Where to live in Frankfurt, tips for newcomers

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Hi All,

 

I was wondering if someone might be able to give me some general advice?

 

I've been offered a position at the ECB paying approx 62,000 Euro's annually.. i think they want me to join them just before Christmas... Thing is, I know absolutely nothing about Germany or Frankfurt but I recently attended for the interview & really liked it.

 

My question is, is 62,000 a good wage in Germany & also is that good enough to find a nice place to rent? - the other thing is WHERE to rent? I would like to be somewhere perhaps within a 30 minute commute but also that is quiet as I'm not a party animal anymore... I've been reading through other posts but there hasn't been anywhere that anyone has recommended so I thought I'd just post the question..

 

Another thing is that I have a motorbike on a CBT back here in the UK (I am 32 with a full driving licence). Does anyone know if I would be able to bring my bike out with me & ride it?

 

Any help or advice would be most appreciated.

Many thanks

Woolers

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Hey Woolers: are you single, unattached, looking for a change in your life? Can you imagine changing cultures without too much stress? That´s one point.

Are you prepared to learn some German to make your life easier?

I´m sure you´ll get answers to your questions on this forum. The salary sounds ok - of course, it depends on your lifestyle and wishes. If you don´t socialise too much, you´ll save on the booze bills! However, Frankfurt residents will post here with more detailed advice. I have no idea about flats etc there.

What you also need is information on the insurance aspects here ( including motorbike stuff). The German health insurance system, for example, is nothing like the NHS. It´s a minefield and if you want to save money in that area ( or have better cover - or both ), I´d recommend you contact one of us independent insurance brokers on Toytown. NO joke - don´t leave it to chance or the whims of a colleague or personnel department. Check out the health insurance threads here by going to search button top right and clicking in nice phrases such as " Health insurance in Germany ".

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Hey John,

 

I am indeed single, ready for the change & am happy to try to learn German, although my job is entirely English speaking... I can see from limited experience that learning to speak the lingo is an absolute must!!

 

I don't socialise really, I'm more happy to spend time at home but am really looking for somewhere quiet where I can enjoy my own space but that isn't miles from work...

 

I'll ceertainly check out the insurance aspects, thanks for that.. I have been appointed a relocation manager so hopefully she can help too & I'm itching to get out of the "sinking ship" that is the UK!!

 

Just really looking for ideas on areas where I can look to rent an apartment.

 

Thank you for responding, I'll check out your suggestion. :D

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62K isn't a bad salary, you'll find many aspects of the German lifestyle significantly cheaper than living in certain parts of the UK - You don't say where exactly you're currently based, but if it's anywhere in the south east expect to save several hundred pounds a month at least.

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I presently live in London sassylad so hope that compares a bit more somewhat... I do hope to be saving... I plan to save & then hopefully buy somewhere in a few years if the job works out ok..

 

Thank you again,

Woolers

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Hi Woolers,

 

Just thought I'd give my own personal input on the districts you may like to live... A couple of places spring to mind with your comments.

 

The first area you may want to consider is the Westend district. It's a very nice area, fairly affluent, with your kind of income you shouldn't have too much issue finding somewhere nice there. It is one of the more desirable places to live in the city, quiet, pleasant, and people actually pick up their dog poop there (not something that seems to be drilled into Germans like it is into us limeys). Look it up on google maps and you'll see there are a couple of nice big parks in the district and is quite accessible to central shopping areas that you are sure to visit fairly often.

 

The Schwanheim district is another pleasant area. It lies to the south west of Frankfurt city, with reasonable transport links to and from the central area. Tram and bus lines run quite regularly from central Schwanheim. The tram line runs approximately every 10 minutes and ECB (I presume you mean the European Central Bank?) is also on this tram route (tram line 12). You'd have more luck finding a house in this area as well, as central Frankfurt is heavily dominated by apartments.

 

My final suggestion for places to live is Sachsenhausen. A nice district in the main, on the south side of the river, close. The famous Museums River bank is in this area.

