About Simple Germany

Simple Germany is the #1 resource to empower internationals to settle into life in Germany more smoothly! You will find tips & information in English about living in Germany as an expat and learn what services are best to use to beat bureaucracy.

We cover everything related to moving and living in Germany, including cultural and bureaucratic topics, as well as, the best and most modern bank accounts, internet providers, and insurances. Germans loooove insurance. 😝

We are an expat and German duo who have done tons of research and have tried different German services throughout the years.

Whether you are new to Germany or have been living here for some time, we want to help you out. We want to bridge the language gap and save you the hassle of going through the same painful experiences we have been through. 

Our Mission

After reading our guides, you will have saved hours of research, you understand how certain things in Germany work, and you are able to make informed decisions on what services to get based on your individual needs.

How we create content

We plan, write, and edit all the content on this site to ensure we meet the highest quality standards.

image on how Simple Germany plans content

We do our best to keep all information up-to-date, useful, and neutral. Some of the services we talk about are used by us or are highly recommended by friends.

We don’t always get the opportunity to try all services ourselves, so we rely on extensive online research and feedback from these products’ real customers. 

We want this site to be a place you can trust. Rest assured that the content and recommendations we put out are genuine and not rigged by brand sponsorships. We do not allow any ads on our website.

The Creators of Simple Germany

We are Jen and Yvonne, an international couple living in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Jen is originally from Guatemala and the techy one here. Yvonne is from Germany and the content magician behind the scenes.

Jen Palacios

More About Jen

Hey, my name is Jen, and I moved to Düsseldorf back in 2012. The only words I could butcher were ‘Guten Tag’ (good day). Arriving in a new country can be scary, especially if you don’t speak the language.

During my first few months, I struggled to find a bank I was happy with, understand how German contracts and services work, and the cultural differences in my day-to-day life.

For example, when I opened my bank account, I had to go to a branch office during my lunch break personally. The process took around 45 minutes. Ina, the bank teller, printed all the paperwork, took photocopies of all my documents, and made me sign like ten different papers.

After my bank account was opened, she asked me: ‘Do you want to purchase Haftpflichtversicherung?’.

My face was so confused! For the next 20 minutes, she explained to me what this insurance was, why it was necessary, and how it would be a terrible idea to walk out of that bank without it.

She did not do such a good job because I flat out refused to get it. I walked out of that bank feeling proud not to have purchased what I considered was just an ‘add-on’ the bank was trying to sell to me.

Fast forward a few years. After dating Yvonne, my future wife-to-be, for a few months, we started talking about insurance. I started teasing her and joking about how incredible it is that Germans have insurance for everything. During our jokes, she found out that I did not have a Haftpflichtversicherung. Yvonne’s face was just as shocked as the one from the woman from the bank years before when I said I did not want it.

Haftpflichtversicherung, which turns out to be personal liability insurance, is a must-have in Germany. Yvonne started to explain to me in very simple terms: if you don’t have this insurance and you accidentally hurt someone, you are 100% liable for the damage and pain. They can sue you, and you can pretty much lose everything you have.

A few days later, I was signing my insurance paperwork. It only took me close to three years to understand how important this is. If you want to know more details about why this insurance is so important, check out our in-depth guide about personal liability insurance.

I don’t want you to make the same mistakes or feel so overwhelmed by your arrival in Germany. Lucky for you, a lot of things have changed in the past years.

More and more German services have noticed that they need to help first-time arrivals in Germany, simplify the process and provide all of their information and support in English.

On this website, we aim to share with you information about life in Germany and introduce you to the services I wish would have existed 10 years ago. We hope you can settle into your new life in Germany more smoothly, understand the culture a bit better, and know about the different services you should get and who to get them from.

Fun fact: My German has improved over the past years. My favorite word now is Reißverschlussverfahren. Try to say that ten times fast! 😆

Yvonne Koppen

More About Yvonne

Hallihallo! My name is Yvonne and I am originally from beautiful Bonn in Germany. From a very young age, I’ve had a deep feeling of wanderlust. This desire has taken me to live in Spain, France, and the United States. While working on cruise ships for several years I lived and worked with people from 30 different nationalities and sailed around the world. All I ever wanted was to get away from Germany, its slow processes, and seemingly close-minded people. 

As life has it, you have to be away from something to appreciate it. So in 2013, I decided to return to Germany and give German adult life a chance. So I found a job in Düsseldorf, got my first own flat, and did my first Anmeldung.

One of the best ways to meet people with shared interests in Germany is by joining a Verein (club or association). I have always been the athletic kind, so I joined a Gaelic football team (it’s a crazy Irish sport). That’s where I met Jen and a few other international teammates.

By learning about Jen’s struggles, explaining to her how certain things worked in Germany and researching answers to topics I had no idea about, I realized that I enjoyed bringing the German culture and language closer to her. The basis for Simple Germany was born (even though back then we had no idea that we would ever start this project 😅).

On this website, I share my knowledge and experience as a German to help make your stay in my beautiful country as smooth as possible. After all, I am proud to be German, and life here is pretty sweet.

Fun fact: I tend to translate German sayings literally and use them in my English conversations, only to get confused looks. For example, I might drop a line like: ‘not the yellow of the egg!’ (‘Nicht das Gelbe vom Ei’). This phrase encompasses the idea that the yellow of the egg (the yolk) is the best part of the egg. So, if something is ‘not the yellow of the egg’ it means it is not the best idea or thing! Oh, the beauty of the German language. 😇

Our Team

Susa Bartels


Susa was born and raised in northern Germany and has always loved traveling and exploring different cultures. She has lived in the USA and knows what it feels like to build a new home abroad. She is passionate about helping others through the jungle of German bureaucracy, culture, and customs and settling into Germany more smoothly. She lives in Düsseldorf with her husband and baby daughter.

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