5 Best Family-Friendly Neighborhoods for Expats in Hamburg
There are many wonderful places for expats to move to in Germany. Hamburg has to be in the top 5 cities for expats to thrive in Germany. It’s the second-largest city in Germany and has a lot to offer, including:
- A thriving arts and culture scene: Hamburg is home to many museums, theaters, and music venues, as well as the famous Reeperbahn, which is known for its nightlife and entertainment.
- Excellent public transportation: Hamburg has an extensive network of buses, trains, and ferries, making it easy to get around the city.
- A high standard of living: Hamburg consistently ranks high on lists of the world’s most livable cities, thanks to its quality healthcare, education, and public services.
- International business opportunities: Hamburg is a hub for international trade and commerce, with many multinational companies based in the city.
- Proximity to water: Hamburg is located on the Elbe. The Elbe is a large river and has a very large port, giving the city a unique maritime character and providing many opportunities for outdoor activities.
- Language: many people are more comfortable speaking English in Hamburg. This makes it a bit easier to get around while you are learning German.
We have compiled our top 6 choices for neighborhoods in Hamburg that are great for expats. Grab a cup of coffee or tea, and explore with us what each neighborhood has to offer. From the cost of living to international schools that teach in both English and German, we will explore some of the top criteria for expats when searching for housing in Hamburg!
Take note, in general, it can be challenging to find housing in Hamburg. Apartments in the 900 to 1500€ will typically receive hundreds of requests for viewings within 24 hours of being posted. Where are apartments above 2,000€ tend to have less than 60 inquiries within 24 hours after being posted. It can be very helpful to have someone by your side to help you find an apartment or house while helping you stand out among the crowd. We here at relocation.consulting can be there to help you find your dream home with ease!
Make sure you hang around for our top 5 tips for securing your dream Wohnung (apartment) and settling into your new adventure in Hamburg!
Cost of living: Eimsbüttel is a relatively affordable neighborhood compared to other parts of Hamburg. The cost of living is moderate, with reasonable prices for apartments, restaurants, and shopping.
Apartment availability: It can be somewhat challenging to find an apartment in Eimsbüttel, as it is a popular neighborhood with high demand.
International schools: Eimsbüttel is home to the International School of Hamburg
Popular activities: Eimsbüttel has a variety of popular cafes, restaurants, and shops, as well as several parks and green spaces. It also has a vibrant cultural scene, with theaters, music venues, and art galleries.
Family safety: Eimsbüttel is generally considered a safe neighborhood, with low crime rates and a friendly community.
Proximity to the city center and waterfront: Eimsbüttel is located in the west of Hamburg, about 10-15 minutes from the city center by public transportation. It is not directly on the waterfront, but it is relatively close to the Elbe river and several parks and green spaces.
Cost of living: Altona is a moderately-priced neighborhood, with reasonable prices for apartments, restaurants, and shopping.
Apartment availability: It can be somewhat challenging to find an apartment in Altona, as it is a popular neighborhood with high demand.
International schools: The closest international school is the International School of Hamburg.
Popular activities: Altona has a diverse range of restaurants, cafes, and shops, as well as cultural attractions like the Altonaer Theater and the Altona Museum. It is also located near the Elbe, with several parks and green spaces along the waterfront.
Family safety: Altona is generally considered a safe neighborhood, with low crime rates and a friendly community.
Proximity to the city center and waterfront: Altona is located just west of the city center, with easy access to public transportation. It is directly on the waterfront, with several beautiful parks and green spaces along the Elbe.
Cost of living: Sternschanze is a trendy and somewhat expensive neighborhood, with higher prices for apartments, restaurants, and shopping.
Apartment availability: It can be extremely challenging to find an apartment in Sternschanze, as it is a popular neighborhood with high demand.
International schools: There are no international schools located in Sternschanze, but several are located nearby in other neighborhoods.
Popular activities: Sternschanze is known for its vibrant nightlife and alternative culture, with many bars, clubs, and music venues. It also has a variety of cafes, restaurants, and shops, as well as street art and galleries.
Family safety: While Sternschanze is generally a safe neighborhood, it can be somewhat noisy and crowded, especially on weekends and evenings.
Proximity to the city center and waterfront: Sternschanze is located just north of the city center, with easy access to public transportation.
Cost of living: Harvestehude is considered one of the more upscale and expensive neighborhoods in Hamburg, with high prices for apartments, restaurants, and shopping. It is very close to Eimsbüttel, Winterhude, and Lokstedt.
Apartment availability: Harvestehude is a sought-after neighborhood with limited availability, so finding an apartment may be challenging.
International schools: Harvestehude is home to several international schools, including the International School of Hamburg.
Popular activities: Harvestehude is known for its picturesque canals and parks, including the Alsterpark and the Schwanenwik Park. There are also a variety of restaurants, cafes, and shops in the area, as well as museums and galleries.
