Edgy Berlin is cosmopolitan and eclectic. The once-divided city lures a variety of artists and is known for its nightlife, rich culture, and most recently, the emergence of an entrepreneurial scene.

    Unlike other big cities, Berlin is clean, safe, and surrounded by green open spaces. Everything is a bike ride away and you’ll never run out of things to do in one of the main startup capitals of the world.

    Population Size


    Time Zone

    UTC+1 (UTC+2 in the Summer)


    Euro (€)


    Cost of living

    The best part of Berlin is how relatively inexpensive it is to live. While salaries are high, rent is very affordable.

    Most important of all, the internet. When signing up for any internet provider, you will need to wait for a technician to come to your place (mind you, it’ll take something between 2-4 weeks after you’ve signed up). Prices are around €20 and €30 depending on internet speed (maximum is usually 100mbps).

    Moving around

    A travel pass will cost you around €80 and covers every public transport. The system is more than adequate, runs almost around the clock on weekends, and until late during the week (it can get tricky during the winter, though). You can either take the S-Bahn (train), U-Bahn (metro), trams or buses.

    You can also pedal pretty much everywhere, but expect that eventually your bike might get stolen (it’s kind of a right of passage). You can buy it back at the flea market at Mauerpark, though!

    Culture Shock

    It’s no shock the German people value order, privacy, and punctuality. Careful planning and preparation is essential in both business and personal lives. It’s perfectly normal to set up a coffee with a friend two weeks in advance! But don’t worry, Berliners are usually very easy-going.

    If you want to lose yourself in some of the magical places Berlin has to offer you, try some of our partners:

    • Housing
      Large apartment$1,500.00
      Medium apartment$1,200.00
      Rent index [score]0.65
      Small apartment$850.00
    • Cost of Living
      5km taxi ride$13.00
      A Cappuccino$3.60
      A beer$1.20
      A kilogram of Apples$2.80
      Inflation [score]0.55
      Monthly fitness club membership$41.00
      Monthly public transport$100.00
      Movie ticket$11.00
      Price of a meal at a restaurant$61.29
    • Startups
      Average monthly increase in number of startups49.0
      Average monthly increase in number of startups [score]0.90
      Coworking spaces [score]0.77
      Coworking spaces on WorkFrom.co103
      Meetups [score]0.88
      Meetups groups200
      Meetups members210212
      Number of investors609
      Number of startup events in the last 12 months1238
      Number of upcoming meetup events196
      Startup climate scene [score]0.96
      Startup events328.0
      Startup events [score]0.85
      Startups [score]0.92
      Total number of startups1240
    • Venture Capital
      Funding accelerator namesAxel Springer Plug and Play, Startupbootcamp Berlin, Techstars Metro
      Number of funding accelerators4
      Venture capital [score]0.78
    • Travel Connectivity
      Airport hub142
      Airport hub [score]0.63
      Intercity train connectivity [score]0.78
    • Commute
      Human city page
      Traffic handling [score]0.90
    • Business Freedom
      Business freedom90.00
      Business freedom [score]0.97
      Freedom from corruption79.00
      Freedom from corruption [score]0.86
      Lack of labor restrictions50.60
      Lack of labor restrictions [score]0.29
      Time to open a business10.50
      Time to open a business [score]0.89
    • Safety
      Crime rate [score]0.61
      Gun-related deaths per 100,000 residents per year1.01
      Guns per 100 residents30.3
      Lack of gun related deaths [score]0.97
      Lack of guns [score]0.84
      Lack of guns and gun-related deaths [score]0.91
    • Healthcare
      Healthcare expenditure [score]0.87
      Healthcare quality [score]0.83
      Life expectancy (years)81.04
      Life expectancy [score]0.86
    • Education
      Best university in rankingHumboldt University of Berlin
      Best university ranking57
      Country mean scores in PISA math test517.09
      Country mean scores in PISA reading test507.68
      Country mean scores in PISA science test524.12
      PISA math ranking (high school)14
      PISA ranking10
      PISA ranking (high school) [score]0.86
      PISA reading (high school)9
      PISA science (high school)13
      Percent of happy students0.78%
      Percent of low performers in PISA math test0.18%
      Percent of low performers in PISA reading test0.14%
      Percent of low performers in PISA science test0.12%
      Percent of top performers in PISA math test0.17%
      Percent of top performers in PISA reading test0.09%
      Percent of top performers in PISA science test0.12%
      University quality [score]0.54
    • Environmental Quality
      Air quality [score]0.64
      Cleanliness [score]0.56
      Drinking water quality [score]0.64
      Urban greenery [score]0.86
    • Economy
      Currency exchange rate per US dollar for urban area0.85
      Currency for urban areaEUR
      GDP growth rate0.02%
      GDP growth rate [score]0.34
      GDP per capita$45,888.42
      GDP per capita [score]0.73
    • Taxation
      Effective company profit tax rate on payouts as dividends [score]0.45
      Income tax level [score]0.33
      Profit tax (%% of profit)0.49%
      Time overhead to file company taxes218.0
      VAT (Sales Tax)0.19%
    • Internet Access
      Download speed (Mbps)30.24
      Internet access (download) [score]0.47
      Internet access (upload) [score]0.46
      Upload speed (Mbps)10.62
    • Leisure & Culture
      Art galleries90
      Art galleries [score]0.77
      Cinemas [score]0.59
      Comedy clubs63
      Comedy clubs [score]0.86
      Concert venues109
      Concerts [score]0.72
      Historical sites239
      Historical sites [score]0.92
      Museums [score]0.85
      Performing art venues105
      Performing arts [score]0.69
      Sport venues48
      Sports [score]0.68
      Zoos [score]0.89
    • Tolerance
      Homosexuality acceptance (percent of the surveyed population in favor)0.87%
      LGBT Equality Index85.45
      LGBT Equality Index [score]0.87
      LGBT adoption rights✖ Step-child adoption only
      LGBT age of consent✔ Equal
      LGBT blood donation regulations✖ Banned (indefinite deferral)
      LGBT conversion therapy regulations✖ Not banned
      LGBT discrimination legality✔ Illegal
      LGBT employment discrimination legality✔ Sexual orientation and gender identity
      LGBT gender changing rights✔ Legal, surgery not required
      LGBT homosexuality rights✔ Legal
      LGBT housing discrimination legality✔ Sexual orientation and gender identity
      LGBT marriage rights✔ Civil unions
      Tolerance towards minorities [score]0.56
    • Outdoors
      Elevation (hills or mountains) [score]0.18
      Median peak in meters325.00
      Urban area elevation (meters)44.00
      Water access [score]0.92
    Source: teleport. Updated on 23 Sep 2018

