When was the last time you talked to a native Berliner? They are getting harder to find now that so many new arrivals have adopted Berlin, one of Germany’s most popular cities, as their hometown. In 2016 alone, Berlin registered 60,500 new residents. Once here, people tend to stay for good, and those who leave often move back. Then again, you will find locals everywhere, be it the Kebab vendor in the Wedding district, a family on a playground in Pankow, or a start-up entrepreneur in Friedrichshain. Because that is what Berlin is all about: diversity, a colourful bouquet of styles and vibrancy.
Unsurprisingly, Berlin’s twelve boroughs are as different as the city’s residents in general. Green and bourgeois Steglitz-Zehlendorf contrasts with motley and creative Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, whereas Mitte has both a history-steeped and a modern-prestigious side, and somewhere in the city everyone will find the perfect neighbourhood for them.
The constant inflow of new residents, the economic boom, the steady drop in unemployment rate, and an excellent transportation infrastructure are all factors defining the city’s housing market, too, generating a permanently strong demand for accommodation, especially in the inner-city districts. So the brisk increase in average asking prices per square metre for condominiums is perfectly plausible—and amounted to a mean growth rate of 9.6 percent last year. For the time being, living in Berlin remains comparatively affordable, although the rent and price levels are beginning to catch up with the other metropolises of Europe.
As a renowned campus and research hub, the city attracts a growing number of experts to the region. A network of internationally operating institutions draws young talent and high-skilled professionals in particular to the city whose long-term outlook is often to settle down and make Berlin their hometown. Biotechnology and the pharmaceutical industry, together with the IT and communications technologies, account for the bulk of the city’s economic output. Other key players in Berlin’s economy include the cultural sector, the creative industries and tourism.
What about culture and leisure? In this, as in any other respect, Berlin is a city of superlatives: there are three opera houses in town, around 150 theatres, about 180 museums and roughly 440 galleries. A close-knit network of local and long-haul means of transportation puts any destination inside or outside Berlin within easy reach, be it for one of the countless cultural highlights of the city or for a day-trip into its green hinterland.
Berlin, a city for everyone –and you would fit right in!