Life in Berlin
With a cost of living lower than capitals like London or Paris and home to some of the most iconic cultural institutions globally, Berlin is a city that lets creatives work hard and play even harder.
Are you ready to get stuck in?
Berlin’s history makes living in this city incredibly unique. Walk anywhere in this city and you will see old and new standing side-by-side – and sometimes even becoming one.
The most famous example of history and modernity coming together can be found at East Side Gallery, just across the bridge from our House of Music facilities. Once part of the wall that divided Berlin in two during the Cold War, East Side Gallery is now the world’s longest open-air gallery.
Walk along it, spend time admiring the incredible art pieces and become immersed in what makes this city like no other.
Designed in 2001 by Daniel Liebeskind, the Jewish Museum is one of the most impactful buildings in Berlin. Through its architecture, art installations and museum exhibitions, the Jewish Museum presents Jewish history in Germany from the Middle Ages to the present day.
Walk, jog, cycle, skate or even fly a kite in one of Berlin’s most iconic parks. After the closure of Tempelhof Airport in 2008, the site was reclaimed and repurposed as a park for Berliners to enjoy.
Once home to a US spy station during the Cold War, Teufelsberg today is one of the largest street art galleries in the world. Take a guided tour – led by ex-employees of the listening station – and find out more about Berlin’s cold war history.
Berlin may be most famous for being the place where techno seeped from the underground scene to the mainstream but every music genre imaginable pulses, lives and breathes here today. No matter your taste in music, Berlin caters to every single taste across venues and festivals large and small.
The city also embraces up-and-coming talent with plenty of opportunities to perform at iconic venues across the city. And if you’re looking to test out a new track on a willing audience, there are plenty of open mic nights to get involved with.
One of our neighbours by House of Music, Astra Kulturhaus is difficult to beat when it comes to live concerts. There’s something to suit all tastes – from local Berlin music to Karrera Klub’s alternative nights and famous indie gigs.
Describing itself as a ‘festival and platform for adventurous music and art’, CTM Festival is amongst the most exciting events of Berlin’s cultural calendar. If you’re passionate about music that dares to push the boundaries of culture and society, this is an absolute must.
Open mic nights here are renowned. Open to performers from all genres and ages, crowds flock here on a Wednesday night to hear some of Berlin’s best acoustic performances. Make sure to get there early as slots fill up fast.
From the development of one of the most important cinematic aesthetics of the 20th century – German Expressionism – to the vast numbers of directors, cinematographers and actors that have filmed at iconic locations in the city, Berlin has a long history of being one of the world’s most important cities for film.
For aspiring filmmakers, inspiration and platforms to present your cinematic creations are never in short supply. And with a host of film festivals taking place throughout the year and an abundance of cinemas, film lovers have a wealth of opportunities to find their next favourite film.
Without doubt the highlight of Berlin’s film festival calendar, the Berlinale welcomes filmmakers from across the globe to screens across the city. Oozing with red carpet glamour and with every genre of film on show, it’s an absolute must for film lovers.
Any visit to the Filmtheater am Friedrichshain is an experience from start to finish. Featuring 5 uniquely designed screening rooms, the Filmtheater is a feast for the eyes. Grab some popcorn and settle in for a truly special cinema experience.
Lying just outside Berlin, Babelsberg Studio is the world’s oldest large-scale film studio, and today is one of the biggest in Europe. With some areas also open to the public, visitors to the site are immersed in a world of film like no other.
We’re definitely biased but Berlin boasts some of the best nightlife in the world. Particularly famous for techno, clubs in Berlin are true institutions in the city. With a rave tradition that stems from the end of the Cold War, the city regularly draws huge names from the electronic scene to venues big and small.
For those who prefer something a little more lowkey, Berlin also offers thousands of bars and pubs where you can spend an evening with friends and settle into the city’s vibrant nightlife community.
World-famous for offering some of the world’s best electronic music – and its strict door policy – Berghain is the place where everyone wants to be. And it’s no wonder why: with incredible line-ups and a diverse crowd of partygoers, partying in Berghain is an experience like no other.
