Berlin at a Glance
Moving to Berlin
Expatriates about to settle in Berlin will be moving to a liberal, international, artistic, fun, and cosmopolitan city with a tumultuous history. Fortunately, relocating to Berlin also means moving to a city where a high quality of living does not always equate having a large checkbook.
The city truly offers a lot: From art galleries, to the UNESCO World Heritage’s Museum Island, to the remnants of the Berlin Wall, to tiny stalls with delicious food – Berlin will show you everything.
A Cosmopolitan Capital
When thinking of moving to Germany’s capital, you might want to know that among the 3.53 million Berliner, 502,000 come from 195 different countries. This is part of the charm of Berlin: You will be surrounded by so many different cultures and backgrounds. Moving there may seem daunting at first, but there is a wide range of activities to participate in, which will keep your mind off your homesickness.
It is probably best to consider moving to Berlin in the summer, when the streets are full of buzzing life, lovely cafés and green parks call to both young and old, and the evenings are cool and refreshing. Bars and restaurants dot the banks of the Landwehrkanal and the Spree River.
In fact, the local nightlife is another enticing factor in favor of Berlin, making it easy to fall in love with the city. In the winter, museums and galleries offer refuge from the cold outdoors.
As it is a very large city, you may wonder where exactly you should go when moving to Berlin. It is a city of contrasts, which may offer anything from an artsy loft to a swanky villa. Berlin is still affordable concerning housing costs, as rents are comparably lower than those in London or Paris or even Munich.
You will have to be quick on choosing a place to live, though, as the housing market is very competitive. If you prefer not to stay in a hotel during your search, you can always fall back on more interim accommodation. On Wimdu.com, for instance, you can find various types of of short term properties in Berlin, all fully equipped and fully furnished.
The best way to go about finding long term housing in Berlin is looking in the local newspapers. Websites such as immoscout24.de or immonet.de will also let you set preferences for your new domicile in Berlin.
If you have the financial means, it may be easiest to let a real estate agent do all the work for you. Be aware, though, that they are relatively expensive and will take at least two months’ rent from you as commission.
Before your move, however, please consider your visa requirements. Make sure that your passport was issued within ten years of the application for the visa. As the list is very long, check which countries require a tourist visa for a stay in Berlin of less than 90 days.
Foreign nationals from EU member states and the Schengen area countries do not require an entry visa to visit Berlin. Make sure to apply for whichever visa pertains to you before you move to Berlin.