Moving to Frankfurt from the UK
Frankfurt am Main, to give it its full name, the home of the European Central Bank, the German Federal Bank, Deutsche Bank and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, is vying with London for the status of Europe’s most important financial centre. As such it is an increasingly popular destination for migrants from all over the world, attracted by the resulting economic opportunity and high standard of living.
But to label Frankfurt as simply a banking city is unfair to the rich history and cultural heritage of a settlement founded in Roman times and which is home to people of over 180 nationalities - a quarter of whom are foreign nationals who’ve made their home in the state of Hessen. Alongside the towering skyscrapers of the financial district the skyline features a medieval cathedral and the city hall is located in a row of old merchant houses acquired by the city in the 15th century.
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Frankfurt plays host to over half a dozen annual festivals, some of the world’s premier techno nightclubs, more than 30 museums and some of the most crowded shopping streets in Europe. With such a heady blend of commerce and entertainment, those moving to Frankfurt will not be surprised to find that it’s a city that not only works hard but plays hard too.
Moving to Frankfurt from the UK
Due to its very low unemployment rate, incredible livability and huge financial industry which values skills acquired in the city of London, Frankfurt is an increasingly popular choice among UK expats.
Upon arrival the Office for Multicultural Affairs or Amt für multikulturelle Angelegenheiten (AmkA) will be able to advise you on how to go about registering your residency and obtaining a permanent settlement permit (Niederlassungserlaubnis). You might also be entitled to take up a place on an integration course which teaches beginners German though language lessons are available from a wide variety of private sources.
With a similar climate and culture to the UK there are very few obstacles to successful integration. One good tip for newcomers is to keep your cupboards well stocked - there are very few shops open past eight in the evening in Frankfurt.
Property prices have been rising fast in Frankfurt of late due to an insufficient supply of housing stock. Average prices are at around €2,600 (£2,210) per square metre which is still very affordable compared to, say, London or even Munich.
You can rent a centrally located 2 bedroom apartment for around €1,000 (£850) per month.
Comparing Frankfurt vs London
Frankfurt’s climate is very similar to that of London: high and low temperatures in summer and winter are very close though cold snaps in Frankfurt can be more severe than in the UK capital. Frankfurt actually sees slightly more annual rainfall than London but also experiences more sunshine by way of compensation.
Moving from London to Frankfurt to a job with a similar salary will see your spending power increase significantly. Rents and property prices are much more affordable while savings on groceries, transport, energy and nights out will be great enough that you won’t mind paying slightly more at the checkout for consumer goods.
Despite severe bombing in the second world war, Frankfurt has preserved much of its architectural heritage. The 14th Century Saint Bartholomeus’ Cathedral, the 18th Century Saint Paul’s Church and the Archeological Gardens are particular highlights.
The Frankfurt Opera is world class and is the jewel in a richly studded crown of performing arts venues which also includes the English Theatre - the largest English language theatre in continental Europe.
Over half the land within the city limits is protected as green space including the Frankfurt City Forest - at 48 square kilometres the largest inner-city forest in Germany.