Top Tips - Life in Germany

Top tips for making the most of your Germany posting

If you grab the opportunity to live in Germany with both hands, it’s an experience not to be missed! Here are some handy hints to get you started:

  1. Join the relevant Facebook pages and look at the HIVE guides for the area that you are moving into.
  2. Start saving money for European Headlights - they can be quite pricey if your car needs them
  3. Drive quickly or move out of the way on the Autobahn! 
  4. Watch out for cyclists when turning right on the roads – there is usually one lurking 
  5. Prepare to have lazy Sundays having brunch, eating cake and drinking coffee – most shops shut on Saturday afternoon and Sunday 
  6. Get your ID card as soon as possible after you arrive. Click here for more information.
  7. Make sure you have your free EHIC, for more information visit
  8. Stock upon UK home comforts: baked beans…squash…These products can be found at your local NAAFI store and, don’t worry, the German supermarkets stock most items families will need 
  9. Don’t forget your travel plug adapters 
  10. Get a Germany travel guide and get out and about! 
  11. Bring copies of your medical notes with you if you have a pre-existing medical condition 
  12. Buy a Sat Nav for easier travelling. Be aware that in France, it is illegal to have your speed camera alert enabled if your Sat Nav has one
  13. Shop around to get the best mobile phone and internet contracts. Note that some UK contracts do offer good overseas packages
  14. Check out the MOD Schools for advice on local schools and contact them to let them know when you arrive
  15. Take time to research your entitlement to tax free shopping and find out where you can get the relevant forms required for your purchases. Mehrwertsteuer (the German VAT system)
  16. Check that all passports are up to date 
  17. Contact the HIVE where you are posted and ask them to send you a welcome pack which is full of useful information
  18. Check the German regulations for your area. Mowing grass on Sundays is not allowed!
  19. The Germans love a local festival; from ‘fish fests’ to ‘Oktober fests’ there are many to choose from and generally they are free. Visit your local HIVE to find out what’s on in your area
  20. Prepare to gain weight or exercise more - the food is fabulous and the wine is cheap! 

Want to know more? Check out our ‘Preparing to Move’ page for a simple overview of life in Germany tailored to you, our Army families.  

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