Tips to help you settle into one of Europe's hippest capitals, including how to find a rental property, renting conditions, and where to live in Berlin.
If you're planning a move to Berlin, you'll find that few other European cities have quite so much variety as Germany's hip capital. As you ride the S-Bahn, the elevated train tracks will whisk you from old-world town houses to Soviet-era apartment blocks. One glance takes in modern skyscrapers, and the next a quiet leafy street that seems hardly changed in a hundred years, before bursting upon bright murals in an arty quarter.
Compared to cities like Paris, London, New York or Tokyo, Berlin is a haven of affordable housing, open green spaces and quiet suburbs close to the city centre. It's both walkable and easy to cycle, so owning a car is a matter of choice, not necessity. Moreover, the city's history is still visible on its streets, but it is not mired in the past. After a turbulent 20th century, Berlin has reinvented itself as an exciting, innovative, modern capital and is an appealing destination for students, entrepreneurs and expats from around the world. In 2013, the city welcomed 50, 000 new residents, swelling its numbers to around 3.5 million people.
Renting a flat in Berlin
From student squats to mansions, Berlin has something for everyone. As neighbourhoods can vary from street to street, it's a good idea to explore the areas you're considering on foot. Few neighbourhoods are unsafe, but some are significantly more noisy – vibrant if you prefer – with late night clubs staying open until dawn, when businesses roll up their shutters to start the day. We offer a guide to central Berlin neighbourhoods, as well as Berlin's outlying surburban areas, to help you decide where to live in Berlin.
With a high demand for property, finding a place can be challenging. Once the lease is signed, however, German law favours the tenant so your worries are largely over. You can read more about German rental conditions and tenants' rights in our guide to renting in Germany.
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