Your interactive family guide to Germany as recommended by local mums | Last updated 5 months ago

Moving to Germany

Things you need to know

With free-spirited cities providing a vibrant 24-hour lifestyle, spectacularly varied landscapes, fairytale castles, magical forests, a good standard of living and, of course, a relatively robust economy, Germany has plenty going for it.

Germany has a reputation for combining clean and efficient living, a forward-thinking pragmatism when it comes to environmental issues, and an easygoing nature. In German cities such as Berlin and Frankfurt you can party right through the night any day of the week, but this is also a country where you can be fairly certain the trains will run on time to get you home in the morning.

Germany is not the biggest European country by land-mass, but it is the most highly populated. As its government plays a key role in leading Europe out of a fix, the country provides a very attractive place for Expats to live and work.

Things you need to know before you go

EU citizens dont need a work permit or visa to live and work in Germany.

No special vaccinations are required in Germany, just the standard jabs you would have back home

Things you need to know when you get there

Local currency The euro.

How do you spot a cab? German taxis are cream in colour and have a black and yellow taxi sign on the roof. They are usually Mercedes or Audis. You can hail a cab in the street, but heading for a taxi rank or calling to book one is probably a better option.

Price of a hotel room Mid-range hotels cost about €60 a night out of town, or at least €80 a night in cities. Hotels.com put the average price at €100 in the first half of 2012.

Price of a house The average apartment in Germany cost €149,700 in June 2012. A new detached house cost €250,000 and an existing house cost €192,950. Source: Global Property Guide

Price of a pint of milk €0.36. Source: Numbeo.

What language do most people speak? German.

What tax will you pay? You generally become resident for tax purposes in Germany as soon as you move to the country with the intention of staying for six months or more. If you live and work in Germany you are likely to be liable for German taxes on all income anywhere in the world. You are obliged to declare all income to the German authorities. There is, however, a double taxation agreement designed to prevent you paying tax twice.

Self-employed people pay tax quarterly, and employees in Germany pay taxes monthly through a PAYE system. Workers are given a Lohnsteuerkarte by their local authority, which is used to work out what rate of tax they will pay. It shows information relevant to tax calculations, such as whether you are married, what tax band you are in and whether you have children.

There is no tax on income of less than €8,004 (£6,387). After that, income tax rates start at 14.77% and the highest rate, charged on incomes of more than €52,882 (£42,201), is 44.31%. Source: Expat Tax

What to tell your friends

• Germanys motorways (Autobahn) are famous for having no speed limit, but an advisory limit of 130km/h (81mph) is in operation, and some stretches of road do have limits.

• Munichs Oktoberfest, which actually starts in September, is the biggest beer festival in the world. Oktoberfest 2012 covered 26 hectares and had 35 giant beer tents.

• Germanys relationship with beer is serious. According to German newspaper Der Spiegel, in 2006 it was home to almost 1,300 breweries and was responsible for three-quarters of Europes beer production.

• Bavaria takes its beer drinking to greater extremes by not only hosting the festival, but also including weissbier or weizenbier (wheat beer) as part of its traditional breakfast.

Accredited to The Guardian