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Berlin, Germany

Berlin, Germany

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Feb 02, 2023

Summary: The population of Berlin is 3.7 million people. Berlin is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city with a rich cultural history. Expats love living in Berlin for its diverse population, vibrant nightlife, and abundance of cultural activities. The weather in Berlin is generally mild with temperatures ranging from an average low of 32°F (0°C) in the winter to an average high of 75°F (24°C) in the summer. The average cost of living in Berlin for an expat is estimated to be around $2,000 per month. The cost of a one bedroom apartment in Berlin is estimated to be around $1,000 per month, while a two bedroom apartment is estimated to be around $1,500 per month.

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What are the pros and cons of living in Berlin?

Expats, digital nomads and retirees living in Berlin responded:

"It is a developed city. It has excellent education, transportation and all kinds of entertainment facilities.The local people are very hospitable," explained one expat in Berlin.

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What do I need to know about living in Berlin?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Berlin, they said:

"Before retiring in Berlin, it is important to become familiar with the area and the living costs. Research the different types of public transport, regulations and permit requirements. Healthcare is of course a major factor to consider, and the residents of Berlin have the choice of either public or private options. The rules for accessing benefits and pensions for retirees should also be explored. Depending on your budget and lifestyle requirements, deciding whether to rent or buy a home can be a big decision. Berlin has a rich culture, history and plenty of entertainment to offer so make sure to explore the city and its surroundings," said another person in Berlin.

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What do I need to know before moving to Berlin?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Berlin, they said:

"Berlin is a vibrant and diverse city with a lot of opportunity and culture. It has a wide range of neighborhoods so it is important to research the different parts of the city to decide what is the best fit for you. Be sure to have your paperwork in order before coming, as the immigration process in Germany can be quite detailed. Cost of living in Berlin can be quite reasonable, but make sure to plan ahead when budgeting for expenses, as the city can still be expensive if you're not careful. Be sure to explore the city and find out what it has to offer. Public transportation is great, so try to make use of that during your stay. Berlin also has some great events going on all year round, from music to art, so be sure to check those out. Lastly, the weather in Berlin can be quite unpredictable, so be prepared for whatever mother nature throws your way," remarked another expat in Berlin.

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How do I find a place to live in Berlin?

We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"Berlin has a wide range of housing options. Depending on your budget, you can rent a shared apartment, a regular apartment, a room in a flat share, or even a flat or house. You can search for rental apartments on websites such as ImmobilienScout24 and rare apartments on 9flats; portals such as expat-blog have additional resources and classifieds for flats. You can also visit websites of local real estate agencies, such as Berlin Immobilien Scout and ImmoScout24 Berlin. If you are looking for a long-term rental, it is best to use a rental broker or a real estate agency in Berlin. You can also check for student accommodation or dormitories or consider staying in a hostel. Many student residences offer temporary accommodation; this can be a great, cost-effective place to live while you look for a more permanent option. Last but not least, you can search for private room offers on websites such as WG-Gesucht," replied an expat in Berlin.

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We've partnered with Homelike, to connect expats and newcomers with temporary accommodations in Germany. If you're moving to Germany, rent a short-term, furnished apartment or home for the first few months from Homelike and take your time figuring out the best place to live in Germany.

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What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Berlin?

"A typical expat home or apartment in Berlin will usually be modern or renovated with high ceilings and plenty of natural light. Although space is usually limited due to the city’s high-density housing, apartments tend to be larger on average than those elsewhere in Germany. Larger apartments will generally have separate living and sleeping areas, while studio apartments are also available in many neighborhoods. Common features of expat homes and apartments in Berlin may include kitchens with built-in appliances, hardwood floors, cloakrooms, and balconies or terraces. Many choose to furnish their home themselves with pieces from flea markets and secondhand shops, as this is a cheaper option than buying new furniture," replied an expat in Berlin.

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What is the average cost of housing in Berlin?

If you are thinking about moving to Berlin, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"The cost of housing in Berlin can vary widely depending on the size, location and type of accommodation. Generally, a one-bedroom apartment in the city center can cost around 800 to 1,000 euros per month, while a three-bedroom apartment in a suburban area can cost around 1,200 to 1,500 euros per month," remarked another expat in Berlin.

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We've partnered with Homelike, to connect expats and newcomers with temporary accommodations in Germany. If you're moving to Germany, rent a short-term, furnished apartment or home for the first few months from Homelike and take your time figuring out the best place to live in Germany.
Homelike RentalsFurnished Rentals in Germany from Homelike

We've partnered with Homelike, to connect expats and newcomers with temporary accommodations in Germany. If you're moving to Germany, rent a short-term, furnished apartment or home for the first few months from Homelike and take your time figuring out the best place to live in Germany.
SEARCH RENTALS

How do I meet people in Berlin?

When we asked people living in Berlin about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"There are many ways to meet people in Berlin! Attending events such as concerts, art exhibitions, or language meetups are great opportunities to socialise. There are also lots of great bars, cafes and clubs that locals frequent, as well as organisations that offer interesting activities such as biking, hiking, or book clubs. Finally, there are always Couchsurfing events in the city, which is a fantastic way to meet other travelers, expats and locals," said another expat in Berlin.

