Why You Should Move to Berlin for Your Working Holiday

Updated: Feb 10

There is no doubt that Working Holiday Visas are fabulous things! The visa allows you to live and work in Germany for up to 1 year without requiring you to have a sponsored job lined up before your arrival. It is a fantastic way to travel and experience a completely new culture while earning money to support your time overseas. As the visa is not tied to any specific employment, the Working Holiday Visa gives you ultimate flexibility as you can take work with any employer in Germany, freely switch employers or even have multiple employers without you having to go through the long-winded process for securing an Employment Visa or EU Blue Card.

But, while we can all agree that Working Holiday Visas are fabulous things, choosing where to do your Working Holiday is hotly debated! With certain countries enjoying reciprocal Working Holiday agreements with 20–40 countries, it can be very tricky to choose exactly where to go. In this post, we’ll highlight some of the reasons why we think Berlin is the dream destination for a Working Holiday.

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As a city, Berlin is a knockout

Berlin is hands down one of the world’s cultural epicentres. The city is teeming with activity, with bars, restaurants, exhibitions, shows, gigs and performances at almost every turn. Long renowned as a city for artists, musicians and creatives, Berlin really does offer something for everyone with an eclectic and diverse population spread across its famous districts.

And this is all before we even get to the nightlife! Home to world-famous clubs including Berghain, Tresor, Kater Blau, About Blank and Sisyphos (to name a few), the nightlife sets the city apart with 50,000+ weekly revellers enjoying all the night has to offer!

“The nightlife sounds fun, but I’m more of a morning person”. If this is you, you’re not to worry! Berlin boasts over 2500 public parks, offering unparalleled opportunities for recreation and leisure. Whether cycling around Tempelhof airfield, ambling through Tiergarten or BBQing in Treptow Park, Berlin’s green spaces never fail to deliver. With a historically young demographic, the German capital has a vibrant energy that lays a great foundation for an exciting Working Holiday.

Living in Berlin sounds great, but can I afford it?

While prices have been on the rise in the past few years, Berlin is still considerably more affordable than other popular working holiday destinations including London, Paris and Amsterdam. A private furnished studio in a decent part of Berlin is likely to set you back around €700 while a room in a flatshare can be snapped up for around €450. Comparatively, this is a fraction of what you would expect to pay for central locations in many other European capitals.

On top of rent, day-to-day living is also relatively cheap in Berlin. An unlimited monthly transport card costs just €81, a 500 ml beer in a bar costs approximately €3.30 while a meal and drink out tends to be around €12. Berlin’s world-famous kebabs can cost as little as €3, not a bad price for dinner!

While a pint in London will now set you back an eye-watering £5.19 (€6.06) and a room in a flatshare will cost you £902 (€1052.90) on average, Berlin is a clear winner when looking at the cost of living in the two cities.

Yeh, yeh, I get it’s cheaper, but can I get an English-speaking job in Berlin?

The job market for non-German speakers is rapidly growing across the German capital. It is estimated that 52% of employees at Berlin’s start-ups are non-German speakers. When combined with the fact that a new start-up is founded every 20 minutes in the German capital, this should give you an indication of the rate of change in Berlin’s English-speaking job market.

If arriving in Berlin on a Working Holiday, you’ll find a wide range of English-speaking job opportunities in customer service, sales and business development, recruitment, hospitality, childcare and teaching, tech and IT, and marketing and account management.

With Nomaden Berlin’s job-hunting advice, participants on our relocation programmes usually find an English-speaking job in Berlin 3 to 6 weeks after arriving in the German capital. All our programmes include detailed information and guidance for finding a job in Berlin, including CV templates designed for the German market. Added to this, we provide company listings of 500+ Berlin-based companies that employ English speakers. These company listings provide a perfect platform from which to launch your search for an English-speaking job.

All sounds good so far, but what about the German bureaucracy?

A fear of many an expat arriving in Berlin, German bureaucracy is often a real deterrent when people are considering where to do their working holiday. While it can seem intimidating, we will help guide you through the relocation process. Our programmes will help you tick off all the major administrative steps to relocating to Berlin, from registering at an address (Anmeldung), successfully applying for your Working Holiday Visa, securing a job and apartment, taking out the correct insurances, setting up a bank account, and much much more.

Don’t get put off by a few stories, the process for relocating to Germany needn’t be difficult if you know when, where and how to complete the different steps.

If eligible to apply for the Working Holiday Visa in Berlin, you’ll first be required to register at an address, after which you’ll need to attend an appointment at the immigration office with the necessary paperwork. Our relocation platform covers this in detail and we’ll be on hand to answer any queries or concerns that you may have about proof of funds, travel insurance, application forms, etc. We’ll also provide example forms to ensure everything is filled out correctly and book your visa appointment so that you apply at a time and date that fits in with your relocation timeline.

Needing a place to register your address in Berlin? Our Berlin Kickstarter and Berlin Pro programmes include 30-day private studio accommodation with address registration. On our programmes, we ensure you get registered in your first week in Berlin.

The Working Holiday Visa for Germany is valid for 1 year. Does this mean I’ll have to leave once it expires?

While the Working Holiday Visa allows you to live and work in Germany for up to 1 year, the majority of our participants then transition on to a Residence Permit for Employment. If you are on a Working Holiday and from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Canada* or South Korea, then you can be approved for a Residence Permit for Employment with any job so long as it fulfils some basic criteria (e.g. salary sufficient to live off). If from these countries, you also don’t require a university degree to be approved for a Residence Permit for Employment.

*For Canadians, the Working Holiday Visa is called the Youth Mobility Visa, which can be applied for twice.

As such, we have helped a large number of people transition to a Residence Permit for Employment whether they work in a restaurant, café, office or school. If signed up for one of our relocation programmes, we will also provide you with full details and guidance for completing this secondary visa application once your Working Holiday Visa is due to expire.

So, there you have it! A quick rundown of why we think Berlin is a perfect destination for your Working Holiday. If you have any questions about the city or our relocation programmes, then don’t hesitate to get in touch at info@nomadenberlin.com. We hope to meet you in Berlin soon!