1. Nine different borders
Okay, deep breath needed: Germany has borders with France, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria and Switzerland – phew!
That’s the largest number of borders of any country in the European Union. It means you can jump on a bus or train and before you know it, you are munching on a fresh baguette in Paris or quaffing down goulash and pilsner in Prague.
2. Low cost of living
In comparison with other countries within the Western world, Germany is pretty cheap to live in. A 2015 study by consulting firm Mercer ranked the capital Berlin as the 106th most expensive city out of 200 rated worldwide. London meanwhile was number 12, while three Swiss cities – Zurich (3), Geneva (5) and Bern (9) – made it into the top ten.
So, if you want to go out for dinner and drinks whenever you want and still be able to save a few of those hard-earned euros at the end of the month, Germany is clearly the place for you.
3. Brilliant beer
If we’re totally honest, the real reason most of us pack our bags for Germany is that glistening golden brew that they pull from the taps.
No one does beer quite like the Germans, and if you live here you will soon learn that there are far more beer festivals than the crowded Oktoberfest. In fact, Germans have so much beer that you can drink a different one brewed under the purity law every day for 15 years.
4. Stunning scenery
From the snow-covered peaks of the Alps in the south to the pristine sands of the beaches in the north, Germany has more than its fair share of breathtaking views.
If you live in Berlin, the sandstone cliffs of Saxonian Switzerland make a perfect camping destination. Venture a stone’s throw from Munich and you can dive into the crystal waters of Lake Starnberg. And if you pitch up in Cologne, you can take a boat trip down the Rhine… and stop off in the country’s famed wine region as you go.
5. Luxury train system
The German train system might not be the cheapest you will ride on, but it sure is fast and luxurious.
Getting from Hamburg in the north to Munich in the south only takes six hours. And even if you are travelling in second class on a high-speed ICE train, you will have the chance to rest your weary legs in a comfy, quiet compartment that would belong to first class in most other countries.
6. Enchanting Christmas markets
In most countries, it is a pretty depressing time of year when the days start drawing in in the autumn. And the winters can certainly seem pretty darn long in Germany. But luckily the cities are turned into a winter wonderland in late November when Christmas markets light up the centre of towns up and down the country.
After a couple of glasses of Glühwein, you will have forgotten all about the fact that it’s -5C outside.
7. Lots of public holidays
In Germany, public holidays do not count towards your annual legal leave. And some regions are extremely generous with these days off.
The wealthy southern state of Bavaria has 13 public holidays every year. So on top of the 30 days leave many companies provide as standard, you can expect another two weeks free to go and explore Germany and the surrounding countries.
8. Ease of getting a job
Thanks to a very healthy economy, it is much easier to get a job in Germany than in almost any other Western country. Unemployment is at its lowest level since reunification in 1990, and graduates have a particularly good time of it – only 10 percent of graduates work in a field unrelated to what they studied.
9. Hip Berlin clubs
There’s no doubt about it, Germany has one of the hippest capital cities on the planet. Wherever you go in the world, Berlin is a byword for cool, thanks largely to its thriving nightlife. So if you don’t feel like heading into the forests or mountains at the weekend, you can just head to the capital for two days of round-the-clock partying – because in Berlin the clubs never close.
10. Generous family benefits
If you’ve long since hung up your partying shoes, don’t worry! Germany has much to offer you too. The Bundesrepublik has a very generous system of social care for new parents. New mothers and fathers can split paid leave between them over a period of 14 months. And on top of that, the state will pay you money for looking after your children, up until the point they turn 18.
You also get a guaranteed spot at a kindergarten from the day your child turns a year old – and the costs are a fraction of those in neighbouring countries such as the Netherlands.