After decades of Kiwis travelling to London for their ‘Big OE’, things are changing and a new European city is beginning to steal the spotlight. Berlin — the capital of Germany, has reinvented itself as the new hot spot for ‘Young Europe’, and it’s got New Zealanders packing their bags in big numbers.
The new Berlin
Born from the ashes of the fallen Berlin Wall in 1989, the ‘new Berlin’ is one that’s defined by open-minded, liberal values — a self-transformation in protest of the country’s infamous history.
Vibrant, trendy suburbs like Prenzlauer Berg and Kreuzberg ooze with charm and progressive culture, while the countless museums, galleries and street art found throughout the city proudly tell the tale of one of Europe’s most historically significant destinations.
One of the trademarks of Berlin culture is its prominent music and arts scene, which has been attracting big names like Nick Cave, David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Lou Reed to relocate there for the past few decades. One of the staples of Berlin’s music culture is its nightlife scene, which is widely regarded as the best in all of Europe. Every weekend, it’s estimated that over 50,000 people head to the clubs to enjoy the local and international DJs.
To put it simply — there’s always something going on in Berlin. From underground music gigs, poetry slams, techno raves, to the renowned buskers throughout the city’s parks, who sometimes draw crowds of thousands, there’s really something for everyone.
Cheap as chips
While most countries in Europe are experiencing a steep increase in living costs, Berlin has emerged as one of the most affordable cities to live in the continent. From the low cost of renting apartments and flats, to the cheap and reliable public transport system, as well as food and alcohol (beers are usually between $2 – $4), it should come as no surprise that more and more Kiwis are heading to Berlin instead of London, which in comparison, is becoming one of the most expensive spots in Europe to live.
Home to a thriving international start-up scene (sometimes described as Europe’s equivalent to Silicon Valley) as well as a huge number of international expats, Berlin provides ample working opportunities for English speakers.
New Zealanders easily qualify for a German Working Holiday Visa, and the laid back working culture is a pleasant change of pace for most Kiwis — you’d be hard pressed to find flash corporates in expensive suits, or employees working 60 — 80 hour weeks anywhere in Berlin.
Gateway to Europe
Kiwis love a good Euro trip – one of the main benefits of living in an eastern European city like Berlin, is its proximity to other countries and major cities.
Places like Copenhagen, Prague and Amsterdam are mere train rides away, and Berlin’s SchÃ¶nefeld International Airport has direct, one-way flights to hotspots like London, Barcelona, Mykonos, Paris and anywhere else you can imagine, for extremely competitive prices.
Thinking of moving to Berlin?
The Crown Relocations network covers all corners of Germany. If you’re thinking of heading to Berlin for your next adventure, get in touch with us on: 0508 227 696 or complete the Quote Wizard to find out how we can help!