Berlin is Germany's biggest and capital city and is a very popular expat destination thanks to the various opportunities it provides. Berlin not only holds a developed and prosperous economy but also a rich historical and cultural patrimony. This is why it has been attracting thousands of foreigners worldwide year after year. Nowadays, its population amounts to more than 3.5 million people in an urban area of about 6 million inhabitants.
Finding accommodation will be one of your priorities if you wish to settle in Berlin. This should not be complicated as the city offers a range of accommodation for all tastes and budgets. It is useful to find out a bit more about the different neighborhoods and on the types of accommodation options which are available there before you make any decisions.
Good to know:
Berlin is a world-famous tourist, cultural and artistic city. It hosts more than a hundred museums and libraries, as well as sixty theatres. Berlin is also very popular for its impressive architecture that is steeped in history.
Neighbourhoods of Berlin
Berlin is divided into several neighbourhoods, including the historical centre, the West, the government district, etc. Each of these neighbourhoods is distinguished by its particular architecture, old buildings and other places of interest. Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg, Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg are among the most popular.
Gentrification is largely taking place in Kreuzberg, which used to be famous for its punk scene in the 80’s. These days it is a popular multi-cultural mix of old and new where every niche is served. Friedrichshain along the river Spree is also popular for its bars, clubs and pubs. In contrast Prenzlauer Berg has already become more bourgeois due to the many young families who have settled here and prices are gradually rising. All three districts are centrally located and provide living space for the young and creative. You will also find artists and creative spaces.
Moreover, Charlottenburg, is a lively and sophisticated neighbourhood and popular with foreigners, especially from Russia. You are likely to find theatres and museums, restaurants, cafes, and gardens there, as well as big boutiques and shopping malls.
Steglitz, which is close to the city centre, also hosts huge shopping centres, cafes and several office buildings. Neukölln, located in the south-east of Berlin, is nicknamed "Little Istanbul" because of its multi-cultural background as well as restaurants and bars where you can enjoy Oriental gourmet dishes. Potsdamer Platz, for its part, is a commercial and business district with huge futuristic shopping malls, shops, restaurants, bars and cafes.
If you prefer quieter and more peaceful neighbourhoods, you are more likely to appreciate Mitte, which has an abundant cultural and historical heritage thanks to its museums and memorials, as well as the Tiergarten where you can relax with your family. You will also find zoos, parks, a lake, and flea markets as well as numerous cafes.
Least popular are Mahrzahn, Hellersdorf, Hohenschönhausen, Reinickendorf and Wedding. Tempelhof has the reputation of being popular amongst the older generations (Rentnerviertel) while Schöneberg has strong ties to the LGBT community.
The price of rent in Berlin
Berlin has a variety of accommodation options including apartments, studios, rooms, houses, etc. If you make a short trip, you could just rent a hotel room while students can opt for student housing which is the cheapest way to stay there. If you prefer to rent an apartment, note that rent prices will vary according to the type of housing, neighbourhood and comfort level.
Average rent prices are around €11 per square metre and much more affordable than most European capitals. Hence, you will need an average of 650 euros per month for a single-bedroom apartment in the city centre and some 450 euros per month for the same type in the city outskirts. To rent a three bedroom apartment in the city centre, you will need around 1,300 euros. In the outskirts, the same type of accommodation will cost an average of 900 euros per month.
Find accommodation in Berlin
Internet will definitely be your best tool during your accommodation search in Berlin. This will give you a better idea of the types of housing options available there and of rent prices. You can also check out classified ads in local newspapers. The following are the most popular newspapers, namely the Saturday editions: "Berliner Morgenpost", "Tagesspiegel", "Berliner Zeitung" and "Zweite Hand" as well as "zitty" and "tip" (bi-monthly), the latter are more focused on shared flats or furnished rooms.
Moreover, by registering with a real estate agency, you will have more chances of finding housing according to your criteria. Word-of-mouth may also help if you have a local network.
Immobilien Scout 24 www.immobilienscout24.de
Air BnB www.airbnb.com
Oh Berlin www.oh-berlin.com
Home for rent www.homeforrent.de
Only Apartments www.only-apartments.com
Shared flats www.wg-gesucht.de