Berlin & Friends


Just a heads up on the actions you can take to keep yourself healthy and safe when dealing with infectious illness such as Covid 19 (Corona Virus). It is important to be aware and if you have reason to believe you may be infected, please see your doctor right away.

Concrete actions, to protect yourself and others from infection:

  • Keep a distance from the sick (one to two meters)
  • Regular, frequent and careful handwashing (at least 20 seconds with soap, up to the
  • wear gloves if necessary (wash after daily change)
  • Shake hands and hug by replacing elbows (so-called „Ebola handshake“)
  • Touch faces less
  • Do not touch mucous membranes on the face (mouth, eyes, nose) with your fingers
  • Do not sneeze in the hand, but in the crook of the arm
  • Dispose of used tissues quickly
  • Breathing masks offer little protection to healthy people, and the mask is moistened by condensed breathing air
    removes the barrier protection after only 20 minutes [2], masks should be used by medical personnel
  • Develop other protective habits: for example, pressing elevator buttons with ankles
    instead of fingertip
  • Avoid busy places and events, prioritise where you need to go


On Thursday the 20th of February, the 70th annual Berlinale will open with a glittering Gala in the Berlinale Palast. The Jury this year includes actor Jeremy Irons (United Kingdom), actress Bérénice Bejo (Argentina / France), Producer Bettina Brokemper (Germany) and director Annemarie Jacir (Palestine). The Berlinale runs from the 20.02 – 01.03.2020.

The Berlinale was founded in 1951 in West Berlin and is one of the worldwide big 3 film festivals along with Venice and Cannes. The Golden Bear (Goldene Bär) is the highest honour at the festival awarded for best film, past winners include ‚Rain Man‘ (1989), ‚In the name of the Father‘ (1994) ‚Magnolia‘ (2000).

If you would like to get tickets to see a film, please follow this link to purchase available tickets:

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About the author

Hi there! My name is Juli Buchanan. I have German roots but I grew up in New Zealand and I have been living in Germany since 2004. I love sharing my passion for Berlin and all it has to offer with new ‚Berliners‘ and through my work as a freelance Relocation Consultant with IRC I have the opportunity to do so.

Meet Niklas! He is the General Manager of IRC.

In his own words:

I joined IRC-Berlin in January 2019 and took over from Ariane in January 2020. Currently, I’m adjusting and setting up my vision in my new position as General Manager for IRC.

My vision for IRC is to be a company which understands the needs of its customers combined with the solutions of our digital sphere in 2020. As I’ve worked in several digital businesses I see my biggest personal challenge to implement the heart of a truly digital company into IRC’s services. Additionally, it’s super important for me to understand the whole journey of the relocation process which means what happens before and after the relocation. Therefore I’m setting up business models and structures which allow to support these specific phases in the overall process. After setting up our Change Management Workshops and Intercultural Trainings IRC will be able to be the ultimate partner when it comes down to having a full package. We can support our clients in every tough situation while moving over to Germany and after the settling in process.

Berlin is just the start for us!

My favourite place in Berlin is hard to pick – there are so many places and districts that are fantastic. Every district in Berlin is like a whole new city. If I’ve to choose I would go with Kreuzberg for all the variety of tasty food and different cultures. Currently, I’m living in Mitte and it feels like the perfect mixture between Kreuzberg and Charlottenburg where I used to live.

A great place to eat in Berlin is Markthalle Neun in Kreuzberg – this vivid place offers you a fantastic variety of freshly made food. You can choose between so many nice dishes which are prepared directly in front of you. This place is full of life!

My hidden gem in Berlin for sure is the Lietzensee which is located in the centre of Charlottenburg. This area is perfect to have a run or just to relax in the sun during summer. Most important it’s not overcrowded like most the parks in Berlin.

Favourite Place in Berlin, when it comes down to the best trip from Berlin I would say Prague! It takes you around 3 hours to go there and this city is just breathtaking! For watersport enthusiast like me, I also enjoy having a time out in Zossen where you can find a Wakeboard Cablepark which offers the perfect conditions to spend a whole day switched off!

‘I still keep a suitcase in Berlin.’

– Marlene Dietrich, Singer, 1957

Berlin is a city you can LOVE and a city to be in LOVE in. Let us guide you to some stunning places which will make you feel those butterflies in your stomach.

Dinner with a view – why not book a romantic dinner with views sweeping over the Wannsee lake at the Wannsee Terrassen. Located in the south-west of Berlin, this extremely well-rated restaurant offers fine food and wine and service to match. Let yourselves be spoilt.

