Browsing Tag


Posted on January 25, 2012

Quality of Life Index: 7 German speaking cities top the poll

Berlin/ Current Affairs/ Romantique

Each year The Quality of Living Index by consultancy Mercer provides us with an insight on which city in the world is most livable based on 39 criteria.

A whopping 7 cities in German speaking countries (Austria, Switzerland & Germany) topped the Top 10 in 2011.

Having lived in Berlin for most of my life and in the UK for the last 7 years, I can see why the “Germanic” countries provide such a good standard of living.

So here’s the countdown countries number 11 up to 1:

Number 11, Sydney, Australia: A temperate climate (mild winters and warm summers), stunning scenery in and around Sydney, high life expectancy and a low crime rate (thanks to the nanny state) catapult Sydney right to the front.

Number 9: Copenhagen, Denmark beats European cities such as Barcelona, London and Stockholm coming in at number 9. Good work/life balance and the high standards of social welfare such as free education and health care reflects the high rating.

Geneva, Switzerland,  number 8: With a population of only 185,958, Geneva is an international diplomacy hub and it’s citizen enjoy excellent health care and education.

Frankfurt, Germany, number 7: Frankfurt is the “London” of Germany, it’s financial hub and also the home of continental Europe’s biggest airport. It boasts an excellent education system:

Germany has top class state schools and universities which is provided for free. Private schooling is not common in Germany which contributes to an equal society. The exemplary dual education system (combination of apprenticeship and vocational training) enables people to learn 356 occupations (such as oven builder or doctor’s assistant) regulated by national standards. If you study at University, one semester abroad is funded by the government, even pocket money is included in this deal!

Vancouver, Canada, number 6: Canadian cities dominate the top of the ranking for the area North America. Vancouver is a coastal city which has excellent standards of education and health care for North American standards.

Duesseldorf, Germany, number 5: Duesseldorf offers more than 100 temporary art galleries, it is known for it’s fashion and trade fares and like the rest of Germany, benefits from an excellent public service and transportation network: An extended speed train network and tube systems are mostly owned by the government who has the money to spend on modernisation rather than private companies who are solely profit driven.

Excellent health care is a factor that contributes greatly to quality of living:

We don’t think much about it while we’re healthy, but having competent  medical care when you’re sick is most of the crucial aspects of Life. Germany, Austria and Switzerland’s world class health and dental care is law enforced,i.e. the population is legally obliged to pay a relatively  high percentage of their salary (50% contribution from the employer and 50% contribution from the employee) towards medical insurance.

The doctor’s rate per ca pita is high, meaning that access to Medicine is easy and there are no waiting times.

Munich, Germany, number 4: Munich is the capital of Bavaria and Germany’s publishing hub. It exudes a relaxed Italian cafe culture and outdoor culture and the proximity to Italy, Austria,  Switzerland and the Alps make the city an attractive place to live.

Auckland, New Zealand, number 3: Apparently, when flying to New Zealand, stewardesses always make a point of telling you to put the clock back 10 years! Still, Auckland is coming in at an impressive number 3. It’s New Zealand’s most beautiful and biggest city, with a warm temperate climate and an excellent education system. One third of Auckland’s population holds a bachelor degree or higher and they also have over the highest disposable income in New Zealand.

Zuerich, Switzerland, number 2: Last year I visited Zuerich and had a great time. Although it’s a relatively small city (you can walk in 30 minutes from one end to the other), it has a very international feel to it and a Mediterranean flair with it’s beautiful lake surrounded by mountains and excellent Italian outdoor restaurants. And let’s not forget the chocolate and the exquisite gateaux!

Vienna is #1: Home of Mozart, it is Europe’s cultural capital with more than 100 museums, relaxed coffee house culture and 2,000 parks! Vienna also won the 2010 UN urban planning award for improving the living conditions of its residents. Under a multimillion-euro program, the city refurbished more than 5,000 buildings with nearly 250,000 apartments”

Before I went abroad, I didn’t know that things like double glazed windows, central heating systems, solid, noise proof apartment blocks or balconies are not everywhere the norm in Europe.

Central Europe’s big cities are rental cities – i.e. the population rents rather than buys flats  and big block of flats are owned by large corporations with enough budget to maintain the flats and invest in renovation if necessary (as apposed to private landlords). As a house owner, the government subsidises structural renovation and you are given tax breaks, ensuring a modernised standard for housing.

Speaking for Germany, rental prices are reasonable and you do not need to spend most of your salary for rent like in London, New York or Paris. You can get a modern 1 bedroom flat in Berlin Mitte with parquet floors and 10 minutes from the city centre for as little as 500 EUR a month!

My home town Berlin is coming in at number 17. It is the cheapest capital of Europe and while it doesn’t have the economic power of the Southern German cities due to it’s isolation during the cold war, it is now finding it’s place as Germany’s hub for the service industry such as communications, information technology, marketing, and more recently tourism.

Berlin has a fascinating history with it’s troubled past of WW2, cold war and reunification, all of which you can feel when you walk through the city . Stunning architecture ranging from Medieval to Baroque is a feast for eyes. Berlin-Mitte boasts more art galleries than coffee shops and 3 opera houses guarantee no lack of recreational activities. For which Germans have lots of time with an average of 30 annual leave days plus up to 14 public holidays!

The only British city in the TOP 50 is London coming in at number 38.

Have a look at Mercer’s index if you are curious to see where your city ranks. Ultimately, everyone needs to decide for themselves which criteria is important to them and after all:

There is no place like home!