The self-proclaimed ‘queer heart of Prenzlauer Berg’, Tipsy Bear is probably one of the most welcoming and inclusive bars in Berlin. With a superb range of cocktails, live music and drag performances, Tipsy Bear is always a good idea.
Sameheads is probably one of Berlin’s most original bars. Step inside and it's as if you’ve been transported back to the 90s with wacky decorations and old-style TV screens. Split across two levels, head downstairs to find the dancefloor and a truly unique vibe.
Whatever your style, whatever your budget, Berlin has a shopping destination for you. With prime shopping locations spread throughout the city, you will always be able to find what you need.
From sprawling shopping centres to tiny boutique shops, browsing what’s on offer is a perfect daytime activity, come rain or shine.
Just a short stroll from House of Music, Boxhagener Platz is one of the best places to be for one of Berlin’s famous flea markets. If you’re after something weird and wonderful, you’re sure to find it here – record players, vintage clothes, rare books and odd bobs aplenty!
Based in Breitscheidplatz, Bikini Berlin offers a pop-up space for independent retailers. So, if you’re in the mood for supporting smaller designers or browsing unique items at small boutiques and concepts stores, you’ll find everything you want and more at Bikini Berlin.
More commonly known as KaDeWe, Kaufhaus des Westens is the largest department store in mainland Europe. Offering luxury and designer fashion, a shopping trip here can be pricy, but it is worth the visit to just explore this sprawling space.
Whatever your food of choice, Berlin is sure to deliver. With restaurants, cafés and delis in the city offering mouth-watering cuisine from all corners of the globe, Berliners are truly spoilt for choice. If you can think of it, Berlin’s got it!
And if you’re veggie or vegan, you’re in luck. Berlin is renowned for its plant-based offerings, so you will never be short of options.
With two locations in Prenzlauer Berg and Friedenau, Malafemmena is an award-winning Italian restaurant offering some of Berlin – and Europe’s – best Italian cuisine. With vegan options and special gluten free pizza nights, it’s a must visit.
Just a short stroll from our facilities at Molecule Studios, Masha’s Bagels and Delicatessen offers some of the most authentic New York-style bagels in Berlin. This is the perfect place for a spot of lunch and a truly great coffee.
For vegan junk food, it doesn’t get much better than Yoyo. Based just off Boxhagener Platz, Yoyo offers great vegan burgers, wraps and sandwiches at extremely reasonable prices. Head over, grab a burger to take away and enjoy it on a sunny day in Boxhagener Platz.
Berlin is a very easy city to navigate. With a well-connected public transport network, cyclist-friendly streets, plenty of taxis and international airport, you will never be stuck for ways of getting from A to B.
Cycling is one of the most popular ways to get round Berlin. Not only is it one of the cheapest modes of transport in the city – especially if you have your own bike – it is also the best way to get to know the city in depth. Cycling from West to East Berlin is a real experience, allowing you to soak up some of Berlin’s history, sights and fashion choices!
A fun activity to do is also to cycle the Mauerweg: a circular trail that traces where the Berlin Wall once stood.
Berlin is also well-equipped for its cycling population with kilometres upon kilometres of cycle lanes and many streets where bikes take priority!
Probably one of the easiest and fastest ways to get around the city, public transport is a great option for getting round Berlin. In fact, public transport is so simple here, that you can use your ticket on trains, trams, buses and the metro.
One of the most cost-friendly ways of using public transport is to buy a monthly or annual travel pass, giving you unlimited access to the transport network.
There are more than 7,000 taxis in Berlin, all identifiable by their beige colouring. It’s worth knowing that Berlin taxis have a special low fare (six euros) for distances of less than two kilometres. Just tell the driver you want to pay a ‘Kurzstrecke’.
Alternatively, you could also opt for services like Uber or Bolt, where you can order rides through their dedicated apps.
Trains out of Berlin
Hauptbahnhof is the central train station in Berlin and connects you to the other major cities in Germany.
The Berlin Brandenburg airport is Berlin’s only airport and offers flights both nationally and internationally with a host of airlines.
For any questions regarding Berlin student life or if you’d like more information on how to apply to BIMM Institute Berlin, please contact our Admissions Team on +49 (0) 30 311 99 186 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.