The Ins and Outs of Being a Digital Nomad in Berlin
Berlin is a great city for those of us who are experts in balancing work and play. Hitting deadlines then hitting the town is the way of life as both a digital nomad in Berlin and a native. Berlin is multifaceted. You will find yourself among motivated and vibrant freelancers and immersed in a booming startup culture. In the same vein, don’t be surprised if you find yourself walking home from dancing the night away at any one of Berlin’s famous clubs. Either way, the unique balance of work and play earns this city its spot on one of the top places to be as a digital nomad. If you’re considering Berlin as the next destination on your digital nomad journey, you’re in for the ride of your life.
1.) How To Get There
If you want to take your remote work to the capital of Germany, there are a few things you should know. To stay in any of the Schengen zone countries visa-free, Americans can stay up to 90 days on a tourist visa.
For anything longer than that you would need a visa. You can visit the appropriate visa requirements here.
2.) WhereTo Stay
Berlin boasts one of the hippest arts and culture hubs in the world. If you’re planning on spending a few months in the city as a digital nomad, a few things to consider is where you want to live, work and play while you’re there.
Getting Around The City
To start, don’t worry too much about getting around the city. Berlin is well connected with a train system that is open from 4:30 am to 1:30 am, and 24 hours on the weekend. At about 78€ or $92 a month, you can easily maneuver the exciting mega city.
Cost of Living and Finding a Place to Live
Berlin is surprisingly more affordable than many European capital cities like London and Paris when it comes to food, rent and theoverall cost of living. The estimated cost of living for a digital nomad in Berlin can be anywhere from $1,512 to $2,142, according to NomadList.
When it comes to finding an apartment, there are many options. Platforms like Airbnb can be appealing, because of the hassle-free ease of finding a place. The downside to Airbnb is the cost, which tends to be on the more expensive side. For a monthly Airbnb, you’re looking at around $1,900 to rent a private room. For a much cheaper option (like even more than half than the price of Airbnb), you can search listings on WG-Gesucht.de.
Finding a neighborhood to call home can be hard in a city like Berlin. In a city with over 3.5 million people and filled to the brim with hip areas, artsy neighborhoods and historical districts, knowing just where to call home can be difficult. Here are a few popular options.
- Kreuzberg, Neukölln, Friedrichshain – Trendy, artsy neighborhoods with plenty to do and some of Berlin’s most hidden gems. These neighborhoods are home to some of Berlin’s coolest attractions, famous clubs and art galleries and will never leave you bored.
- Prenzlauer Berg and Mitte – A bit more posh and upscale neighborhoods with some of Berlin’s most popular attractions nearby.
- Wedding- Berlin’s up-and-coming hip neighborhood in the northwest. Accommodations are much more affordable than the aforementioned areas, and it is well connected to the rest of the city.
3.) Where To Work and Network
Berlin has an amazing network of digital nomads hustling, innovating and constantly making moves in the startup, freelancer and technology scenes. There is no shortage of places to go and meet other location-independent workers and get some work done on your laptop.
Co-working Spaces and Cafes
- Betahaus €99/month
- Sankt Oberholtz €4/hour or €99/month
- Launch/Co €40/day or €300/month
- WE’RE ALL IN €15/day for drop-in guests, €110/month for a few days a week €220/month for your own reserved desk
- tuesday coworking – €165 month flexible desk or €265/month
To find available seats at co-working spaces in your city, use the app Get Croissant.
To become fully acquainted with the vast digital nomad community in Berlin and all that it has to offer, you should join one of the many local groups. Groups like Digital Nomads Berlin have weekly meetups where you can mingle with other expats and network. You never know where you may find your next opportunity! Every meetup has a theme surrounding online community, freelancing and travel. For more information on networking events, it’s also a good idea to check out the event board at your favorite co-working space.
4.) Where To Eat
While you’re in Berlin, you’ll be delighted with the endless choices when it comes to food. Berlin is full of several delicious international and affordable choices in the city. If you’re looking to try a local delicacy, be sure to try the local schnitzel and currywurst. But here are some key things not to miss in the city.
The kebab is the late-night snack popular around Europe, but Berliners know that nothing compares to a kebab in the city. Some say that the first kebab was sold in Berlin by a Turkish immigrant named Kadir Nurman in 1972 who sought to create a more portable version of a traditional Turkish meal. Kebabs in Berlin are made with fresh vegetables, Turkish-style meat and a type of Turkish bread called durum. While this is typically enjoyed by Germans late at night, it is nonetheless more than worthy of being noshed on in daytime hours.
Good street food is a way of life in Berlin. On any given day you can find many markets and events dedicated serving up hot, mouthwatering international bites. Berlin’s diversity gives way to its international food scene, and the creative nature of the city seeps into its food scene. There are all kinds of fusion foods that merge cultures and flavors from around the world, and there are more than enough opportunities to experience it as a digital nomad in Berlin.
- Bite Club – Pop-up street food experience offering unique culinary experiences. Location: Germany, Eichenstraße 4, Berlin, Germany
- Thai Park – Sunday Berlin tradition at a park in Wilmersdorf selling Thai food. Location: Brandenburgische Str, Berlin, Germany
- Street Food Thursdays – A Thursday night tradition at Markthalleneun in Kreuzberg with international food, local craft beer and wine from the region. Location: Eisenbahnstraße 42–43, Berlin, Germany
5.) When To Go
If you’re planning on spending some time in Berlin, you may want to consider a good time to experience everything that the city has to offer. For digital nomads from the U.S. who are staying on a tourist visa, your passport only allows you to stay for 90 days for up to 6 months of the year. With the type of weather that Germany experiences, you’ll want to use those 90 days wisely.
Berlin winters are long, hard and dark. Temperatures reach below freezing, and the sun goes down right before 4 pm. While the harshwinters never stop Berliners from having fun, to experience the best that the city has to offer, you should consider summer as your best bet. What better time to experience a thrift market and outdoor karaoke at MauerPark every Sunday? Overall, there are tons of music festivals, art events, and networking opportunities awaiting digital nomads in Berlin.
Do you love Berlin? Tell us your experience as a digital nomad in Berlin in the comments below!