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Steglitz-Zehlendorf is one of the more affluent areas of Berlin – the idyll and tranquillity, far from the big city’s hustle and bustle, provides a much sought-after balance.  Above all, The district is characterized by quiet residential areas, forests, and tranquility provided by the proximity to the numerous lakes.

Steglitz is closest to City-West and very urban. It is considered a middle-class residential neighborhood with excellent shopping facilities. It is well connected to the rest of the city by U-bahn and buses. Schloßstraße in Steglitz is a shopping mile, it features several malls and all the typical high street stores, restaurants, supermarkets and a weekly market.

Dahlem district is one of the most expensive residential areas in Berlin.  It is a science research location, home to the Free University of Berlin (FU), numerous research institutes, and many museums have been established here.

As you travel further South-West to Zehlendorf, Schlachtensee, Nikolasee and Wannsee almost 50% of these districts consist of water and forest. Several lakes attract the inhabitants of Berlin to the cool water in hot temperatures. Particularly popular is the Großer Wannsee, and its lido opened in 1907 – but the other lakes of the district are also worth a visit.

For those seeking recreation, numerous sports clubs and the Botanical Garden offer a balance to everyday life. The area is home to several international schools and a large English-speaking community.

Rents in this district are high, but there is a choice between social housing, city villas, and single-family homes.

The western part of Zehlendorf with Wannsee, Nikolassee, and Schlachtensee is upscale and exclusive. In the south and east, the residential areas are simpler and somewhat less expensive. Steglitz itself is still very urban with mixed rents. Lankwitz and Lichterfelde have a more small-town feel and have more reasonable-priced rents.

Zehlendorf Mitte also features a town center with a large variety of shops, doctor’s practices, restaurants, and the Zehlendorf Rathaus.

There are also small ‚town‘ centers in Dahlem, Schlachtensee, Mexicoplatz, Nikolasee, Lichterfelde and Wannsee – all with opportunities for bakeries, grocery shopping, bookstores and restaurants.

Places of Interest:

About the author

Hi there! I’m Juli, I have german roots but I grew up in New Zealand and 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 multicultural district of Tempelhof-Schöneberg is known for its parks, such as Tempelhofer Feld on a former airport site, the Park am Gleisdreieck, and the Natur-Park Südgelände, both former industrial sites. People from a wide range of social classes and cultures live in Tempelhof-Schöneberg making it wonderfully colorful and diverse.

Situated in the south of the city, it shares borders with Mitte and Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg in the north, Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf and Steglitz-Zehlendorf in the west as well as Neukölln in the east.

In the northern part of the district, urban life pulsates around the KaDeWe department store. You’ll find charming galleries, Turkish and Arabic restaurants, and upcoming new restaurants on Potsdamer Strasse. The cafés on Motzstrasse, and the area around Nollendorfplatz, are a little capital for the LGBTQ community.

Schöneberg has a varied and interesting historical and cultural history that continues to influence it to this day. David Bowie, the Comedian Harmonists, Marlene Dietrich, Günter Grass, and Billy Wilder all made the district their home. During the partition of Germany, the historical Rathaus Schöneberg became the town hall of West Berlin and is the famous location where, 50 years ago, John F. Kennedy made his famous speech, proclaiming “Ich bin ein Berliner.”

The highest quality of life offered in the renovated old buildings in Bayerisches Viertel (Bavarian quarter) between Viktoria-Luise-Platz and Bayrischer Platz. The entire neighborhood impresses with cafés, restaurants, and shopping opportunities.

Tempelhof is a mix of housing estates, apartment blocks, parks, industrial sites, and shopping centers. There are many parks and green spaces, particularly since 2008, when the Tempelhof Airport was decommissioned and turned into a public field. Another highlight in Templehof is the Tempelhofer Hafen, a little harbor on the water with restaurants, boats, and a big shopping mall.

