Life in the town of Erfurt

29 posts in this topic

First off, I'm impressed with the new function which forces you to type in some keywords before starting a new topic.

 

So, my new topic is to people who LIVES in Erfurt, how do you like it there? I wonder if it's a nice place to live in. It would be great if anyone of you have lived in Munich or Hamburg and let know what Erfurt has/not have as compared to Munich or Hamburg since I live/d in these 2 cities before. I like the compact-ness of Munich, the rivers/streams of HH... I don't really want to try all the cities in Germany but I might have to spend 3 years in Erfurt if I decide on a postgraduate so I just want to know from the "locals" there how it is like living there.

 

I read in the other thread that there is an English cinema - good - and a couple of English Stammtisch. I guess I'm interested to know:

- the "mentality" of Erfurters;

- the standard of living since it's near/was in the East;

- the situation with the Neo-Nazis (somewhat covered in another topic too);

 

I know it's very subjective but I'm interested to hear them.

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I have visited Erfurt. It is a medium sized provincial city, it has some nice buildings and a nice cathedral. You can't compare it with Munich or Hamburg at all. To be honest you can't even compare it with Leipzig either.

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One of my favorite cities in Germany.. Very quaint, old half-timber style houses, the Krämerbrücke is nice, etc.. I also like Thüringers the best of all Germans.. In Thüringia the people tend to be more laid back and down to earth. A minor example to illustrate - you can go downtown wearing hiking boots and have a coffee at a nice cafe. and read the paper., and some snobby plastic surgery bitch won't stare down her plastic looking nose at you for being so crass as to not give a shit what she thinks... Lots of cool stuff in the surrounding area - very green..., etc.. Kind of the Colorado of Germany, if you know what I mean.. Outdoorsy, relaxed.. I dig Thüringen...

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Oh it's lovely on the surface, but scratch a bit deeper and it becomes deeply provincial, which is why Erfurt and (in particular) Weimar was one of the launching spots of the Nazi party. In complete contrast to Munich, there is virtually no expat scene there. To use a bit of Denglisch, this is Germany-pure. I'm not saying this a bad thing, but you need to be fully integrated into the country (and in particular the people) yourself for such a move to work.

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Well unfortunately "provincial" in Europe tends to mean "not too run over with loud mouthed annoying Americans and Brits.."

 

And as for Weimar and Erfurt - Thüringen in general - IMO it's not only the green heart of Germany, but in many ways the cultural heart as well - Goethe and Schiller were much here(the Goethe stuff in Weimar is great..), Luther at the Wartburg, Nietzsche in Weimar, Wagerian myths set here (Meistersinger von Nürnberg or Tannhäuser, one of those...), Bach was born in Eisenach, old universities in Jena and Erfurt, Napoleanic history in Jena and Erfurt, etc etc... Expand that a little to Saxony and a few places a tad "east", and you get Händel from Halle, Mendohlson-Bartholdy in Leipzig, Luther in Wittenberg, Grimm brothers and all the fairy tales set in the Harz, etc etc...

 

Naziism really got started in Munich btw...

 

But back to Erfurt.. I anyway definitely don't want to see more Americans and Brits coming over.. So yeah, it's just full of lazy unemployed old communist hard-liners and neo-nazis and big ugly grey buildings.. - a cultural and physical wasteland of ignorant xenophobes...

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Oh I agree with you about the region being the cultural centre of Germany. But an expat asked what life is like there and my opinion is that an expat might struggle there, Goethe or no Goethe. That's why I stick to visiting the region.

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To each his own.. Our reasoning is kind of opposite - I love visiting Munich, but don't know about living there..

 

But yeah, you are right in that respect, it would be nice now and then I suppose to have a more extensive ex-pat scene - like when I lived in Prague or Tokyo.. It can be harder in more provincial places to find larger groups of people to hang out with.. In Prague I was getting invited to ex-pat X-mas parties within like two months of living there... Tokyo same kind of deal..

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Compared to Leeds, Baghdad is a rather pleasant city!

There are currently more native English-speakers in Baghdad as well

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I know that this point is a few years old - so if anyone in the region would like to add extra uptodate info, that would be much appreciated.

