Every European history student has heard of the history-changing Treaty of Westphalia, but it's unlikely many could tell you that it was signed in the northwestern German city of Osnabrück. Henceforth often known as "The City of Peace", the Saxony city's Town Hall played a crucial rule in the story of Europe. The sense of heritage in the city today is tangible. Expats living in Osnabrück can marvel at the grand Town Hall, visit the ancient St. Peter's Cathedral and enjoy wandering through quintessentially German streets and squares. Visiting the city's Christmas market is an experience an expat living in Osnabrück won't forget in a hurry, and with its distinctive local architecture, picturesque restaurants and dozens of street cafés, this is a classically German city. Other things to get up to locally include the city's zoo, the old Osnabrück Castle – now converted into a university – and, each May, the large Maiwoche ('May Week') street festival, a great chance for expats living in Osnabrück to get into the local community spirit.
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The city is a reasonably large and well-connected one, with a population of a little over 160,000 and a busy cultural life. The two universities and a major logistics company headquartered in the center give it a strong international presence, and expats moving to Osnabrück can get in touch with local expatriates through the discussion groups, forums and private communications on the InterNations website. Getting to the city is easy, with trains from all major German – and some other nearby European – cities and various international buses also stop in the city. Relocating to Osnabrück, expats can also fly into the nearby Flughafen Münster/Osnabrück Airport, which is efficient and served by a regular shuttle bus service into the city center, which takes roughly half an hour. On or before arrival, you may like to get in touch with local InterNations members to get the latest information on what to do in the city, or even organize an early meet-up.
Life as an expatriate in Osnabrück is at once comfortable and stimulating, with the beautiful surroundings of a medieval German city to capture your imagination and the can-do working culture of a thriving Westphalian city. There are a number of museums around the center for culture lovers and the surrounding forests and hills give expatriates working in Osnabrück great environs to explore on their time off. For more city loving expats in Osnabrück, the city's bars and food scene is not to be sniffed at either. You should find settling in easy and comfortable and, for general tips and information, InterNations has a good selection of articles on topics like cross-cultural communication, living abroad and so on in our online Expat Magazine. We've also got some great content from other InterNations members, sharing their own experiences of settling into a host city.