Moving to Berlin
Berlin has long jostled with New York and London as the place to be for trend-setting hipsters and alt-culture aficionados. David Bowie and Iggy Pop are just two of the famous expats who’ve lived in the former Prussian capital in decades gone by and who contributed to Berlin’s reputation as a safe haven where artists and musicians could live cheaply and meet like minded folk.
Whether that reputation is still justified is a bone of contention. Rents and living costs in Berlin aren’t as cheap as they used to be (though they’re still well below what you’ll find in the UK and French capitals) and it’s been some time since the city produced a plethora of world famous cultural works to compete with those of its Bauhaus and 70s-80s heydays.
Source: Flickr | Valentina Perzolla
So if Berlin has shed its status as the sub-culture capital of the world, what has it been replaced with? The city inhabits a prominent place in history and the traces of that history are promoted and studied in Berlin rather than ignored and forgotten. As such there is an ever present sense of destiny, giving the city a feeling of urgency and energy that pours into everyday life. It should therefore come as no surprise that the new Berlin is a breeding ground for ambitious startup companies and a world leading hub for the creative industries.
A diverse demographic mix adds to Berlin’s vibrancy. Large communities of Turkish and European immigrants have had a revitalising effect on the local economy and the local cuisine - the Doner Kebab was invented in Berlin - while the sizeable gay community and majority secular population add to the ethos of tolerance, respect and religious freedom.
Berlin has been ranked 16th most liveable city in the world by global consulting firm Mercer.