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WHY
BERLIN?
It’s got the tunes
Uber-cheap
(“Techno heaven Berlin!”)
Berlin's nightlife is one of the most
diverse and vibrant of its kind in Europe.
A beer for €0,30!! Alternative and liberal
But also in the present
One of today's hippest startup cities.
And it’s got the arts!
Get lost in hundreds of art
galleries and museums.
Vegetarian capital of the World,
for more info click here.
The city is historical
Berlin has a rich history. If you are
interested in history, Berlin is full of
lessons new and old.
At Sociomantic Labs, we've already welcomed over 41 nationalities in our Berlin headquarters. Still,
for every new team member it’s a big step — an exciting yet daunting move.
Once you settle in, Berlin is a great place to call home. So to make your relocation as easy as can
be, here’s our best advice on becoming a true Berliner.
Kieze
Housing prices
Berlin consists of many neighborhoods,
called "Kieze", that have their own
individual characters. The most popular
Kieze can currently be found in
Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain,
Mitte, Neukölln.
Prices are on the rise, but don’t despair:
Berlin’s rents are low compared to other German
cities (and not to mention other European capitals).
Rental prices per square metre:
German rental prices are divided into different
subcategories. Usually there are:
Warmmiete:
Total price including running costs like heating.
Kaltmiete:
The plain cost of the space without the
running costs.
Provision:
The estate agent’s pay in case you
chose to have one.
Kaution:
The deposit, which can range from one Kaltmiete to
three-times the Kaltmiete.
Rundfunkgebühren:
The television/radio license fee (€17,50 monthly) for
Germany’s public broadcasting institutions that
every household has to pay. It’s a solidarity-based
funding which ensures that everyone has free
access to information and enables reporting
independent from economic and political interests.
Types of contracts
When trying to find an apartment, there are various
contract types and living situations you
can consider:
Unmöbliert:
The standard apartment. It comes unfurnished, even
without a kitchen. You can rent it by yourself and
make it yours.
The Wohngemeinschaft “WG”:
The German version of a flat-share, but more
serious. An interview must be passed before you're
chosen as a flat mate. But that's also why it results in
strong friendships usually!
The Crocodilian:
It’s a furnished (möbliert) apartment.
The easy option!
Long term:
Bring some patience as these contracts are now
hard to find. You need to bring full documentation to
each viewing — meaning three payment slips,
your working contract, ID, the
Mietschuldenfreiheitsbescheinigung, and
sometimes even more.
The Mietschuldenfreiheitsbescheinigung is a letter
from your last landlord stating that you don't owe
any money. (Just ask them for one if you were living
in Germany before. Don’t worry about it if you were
living abroad.)
Zwischenmiete:
Sublet for a limited period of time. It’s an easier
option, but that also means you have to hunt for
another home soon! Typically you find them on Airbnb
and Nestpick, and they are often a safe bet
meanwhile to buy you time in hunting for a long-term
apartment.
Find useful websites for your flat hunt here and here.
There are also several Facebook Groups such as
Flats in Berlin, Finding Flats in Berlin and
WG’s in Berlin.
Beware of the scams! Never transfer money before
actually seeing the flat!
Munich: €15,44
Stuttgart: €12,48
Frankfurt am Main: €12,43
Hamburg: €11,13
Düsseldorf: €10,93
Berlin: €10,30
HOUSING
The Anmeldebestätigung
Is your proof of registration within Germany.
It’s needed for everything else you will ever do
in German bureaucracy, so get it fast and
never lose it! Nowadays, it’s almost impossible
to get a registration appointment online. Just
go to the "Bürgeramt" before it opens to be at
the front of the line, and don't forget to bring
your passport and the "Einzugsbestätigung
des Wohnungsgebers (Vermieter)", which is a
document from your landlord confirming your
new home. You can find it here if you scroll
down to "Formulare" here.
A list of Berlin’s Bürgerämter is available
online here.
Health Insurance
They charge the same basic rate of between 14.6% to
16.2%, depending on your choice of insurance. The
rate is shared equally between the employer and the
employee, paid from your eligible gross salary, up to
a maximum monthly income of 4,238 Euros
(based on 2016 figures).
Find more information on it here.
DOCUMENTS
Opening a Bank Account
Bring your passport, work contract and
Anmeldebestätigung to your preferred bank.
Here you’ll find the top banks in Germany.
Steueridentifikationsnummer
This number is needed for your job at Sociomantic
and any other position if you ever were to leave. It
should arrive about 5 weeks after your registration
via post at your registered address. If it doesn’t go to
your “Finanzamt” (tax authority) and ask for it
directly. Check here for your respective Finanzamt
by inserting your ZIP code.
