British in Germany

Living in Germany

Here is a useful little check list of things to do and not to do when you arrive in Germany.

To do list:-

If you arrive in Germany without Form E111 (emergency health cover), you should apply to the Contributions Agency, Overseas Contribution (EC) for a form..

Register (anmeldung) at the local authority's Domicile Declaration Office (Einwohnermeldeamt) (I don't think there is a proper English word for this).

Apply for a residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis / Aufenthaltsgenehmigung) at your local Foreign Nationals Authority Office (Ausländeramt / Ausländerbehörde).

Make sure you get a tax card (Lohnsteuerkarte).

Register your dog with your local council.

You do not have to register with the British consulate. Although they are there to help and advise you.

Get your radio licence (Rundfunkgebühren) (oh yes - even for your car!) and your TV licence (Fernsehgebühren) from the Centre for Collecting Charges (Gebühreneinzugszentrale / GEZ) . If you speak German you can do it online.



On Arrival

Unlike the UK if you arrive by airplane or train you can take your luggage to the left luggage office or put it in a locker.


Finding a room or flat is probably the biggest hurdle you will have to surmount during your stay in Germany because living space in most German towns is both expensive and hard to come by. Munich, Stuttgart and Berlin are extremely difficult.

If you arrive without planned accommodation go to the Tourist Information Office (Verkehrsamt), which is usually in or near railway stations or airports. For a small fee, or even free of charge, they will provide you with a map of the town and a leaflet containing the main tourist attractions.

Prices in hotels and guest-houses vary from place to place. In exhibition centres like Frankfurt, Düsseldorf or Munich (Munchen) they are very high, and when exhibitions are running they are always fully-booked. As a rule you have to expect to pay 50 to 100 € for an overnight stay.

In Germany there are about 750 youth hostels which are well-run and clean. A night in a youth hostel will cost students up to the age of 27 from 15 to 30 €. With the exception of Bavaria (Bayern), people over the age of 27 can stay in youth hostels, too, for a slightly higher price. You will need an International Youth Hostel Card which you can usually get in Germany at the youth hostel itself. You can only stay at the same youth hostel for a limited period; officially not more than 3 days in a row.

If you are really stuck various charities like the Bahnhofsmission (at railway stations), the Salvation Army and the Stadtmission will also assist you. The addresses can be found in the telephone directory under Kirche (churches).


Money in Germany

You will come to love the Euro whilst living on mainland Europe.

During your first few days here you will incur a lot of expenses so you should be sure to bring at least €500 with you, preferably in 50 Euro notes. Larger denominations can be difficult to change, and besides it makes you feel as if you've got more.

It appears that you are allowed to import as much foreign currency in whichever form you like.

Credit cards are generally not used as much here so it is as well to check whether restaurants, supermarkets etc. accept Visa or Mastercard before stacking up the trolley or sitting down to enjoy your meal.



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