If you’re thinking about living abroad and working remotely in Europe, Berlin may be the place to create your new home. Ranked 19th on Nomad List’s database of over 1200 cities suitable for digital nomads, it isn’t hard to see why Berlin is increasing in popularity. Read on for our Berlin guide for digital nomads.
1. What’s so great about Berlin for digital nomads?
With high-speed internet, a location central to Europe, and locals that are friendly to foreigners and speak English, Berlin has become a popular choice for digital nomads.
Many people in Berlin speak English fairly well, especially if they are under 30 or so. If you need anything, try asking the locals; they should be able to speak English well enough to help you out. If you know a little German, even just a word or two, the locals seem to like if you try to use it when you can.
Places to work from
Berlin has a number of coworking spaces available for rent, which you can rent by the month, by the day, or even by the hour. Cafés also have wifi available, and with a cup of coffee costing less than $4, it isn’t too expensive to work from a café if you’d prefer that over a coworking space.
Berlin, Germany is situated almost in the middle of Europe. This makes it a great home base to go and explore the rest of Europe when you can. Just about anywhere to the East, and everywhere to the West, can be reached within 24 hours by train. In Berlin itself, it is very easy to get around on the public transit systems or by walking to your destination. As a center of activity in both World War II and the Cold War, Berlin also has lots of history and museums for you to discover.
2. Where to live in Berlin?
Berlin is very big, so even if you find a great area to live in, you may end up traveling to get to other great areas to explore. Among the best areas are Kreuzberg, Charlottenburg, and Wedding.
There are no tourist attractions in Kreuzberg, but it isn’t far from popular attractions. A popular neighborhood for digital nomads, Kreuzberg is a vibrant area with lots of restaurants, fast food, and bars. It has a lively nightlife and not many tourists, but rental rates have been increasing due to its popularity. Charlottenburg is a busy area that feels like it could be the city center, bustling and close to just about everything, although it isn’t actually the center of the city. Wedding is an attractive and more affordable area that is popular among immigrants.
Long-term rentals are very competitive, as Berlin continues to increase in popularity among travelers and expats. Landlords typically want to see proof of a full-time job, a history of paying rent in the past, and a good credit rating. It might be very difficult for you to find a long-term rental in Berlin quickly.
Here are some resources to help you find a space to live in Berlin:
- WG-Gesucht – sublets varying in duration from a few weeks to a year. It may be harder to rent these unless you are already in Berlin, so you should plan to stay somewhere like a hostel while you are looking for a sublet.
- Circus Hostel – one of Berlin’s most popular hostels, Circus Hotel has free wifi, rental laptops, and is close to public transit.
- 36 Rooms – a hostel in the Kreuzberg district.
- Wunderflats – furnished apartments available for rent.
- Rooms for Rent – a Facebook group for room rentals in Berlin.
- Wohnungsmarkt Berlin – a Facebook group with available apartment rentals.
- Exberliner – an English-speaking agency that will help you find furnished or unfurnished apartment rentals. They advertise that they are ⅓ of the price of other agencies in town.
- TrustedHousesitters – if you don’t mind house-sitting or pet-sitting in exchange for a free place to stay, check this site to see if any locals are planning on leaving Berlin around when you arrive.
A one-bedroom apartment in the center of the city would cost you roughly $850/month.
3. Where to work in Berlin?
Whether you’re more productive in coffee shops or in coworking spaces, you’ll find many of both in Berlin. A coffee will cost you roughly $3.44, and many cowork spaces offer a rate by the hour or by the day. Either way, it’s a very affordable way to work and network.
- Launch/Co – located in Friedrichshain, Launch/Co offers office space in the parish house of an old church with three levels of plans so you can choose the access and features that suit your needs best.
- Betahaus – one of the best known coworking spaces in Berlin, the ground floor is also a cafe. Fill out the form on their website for a free one day pass to try out working at Betahaus.
- Factory – not only do you get access to working space and caffeine, when you purchase a membership with Factory you also get access to their network and members app, to connect with other innovative professionals you may want to work with.
- St Oberholz – work by the month, day, or hour at this cowork space with a café.
- WE’RE ALL IN – high-speed wifi and 24/7 access to the workspace.
- The Digital Eatery – a café and coworking space with free workshops and wifi.
4. Where to network with other digital nomads in Berlin?
Starting a life in a new city can be an isolating experience. Many of the coworking spaces already mentioned are great places to meet and connect with people, and they often host events as well. Here are a few of the other groups you can join and events you can attend to meet more digital nomads during your time in Berlin.
- Co up in Kreuzberg hosts regular events for people in the tech and creative communities; previously, this was a coworking hotspot, so you may find many digital nomads frequent the events.
- Factory hosts over 300 events per year, and aims to connect the tech community of Berlin through their events; this ranges from fireside chats about social media to yoga classes to a weekly brunch.
- ToyTown posts sometimes include invitations for social groups, such as a soccer league for expats.
TL;DR: Which type of Digital Nomad is Berlin for?
If you want to explore Europe from a central location that has high-speed internet and English-speaking locals, join the countless other digital nomads who have made Berlin home. The cost of living isn’t unbearable, but it is on the rise as more nomads travel and stay in Berlin. There are many coworking spaces and cafés to work from, and most of the cowork spaces host networking events so you can network and quickly connect with other people who may also be new to the area.