Your tax class by default is number 1 if you’re single
and without children. It changes if you’re married or
have children. Find more info here.
Watch out: You need to receive your Tax ID within
your first two months in Berlin, otherwise you will
automatically be categorized as Tax Code 6, which
means losing quite a chunk of cash to the state!
Church tax: In Berlin if you are a member of an
organized religion, the government will deduct an
9% tax from your salary. If you do not want to
contribute to a religion, you may need to formally
exit your church, and please be careful to leave
this section blank when you register as an
employee at Sociomantic.
BECOME
A TRUE
BERLINER
Transportation
Bikes:
Berliners love their bikes. Regardless of the weather,
biking through the city is the most beloved way of
transportation in Berlin. So if you don’t have a bike
yet, visit some flea markets to get a good deal. Be
sure to buy a good lock! Bike theft is common
across the city.
BVG:
That’s Berlins public transport system. It includes the
S-Bahn (overground), U-Bahn (underground), buses
and trams. The BVG takes you to every part
in and around Berlin.
Before jumping on the train, watch out to get the
right tickets to avoid paying a fine. The open station
entries may be misleading, but everyone needs buy
a ticket and stamp it too.
Check out how to get to your stop:
Tickets:
There are several ways to get a ticket (via the BVG
app / some Spätis (open-late kiosks) / or the
BVG machine)
Don’t forget stamp your ticket at the yellow or red
boxes next to the ticketing machines. If they catch
you with an unstamped ticket you’ll need to pay a
€60 fine! The machine looks like this.
Ticket Inspectors: Don’t be surprised if a person
without a uniform asks you in a rude manner for
your ticket – it’s the ticket inspector. They work
under cover. Berlin is a hard place to do “Schwarz
fahren” (taking the U-Bahn without a ticket).
Ticket Options:
Monatskarte: Frequent train rider or bus-aholic? Get
a monthly pass if you will use public transportation
often. (Trainees even get a discount!)
Einzelfahrschein: Standard! This is the most
common ticket for bus or U-Bahn. It’s valid for two
hours, but only in one direction.
Kurzstrecke: Too lazy to walk a stop or two? Get a
Kurzstrecke if you only ride for up to three stops on
the U-Bahn or six stops on the bus
(in one continuous ride).
Fahrradkarte: Bike-lover? Not a joke, even bikes
have to pay on the U-Bahn. Get this extra ticket
under the category “Other” at any ticket machine.
The Language
The language with the longest words!
To prepare you before your arrival, here are some
key words for your daily interaction in Berlin:
Hello – “Hallo!”
Please – “Bitte”
Excuse me – “Entschuldigung” (or keep it simple: “Sorry!”)
Good bye – “Tschüss!”
Thanks – “Danke”
Asking for the bill – “Die Rechnung bitte!”
How much is this? – “Wieviel kostet das?”
Do you speak English? – “Sprichst du Englisch?”
Pfand: You pay it on top of the price for each drink you buy at
a supermarket and get it back when returning the empty
bottle. It’s basically a deposit encouraging a
sustainable lifestyle.
Späti (or Spätkauf): These corner shops are everywhere you
look in Berlin. No street comes without its Späti. The name
stands for “shopping late”, which is the main purpose of a
Späti. Pick up beer, cigarettes and sometimes even food
when other supermarkets are already shut.
Bestätigung: It means confirmation and you’ll hear this word
quite often while dealing with authorities as you’ll notice that
you need a confirmation for everything here.
Keine Ahnung: This very useful phrase means “No idea!” and
will come in handy, especially before you speak
much German.
Jut: If you want to prove to be a real Berliner, say Jut instead
of Gut, which means Good in Berlin's dialect.
Zone AB
For journey's within the city of Berlin.
Zone ABC
For journeys in the greater Berlin area (approx. 15km). It takes
you to the airport and Potsdam.
This infographic is written for your benefit, but Sociomantic Labs is not liable in any way for
misinformation listed above or any consequences of following the above directions or instructions.
We merely want to help out!
