Berlin is not only the cultural and political capital of Germany, but it’s also become one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations and a central hub for creatives, as well as the vegan capital of Europe. So, as you can imagine, finding an apartment in Berlin for rent isn’t the easiest of endeavours. Are you on the hunt for Berlin apartments for rent?
Due to the popularity of the city and abundance of people who decide to call it their new home every year, finding an apartment in Berlin can be more complicated than you may think — especially if you’re new to the area. With that said, it’s by no means impossible but will require a little bit of time and patience (generally between two weeks and six months), and as someone who has lived in Berlin for quite some time now and has found her dream flat (it took me six months), I’m here to help!
Finding Berlin Apartments for Rent
Which Neighbourhood and What Type of Apartment?
Sounds like the most obvious advice in the world, doesn’t it? But in reality, neighbourhood research is essential before setting out on your Berlin Apartments for Rent hunt as each area has unique offerings in regards to culture, aesthetic, and things to do. Your choice of neighbourhood will, of course, depend on your budget as well as your interests. Might be a good idea to come and spend a weekend in Berlin first to soak it all in and decide what area you like best.
For example, Mitte is seemingly a popular choice as it is central and contains many of the city’s best tourist attractions, but this also makes it more expensive, and I personally dislike it, I find it Boojee AF. Another popular neighbourhood is Friedrichshain, a hot spot for partygoers and anyone who appreciates a good night out, which I don’t, but I love Friedrichshain, and it’s where I live. So it’s kinda tricky. You should really come to spend some time here and get a vibe of each neighbourhood. Here is a quick guide to Berlin’s neighbourhoods.
Once you have an idea of the neighbourhood you want to live in, or at least narrowed down a few, you can begin to look for Berlin apartments that suit your needs. For example, you may be working with a tighter budget and require a shared apartment in Berlin or ‘WG’ (pronounced veh-geh), or looking for a place of your own — once you establish this, you will have a more specific idea about what to look for and where to look. Fortunately, the internet is somewhat of a deep rabbit hole when it comes to sites dedicated to renting and purchasing apartments in Berlin.
Where to Look for Berlin Apartments for Rent
Before you begin to roam the abundance of websites that may just reveal the beautiful new pad you’ve been looking for — if you already have an apartment in Berlin and are looking to move, your Hausverwaltung is a good starting point. They will likely have other properties to rent, and if you have been a wonderful tenant, they will trust you and may even give you a good deal when it comes to renting. Failing that, here is a list of websites and groups that are worth a look:
- eBay Kleinanzeigen – The most popular German classified ads site
- ImmobilienScout24 – Germany’s biggest apartment listing site. That’s where I found my flat
- Charlottenburger Baugenossenschaft
- Deutsche Wohnen
- Stadt und Land
- WG Merkur
Short Term and Furnished Apartments
- exBerliner – English-speaking accommodation service offering both furnished and unfurnished flats
- Berlinovo – Furnished apartments
- Nestpick – Furnished apartments
- Wunderflats – Furnished apartments
- coming home – Furnished apartments
- TheHomeLike – Furnished apartments
- Crocodilian – Furnished apartments
- FarAwayHome – Furnished and serviced apartments
- Spotahome – Medium and long term furnished apartments
- GoLiving – Furnished apartments. Everything included but very expensive.
WGs, Flat-Sharing and Roommates
- WG-Gesucht – The most well-known German roommate search website. Very competitive!
- WG Suche
- WG-Zimmer & Wohnungen Berlin – Facebook group, 160,000+ members
- Zimmer in Berlin, Zwischenmiete – Facebook group with 25,000+ members
- Find room/roommate in Berlin – Facebook group with 2900+ members
- Berlin Wg Zimmer Wohnung Room Flat Apartment for Rent -Facebook group with 87,000+ members
- Flats in Berlin – Facebook group with 85,000+ members
- Queer housing Berlin – Facebook group with 6000+ members
- Vegane WGs Berlin – Facebook group with 2500+ members
Don’t Forget Social Media
I know I have already mentioned a few Facebook groups above, but you should always keep your other social media channels in mind if you’re looking for Berlin apartments for rent. If you are struggling to find an apartment that suits your needs or budget, or are in a bit of a pinch and need a short-term place to stay — your social media pals can often come in handy. Of course, this will only be successful if you already have friends in Berlin or have friends who have friends in Berlin.
By posting a status saying that you’re looking for an apartment or shared accommodation in the city, you’ll be surprised how often people can come to the rescue by either responding directly or tagging other friends in the comments section. Either way, you have nothing to lose!
How Much Rent Should You Pay for Berlin Apartments?
Now let’s get down to it, the big question, how much will it cost you to rent an apartment in Berlin? This map made by ImmobilienScout in 2017, shows the average price of renting apartments depending on the location along the U Bahn and S Bahn lines. It provides you with an average price of a thirty-year-old 70m2 apartment, without utilities (kalt-miete). But that was three years ago, so for 2020, you can multiply these amounts by 1.5 to give you a more accurate idea of modern prices.
Also, the “Mietspiegel” (Rent mirror), a database run by the city, is a brilliant tool for keeping track of prices across Berlin’s districts. All you have to do is enter your street to check the rent prices.
Live Within Your Means
Okay, this isn’t exactly a Berlin-specific tip, but when you move here, you’ll soon find that it’s essential to live within your means until you get the lay of the land. It’s not uncommon for people to move to a new city and seek out the coolest and most unique apartment possible, but in doing so, you will also sacrifice a lot of your budget. Berlin isn’t the most expensive city in the world, but it’s most definitely not the cheapest. My advice would be to find a place that suits your needs and budget, and from there you can make it a home. Berlin has so much to offer outside of your four walls, so it would be a shame if you have no time to see it because you work long hours to cover the cost of your expensive rent.
As long as you have everything you need, and the place you come home to every day isn’t a dump, then in my book that’s a win. It may take you a little while to find an apartment in Berlin you’re happy with, but I can say from experience — it’s worth the wait!
Are you moving to Berlin soon or have a city break planned in the near future? I have plenty of posts and guides to help you find your way around when you arrive!