Short-Term Accommodation in Berlin: What You Should Know

Updated: Feb 10

The standard process when relocating overseas is to pack your bags, book a flight and check into a hostel or hotel while searching for a long-term flat to call home. While this may be true for many cities, the process is somewhat different if moving to Berlin. In this post, we will explore exactly why the process for Germany differs to the norm and why short-term accommodation can prove crucial to your relocation. We’ll also take a look at some of the accommodation pitfalls that newcomers to Berlin encounter when they first arrive in the city.

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The Process When Moving to Berlin

The reason the German relocation process differs to many other countries is largely due to the address registration (Anmeldung) requirement, which you are legally supposed to complete in your first two weeks in Berlin. On paper this seems simple – all you need to do is attend an appointment with the authorities notifying them that you are registering at a specific address in Berlin. For further details, check out our blog on the topic:

Anmeldung - How to Register Your Address in Berlin, Why It's Important and What Happens After Your Appointment

But this is where things can get tricky. Almost all hotels, hostels, holiday lets, Airbnbs, etc. in Berlin do not allow address registration (Anmeldung). On top of this, it is currently difficult to find long-term accommodation in Berlin where you can register due to a significant housing shortage, and almost impossible if trying to land a long-term place from overseas. So, where does this leave you?

In general, the saving grace is short to mid-term accommodation in Berlin! There are a number of short to mid-term accommodation providers in Berlin that allow you to register at their properties, meaning you can complete the all-important Anmeldung process shortly after arriving in Berlin. These accommodation options can be booked quickly online and require little if any paperwork (compared to long-term places that often require savings, payslips, employment contracts, credit reports, etc.). Importantly, short-term accommodation options buy you time to settle in Berlin and look for a long-term apartment while already living in the German capital.

What happens if I don’t register at an address?

It can be tempting to book a hostel for your first few months in Berlin while you search for a long-term apartment. While you are supposed to register your address in your first two weeks in Berlin, there are unlikely to be any legal consequences if you fail to do so. So, why not just wait to find a long-term place before registering your address?

Well, there are a number of reasons why this may be a bad idea! Address registration is a crucial first step when relocating to Germany. You need it in order to:

  • Get a tax ID in Germany (otherwise you will be taxed at the highest tax rate when starting work in Germany – Ouch!)

  • Apply for a visa/residence permit in Berlin – without your address registration certificate, you’ll be unable to apply for a residence permit in Berlin, whether this is a Residence Permit for Employment, Working Holiday Residence Permit, Residence Permit for Job Seeking or EU Blue Card.

  • Perform most administrative steps involved with relocating to Berlin – including opening most bank accounts, taking out a phone contract, signing up for an internet package, etc.

As you can see, failing to register your address quickly in Berlin can severely hamper your relocation process and can even bring your move to a complete standstill.

How can Nomaden Berlin help with short-term accommodation?

As failing to register at an address in Berlin can leave you without a tax ID or visa/residence permit (thus abruptly curtailing your relocation to Berlin), we ensure that all of our relocation programmes include a direct and simple route to securing short to mid-term accommodation and getting registered in the German capital. Below, you can find brief descriptions of how our different programmes can help in this regard:

Berlin Kickstarter and Berlin Pro packages:

  • these are our most comprehensive relocation programmes and include 30-day private studio accommodation with address registration (Anmeldung). We also provide an address registration booking service and the Anmeldung paperwork, thus ensuring you get registered in your first week in Berlin. Through opting for our accommodation, we can significantly expedite the relocation process.

  • the Berlin Kickstarter and Berlin Pro programmes also include a listing of 20+ mid to long-term accommodation providers that can be easily booked online and also allow address registration. These are great options for securing longer-term accommodation after your first 30-days in our accommodation. The accommodation options vary from 1-month to 12-month leases and start from approximately €450 per month.

  • the programmes include complete step-by-step guidance for registering your address. So you know exactly when, where and how to complete this essential administrative process.

Berlin Basic package:

  • while this programme does not include guaranteed accommodation like the Berlin Kickstarter or Berlin Pro programmes, the Berlin Basic programme includes a listing 20+ short to long-term accommodation providers. We have verified that each of the accommodation providers allows address registration and prices start from roughly €450 per month.

  • as with the Berlin Kickstarter and Berlin Pro programmes, the Berlin Basic programme includes complete instructions for how, where and when to register your address in Berlin.

Common pitfalls surrounding short-term accommodation

Above, we have covered why short-term accommodation can be essential to a successful relocation to Berlin and how Nomaden Berlin can help you make the move with ease. Nonetheless, we’d also like to highlight a few pitfalls with regards to short-term accommodation to help you avoid some of the most common pitfalls and misconceptions of newcomers to Berlin.

Pitfall 1: Booking a hostel or hotel in Berlin

While OK for putting a roof over your head in your first few days in Berlin, hotels or hostels do not allow address registration. As explained above, without address registration your relocation will effectively grind to a standstill.

Pitfall 2: Booking an Airbnb in Berlin

As with hotels or hostels, it is very uncommon for an Airbnb to allow address registration. Again, this will hamper your move and prevent you from progressing through the relocation process.

Pitfall 3: Registering at a friend’s address in Berlin without the landlord’s permission

There are generally two issues here:

  • it is not legal to be registered at an address that you will not actually be living at.

  • the landlord will be notified if someone registers at their property. If they have not given their prior consent for this, they may accuse your friend of illegally subletting the property to you, something that is grounds for eviction.

To check out full details of our different relocation programmes, click on the following links: Kickstarter or Pro. If you have any questions about the programmes or how we can help with your relocation to Berlin, don't hesitate to contact us at