There are various ways in which Erfurt, an ancient German city locally referred to as 'The Rome of Thuringia', lives up to its nickname. It sits at the geographical heart of Germany, to which one can assume most German roads lead, and played an important role in Europe's past. It was here that Martin Luther studied before moving to Wittenberg and expats in Erfurt can also visit one of Germany's first universities and the oldest synagogue in Europe, founded in 1094. Those with an interest in history can find out about the city's prehistoric origins – the Thuringii tribe who settled there giving their name to the region – in one of various museums dotted around the city. An alternative explanation for Erfurt's name, though, is the many elegant spires that rise above the city. The Erfurt Cathedral and Severikirche are particularly lavish, and expats living in Erfurt should make visiting the gorgeous Krämerbrücke, a street crossing a tributary of the main river, a priority.
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Expats moving to Erfurt will have little trouble getting there, as the city is not only at the very heart of Europe, but also extremely well connected. The international Erfurt-Weimar Airport is served by regular flights to a good number of destinations, with the recent addition of London Heathrow as a destination. Drivers can also arrive via the famous German autobahn and those with a fondness for rail travel can get to the city easily this way, as it is a major junction for the important Frankfurt-Erfurt-Halle and Leipzig-Berlin-Warsaw-Moscow routes. For more general tips and information on expatriation, our Expat Magazine is a comprehensive set of articles on topics ranging from expat finance and insurance to cross-cultural communication. We also have a good collection of content written by other InterNations members, for a more 'on the ground' taste of international expatriation.
The local economy of this city of some 200,000 people is a diverse one. Tourism is a growing sector, but there is a long agricultural tradition and fruit, flower seeds and – traditionally – woad are all important industries. The city has also been industrialized since around 1850, and today engine building is especially important. Expatriates working in Erfurt will have plenty of cultural life to enjoy after hours, with a good bar and restaurant scene and a vibrant mood in the evenings. For expats in Erfurt who would like to get in touch with other global minds, the forums, discussion groups and private communications on the InterNations website are an easy way to contact other expats working in Erfurt. Meet-ups are often organized in this way in cities around the world, but of course you may just want to socialize or get information. Either way, it shouldn't be long before you find yourself settled into this gem of a city in the heart of Western Europe.