Localities of Tempelhof – Schöneberg: Schöneberg, Friedenau,Tempelhof, Mariendorf, Marienfelde, Lichtenrade

 

The district Treptow-Köpenick emerged after the 2001 administrative reform by merging the previously independent districts. It is Berlin’s district with the largest area and lowest population density, consisting of seventy percent water and parkland. The district has a unique natural beauty, which makes it stand out. Fifteen localities that stretch from some of the trendiest parts of the inner-city to the southernmost border’s sleepy villages are part of this district. Ideal for nature lovers, the Köpenick Forest is the largest forest area in Berlin.
Müggelsee is the city’s biggest lake, and along the banks of the River Spree, Treptow Park boasts beautiful meadows and picnic areas. With a wide variety of residential areas to choose from and some of the most competitive rental prices, Treptow-Köpenick is a district that deserves attention.
The rental prices range between 11.95 -16.00 Euros per sq meter (2020).

Localities of Treptow – Köpenick: Köpenick, Treptow, Oberschöneweide, Grünau, Schmöckwitz, Müggelheim, Rahnsdorf, Friedrichshagen, Plänterwald, Baumschulenweg, Johannisthal, Niederschönedweide, Adlershof, Altglienicke, Bohnsdorf

Points of Interest include:

  • Müggelturm (popular day-trip destination in Köpenick with a spectacular view)
  • Altstadt Köpenick (small streets and old buildings from the medieval period)
  • Schloss Köpenick (the palace of Köpenick houses treasures from the Kunstgewerbemuseum
  • Soviet War Memorial (Treptower Park)
  • Falkenberg garden city (Falkenberg Gartenstadt – early example of social housing)
  • Schöneweide Industrial museum (industrial history of Schöneweide as an industrial zone from Bismarck to the present)
  • Archenhold Observatory in Treptower Park (the longest extendable and pointable telescope in the world)
  • Nazi Forced Labour Documentation Centre (Memorial to the Former Forced Labour Camp in Schöneweide)
  • Stadttheater Köpenick (family theatre)

Reinickendorf was formed in 1920 from Reinickendorf, Wittenau, Tegel, Heiligensee, Hermsdorf, Lübars, and three estate districts. In addition to many forests and bodies of water, Reinickendorf also has two large high-rise housing estates – Weiße Stadt and Märkisches Viertel. It is a green district with much of the western part comprising the Tegel Forest (Tegeler Forst) and Lake Tegel (Tegeler See). Due to large green spaces, Reinickendorf has the third-lowest population of all Berlin districts.  The median rent price is between 10 – 15 Euros per sq meter (2020).

Reinickendorf’s offerings range from almost village-like districts such as Heiligensee, Konradshöhe, and Lübars to urban neighborhoods such as Reinickendorf and Tegel, Märkisches Viertel, and Wittenau. Waidmannslust, Hermsdorf, and Frohnau are also relatively quiet places to live. In the latter, the single-family homes that dominate the district often have the character of villas.

Localities of Reinickendorf: Frohnau, Heiligensee, Hermsdorf, Konradshöhe, Lübars, Märkisches Viertel, Reinickendorf, Tegel, Waidmannslust, Wittenau, Reinickendorf

While some of the localities have their origin as rural villages founded in the 13th century, most of the district’s history began in the 19th century. It developed as an industrial powerhouse for the city.

Reinickendorf is located in the northwest of Berlin. Neighboring districts are Spandau in the southwest, Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf in the south, Mitte in the southeast, and Pankow in the east. The entire north borders on the Brandenburg district of Oberhavel.

Points of Interest include:

  • Schloss Tegel
  • Theravada Buddhist temple complex in Frohnau (Buddhistisches Haus). It is considered to be the oldest and largest Theravada Buddhist center in Europe and has been declared a National Heritage site
  • The side farmstead of the Bauernhof Großkopf, Alt-Reinickendorf 37
  • Segenskirche
  • The Weiße Stadt (built between 1929 and 1931), ranks today as one of the key housing estates of Berlin modernism. UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008 Cultural heritage monuments Little Lette-Colony
  • Museum Reinickendorf
  • Hannah-Höch-Haus
  • Village church in Alt- Reinickendorf (Dorfkirche in Alt-Reinickendorf) Borsigturm – a landmark of the Borsig Werke, where steam locomotives were manufactured (first high-rise building constructed in Berlin and a highlight of Berlin Modernism

 

Moving abroad is a very exciting prospect, however, the details of relocation can also be very daunting. Navigating a new system, a new language and dealing with formalities can be a challenge, this is where private relocation support can make all the difference.