 

Two resources that may prove fruitful to you are a transport site, so you can assess distance to and from certain locations that you may like to live -

http://www.bahn.de/i/view/DEU/en/index.shtml (it's in English as well :D )

 

and an accommodation listings website, (not in English)

 

http://www.immobilienscout24.de/findNew.national.searchType/searchTypeDialog.go?iac=0&style=is24&is24EC=IS24&realEstateTypeControl=0&areaControl=Frankfurt+am+Main&event:doSelectIntervalSearch=Next&geoCodeControl=1276007004&dummy=

 

When looking for flats, they're pretty sneaky over here. Agents fees (Provision) get paid by the tenant and tend to be 2.38 months COLD rent (before bills), plus deposit (Kaution) @ 2-3 months cold rent, plus your first months rent. It's a lot of money up front, but finding a nice place Provision Free is hard, particularly as the queue for it will be massive.. Anyway, best of luck...

 

:D

 

Mike

 

Oh, PS:

Always check out the kitchen as well (Abbreviated often as EBK) as people tend to take their kitchens with them :blink: or sell them on to the next tenant...

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Hi Woolers,

 

You can find a lot of useful information on http://www.ecb.int/ecb/jobs/newcomers/html/index.en.html - including accommodation, insurance etc.

 

Best

Thomas

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Wow Thankyou Mike, That's very informative!! - One question, when you say the western district, is there a particular "borough" you have in mind? - I'm still unsure as to the german words I should reference when I look at places to go?? - I'm Sorry, I need to be taught like an infant!!

 

Terrible I know but I want to grasp as much info as I can before I move...

 

I'll check out your links, thank you for the help.. I could use as much as I can!!

 

Woolers

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If you're in London then anywhere's going to feel like you're getting a good deal ;) We've been reckoning on a bigger place than we have in London in the centre of Köln and still saving almost 500 quid a month.

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62K isn't a bad salary, you'll find many aspects of the German lifestyle significantly cheaper than living in certain parts of the UK

I am not overly convinced about this in Frankfurt. This is about the highest salay area of Germany and 62k is just about local salary - so it's like being on 38k GBP in London (where the average is 35). So decent of course but hardly the highlife, and the sought after places are expensive, just as in all major cities now. I know I find London cheap in comparison when I go back there now - and increasingly more so over time. There's a ton of money sloshing round here and, boy, do we go out and get it spent ;).

 

For Frankfurt, I'd 100% go for those sought after areas - Sachsenhausen, West End et al. 30 minute commute? Why go to the effort of emigrating to a major European city with good infrastructure and doing that when there is totally and utterly no need to? Remember that Germans build up - so city centres are compact not large sprawling areas - and Frankfurt (population 660k) is a fraction of the size of London (7 mill).

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Hi Woolers,

 

"Westend" is the district name. On Google maps, just north of where you'll see the central point of the city (there's a park and the botanical gardens). On the map you will see some separation of Westend-Nord and Westend-Sud, and generally this area is quite nice. Nearby areas, Nordend, Bornheim and Bockenheim are also quite nice, and popular with younger foreigners, but they're more lively than Westend. Sachsenhausen is also quite lively with this comparison, but with a different, more mature demographic. Hope that clears it up :D ...

 

Fear not, though, about the kitchen... Flats do exist with the kitchen there, but it's something that has to be checked and is hit and miss with the quality... Good ones will probably be being sold by the previous tenant...

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62K isn't a bad salary, you'll find many aspects of the German lifestyle significantly cheaper than living in certain parts of the UK - You don't say where exactly you're currently based, but if it's anywhere in the south east expect to save several hundred pounds a month at least.

 

62K is a very reasonable salary I would say and is quite easily more than enough to live a very comfortable lifestyle off. Also you need to bear in mind that your net salary will be higher as you will not be in the German tax system due to having a special status.

 

 

This is about the highest salay area of Germany and 62k is just about local salary -

 

I find it hard to believe that 62K is a local salary, it certainly is above average I am sure. Ok it might not be the 'highlife' but if you are not into wasting money then it is more than enough to live a very comfortable lifestyle on - lots of holidays, weekends away etc.

