Administration in Berlin
One thing you need to know about Berlin and Germany: Germans love their bureaucracy and you better get used to it very quickly. So when you decide to move to Berlin make sure that you follow the rules. Otherwise you will get into a lot of trouble either with the Finanzamt, Bürgeramt, Rentenversicherung, Krankenversicherung, etc. Believe us, it all happened to our friends who move here and thought that they could take those things easy.
Having said that we also recommend to get the following things out of the way in order to enjoy your life in Berlin.
Bank account Berlin
Most landlords will ask for proof of a German bank account and your previous 3 payslips. Therefore make sure to sign up for a German bank account straight away. If you need to enter your address give them the address you are currently staying or if living in a hostel better enter a friends address. All your documents will be sent to this address, so make sure you choose a trustworthy friend.
Internet provider Berlin
Next you will need to get an internet contract as fast as possible. Most of the administrative stuff can be done only nowadays and even if you need to show up in person at the Bürgeramt you can book your appointment way ahead online. Otherwise you will be stuck in a tiny waiting room with hundreds of others until your number is called.
Mobile contract Berlin
After this you should sign up for a mobile contract for the obvious reason to be able to call people. But the most useful invention is definitely Google maps as you will be lost constantly in the beginning. So make sure your mobile contract has a data option as you will be online constantly.
Cable contract Berlin
Maybe you might feel like watching some TV after a nights out. So get yourself a cable contract and enjoy your lazy sundays with HD television. The most famous TV stations are ARD & ZDF (called ‘Öffentlich rechtliches Fernsehen’), which are financed by the infamous GEZ. Be aware that every German household is obliged to pay this fee nowadays.
Gas and electricity provider Berlin
When you move into your new home you will notice that you are hooked up with gas and electricity from start. You are signed up automatically with the local Grundversorger, Gasag for gas and Vattenfall for electricity. This is very convenient, but if you change your gas provider and electricity provider you will save a lot of money.
Insurances in Berlin
Don’t make the mistake and save some money on not having the most important insurances. They do not cost too much but if worst comes to worst they will help you extremely. Check our tips for the most important insurances you need when moving to Berlin.