Living in Berlin: tips and advice

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Accommodation in Berlin

A definitive guide to find accommodation, as told by locals

Last updated: August 2020

How to rent a place in Berlin

After being accepted for your studies or an internship in Berlin, the most challenging part is yet to come. Finding accommodation can be very difficult since there is a lot of demand for apartments. The population of Berlin is growing faster than its supply of rooms and apartments. Often, the findable accommodation is very small and overpriced. Landlords were able to partly monopolize the housing market, which led to the fact, that they sometimes charge prices which are not payable by students. We, from Housing Anywhere, however, are trying to enable you to break through this obstacle by providing affordable apartments in suitable locations for students from all over the world. Our goal, is to make the process of finding an accommodation as easy as possible so that you don’t have to bother doing that, but rather be able to enjoy your stay in this beautiful city. Feel free to check out our platform or read our tips on how to find accommodation in Berlin.

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Hey there! My name is Daniel and on this page, I would like to introduce you to Berlin, a beautiful city in Germany. I was born in Germany, but have also lived in New Zealand and Australia. Besides, I have always loved travelling and challenging myself, that is why I already went travelling for quite some time. Since I know how it feels like to go abroad, I am trying to give you the best advice on which area to live in and how to approach the cities in order to have a great stay! Just try to embrace the adventure and be yourself. Everything happens for a reason, and I believe that you would take the right step in the right direction when going to Berlin.

Living in Berlin and its neighbourhoods

Berlin lifestyle

Berlin lifestyle

A city that never sleeps

‘Ich bin ein Berliner’ is what John F. Kennedy said when he visited Germany in 1963. In English, it means: ‘I am a Berliner’. It is one of the most-known quotes and it stands for freedom, democracy and for the fact, that once you visit the city, you do not want to leave it anymore since it simply fascinates you. It is not only Berlin’s good universities that attract young people to Berlin, but also its unique lifestyle attracts people from all over the world. With more than 4 million inhabitants, it is the biggest city in Germany. Whatever it is that you are looking for, you will find it in Berlin. From architecture, arts and multiculturalism to sports, nightlife and the feeling of being free to do whatever you want to do.

Berlin transportation

Berlin transportation

24/7 available

Even though it is quite a big city, you will not encounter any problems with getting from A to B. Students can simply get a so-called ‘Semesterticket’, a ticket from the university, which can be purchased for a relatively low price and is valid throughout the whole semester. Hence, no top-ups have to be made – once paid, you can use it for 6 months. Also, interns can get a discount, though. This ticket allows one to use any type of public transportation. The most common modes of transportation include the metro, the S-Bahn, the tram, and buses. There are no limitations for you, because the metro, for instance, is running 24/7. Therefore, everything is reachable within a short period of time. However, using a bicycle is also possible since Berlin is becoming more and more bike- and environmentally-friendly. But that is not all: Berlin has one of the main airports in Europe, meaning that you can reach cities like Paris, Rome or Copenhagen within 1-2 hours by plane. It’s the perfect weekend trip for exploring the beauty of Europe.

Quality of life

Berlin offers everything you could even possibly need

Berlin is a very big city with various facets that is definitely worth discovering. In terms of quality of life, it is necessary to mention that the living standard is quite high. However, this does not imply spending a lot of money. It simply means, that whatever it is that you are passionate about, you can definitely follow up on it when coming to Berlin. No matter if you are a techno-lover, an opera fanatic, an artist, an athlete or someone who loves history. There will definitely be a scene that you would like to discover. There are no limits regarding the way you want to live. Prices for rent can range from cheap to expensive. However, by the time you arrive in Berlin, you are required to take out healthcare insurance, which will be covering costs for the doctor or suchlike. The city is focusing on ensuring that everyone, especially the new generation, is able to live up to a certain living standard. There are several universities, like the HU Berlin or the Freie Universität Berlin, offering any type of study program with campuses spread all over the city. Apart from that, public transport can take you anywhere you want, and student discounts can be obtained on almost anything, which can get you cheaper tickets for parties, museums, theatres, concerts or sport events. It is highly recommended to join a club for either sports, arts, music or other things, since it helps with finding friends and getting integrated into the German culture.

