Moving to Berlin: My Story

Are you looking to move abroad and experience a completely different lifestyle? Berlin, Germany has become an increasingly popular destination for those seeking a change of pace. Moving to Berlin is the real time story and experiences written by Chelsea on Chasing Whereabouts.

As the largest city in Europe, Berlin has been widely acknowledged as one of the most influential cities in the world. It attracts people from around the globe and offers an array of cultures, arts, nightlife, and history that presents infinite opportunities for anyone willing to take them.

If you’re considering moving to Berlin then this article is for you. We will cover what you need to know before making the move including practical information such as paperwork requirements, cost of living, job opportunities, and much more!

Berlin, Berlin, Baby!

konzerthaus berlin building - Moving to Berlin
Moving to Berlin

Berlin was a goal of mine for six years. I finally arrived here at the end of August 2022. I have officially been living in Berlin for over four months. There are some lessons that I have picked up along the way I would like to share with others thinking about moving to Berlin.

Any move requires advanced planning to transition between two places. Here are my top five tips for making your move to Berlin successful: find temporary housing with an anmeldung, have a side gig to bring in some extra income, have all your essential appointments booked in advance and plan a few trips in Germany.

Get Temporary Housing with an Anmeldung

Moving to Berlin can be a headache because there are many details one should focus on. Get a temporary place  that will allow you to get an anmeldung. The anmeldung is required for your visa appointment and other daily essentials in German society like banking and mobile phone.

If you book a place for five to six months, you will not have to stress about moving house. Plus, you will have a stable place to use for the post. Also, you will need an address for your resident card the foreign office will send.

If you want less stress, mess and headache, plan to find a place to stay till you can get your German id card. You can use Airb-n-b, Spotahome or Wunderflats to help you get established in Berlin. Once you have your temporary housing with anmeldung, you can focus on other big items on your move to Berlin to-do list.  

Have Extra Income

Before you come to Berlin, set up a remote job to bring in money. A remote job will provide money to do activities in Berlin and give you a daily routine. You can look at jobs like customer care, tutoring, teaching, writing, editing, personal assistant, data entry, IT and other areas of work.

The income is a great supplement to help you bridge from your old job to the new one in Berlin. Also, you might be waiting for your visa appointment for a few months, so it would be wise to have something to keep you busy and let you make some money. Extra money is always handy for emergencies or your savings account. There is always a way to make extra money, so get a side gig and enjoy your new home.

Book Essential All Appointments Ahead

Before you arrive in Berlin, book all appointments. By doing this, you won’t be stressed about getting an appointment months after you come. In cities like Berlin or Munich, it’s difficult to book appointments. It’s best to have your anmeldung set up a week after you arrive at your temporary flat and to have your visa appointment set up within the first two months of your arrival.

The game is to get it all done early. You can book these appointments five to six weeks before you leave for Berlin. At this time, the appointments will be ready for the time you arrive in Germany. Then, you can pack and leave for Berlin with little stress about these appointments. Don’t follow the same path as others and book these appointments when you come here. Do it in advance and have time to enjoy a coffee in one of Berlin’s nice cafes.

Plan Some Trips in Germany and Learn Some German

Since you are waiting for life to come together, you should explore some of Germany. You will wait a while for the resident card to arrive via post. You should plan some trips around Germany. By this time, you might not be able to leave Germany because of the EU Zone 90-Day tourist visa law. Go check out some cool places in Germany. The card will arrive in your postbox eight to ten weeks after your visa appointment. 

Last, this is the best time to start trying to learn German. You should know some of the language spoken here because it will make you look respectful and help you integrate easier into society if you know a few words. It’s better to know some words than to know nothing. Many locals will be grateful that you are trying to communicate with them in their native tongue. You can take classes online or at a local language school. The sooner you start to learn German, the better you will adjust to life in Germany.

Final Thoughts

          For me, Berlin was a long waiting event, but the day I arrived was one of the best days of my life. I am glad I left my stable teaching job in Seoul to follow my dreams here. The move is something I do not regret, but something I wake up each day being thankful to have had to happen to me.

            If you want to move here, start planning your move. You should look to the Internet to connect with others and ask questions. Next, read what you can do here and about the visas. Do your homework!

            When you know your game plan, start working out the details. Get your to do list together and start prepping for leaving. Make sure you have a solid plan and get your housing, appointments and other essential tasks done.

            Remember if you want this! You can do it! The only thing that is holding you back is your mindset and you! You got this, so go after your dreams and try to live in Germany. Ich wünsche dir viel Glück! (I wish you good luck!)

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