Thuringia: What you need to know
Where is it?
Since its reunification in 1990, the new Germany has consisted of 16 federal states. There are three city states – the capital city of Berlin, plus Hamburg and Bremen – and 13 diverse regions ranging from Schleswig-Holstein in the north to Bavaria in the south.Thuringia with its capital Erfurt is located in the central part of the country. It is the sixth smallest by area and the fifth smallest by population of Germany’s sixteen states. Most of Thuringia is within the watershed of the Saale, a left tributary of the Elbe. From the northwest going clockwise, Thuringia borders on the German states of Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Saxony, Bavaria and Hesse.
How do I get there?
As the rest of Germany you can reach Thuringia by the German motorway or the intercity railservices that arrives in Thuringia’s capital Erfurt.
The Erfurt-Weimar Airport connects Thuringia with the rest of the international air traffic network. It is the only international airport in the state. The Erfurt Airport is directly attached to the city centre through Tram, in the direction of the Hauptfriedhof. The Tram Stop, called Flughafen (Airport), is located right in front of the terminal.
Is it a good place to learn German?
Thuringia as every eastern state of Germany has a variety of dialects that increase the more you live in the east. These dialects change the standard German a little bit but don’t make it impossible to communicate with the western states. If Thuringia is your desired destination the language shouldn’t be an issue for you. It is still a great place to learn the German language that is spoken in a large part of Germany and understood by the majority.
Also contact the agency called “BAMF” that offers free german- and integration-coures for people from different countries that would like to work in Germany. You should check their website for more information and where those courses will be available in your area (http://www.bamf.de/).
German is a very difficult language in general and has a large variety of dialects and slangs that even the native speakers have their problems with it, so it is very important that you find the right class for you.
Moving to Erfurt: 3 things you need to know
1.) Where to live?
Erfurt offers a lot of great places to live. To give you some idea’s depending on your budget take a look on the list below.
The most desired districts in Erfurt would be the Atlstadt and the Loebervorstadt as they are located right in the city-center.
Altstadt: it is translated as “old town” and has its roots in the year 1066. It is a very cultural part of Erfurt because the looks of the houses are to a big extend still influenced middle ages.
Loebervorstadt: the district is located next to the Altstadt and contains also some older buildings. The district also borders to a forrest, which makes it realy beautifull for locals to live there.
Some medium range districts would be the Kraempfervorstadt and Dittelstedt.
Kraempfervorstadt: it is also a historical part of Erfurt and is located in the east city. The district is very popular among students because of its has good access to the universities of Erfurt.
Dittelstadt: the district is located in the southeast of the city of Erfurt and still has very good access to Erfurt’s main trainstation.
And some of the more less expensive areas are in the districts of Daberstedt and Johannesplatz.
Daberstedt: the district is right next to the Loebervorstadt and the Kraempfervorstadt. The houses are especially created buildings for a more basic standard of living.
Johannesplatz: most people here live in buildings aswell which is a very economic way and usefull when you are on a budget.
2.) Where to work?
Farming has a great tradition in Erfurt. Today, horticulture and the production of flower seeds is still an important business in Erfurt. Besides there is growing of fruits (like apples, strawberries and sweet cherries), vegetables (e. g. cauliflowers, potatoes, cabbage and sugar beets) and grain on more than 60% of the municipal territory.
After the reunification of Thuringa into Germany the federal government started early in the 1990s to subsidize the foundation of new companies in Erfurt. Now, there are many small and medium-sized companies in Erfurt with electro-technics, semiconductors and photovoltaics in focus. Besides, the engine building is still an important industry same as the production of food, for example with a big noodle factory, the Braugold brewery or Born Feinkost, a producer of Thuringian mustard.
Typical for Erfurt are the logistic business with many distribution centres of big companies, the Erfurt Trade Fair and the media sector with KiKa and MDR as public broadcast stations. A growing branch is city tourism, caused by the various historic sights of Erfurt.
Erfurts economy is still recovering, due to its seperation from western Germany after WW2, and now offers great places for companies to settle in the area.
3.) How to get around?
Biking is getting more and more popular since the construction of quality cycle tracks began in the 1990s. For tourism serve the Gera track and the Thuringian city string track (Radweg Thüringer Städtekette). For inner city every-day traffic exist some cycle lanes along several main streets. Nevertheless there are – in comparison to other cities in Germany – deficits, so that cycle traffic is comparatively underrepresented in Erfurt, too because the terrain is hilly in some parts of the city.
The Erfurt public transport system is marked by an area-wide light rail network that continually gets expanded and upgraded. Today, there are six Stadtbahn lines running every ten minutes on every light rail route. Additionally Erfurt operates a bus system, which connects the sparsely populated districts of the region to the city center.