Coliving In Berlin- All The Best Digital Nomad Housing
On today’s episode of the digital nomad series, we’re going to talk about: coliving in Berlin edition. Not just co living in Berlin but everything that comes with being a digital nomad.
Here’s what this article has in store for you:
- What is coliving?
- What are the pros and cons of coliving?
- Why try coliving in Berlin?
- All the best coliving spaces in Berlin
- Coliving etiquette
- Cost of living in Berlin
- Best time to visit
- Best visas for digital nomads in Berlin
- Best coworking space Berlin
- Best food to try in Berlin
- Getting around
- Things you should know
I did say everything, didn’t I? Sit back, kick your feet up, and grab a cup of tea because we’re going to take a deep dive into coliving in Berlin.
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What Is Coliving?
You’ve heard of communes, hostels, and collectives, now, let’s hear it for the millennial digital nomad solution: Coliving!
Colicing is a new rental trend. Unlike hostels -where numerous people are jammed in a room- or communes -where the community is permanent and works together-, coliving is a temporary shared living arrangement.
Tenants receive their own private and fully furnished quarters with a shared communal space. Coliving is a more luxurious and professional take on hostel living.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of Coliving?
Coliving, though relatively new is gaining popularity all over the globe. It’s a fantastic living solution for digital nomads but there’s two sides to every coin.
Not sure if coliving is your thing? Let’s look at some pros and cons:
Pros of Coliving
Coliving comes with a whole ton of positives, like:
- Luxury for half the price
All inclusive rent, stable Wifi connection, fully furnished living space, weekly cleanings, and living in an expensive city for a fraction of the price?
Whichever way you look at it, coliving is a cheaper alternative to traditional rental agreements.
Did you know that coliving helps to prevent feelings of loneliness? As digital nomads, we’re always on the move and that can get a bit lonely. Coliving offers the prospects of a community made out of like minded individuals.
- Flexible contracts
- Private bedroom
- Networking opportunities
Coliving is the perfect place to network, meet new people and develop business connections.
Cons of Coliving
Now, the flipside of coliving:
- It’s expensive if you’re used to hostel prices
- Sharing your space
You’re going to have to share a living room, kitchen, and or bathroom. Your private bedroom will be your only refuge and that doesn’t work for some.
- Random selection doesn’t always work
Coliving offers the opportunity to cohabitate with like-minded individuals but that very premise alone doesn’t mean everyone will get along.
- Personal space may feel invaded
- A lot of people using one broadband connection may result in unstable Wifi
- Those who are more introverted may feel pressured or annoyed to interact
Why Try Coliving In Berlin?
No longer will you have to limit your coliving experience to Asia. Think coliving europe, or more specifically, coliving berlin.
What does a digital nomad need to thrive in any location?
- Stable Wifi
- Amazing travel opportunities
- Flexible living arrangements
Berlin ticks all of those boxes and more. Did you know that Berlin ranks fourth on Nomadlist.com’s destinations for digital nomads?
All The Best Coliving Spaces In Berlin
The German capital is littered with coliving spaces and coworking cafes. Search the term ‘berlin coliving’ or ‘shared apartments berlin’ and you’ll be spoiled for choice.
But how do you choose? Which establishments give you bang for your buck without compromising location, wifi connection, or comfort?
Here are a list of coliving spaces that’ll check all those boxes and more:
A quick search of ‘coliving berlin’ and you’ll notice that Quarters berlin comes up.
With five locations in Wedding, Moabit, Friedrichshain, Lichtenberg, and Mitte, each Quarters location has its own unique features.
Every room is fully furnished and comes with high speed internet. They offer flexible leases starting at 3 months, plus a one time payment of a utility fee that includes everything.
They organize weekly events and match roommates based on compatibility through the application process. Plus, all their locations offer either free on-site or in-unit laundry.
Here’s a quick overview of all five:
Price: from $590 or €489/month
The coliving space located in Wedding has an industrial design and loft-like aesthetics. It’s nestled in between two parks and tucked away in a quiet part of the city.
Price: from $607 or €500/month
This Quarters branch will give you an all-local experience of Berlin. It’s centred right between the old Westhafen harbour and the buzzling main street. Perfect for those craving the nightlife.
Price: from $730 or €600/month
The Friedrichshain branch is located on one of the most central streets in the neighborhood.
Ensuring you get a taste of Berlin nightlife and to get you going the next morning: this location has a Boxi Espresso that serves a mean espresso right in their building.
Price: from $730 or €600/month
Lichtenberg has been labeled the Chinatown of Berlin. It’s filled with parks, bars, restaurants, and cafes. This location has a backyard and a terrace ready for BBQ’s.
It’s also a skip and hop away from Friedrichshain’s nightlife. I’d say it’s the best of both worlds.
Price: from $730 or €600/month
If you’re planning on traveling around, this may be the Quarters branch for you. Their building in Mitte is right around the corner from Berlin Central Station and it offers a panoramic view of the city.