If you prefer city views then try The Sphere, the revolving restaurant in the TV tower at Alexander Platz. Nostalgic decor, delicious food and stunning views over the inner city. The restaurant turns full circle over one hour. There is an entrance fee which will be added to your bill at the end.

Dance the night away – Berlin is famous for its clubs and nightlife. Grab your sweetheart and dance the night away. Depending on what kind of music and vibe you are after, there are so many options. To name a few Clärchens Ballhaus, Berghain, Chalet, Prinz Charles or SchwuZ.

Champagne & Oysters – take a seat at the Oyster Bar in the KaDeWe for a unique and romantic experience with the worlds most famous aphrodisiac and a round of people watching in Berlins most well-known department store. There are also many other options here for a beautiful meal including just about anything that takes your fancy.

On the other side of town, you can find the Austernbank, the scene is set in what was formally the vault of the Disconto bank with vast pillars holding up the ceiling. Recommended in the Michelin guide, this restaurant offers not only oysters but any seafood you might be craving.

Romantic Relaxation – Berlin is home to some stunning spas and what better way to spend the day/night relaxing with the one you love.

The Vabali Spa is located right in the heart of the city near Hauptbahnhof but you will feel like you have just arrived on vacation in Bali. It is an Oasis which boasts various saunas, pools, spa treatments, an excellent restaurant and welcoming spaces in which you can completely relax.

The Liquidrom is another space in which you can achieve incredible relation. The centrepiece of Liquidrom is the dimmed cupola hall with its pool and warm saltwater. Underwater colour and light effects combine with the soothing sounds of classical and electronic music. Experience the feeling of weightlessness in liquid sound. Also available are massage treatments and refreshments.

Happy Valentines Day!

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About the author

Hi there! My name is Juli Buchanan. I have German roots but I grew up in New Zealand and I have been living in Germany since 2004. I love sharing my passion for Berlin and all it has to offer with new ‚Berliners‘ and through my work as a freelance Relocation Consultant with IRC I have the opportunity to do so.

Meet Ariane!

Ariane Almerood has worked in the relocation sector for 21 years, she founded IRC 15 years ago and built the company to what it is today. 2020 she passed on the leadership of IRC to her son Niklas Almerood, but she is still supporting IRC and the consultants with her extensive knowledge in her role on the Board of Advisors.

In her own words:

The fact of moving all my life, living on three different continents, Asia, North American and Europe made me “experienced”. New cultures, new social structures, new languages, new environments, new colours and new smells, were part of my lifestyle. I had been doing this most of my life. However, my move from Munich to Berlin in 1998 was the most difficult.

We, my family and I were supported by a relocation agent and I understood how important it is was to have someone by my side to explain the new environment and with whom I could discuss the challenges. Berlin was rough in 1998.
I spoke the language but felt like a stranger. I asked myself, what does a New Berliner do when they can’t understand the language, nor the strange German ways. The seed for IRC was planted.

The moving boxes were unpacked, the house now a home, my children in school, my husband at work in a familiar corporate culture, my cat happy in the garden and I was needy.
I gave up my job, my friends and my comfort zones. This experience sparked my decision to assist others with their adjustment processes. My first relocation company was established in 1999 and IRC Berlin grew out of this experience in 2005.

We take the needs of each family member serious and offer guidance to resolve these. What drives us to excel, is the challenge to assist the New Berliner with organizational tasks allowing them to settle emotionally. The entire IRC Team has experienced living abroad and can emphatically support New Berliner.

Favourite Place in Berlin:
I have become a typical Berliner, after 20 years, and my favourite place in Berlin is my „Kiez“. I love walking down the Ku’damm, there is always something new to see and experience, or drink coffee at Stuttgarter Platz, with its historical past or just around the block. I love watching my Kiez change its face with new buildings, new shops and new Cafés and restaurants. I now have my „Koffer“ in Berlin and couldn’t live in any other German city.

A great place to eat in Berlin:
In Berlin, there is such a large variety of interesting and good restaurants. I stay within my Kiez. Stuttgarter Platz offers a wide variety of restaurants. The square full of tables outdoors, always lively and with a historical past …. I love it. And the adjoining streets, the Leonhardt Strasse has a special “feel good” flair with its speciality shops and restaurants and the Windscheidtstrasse offer such a special atmosphere, as well as great yoghurt ice cream. 

