Living in Berlin?
Popular Expat Neighborhoods in Berlin
As you can probably imagine from the sheer size of Berlin’s 892 square kilometers, there are tons of neighborhoods and areas to choose from. There are 12 boroughs (Bezirke) in Berlin, each of which is divided into smaller neighborhoods.
Some of these should be avoided as they have a history of violence and drug use. Others can be quite expensive and rather difficult to find housing in. The following boroughs are some of the preferred neighborhoods among locals and expats alike. All are accessible by public transportation.
Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, in the heart of Berlin, is very beautiful and home to the famous Schloss Charlottenburg. It also has some upscale neighborhoods, such as Grunewald or the Westend, and can thus be expensive as it accommodates Berlin’s crème de la crème.
It is home to the International Congress Center (ICC) and may be a good area for living close to work. The seven districts within Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf do not only offer plenty of cafés, restaurants, and shopping centers, but many different types of housing as well. Town homes, condominium complexes, and residential estates can be found side by side. It is also an ideal district for expat families with children, as it has many parks and playgrounds.
Younger singles and couples may choose to move to Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg. Located to the south of Berlin-Mitte, this borough used to have a reputation as punk central. However, the city of Berlin and its inhabitants have discovered its hidden beauty and have begun renovating it.
The beautiful art nouveau façades of the old buildings and the green areas along the river Spree have made it one of Berlin’s up-and-coming neighborhoods. It is consistently listed as one of the top hipster neighborhoods in the world. Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg is also home to many galleries and artists, and housing can still be found for relatively low rents. However, there is a definite tendency towards gentrification (and thus higher prices).
The largest and least densely populated borough is Treptow-Köpenick southeast of Berlin-Mitte. It has the largest body of water in Berlin and is mainly composed of forests and parks. The main type of housing here are residential neighborhoods with family houses, and it is as an ideal place to live with children.
Pankow is also a popular borough in Berlin, located to the northeast of downtown Berlin. It has seen significant developments of new housing districts during the nineties, especially in the increasingly gentrified neighborhood of Prenzlauer Berg. For more information in English on these and any of the other eight Berlin boroughs, please visit their independent websites.
You're coming to Berlin from another German city? Our article on moving within Germany has useful advice.
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