Your top priorities when relocating to a new city should be visa (immigration), finding a place to live (home search), employment or educational opportunities and integration. Your relocation consultant can advise you on your options in advance.

Visa/Immigration: the type of visa you are eligible for will largely be linked to your country of origin, employment situation or educational studies. It is very important to know your options for immigration before you plan a move. IRC Berlin has the expert knowledge to guide you through your visa & immigration options.

Home search: knowing the housing market, areas of the city, and ballpark figures for rental costs/utilities is key for a successful home search. It is helpful to have a realistic expectation when you consult with your relocation assistant about what will be most suitable for you. IRC Berlin consultants have extensive knowledge of the city and can advise you as to the perfect match for you regarding area, amenities, public transport needs.

Cultural integration: This is where IRC can help, we offer intercultural training for new arrivals and their families to make their start in the new and foreign environment as easy as possible. Giving an insight into cultural differences, those ‘quirky’ German ways, and just how to navigate the German business landscape.

IRC Berlin is branching out into private relocation offering all the same benefits as we offer to our corporate clients. Our experienced consultants can support and assist every step of the way from visa and immigration, work permits, home search to giving a comprehensive orientation tour upon arrival. We want to make you feel at home in Germany and to make your transition process pleasant and successful so that all you need to worry about is enjoying your new home!

Berlin Overview – Dynamic economy, declining migration. Berlin’s positive economic development is unbroken and will probably receive a further boost in the near future. In terms of demography, the city is growing at a more restrained pace, especially in areas where there is little new construction.

New construction – activity remains heterogeneous and growing. In Berlin, the construction of rental apartments dominates project activity. Numerous major projects are being implemented or are in the new-construction pipeline.

The housing market – is more diverse than ever. The cheapest offers for rental apartments are stagnating in part, while prices, in general, continue to rise. Sales prices continue to rise, especially in the lower
segment. The highest prices for condominiums and most properties for ownership are offered in the city
centre.

Metropolitan Area – Families, in particular, are moving to the outskirts of the city. As has been the case for years, the asking prices in the surrounding areas are continuing to rise. First and foremost, Berliners are moving from the city to the outskirts. For commuters, the decisive factor in which area they chose is often how quickly they get into the city and back again.

 

We would like to help you understand how to use a relocation company to assist your employees. What are the benefits for your business and your team in outsourcing this service to new recruits or employees who are taking up a position in a new location?

Whether you are hiring new recruits from abroad or moving existing employees from one office to another office in a different location, there are many administrative tasks and other things which need to be organised to get the person moved, settled in and integrated into their new role.

  • Time is money and if your employee can be efficiently supported then the time it takes to get their move organised can be optimised. By working with a relocation company you won’t need an in-house department and you will draw on people who bring the highest levels of experience and expertise.
  • Providing the option of a supported relocation is good for the company image, it shows that you value your employees, their families and their wellbeing.
  • Being able to offer a professionally supported relocation is a big asset when headhunting, it will give your company an advantage as it gives the employee incentive to move without feeling like a relocation would be too overwhelming.
  • Show your employee that you value their time by letting them avoid the ‚leg‘ work when they partner with a relocation consultant they are relieved of all the big and small organisational tasks related to a move.
  • Supporting not just the employee but also their spouse and/or their family is also hugely beneficial to the overall well being of the employee. 
  • The way an employee feels once they have moved to a new location can be imperative to their productivity. If they feel settled and happy then they will be motivated to start into their new role. They can be present physically and mentally knowing all the formalities of their move have been taken care of.
  • There are many costs, such as hotel costs, which can be avoided if an employee can relocate directly into furnished accommodation or their own apartment/house. Having a relocation partner on the ground makes organising this possible!

At IRC we can provide the support your employees need for a successful relocation. We have experienced staff, who understand the relocation from both a professional and personal point of view and who have the know-how to navigate any challenges which may arise. Let’s begin the relocation journey together!

Contact us now on: www.irc-berlin.com  

E-Mail: info@irc.berlin

Nestorstraße 2, 10711 Berlin

+49 (0)30 89702431

 

Encountering a new school system can be a real challenge for parents and children. We would like to help you understand the basic structure of the German school system and what you and your child will encounter.

