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Moving to Berlin?

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Sean Henderson

Living in Germany, from Canada

"The good thing about InterNations is that I got to know the expat community in Berlin as well as internationally minded locals."

Anna Maria Osario

Living in Germany, from Argentina

"Through InterNations I met so many other Argentinean expats in Berlin, which made the transition period really easy for me."

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Berlin at a Glance

Moving to Berlin

When moving to Berlin, you will not only settle in Germany’s historic capital, but also experience a vibrant city with a dynamic arts and music scene. The InterNations Guide on Berlin tells you all you need to know about expat life in the capital: accommodation, visa regulations, and more.

Expatriates about to move to Berlin will be moving to a liberal, international, artistic, fun, and cosmopolitan city with a tumultuous history. In the past, relocating to Berlin also meant moving to a city where a high quality of living does not always equate having a large checkbook. However, since 2007 rents in Berlin have risen by 28% and continue to increase at almost twice the national average.

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 3.5 million Berliner, 470,000 come from 190 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.

Accommodation

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 fancy villa. Housing costs in Berlin are becoming increasingly more expensive, however as a whole they are still lower than those in London or Paris.

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. OnWimdu.com, for instance, you can find various types 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 about two months’ rent from you as commission.

For further details on Housing and Accommodation in Germany, particularly on renting an apartment, please see our comprehensive expat guide

Visa Requirements

Before moving to Berlin, 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.

 

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