Germany is the economic powerhouse of the European Union and has the world’s fourth largest economy. It is a global leader in several industrial and technological sectors. It is a developed country with very high standard of living sustained by a skilled and productive society. With about 82 million inhabitants, Germany is the most populous member of the European Union. After the United States, it is the second most popular immigration destination in the world. Germany upholds a social security and universal healthcare system, environmental protection and a tuition-free university education. 

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Baby steps in Berlin

Explore Germany



Berlin was once described by its mayor as “poor but sexy”. Its poverty stems back to WW2 when 92% of the city’s buildings were bombed. Waves of economic immigrants from across Europe and the current influx of adventurous urbanites from all over the developed world, have made Berlin Germany’s most cosmopolitan city by far. This multiculturalism is reflected in the variety of cuisines on offer and Berlin’s legendary non-stop nightlife and energetic contemporary arts scene. By day, the city’s museums, memorials, historic sights and modern buildings dominate. The city’s most famous landmark – the Brandenburg Gate – is located in the Mitte district. 



Germany has more than 10 000 festivals each year – including some of the world’s biggest and some of its strangest. There are celebrations to suit all tastes and ages – with festivals ranging from the raucous parties of Karneval to the acclaimed Berlinale film festival and the famous German Christmas markets. More traditional festivals include Munich’s commemoration of beer, Oktoberfest, Frankfurt’s trade fair for books (the world’s largest) and the Munich Opera Festival. 



German wine has experienced an international renaissance in recent years. The long growing season and comparatively moderate summer heat ensures that German wines are refined and do not have a high alcohol content. Almost 140 types of grape are growth, of which two dozen are of major significant for the market, primarily Riesling and Muller-Thurgau varieties. Germany is also a beer-loving country. The Beer Purity Law of 1516, the world’s oldest food law, applies to all German beers. It states that no ingredients other than water, hops and barley may be used. Between 5 000 and 6 000 types of beer are produced in Germany, mostly Pilsner beers. 

Black Forest

Black Forest

Running along the south-west border with France right down to the shores of Lake Constance where Germany meets Austria, the Black Forest region covers 11 000km of peaks and valleys, vineyards, lakes and nature reserves to explore on foot, bike or horseback. It is also home to the world famous thermal spa town of Barden-Barden where mineral enriched waters bubble up from 122 thermal springs. The Black Forest is home to a high density of restaurants with top chefs and Michelin Stars – also home to the decadently delicious Black Forest Gateau. 

Living in Germany


Germany has an extensive public school system as well as a limited number of private schools. There are also a good number of international schools which provide a good option for English-speaking expats. The German schooling system is fairly complicated since there are sometimes as many as five different kinds of secondary schools and various paths leading to academic higher education, advanced technical training or a trade. School attendance is compulsory from age 6 to age 15. Home schooling is illegal in Germany. 


Germany’s Health Care System is among the best in the world. Excellent health care is widely available from emergency rooms at hospitals and doctors’ offices. For minor illnesses or injuries, trained staff in pharmacies can provide advice, sell prescription-free medications and make doctors’ referrals if necessary. It is compulsory to have health insurance when living, working or studying in Germany. The German Health Care System is a dual system containing a compulsory insurance and a private insurance. Most people in Germany are on the compulsory system which is based on the concept of a welfare state. Contributions are based on income. Contributions to private insurance depend on age and health. 

Quality of Life

With good employment opportunities, a clean environment, low crime rates and plenty of leisure time and cultural attractions, German cities do very well in urban quality of life rankings. In the 2016 Mercer Quality of Living Index, seven German cities were placed in the Top 30. Munich, Dusseldorf and Frankfurt were included in the Top Ten. Demand for urban living space has resulted in a sharp rise in rents and real estate prices. For this reason, the Federal Government has introduced rent caps aimed at preserving social diversity in regions where the housing market is under pressure.


Germany’s public transport network is one of the best in Europe. The best ways of getting around the country are by car and train. Cars can be hired in every town and city and are useful for visiting regions with no or limited public transport. Extensive network of long-distance and regional trains with frequent departures. Fairly expensive but numerous deals available. Buses offer a cheaper but slower option to trains – with a growing long-haul network. 

For example Camps Bay or Mauritius