/ Best place to live as a climber
I'm new here, so excuse me, if this is the wrong place to ask.
So I'm currently living in a city with not much rock climbing around. I'm spending my time in the gym and I really miss the outdoors. That's why I'm planning to move.
I searched on Google already, but most threads I could find were about the USA and I am wondering, what are the best cities to live in for rock climbing in Europe?
Thanks in advance!
Innsbruck, Nuremberg, Trento, Grenoble ...
You'd better be quick - Brexit's on the horizon.
There used to be quite a good wall in Berlin.
> There used to be quite a good wall in Berlin.
Right. It was much better to climb on it in the evenings, i.e. in the evening sun on the West side of the wall. The East Berlin side was a bit too exciting, mines, machine guns
Yeah, but I've heard the approach was quite difficult.
Any other requirements? I was thinking a place like Santander in Spain, by the sea with lovely beaches, near the picos and Pyrenees not too far away, same for Barcelona. Nice cities with a bit of culture going on.
No not really. It should have an interesting culture and a lot of nature around it. I think with CS I can find a job in most places. I'll definitely do some research on Barcelona, also I've heard Lisbon is nice. I like northern cities too, but I'm a bit worried about the weather being constantly bad.
Munich, Grenoble, Paris, Barcelona, Tarragona, Milan spring to mind for year round climbing and big city for work & other past times.
But there are others, and If you fancy something like skiing, you could add numerous more locales to the mix, like CHX, Geneve and so on.
having lived there for 20 years I wouldn't recommend Paris. Its fine for Fontainebleau (although the traffic on the return journey can be terrible) but everything else is a long drive/train journey. I managed much more summer evening climbing when I lived in Aberdeen.
To the OP, do you really need to be a big city ? I get the impression that many IT jobs can be done from almost anywhere so why not be in the mountains ?
Without knowing what kind(s) of climbing you do it's impossible to say, for some it's evening cragging, for some it's easy access to an international airport.
But when you can reach ’Bleau by train, What more do ya need .
granted, not great for skiing (with or without training heels). But the OP only talked about climbing.
Sif Santander is of interest, the Oviedo or Gijon. 200k-300k people, close to Picos and the sea, skiing 40minutes away (not big resorts), but Spanish a must for a job. Same in Santander by the way.
Have you considered the northern edge of leeds? Handy for Yorkshire grit and limestone, the peak and the lakes. Loads of wonderful walking in the dales, north York moors, lakes etc. Northumberland is a couple of hours drive. AND you get a decent pint.
I lived there for 8 years and climbed at least twice a week for almost all of it.
From Sheffield you can get anywhere in a Skoda Octavia.
Think thats all the bases covered?
Innsbruck or Nürnberg are the best options in my opinion. They're central (Innsbruck the most so, it's only 2.5 hrs to the tre cime!), the gyms are world class and the scene is great for finding partners, plus plenty of industry for work purposes. Nürnberg better for bouldery cragging in the Jura, Innsbruck better for long sport routes and quick access to alpine multipitch. Both are located in Germanic countries which are very pleasant to live in and tend to have well functioning public services etc which will be a familiar experience if you currently live in Berlin.
You beat me to it! Innsbruck has everything on the doorstep from bouldering to north faces; if the weather's bad you can be in Arco or the Dolomites in 2 hours, or you simply make use of the world class indoor walls. It's about as central in Western Europe as you can get, is on the motorway and has an airport, and is surrounded by fantastic ranges (Zillertal, Ötztal, Stubaital, Karwendel ...). The cost of living is very reasonable, and there's a good cultural, climbing and social scene.
Too late to edit the above post - I'm also in Berlin; If you'd like to meet up for bouldering/indoor lead climbing and for more infos about Innsbruck, please feel free to get in touch!
Nice, Aix or Marseilles?
For those who have mentioned Nuremberg or Innsbruck, I wondered what it's like in terms of work. I'm learning German now ( hope to have completed Level 3/4 within the next 2 years with a plan to move to continental Europe after that.
Are these the king of place where fluency in German is required to find work, or are there industries who's working language is English?
My partners family are based in Leipzig and Berlin so we will likely end up in a German speaking city.
If you google "international companies Innsbruck" you get a lot, this for instance:
It should be a bigger city, since I've lived in a smaller city and there was not much you could do. I like it if there's a bit of culture going on. But it doesn't has to be as big as Berlin or Paris. To be honest most of the time I end up going to the same places anyway since it's so big. It's great for climbing and bouldering gyms though.
