Immigrate to Berlin. Things you should know before moving to Berlin

There are many outstanding capitals in Europe, but Berlin is probably the brightest and the most contrasting one. This city was divided into two parts by the Berlin Wall in 1961. The reunion took place only 28 years later and it had an immense effect on Berlin. Even after the integration of the western and eastern sides of the city, the mindset of people and their lifestyle from the two different worlds distinguished anyway. At present, Berlin is a modern and thrilling place that attracts thousands of foreigners. Expats are moving to Berlin from the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, and many other countries to start a new stage of life there. Thanks to this guide, you will make sure that it is not difficult to immigrate to Berlin. Just think of your aim of the relocation, decide which belongings to take with you, and choose services for the international removals to Berlin.

International removals to Berlin with Eurosender

We have also collected many interesting facts about Berlin along with the recommendations concerning the relocation process. Check these tips to get ready for moving to Berlin from the USA, Canada, or any other state.

LocationBerlin is the largest city in Germany located in the Brandenburg federal state in the east of the country.
ClimateBerlin has a temperate continental climate with mild winters and hot summers. The temperature rarely goes below zero in winter.
CurrencyEuro (EUR €)
PopulationThere are more than 3.5 million people residing in Berlin, about 20% of whom are expats and immigrants.
LanguageGerman is the official language in Berlin and all over Germany. It is highly recommended to learn Deutsch intensively before moving to Berlin.
TimezoneUTC +1
Surprising factThere are more than 500,000 expats living in Berlin on a permanent basis.

Whether you are relocating from the USA to Berlin for a short term or want to settle down in Berlin permanently, you need to learn more about this country. Before your departure, you should also take care of visa, work and residence permit, learn some basics of the local language, and choose reliable services for international removals to Berlin.

We acknowledge that relocating from the USA to Berlin could be a challenging task in terms of moving house. It is practically impossible to take all your suitcases, furniture, sports equipment, and other necessary items with you because of the bus and airline baggage restrictions. Thus, it would be the right decision to move personal belongings to Berlin with Eurosender.

Living in Berlin

Many people from different parts of the world are moving to Berlin every day because this city can offer much to them. Berlin is the place of diversity as it is tolerant of various nations and outlooks. It is not surprising that Berlin was ranked as one of the best cities to live in the world. Along with numerous advantages, expats also report some disadvantages of living in Berlin, so let’s have a closer look at those.


  • Infrastructure. Even though Berlin hosts more than 3.5 million people, you will rarely find yourself in a traffic jam at any time of the day. In case you do not fancy driving in Berlin, then take advantage of the comprehensive infrastructure. Riding a bicycle is very convenient and safe as there are plenty of lanes all over the city. You can also take suburban S-Bahn trains and use U-Bahn subway.
  • High quality of products. Germany has very strict standards for locally produced and imported goods, including food, clothes, etc. Thus, you can always buy products of exclusively high quality in Berlin.
  • Cost of living. Berlin is often compared to London, but German capital is much cheaper. You can enjoy all the benefits of a vibrant city and the opportunities it provides by not paying much for transportation, amusement, and food.
  • Cultural events. Berlin is popular for its intense cultural life saturated with multiple events all year round. You can also notice musical performances in the streets and artists painting natural landscapes. As there are people from different backgrounds in Berlin, there are plenty of concerts, festivals, and exhibitions dedicated to French, Italian, American, Nordic, and other cultures.
  • Rubbish sorting. From the very beginning, you might find the system of sorting rubbish complicated. Germans take care of the environment, so this mechanism benefits garbage disposal and recycling.


  • Bureaucracy. Be prepared to dedicate much time for the paperwork before moving to Berlin and upon your arrival there.
  • Lack of job opportunities. Those who immigrate to Berlin expect that the German capital is over brimmed with job opportunities for expats. Berlin is the economic centre of Germany, but such cities as Cologne and Frankfurt have much more to offer immigrants.
  • The German language. Many expats point out that learning the German language is tough, so it is highly recommended to learn Deutsch long before you immigrate to Berlin. Even though English is widely spoken in Berlin, everyday issues are often resolved properly when one speaks German fluently.