Berlin’s startup culture

Innovative and an incentive for young people

Berlin, Germany’s capital, is about to become Europe’s leading startup scene. Within the next few years, it is expected to generate around 100,000 new jobs. Meaning that the city is growing and therefore a paradise for innovative people who want to make their dreams come true. The development shows that Berlin is a welcoming culture for people who want to work together and help each other out wherever it is possible. There are several startup events, being held almost daily in every kind of location, ranging from small cafés to outside locations or even big forums. It is not about big startups just wanting to make money, it is also about small ideas on how to improve the city’s culture, the living standard or people’s wellbeing. These vibes can be perceived wherever you go. That being said, people living in Berlin are very open-minded and interested in learning from each other while trying not to judge people on who they are. The Germans are generally very neat and polite, but it might seem as if the way Germans speak is a bit monotone or aggressive when you first talk to them. They do not want to be rude, it is just the way they speak. However, if you talk to them in English, their pronunciation can be hilariously wrong, which probably will make you laugh.


The historic center of Berlin

Mitte is a borough in the center of Berlin that consists of the former East and West Berlin districts. Historically seen, it includes the city’s most important sights like the Brandenburg Gate, Potsdamer Platz, and the Berlin Hauptbahnhof, as well as a few museums. It is where one should go when trying to discover some of Germany’s history, especially in terms of the Cold War. It is definitely the place where you should go as a history fanatic.


Chilled and alternative

With its alternative style, Neukölln is a very attractive borough for students. There are several vegan restaurants, art boutiques (e.g. Cell 63), second-hand shops, or small markets like the Schillermarket that are worth visiting. A part of Neukölln has been an airport until 2008. Ever since it was closed, the former district, which was characterized by poverty and not so good living standards, has turned upside down and became a hip district. In addition, there are also nice bars like the Klunkerkranich, a rooftop bar that allows you to watch the sunset while enjoying a cold and delicious German beer.


Hipster paradise

After emerging as one of the poorest boroughs in former West Berlin, Kreuzberg is now one of the hippest destinations. Right in-between Berlin Mitte and Kreuzberg, the famous Checkpoint Charlie can be found, which has been the main crossing point between East and West Germany. Nowadays, it is a very diverse district, known for its multiculturalism, where also a lot of immigrants found new homes. Kreuzberg, for instance hosts a Turkish market, where you can buy all kinds of food, spices and everything related to the Turkish culture. It is quite common that you simply bargain the price for whatever you want to buy. Most of the time, you can save money by going to such markets. Nevertheless, it is also a cultural district where you can find the Jewish Museum, the East Side Gallery and heaps of Street Art like graffiti that covers almost the whole district. This feature imparts the whole area a very personal touch and makes it also a bit mysterious. You can walk there for hours since every street corner is different and has its own magical flair. Furthermore, the Kollowitzplatz, which is situated between Kreuzberg and Neukölln, is a really beautiful square which has some great bars as well as clubs to enjoy.


The place to be at night

After the World War II, Friedrichshain was one of the most damaged boroughs in whole Berlin. However, this has changed and now it is one of the most creative parts of Berlin, characterized by its vibes which are aiming to inspire creative thinking. It is considered as one of the areas being home to most of the bars and clubs. For instance, Berghain is one of the best clubs in Berlin that always attracts many people. But, watch out: it is not easy to get in. Be casual and do not be too drunk, otherwise it might be difficult to enter the club.


For all the shopaholics

With having the Charlottenburg Palace situated right in the middle, this district is a very residential and also a bit more expensive area. Also, the Kurfürstendamm (KaDeWe), one of the main shopping malls can be found in Charlottenburg, as well as other shopping streets or major hotels including bars and restaurants.