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Hamburg?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
My husband and I are looking at several areas for work-related relocation, and Hamburg is one of them. We've found some information online, but not enough to help us make a fully informed decision.

Do you think it's easy to navigate the city when speaking little/no German? We'd take classes upon arrival, but currently are only fluent in English and French.

Is it a family-friendly city?

What is the typical rent there? Would we have difficulty finding an apartment?

Would we need a car?

Please tell us anything you think is important about the area. We want to have as many personal opinions and information as possible before making our decision. Thank you! :
post #2 of 7
Hamburg is a lovely city with lots for families to do. The public transportation is excellent, so you might not need a vehicle. I believe rent can be expensive; look in the Altona area- this has a bohemian feel and there were some nice affordable apartments last time I was there, a few years ago. Apartments are smaller in European cities than in North America, in case you weren't aware of this.

Don't worry about not speaking German; people in Hamburg tend to be highly educated and children learn English in school. Get familiar with the different weights and measures for shopping purposes.

I love Hamburg, and consider it a place I would be happy to live! Good luck in making your decision. What are your other options?
post #3 of 7
I lived in Hamburg for a year.

rent is very high, at least for my standards. we lived in a crappy place with airplane noise, 2 rooms (plus kitchen and bath) and the bus to the city center took over 30 minutes and we still paid about 550€ for it. the popular areas like St. Pauli, Altona to some extent, Eimsbüttel are also expensive, but we also only had one income. you might be able to afford it. you can check www.abendblatt.de for "immobilien". there is a lot of competition for apartments, too, so that might be difficult. not trying to scare you, it might just take some time, so you'd better start looking early.
Hamburg is very international and while cashiers at the grocery stores will probably not speak English the public library has a vast English book section and you should be able to navigate the city easily. I think there is a website somewhere about an English-speaking community... there is also an English Theatre, book store and also an American Club or something? not sure on that as I am German. some info here.
you definitely do not need a car. there's regular buses and the subway system, also s-bahn for longer distances. you can get monthly passes for those. you can also bike a lot.

I don't have children but I know there's children's book stores, plenty of playgrounds, the Elbe beach, a zoo... some moms might have more info on that for you. there are enough tourity things to keep you busy and a lively scene.

Hamburg is full of things to do but it is a pretty expensive and large town. I fel that it was great if you had the financial means to experience all it has to offer
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you for these responses. I am not yet sure what the salary would be, but am thinking it would be $80,000 USD at a minimum (it is a software/system consultant position). It would be our sole income, and we would most likely be maintaining a mortgage and utilities in the states until our house sold, so we'd be looking at at least $12,000 USD of that going out per year on those expenses alone.

We don't mind small. Our whole house is 864sf, and we still find it large for our family of three. We'd probably try to sell as much as we could and just relocate with clothing, a portable crib, and whatever else was not too large but necessary to daily life with a young child.

Thank you again! The other places we've been put into the mix regarding employment are Palo Alto in California, London, and two locations in Canada.
post #5 of 7
you're welcome. it's a tough choice between these gorgeous places! I do think Hamburg is cheaper than London, though.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
It's definitely what we're leaning toward, if we can afford it!
post #7 of 7
good luck then!
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