 

We are thinking of moving to Erfurt, we already love visiting the place, but I am aware that living may be quite different. It is unlikely to be for 9 months or so, so I have time to imrpove my German, which I know will help. Although, currently we are in Northern Switzerland, so there is no chance to practice 'normal' German.

 

We have 2 kids aged 7 and 8 years, one of which will need to go to a Sonderschule or something similar - does anyone know if there is one? (I haven't checked much yet..but will do).

 

Any comments, thoughts would be much appreciated.

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Hi everybody!

 

I do really hope someone's gonna read and reply to this post ;-)

 

I have got a job proposal in Erfurt and seriously considering to start the recruitment process. I am living in Belfast now, and moved here less than three months ago.

 

The only thing that is preventing me from jumping at this chance is that I don't speak any German. Therefore, I was wondering if there's a sort of English community in Erfurt which I can join in.

 

Of course, learning German will be customary as it is the first towards integration, but I think I have still so much to learn in order to improve my English.

 

By the way, I am Italian and at work I will mainly use English, French and a bit of Italian. So, ready to start learning German but really scared of spending my spare time at home because of language barriers and not being involved in the community.

 

Any info dealing with housing, gym and German courses are very welcomed.

 

Many thanks!

 

Fabio

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I've been living in Thuringia for the last few months. So far, so good.

 

Herrdinksbump was right, Erfurt rocks. Sort of a mini-Prague or mini-Edinburgh without the tourists. I would not call it the Colorado of Germany though...its not quite so polished or yuppified or popular. More like the Tennessee of Germany.

 

I've lived in some of the world's largest cities, and this time, chose Thuringia over Zurich and Dortmund/Dusseldorf. Its been pretty good. Completely off the beaten track...so strictly for connoisseurs of hidden gems and the undeservedly unknown. Things like schools, accommodation, gyms are pretty easy, locals are friendly to help but English is really lacking. German is pretty much a must, even if you do a thoroughly unskilled trade or open your own business. If you have no German, then you will have to learn to like your own company!

 

Speaking of which, I've been planning to join a gathering of English speakers in Weimar, Jena, or Erfurt...in case anyone's interested.

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Went to Erfurt in September of '02 and stayed exactly two years. At first I thought the Erfurters were cold and indifferent but what I didn't realize is that they were watching me pretty closely. After I was there about six months and had learned more German the people started to open up to me. I made some wondeful friendships there with people that I still keep in touch with.

 

Erfurt has about 200,000 inhabitants but it is still something of a small town. Everyone in the stream of bars, coffe shops, restaurants, etc. kind of know one another. I was teaching English so I became aquainted with everyone at the University. I really came to enjoy it and honestly, if I had been able to realistically make a living at teaching I would probably still be there.

 

It really is a beautiful old European city. It got bombed a few times during the war but didn't suffer the devestation like many of the larger German cities. Because it wasn't damaged much the entire altstadt or old city remains. The Michaelisstrasse with all of it's wonderful bars is a cobblestoned avenue through time. Sitting in the Domplatz on a nice summer day while drinking a few beers and taking in the Cathedral and Sevrikirche is absolutely wonderful to lovers of old European culture.

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i have visited erfurt very recently and cannot agree more to your post. it is a beautiful old european city.

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Hi All,

 

A request from my end to give me some information on Erfurt.

 

I am moving to erfurt for a year assingment.

 

Which is the best place to livein Erfurt which is secured and safe.

 

Also I was offered 2000 Euros as net pay from the company.

 

How much would the rent cost, living , food and mis expenses.

 

Will I be left with anything at all as saving.

 

Reagrds

BSR

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Erfurt is a relatively cheap city. If you will be living alone, you won't have trouble finding a flat for 350 euros a month. My family of 3 (2 adults+1 kid) could get by with 1,300 a month, that includes food and utilities. Free time activities are also relatively cheap, if you know your way around. I suggest trying to find an apartment near the university near Nordpark or to the east near ega park/justizzentrum. From my experience landlords here are wary of foreigners who don't speak German so I suggest that you bring someone along who speaks the language.

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I agree with buffy, Erfurt is not expensive at all. I lived there for two years about ten years ago and really enjoyed my stay. I rented a furnished room with weekly cleaning service for only 200 Euros per month. Erfurt is a quiet old european city without very much crime. While walking through the streets at night I never felt threatened at all.

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