Berlin is widely known as one of the most liveable cities. Although it has had a relatively recently tumultuous past that would challenge almost any other western major city – the way it has bounced back is an inspiration to its citizens. There are innumerous elements of this German city that make it so special but we have gone and done the sacrilege act of trying to condense those characteristics that makes Berlin so special, into a top 5!
Cost of living
Berlin would have to be one of the easiest places in the world to live a comfortable lifestyle in relation to finances. It really doesn’t matter how you look at it, Berlin is cheaper in almost any way than living somewhere like Auckland. For example, in 2019 rent in Berlin was 21% lower than in Auckland, restaurant prices were 23% lower than Auckland and grocery store prices were 21.5% lower than Auckland. It’s undeniable that those tantalizing cost of living differences make Berlin the ideal city for a working holiday in Germany!
One of the favourite past times for German working holiday makers is to grab a beer from the “Spätis” (off licence) and head to the park to soak up the sun and the atmosphere. Sit in the grass and relax, throw around a frisbee or people watch while you walk around. There are any number of things to do in a Berlin park and the best part about it is that they are everywhere! Some of the bigger parks like Tiergarten have equal parts space and tourists as it’s right near some major attractions. If you are looking for a more relaxed, less touristy vibe then somewhere like Viktoriapark in Kreuzberg might be better suited! When you are on a working holiday in a landlocked city like Berlin – the best thing to do is get yourself to one of the many amazing green spaces and immerse yourself – everyone else does!
The cost of public transport is probably going to be the first thing a Kiwi living in Berlin is going to complain about. Don’t listen to them! Firstly, they are too far removed from the public transport situation in New Zealand and secondly, it runs like clockwork so you won’t mind parting with the €2.20 for a trip. Most neighborhoods are really well connected by U-bahn, the underground train system in Berlin. But even if its not, the network of trams and busses is so comprehensive you won’t even notice!
Berlin is synonymous with nightclubbing and the undisputed birthplace of techno in the early 90’s. That side of Berlin is an amazing time! Everyone is out for a good time, the thrill of passing the test to get into a specific nightclub is incredible, and dancing through the night and the following day with your friends new and old make for some seriously entertaining dinner party stories. There is also a side to Berlin that allows you to get dressed up, have a fancy dinner and sit in an armchair with a nightcap to all hours of the morning. It doesn’t matter what you’re into – there is something for everyone.
Now… you might think “German food – is it even good?”. You might not even be able to think about what it might be! Sure you’ve got your staples like “Currywurst”, “Burgermeister” and your “Frühstück” – those are delicacies that you have to experience for sure! What makes the food scene in Berlin special is that there are small pockets of communities of people from other countries dotted around the city. The middle eastern food in Berlin is fantastic – get yourself a falafel and halloumi wrap and you’ll never look back. The Vietnamese food game is incredibly strong – there seems to be a decent bowl of Phở around every corner. You also have some amazing European cuisines peppered around the city as well – Zola pizza is a must try if you’re after some authentic Neapolitan style pizza with a bit of Berlin cooked through it. Whatever it is you crave – you’re almost certain to find options for it on your working holiday in Berlin!