Berlin is considered one of the most fun cities to live in the world. Most people love it for its extraordinary counter-culture, endless attractions, and diversity. Berlin is also extremely friendly to visitors. There are about 80,000 expats already living and enjoying life in this city.
Thinking of moving to Berlin for work or other reasons? Here are several things you need to know before pulling the trigger.
Relocating To Berlin – Accommodation facilities
Finding an apartment in Berlin is often described as an almost impossible task. This is because, over the past few years, thousands of people have been relocating to the city, pushing the demand for housing to an all-time high.
But as with anything, if you know where to look or have someone to handhold you, apartment hunting in Berlin shouldn’t be that hard.
For a short-stay period (starting from 3 months and up to a year) our advice would be that you simply move into a fully furnished apartment. This saves you the hassle and cost of furnishing a house while also ensuring your stay feels like a home away from home. Sure, renting these serviced rentals could be a bit pricy but they are worth every coin if you can afford it.
If you are permanently moving to Berlin, the best move would be to get an unfurnished house and build it out your way. But as we had mentioned, getting these houses can prove tough if you don’t know where to start.
If you find yourself in this kind of situation, we advise getting a furnished place for the first 2-3 months as you look for an appropriate place to stay long-term. This will reduce the chances of you signing a long-term contract for a place that does not suit you and your needs.
Relocating To Berlin – Visa requirements
EU citizens can work, study and live in Berlin without a visa. Nationals from New Zealand, Canada, Israel, Japan, Australia, South Korea, and the USA follow a 90-day rule that allows them to visit Germany for a maximum of 90 days without a visa.
All citizens from countries apart from those highlighted above require a visa to get into Germany. Different visas serve different purposes. From work to living, studying, freelancing, and much more.
Generally speaking, getting a German visa is quite easy compared to other big EU countries like the UK and France. The most important part is to be clear about the kind of visa you need depending on your reason for visiting Berlin.
Relocating To Berlin – The feared Anmeldung
The mention of the Anmeldung brings fear and fright to many people planning to move to Berlin. But you don’t need to fret. The Anmeldung is a pretty easy concept and one of the legal requirements for anyone living in Germany.
Simply put, it is the process of registering for an address in Germany for both natives and foreigners. You begin the process by booking an appointment at the citizen’s office (Burgeramt) where you are required to present some documents.
We recommend booking this appointment within 14 days of entering Berlin. But if this is not possible, no problem.
So why is the Anmeldung so crucial? For starters, it dictates everything you do or get while in Germany. From getting medical insurance to opening a bank account and even getting a job, this documentation is required.
However, if your stay in Berlin is below three months, it might not be necessary to get the Anmeldung. In that case, you are considered to be a long-term tourist and therefore do not require an official address.
Relocating To Berlin – Public transport
One word to describe public transport in Berlin; brilliant. Berlin is known for fast and affordable public transportation. With over 170 underground stations, roughly 170 train stations, about 100 tram stops, and well above 2,500 bus stops, the city’s massive transport system is amazing.
If you love cycling, you will be pleased to know that Berlin is regarded as one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world with countless bicycle lanes. Buying a car is oftentimes pointless because of its excellent public transport and bike-friendly systems.
Relocating To Berlin – Acquiring a SIM card
It’s pretty easy to register a SIM card in Berlin. To get started, you need your passport and the Anmeldung?
Cell phones are cheap in Berlin, not to mention the affordable phone payment plans. If you are an EU national, you might not need a new SIM card because a majority of EU packages cater for all messages, calls, and data across the EU.
Relocating To Berlin – Time to head to Berlin?
Moving to a new city or country can be scary and confusing – not anymore. If you are planning to relocate to Berlin, we hope the tips we just shared in this guide will make your transition smooth. Berlin is a warm and friendly city which we are sure you’ll enjoy. Good luck!