Family safety: Harvestehude is generally considered a safe and family-friendly neighborhood, with low crime rates and a welcoming community.
Proximity to city center and waterfront: Harvestehude is located just north of the city center, with easy access to public transportation. It is also located near the Alster Lake and several parks and green spaces, making it a great choice for those who enjoy outdoor activities and spending time by or on the water.
Cost of living: HafenCity is one of the newest neighborhoods in Hamburg, with modern buildings and high-end apartments. The cost of living is generally higher than average in Hamburg, with prices for housing, restaurants, and shopping on the expensive side.
Apartment availability: HafenCity is a popular area for expats and locals alike, and finding an apartment may be challenging due to high demand. However, there are many new apartment buildings and developments in the area, so options are available.
International schools: HafenCity is home to the International Maritime Museum, which offers educational programs and workshops for children.
Popular activities: HafenCity is a trendy neighborhood with a variety of restaurants, cafes, and shops. There are also many cultural attractions in the area, such as the Elbphilharmonie concert hall, the International Maritime Museum, and the Miniatur Wunderland model railway exhibit.
Family safety: HafenCity is generally a safe neighborhood, with low crime rates and a well-lit and monitored public space. Families will feel comfortable living in this area.
Proximity to city center and waterfront: HafenCity is located on the waterfront, just east of the city center. It is a great location for those who enjoy living near the water, with plenty of opportunities for boating and water sports. It is also conveniently located near the city center, with easy access to public transportation and bike paths.
Cost of living: Lokstedt is a relatively affordable neighborhood in Hamburg, with lower prices for apartments, restaurants, and shopping compared to more upscale areas.
Apartment availability: Finding an apartment in Lokstedt is generally easier compared to more popular neighborhoods in Hamburg. There is a mix of old and new buildings, and apartments come in various sizes and styles.
International schools: While there are no international schools in Lokstedt, there are several located nearby, such as the International School of Hamburg and the Moderne Schule.
Popular activities: Lokstedt has several parks and green spaces, such as the Niendorfer Gehege and Von-Eicken Park. There are also many restaurants, cafes, and shops in the area, including the popular Osteria Due Fratelli Italian restaurant.
Family safety: Lokstedt is generally a safe neighborhood, with low crime rates and a community-oriented feel. It is a good neighborhood for families, with a mix of young professionals and families living in the area.
Proximity to city center and waterfront: Lokstedt is located to the northwest of the city center, with easy access to public transportation and bike paths. It is also located near the Altonaer Volkspark, which has a lake and several sports facilities. However, Lokstedt is not located directly on the waterfront and is further away from the water compared to other neighborhoods like HafenCity or Altona.
How can I stand out among the crowd of people looking for housing in Hamburg?
Start your housing search early: The housing market in Hamburg is competitive, so it’s important to start your search early and be prepared to act quickly. Consider working with our team of relocation consultants – we specialize in helping expats find housing in Hamburg. It’s also a good idea to have your documents and finances in order before you start looking for apartments.
Create a budget and stick to it: Hamburg is a vibrant and exciting city, but it can also be expensive. Create a budget that takes into account your monthly expenses, such as rent, utilities, food, and transportation. Be realistic about your budget and stick to it to avoid overspending. Budget no more than 40% of your income for housing costs. Remember to consider you will need to calculate utilities, heating, and other costs like parking into your rental budget.
Avoid common expat mistakes: One common mistake expats make when moving to Hamburg is not understanding the local culture and customs. Take the time to learn about the city and the people who live there, and be respectful of local customs. Another mistake is not learning the language, which can make it difficult to communicate and make friends. Taking a language course or hiring a tutor to help you learn German is the best way to start learning German.
Make yourself stand out to landlords: As an expat, it can be challenging to land an apartment or house in Hamburg. One way to stand out to landlords is to provide a complete rental application that includes references, financial information, and proof of employment. Consider including a cover letter that introduces yourself and explains why you would be a good tenant. If you do not speak German, having someone by your side who can speak with potential landlords can be very helpful.
Take advantage of resources for expats: There are many resources available to expats in Hamburg, such as international clubs, language classes, and online communities. Take advantage of these resources to make connections and learn more about the city. Joining a club or group related to your interests can also help you make new friends and feel more at home in Hamburg. Online expat groups like Hamburg Mothers Meeting or Hamburg’s English Speaking Crowd can also be helpful for asking questions and finding new friends when you arrive.
Hamburg is truly a gem of a city with its stunning neighborhoods, excellent schools, plentiful parks and green spaces, a thriving art and music scene, and unique maritime culture. It’s no surprise that so many expats choose to make Hamburg their new home. With careful planning and the right resources, you too can make a smooth and successful transition to this incredible city and start building a life here that you and your family will cherish for years to come. So what are you waiting for? Come and discover all that Hamburg has to offer and start your new adventure today!