Cost of living in Berlin

While Berlin is the capital of Germany, Dusseldorf and Hamburg are much more expensive cities to live in. As it was mentioned above, the prices are not extremely high in Berlin, which concerns the accommodation costs as well. In the table below, check the average prices for the everyday and monthly expenses of typical expats living in Berlin.

Apartment rental700 € (1-bedroom apartment)
Utility bills250 €
Internet30 €
A meal of the day8 €
A cup of cappuccino2.50 €
International school500-700 €

Visa regulations for Berlin

While the EU citizens can immigrate to Berlin with no extra effort, those coming from outside the EU, EEA, and Switzerland will have to apply for a visa. Before moving to Berlin, you need to clearly delineate the purpose and duration of your stay there. Expats usually apply for one of the following visa types for Germany.

  • Jobseeker visa. It gives you an opportunity to come to Berlin or another city in Germany and seek a job that corresponds to your education and qualification skills. Consider that you need to have 5 years of relevant professional experience before applying for this type of visa.
  • Work visa. You need this type of visa when you plan to immigrate to Berlin for employment reasons. Ask your job contractor or employer to help you to arrange all the necessary documents.
  • Business visa. People planning to stay in Berlin for business purposes for 3 to 6 months, need to apply for this type of visa. It will be also suitable for those who want to set up a business in Germany or become self-employed there. For the latter purpose, be prepared to introduce a detailed business development plan to the authorities.
  • Student visa. This type of visa is for students who enrolled in one of the universities in Berlin.
  • Family reunion visa. If one of your close relatives is a German resident, you can apply for this type of visa to reunite with him or her.

There are also certain categories of residence permits for typical expats moving to Germany: temporary, long-term, permanent, and the Blue Card. We will go into detail to differentiate these types of resident permits.

  • Temporary residence permit or simply Aufenthaltserlausbnis. It is issued for one year and should be renewed afterwards depending on your employment and marital status, nationality, and occupation.
  • Permanent residence permit or simply Niederlassungserlaubnis. This type of residence permit allows staying in the country for as long as you wish. However, you can apply for it only after you held a temporary residence permit or the Blue Card, worked in Germany, and contributed to the government by paying taxes for at least 5 years.
  • The EU Blue Card. As the German government has been recently approaching skilled labour migration, a new type of residence permit was introduced. The Blue Card is for highly qualified professionals in the sphere of engineering, IT, and healthcare from the non-EU countries. This type of residence permit is valid for a 4-year period.

Get more information about the visa application and residence permit in your local German embassy.

Healthcare in Berlin

All German citizens and legal residents are obliged to obtain health insurance. The German healthcare system is divided into the public and private sectors, but most locals and expats prefer the first option. Public healthcare insurance covers primary care, unemployment and retirement benefits, most medical services and drugs, and also provides a range of other advantages.

Those who immigrate to Berlin for the employment purposes need to register with the health insurance fund. This is usually done by the employer, but you need to clarify this upon your arrival. It is essential to obtain healthcare insurance because you claim for a residence permit in Germany.

The German healthcare system is one of the best in Europe and in the world. More than 50% of hospitals in Germany are public and about 30% are private. Anyway, all of them have modern equipment and highly trained medical professionals. There are plenty of hospitals in Berlin, but expats would certainly prefer those with English-speaking professionals. Check the list of healthcare institutions popular among foreigners in Berlin.

Charite – Campus Benjamin Franklin Chirurgische Klinik I

Campus Berlin Buch


St. Joseph Krankenhaus Berlin-Weißensee


School and education

Education for school-age children in Germany is mandatory. If you are moving to Berlin with your kids eligible for schooling, then you have to choose the appropriate educational institution for them. You can find out detailed information about the education system in Germany in our dedicated article. We have prepared a list of international schools in Berlin for you.

