- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Berlin Guide (PDF)
Before moving there, expats are bound to wonder about living and working in Germany's capital city. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Berlin:
Do you need to know German to find a job in Berlin?
Finding a job in Berlin is difficult enough in itself without a working knowledge of German. The city suffers from a high rate of unemployment, and foreigners moving to the city without a job organised prior to arrival will most likely find that opportunities are few and far between. It is therefore advised to learn conversational German in order to gain an advantage in the job market.
Expats who do not speak German will want to consider teaching English or approaching multinational companies headquartered in Berlin which may need foreign employees.
Is it better to live in East or West Berlin?
Although the city is no longer divided, many locals and expats still see a clear schism in the greater cosmopolitan character. Neither side is necessarily better than the other, but both do have their pros and cons.
Both luxurious and cost-effective accommodation options exist on each side; though the drawcard of Berlin's hip, young counterculture mainly makes its home in the East. This area is also subject to more construction and is associated with certain areas that are considered unsafe at night.
The West had the benefit of receiving funds from the Allies post World War II, and therefore is more developed, notably so in architecture and infrastructure.
But the fantastic public transportation in Berlin makes getting from point to point fairly easy, so access to all there is to see and do in Berlin is efficient and convenient no matter which side one lives.