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Moving to Berlin from the UK

Visas, Costs and Lifestyle

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Read our go-to guide on moving to Berlin. We’ve compiled everything about visa requirements, costs, advice and lifestyle.

Cost of Moving to Berlin

The budget you’ll need to move to Berlin from the UK is between £3490 – £4770.

We compared the estimated costs of moving to Berlin from London for transport types and different size households:

Household sizeCost via RoadCost via Sea
1 bed£1,400 – £2,000£2,200 – £3,100
2 bed£1,800 – £2,500£2,900 – £4,000
3 bed£2,300 – £3,200£4,700 – £6,400
4 bed£3,100 – £4,200£5,300 – £7,200
5 bed£3,900 – £5,300£7,300 – £9,800

Disclaimer. The costs above are only estimates and may differ from the actual costs due to the distance of the move, volume, and your individual needs!

You can transport your household by road, which takes 2-4 days on average, or by sea, which can take between 25-31 days.

Discover the average costs for moving your furniture and belongings abroad.

International Moving Companies to Berlin

Relocation Services to Move to Berlin

Moving companies offer several services to make your move easier, including packing and unpacking, fragile item transportation, immigration advice, and storage solutions. The best way to find a company which suits you is to request quotes from different removal companies – You can compare prices and services to make an informed decision.

Moving to Berlin?
Choose the size of your move and receive free removal quotes!

How to find cheap moving companies to Berlin?

You can consider certain factors that can bring the price up or down:

  • Choice of moving company – Request several removal quotes to increase your chances on finding a good price.
  • Volume – The more you move, the more it costs.

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  • Complexity (large, heavy, and fragile items, etc.)
  • Insurance – Are you moving valuable items? Do you want to pay to replace them in the case of an accident? Then consider getting content insurance.
  • Additional services (e.g. assemblage and storage)

Moving to Berlin With Family

The German capital is considered as one of the most family and kid-friendly in the country (and even Europe). With many outdoor areas such as parks and playgrounds and family-oriented activities, you will find a nice environment to settle and raise your kids.

There are some things you can consider:

  • Exposing your kids to Berlin’s diverse environment can benefit their personal growth.
  • The city offers a variety of educational opportunities, including public, private, and bilingual schools.
  • English isn’t commonly spoken. Enrolling your children in a German course can be helpful for their integration.
  • Research family-friendly neighbourhoods, such as Prenzlauer Berg, Zehlendorf or Reinickendorf.

Moving to Berlin Alone

As an open-minded and welcoming city, exploring Berlin alone can be exciting. In its dynamic and diverse environment, there’s a place for everyone.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • You may be able to find affordable housing for yourself, as prices are cheaper than, for example, London.
  • Join groups with your same interests, attend meetups or start a language course to connect with others.
  • The city offers many cultural activities: museums, street art, music, galleries, etc.

How to Move to Berlin from the UK: Guide

We gathered the main things you need to know before moving to Berlin in the following checklist:

Visa Application

Due to Brexit, you will need a visa to move to Berlin from the UK, unless you are an EU citizen.

There are two ways to apply for a visa:

  1. Apply at the German Embassy in the UK before you go. You will find all the information and someone to advise you through the process there.
  2. Apply at the Ausländerbehörde’s migration and immigration office after you’ve moved to Berlin. Note that before you apply, you will need to register your address within 14 days of your arrival.
Read on visa requirements, how the system works and which visa you will need.

Gather All Documents

Prepare your birth certificate, marriage certificate (if applicable), medical documentation, university degree, financial statements and health insurance policy. These main documents will be useful to have on hand for your move.

Applying for the Health Insurance

In Germany, it’s mandatory to be covered with – at least –public health insurance. The country counts with state and private health insurance. Every citizen is covered by the state healthcare, which covers the main services. However, you can also be eligible for private insurance.

If you’re going to start working in Berlin, your employer will typically sign you up for the public healthcare system. As an employee, you have the option to select the provider. The system works as a statutory fee, part of the social security contribution.

Find all the information about the system requirements.

