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: 20/9/2022

Banks In Berlin

There are plenty of banks in Berlin who you can open an account with, like Sparkasse, PostbankCommerzbankDeutsche Bank, and Volksbank.

If you’re looking to take out a loan, visit CreditPlus.

There are also banks, who take a more modern approach to banking. Try N26DKBVivid, and ING.

Berlin News In English 

Read The Local or DW. You can also subscribe to 20% Berlin on Substack. We feature even more blogs about Berlin for you to read as well.

If you’d rather listen to or watch something, DW has a Youtube channel full of news clips and free documentaries.

From a podcast side, listen to Berlin Briefing for daily news. We also recommend reading our article about the best podcasts in Berlin.

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 LidlAldi,  Penny, and Netto. More average supermarkets are ReweKauflandReal, and Edeka. More upscale markets include Bio CompanyDenns Biomarkt, and Frisches Paradies.

REWEEdekaAmazon Fresh, and Bringmeister all deliver food to your door. Gorillas and Flink will get groceries to you in 10 minutes or less.

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.

For regular food delivery, use WoltUbereats, or Lieferando.

First time Wolt customers – Use the code 968W7 to get 5 € off for each of your first 3 delivery orders!

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.

Drugstore Delivery

Maybe it’s Sunday or it’s getting late and you need some medication. Order what you need from First-A or MAYD.

Filing Taxes In Germany

File taxes in Germany with SteuerGotaxfix, and Wundertax. Many of them even offer services in English.

If you’re a freelancer needing to keep track of income and expenses, as well as file taxes, try Sorted and Accountable.

Flat Cleaning Services In Berlin

If you need your flat cleaned because you’re moving in or moving out, or if you want to employ someone on a regular basis, try Sunshine Cleaning or Spic and Span.

Getting Around Berlin

If you take public transit a lot, buy a BVG subscription for as little as €63 monthly. Otherwise, download the BVG app and buy a ticket when you need one.

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.

New FREE NOW customers can use the code 4F7ETYTHS to get €7 off their first ride.

You can rent scooters from Uber and Bolt. Other popular companies are TierLime, and Voi.

Rent an electric bike on a month-to-month basis with Swapfiets.

Rent a car using car-sharing apps like SHARE NOW and WeShare.

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 want to give something away, see Free Your Stuff Berlin. If you want to sell something, try Sell Your Stuff Berlin.

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?

Get in touch with Driller Queens for help around your home. We’ve also used Handyman In Berlin and have been really happy with their work. Colleagues of mine recommend Golden Hands Service Berlin too.

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

Some of our top places include Home24TK MaxxZara HomeH & M HomeIKEA (where else?), WestWing, and Made.

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

Use these sites for your flat search – ImmoweltImmobilien ScouteBay Kleinanzeigen, and Immonet.  

You can search for a flat with roommates on WG-Gesucht.de

Moving House In Berlin

Moving to a new place is never fun. One of Berlin’s favorite and most popular movers is Mark With A Van. We also recommend Schwester Esther.

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

Most people in Germany opt for public health insurance. Popular companies include TKAOK, and SBK.

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.

Try AirbnbWunderflatsNestpickFlatioCrocodilianHomelike, and Spotahome.

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.

If you have the cash, find therapists through It’s ComplicatedStillpoint Spaces, or Mittelweg 50. Note, many therapists also offer discounts if you’re experiencing financial issues.

VPN Services

Our top recommendations include TunnelBear and Surfshark.

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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Note – At no cost to you, we may receive a small commission via some of the affiliate links listed here. All funds are applied to our web hosting fees, paying new writers, etc.

About Our Author

  • A Canadian who’s been living in Berlin for 10 years, Cheryl’s moved here not once, but twice. During her time in Berlin, she’s had five different visas and worked as both a freelancer and permanent employee for a number of Berlin companies. She even managed to find a new job during the pandemic. That said, Cheryl knows what it takes to move to Berlin and find work.

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