Finding Accommodation, Flatsharing, Hostels in Berlin


Cost of Living

Berlin is still an exceptional value in cost-of-living. A monthly income of 700 euros can maintain an individual at bare minimum standards. To live adequately, you should expect to live on about 1,200 euro a month with anything over 2,000 euro a month being quite comfortable. Clothing and electronics are at higher prices than many other locations, but practically everything else (eating out, groceries, etc) are less expensive. Many people who are able to secure full-time employment live like Kings in Berlin.

  • Groceries at discount shops like Aldi or Lidl - less than 10 euros daily
  • Domestic Beer at the grocery store (0.5 liter) - .70 euro
  • Water at the grocery store (0.33 liter bottle) - .40
  • Eggs (12) - 1.76 euro
  • Chicken Breasts (1kg) - 4.45 euro
  • Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro) - 4.50 euro
  • One-way Ticket - 2.20 euro
  • Monthly transit pass - 74 euros
  • Meal at an imbiss - 5 euro
  • Meal at a restaurant - 8-10 euro
  • Domestic Beer at a bar (0.5 liter) - 2.50 euro
  • Pair of Levis 501 - 50 euro
  • Dress in a Chain Store (H&M) - 40.00 euro

Prepare for your Housing Search

Research, research, and introspection should define your pre-accommodation search. Familiarize yourself with the different areas of Berlin and find where you want to live. Read blogs from the area, find official resources, visit the different areas. Ask yourself questions like:
How big a place do you want? A studio? A three room flat?
Where do you want to live? Somewhere close to your work? In the trendiest part of town? East or West?
What's your price range?
With answers to these important questions you can begin to think of a specific place.

Short-term Accommodation

Short-term accommodation can help you and your family get situated after the move without having to make any permanent decisions quite yet.

Subletting is popular and the best option when you are first planning to arrive in Berlin. There are many on-line sites including:


Known as Wohnung Gemeinschaft and commonly referred to as a WG (pronounced "weh-geh"), flatshares in Berlin can be a bit complicated. In such a social city, personal chemistry is vital and an extensive interview process with all the roommates and a probation period is not uncommon. However, a flatshare is also a great value and can provide an expat with an opportunity to get to know a new city with a local. A room costs about 300-450 euro.

An important trait in any roommate situation is having boundaries and a clear understanding of what each roommate requires. To protect yourself against potential problems, make sure to have a contract that explicitly states rights and responsibilities.


Hostels are plentiful in Berlin and generally very inexpensive. They may be called Jugendherbergen, and cater to the young backpacking crowd. They can be quite large (like 32-bed rooms) and raucous. There are also private rooms available, as well as more private boutique hostels. Many hostels have tours that leave directly from their lobby or bar. Prices rise over the summer, and on the weekends. You can pay as little as 8 euros at large hostels on off-times, but expect to pay around 15 euro.

Update 6/06/2011


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