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The 7 Best Places to Live in Germany for English Speakers

August 23, 2023

If you’re looking for your next remote work destination, Germany could be a great choice. With its strong economy, quality of life (it ranks number 12 in the world in 2023), vibrant startup scene, infrastructure, and public transportation, it’s no wonder it’s so popular with remote workers. 

There’s also another factor that contributes to Germany’s appeal — its English-friendly environment. Fifty-six percent of people in Germany speak English, and some businesses have even adopted it as their primary language.

If you’re an English speaker aspiring to move to Germany on a digital nomad visa but don’t speak the lingo (yet), check out this list of the seven best cities in Germany for English speakers.

1. Berlin: The Bohemian Capital

Berlin has a vibrant arts scene and historical significance, and is renowned the world over for its wild nightlife and foodie scene, boasting 23 Michelin-star restaurants. It also hosts numerous art galleries, theaters, music venues, and museums.

With so much going for it, it’s no wonder Berlin boasts a thriving international community — including over 25,000 native English speakers. English is widely spoken — even by non-natives — making it easier for newcomers to adapt. Plus, compared to other major European cities, Berlin is relatively affordable, with a range of housing options and cost-effective amenities.

If you’re looking for the perfect Instagrammable spot to work from, Berlin has many: cafés and coworking spaces proliferate throughout the city. It also has a burgeoning startup ecosystem and is a hub for technology, media, and the creative industries, providing networking opportunities and job prospects for remote workers in sectors such as finance and research.

2. Munich: A Blend of Tradition and Innovation

Munich — the capital of Bavaria — is renowned for its stunning architecture, historic landmarks, world-class museums like the Deutsches Museum, and traditional Bavarian culture. But the city is also leading the way in digitalization and technological advancements and is a hub for technology, engineering, and finance. It’s also home to major corporations and research institutions, as well as the world’s biggest beer-based celebration — Oktoberfest.

Munich has a cosmopolitan atmosphere and hosts a significant international community, making it an easy place for English speakers to integrate. English is widely spoken, especially in the business and tech sectors, making communication and work interactions smoother for English speakers and even providing English-speaking job opportunities. 

Remote workers can benefit from the city’s excellent infrastructure and quality of life — Munich consistently ranks high in quality of life indices due to its excellent healthcare, education, and overall infrastructure. 

Finally, Munich is a great city for those who love to get outdoors. Surrounded by the Bavarian Alps and beautiful lakes, it offers nature enthusiasts ample opportunities to escape the city.

3. Hamburg: A Haven for Creatives 

Hamburg boasts a vibrant cultural scene, including theaters, music venues, art galleries, festivals, and lively nightlife, while the Reeperbahn area is known for its entertainment venues. As a major port city, Hamburg has a maritime charm with its historic warehouses, canals, and the famous Speicherstadt district — which, together, create a unique and picturesque backdrop for residents.

English is widely spoken in Germany’s second-largest city, and its cosmopolitan nature facilitates communication for English speakers. Hamburg is also a hub for media, design, and creative industries, offering exciting job opportunities for English-speaking professionals in these sectors. Plus, as an international travel hub, it’s easy for foreign residents to get to and from their respective countries. 

Hamburg also has a strong economy, particularly in sectors such as logistics, media, and aerospace — it’s home to Airbus and the HafenCity redevelopment project, making it a great place to look for work in those sectors.

4. Frankfurt: The Financial Epicenter

Frankfurt is often referred to as the financial capital of Germany, and it’s one of the most important financial hubs in Europe. The city hosts the European Central Bank and other major financial institutions, and English is widely used in the finance and business sectors, making it easy for English-speaking professionals to work, communicate, and find jobs. 

Frankfurt has excellent transportation links, including one of Europe’s busiest airports, making it easy to travel internationally. It also offers a mix of modern and historic architecture, cultural events, and museums like the Städel Museum.

5. Cologne: The Cultural Gem

Cologne has a rich history and cultural scene, represented by the iconic Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom), which adds a sense of heritage to the city. Cologne also boasts historic buildings and a scenic riverside setting, along with a range of cultural attractions, festivals, art galleries, and theaters. For example, the Museum Ludwig is famous for its contemporary art collection.

Many of Cologne’s residents are proficient in English, especially in the younger demographic, facilitating interactions for English speakers. Cologne also has a strong media industry and is home to media companies and advertising agencies, offering opportunities for English-speaking professionals in media, advertising, and design.

Additionally, Cologne’s cost of living is lower compared to some other major German cities, making it a budget-friendly option. Plus, the relaxed and friendly atmosphere and setting along the River Rhine contribute to a high quality of life.

6. Stuttgart: Natural Beauty and Engineering Marvels 

Surrounded by vineyards and set in the Black Forest, with its picturesque landscapes, Stuttgart is another German city that’s ideal for nature enthusiasts. It also offers a mix of cultural experiences, from art galleries to historic sites and theaters.

English is the second most spoken language in Stuttgart, and approximately 25% of its inhabitants speak it, although young people tend to use it more than older people do.

Stuttgart is a global hub for the engineering and automotive industries, attracting professionals in these sectors and providing a variety of job prospects for skilled professionals, including employers such as Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Bosch, and Hewlett-Packard. Moreover, the city’s research institutions and universities contribute to innovation and offer opportunities for English-speaking researchers and professionals.

7. DĂĽsseldorf: Business With An International Flair

Düsseldorf boasts modern architecture, art museums, theaters, and cultural events that contribute to a vibrant lifestyle. It’s particularly known for the renowned Kunstakademie Düsseldorf art academy.

Many Düsseldorf locals are proficient in English, and the city’s international orientation eases communication for English speakers. The city also has a diverse international community and a high standard of living, making it easy for newcomers to integrate.

Düsseldorf’s reputation as a center for fashion, design, and trade fairs attracts professionals from around the world. The city also has a robust economy with a focus on the finance, trade, and technology sectors, and it provides opportunities for professionals in these sectors.

Looking to Work Remotely from Germany?

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to make Germany your next remote work destination — from its strong economy to its vibrant cultural scene and stunning natural landscapes. All you have to do is pick the city from the list above that aligns most with your career goals and lifestyle!

For more information about moving to Germany, check out Remofirst’s Germany country guide.