    Moving in

    Visa & permits

    EU citizens can enter Germany freely and are entitled to live and work in Germany without a visa, but still need to get a residency permit. Non-EU citizens planning to live or work in the country will need to get the necessary work or residency permit (it’s essential to have it approved before arriving!).


    There’s a place for everyone to feel at home in Berlin, be it a junior tech pro looking for their first big break or a senior tech pro with their family. Berlin is divided into 12 different neighbourhoods, each with its own vibe.

    Most of Berlin’s fast-growing startup scene is located around Torstrasse. Prenzlauer Berg is the most family-oriented neighbourhood, filled with organic food shops and vegan cafes. Kreuzberg is ideal for those who love being a part of a varied culture scene; it’ll never be boring. Friedrichshain is also great for those who enjoy a lively lifestyle; the neighbourhood offers affordable housing and all sorts of restaurants, cafés, clubs, and shops.

    First you need to decide if you want to settle in an Untermiete (a sub-let) or a Wohngemeinschaft (a flat share). Then, prepare to wait and fight for a place. Most rentals involve going through a Hausverwaltung (a Property Management group) that schedules a viewing of the property. Show up well dressed and queue until it’s your turn to go inside for a look. Be friendly and polite, shake the estate agent’s hand, and provide copies of a working contract, bank statements showing proof of salary for the last 3 months, a valid Schufa (a credit report), and if possible, a letter from a guarantor. After, remember to follow up by emailing the agency as soon as you get home. If house hunting in Berlin feels like you’re doing job interviews all over again, you’re doing it right.

    The cost of rent is cheaper than most capitals, and accommodation is certainly more affordable than in other European capitals. Expect your rent and utilities to cost around €550 per month.

    Taxes + Salaries

    The German IT industry is both enormous and in desperate need of employees. Even though German salaries are one of the highest in the world, German taxes are also very high, and depending on salary, you can have as much as 45% deducted from your monthly earnings. To compensate, employers usually offer incentives like performance bonuses and contributions towards private health insurance policies.


    Opening a bank account in Germany is easy and online banking is commonly used to make transactions and manage accounts. To open an account, you will need to provide your residence card, proof of address, and an ID card. Once opened, you’re issued a Eurocard (EC) which can be used to withdraw cash, print out bank statements from ATMs (Geldautomat), and make purchases — note that withdrawing money from another bank’s ATM will incur extra charges!


    Berlin has a culture created around healthy living and prevention. It’s compulsory for all residents in Germany to have health insurance, so you will have to sign up for some form of it.

    There are two types of health insurance in Germany: private health insurance through a company or statutory health insurance provided by the state. You can only take advantage of statutory health insurance if you’re formally employed by a company in Germany.

    Employers share the cost of health insurance every month, regardless of whether you have chosen private or statutory health insurance.