LINKS:
Why Berlin?
alternative and liberal:
http://www.thelocal.de/20150907/berlin-named-vegetarian-capital-of-the-world
Housing
types of contracts:
www.wg-gesucht.de
www.immobilienscout24.de/wohnen/berlin,berlin/immobilien.html
Documents
opening a bank account:
www.relbanks.com/rankings/top-banks-in-germany
The Anmeldebestätigung:
https://service.berlin.de/dienstleistung/120686/
https://service.berlin.de/standorte/buergeraemter/
Health Insurance:
www.howtogermany.com/pages/healthinsurance.html
Steueridentifikationsnummer:
www.berlin.de/sen/finanzen/steuern/finanzaemter/
www.sachsen.de/en/1451.htm
Become a True Berliner
Transportation:
www.bvg.de/de/Fahrinfo/Jederzeit-mobil (Or download the BVG app for your phone)

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Moving to berlin

  • 1. WHY BERLIN? It’s got the tunes Uber-cheap (“Techno heaven Berlin!”) Berlin's nightlife is one of the most diverse and vibrant of its kind in Europe. A beer for €0,30!! Alternative and liberal But also in the present One of today's hippest startup cities. And it’s got the arts! Get lost in hundreds of art galleries and museums. Vegetarian capital of the World, for more info click here. The city is historical Berlin has a rich history. If you are interested in history, Berlin is full of lessons new and old. At Sociomantic Labs, we've already welcomed over 41 nationalities in our Berlin headquarters. Still, for every new team member it’s a big step — an exciting yet daunting move. Once you settle in, Berlin is a great place to call home. So to make your relocation as easy as can be, here’s our best advice on becoming a true Berliner. Kieze Housing prices Berlin consists of many neighborhoods, called "Kieze", that have their own individual characters. The most popular Kieze can currently be found in Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain, Mitte, Neukölln. Prices are on the rise, but don’t despair: Berlin’s rents are low compared to other German cities (and not to mention other European capitals). Rental prices per square metre: German rental prices are divided into different subcategories. Usually there are: Warmmiete: Total price including running costs like heating. Kaltmiete: The plain cost of the space without the running costs. Provision: The estate agent’s pay in case you chose to have one. Kaution: The deposit, which can range from one Kaltmiete to three-times the Kaltmiete. Rundfunkgebühren: The television/radio license fee (€17,50 monthly) for Germany’s public broadcasting institutions that every household has to pay. It’s a solidarity-based funding which ensures that everyone has free access to information and enables reporting independent from economic and political interests. Types of contracts When trying to find an apartment, there are various contract types and living situations you can consider: Unmöbliert: The standard apartment. It comes unfurnished, even without a kitchen. You can rent it by yourself and make it yours. The Wohngemeinschaft “WG”: The German version of a flat-share, but more serious. An interview must be passed before you're chosen as a flat mate. But that's also why it results in strong friendships usually! The Crocodilian: It’s a furnished (möbliert) apartment. The easy option! Long term: Bring some patience as these contracts are now hard to find. You need to bring full documentation to each viewing — meaning three payment slips, your working contract, ID, the Mietschuldenfreiheitsbescheinigung, and sometimes even more. The Mietschuldenfreiheitsbescheinigung is a letter from your last landlord stating that you don't owe any money. (Just ask them for one if you were living in Germany before. Don’t worry about it if you were living abroad.) Zwischenmiete: Sublet for a limited period of time. It’s an easier option, but that also means you have to hunt for another home soon! Typically you find them on Airbnb and Nestpick, and they are often a safe bet meanwhile to buy you time in hunting for a long-term apartment. Find useful websites for your flat hunt here and here. There are also several Facebook Groups such as Flats in Berlin, Finding Flats in Berlin and WG’s in Berlin. Beware of the scams! Never transfer money before actually seeing the flat! Munich: €15,44 Stuttgart: €12,48 Frankfurt am Main: €12,43 Hamburg: €11,13 Düsseldorf: €10,93 Berlin: €10,30 HOUSING The Anmeldebestätigung Is your proof of registration within Germany. It’s needed for everything else you will ever do in German bureaucracy, so get it fast and never lose it! Nowadays, it’s almost impossible to get a registration appointment online. Just go to the "Bürgeramt" before it opens to be at the front of the line, and don't forget to bring your passport and the "Einzugsbestätigung des Wohnungsgebers (Vermieter)", which is a document from your landlord confirming your new home. You can find it here if you scroll down to "Formulare" here. A list of Berlin’s Bürgerämter is available online here. Health Insurance They charge the same basic rate of between 14.6% to 16.2%, depending on your choice of insurance. The rate is shared equally between the employer and the employee, paid from your eligible gross salary, up to a maximum monthly income of 4,238 Euros (based on 2016 figures). Find more information on it here. DOCUMENTS Opening a Bank Account Bring your passport, work contract