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5 Reasons to Live in Northern Germany

Unpopular opinion: Northern Germany is a great place to live! Let me tell you why:

I know, I know…

Before you start shouting, yes, I am aware of what living in northern Germany is like. And yes, I mean the far north, the North Sea coasts,  I have been living here since 2019. I know, it is not full of beautiful mountains and landscapes like Bavaria, or as sunny as Baden-Württemberg, or as eventful as Berlin, or as crowded and young as the NRW, yes, BUT living here has its own charms, I promise! Let me share with you some of my favorite things about living here in the far north:

A bunch of bikes parked in front of an apartment building.
Bikes in front of Can's door.© Can

Reason #1: Bikeability!

Northern Germany is extremely bike-friendly! The reason that makes Northern Germany the most bikeable place in Germany is simple: it is flat! During the last ice age, northern Germany lost all of its landscapes and became flat. Due to this, just like their neighbour Netherlands, Northern German cities have a big bike culture and an infrastructure that not only supports but also prioritises bike traffic. I for example bike everywhere, as long as I can reach via biking in under an hour! Makes my life so much more efficient. Uni? 15 minutes by bike! Groceries? 3 minutes by bike! Work? 20 minutes by bike! Movies with friends? 5 minutes by bike!

A sunset over the north sea as seen from the cliffs of Helgoland
The summer sunsets© Can Gürses

Reason #2: Winters and Summers

It is a well-known fact that winters are very cold and gloomy in northern Germany. You don’t get a lot of sunlight, and it rains almost daily, especially in the region around Bremen and Oldenburg. However, this darkness also makes the winters extremely cozy! I especially love that it gets dark at 15:00 during Christmas time, because the whole town puts on a fairytale-like atmosphere with the snow, lights, and the Christmas markets.

Summers, however, is a whole different story! I think northern Germany is THE place to be in the summer, as the temperatures stay mild and it does not get too warm. Usually in the 20s. Perfect! Warm enough to swim but not painfully hot that makes you sweat when you’re walking to the grocery store.

A pickled herring sandwich.
Matjesbrötchen© Can

Reason #3: (My personal favorite) Fischbrötchen

Northern Germany is the only place in Germany where you can enjoy the daily catch served in the daily brötchen. The Northern Germans are the masters of the art of making fish sandwiches. Everywhere on the coast, you can find small huts or carts that sell Fischbrötchen. There are tens of different types to try. All delicious. If you are not a big fish fan, you can still enjoy the Bremer or any Backfisch varieties. If you’re more adventurous, you should try one of the pickled ones like the Matjes. If you’re a shellfish fan, try the Nordseekrabben. You will not regret it!

The market square of Bremen, with the historic town hall and St Peter's cathedral.
Bremen market square© Can

Reason #4: The Perfect Mixture

There is something for everyone in Northern Germany. If you crave the chaos of metropolises, Hamburg is the city! The second largest city in Germany is located in, you guessed it, Northern Germany! If that is too much for you and you want to still live in a large city without the chaos, then Bremen is the place for you! With more than half a million inhabitants it offers you everything that a big city offers, only in a more relaxed setting. Are you more of a small-city person? Say no more, Oldenburg or Kiel will satisfy your needs! Both are small cities, yet have everything that you are looking for! And do you know what the best thing is? All of the named cities are one hour away from each other!

Sunset from the Northern beach of Helgoland.
North sea as seen from Helgoland.© Can

Beach! Sailing! Swimming! Fishing! Diving! Listening to the waves! All is on your footstep at the North Sea (and the Baltic Sea as well, of course).

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