Are you new to Berlin and want to know how 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, follow our top recommendations, aka “Berlin life hacks”.

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Consider this your ultimate reference guide to life in Berlin and bookmark this page, as we update it often.

1) Banking In Berlin

There are many traditional German banks in Berlin where you can open an account, including Postbank, CommerzbankDeutsche Bank, Sparkasse, and Volksbank.

There are also banks that take a more modern approach to banking, like N26DKB, and Vivid.

If you’re looking to take out a loan, use CHECK24 and Smava to find the best deals.

2) Berlin News In English

Read The LocalBerliner Zeitung, Der Spiegel, and DW. You can also subscribe to the 20% Berlin newsletter. We also feature even more blogs about Berlin for you to read.

DW has a YouTube channel with news in English, as well as many free documentaries. From a podcast side, we recommend reading our roundup of the best podcasts in Berlin.

3) Borrowing Stuff In Berlin

Borrow stuff from your neighbors, or other Berliners around the city using the app.

4) Buying Food In Berlin

Discount supermarkets include LidlAldi, Penny, and Netto. More average supermarkets are ReweKaufland, and Edeka. Upscale markets include Bio CompanyDenns Biomarkt, and Frisches Paradies.

REWEEdekaAmazon Fresh, and Bringmeister all deliver food to your door. Flink will get groceries to you in about an hour. You can also use HelloFresh – they deliver all the ingredients for your meals, so you can cook it yourself and not think about grocery shopping.

Download the Flink app and use promo code FLINK-3TDV5T to get €15 off your first order.

For takeout, use WoltUbereats, or Lieferando.

Download the Ubereats app and use promo code eats-cherylh421 to get €10 off your first two orders of €20 or more.

5) Culture in Berlin

If you want to be in the know about what’s happening in Berlin, from concerts, to film screenings, art exhibitions, where to eat, and more, check out Cee Cee, The BerlinerLOLAMit Vergnügen BerlinTip Berlin, and ZITTY.

6) Dealing With 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. 

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. Curious about how mail forwarding works in Germany? Read our guide.

7) 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 doctor’s notes for sick leave.

8) Drugstore and Apotheke Delivery

Maybe it’s Sunday or it’s getting late and you need some medication. Order what you need from GoPuls, Redcare Pharmacy, or MAYD and get it delivered to your house.

9) Electricity Companies In Berlin

Most people opt to go with the big names like Vattenfall, RWE, Yello, and MVV, while others go with English-speaking and foreigner-friendly Ostrom.

Energy costs in Germany are notoriously high, so we suggest reading our guide on how to save energy in Germany.

10) Filing Taxes In Germany

File taxes in Germany with SteuerGo, Taxfix, 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.

Sign up for Sorted to get 25% off of any subscription for one year.

11) Flat Cleaning Services

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 (my personal favorite) or Spic and Span. You can also find a cleaner through the Book a Tiger platform.

12) Getting Around Berlin

If you take public transit a lot, subscribe to the nationwide €49 monthly ticket which allows for unlimited travel across Germany.

Otherwise, download the BVG app and buy a ticket whenever you need one. Note – It’s always cheaper to buy the “4 ride card”, as you’ll save up to €2.60 for four single journeys.

If you want to take a taxi, use the FREE NOW app. However, Bolt and Uber are often cheaper, and faster, and offer frequent discounts.

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

There are also plenty of rental options:

⭐ 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 or Dance.

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

13) Giving Away and Getting Rid of Stuff In Berlin

Berliners switch flats a lot. Others don’t stay in the city for that long. So 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. There’s eBay Kleinanzeige too, which operates much like Craigslist or Kijiji.

If you need to have a bulky item transported for proper disposals, 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 TVs, phones, laptops, and more. Another option is the tiptapp app where you can find someone to pick up your items and properly dispose of them for you.

Whatever you do, don’t be that person who leaves their junk out on the street. The outside of my building recently looked like a garbage dump – as people had left out an old mattress, a fridge, a couch, and even … a toilet. Thankfully, the administration is cracking down on this bad habit as everyone in the building assumes the pickup costs.

14) Government Websites

For anything official, always go to a government website for the most up-to-date information. We recommend and

15) Guided Tours Of 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. 

We further recommend Fever for tickets to shows and other unique experiences in Berlin. Some of our favorite experiences right now are Candlelight: Queen meets ABBA in the Astor Film Lounge and Paint in the Dark: Painting Workshop & Drinks in the Dark

16) 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.

