Life in Darmstadt
With a population of approximately 160,000, Darmstadt is a medium-sized city centrally located in Germany. Since 1997, Darmstadt proudly holds the title “City of Science.”
Darmstadt is home to three universities, three Fraunhofer Institutes, as well as the Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung (center for heavy ion research (GSI)), the Center for Research in Security and Privacy (CRISP/ATHENE) and two important european space agencies: EUMETSAT and ESA. Several global companies also have their headquarters here, such as Merck, Evonik Röhm GmbH, Schenck, and Software AG.
Darmstadt is a very lively and loveable city. It is not only famous as a city of science but also for its many restaurants and sights as well as cultural and social events. The city is home to parks and offers an array of recreational activities for young and old.
Browse through our links to find all must-see's in Darmstadt!
First few days in Darmstadt
The Welcome Center provides you with a welcome folder that includes useful information about Darmstadt and h_da. For new guests at h_da, we also like to schedule an official welcome in the first few days, so you can get to know us and the university better. Throughout the rest of your stay, we are here to help with any organisational questions.
All international guests planning to stay longer than three months are required to register with the city of residence at the residents’ registration office/city hall (Einwohnermeldeamt) within two weeks of their arrival.
We highly recommend opening a bank account if you plan to stay for a longer visit (3 months min.). Bank transfers and standing order is the most common way to pay bills in Germany. Transferring money from your home country is generally expensive and inconvenient.
The largest banks in Germany are Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank, and Postbank. Smaller banks such as Sparkasse, Volksbank, and Raiffeisenbank are located in most towns and cities in Germany. Additionally, many online banks offer accounts with no or low fees. It is a good idea to compare fees and conditions as they can vary drastically from bank to bank.
In Darmstadt, branches of most of these banks are located at or near Luisenplatz in the city-centre. Check the website of the bank for exact requirements, but in general, you will need to bring your passport and a confirmation from the residents’ registration office that you have registered with them.
In Germany, public television and radio are financed through a monthly fee of approx. 18€, the “Rundfunkbeitrag,” which every household is required to pay. After you register at the residents’ registration office, they will forward your information to the responsible authorities. Shortly thereafter, you will receive a letter in the mail with details regarding payment. For more information, check out their flyer “The licence fee for citizens” on the right or at the bottom.
Tenants of our guesthouse do not have to pay the licence fee on their own, as the sum is already included in the rental costs.