The question I get asked every time I talk about just moving to Frankfurt is: why Frankfurt? You moved from London to Frankfurt, why? Well, there are many reasons for my move. Let me backtrack and start off by saying I never thought in a million years that I would move here. My husband first mentioned the idea of moving to Frankfurt in the fall of 2017. My first reaction was: no way!!! I am not moving to Frankfurt.

We had been trying to move to Berlin for the last 4 ½ years and we were beyond devastated that it just wasn’t working. My husband works in the finance sector so Berlin wasn’t going to be easy. We had to rethink our options. We knew we needed a change and that London was becoming way too expensive for the kind of lifestyle we wanted.

In April of last year, I gave in and said ok, let’s go for a week and have a look. I had already done loads of research on the different areas in Frankfurt and had been obsessed with flat hunting. By the time we landed in Frankfurt I had 10 flats for us to look at all in different areas.

I didn’t have any expectations for the week. I wanted to go with an open mind. Now this wasn’t my first time to Frankfurt. I had actually been several times, but when I’m in Frankfurt I’m usually working.  I go from the airport to the photo studio and back to the airport. I’m a fashion stylist and one of my clients is based here in Frankfurt. I did experience Robert Johnson once but that was close to 10 years ago (I still have yet to get myself there again. I’m a big techno fan!)

To my surprise Frankfurt was actually nice. Granted the weather was amazing when we came but I was impressed with the space, the cafes, the parks, the schools and the overall feel of the city. No, Frankfurt is not London, but you can’t compare the two, they are completely different cities.

We ended up looking at 3 flats. One in Westend, mainly just to have an idea of the area and flats there, one in Bockenheim, which we loved, and the one we ended up taking in Bornheim. We had scheduled others to look at but they were already rented out by the time we could see them. We were very lucky to rent a beautiful big flat on Sandweg, right near the zoo. The landlords were super nice and needed someone to take over the flat on 1 July and that’s exactly when we needed it.

We decided to send our daughter Edith to Phorms in Nordend, an international school. My daughter speaks both German and English, but she had been in school for two years in London and this move was already a big deal so we didn’t want to completely freak her out and send her to an all-German school. I was also selfish in this decision as I’m just learning German and I wanted to be involved with her school too.

Overall our move was quite smooth as my husband is German, so he could handle all the logistics of the move. I did all the research, he did all the booking and made sure everything was done correctly. Now this doesn’t mean it wasn’t hard. He’s German and he still doesn’t get half of it.

When moving countries you have to have a lot of patience and keep an open mind. And you have to know it’s going to be lonely at first. The language barrier can be frustrating as well. You just have to remember it takes time. And to be patient with yourself.

I noticed that I wasn’t as forthcoming as I usually am because of the language but I’ve just tried to speak the best German I can and get on with it. People are generally very nice about it and will be patient with you and if they speak English they are happy to speak it with you.

I was lucky to meet Janice the second week during my time in Frankfurt so my overall experience has been quite pleasant. My husband and I have acquaintances here already so that has helped too. I look forward to making Frankfurt my home.

Tips on moving to Frankfurt:

  1. Research, research, research. I know most of the information out there is in German but just google translate, you’ll get the idea.
  2. If you don’t know anyone in the area then get on Facebook and check out Expats in Frankfurt, they are super helpful.
  3. If you can, come visit the city first and walk around. You’ll soon find out which neighbourhood you like best.
  4. Try out the different cafes, etc to get a feel for the city.
  5. If you don’t speak German then get a relocation agent to help you with all the logistics. The visa process etc is not easy, even for a German speaking person. However you do it: the very first thing after arriving has to be registering at your local Bürgeramt. It’s literally the key to everything that follows.
  6. If you have kids, make an appointment with as many schools as possible. We only ended up looking at two, but we knew right away that Phorms was for us. We also had friends that send their kids to a Phorms in Berlin and loved it. So ask around.
  7. Before you move get on Instagram and start following Frankfurt accounts. This is a great way to find out about what’s happening in the city. I did this and it was super helpful.
  8. If you have kids:Once you have made the decision to move slowing start talking to your kids about the move. Make the conversation exciting. We promised our daughter a cat, a piano and a bigger room with this move. She has the bigger room. Two cats are coming in a few weeks and the piano is almost here.
  9. Keep talking about the move with your partner. Keep the conversation always open. It’s not going to be easy so you have to be honest about everything. The more you talk about it, the easier it is to find the answer.
  10. Put yourself out there and just get to it. Find a class you like, enroll yourself in a German courses (you will meet people this way), check out the local galleries, bars, etc. Integrate yourself. You’ll be so happy you did.

Oh, and keep following The Frankfurt Edit, we are here to make your move easier. We’ll be your first friend!