9 things Germans living in the U.S. will miss about Germany

28.04.17
3 minute read
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### [German in the U.S? You’re in good company - more than 590,000 Germans](https://transferwise.com/us/blog/how-to-adjust-to-life-as-a-german-in-the-us) live in America too.

But we also understand that no matter how much you enjoy living in a different country, there will always be certain things that you miss about home.

TransferWise customers shared a few of the things that Germans living in the U.S might miss the most.


1. Weihnachtsmarkte (Christmas Markets)

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Some of the best Christmas markets in Europe are found in cities across Germany and nothing puts you in the holiday spirit more than sipping on gluhwein (hot, mulled wine) and snacking on stollen (fruit cake) underneath twinkling Christmas lights.


2. Oktoberfest

Although it’s celebrated in other countries who attempt to imitate the festival, nothing beats Oktoberfest in Germany.

The celebration of Bavarian culture has become world famous and small-scale tributes to it are popular in several regions in the States.


3. Universal health-care

If you’re a German living in America, then chances are at some point you’ll need to go to the hospital. Just don’t be surprised when they hand you an enormous bill at the end.

Health-care premiums, deductibles, co-pay schemes, FSA health-care allowances, expensive prescriptions... Sorting it all out can be, let's say, time-consuming.


4. Biking Everywhere

Cycling is much more common in Europe than America. Cities like Berlin, where bikes are chained to every street sign aren't common in the States.

Going out on a bike is more of an exercise activity in the U.S., rather than a legitimate means of transportation.

Hannah, an emigrant living in New York City, explains.

“Even though a few people do ride their bicycles in downtown NYC, I think they’re crazy. In Germany, we have many smartly coloured and well-trodden bike paths that allow riders to easily move around the city.”


5. “Free Body” Culture

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You wouldn't be surprised if you go to spend the day at English Gardens in Munich and see naked or topless sunbathers.

However, that open attitude to bodies and nudity is not so common in the U.S. In fact, it's mostly impermissible to shed your clothes in public.


6. Spätzle

A favourite meal in Germany, spatzle is a hearty dish made up of soft egg noodles and often served coated in butter and cheese.

Here are some other foods you'll surely find yourself longing for.


7. The Autobahn

A highway where drivers can choose for themselves how fast they want to go may be impossible to imagine in America but in Germany, that’s exactly what the autobahn is.

Moritz, a German living in Los Angeles, explains:

“There’s something very civil about the way we drive in Germany. People rarely honk at each other, we almost always use our indicators and you can drive at whatever speed you want on the autobahn. Even though the advisory speed limit is 81 mph.”


8. German Bread

There are said to be over a thousand varieties of bread in Germany, so many that it’s even been recognized by UNESCO as an “intangible cultural heritage.”

Desperate for some good quality bread that smells of home? Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor, Michigan carries German Vollkornbrot and Dinkelbrot, which they also ship around the U.S.. Looking to stop in somewhere closer to home? Deutsche in den USA maintains a comprehensive list of German bakeries stateside.


9. Hofbrauhaus (Beer Halls)

Giant beer halls with community tables that serve 1 litre steins of good quality beer. Need we say more?

Still, there are plenty of places trying to bring the spirit of Germany over to the U.S. Biergarten in Brooklyn and Reichenbach Hall in Manhattan are just two examples for those of you who've moved to New York.


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