I’ve been living in Germany since 2010, and in Franconia for the past three years. It almost immediately became my favourite place in Germany. So much so that I decided to pen down top reasons to live in Franconia. <3
Before I moved here, all I ever thought of Bavaria was the Alpine skyline, blue and white chequered flags and Weisswurst and Weissbier.
Franconia changes that cliché very quickly.
This northern region of Bavaria is all about red and white flags, bratwürst, lush green landscapes, a colourful regional dialect that I still find so amusing and home to over 300 breweries!
Franconia is further divided into three sub-regions, upper (Oberfranken), middle (Mittelfranken) and lower (Unterfranken) Franconia.
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Historically, Franconia was never too Bavarian either. The name Franconia or Franken in German comes from the Frankish tribes that lived in this region in the Middle Ages. Franconia remained fairly fragmented until the early nineteenth century.
At one point, Nuremberg served as the seat of the Holy Roman Empire and was one of Europe’s great medieval manufacturing and trading centres. All that was before this historical city became closely associated with the Nazi movement during the 1930s.
Today, Franconia has a lot to offer. After living here for a few years, I can understand why it has a large population of expats from all over the world.
So, here are my top reasons to live in Franconia.
1. It’s a Gorgeous Place
Fränkische Schweiz or Franconian Switzerland does justice to its name. If you live in the region you can reach a great hiking spot within an hour drive.
On the other side, there’s Steigerwald. A vast lush green area with tons of hiking trails. I highly recommend Baumwipfelpfad Steigerwald.
There are many fantastic historical cities in the region that you can easily plan day/weekend trips to. Everyone knows Nuremberg.
I find the city a bit overrated even though it has an undeniable Disney charm about it. But there several other lovely cities like Fürth which has its own quirky-boho subculture, Würzburg with this sunny south feel with numerous wine hills.
On the other hand, Rothenburg and Bamberg are perfectly preserved medieval gems. There are also several little lakes scattered around in Franconia. We can pack a picnic bag and towels and get to a quaint little lake within 40 mins drive.
Read more: 10+ Exciting Day Trips in Franconian Region
2. Beer is Absolutely Great!
Franconia is called Beer Heaven by the locals.
Rightfully so! There are some 300 breweries located across the Franconian landscape – ranging from huge beer conglomerates, family-owned operations, and monastic breweries. If you are a beer nerd then Franconia is the perfect place for you to visit (or live in!).
You can also go on several beer hiking trails if you are looking for a myriad of traditional beer experiences. In the summertime, you can hop from one beer festival to another.
Locals are very provincial about their brews so keep that in mind before you start reviewing beers publicly. 😉
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Finally had some Bacon ???! Well actually the infamous Rauchbeir (smoked beer) from Bamberg. I prefer to call it bacon beer…because that bacon flavour. God bless whoever came up with that recipe! ? #bamberg #bamberglieben #bavarian #bayern #franken #frankenland #beer #smokedbeer #rauchbier #beerlover #beerexplorer #altstadt #prost #ig_germany #ig_deutschland #instagramde #insta_de #summerday #instabeer #beers #beerstagram #instabeerofficial #beergeek
3. People Seem Happier
This is purely anecdotal, but I’ve noticed that locals here are generally friendly and warm. It’s not so uncommon to meet a chatty stranger while you are out and about. Genuinely smiling and greeting while you’re walking in the street happens quite often. Apparently, a quick Google-fu also supports my anecdotal experience. According to a DHL survey ‘Atlas of Happiness’, Franconia is the fourth happiest region in Germany. Well, that explains all those random smiles 🙂
4. It’s Sunnier! And Drier
Franconia is not immune to German rain and general greyness. Freiburg in Baden-Württemberg is said to be the sunniest city in Germany. But on average South-west Germany gets more hours of sunshine than several other parts of the country. Franconia, thanks to its location in southern Germany is lucky to get a generous amount of sun throughout the year.
5. It has Favourable Economic Conditions
There’s a healthy mix of big and small mid-sized businesses in the region. The unemployment rate is lower than in many other regions of Germany. Average wages are amongst the highest in Germany. As a self-employed professional in this region, I’ve been able to grow my business by a few folds in the past couple of years- which is always good. 🙂
6. It’s Expat-Friendly
Thanks to the presence of big industry names like Schaeffler, Siemens, Puma, Adidas etc, high average wages, and great living conditions, Franconia attracts quite a bit of expat population. Erlangen is known as a university city with scores of international students on its campus.
Whether you are a working expat or a trailing spouse you will find it relatively easy to network and connect with fellow expats. English is commonly understood in larger cities like Nürnberg, Erlangen, or Bamberg. Although you should still invest time in learning German, especially if you are here for more than a year.
Recommended Reading for newcomers to Franconia
Fazit, a combination of several factors make Franconia a lovely place to not just work but also to enjoy life in Germany.
Do you live in Franconia too? How do you find life here? Let us know in comments below!