FAQs: Living and working in Berlin

Our FAQs provide answers to many of your questions – along with useful tips and information about living and working in Berlin. Or, if you prefer, you can instead use our chatroom to ask your question, any time day or night. 

 

Accommodations & Relocation

How do I find an apartment?

On the "Finding accommodation" page you'll find an index of Berlin portals with up-to-date listings of available apartments.

Where can I find a moving company in Berlin?

 

On our "Relocation" page you'll find links to Berlin moving and relocation companies.

Where can I register as a resident?

 

You can register your place of residence at the Municipal Administrative Offices (Bürgeramt) for your district. Our "Login residence" page contains a list of all the Administrative Offices (Bürgerämter) in Berlin.

How much does an apartment cost in Berlin?

 

Use our waypoint "Household Income Rent Check" to go to the search engine provided by the Berlin daily newspaper "Berliner Morgenpost". You can enter various criteria, including number of rooms or a particular district, to calculate current, average rental rates in Berlin.

How do I go about finding an electricity provider?

There are several comparison portals on the internet. Rates depend on the size of the apartment, actual energy consumption and location (postal code). Click here for the electricity price calculator. This will help you find the lowest cost provider.

How do I go about finding a gas provider?

There are several comparison portals on the internet. Rates depend on the size of the apartment, actual energy consumption and location (postal code). Click here for the gas price calculator. This will help you find the lowest cost provider.

How do I get TV reception?

 

There are many ways to get TV reception. Here are the most common.

Where can I register for internet & telephone service?

Where can I rent a moving van?

Where can I request mail forwarding?

Working in Berlin & Job Search

Where is the Foreigner Office (Ausländerbehörde) in Berlin?

How do I find a job in Berlin?

 

Use our Job Portal for your job search. Just enter a keyword, a job title, type of business or other relevant terms in the search box and then click!

Are there any small businesses in Berlin?

 

Most Berlin businesses are small or medium-sized enterprises. Information about Berlin companies is available here. 

What sort of industries are represented in Berlin?

 

Our Industry Overview provides a list of major industries that operate in Berlin. 

Where can I find an employee for my company?

 

The best approach is to place an advertisement in our Job Portal. This is where 90% of all vacancies in the area are publicized.

What does a German cover letter look like?

 

Here you can find tips on composing your cover letter. 

Are there any particular guidelines for application photos?

 

No, there aren’t any. But here you will find our suggestions about application photos.

How much can I expect to earn in Berlin?

 

For information on Berlin salaries, click here. Also make sure to check our Industry Overview! There you will find specific information about wages and salaries listed by the type of work involved.

Where can I find information specific to my profession?

 

Go here to find information about your profession – simply select the sector you work in to view specific tips and information under "Additional Information".

Do I need to be licensed / accredited to practice my profession?

 

Basically, all educational, medical and legal professions, as well as some engineering professions, must be accredited. In Germany, a distinction is made between regulated and non-regulated professions. Click here to find out if your profession requires accreditation!

What amount will be deducted from my gross income?

 

If you are employed with a company, you and your employer contribute proportionately to the costs for unemployment, health, pension, accident and nursing care insurance. You are required to be insured by a public or private health insurance provider. Find out more here.

What is a tax identification number?

 

Each employee must have a tax identification number. This is important for the employer and the tax office. Find out more here.

How long is the application process for a visa?

Your application may be approved very quickly, within a few days. Once approved, you will receive a Blue Card. In general, however, you should anticipate the process taking up to three months.

Visa

Where can I apply for a visa?

 

Before you come to Germany you must apply for a visa at the German representation -- i.e. embassy or consulate -- in your home country that is responsible for your place of residence. Citizens of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand or the United States may enter Germany without a visa and apply for a residence permit in Germany prior to taking up employment. Contact the Foreigner Office (Ausländerbehörde) with any questions you may have about work permits. You can find more information here.

Who approves visa applications?

An application may be approved by a number of different agencies:

• Embassy (Blue Card)
• Embassy and Central Professional Placement Office (no Blue Card)
• Berlin Foreigner Office (Blue Card)
• Foreigner Office and Central Professional Placement Office (no Blue Card)

How long does it take to get a visa?

 

Your application may be approved very quickly, within a few days. Once approved, you will receive a Blue Card. In general, however, you should anticipate the process taking up to three months.

Family, School, Day Care & Eldercare Services

What is the Family Pass?

 

The Berlin Family Pass offers 300 family-friendly discounts for a full year. In addition, drawings are held for 150 day trips, tours, workshops and bus tours. With the Family Pass you can take advantage of discounts when visiting the zoo and Tierpark, swimming pools and ice rinks, boat tours and tourist attractions as well as at concerts, cinemas, theaters and museums, plus a whole lot more. Apply now!

Is it true that Berlin offers a day-care voucher? Where can I apply for one?

