Moving to Berlin

Are you to moving to Berlin, seat of the Bundestag? Well, Guten Tag und Welkommen to your go-to guide on moving to Berlin. We want to help make your move as easy as possible! So, we’ve compiled some of expert tips, lists of Must Dos, cost breakdowns, and don’t forget to avail of our five free removal quotes to get an estimate on your move.

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How Much Will it Cost to Move to Berlin?

That, if I may say, is a very good and well thought out question, and I’m glad you asked. Your head may be spinning thinking of all the costs you could incur as you move to Berlin, but don’t worry, we’ll give you a nice oversight and some useful tips.

Frist off, moving to Berlin from the UK is fairly easy due to the short distance and good shipping connections. There are options to choose from when shipping, so be aware of the container shipping costs. You can choose to either transport your household by road, which takes 2-4 days on average, or by sea, which can take between 25-31 days.

Of course, the type of transport will affect the cost of transport, so consider your needs and choose wisely. We know pricing can be overwhelming, so we compared the estimate costs of moving from London to Berlin for transport types and for different size households to help:

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!

Of course, you can influence the cost of your move to Berlin by considering certain factors, which can bring the price up or down:

  • Choice of moving company – Don’t go to just one company for a removal quote (which are free), the more quotes you get, the more chances of finding a good price
  • Volume – The more you move, the more it costs. Why not calculate the volume you’ll be moving with our volume calculator?
  • Complexity (large, heavy, and fragile items; think grand piano or Fabergé egg)
  • Insurance – Are you moving valuable items? Do you want to pay to replace them in the case of an accident? Then you should get content insurance.
  • Additional options – Assemblage and storage

While the cheapest option may seem the best way to save money on your move, be prepared to pay in other ways. Always ask for upfront breakdown of costs and any recommend services, that’s where there can be hidden costs! We recommend having insurance, especially if you are moving valuable items, accidents happen.

Looking for a good price? Get great quotes to compare now! Go on, you can always come back later. Life is about detours, take one.

Moving to Berlin?
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What to Remember Before Your Move to Berlin

When you think of moving to Berlin, you may think of just loading your belongings into a lorry, then unloading when you arrive, and an apartment full of moving boxes.

But, there are a few other tasks that must be taken into consideration. And since that’s our job, here are a few of the most important tasks to consider before moving to Berlin from the UK.

Passport

You can’t board a plane without it, and they won’t let you fly if it’s out of date. So, make sure you have a passport, and that the expiration date isn’t close to your moving date. Don’t wait until the last minute, we really do not recommend seeing which comes first your passport or your flight, so renew it early!

Visa

Unfortunately, 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:

The most advisable is to apply at the German Embassy before you go. You will be able to find all the information and someone to advise you through the process there.

The other option is to apply at the Ausländerbehörde’s migration and immigration office after you’ve moved to Berlin. Please note that before you apply, you will need to anmeldung einer wohner (register your address) within 14 days of your arrival.

Have you got more burning question about visas for Germany? Then you should check out our page about them here!

Documents

There are some additional documents that you should prepare or that will prove useful to have on hand when moving to Berlin from the UK:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Medical Documentation (including dental and immunizations)
  • University Degree(s)
  • Financial Statements
  • Health Insurance Policy

It’s important to keep these documents safe, moving can be chaotic. You should have duplicate copies just in case.

Health Insurance

When first arriving using EHIC/GHIC while you set-up is fine, but keep in mind that you are moving abroad, after all. So, after you register with your municipality, you will need to start looking into health insurance in Germany and whether you’ll use the state insurance or private.

What’s the difference between state and private health insurance? How does it all work? We hear you asking, then you should visit our page healthcare in Germany for more information.

Taxes

Not to state the obvious, but if you are moving to Berlin, you’ll have to pay taxes in Die Hauptstaft. So, if are living abroad for more than a tax year, then you need to contact HM Revenue and Customs. Germany and the United Kingdom have an agreement to avoid double taxation, they just need to know that you want to avoid that. 😉

After you register your address, you should receive Steueridentifikationsnummer (tax ID number) which you will need to deal with the tax authorities and will need to provide it to your employer.