A hidden gem in Berlin:
My favourite places aren’t hidden but offer many gems. Berlin is one of the greenest cities in Germany. The Tiergarten is a special place with its beer gardens, flea market, the zoo and many paths for biking and walking only to end in front of Brandenburger Tor, Reichstag and the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. I also love walking along the River Spree, the Museums Island, the Monbijou Park with its open-air tango and salsa dancing lessons. This is Berlin and this could be my hidden gem! It’s a feel-good experience.

Best day trip from Berlin: I grew up in California, near the beach, and in Munich, I had my „hide-away“ place at Starnberger See. Water is my element. The Ostsee certainly isn’t the Pacific but Usedom and the Darß are my favourite day trips (although I prefer a few days on the Darß).

A weekly event at Markthalle Neun, Street Food Thursday, is a fabulous way to have a great afternoon out – delicious food and a fun atmosphere is waiting for you. This weekly event allows vendors who don’t have their own restaurants yet, to present you with their creations. Check it out!

Specifically, this means, Thai dumplings, Brazilian tapioca, Mexican tacos, Allgäu cheese spätzle, Peruvian ceviche, Nigerian FuFu, American barbeque, Korean buns and much more, and every Thursday there is something new!

Thursdays from 5pm – 10pm at Martkhalle Neun in Berlin-Kreuzberg.

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About the author

Hi there! My name is Juli Buchanan. I have German roots but I grew up in New Zealand and I have been living in Germany since 2004. I love sharing my passion for Berlin and all it has to offer with new ‚Berliners‘ and through my work as a freelance Relocation Consultant with IRC I have the opportunity to do so.

The German system for waste and recycling might be a little more extensive than elsewhere, however, it’s great news for the environment because most people take it seriously and do what they can. Read on to learn how to correctly dispose of your household waste and other things and once you have the hang of it, it’s pretty easy!

Yellow Bin/Yellow bags (Gelbe Sack) – If you live in an apartment then you will have a yellow bin and otherwise you will have yellow sacks (these are provided by the BSR) Cans, plastic, polystyrene, aluminium, tetra cartons, old pots and spray cans (empty) are all destined for the yellow bin/bag – the items need to be rinsed. If you place your plastics in a yellow sack, you will have to check which day of the week these are picked up outside from the street in your neighbourhood.

Blue – Blue bins are for paper, cardboard, magazines. Make sure you break everything down, especially boxes. You may be required, especially if you live in a house to organise the blue bin and pick up, this costs approx 100€ a year but check with your Landlord if this is included.

Brown (or brown lid) – This is the compost or bio-waste bin. If you live in a house, you can also alternatively have your own compost. This bin takes all biological waste such as vegetable scraps, fruit peel, garden waste, coffee filters and also tea bags.

Glass – There are two types of glass recycling in Germany. One is with ‚Pfand‘ which means you have paid a small deposit on the bottle which will be returned to you when you take it to a recycling station in the supermarket – this can be anything between 10 – 30 cents.

All other glass is sorted by colour and put into recycling bins, there are a few of these around every neighbourhood. It is best to use these between the hours of 8am – 5pm during the week/Saturdays and not at all on Sundays, as they can be a bit noisy when you throw in the glass.

Black – the black bin covers all other household rubbish such as non-compostable food scraps, nappies, mirror glass etc. In Berlin, this waste is burned in a waste heating power plant. This creates electricity and heat. 5 percent of apartments in Berlin use this electricity and heat for heating.

Appliances & Furniture etc – If you have larger items or electrical items to get rid of, you must bring these to an official rubbish dump run by the city. In Berlin, this is the BSR Recycling Hof – there are 15 around the city.

About the author

Hi there! My name is Juli Buchanan. I have German roots but I grew up in New Zealand and I have been living in Germany since 2004. I love sharing my passion for Berlin and all it has to offer with new ‚Berliners‘ and through my work as a freelance Relocation Consultant with IRC I have the opportunity to do so.

Starting on the 17.01.2020 Berlin is home to the International Green Week, a trade fair for food and agriculture including exhibitions from 61 countries around the world. It is an event which caters not only to the food industry, wholesalers, caterers and retailers but also to the general public and is well worth a visit with family and friends!

The Green Week Experience:

  • Comprehensive range of international and domestic foods and beverages
  • The very finest produce
  • Product markets for beer, wine and champagne, meats and sausages, seafood, teas, herbs and spices
  • Agricultural and horticultural machinery and equipment, seeds and greenhouses
  • Gardening supplies, breeding stock, pets and everything relating to hunting and fishing
  • Kitchen appliances, kitchen fixtures and household appliances

Ticket prices range from 10-15€ or 31€ for a family of four.

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