Founded in 2017, Habyt was created when it’s founder was experiencing how complex and frustrating it was to find suitable housing. There were issues with bureaucracy, varying information, expensive set up costs and difficult roommates. And so, Habyt was born.
There’s a minimum stay of 3 months and you have to be at least 20 years of age to stay there. Heads up: You’ll have to pay a month’s rent ahead + €100 deposit.
Price: from $730 to $970 or €600 to €800/month
Wifi: 400 Mbps
With over 10 coliving buildings (some are shared apartments or private studios) scattered across Berlin, when you choose to Habyt, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to location.
- A brand new fully-furnished flat
- All bills included
- Fully equipped kitchen
- Living room with couch and TV
- Weekly cleaning of common areas and room
Colonies offers tastefully designed fully furnished private rooms and studios for digital nomads.
A lot of coliving spaces don’t take in couples or families, but Colonies accepts couples! You can finalize your booking online with a valid ID and proof of revenue.
They have two locations: Pepin and Prenzl.
This residence is located in Mitte and is great from colivers who aren’t too keen on cohabitating with large groups of people.
Residents: up to 8 (5 rooms)
- Private studio from $1005-$1310 or €830-€1080/month
- Private studi XL $1430 or €1180/month
Residents: 21 Private studios (private studios sleeps 1 person, XL 1-2 people)
- Private studio from $890-$1200 or €739-€990/month
- Private studi XL $1320-1370 or €1090-€1129/month
- Fully furnished and equipped houses
- Private bathroom at both locations (Score!)
- All charges included in rents include all charges (water, electricity, heating, gas, internet)
- Home insurance and cleaning of the common areas
- One-month move-out notice
Happy Pigeons is an independent project that strives to foster social interaction and feelings of togetherness among people of different backgrounds.
They offer unfurnished and furnished rooms for couples or small families. That’s right! Singles are welcomed too.
Their minimum rental period is 3 months and they have two locations: Prenzlauer Berg and Charlottenburg.
Residents: 4 different flats with 11 private rooms.
Price: This is a bit tricky because they rent out rooms per apartment, each room in each apartment has a different price range. So let me break it down for you:
The OG Nest
3 rooms all priced at $750 or €620/month
2 rooms both priced at $750 or €620/month
The Light Nest
This is the unfurnished option. 2 rooms (price coming soon)
The Colorful Nest
4 room 3 rooms priced at $860 or €710/month and one at $820 or €675/month
Price: Single bedroom $670/month or €550/month
The Rosario Apartment
3 bedrooms: two priced at $750 or €620/month (both of which have their own balcony) one priced at $700 or €580/month (this one ensures you’ll have your own walk in closet).
- Access to coworking office included in coliving rent
- Planned activities, events, and mixers
- Every room is equipped with its own washer
- Fully equipped kitchen
- Application process is thorough: It requires a Skype call or face to face meeting(in case you are in Berlin already) with one of their Happy Pigeons Team members.
After the pre-selection process, you’ll talk to one of their Coliving members and then together, they make the decision.
Living in a house full of irritable people is one thing that you want to avoid. So, here are some golden rules to help make your coliving experience enjoyable (for everyone):
- Respect House Rules
Some coliving spaces have standard house rules like no smoking inside, no pets, or quiet hours. They’re there to keep things in order. Whatever they may be, be sure to respect them.
- Be Friendly
You don’t have to buddy-up to everyone. You just have to be pleasant to be around.
- If You Use It: Clean It
Similarly, if you use it, put it away. Clean up after yourself in your shared spaces.
- Ask Before You Invite
Be considerate before you invite guests over. Remember, you’re not the only one living there. It takes a second to consult with your colivers and it costs nothing to be considerate.
- Coworking Space: Keep It Quiet
Don’t take calls in the coworking space.
This space was designed to let people work without distractions. It’s gotta be quiet so people can focus. Find an empty communal room or meeting room to take that call.
- Don’t Play Your Media Out Loud
This is a universal rule: use your headphones.
- Keep Your Personal Items In Your Private Space
Review rule 3 and avoid people mistaking your personal item as a shared item and using it and or possibly breaking your things.
Cost Of Living In Berlin
According to Numbeo.com, here are some basic costs of living in Berlin:
- Monthly rental studio outside of city center $797 or €657/month
- Monthly rental studio in city center $1085 or €895/month
- Meal at an inexpensive restaurant $11 or €9
- A beer (0.5l) – local $4.24 or €3.50
- Cappuccino – $3.51 or €2.89
- Water (0.33l) – $2 or €1.70
- One-way ticket (local transport)– $3.52 or €2.90
- Monthly pass – from $99.44 or €82
Best Time To Visit Berlin
Berlin, much like the rest of Europe, has four seasons: spring, summer, fall, and winter -with consistent rain all year round.