 

Yes, that's right. You can register for it at the Youth Welfare Office (Jugendamt) in your district. You should register no earlier than nine months and no later than two months before you will need care for your child. Go here to apply for a Kita voucher online. It will be automatically forwarded to the Youth Welfare Office (Jugendamt) in your district where you live.

 

For more information on family-related issues, we recommend you go to the Family Portal

Where can I find a day-care center?

Where can I find a good maternity hospital in Berlin?

Hier finden Sie einen Link zu Berliner Geburtskliniken sowie Hebammen. 

What sort of recreational activities are available for families?

 

Berlin is one big recreation and amusement park. Whether it's indoor or outdoor playgrounds, parks, athletic facilities, sports clubs, swimming pools, lakes, children's theater, children's museums, the zoo, Tierpark, or parent-child cafes – there's a wealth of things to choose from in Berlin. Have a look here.

Are there any multilingual day-care facilities?

How does the Berlin school system work?

Are there any international schools in Berlin?

 

Yes, Berlin has a wide range of international schools. Click here for a list!

Where can I find a school for my child?

 

Our waypoint "Finding Schools in Berlin" takes you to a map where you can search by location and type of school.

I'm curious about eldercare services in Berlin. What’s available?

 

Berlin has a wide range of senior-friendly housing options, with or without nursing care services. There are also residential complexes with assistance services provided externally (for example, by a community welfare center or nursing care service center) as well as nursing facilities or residential homes. We have compiled information about eldercare for your convenience. Find out more!

Where can I find a nursing care facility in Berlin?

 

Our waypoint "Nursing Care" will direct you to various internet portals. 

Living in Berlin

Which Berlin district is the best one to live in?

That depends entirely on your personal preferences. In Berlin you can feel right at home in any of its twelve different "cities." Twelve districts with twelve different mentalities that fit together harmoniously. The spectrum of districts ranges from the urban to bourgeois on through to positively princely. Go here we to find the most important information about each Berlin district.

How does the public transportation system work?

 

In Berlin, there are ten subway lines as well as 22 tram, 149 bus, 15 suburban and six ferry lines. You can find more information here.

How many train stations are there in Berlin?

 

The Hauptbahnhof (Central Station) as well as the Südkreuz and Gesundbrunnen stations are serviced by long-distance trains while the stations at Potsdamer Platz, Lichterfelde Ost, Jungfernheide, Alexanderplatz, Zoologischer Garten and Friedrichstrasse provide regional connections. Frequency of travel in the capital is very high: 300,000 travelers use the Berlin Central Station on a daily basis, with a train heading in one direction or another every 90 seconds. You can find more information here.

How many airports does Berlin have?

 

Berlin has two airports: Tegel and Schönefeld. In the near future these two airports will merge to become the Berlin Brandenburg International Airport (BBI). You can find more information here.

Where can I sign up for car sharing in Berlin?

Where can I rent a bike in Berlin?

 

Have a look here: Bicycle Rentals in Berlin!

How do I find a doctor in Berlin?

Our waypoint "Healthcare in Berlin" will direct you to a portal where you can search for area physicians. You’ll also find a list of all the hospitals in Berlin.

Where can I find a hospital in Berlin?

Our waypoint "Health in Berlin" will direct you to a listing of all the hospitals in Berlin. You'll also find a link to practicing physicians in the capital city area.

Where can I find a good breakfast in Berlin?

 

In Berlin you can have breakfast any time of day or night, because here you'll find that practically every corner has a coffee shop, bakery or breakfast cafe catering to both early birds and late risers. Here are some useful links on "Breakfast in Berlin". 

Do you have any suggestions about where I can spend my lunch break?

Berlin will spoil you with its wealth of choices. You can find someplace good to eat practically everywhere. Whether it's a canteen, restaurant, takeaway or delivery service – for our lunch break suggestions, have a look here.

Do you have a tip for a good bar or beer garden?

 

Of course we do! Here you'll find great tips on where you can enjoy a beer at the end of the workday.

Where can I find good places to shop in Berlin?

 

Information about Berlin boutiques, designer stores, shopping centers and other shopping areas are available here.

Learning German, Stammtische (Round Tables), Meetups

I am new to Berlin. How can I meet new people?

 

Initial contacts are often made through your new co-workers. But there are other great opportunities as well. Here you'll find a few of our suggestions.

Where can I find a foreign-language Stammtisch (Round Table)?

Use our waypoint "Berlin Stammtische" to find a selection of foreign-language round tables in Berlin..

Do you have a recommendation for a good meetup in Berlin?

 

At our waypoint "Meetups & other ways to meet new people," we've put together some suggestions for you. 

Where can I take a language course?

in Berlin that offer a selection of daytime and evening classes. You can find more information here.

 

So-called integration courses cover everyday language usage, including tips on interacting with public authorities, as well as writing e-mails or letters. In addition, each course includes an introduction to the city, material about the history of the region and general information about religion, the legal system and culture. You can find more information here.

I would like to learn German with a language (tandem) partner. Where can I get in touch with someone?