Essen is the ninth largest city in Germany. It is considered the energy capital of the country because the headquarters of the two largest energy providers in Germany are located in Essen. Found over a millennium ago, Essen has a rich history but its rise to prominence coincided with the industrial revolution which brought coal and steel factories to the city. Essen had held various notable titles in the past including European Capital of Culture and European Green Capital which has served to elevate its prestige. The city deserves credit for surviving the fall of its greatest industries and thriving.
Is Essen a good place to live? Essen has everything you would need in a large European city. There are plenty of reputable employers in the city most of them multinational corporations. There are many good schools including universities and the city has plenty of green spaces. The city’s overall character makes it a good place to live.
Included in this article is more mouth-watering information about Essen. Rarely will you find a modern city of vast size a good place to live but Essen proudly claims that tag. You will find out where the best places to live are, what pubs to visit and how much housing costs in Essen among other vital facts crucial if you are an expat moving to Essen. There are also places in Essen for tourists who can visit the city all year round. If you don’t end up living in Essen, you will at least be intrigued by the fascinating city.
Is Essen a good place to live?
If are an expat planning a moving to Essen, then you will have to pick a neighbourhood in which to stay. There are good neighbourhoods and bad neighbourhoods just as in any other city. There are many factors that decide whether a neighbourhood is good or bad but security is paramount among them. The better neighbourhoods in Essen include places like Frillendorf, Kettwig, Werden, Ruttenscheid, Hauptbahnhof, Fischlaken, Bredeney, Schuir and Heidhausen. The worse neighbourhoods in Essen include Helenenstrasse, Altendorf, Vogelheim and Altenessen.
In general, this country is a safe place to live. The crime rate is way lower than most countries of its stature and Essen is no different. There is, however, a higher crime rate in Essen as opposed to other German cities. Crime has been steadily increasing in Essen for the past five years. Only a third of the Essen population say they feel safe walking at night says a recent survey. Property crimes like vandalism and theft took the lion’s share of criminal activities in Essen. Drug related crime and burglary are also more prevalent than other types of crime in Essen. If you plan on moving to Germany, Essen in particular, then you should acquire a good security system to safeguard your possessions.
There are many excellent primary and secondary schools in Essen. However, Essen’s tertiary institutions are the ones worthy of mention. The University of Duisburg-Essen is an institution where many local and international students can pursue a degree course. The university accommodates about 42,000 students at any given time. Another noteworthy institution is the University of Folkwang which was started in 1927 and was recently named a World Heritage Site by the UN. The FOM University of Applied Sciences for Economics and Management has its main campus in Essen with satellite campuses all over the country.
Essen has an incredible transportation network. The Ruhr Expressway, A 40 cuts through the centre of the city and connects to Dortmund. The A42 connects Essen with Oberhausen and Gelsenkirchen to the north. Essen is also connected to Dusseldorf via the A 52 motorway. The local bus carrier service named Ruhrbahn is the main mode of public transportation and services the entire Ruhr area. Citizens of Essen can use the Regional-Express and Intercity-Express network of regional and nationwide high-speed trains to travel within Essen or other major cities like Berlin, Hamburg and Munich. There are two train stations in Essen namely Essen Hauptbahnhof and the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Park platform. Essen/Mulheim airport is the oldest airport in Essen but only serves occasional air traffic. Most resident take flights from Dusseldorf or Dortmund airport.
The social life in Essen is vibrant with plenty of retail centres available for shopping, large parks for outdoor fun and recreation and pubs & restaurants to rival any location in Europe. Theatres and museums abide for those who prefer to spend their leisure time in such activities. Essen has been named the European capital of culture which proves its cultural vibrancy.
Is Essen a good place to work?
Essen has one of the most robust economies in Europe. It not only has great local employers but multinational firms have their headquarters in the area as well. Essen offers many employment opportunities for local citizens and expats alike. Browsing newspapers is a great way to find employment opportunities in Essen. The internet is also a great resource to connect to one of the large employers in the city.
The average salary in Essen is about €56,000 which is higher than the national average of €37,070. However, the average salary of a worker in Essen is lower than that of a worker in other major cities like Hamburg, Berlin and Munich. Essen’s unemployment rate of 5.5% is slightly higher than the 3.1% national unemployment rate.
The largest industry employing people in Essen is the power production industry. Most of country’s power, both renewable and non renewable, is generated in Essen. Some large employers in the area include corporations such as ThyssenKrupp, Evonik Industries, Hochtief, Deichmann, Deutschebank and Schnecker AG. Larger public employers include two large electric utility companies namely E.ON and RWE AG in addition to the university of Duisburg-Essen.
Is Essen a good place to buy a house?
Essen is one of the prime real estate markets in the country. Its rental rates and property prices lie on the higher end of the real estate market. Most Germans rent their apartments and require some form of credit to purchase a home. Home insurance is crucial for those who decide to buy houses.
The better neighbourhoods in Essen include places like Frillendorf, Kettwig, Werden, Ruttenscheid, Hauptbahnhof, Fischlaken, Bredeney, Schuir and Heidhausen. The worse neighbourhoods in Essen include Helenenstrasse, Altendorf, Vogelheim and Altenessen.
The average monthly rent for a one bedroom apartment in Essen is €900. The average rent for a two bedroom apartment is €2000 per month. The average monthly rent for a three bedroom apartment is €2800. The average monthly rent for a four bedroom apartment is €4000 per month. The average rent for a five bedroom apartment is €5500 per month.
The sale of properties in Essen is classified per square metre. The average price of a house in Essen is €2250 per square metre. Houses especially detached houses are the most expensive of the properties followed by semi-detached houses, terraced houses with flats and apartments being the cheapest group. Most houses are owned by mortgage. The average mortgage to income ratio in Essen is 39%.
Is Essen a good place to retire?
Essen is not a place you typically think of when you think of moving to Germany to retire. Essen is associated with energy and with 4 universities in its surroundings has a huge student population. Essen is not an ideal place to retire although majority of its population is over 40 years old. The vast green spaces can appeal to someone with a vast retirement fund but it would be better to look for retirement homes in other cities.
The better neighbourhoods in Essen include places like Frillendorf, Kettwig, Werden, Ruttenscheid, Hauptbahnhof, Fischlaken, Bredeney, Schuir and Heidhausen. The worse neighbourhoods in Essen include Helenenstrasse, Altendorf, Vogelheim and Altenessen. The prices of retirement properties in Essen are the same as other properties but great deals can be found with due diligence.
Is Essen good place to visit?
Essen has plenty of attractions for visitors. The city is particularly famous for its green spaces and that should be your first stop. Grugarpark and the Botanic Garden is a great place to visit. The garden contains animal enclosures, an aquarium and an amusement park which are a lot of fun. Other major attractions in Essen you will want to check out include Ruhr Museum, Villa Hugel, The Baldeneysee and The Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cost of living in Essen?
The cost of living in the city is 2% higher than the national average. The cost of food and healthcare services are particularly higher than average. The cost of transport is average while housing is cheaper by a small degree.
Is Essen a good place to invest in property?
Yes, Essen is a good place to invest in property since investors can experience higher rental rates due to high salaries and constant demand as a result of a high student population. However, there is no insurance against property mismanagement so returns depend on how well a property is managed.
Is Essen a good place to raise a family?
Yes, you can raise a family in Essen. However, small families will do better than large families as the cost of living in Essen is slightly higher than many other places in Germany. You will find great open spaces for kids to play and all the necessary social amenities are available.
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.