As long as you have an umbrella on hand, there’s really no bad time to visit Berlin. Here’s a quick wrap up of the average temperatures you can expect:
- Hottest Month: August (66F / 19C)
- Coldest Month: January (33F / 0.5C)
- Wettest Month: June (2.4in / 6cm of rain)
Best Visas For Digital Nomads In Berlin
If you’ve been a digital nomad in Europe before, you’re probably aware of the Schengen visa. It allows you free movement across european countries in the Schengen Area.
The fine print? You can’t stay within the Schengen Area for more than 90 days in a 180-day period of time.
This means that after 90 days in that region, you have to leave for another 90 days before returning. Not the best option for digital nomads that want to work in berlin.
German Freelance “Freiberufler” Visa
Luckily with the surge in the coworking berlin movement, the German government now offers a visa specifically for freelancers.
The German Freelance “Freiberufler” Visa can be extended for up to 3 years and the fee is pretty affordable:
Application fee: $73 or €60
Residency Permit: $170 or €140
Best Coworking Spaces In Berlin
When I say ‘coliving’, you say ‘coworking’!
Betahaus has five locations around the world and one of them is in Berlin. They offer private rooms, team meeting rooms, hybrid work spaces, and of course, a coworking space.
- Club: $120 or €99/ month
- Pro: $302 or €250/month
Ahoy offers various workspaces like short-term flex desks or private offices for individuals and teams. A membership includes Wifi, electricity, printing and cleaning plus additional services such as virtual office, lockers and custom IT solutions.
- Daily ticket: $18 or €15/month
- Monthly ticket (flex): $182 or €150/month
- Monthly ticket (fix): $266 or €220/month
- 24/7 access: $36 or €30/month
- Locker: $30 or €25/month
- Team offices: from $1150 or €950/month
- Virtual office: $120 or €99/month
Fritz46 is housed in a former 1970s office block, the open-plan offices are currently fully booked until further notice, so keep your eyes peeled for an opening. Perks include a coffee package and a super fast VDSL broadband connection.
St Oberholz was founded in 2005, way before coworking took off. It was an early mover and shaker on Berlin’s coworking scene.
They offer a range of packages as well as a special ‘night owls’ package for those who work best after dark.
- Full membership: $229 or €189/month
- Basic membership: $120 or €99/month
- Fixed desk: $364 or €300/month
- Virtual office: $95 or €79/month
- Day pass: $5 or €4/hour or $18.20 or €14.99/day
Interested in exploring the city and making quick stops to do your work? Try visiting some of these work friendly cafes:
Best Food To Try In Berlin
When we talk about a country, we often start with it’s cuisine.
Fun fact 1: Berlin has a huge Turkish population which is why number one on the list is Doner Kebab.
Fun fact 2: Berlin is ranked #3 Vegan Capital by Happy Cow. The city has 471 vegan restaurants and the largest vegan grocery store chain, Veganz.
These are some must-eat foods while you’re in the German capital:
Getting Around Berlin
The easiest way to get around in Berlin is with it’s public transport. The German capital has a reliable public transport system that spans from metro, trams, buses and city trains.
There are taxis all over the city, so it won’t be difficult to find one but they are pretty pricey. Uber is a cheap alternative. You’ve probably heard of the app before.
An even cheaper alternative to Uber (and environmentally friendly) is a local ride-sharing service called BerlKönig.
Renting Bikes & Scooters
Want to see the city like a true German? Rent a bike or scooter from these companies:
Things You Should Know Before You Visit Berlin
Every city has its quirks, Berlin is no exception. Before you visit this historic city, these are three things you should know:
VALIDATE YOUR TRANSPORTATION TICKETS BEFORE YOU BOARD
This is in uppercase because I can’t stress this point enough.
A lot of visitors purchase a ticket for the bus or metro and board without validation. This is of course normal but in Berlin, you need to validate the ticket before you start your journey.
Validation machines can be found on the platforms and in busses. I’m telling you this because this can result in a $73 or €60 fine.
Tip: Ticket inspectors occasionally dress in plain clothes to check validations.
Watch your step when you’re walking in Berlin because there are plenty of speedy and angry ‘cychopaths’ on the cycle paths.
Take it from me, being yelled at in German while someone whizzes past you is a terrifying experience.
If you’re staying in Germany for less than 3 months then you won’t have to worry about this. But when you want to stay more than 3 months then listen up.
After 3 months, you are no longer considered as a tourist. This means you must register your residence (“Anmeldung” in German).
You will need something called an “Anmeldebescheiningung”.
You have 14 days after moving into your new apartment to do this. You can start by booking an appointment with any Bürgeramt in your city and register your new address.
Bring your ID, confirmation from your landlord, this form, and you’re done!
I think I covered everything worth mentioning about coliving Berlin and then some. Personally, I think Berlin is a great option for coliving and coworking.
But I want to hear from you. What are your thoughts about coliving in berlin? Will you visit this German capital and make it your next digital nomad destination?