Top Considerations for Expats Moving to Hamburg

Germany’s second largest city with over 1.7 million habitants and the country’s biggest port is one of the top destinations for expatriation in Europe. Home to the largest art museum in Germany and countless museums, boredom will be a thing of the past in this city.

Life at the Port

Hamburg has a reputation for being Germany’s Gateway to the World, thanks to the position and the port. Over 13,000 ships from all over the globe call at the port, from cruise ships to industrial which drives Hamburg’s economy. This brings real wealth to the city and it is proud to report the highest GDP in the country.

Due to the transient nature of the city, you will be welcomed by a strong community who organise events and meetings on a regular basis. You can use Meetup.com or InterNations to find local groups and get to know other internationals. Facebook groups such as Expats in Hamburg and New in Hamburg are a way to interact with locals and get accurate answers to any questions you may have. To practice your German, you can join the group Language Tandem- Hamburg which will allow you to both interact with locals and improve your language skills.

Cultural sites

Living in Hamburg means getting in touch with a rich culture! The city is the world's third largest musical metropolis, after London and New York. It is also home to numerous art galleries, theatres and museums. The Kunsthalle is the largest art museum in Germany and holds 20 themed exhibitions per year as well as their main collections. The Deichtorhallen are two large former market halls which now hold international contemporary art and photography. It is amongst the biggest art-devoted spaces in Europe. Hamburg also houses Miniatur Wonderland which is the worlds largest model train exhibit and is rated as the number one thing to do in the city by TripAdvisor. For more information on the things you can see in Hamburg, visit the official tourism webpage.

The city is Germany’s Northern centre for shopping. With three shopping malls and shopping streets for both the designer lover and bargain hunter, it is the Mecca for shoppers. The Hamburger DOM is held three times a year and it is the biggest public festival in the region. There’s 3km of funfair which includes carousels, rollercoasters and beer tents.

City slicking

Getting around Hamburg is very easy with their comprehensive public transport system. This includes the use of their bus, train and ferry lines which makes getting from one side of the city to the other a seamless job. They also have underground, overground and tram lines. However, many residents find it easier to cycle in Hamburg. The city is very bike-friendly with sufficient cycle lanes, extra wide roads and many car-free zones. Even if you don’t bring your bike with you, Hamburg offers a public bike system. The bikes are kept in docking stations across the whole city where you can easily borrow a bike and return it to any other station.

Rentals

Rent in Hamburg is significantly higher compared to other German cities. You can expect to pay anything from €800 for an apartment in the city centre. Sites such as Xpat Rentals and Nestpick will aid you in your rental search.

Wandsbek is the most family-friendly neighbourhood to live in Hamburg.  Ideal for families wishing to rent a comfortable property in the city limits and as the largest residential area, offers a selection of houses to choose.

Education in Hamburg

The biggest and most well-known international school is the International School of Hamburg. There are over 750 students currently in the school representing more than 50 nationalities- so your child won’t feel out of place! Alternatively, there’s the Phorms School Hamburg which is situated in the centre of the city and is a bi-lingual English-German school for all ages. Alternatively, you can send your child to a public school where school enrolment is currently supervised by SIZ (School Information Centre). If your child’s grasp of German language hasn’t developed sufficiently for immediate enrolment, SIZ will put them through a year-long preparatory course.

Income Taxation

There is a ‘solidarity surcharge’ of up to 5.5% of income tax itself, which contributes to a special fund to pay for the cost of reunifying with the states of former East Germany.

  • Hamburg is one of Germany’s largest and oldest financial centres
  • The city boasts over 10,000 financial and insurance companies and there are just under 50,000 people working within the industry. 
  • It is predicted that the economy in Hamburg will grow faster than in any other city

If you are interested in a move to Hamburg or anywhere else in the world then get in touch with a member of the Kingpin International team. Alternatively, please browse our current International Tax vacancies.

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