 

As for where to live I am pretty certain that Ostend is going to be the new Wested in a few years time. As soon as the ECB relocates there will slowly be more things coming, nice apartments by the river, cafes, bars etc. This will bring the rent prices up for sure. So I think finding somewhere to live in Ostend now if you are working for the ECB to be a bit of a no brainer. You might get a good flat for a reasonable price, cheaper than say Westend or Sachsenhausen and you are still within easy reach of the ECB now, but once it has relocated it will be right on your doorstep. Since you say you are not overly into socialising then I think Ostend is fine, I mean there are some cafes, restaurants and bars around but not as many as in Sachsenhausen or Bornheim. However you are still within easy reach of both these areas.

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As for where to live I am pretty certain that Ostend is going to be the new Wested in a few years time. As soon as the ECB relocates there will slowly be more things coming, nice apartments by the river, cafes, bars etc. This will bring the rent prices up for sure. So I think finding somewhere to live in Ostend now if you are working for the ECB to be a bit of a no brainer. You might get a good flat for a reasonable price, cheaper than say Westend or Sachsenhausen and you are still within easy reach of the ECB now, but once it has relocated it will be right on your doorstep. Since you say you are not overly into socialising then I think Ostend is fine, I mean there are some cafes, restaurants and bars around but not as many as in Sachsenhausen or Bornheim. However you are still within easy reach of both these areas.

 

I think it would be quite a while before Ostend becomes comparable with what Westend is now.. like 10+ years. Having said that, it is a very valid point that Westend and to some extent, the nicer side of Sachsenhausen will not be as appealing to someone working at the ECB after the move as they are right now. Having said this, they are still reasonably close to the future ECB location, just not right on the doorstep.

 

Woolers - My recommendations below (based on 5 months experience living here - so not a complete expert - someone correct me if they disagree with the following!):

 

Sachsenhausen (close to Schweizer Strasse)

pros: quiet, upmarket, walking distance to the city, close to current ECB, great restaurants

cons: not so close to the future ECB location, not cheap

 

Bornheim/Nordend (close to Berger Strasse)

pros: trendy/slightly yuppy atmosphere, walking distance to the city, good shopping and restaurants, cheaper than other places mentioned

cons: not as 'classy' as Sachsenhausen or Westend, not as open

 

Westend (Sud)

pros: very close to the city and particularly the financial district, slightly better transport (although it is all very good)

cons: expensive, not walking distance to the future ECB location, higher density

 

Those were my 3 preferences. I ended up choosing Sachsenhausen and am very happy with it.

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I think it would be quite a while before Ostend becomes comparable with what Westend is now.. like 10+ years. H

 

I don't think so, there is a lot of development going on already and towards that end of Hanauerlandstr. There are already new bars and restaurants opening up and pretty soon people are going to start to realise just how close this area is to a lot of places in particular Bornheim and Bergerstr as well as the town centre. I am sure prices will go up sooner rather than later.

 

You could also look on the border of Bornheim/Ostend, towards Parlamentstr, Ostparkstr. etc. These are nice quiet areas but still pretty central. I think Sachsenhausen you can probably rule out if you want to have somewhere safe to park your bike without paying a high price and probably the same for Nordend.

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Thank you everyone for the advice... I'll check out some of the areas that have been mentioned & see what they are like.

 

Anyone know about the legality of the Motorbike at all?

 

Thanks again,

Woolers

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oh.. one other thing which is probably useful to know...

 

The pictures that you see on google maps are several years old. Google maps shows a lot of construction along the river, particularly the east side. In reality, this construction has finished several years ago (mostly).

 

e.g.

I am sitting in my office right now - an 8 story office which was built and in use for a number of years, yet on google maps it is a pile of rubble with a tractor on it.

 

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=frankfurt+am+main&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=51.841773,79.013672&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Frankfurt,+Frankfurt+am+Main,+Hesse,+Germany&ll=50.106883,8.673159&spn=0.001294,0.002411&t=h&z=19

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Anyone know about the legality of the Motorbike at all?

 

I don't know what a CBT is sorry but as far as I am aware the bike will be perfectly legal, you just need to change it to German plates, insurance etc and register it here which is not that difficult.

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