Bielefeld is a city located in the North-East of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany with a history dating back to the middle ages. It is probably the only city in the world with a conspiracy theory that it does not exist. Despite that… the city managed to reach population of about 300,000 people and is particularly known for its linen manufacturing industry. Any expat planning on moving to Germany, then Bielefeld is a city worth serious consideration. The city has several universities and is home to several multinational companies. Living in Bielefeld should be at the very least, interesting.
Is Bielefeld a good place to live? Bielefeld, like many cities in the country is very safe and secure. There are plenty of open spaces and amenities for fun and leisure activities. There are outstanding schools at every level of education. There are also many companies located in the city offering employment. So yes, Bielefeld is a good place to live.
Moving to Bielefeld is a great option. The city is unique in many ways one being that it has an odd blend of big city flair infused with pockets of quiet, simplistic rural life. The cost of living is very affordable and everything you will require is in close proximity since Bielefeld is well connected to the rest of the country. There are large tracts of green areas and parks that give the modern city a sense of peace and calm despite the constant hustle and bustle of its residents and visitors. Living in Bielefeld is worthy of consideration by any expat.
Is Bielefeld a good place to live?
The level of crime in Germany is low and it is even lower in Bielefeld which is considered one of the safest cities in the country. There are no particular districts in Bielefeld that can be termed as unsafe to live in or dangerous. However, there are certain places you may want to avoid. In would be unwise to walk at night in the areas surrounding Teutoburg Forest. You may also want to avoid the areas around universities in Bielefeld as you are sure to find rowdy students. Areas like Sigge and the city centre are often considered good neighbourhoods.
The crime rate in Bielefeld is extremely low. 100% of the population feel safe walking alone during the day while 86% of the population feel secure roaming the street at night. There has been a moderate increase in crime during the past few years but the levels of crime still remain surprisingly low. There are still crimes such as drug use and dealing, property crimes such as vandalism and theft and burglary but the levels are too low to give any Bielefeld resident a level of fright which is good news for anyone planning on moving to Bielefeld.
There are good schools in Bielefeld at all levels of education. However, the tertiary institutions are the most renowned since they attract students from all over the world. The most prominent educational institution in Bielefeld is Bielefeld University which offers many degree programs most in German and some in English. The other noteworthy institutions of that offer postgraduate and graduate degree are the Theological Seminary Bethel and the Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences which has received international credit for its outstanding photography school.
Bielefeld has a well developed and excellently managed transportation system. There are buses all over the city run by two companies namely BVO and moBiel offering public transportation. The inner-city buses are boarded at Brackwede Station. The road connection does not stop there. Bielefeld is served by two major autobahns, the A2 and A33 which intersect in the South East of the city. There is also the Bielefeld Stadtbahn which consists of four major lines where regional trains connect the city with other major cities like Berlin, Hamburg and Munich. Bielefeld Central Station (Hauptbahnhof) is the main railway station in the city and lies on the Hamm–Minden railway, which is part of the country’s high-speed rail system. Finally, Bielefeld a tiny airstrip named the Flugplatz Bielefeld but most residents prefer taking flights from the larger airports located in nearby cities.
Bielefeld’s social life is lively and is mostly driven by the young student population in the city. There are many local breweries which supply the bars and pubs in the area. The city’s nightlife caters to every musical taste so there is something for everyone. There are plenty of museums and art galleries for the more cultured residents of the city. Residents can also meet at cafes and restaurants for food or at the many parks for fun sporting activities.
Is Bielefeld a good place to work?
Bielefeld is a good place to work for various reasons. Despite an unemployment rate of 7% as opposed to the national average of 3%, there are plenty of employment opportunities in Bielefeld for those with the right qualifications. The average salary for an employed person in Bielefeld is €46,344 which is slightly higher than the national average salary of €37,000.
There are many operational industries in the city of Bielefeld. The largest industries employing people include the IT industry, manufacturing industry and textile industry. The are plenty of domestic and multinational firms in Bielefeld and the largest employers include Dr. Oetker, Bielefeld University, Shuco, Goldbeck Group, Moller Group and Seidensticker. The Bethel institution deserves credit for being the single largest employer in Bielefeld employing around 17,000 people.
Is Bielefeld a good place to buy a house?
Bielefeld is one the most affordable cities in the country and that attribute stretches into its real estate market. You will find plenty of cheap housing in the city. Most Germans rent and those who buy property do so by means of a mortgage. There are basically no bad neighbourhoods in Bielefeld but that should not stop any homeowner from going and getting some form of home insurance. Areas like Sigge and the city centre are often considered good neighbourhoods.
The average monthly rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Bielefeld is €350. The average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment is €500 per month while the average monthly rent for a 3-bedroom apartment is €660. The average rent per month for a 4-bedroom apartment is €935 and the average rent for a 5-bedroom apartment is €1175 per month.
The average price of a 1-bedroom property in Bielefeld is €77,550 while the average price of a 2-bedroom property is €96,400. The average price of a 3-bedroom apartment is € 124,850 while for a 4-bedroom property is €173,200. The average price of a 5-bedroom property is €205,000.
Is Bielefeld a good place to retire?
Bielefeld is a good place to retire mostly because of its rural aspect. Most retirees will not take out a mortgage but will want a cheap place to live peacefully and rural Bielefeld is such a place. There is a lot of pristine natural land which is what most retirees moving away from the busy lifestyle they have encountered for decades want to avoid. The city is also only a few hours away from large cities like Munich, Hamburg, Cologne and Berlin meaning that you can get anything you need like specialty health care and equipment delivered within a short time. There are basically no bad neighbourhoods in Bielefeld. Areas like Sigge and the city centre are often considered good neighbourhoods.
Retirement properties in Bielefeld are not many. Most retirement homes are regular apartments furnished to support an elderly population. The rental rates and property prices stated earlier can be used as a reference guide for retirement properties.
Is Bielefeld a good place to visit?
Bielefeld is an interesting place to visit. First and foremost, you get to see that the city really does exist. Moreover there are plenty of landmarks that give the city its character and will provide sights to remember. Distinct landmarks to visit are the Old Market Square, Sparrenberg, Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Stadttheatre, Teutoburg Forest and the Botanischer Garten. Short break attractions include the Christmas Market, Linen Weaver Market, ‘La Strada’ car show and the Medieval Spectacular at the Sparrenberg Castle.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cost of living in Bielefeld, Germany?
Life in Bielefeld is quite affordable and the cost of living is about the national average. Therefore, this is one place you should consider when moving to Germany. The cost of living for an expat is about €1337 per month. The cost of living for a local citizen is about €830 per month. The cost of living for a typical family in Bielefeld is about €2904.
Is Bielefeld a good place to invest in property?
With about six universities and many local and international companies in Bielefeld, the demand for housing is almost assured. The average salaries are not that high so investors can expect regular returns. The level of security is very high in Bielefeld which inspires investor confidence. Real estate investors should ensure they have insurance for all their properties. So yes, it is a good place in which to invest in property.
Is Bielefeld a good place to raise a family?
If you raise a family in Bielefeld, your children will experience both city and rural life at once which can be valuable education. They will go to good schools and have plenty of open green spaces on which to have fun and be active. The security of your children is almost assured making Bielefeld a superb place to raise a family.
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.