Paying Taxes

After registering at your new address, you should receive your tax number (Steueridentifikationsnummer) and provide it to your employer. You will also need to notify HM Revenue and Customs. Germany and the United Kingdom have an agreement to avoid double taxation. Read more on our page about Taxes in Germany.

Moving to Berlin with Pets

If you’re bringing your furry friend, make sure it is:

  • Micro-chipped
  • Vaccinated against rabies (at least 1 month before arrival and within the last 12 months)
  • Carry a written declaration that the pet will not be sold or exchange hands.

Some dog breeds (and half-breeds) like Dobermann, Rottweiler, and Mastiffs must pass a viciousness test or face being banned from import like the following completely banned breeds: Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Bull Terrier.

For exotic or other pets that aren’t cats or dogs, check out the German Food and Agriculture Ministry’s page on pets or reach out to the German Embassy.

Services Cancellations and Mail Redirection

Don’t forget to review and cancel any utilities or services that you can’t bring with you, as well as to inform every institution and people about your relocation. Be sure to leave a forwarding address. The Royal Mail offers this service.

Living in Berlin

Let’s dive into the living costs and possibilities of living in the capital city of Germany.

Cost of life in Berlin vs London

In the following table you can compare the prices of daily costs in London and Berlin:

Milk1.32 £0.98 £
Eggs (12)3.40 £2.79 £
Coffee3.61 £3.14 £
Restaurant Meal18.00 £11.97 £
One-way transport ticket2.90 £2.91 £
Basic utilities289.62 £284.70 £

Source: Numbeo

Moving to Berlin Without Speaking German

While English proficiency is increasing nationwide, some language barriers may still exist in rural areas, small towns, and particularly in eastern Germany. However, it shouldn’t be too hard to find English speakers in Berlin, as it is an international city known for welcoming people from all over the globe.

We recommend you take a German language course so you can integrate easily into the culture, as Germans are a bit hesitant to talk in English and you adapt to the country more easily as well.

British Moving to Germany: Experience Blog

Pros and Cons of Living in Berlin

If you’re still trying to find reasons enough to move to Berlin, weigh some of the following advantages and disadvantages of the city:


 Vivid cultural scene
 Open-minded and diverse
 Affordable cost of living
 Work-life balance


 Competitive house market
 Language barrier
 Integration challenges

Housing in Berlin

Accommodation in Berlin comes at a reasonable price and is often quite spacious, compared to other European capitals. Here are some estimated prices so you know what to expect when moving to Berlin:

1 bedroom£1,700£800
3 bedroom£3,300£1,600
City Centre Price/m2£11,100£5,425
Outside Centre Price/m2£5,600£3,500

Renting a House in Berlin

Renting is a great way to get your foot in the city. If you’ve started doing some research this information can be useful:

  • Warmmiete vs Kaltmiete: Warm (warmmiete) will include additional costs, such as internet, electricity, and gas. While Cold (kaltmiete) is the base price with no utilities included.
  • Furnished or Unfurnished: A furnished usually refers to a short-term let. An unfurnished apartment is for longer-term stays, but you’ll need to bring your furniture.
  • Contract: You must insist on having a written contract. This will provide a basis for legal action should you need it.

Moving to Berlin Without a Job

To be able to work in Germany, you will need to get your visa first (unless you have EU citizenship).

A full-time employee’s average net salary in Berlin after tax can go around €2,500 to €4,000.

Job Opportunities in Berlin

These are the main industries you can start your research to find a job:

  • Creative industries (media, fashion and music),
  • IT
  • Health care
  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental technology
  • Optical industry
  • Medical technology

You can begin looking at job fairs and job listings on the following websites:

Even if jobs are advertised as English-speaking, the office language may be German. Therefore, learning German will give you an advantage and help your career, even just basic conversational German.

Ready to Move to Berlin?

Now that you’ve finished reading, you are ready to move from the UK to Berlin. If you heed all the advice that we’ve listed here, it should be seamless and enjoyable.

Frequently asked questions

Do I need a visa to work in Berlin coming from the UK?

Is Berlin a safe city?