I started off doing outdoor sports climbing. Currently I'm more bouldering since most of the gyms here are bouldering gyms. I do like to get more into trad and multipitch climbing. The few times I tried it, I really enjoyed it.
I've never lived in Nuremberg or Innsbruck, but I think in most bigger German cities you'll do fine with English and you'll get better in German the longer you live there. I only know the tech industry so far and I had a lot of English speaking coworkers, which was never a problem. In a lot of cases it's a requirement for Germans to speak English to get a job. Also they learn it for 9 years in school, so especially the younger generation will understand you.
Thanks to everyone for the replies. Didn't expect so many. I'll do research and see what fits
I cant believe more people are not suggesting Barcelona area. There is more high quality sport climbing with 4 hours drive that you could probably manage to do in a life time. Awesome areas Marglef siruana LLeida area. There is a reason why Chris Sharma lived possibly still lives in the area.
I live in Germany currently south of Stuttgart and whilst it's definitely possible to get by in English, I'd highly recommend getting as much fluency as possible as this will massively widen the opportunities available to you and will mean you don't need to compromise on where you live based on language.
Start speaking German now with your partner as much as possible and you'll be nailing it by the time you move over. My other thought would be - are you sure you want to leave it another two years? It could well be far trickier to move over if the Brexit fiasco ever finds a clear path through and you lose the freedom of movement.
> There used to be quite a good wall in Berlin.
There's still the Palestine Wall - it is even higher and longer.
Thanks for the replies to my question, too.
We’re time constrained due to PhD timelines (and wanting a year or so of travelling too). I definitely need to up my German at the moment - hopefully I’ll be back into the flow of it again soon now that my uni course in it is underway!
We have looked at Stuttgart too - seems like a really nice city! As part of our travels we plan to incorporate a lot of city visits into it to check places out as we go.
> I cant believe more people are not suggesting Barcelona area. There is more high quality sport climbing with 4 hours drive that you could probably manage to do in a life time.
And riots! Don't forget the riots. ;)
I live around 30 minutes south of Stuttgart in Tübingen and whilst it's generally a lovely area to live I must say if you have the option of every German speaking city there are better places for a climber to live. It's certainly not bad as such, we've got the local Swabian Alb and Donautal where the climbing is good but rather curiously graded and somewhat chossy, but the closest world class climbing is Frankenjura which is a good 2.5hr drive. We've also got Pfalz reasonably close (1.5-2.5hrs depending on which area) but again the distance is restrictive - climbing is brilliant there though.
I think Bavaria is the way to go as a climber if staying within Germany, otherwise Innsbruck for sure.
Only in the city, so just go climbing
> We have looked at Stuttgart too - seems like a really nice city!
I'll have to disillusion you on that one; I've lived in the city at various times for a total of maybe 2 years, and found it to be the least attractive of all German big cities. Cars are the main priority of the town planners, and because it's situated in a bowl giving no possibility of widening roads the whole city is one huge traffic jam weaving around eternal and massive building sites. It has the worst air pollution in Germany, with regular smog periods both summer and winter ; to boot, the mentality of the natives is notoriously provincial and narrow-minded.
Gonna get some dislikes for this one, but quite honestly: I hated it!
> And riots! Don't forget the riots. ;)
That's a really shitty thing to say on a thread about climbing, not politics.
The guy said he couldn't believe not more people hadn't suggested Barcelona as a place to live, it was an offhand but ultimately serious thought as to maybe why more people hadn't suggested it. Someone above pointed out Stuttgart has terrible pollution, which seems fair to consider when thinking of somewhere to live, and in which case, is not political crisis another thing worthy of considering when looking for a home? My knowledge of Spanish politics is limited, but yesterday's results don't look likely to help the situation in Catalonia do they?
James, I travelled widely in Germany in the 90’s as a salesman and would choose Munich as a base over any other German town. Innsbruck or Salzburg would be better from a climbing perspective but don’t have the cultural or commercial range of Munich. My daughter now lives there and the DAV section is very active.
Regarding language, many but not all Germans speak English and I find English less common in Austria. I’m sure you can find jobs without a good command of German (my brother worked in Darmstadt for 12 years without it) but it will be a limitation. When I worked there I only had Intermediate level, and really struggled. Its a tough language to learn. The sooner you start, the better!
Best of luck, David
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