Moving to Berlin
- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Berlin Guide (PDF)
Expats moving to Berlin are lucky enough to find themselves in Hemingway's romanticised idea of what life overseas should be – far too much talking and far too little working. More than two decades have slipped by since the city was reunified after the Cold War. Since then, continental Europe's largest capital has built itself up, attracting a variety of expats to a city that thrives on creative prowess.
Berlin is cosmopolitan and eclectic. The cost of rent is cheaper than most European capitals, and accommodation is certainly considerably more affordable than one would find in Paris or London. As a result, the relatively low cost of living in Berlin has beckoned those that flourish in the underbelly; namely artists, designers, musicians, writers and performers.
However, unemployment rates are relatively high, the social pressure to work is low and tolerance has been taken to a new limit – in fact, locals are known to be less open-minded than they are outright experimental. Suits are relatively rare on the city's wide avenues and job opportunities for expats in the formal sector are decidedly limited. Even so, for those with an entrepreneurial edge, the city can become a centre stage for residents.
Furthermore, a tradition of intellectual freedom and a policy of loose liquor laws that only require bars to close once the last patron has finished have created a throng of hip cafés, restaurants, bars and clubs that cater to every taste. Because of the city's long division, there is an abundance of attractions and features, from train stations to zoos and art studios.
Berlin also benefits from civic services that are commonplace to any major metropolis in Western Europe, including an easy and efficient public transportation system, effective healthcare and first-rate education opportunities, especially when it comes to higher learning.
Though many native Berliners are abandoning the city for greener pastures of employment, there continues to be a massive influx of internationals, and expats who move to Berlin can certainly look forward to a healthy community that is imparting its own character on the German capital.