Lycée Francais de Berlin

Berlin Brandenburg International School

Berlin Metropolitan School

Berlin British School

John F Kennedy School Berlin

The job market in Berlin

Berlin is known as the financial, economic, and political centre of Germany. However, the unemployment rate exceeds 10% there, which is two times higher than the national average. Anyway, many foreigners manage to find English-speaking jobs with decent salaries that definitely cover the cost of living in Berlin. In-demand jobs for English-speaking experts are related to content writing for digital marketing firms, product management, and tourism.

Berlin is a place for start-ups as local authorities encourage young and creative talents to develop their ideas. The most perspective start-up projects have great chances to get investments from individuals and large corporations. Most of those start-up companies plan to recruit English-speaking professionals that have international experience in the global market. Nevertheless, intermediate-level knowledge of German is strongly recommended, literally required, in case you are planning to immigrate to Berlin for the employment reasons.

Property information

The prices for the real estate property are not very high in Berlin compared to other cities in the western part of Germany and other European capitals. However, there is a tendency for a moderate increase in the cost of housing in Berlin. The average price for a 1-bedroom apartment in the central region of the capital is 800 €, but it is still possible to find affordable accommodation options for about 650 € in the suburbs of the city. If you are moving to Berlin with your family, then a 2-bedroom or a 3-bedroom apartment will be the right choice. The rental cost would be respectively about 1000 € and 1300 € on average. If you plan to buy a dwelling in Berlin, be prepared to pay around 3500 € and 6000 € for 1 square meter of property.

Driving in Berlin

The rules for driving in Berlin are the same as the general rules for driving in Germany. However, you need to consider that Berlin is a megalopolis with about 3.5 people living there, which makes you think of the traffic and alternative transportation options in the city. Driving a car in Berlin is common, but the culture of riding a bicycle gains more and more popularity in the German capital. And there are several reasons for that! Germans are obsessed with the impact on the environment they produce, so the culture of riding a bicycle brings no pollution and benefits a healthy lifestyle. At the same time, parking space in Berlin is scarce and expensive, so it is inefficient to use a car daily. Furthermore, Berlin has a developed infrastructure, including a comprehensive transportation system. Thus, many locals and expats prefer using U-Bahn and S-Bahn offering relatively low ticket prices.

Cost of moving to Berlin

Before settling down in the capital of Germany, discover the cost of moving house to Berlin, estimate how much is shipping from the USA to Berlin, discover the cheapest way to move furniture to Berlin, etc. With Eurosender, you can choose a safe and cheap way to move personal belongings to Berlin.

As Eurosender offers exclusive shipping services for expats and international students planning to move personal belongings to Germany, you will get lower than the average moving costs to Berlin. By using our platform, you get the best offer in terms of the price-to-service ratio. Thus, you can enjoy the cheapest way to move furniture to Berlin and take advantage of door-to-door shipping which excludes the necessity to take your heavy parcels and pallets to a drop-off point.

Before booking shipping services, we encourage you to take the dimensions of your parcels and insert them in the Shipment Size Checker on our website.

If your package exceeds standard dimensions or you need to ship multiple parcels, contact our logistics experts for booking removal services at lower than average moving costs to Berlin.

The most popular destinations from where you can move to Berlin

Moving to Berlin from Canada

Luckily, there is a large community of Canadians already residing in Berlin. If you are also moving to Berlin from Canada soon, then you need to choose the best services for international removals to Berlin. Eurosender grants the most affordable cost of moving house to Berlin and provides holistic support from the state of booking to delivery.

Moving to Berlin from the United Kingdom

Many English-speaking professionals residing in Berlin have a British origin. In case you plan your relocation soon, then moving to Berlin from the United Kingdom with Eurosender would be the right choice. Feel free to contact our logistics experts for booking removal services at lower than average moving costs to Berlin.

Other destinations?

Disclaimer: The materials provided in this article were collected from other credible resources to be used for general information purposes only. Given that the legislative basis of the country and its economic development have a changing nature, the information provided in the article could be subject to change. Whilst we endeavour to keep the information up-to-date and correct, Eurosender will not be liable for any inappropriate, incomplete, or inaccurate information. Certain links will lead to websites which are not under control of Eurosender. Thus, Eurosender accepts no liability in respect of materials, products or services being not under control of Eurosender.