Of course, this isn’t all there is to taxes, they’re always a little bit more complicated. So, do you want to know more about the tax system in Germany? Then why not read our article about taxes in Germany.

Pets

If you’re moving to Berlin with pets, there are a few things that you’ll need to do. Cats and Dogs will need:

  • To be micro-chipped or a clearly visible tattoo of the pet’s identification number
  • Vaccinated for rabies at least 1 month before arrival and within the last 12 months and only after being microchipped
  • Must carry a written declaration that the pet will not be sold or exchange hands

Furthermore, 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

Got a pet that isn’t a cat or a dog? Then check out the German Food and Agriculture ministry’s page on pets. And for other more exotic pets, we recommend reaching out to the German Embassy for clarification on the legality of moving your pet to Berlin.

Miscellaneous

Cancellations

It may just be a stone’s throw away, but most utilities and services that you have in the UK won’t work in Berlin.So, do the smart thing and review and cancel any utilities or services that you can’t bring with you.

Sirelo tip: Make sure to have the end date coincide with the day you leave your old home; in the last few days, you don’t want to be stuck living in a house with no water or worse… no internet!

Mail Redirection

It can be easy to forget to inform everyone and every institution about your move to Berlin, trust us on that one. So, if you don’t want to miss a card from grandma, be sure to leave a forwarding address. The Royal Mail offers this service.

Do you like helpful lists and want to make your move from the UK to Berlin easier? Then check out our moving abroad checklist. There’s not much more satisfying than ticking things off a list.

Find Your New Home in Berlin

The first thing you’ll likely notice upon moving to Berlin is that accommodation comes at a reasonable price and is often quite spacious, at least compared to other European capitals. You will find unique properties and quite a variety of housing to choose from, ranging from modern chic housing to historic buildings.

Of course, an important thing to be aware of is the price of accommodation when moving to a new city, there’s nothing worse than being over charge! So, here are some estimated prices so you know what to expect when moving to Berlin

LondonBerlin
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 Tips

Renting is a great way to get your foot in the city, and if you’ve already been looking for apartments, you’ve likely seen these words. If you haven’t yet, we’ll explain it quickly!

  • 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 apartment comes with furniture, obviously. Just be warned it can be price and is only meant to be a short term let. An unfurnished apartment is for longer term stays, but you’ll need to bring your own furniture! So, you might want to get some free moving quotes to help with that!

  • Contract

Another point that you must insist on when renting in Berlin is a written contract. This will provide a basis for legal action should you need it; a good offense is the best defence.

Renting isn’t the only thing you’ll be doing in Berlin; you’ll also be living there. If you’ve never been before, German life can be strange. Do you want to know more about living in Germany in general? Why not read our article on the subject.

Remember: In Germany, shops are closed on Sunday. Also, radio isn’t free, so you have to pay €250 annually even if you don’t listen to it!

The Brandeburg Gate in Berlin

Finding a Job in Berlin

If you’re moving to Berlin with a job, that’s great and you can totally skip this section. But before you go, it’s important to remember to get your visa before you start, you can’t work in Germany without one (unless you have EU citizenship)!

On the other hand, if you don’t have a job yet, don’t worry, we can help you looking for one just keep reading for some helpful insights about finding jobs in Berlin.

So, the first thing you should think about is what the main industries in Berlin are. It’ll make it easier to narrow your search or encourage you to get more creative when finding a job. Below is a list of the top industries:

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

Above all things, perseverance is key when looking for a job in Berlin. Network online before you go. It’s smart to make yourself visible to employers on and 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.

Remember, Kleinvieh macht auch Mist (Small amounts add up to something bigger)!

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. A new adventure awaits!

But, if you feel like you need to know more before moving to Berlin or just moving to Germany, we’ve got you covered! Take a look at the pages below, so you can start your journey to Germany on the right foot! Auf Wiedersehen und Spaß umzug haben!