The Berliner Life
January 1, 1970
by Ángela Pontes Rodríguez
The Berliner Life
I lived in Berlin for three years from 2012 to 2015 and I can ensure you that it is a city which caught you, it doesn´t let you to leave it.
I will write about Berlin so many times in this blog because it is a city which deserves a lot of posts. As a fake Berlinerin (a girl/woman from Berlin) I will give you here the best recommendations of the city, from where to live, where to go to german lessons to the places where to eat and of course to hang out.
WHERE TO LIVE IN BERLIN?
Let´s start today where to live in Berlin, the coolest and more fashionable city in the last years. Berlin is the capital of Germany and it has over three million people living there. The first which comes to your mind is that a big city like this it will have enough space for everybody and the answer is Jein (yes and no, how the germans say).
The answer is affirmative because it is true that there are so many places to rent and even to buy (if you are interest in) but on the other hand the demand is so high thus the prices of the houses are increasing in the best neighborhoods in the city, where it is worthy to live because of their social and night life.
But not desperate my friends! I will give you some advises to find the best place in Berlin to live because is the place to be.
THE BERLINER NEIGHBORGHOODS
Berlin has 23 neighborhoods: Charlottenburg, Friedrichshain, Hellersdorf, Hohenschönhausen, Kreuzberg, Köpenick, Lichtenberg, Marzahn, Mitte, Neukölln, Pankow, Prenzlauer Berg, Reinickendorf, Schöneberg, Spandau, Steglitz, Tempelhof, Tiergarten, Treptow, Wedding, Weissensee, Wilmersdorf, Zehlendorf. From all of the keep in mind the following ones:
Friedrichschain: or “ F´schain” for the locals, is the hipster neighborhood itself. Full of young and multicultural people from all over the world. Small and vintage Cafés, cocktail bars and the moat important and well-known discos are placed there. The street where you can find them is called Warschauer Strasse. Prices of the rooms are around 400- 450 euros monthly.
Kreuzberg: or X-berg, It is the neighbor of F´schain, lifestyle and the people you can see over there is completely similar to the ones in F´schain. For a good tequila, tacos and margaritas I highly recommend you: Santa Maria in Oranienstrasse. The rents in X-berg are almost the same than in F´schain: 400-450 euros per month but if you are lucky, you can find some places for 100 euros less.
Neukölln: is the turkish neighborhood. I you like Kebaps and the turkish cuisine this is your place. Because of the cheap rents of the flats a lot of international and even germans are living here. Prices range between 300-400 euros monthly.
Prenzlauer Berg: for some time now, the old neighborhood where rock and punk were born, changed its revolutionary spirit to a comfortable and familiar one. Prenzlauer became bourgeois. Those wild young boys and girls who moved to the reunified capital to look for new experiences turned to parents who prefer a comfortable and quite life in the same neighborhood where years ago they enjoyed the Berliner night. Here you can find a lot of cafés and restaurants more expensive than in the other neighborhoods but the prices of the rent are the same as in F´schain or Kreuzberg: 400-450 Euros.
Schöneberg: It is one of the neighborhoods which is placed in the west part if the city. You realize inmediato about it, only looking at its architecture. The Kadewe (the very well-know shopping mall of West Berlin), Ku´damm (the shopping street by excellence from H&M and Zara to Giorgio Armani and Yves Saint Laurent) and the Kaiser Wilhem Gedächtnis-Kirche (the church in memorial of Kaiser William) are in this neighborhood. Prices here are also quite high from 400 and sometimes to 500 euros per month. Pay attention to what are you looking for!
Tempelhof: Once you are living in Berlin either to live or to stay for some summer German course, you will spend most of the summer days in the former airport of Tempelholf. The neighborhoods is enjoying a boom, but so far the prices of the rooms are more affordable than in the other parts in the city. Easily you can find rooms between 350-400. Most of the big and important festivals and concerts are taking place in Tempelhof, like the famous Lollapalooza Festival which is celebrating its second european edition again in Berlin this coming September.
Wedding: It is the turkish neighborhood placed in the north part of the city. Its border is with Prenzlauerberg. A lot of young people moved there few years ago because of the cheap rents of the rooms and flats. Although they increased with the time, you can still find some rooms for 350-400 euros per month.
Easter Berliner neighborhoods are: Friedrischain, Mitte y Prenzlauer Berg, the western: Kreuzberg, Neukölln, Schöneberg, Tempelhof (American sector) and Wedding (French sector).
Berlin was always well-known to be the cheapest European capital to live but since 2006 it is not cheap as it was in the past. In that year the gentifrication came to Berlin to stay for a while (now the local government is taking measures on this) and increasing the prices of house-living. I can give you an example, my own experience with this.
When I moved to the city in 2012, renting a room in Prenzlauer Berg, was 200-250 Euros and the most expensive rent to pay was 300. Six months later the prices raised to 300-350 and 400-450.
In spite of the increase of the prices, be careful and pay attention! The square meter value is 10 euros– what it is stipulated by the authorities in Berlin). In a shareflat, besides the square meters of your room you have to add too the square meters of the kitchen and the bathroom. You come to a total and this is what the Germans call “Kaltmiete” (cold rent). Then you have to add up the additional costs (Nebenkosten): water, electricity, Internet and the TV and Radio tax (is mandatory in Germany since January 2013). To calculate your final rent you have to add up the Kaltmiete and the Nebenkosten.
I hope you like this post and the most important that it was useful for you either you spend only some months in the city or you plan to live in there. I will come back to you with most posts of this fantastic city in which I give you my advises where to hang out and where to eat in Berlin.