and Anmeldebestätigung to your preferred bank. Here you’ll find the top banks in Germany. Steueridentifikationsnummer This number is needed for your job at Sociomantic and any other position if you ever were to leave. It should arrive about 5 weeks after your registration via post at your registered address. If it doesn’t go to your “Finanzamt” (tax authority) and ask for it directly. Check here for your respective Finanzamt by inserting your ZIP code. Your tax class by default is number 1 if you’re single and without children. It changes if you’re married or have children. Find more info here. Watch out: You need to receive your Tax ID within your first two months in Berlin, otherwise you will automatically be categorized as Tax Code 6, which means losing quite a chunk of cash to the state! Church tax: In Berlin if you are a member of an organized religion, the government will deduct an 9% tax from your salary. If you do not want to contribute to a religion, you may need to formally exit your church, and please be careful to leave this section blank when you register as an employee at Sociomantic. BECOME A TRUE BERLINER Transportation Bikes: Berliners love their bikes. Regardless of the weather, biking through the city is the most beloved way of transportation in Berlin. So if you don’t have a bike yet, visit some flea markets to get a good deal. Be sure to buy a good lock! Bike theft is common across the city. BVG: That’s Berlins public transport system. It includes the S-Bahn (overground), U-Bahn (underground), buses and trams. The BVG takes you to every part in and around Berlin. Before jumping on the train, watch out to get the right tickets to avoid paying a fine. The open station entries may be misleading, but everyone needs buy a ticket and stamp it too. Check out how to get to your stop: Tickets: There are several ways to get a ticket (via the BVG app / some Spätis (open-late kiosks) / or the BVG machine) Don’t forget stamp your ticket at the yellow or red boxes next to the ticketing machines. If they catch you with an unstamped ticket you’ll need to pay a €60 fine! The machine looks like this. Ticket Inspectors: Don’t be surprised if a person without a uniform asks you in a rude manner for your ticket – it’s the ticket inspector. They work under cover. Berlin is a hard place to do “Schwarz fahren” (taking the U-Bahn without a ticket). Ticket Options: Monatskarte: Frequent train rider or bus-aholic? Get a monthly pass if you will use public transportation often. (Trainees even get a discount!) Einzelfahrschein: Standard! This is the most common ticket for bus or U-Bahn. It’s valid for two hours, but only in one direction. Kurzstrecke: Too lazy to walk a stop or two? Get a Kurzstrecke if you only ride for up to three stops on the U-Bahn or six stops on the bus (in one continuous ride). Fahrradkarte: Bike-lover? Not a joke, even bikes have to pay on the U-Bahn. Get this extra ticket under the category “Other” at any ticket machine. The Language The language with the longest words! To prepare you before your arrival, here are some key words for your daily interaction in Berlin: Hello – “Hallo!” Please – “Bitte” Excuse me – “Entschuldigung” (or keep it simple: “Sorry!”) Good bye – “Tschüss!” Thanks – “Danke” Asking for the bill – “Die Rechnung bitte!” How much is this? – “Wieviel kostet das?” Do you speak English? – “Sprichst du Englisch?” Pfand: You pay it on top of the price for each drink you buy at a supermarket and get it back when returning the empty bottle. It’s basically a deposit encouraging a sustainable lifestyle. Späti (or Spätkauf): These corner shops are everywhere you look in Berlin. No street comes without its Späti. The name stands for “shopping late”, which is the main purpose of a Späti. Pick up beer, cigarettes and sometimes even food when other supermarkets are already shut. Bestätigung: It means confirmation and you’ll hear this word quite often while dealing with authorities as you’ll notice that you need a confirmation for everything here. Keine Ahnung: This very useful phrase means “No idea!” and will come in handy, especially before you speak much German. Jut: If you want to prove to be a real Berliner, say Jut instead of Gut, which means Good in Berlin's dialect. Zone AB For journey's within the city of Berlin. Zone ABC For journeys in the greater Berlin area (approx. 15km). It takes you to the airport and Potsdam. This infographic is written for your benefit, but Sociomantic Labs is not liable in any way for misinformation listed above or any consequences of following the above directions or instructions. We merely want to help out! LINKS: Why Berlin? alternative and liberal: http://www.thelocal.de/20150907/berlin-named-vegetarian-capital-of-the-world Housing types of contracts: www.wg-gesucht.de www.immobilienscout24.de/wohnen/berlin,berlin/immobilien.html Documents opening a bank account: www.relbanks.com/rankings/top-banks-in-germany The Anmeldebestätigung: https://service.berlin.de/dienstleistung/120686/ https://service.berlin.de/standorte/buergeraemter/ Health Insurance: www.howtogermany.com/pages/healthinsurance.html Steueridentifikationsnummer: www.berlin.de/sen/finanzen/steuern/finanzaemter/ www.sachsen.de/en/1451.htm Become a True Berliner Transportation: www.bvg.de/de/Fahrinfo/Jederzeit-mobil (Or download the BVG app for your phone)