The Ultimate Guide to Moving and Living in Berlin

Berlin’s reputation as “poor but sexy” is, by this point, somewhat old hat. As people flock to the city, rents are starting to rise and in certain parts of town, buying an artisan coffee will set you back the same amount as in any other cosmopolitan capital. However, while the comparative cost of living remains very cheap by European standards, value for money alone was never a primary reason that people love to live in Berlin. Ask anyone why they moved to Berlin and they’ll probably say something akin to, “it just has a special vibe”, and indeed, it’s that indefinable, sexy, creative, fun, relaxed, liberated atmosphere that continues to draw people to the city. The German capital is a place where people come to be, or to become, themselves.

Young, innovative companies have also long recognised Berlin’s potential as a place to set up shop. The initial influx of bootstrapping tech-heads has, over time, grown into a thriving startup scene, and nowhere else in the world will you find a city where you can get a great job, maintain work-life balance, and completely avoid any kind of rat-race. Berlin does not rush. If you’re after hectic hustle and bustle, then I’ve heard nice things about London.

There are countless online guides about how to move to Berlin, but Internet-skimming alone will often furnish you with complicated, sometimes contradictory advice. So, this guide aims to offer you a definitive, step-by-step how-to guide for all things Berlin. It’s written — and crucially, maintained — by experts in the job search field with years of experience helping people to find meaningful work that suits their lives and ambitions. So, if you want to crush moving to Berlin, you may want to bookmark this one.

Why move to Berlin?

Chances are, if you’re already reading this far you’re sold on Berlin as the place you want to be. And given that you’re reading it on BerlinStartupJobs.com, you probably also know that getting a great startup job in Berlin is the easiest way for international people to get set up in the city. But allow me to wax lyrical for a moment about why you absolutely should make the move to Berlin.

Simply put, Berlin is awesome — and I mean that in all modern interpretations of the word. There is no place on earth like it. Where else can you work according to your own schedule and still afford a great apartment? Where else can you do whatever the hell you want to without anyone batting an eyelid? Where else can you be all the things you’ve ever wanted to be, all at once? Berlin is a city of slashies, and you are welcome to define yourself, without ever being pigeonholed by others. Don’t get me wrong, it’s far from a utopia, but there is a sense of freedom to Berlin that is hard to come by almost anywhere else.

This culturally and historically rich city allows you to live life at whatever pace you wish to. Whether you’re the kind of person that likes to go out on a Friday night and come home Monday morning, or the sort that likes to take it easy all weekend, you can choose whatever works for you. The city caters to every taste (even if your tastes are kind of creepy by normal societal standards) and pace of life, so it’s no wonder that such a diverse group of people all find a way to make Berlin their own.

What you can expect from this guide

The Ultimate Guide to Moving to, Living, and Working in Berlin is designed to be just that. We will cover every conceivable aspect that someone might need to know when moving to a new city. We’ve been there, done that, and bought several custom t-shirts along the way. From how to get a job in Berlin, to finding a place to live, to buying transport tickets, to figuring out how to find your tribe in a city full of individuals, we’ve got you covered. We’ll also give you detailed how-to guides on handling the dreaded life admin (don’t believe the horror stories — it’s not as bad as it sounds) designed specifically for non-German speakers. That way, you can focus on the more fun side of transitioning to life in your new city. And if there’s something that still confuses you, just get in touch and we’ll add to the guide to make sure you get the information you need. This isn’t a static blog post that someone wrote once in 2006 and forgot about. We guarantee this info is up-to-date and reliable. Sound good? Okay, then. Los geht’s!

Explore our guide to working in Berlin