Where are all the expats living in Germany and what's the most livable city?

The most livable cities for expats

With high marks for job security and career opportunities: These German cities are particularly popular among expats.

Germany is attracting skilled workers from abroad. With that said, how do expats living in Germany rate their new home towns? That’s something the InterNations expat network aimed to find out by conducting a survey among the 3.5 million members it claims to have. A total of 20,000 took part and selected seven German cities from among the 82 most popular worldwide.

#1 Aachen

Aachen is by far the most popular expat city in Germany. The little city in the far west of Germany has a population of only around 260,000, but it places 11th in the international rankings, ahead of Sydney and Tokyo. It is squarely in the “Working in the city” category, covering both jobs and careers. Wondering about job security and work-life balance? Aachen actually came absolutely top worldwide with a quota of 89 percent. Nowhere else in Germany were the participating expats quite as happy as they are here.

Aachenpicture alliance / Bildarchiv Mo

#2 Düsseldorf

Düsseldorf attracts expats and it does so by offering a high quality of life, good work-life balance and job security. Its failure to rank higher than 31st in the global ranking is primarily down to interpersonal contacts. “Making new friends is difficult because everyone has their own circle, many known since childhood”, said one expat living in this city.

Düsseldorfpicture alliance / Winfried Roth

#3 Hamburg

This Hanseatic city achieves the worst rating of the seven German cities because the weather is, well, not so good. It rains too much and too often here, or at least it seems that way. Even though the weather isn't great, Hamburg scores points as an attractive place to work with good local transport and high environmental quality. This cosmopolitan city on the Elbe was ranked 42nd on a global scale.

Hamburgpicture alliance / Hauke-Christi

#4 Frankfurt /Main

Frankfurt, Germany’s financial hub, is ranked second internationally by its expats for its job security and high salaries. “Even if you’re not a high-flying career person, you can certainly live on the wages you earn”, said one expat from Bulgaria. In the overall global ranking, Frankfurt places 49th, closely followed by Cologne (50th place), Munich (51st place) and Berlin (61st place). The high rents prevent these popular tourist destinations from achieving better rankings.

Frankfurtpicture alliance / Christian Nau