17) Help With Bureaucracy In Berlin

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.

18) Home Decor In Berlin

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

If you can’t afford to splurge on new furniture when you move into a new flat, consider renting a piece of furniture, or even furniture for an entire room, through a subscription with Lyght Living.

19) 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

20) Laundry Services in Berlin

There are better ways to spend your time than doing laundry. Fortunately WirWaschen has you covered – the laundry service offers wash, dry & fold, charges by the kilo, and is extraordinarily easy to use. Best of all, they come to pick up and deliver your laundry during your preferred time slot.

21) 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.

Check out our post about immigration lawyers in Berlin.

22) 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 a card or via Paypal. 

23) 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

We also recommend BerlinRelo, a consultant who guarantees to help you find affordable flats. Another option is Get the Flat

If you’re considering buying a property, use this mortgage calculator from Hpyofriend.

24) Moving Flats 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.

25) North American Phone Numbers

iPlum offers various features, but I use them to retain a virtual Canadian phone number (they also offer US numbers). As I still have financial interests in Canada and my bank requires a local phone number for 2-factor authentication, iPlum allows me to keep a Canadian number on my German phone.

26) Pet Sitters In Berlin

One of the best ways to find a dog or cat sitter is through the Pawshake platform.

27) Popular Instagram Accounts

Some of the most fun accounts to follow are Berlin Ausländer Memes and Berlin Club Memes.


28) Private Health Insurance

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.

29) Public Health Insurance

Most people in Germany opt for public health insurance. Popular companies include TK, Barmer, AOK, DAK, and SBK.

30) Restaurants & Bars in Berlin

Obviously, we’re not going to list every single restaurant in Berlin on this page. We’ve developed several restaurant guides, which we’ll continually add to this page:

1) Our Favourite Mexican Restaurants In Berlin
2) The Very Best Korean Restaurants In Berlin

31) Send & Receive 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.

32) 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 short-term rental while you’re looking for your long-term home. Try AirbnbWunderflatsNestpickFlatioCrocodilianHomelike, and Spotahome.

Use BERLINLIFE50 for €50 off your first booking.

33) 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, you can find therapists pretty quickly and easily through It’s Complicated or Mittelweg 50. Note, many therapists offer discounts if you’re experiencing financial issues.

34) Vets in Berlin

There are plenty of top-notch vets in Berlin, but I take my two cats to Kleintiermedizin am Lützowufer. They have English-speaking staff, are very warm and professional, and won’t overcharge you for unnecessary services. They also have various equipment on site, so you don’t need to wait long to get test results back for your little critter.

When my 16-year cat was ill during the pandemic, I was hesitant to take her out of the flat for a stressful trip to the vet. I used Felmo, a mobile vet service that came to my apartment to complete the euthanasia. They too were very lovely and made our last moment’s together way less stressful.

35) VPN Services

If you want to watch American Netflix or other shows from home, our top recommendations for VPN services include TunnelBear and Surfshark.

36) When You Need a Canadian Address

I keep a virtual Canadian address with Your Canadian Address. They receive physical mail on my behalf, scan copies, and email them to me. Best of all, there is no subscription fee and you are only charged per use.

If you know of any other helpful Berlin life hacks, get in touch so we can feature the information here. 🙏


Cheryl Howard, Founder @ The Berlin Life

Cheryl Howard, Founder @ The Berlin Life

Hi, I’m Cheryl. My mission is to help you move to Berlin and find work.

A Canadian in Berlin for 10+ years, I have the unique experience of moving to Berlin – not once, but twice. During my time in Berlin, I’ve had five different visas and worked as both a freelancer and a permanent employee for numerous Berlin companies. I even managed to find a new job during the pandemic and again in 2023, during Germany’s recession and massive layoffs in tech. 

My day job has involved work as a hiring manager, overseeing the recruitment of countless people, as well as a team coach helping teams and individuals work better and find happiness in their careers. Through my side projects, I’ve also shared my personal experiences by publishing a series of helpful blog posts, creating a thriving community of job seekers, and hosting events to help people find work in Berlin. In 2021, I decided to put my coaching and recruiting talents to use by creating The Berlin Life, bringing my existing content and community together in one spot.

The combination of my personal and professional experience means I know exactly what it takes to move to Berlin and find work.

Disclaimer – This post contains some affiliate links. If you make any purchases, I’ll earn a tiny commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!