City guide: Living in Stuttgart
This city guide on Stuttgart provides all the essential information for moving to Stuttgart and settling into life as an expat in Germany.
Home to Porsche and DaimlerChrysler, Stuttgart is the economic motor of the south. Expatica tells you all you need to know about life as an expat in the Swabian metropolis:
- Where to live
- Where to find rentals
- Where to arrange a residence permit
- Where to register
- Where to arrange a driver's licence
One of the first terms you'll need to understand when deciding where to live in Stuttgart is halbhöhenlage. This loosely means 'half-way up the hill', and it refers to the hilly topography of Stuttgart, which is often described as a giant kettle, open on one side to the Neckar River Valley. The prime real estate of Stuttgart is along the steep, rising slopes of the kettle, offering breathtaking views over the city.
Although the climate is good for buying property, don't expect to find cheap rentals, especially in prime locations. Rental prices have been steadily increasing, with no signs of a turnaround.
There aren't many flats to choose from in the city centre. Central Stuttgart is traversed by its shopping-mile, Königstrasse, which is flanked by office buildings, the university, and public buildings. Housing opportunities generally begin at the edge of the city centre.
Extremely dense but with a delightful flair, Stuttgart-West is an attractive place to live, very close to the city centre. Sprinkled with markets, shops, cafes, theatres and small parks, almost anything you need is within walking distance. And that's a good thing because it's often hard to find a place to park in the west of the city. However, Stuttgart has a fantastic public transportation system, which gets you anywhere you need to be, without necessarily having to use a car.
Stuttgart-Ost and Stuttgart-Süd are also quite charming and centrally located. If you're looking for something a little more exclusive, Killesberg and Degerloch won't disappoint you. And have a look at some of the outlying suburbs like Sindelfingen, Böblingen or Vaihingen, especially if you're working for DaimlerChrysler, IBM or Hewlett Packard. This is also where you will have a much better chance of finding a garden for kids to play in.
Your best bet for an extensive list of rentals is the Saturday edition of the Stuttgarter Zeitung, but expect lots of competition to get the flat you want.
If you're still stuck you can contact a local real estate agent (makler), who will charge you, depending upon the value of the flat, up to three months' rent for his or her services.
Amt für öffentliche Ordnung
Eberhardstr. 39, 70173 Stuttgart
(0711) 216-3889 or -3589
Municipal offices (bürgerservice) are located in each district. Call (0711) 2160 to find your local office or check the website www.stuttgart.de. In some cases, you can find out about residence permits and driver's licences as well.
70469 Stuttgart, (0711) 216 5400
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