Mannheim is amongst the 20 largest cities in Germany with a population of around 300,000, but as the central business hub of the Rhine-Neckar region its wider metropolitan borough is home to in excess of 2.4 million people living in Mannheim.
People of many nationalities have settled in the city, with those of Turkish descent being the largest group (28,209 in 2013). The second biggest expat community is made up of Polish people, while there are also around 10,182 Italians and 6,451 Romanians living and working locally.
While not considered expats or even Mannheim residents, a large amount of American military service personnel can be seen in the region as Mannheim’s neighboring city has been home to the largest US barracks in Germany. However, plans are in place for the main garrison to be deactivated and handed over to the German state by 2015.
Mannheim is located in the Rhine Rift Valley, the warmest region in the whole of Germany. That said, average temperatures are far from tropical. The warmest day was recorded in 2003 when a heatwave took things up to 39°C; however the average summer high is around 20°C.
Temperatures can drop below zero in the winter, although the average is in the region of 2 - 3°C. Snow is seldom seen, but rainfall is plentiful and thunderstorms are observed for 40 to 50 days each year.
Whether or not you need a visa for Germany depends on where in the world you come from. Citizens of the European Union are permitted to live and work in the country without a permit as they have a right to freedom of movement. While Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Norway are outside of the EU, the same freedom applies to these nations and all that is required to enter Germany is a valid passport.
Citizens of Croatia need to obtain an EU work permit before arriving in the country. This can only be granted once a Croatian expat has already secured a job with a German company.
Those from other countries should apply for a visa in their own nation before travelling to Germany.
The only exemptions of this law applies to those from Australia, Canada, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Israel, Japan and the United States, who are permitted to enter the country without a visa and apply for a residence permit at a later date.
The current cost of a visa application is 60 EUR, while obtaining permanent residence costs 260 EUR. Details on how to find German consulates and embassies can be found at the Department of Foreign Affairs (Auswärtiges Amt). Similarly, more detailed information can also be found in our dedicated article on How to Get a German Visa.