residents.
Mercer evaluates many different factors when devising its list, including the economic environment, the standards of education, and quality of healthcare services (to name just a few). The result is a very comprehensive and reliable list ranking 230 countries, which is used to help employers place their employees on international assignments. It can also be an invaluable resource for expats, whether they’re looking to move for work or simply for an interesting city to retire in where they and their family can enjoy a high quality of life.
One country’s cities that appear repeatedly on the list is Germany, which had an impressive five locations within the top 20 (and three in the top 10). This is not particularly surprising, as Germany’s cities always tend to rank highly year after year in the Index.
So, what are the best German cities? Here are the five that Mercer ranked among the world’s most prestigious cities, along with a few of the features that make them so special.
Hamburg – Ranked #19
A port city located at the southern point of the Jutland Peninsula, Hamburg is the country’s second largest city, with a population of 1.8 million. It’s a major hub for science, research, and education.
If there’s one thing that you can be sure of in Hamburg, it’s that you won’t be short of places to shop – with many luxurious shopping streets, the city is Northern Germany’s centre for shopping and culture.
Plus, Berenberg Bank, the world’s second oldest bank, and the Miniatur Wunderland, the world’s largest model railway, can also be found in Hamburg.
Berlin – Ranked #13
Germany’s capital and largest conurbation (it’s nine time bigger than Paris) is a city of over 3.6 million people; it’s very multicultural, and is Germany’s biggest university city, with three of the country’s top universities, including the Free University of Berlin. A survey published in 2016 by TransferWise named Berlin the best European city for English students.
But as well as being a bustling metropolis, the city is also perfect for those who love nature, as it’s a very green place, featuring many parks, woods and rivers.
Frankfurt – Ranked #7
Ranking highly for city infrastructure, Frankfurt is known for an excellent public transport system and being Germany’s business and finance centre (you’ll find Blacktower’s financial advisers in the city). Many famous trade shows take place in the city – over 30 hosted each year, in fact. One such trade show is the Frankfurt Book Fair, which is the largest trade show for books in the world based on the number of publishing companies in attendance. So, if you’re a writer looking to get published or are just an avid fan of literature, Frankfurt is the place to be.
Dusseldorf – Ranked #6
With efficient, cheap public transportation (more than 1,000 trains stop at its central station on a daily basis), you won’t have too much trouble getting around Dusseldorf. Like Frankfurt, Dusseldorf has a reputation for being a major centre for business and finance, but it’s also the main hub for advertising, with over 400 agencies based in the city. This western German city also has a strong fashion, music, and art scene.
Munich – Ranked #4
Regularly appearing in Mercer’s top five, Munich is the German city cited as having the best quality of life and, just like Frankfurt, boasts one of the best public transport systems in the world, where a single ticket can get you access to the underground, suburban trains, trams and buses. Both cities were tied in second place in Mercer’s rankings for infrastructure.
From a tourist’s viewpoint, the city is probably best known for being the host of the annual Oktoberfest, which attracts up to six million visitors. But if you’re not one for alcohol, the city is also rich in culture. With stunning architecture, such as the Neues Rathaus (new town hall), one of Europe’s biggest city parks (the “English Garden”), and many theatres and museums, Munich is certainly a beautiful place to live.
British expats in Germany and effective wealth management
Living in any one of the above places will certainly offer many benefits, but whether you live in one of these high-ranking cities or somewhere else in Germany, the quality of your lifestyle will be greatly helped if you have good financial health.