Berlin Life Hacks – Are you new to Berlin and want to know what’s going to make your life in the Hauptstadt easier? We’ve got you covered with everything you need to know about Berlin in one central place. From how to find a doctor, use public transit, hire a handy person, or move to a new flat, we’ve got you covered with our top recommendations, aka “Berlin life hacks”.
Berlin Life Hacks
Consider this your ultimate reference guide to life in Berlin and bookmark this page, as it’s updated often.
Last updated: May 6, 2022
Banks In Berlin
If you’re looking to take out a loan, visit CreditPlus.
Berlin News In English
If you’d rather listen to or watch something, DW has a Youtube channel full of news clips and free documentaries.
Borrowing (And Not Buying) Stuff In Berlin
Borrow stuff from your neighbours, or other Berliners around the city, on platforms like Nebenan.de.
Buying Food In Berlin
Discount supermarkets include Lidl, Aldi, Penny, and Netto. More average supermarkets are Rewe, Kaufland, Real, and Edeka. More upscale markets include Bio Company, Denns Biomarkt, and Frisches Paradies.
If you want healthy chef-prepared meals delivered to your home, try freshweek. You can also use HelloFresh. They deliver all the ingredients for your meal, so you can cook it yourself but not think about grocery shopping.
Dealing With Your Mail In Berlin
Many German companies, landlords, and government authorities like the Bürgeramt or Ausländerbehörde send out communications via post. Make life easier and sign up for E-POST to send and receive mail online. Sign up for E-POST.
If you’re moving to another flat in Berlin or will be out of the city for a while, you can also take advantage of mail forwarding services to make sure you don’t miss any important documents. Get my mail forwarded.
Curious about how mail forwarding works in Germany? Read our guide.
Doctors In Berlin
You can easily find a doctor and make an appointment using Doctolib.
We also recommend the TeleClinic app. German doctors offer video consultations through the app, as well as prescriptions and doctors note for sick leave.
Filing Taxes In Germany
Flat Cleaning Services In Berlin
Getting Around Berlin
If you want to take a taxi, use the FREE NOW app. However, Bolt and Uber are often cheaper and offer frequent discounts. Berlkönig is another popular service as it’s budget friendly and operates like the former Uber pool.
Rent an electric bike on a month-to-month basis with Swapfiets.
Giving Away and Getting Rid Of Stuff In Berlin
Berliners switch flats a lot. Others don’t stay in the city for that long. How do you get rid of your household items?
If you need to have a bulky item transported for proper disposal, like an old mattress, schedule a pick-up with BSR. You can also visit any BSR in the city to dispose of old things like TV’s, phones, laptops, and more.
Guided Tours In Berlin
If you’re new to Berlin and want to experience the city, take a tour with Get Your Guide.
From walking tours, to museum passes, and cruises along the Spree, there are plenty of unique experiences to partake in
Handy People In Berlin
Do you need picture frames hung in your flat? Someone to help install new lighting or build a bookcase?
Co-Tasker has an app where you can book movers, someone to do kitchen assembly, and even painters to prepare your flat for final inspection before moving out.
Have Someone Make Phone Calls For You In German
If you need to call someone, like a dentist or doctor, or even your bank, and you don’t speak German, it’s always stressful. Maybe you ask friends or colleagues to help. Well, stop bothering them and hire a local German speaker to make the call with you. Try BookaLocal to start making calls in German.
We also recommend reading about why it’s so great to learn German in Berlin.
Home Decor In Berlin
Hotels In Berlin
Considering a move to Berlin and want to scout out the city before making a decision? Perhaps you have family coming in for vacation and have no room in your WG or flat. Maybe you’re tired of your apartment and you’re seeking a Berlin staycation.
Whatever your situation, consider booking a hotel, hostel, or private flat with booking.com.
Lawyers And Legal Help In Berlin
Are you paying too much for rent? Were you illegally fired from your job? Talk to a lawyer (in English too!) and find out your rights with Conny. First consultations are free and you only pay lawyer fees if you win your case.
Locksmiths In Berlin
A good locksmith (Schlüsseldienst) is hard to find. If you’ve lost your keys, had them stolen, or got locked out of your flat, call on one to help you out.
We’ve had a positive experience with Christoph Albert Schlüsseldienst. They have fixed prices, speak English, can come within a few hours, and offer payment with card or via Paypal.
Long Term Flat Rentals
You can search for a flat with roommates on WG-Gesucht.de.
Moving House In Berlin
In need of moving boxes? Don’t buy them! Moving boxes are expensive and harmful to the environment. Rent reusable boxes from Boxie24. They’ll deliver and pick up boxes from you. Best of all the boxes are weather protected and won’t get damaged if you’re moving in bad weather. Renting boxes is also way cheaper than buying them.
For more information on moving house in Berlin, read our guide.
North American Phone Numbers
iPlum offers various features, but our founder uses them to retain a virtual Canadian phone number (they also offer US numbers). As she still has financial interests in Canada and places like her bank require a local phone number, iPlum allows her to keep a Canadian number on her German phone.
Private Health Insurance In Germany
Private insurance is especially suitable for freelancers or younger people not intending to stay in Germany beyond a few years. One of the best is ottonova. They are Germany’s first digital health insurance and almost everything can be done online or within their app.
Public Health Insurance Companies In Germany
Sending & Receiving Money Internationally
Use Wise to send money from your German bank account to people in other countries. Or send money from your home country to Germany. It’s convenient, cheap, and fast. Wise also offers plenty of other features like credit cards, borderless bank accounts, and more.
Alternatively, you can use Paysend.
Short Term Flat Rentals
Finding a flat in Berlin is one of the hardest things to do when you move here. Sometimes, you need a shortterm rental while you’re looking for you longterm home.
Therapists In Berlin
It can be hard to find a therapist in Berlin that not only speaks English but is also covered by health insurance.
When You Need A Canadian Address
Our founder keeps a virtual Canadian address with Your Canadian Address. They receive mail from places like her banks, then scan copies, and email it to her.
If you know of any other helpful Berlin life hacks, get in touch so we can feature the information here. 🙏
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