7 reasons to be happy you live in Germany

Still not sure whether you want to turn a short-term stay in Deutschland into a full-on move? Here are seven reasons why you might want to stay.

7 reasons to be happy you live in Germany
Photo: DPA

Contrary to popular belief, Blue Monday was actually created in 2005 by a UK travel company to sell holidays, and has no basis in actual science. The general idea of this being the most depressing day of the year was a combination of statistics on debt and weather.

But as many are still expecting it to be a downer of a day, here are seven reminders that might help wash those blues away, knowing you live in such a great place.

1. Germany's natural surroundings

The Chiemsee by sunset. Photo: DPA

Germany is the proud owner of some of Europe's most beautiful landscapes. If you're looking for long walks, Germany plays host to 200,000 km of walking trails among and a large variety of national parks – 16 in total.

Germany can boast of a large number of scenic lakes, with 92.2 percent of the 12,200 given the top quality rating in an EEA report, ranking the highest for number of lakes and rives that are “excellent” for swimming.

Germany's beaches too, are something not to forget when planning a holiday, as they were rated some of the best value to go to in a report from last year.

2. Education

A recent PISA report made Germans' prowess in education, when they compared the aptitudes of 540,000 15-year-olds from 72 countries in areas of science, reading, and maths. German schoolchildren showed that in fact they are getting an education way above the OECD average.

The German university system is also one of the envies of the world, dubbed last year as offering the “best deal” in Europe, according to a Times Higher Education report. The report showed Germany came second only to the UK in terms of university quality, but beating the UK in areas like cost, red tape, and visa regulations. So in Germany universities offer some of the best education in the world, and they're some of the easiest to attend.

3. High quality of life

For many of you this is obvious, but for those who may not be living in Germany, it's officially the best country in the world – at least according to US News and World Report.

The study put Germany at the top of the world rankings because of its power on the world stage, the fact that it fosters entrepreneurship, and the overall quality of life.

And the port city of Hamburg last year was chosen as one of the most “liveable” cities in the world.

If living with the country with the highest average quality of life doesn't make you happy, we just don't know what will!

4. Culture

Germany equals efficient, bureaucratic, and boring, right?

Wrong. There are so many interesting cultural traditions in each different region that put Germany on the cultural map, even for world leaders in the case of Oktoberfest.

Fasching and the Oktoberfest are two of Germany's biggest institutions, and both bucket-loads of fun. For Fasching or Karneval people dress up as goblins, clowns or devils as part of pre-Lent celebrations.

Oktoberfest, which deserves its own paragraph, is recognized worldwide as one of the biggest beer fests known to man. Munich's visitors consume millions of litres of the golden brew, with beer halls opening in the morning hours. Paris Hilton was once banned from the Oktoberfest, after she wore a particularly tacky dirndl to promote a canned wine.

5. Parenting

 Photo: DPA

Good news for parents! Germany came eighth in the world in Save the Children's 2015 mother index, which rated 179 countries on maternal health, education, income levels, and status of women.

Not only that, but there are many other benefits to having a child in Germany, as one mum told The Local last year.

6. Great cities for expats

According to a survey by Mercer last year, Munich, Düsseldorf, and Frankfurt are ranked in the top ten cities for expats to live in. The survey was based on public infrastructure, living spaces, and variety of leisure activities.

Also in the top 25 were Berlin, Hamburg, Stuttgart, and Nuremberg, so if anyone lives in these cities, you've hit the jackpot!

7. Great passports

If you do decide to become a German citizen, you could definitely be getting an upgrade in passport power. Last year it was revealed that Germans had the most powerful international passports, ahead of the UK and the USA according to the Visa Restriction Index.

The index was based on how easy it was to gain a visa – with some countries just letting Germans in without any paperwork needed – and results generally correlated with diplomatic relations with other countries.

So let's say “Prost” to living in Germany!

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Seven must-attend online events in Germany in April

Most cultural institutions remain closed in April, but there's plenty of activity happening online. Here's a list of online events for you to attend in Germany in April from the safety of your own home.

Seven must-attend online events in Germany in April
Semperoper in Dresden. Photo: DPA

Deutsches Theatre, Berlin, Interactive online event, until April 16th 2021

‘‘16-year-old Laura finds a message in her locker on the last day of school before the lockdown. A classmate is in danger and asks her for help. But Laura cannot solve the riddles she finds in her exercise book. Since she can no longer trust anyone at her school, she asks four outsiders for help’’. 

This is the plot of the interactive game with live performers hosted by Deutsches Theatre. Viewers get deeper and deeper insights into the dark machinations of the school via Zoom, Telegram and websites. In the style of escape rooms and detective games, a microcosm of corrupt clique leaders, illegal events and frightened schoolchildren unfolds.

To participate, you need a PC, a smartphone with the Telegram messenger app and a stable internet connection

Semperoper, Dresden, Virtual performance of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, starting April 5th 

Starting on Easter Monday, the Semperoper in Dresden invited its audience members to attend a virtual performance of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. A recording of Dresden’s latest opera can continue to be viewed free of charge. 

Volksbühne, Berlin, Digital Collection, until further notice

        Photo: DPA

Volksbühne in Berlin has various online events to check out. These include a production of Oedipus, talks on the role of instruments in the pandemic (‘Piano against Corona’) pieces by the Rosa Kollektiv in collaboration with the Rosa Luxembourg Foundation and more.  

Arab Film Festival, April 21st-30th

With a selection of fresh films, the festival will present the latest film making from the Arab world. Impressive film art, gripping stories and blunt statements are the focus of this year’s official selection, paired with strong protagonists. Feature films and documentaries deal with topics such as migration, gender roles and the culture of remembrance and show a contemporary and often personal image of a turbulent region.

Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, DIGGIN’ OPERA II  April 25th 6 pm-7:30 pm

Festspielhaus Baden-Baden is showing an opera production produced entirely by high school children, including writing music, creating the stage sets and costumes. Under the guidance of the best specialists in their field, the young people have worked over several months to put together a music theatre production which they will now be presenting at the Festspielhaus online 

Virtual Marathon, Germany, April 11th

At the Virtual Marathon Germany, you can run anywhere in the world, alone or with friends! You can choose to run a distance of 21, ten or five kilometres.

You can set a training goal for yourself for April 11th and as a reward, you will receive a marathon package in the mail – including a medal and running shirt. In the virtual marathon, each participant can choose his or her own route. There are even prizes for winners, for which more than three hundred people have already registered.

Gämeldegalerie, Berlin, Online collection, until further notice

The National Museums in Berlin have published another virtual tour of one of their museum collections: Following the Bode Museum, the Gemäldegalerie can now also be explored digitally in its entirety and in both German and English. The gallery is showcasing its 58 rooms, 112 panoramas, and 1,200 works of art.