Although there is a wide range of international schools in Berlin (and Germany), often families relocating to Germany choose to send their children to the local school. Chances are you are not familiar with how the school system is structured and how your child’s school day will look.

School attendance is mandatory from age 6 and schools are state-run and therefore have no fees. Although there are private schools, most schools are state schools. The individual states within Germany are responsible for the education curriculum in their own state, therefore the curriculum can vary from state to state. After the first 4 years of elementary school ‚Grundschule‘, children are streamed into one of three different types of schools according to academic ability and in consultation with teachers and parents. Berlin and Brandenburg are an exception, here Elementary school can go up until 6th grade. The three types of school are Hauptschule, Realschule and Gymnasium, these can then be from 5 – 9th grade or up to 12th grade.

If you decide to send your children to the local school, you will be assigned to a school in your catchment area. If you want your child to attend a different school, then an application will have to be made to the city and approved, this will usually be based on if there is sufficient places at the school you wish your child to attend. Regarding language ability ‚When parents register a child for primary school, the school tests the child’s ability to communicate in German. Wherever a need for improvement is identified, the children are required to take a half-year language reinforcement course before they enter school. This way, all children start school equipped for success.‘ (source: https://www.businesslocationcenter.de/en/information-for-new-berliners/schools/)

If you choose a private school or an international school the curriculum could be very different from the German system. Private schools have varying fees and will also be subject to an application process.

The school year starts in August, the date depends on which state you live in. School vacations are staggered state by state over the summer to avoid a big rush. There are various vacation during the school year, Fall-break, Christmas, Winter-break, Spring-break (Easter) and then public holidays. Summer is the longest break at around 6 weeks, Christmas is usually around 2 weeks.

The school day starts around 8am and goes until around 1.30pm (this can vary). The lesson periods are 45min and include breaks for snack/play. The exception to this can be so-called ‚Ganztagsschulen‘ which offer a longer day. However, all schools offer ‚Hort‘ which is an after-school programme where children are served lunch, home-work help and can play – this needs to be applied for separately.

Hort is a childcare service offered by schools offered to parents for before and after school hours. Childcare is usually offered from 7am – 6pm, for parents who need childcare due to their own working hours. This is available for children from 1-4th grade, for 5-6th grade a special application needs to be made. Hort fees depend on the state, in Berlin grades 1-2 are free and further grades are based on income.

Hot lunches are also free for all children in Berlin from grade 1-6.

(Source: https://www.berlin.de/familie/de/informationen/berliner-schulsystem-im-ueberblick-101

https://www.businesslocationcenter.de/en/information-for-new-berliners/schools/

https://www.expatica.com/de/living/family/daycares-and-preschools-in-germany-107640/ )

 

In June 2019 the Mietendeckel (Rent Control) Law came into force. We would like to provide you with a basic overview of the current situation and some links to further articles by local providers.

From when does it apply – The law will then be applied retroactively from June 18th, 2019, which means that any recent rental increases may be deemed as not valid.

Which apartments does it apply to – Apartments built before 2014. This does not apply to newly-built apartments that were ready to be occupied as of January 1, 2014 or social housing. Also not affected are living spaces which were previously uninhabitable or uninhabited – newly built attics, for example.

How should this be handled by tenants? – Tenants are being asked to comply with the law, check rent from June 2019 and then lower your payment – if there is an issue with the landlord, contact authorities. Estimated, one in six Berliner is eligible. It is, however, advisable to SAVE the extra rent money just in case this law is found to be illegal in the coming months and so that you stay on the safe side.

The major impact will be on new contracts, 9 out of 10 advertised flats will be offered at lower prices. Fines for landlords who do not comply can be up to half a million euros.

For more articles on the subject see:

Deutsche Welle: https://www.dw.com/en/germany-berlin-parliament-passes-five-year-rent-freeze/a-52210612

KCRW Berlin: https://kcrwberlin.com/2020/01/in-brief-berlin-passes-the-first-rent-cap-law-in-germany/

The Local.de: https://www.thelocal.de/20200313/berlin-regional-court-considers-rent-price-caps-to-be-unconstitutional

About the author

Hi there! I’m Juli, German roots but I grew up in New Zealand and 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.

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