uberlin

Ask überlin: Itchy feet, cold feet

by James Glazebrook

We answer our readers’ questions about moving to, and living in, Berlin. An English student asks: “Do you think I’m making a mistake moving to Berlin with no support or back up plan?”

Hi guys,

First off, I love your blog! The music you post is amazing. Secondly, I was wondering if you could possibly offer me some advice? I’m planning to move to Berlin next summer from England but I’m terrified at the prospect of “failing” in my attempt to build a life for myself in a foreign country. I have a large sum of savings that I don’t want to blow but will cushion me for the first few months. Ideally, my plan was to find an apartment to rent in either Mitte or X-berg (as these are the two places I know the best) and find myself a job in a bar/restaurant/coffee shop until I’m settled and then look into something in the creative industry. I’m 22 years old and about to complete a degree in Visual Communication. Do you think I’m making a mistake moving to Berlin with no support or back up plan? Is there any advice you can offer me?

Thank you!

Roisin

First off, thanks! We love hearing from people who like what we do, and are thinking of embarking on a Berlin adventure of their own.

The short answer to your question is: no, you’re not making a mistake. As far as we’re concerned, there is no such thing as “failing” to move to a foreign country. Fears like yours kept us in London for five years, and our final decision to move came with the realisation that the worse that could happen is we have to go back home with a little less money, having done a lot more living. Other expats and travellers would agree that trying to change your life is rewarding in itself, and a risk worth taking.

Plus, you seem to be going about things in the right way. Coming cushioned with savings and prepared to work menial jobs is smart, as is coming in summer! And there’s no better time for creatives to move to Berlin. However, we have some advice before you take the leap:

Consider a flat share (WG) rather than renting by yourself. Your savings will stretch further, and you might make friends with some locals who can introduce you to the city’s hidden treasures. Check out WG Gesucht for flat share ads.

If your German isn’t up to much, you might have problems getting work in bars, cafes and other service businesses where the occasional German person pops in from time to time. If this is the case, you might find the quickest route into the creative industry is an internship in one of the city’s many awesome agencies or startups. Sign up to Watson Jobs‘ newsletter for job vacancies and internships. If you already have great Deutsch then well done – you’re more prepared than most of the expats who already live here!

Hope this helps. Let us know if you have any more questions, and when you arrive in the city look us up for a celebratory Berliner Weisse. Good luck!

Cold feet

Cold feet? Or ready to take your first steps towards living in Berlin?

Got a question about life in Berlin or making the move here? Check out our quick guide to Moving to Berlin, or drop us an email and we’ll do our best to help!

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Christmas Haul

by Zoë Noble

My loved ones would have you believe that I’m a tad difficult to buy presents for. They think I’m very particular when it comes to, well, everything, but it’s pretty easy really – if it’s made of leather, has awesome hardware, is adorned in skulls or has the words “Alexander Wang” embossed on it, it’s a winner. If my Christmas haul is anything to go by, I think they’re learning! Or reading the blog at least.

Alexander Wang iPad Case and Purse | Givenchy Bracelet | Alexander McQueen Bracelet

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Volt

by James Glazebrook

As far as we’re concerned, the “Christ” in Christmas still stands for something – as in, “Christ, we’ve eaten SO much!” A few days and many kilos ago, we started the season’s eatings in style, with a slap-up meal at Landwehrkanal eatery Volt. Zoë’s family and I enjoyed a modern take on traditional meat/fish and veg in the stunning surroundings of what appears to be a converted factory. I *nailed* my menu selections with the salad of rabbit followed venison; my only regret was eating so much delicious bread (with pistachio butter!) that I didn’t have room for a desert of dark chocolate and orange. Amazing food, amazing backdrop, amazing company. Recommended!

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Merry GIFmas!

by Zoë Noble

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GIF. ME. BERLIN.

by James Glazebrook

Geek has never been so chic! Last week, our hip blog buddies iHeartBerlin gathered the city’s hot young things at a celebration of the nerd’s favourite, the animated GIF. Surrounded by DJs, free drinks and daring outfits, the flickering screens at HBC displayed how far the medium has come, in both complexity and sheer cool. Here are our picks of the best – you can appreciate the full exhibition in the safety of your darkened geekbase of a bedroom, over here: GIF. ME. BERLIN. Or see how a couple of amateurs do it and check out our Happy Halloween GIF, or my personal favourite, Guten Morgen. Enjoy!

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Music Montag: Berlin’s Best Song!

by James Glazebrook

We’ve been on a mission to find Berlin’s best song in collaboration with our readers, and the results are in! Congratulations to @anRara, the lucky winner of these awesome Nixon headphones (worth €200), and here’s the track that he nominated: “Arrow and Bow” by Berlin mainstay Oliver Koletzki, as remixed by his label signees Channel X. “I love this berlin guy and his music, funky, beats and style,” says our winner. “Just awesome!”

We’ve created a playlist containing (nearly) all of the entries into our competition – including another Koletzki track – which you can listen to over here. Thanks to everyone who entered, especially those who turned us onto turned us onto exciting new (to us) Berlin artists and tracks… and those that gave us an excuse to listen to the Cabaret soundtrack on repeat. Auf Weidersehen!

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Gidsy Gingerbread House

by James Glazebrook

Zoë may have missed her office Christmas party (our flight home was somehow snowed in from afar) and I don’t have an office as such, but we still managed to enjoy not one, but two, work dos this weekend. We were among the lucky few to get invites to Soundcloud’s slamming Christmas bash (thanks again Natalie!) and then spent a civilised Saturday drinking vintage cocktails and making a gingerbread house courtesy of Gidsy, Etsy and Airbnb. Our house may not have been the most structurally sound (I blame the classic gin cocktails) but it certainly was the most… distinctive? Whether you’re looking forward to your office party, or are still recovering from it – Merry Christmas!

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Fashion Freitag: Dear Santa…

by Zoë Noble

Givenchy Bag | Givenchy Bracelet | McQ Bracelet | Alexander Wang iPad Case | Proenza Schouler Bag | Jennifer Fisher Ring

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Sigiriya: The Best Curry in Berlin?

by James Glazebrook

The search for Berlin’s best curry is finally over. I say “best”, but you could probably substitute the words “only” and “edible”, as the low quality of the city’s Indian food is something you can’t truly appreciate until you’ve tasted it for yourself. Sure, we’ve found decent tandoori, but actual curry, with strong distinctive flavour and – more importantly – plenty of spice, has so far eluded us. Until we read this post on Footprints in Berlin, and followed their recommendation to Sigiriya in Freidrichshain. Sigiriya serves Sri Lankan, so nothing like what you’ve tasted on Brick Lane or in Bradford, but the deconstructed dishes with multiple sauces, heavy on the coconut, are certainly tasty enough. Even though I asked for the hottest thing on the menu, and then asked for it even hotter, it was Zoë who got something too scharf to handle. The lamb curry spiced with cinnamon and garlic, with sweet/sharp beetroot is the hottest thing I’ve tasted in Berlin – which is a Very Good Thing Indeed. Go check it out, and let us know what you think; and if you’ve found somewhere even better, we’d love to hear about it!

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Merry Catmas!

by Zoë Noble

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