"I would recommend the British Council in Berlin as everyone is great especially Eileen and Len and Paul from the cafe always welcome and also a great information place www.brotcoun.de Also try the British Pub Sanmariter Strasse for a great atmosphere and good beers and sometimes real fish and chips. www.queenvic.de," added another person living in Berlin.

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What should I bring when moving to Berlin?

People living in Berlin were asked what three things they wish they had brought and three they wish they had left behind. They wrote:

"Clothes for every season, rain boots, warm and comfortable shoes, comfortable coats/jackets for winter, thick socks and sweaters, hat and scarf, umbrella, power adapter, toiletries, any medications you take regularly, first-aid kit, bed linens, sunscreen, daypack, bike lock, laptop, reusable water bottle, passport, and documents needed to establish residency," added another person living in Berlin.

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Where should I setup a bank account in Berlin?

We asked expats in Berlin what banks they use and there advice about banking. They advised:

"There are a number of banks in Berlin that offer different types of bank accounts to their customers. Popular banks in Berlin include Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank, DKB, N26, and ING. Depending on the type of account you are looking for, some of these banks may offer better interest rates, lower fees, or more services. Each bank also has different requirements and policies when it comes to setting up a bank account. Before choosing a bank, it is recommended to compare the fees and services provided by various banks and also research customer reviews," added another person living in Berlin.

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Will I be able to find a job in Berlin?

When we asked people about industries and career opportunities in Berlin, they reponded:

"Finding a job in Berlin is possible. There is a wide range of job opportunities in the city, ranging from traditional to new and innovative industries. To ensure the best job prospects in the city, it is recommended that you have a clear job objective, an understanding of the local job market, a good grasp of the language, and the right qualifications. Additionally, networking is an important element to consider when searching for jobs. Networking helps build connections, fosters relationships, and can lead to job offers," remarked another in Berlin.

"The Maon sector is the public sector most people find work via word of mouth or by joining some kind of agency or through newspapers," explained one expat.

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What is life like in Berlin?

When we asked people living in Berlin what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"Living as an expat in this area can be a great experience with lots of opportunities to explore the culture and benefit from the amenities and opportunities the area offers. There are lots of places to visit and explore, with a bustling nightlife and plenty of entertainment. The cost of living here is relatively low compared to many other cities and there is a variety of housing available, from older traditional buildings to more modern apartments. The local transportation network is good and the people are extremely friendly and welcoming to expats. The area is also great for those looking to start up a business as there are lots of opportunities and resources to help them in doing so. All in all, living as an expat in this area can be a fun and rewarding experience," said another person in Berlin.

"People here think that work is very important even to the point where it becomes the ultimate ptiority," remarked another expat in Berlin.

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What do expats in Berlin appreciate most about the local culture?

"Expatriates in Berlin appreciate the diversity of the city, including a wide range of cultural scenes, vibrant nightlife, and cuisines from around the world. Expats also appreciate the city's excellent public transportation system, its green spaces, and the affordability of rent and other costs compared to other European cities. Berlin's open and tolerant atmosphere is also appreciated, with legal same-sex marriage, acceptance of gender diversity, and open expression of differing views and lifestyles," said another person in Berlin.

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What do expats find most challenging?

"Expats often face the challenge of acclimating to a new culture and language, as well as dealing with the transition from the comforts of home. Making new friends can be difficult, while mastering the local language can be intimidating. Cultural differences in customs and practices may be difficult to adjust to and even more difficult to accept. Homesickness is common, and it adds to the struggles of adjusting. Additionally, finding employment and navigating the local systems and bureaucracy can be a complex and difficult process," explained one expat.

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Is there a lot of crime in Berlin?

We asked people if there is a lot of crime. They answered:

"Berlin is generally considered to be a safe city, with crime lower than in most other large cities in Europe. However, as with any large city, there are parts of Berlin where you should take extra care, especially at nighttime. Pickpocketing and bag snatching are the most common crimes and there is an increased risk of mugging or theft in certain areas. Tourists are advised to be aware of their surroundings and take extra precautions," added another person living in Berlin.

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Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in Berlin accepting of differences?

"Berlin is one of the most diverse cities in all of Europe, with over 20% of the population being foreign born or foreign citizens. This cosmopolitan city is open and accepting to all sorts of cultural, ethnic, and religious differences, making it one of the most tolerant cities in the world. Berlin has a thriving LGBT community, an array of international restaurants, and a harmoniously diverse population that help contribute to its vibrant atmosphere. Berliners are very open-minded and welcoming of different customs and lifestyles, making it a great place to live for anyone from any background," said another person in Berlin.

"Berlin is a modern city with a lot of diverse people although most places are segregated i.e Turkish people mainly in Kreuzberg and wedding it has recently become more open with tentative steps although cliches are still rife here," remarked another expat in Berlin.

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What are the schools in Berlin like?

"Berlin's educational institutions span public, private, and international schools, offering an array of educational opportunities for students of all ages. Public primary schools, also known as elementary schools, are free of charge and teach the German curriculum. International schools offer both the German and international curriculum, often tailored to a French, British, or American system. Private schools may provide a religious-based education and are based on fees paid by the student's family. There are also numerous universities and higher education institutions in Berlin," commented one expat when asked about in Berlin.

"Forget about it. They chucked my daughter out because they are too lazy to find a way to integrate my daughter who is an English native speaker," remarked another expat living in Berlin with children attending EURO-KINDERGARTEN Max und Moritz.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

Berlin, Germany

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