Posted on October 9, 2011

Streetstyle Copenhagen

Rebel Alexa/ Wardrobe

Heute habe ich meine Kamera aufgeräumt, Bilder löschen, Bilder archivieren und dabei noch ein schönes Foto von Kopenhagen gefunden. Nice Boy in Lila Hut, grüner Pullover, Black Skinny Jeans, Printhemd, blonde gewellte Haare – Love this Style!

Posted on October 6, 2011

MINI in Chanel 505 Particulière

Rebel Alexa

Oh, ich habe einen Chanel 505 Particulière Mini in Kopenhagen gesehen!  Die Trends von Autolackfarben und Nagellackfarben sind eng miteinander verbunden. Autokonzerne, wie BMW oder Audi investieren eine Menge Geld in die Erforschung von Trendfarben und arbeiten weltweit mit Trendbüros zusammen. Die sogenannten Colourforecasts der Autoindustrie sind die Grundlage der Nagellackhersteller. Man würde denken, dass die Beautyindustrie den Takt vorgibt, was Farben betrifft und nicht die Autoindustrie, aber es ist umgekehrt.  Chanel 505 war die Frühlingsfarbe 2010, aber Schlammtöne hatte bereits Audi als Alternative zu Schwarz 2006/2007 im Sortiment. Man kann davon ausgehen, dass neue MINI Farben sich später in Nagellackflaschen abgefüllt wieder finden -von Chanel bis Essence!


Posted on October 5, 2011

Tan Coat

Coats/ Rebel Alexa/ Wardrobe

Überall in Kopenhagen sprang mir die Magasin Werbung mit dem Mantel in Tan entgegen. Ich denke, das ist die Mantelfarbe in diesem Winter schlecht hin! Einen schwarzen Mantel hat wohl jeder, was ja auch nicht falsch ist aber noch einen zusätzlich in Beige zu haben, wäre nicht verkehrt – siehe Grace Kelly! Tan lässt sich sehr gut mit Rot kombinieren und dunklem Horn, himmlisch!

Posted on September 29, 2011

Shop dansk design

Decor/ Rebel Alexa/ Travel

Das Illum Bolighus ist für mich jetzt einer der besten und schönsten Interior Store in Europa. Ich kenne in Berlin und Hamburg das “Stilwerk” aber wenn man das Illum Bolighus gesehen hat, findet man das Stilwerk dagegen langweilig. Natürlich kann man nur Shopping Fan vom Bolighus werden, wenn man ein Faible für skandinavisches Design hat – klar, hell, freundlich, puristisch und modern. Wer nicht gerade demnächst nach Kopenhagen kommt, kann auch online durch das Illum Bolighus surfen – Arne Jacobsen Möbel bis zur Vase von Design Piet Hein, die Auswahl ist auch online vielfältig und man findet immer etwas schönes!

In 1925 Illums Bolighus was founded under the name BO by the Danish business man Kaj Dessau. Apart from having business flair Kaj Dessau also possessed a great aesthetic sense. Together with Kaj Dessau’s artistic consultant, Brita Drewsen, he created a concept, which up to that time had never been seen anywhere in the world. A store comprising designed interiors, where textiles and furniture formed a synthesis with art. Drewsen´s and Dessau´s unusual vision and sense of quality up through the 1930es has since then had an immense impact on the international status gained by Danish interior design.

Shop online:

Posted on September 28, 2011

Danish Home Accessories

Decor/ Rebel Alexa

Mit meinen dänischen Home Souvenirs integriere ich ein wenig dänischen Lifestyle in meine persönliche Wohnwelt und halte so meine Erlebnisse und die damit verbundenen schönen Tage lebendig. Ich kann mich dauerhaft an all den kleinen Dingen aus aller Welt erfreuen. Die dänischen Holzpferdchen sind so schlicht und dekorativ, dass sie immer ein Plätzchen finden werden und das Plakat von Königin Margarethe II wird mich an meine abendlichen Spaziergänge zum Schloss Amalienborg denken lassen. Ich habe versucht durch die Fenster vom Schloss, wo Licht brannte, royales Leben zu beobachten.

Posted on September 28, 2011

Best of Copenhagen


Ich hatte 4 schöne Tage in Copenhagen. Reisen ist aktive Selbstkonfrontation und einmal wäre ich fast abends im Hotel zusammen gebrochen, weil ich es nicht mehr ertragen konnte allein zu sein. So ist das mit dem Bedürfnis nach Anlehnung, Geborgenheit, Wärme und Liebe. Was bleibt mir anderes übrig als stark zu sein? Mr. Denmark war nur eine Affäre aber Copenhagen ist eine Liebe für immer.


Posted on September 23, 2011

First Day Copenhagen

Rebel Alexa/ Travel

Mein erster Tag in Kopenhagen geht langsam zu Ende. Am Nachmittag bin ich angereist, mit dem Taxi direkt zum Hotel Esplanaden aber das war überbucht – was nun? Wieder rein in’s Taxi und ein paar Straßen weiter, parallel zu Nyhavn konnte ich schlussendlich in ein anderes Hotel einchecken, alles ist wieder gut. Danach habe ich mich durch die Straßen treiben lassen, ohne ein bestimmtes Ziel und Eindrücke gesammelt rund um Ny Ostergarde und das Magasin. Deshalb sollen meine schönsten Bilder mit einem wunderschönem Nordlicht einfach für sich selbst sprechen.

Back to top