Everything you need to know about buying property in Germany's capital
Buying real estate in Berlin can sometimes be an overwhelming experience—should you go for an Altbau or Neubau apartment? Should you buy in well-connected Mitte, or trendy Neukölln? As living in Berlin becomes more expensive, how far will your Euro stretch in today’s market? Have no fear, in our guide to properties in Berlin by district, we will break down all these questions and more, so you can start looking for your new home in the capital with total confidence.
Berlin’s famous ‘poor but sexy’ persona is undeniably transforming into something a little sleeker and more forward-thinking, without losing its edge and cool-factor. Thriving start-ups, established corporations, and creative types are coming together to make Berlin the place to be in Europe right now, meaning that the property market is absolutely booming. According to a recent global property market study, Berlin is topping the charts in property prices. If you’re looking at properties in Berlin, it’s important to familiarise yourself with what each district has to offer, so you can get a better idea of what living in Berlin will really be like. Each neighbourhood offers something unique.
Mitte: Mitte, meaning ‘centre,’ connects Berlin’s 12 districts and is a true middle-ground between the past, the present, and the future. From Altbau Gründerzeit buildings and historic sites, to futuristic architecture pushing the envelope of modern design, Mitte offers a little bit of everything. In recent years Mitte has seen the highest population growth in the city, with property prices here skyrocketing. Although apartments here can definitely be pricey, more affordable options in Moabit and Wedding are just as well-connected, but far more budget friendly. Discover properties in Mitte here.
Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg: Perhaps one of the trendiest places to live in Berlin at the moment, the twin district of Friedrichschain-Kreuzberg marries the east to the west in style. A dizzying array of nightlife options from booming nightclubs to pop-up wine bars makes this district particularly appealing to a younger crowd moving in and driving up the prices. The former home of starving artists is steadily transforming into a hub for high-end boutiques, restaurants, and galleries. While the district still offers many smaller studio apartments mostly in demand with a younger demographic, more and more families are moving in to renovated Altbau loft apartments. Discover properties in Friedrichschain-Kreuzberg here.
Pankow: As Berlin’s second largest district, Pankow, and particularly its neighbourhood Prenzlauer Berg, is one of Berlin’s most sought-after residential areas for wealthy and liberal intellectuals. The eastern district has maintained beautiful Gründerzeit Altbau buildings, making it particularly attractive. Despite its reputation as being somewhat upper-class, some of East-Berlin's counterculture can still be found in hip bars, avant-garde galleries, and lively cafés. Discover properties in Prenzlauer Berg and Pankow here.
Reinickendorf: Long overlooked as a commuter city, a collection of satellite neighbourhoods, Reinickendorf, in the north-west of the city, is slowly becoming more appreciated. The district is largely residential and provides housing for a significant amount of Berlin’s workforce. Though it lacks some of the nightlife and entertainment of the more central neighbourhoods, it more than makes up for this with its variety of nature, architecture and residential areas.
Spandau: Spandau has Berlin’s smallest population and yet is one of the largest districts, making it the perfect place to live for those looking for the quiet life. Peaceful parks and lakes, historic buildings, and a lovely old town charm residents and visitors alike. Spandau used to be an industrial hub for the capital; however, today many of the industrial spaces have been repurposed as residential properties. Spandau remains a very affordable district to live in Berlin, and despite being somewhat removed from the hubbub, is still very well connected to the rest of the city. Explore properties in Spandau here.
Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf: Known as one of Berlin’s more refined districts, Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf impresses not just with its famously beautiful tree-lined shopping streets, but also with first-class restaurants, theatres, and museums. While the area certainly caters to the sophisticated and elite, it is also experiencing a quiet, youthful renaissance with a growing number of trendy bars and contemporary restaurants. Beautifully restored grand Altbaus offer classic apartments ranging in size and price, from student-friendly studios to some of the most palatial family properties in Berlin. Discover them for yourself here.
Tempelhof-Schöneberg: Just as beautiful as its name implies, Schöneberg (literally “pretty hill”) combines the elegance of Charlottenburg with Kreuzberg’s cool factor. Also known as the Rainbow district, Schöneberg’s inclusivity and open-mindedness attracts liberals and individualists. Tempelhof has also seen significant growth in recent years, with its wide-open green spaces and beautiful Altbaus providing perfect homes for families. Learn more about properties in Tempelhof-Schöneberg here.
Steglitz-Zehlendorf: With its stately villas, cobblestone streets, charming shops, and beautiful green parks, Steglitz-Zehlendorf is one of Berlin’s most expensive districts. Elegant and refined, the homes here are large and attractive to a more mature resident, as well as affluent families. However, as the Freie Universität is also found in this district, many students also call the area home. Trendy cafés and bars are popping up around the shops on Schlossstrasse in Steglitz. Find an apartment in Steglitz-Zehlendorf here.
Neukölln: Arguably the capital’s coolest district, Neukölln has become one of Berlin’s most desirable neighbourhoods in recent years thanks to an influx of creatives and young individualists. The area is truly diverse, from multicultural hotspots to suburban idyll, Neukölln can cater to just about anyone. The charming village vibe of Rixdorf offers classic Altbau homes for families, and studio apartments in Schillerkiez attract young professionals. Explore Neukölln properties here.
Treptow-Köpenick: Once Berlin’s largest industrial district, Treptow-Köpenick is now one of the greenest and therefore most peaceful districts to live in Berlin. Covered in lakes, parks, and woodlands, residents here enjoy a high quality of life slightly removed from the noisier parts of the city. That being said, the district offers plenty of bars, restaurants, and cafés as well. Discover properties in Treptow-Köpenick here.
Lichtenberg: Bordering Prenzlauer Berg and Friedrichshain, life in Lichtenberg is never far from the buzzing nightlife of its neighbours, but residents enjoy a quieter lifestyle. Green space along the river at Rummelsburg and parks surrounding the district’s two lakes provide beauty and a more laidback vibe. Here you will find extensive residential areas and attractive Altbaus at a more reasonable price than other properties in Berlin, which is why Lichtenberg has seen the highest population growth in capital in recent years. Explore properties in Lichtenberg here.
Marzahn-Hellersdorf: With its concrete tower blocks being given a long-deserved makeover, young families moving into the suburban areas and crowds flocking to the spectacular Gardens of the World, everything seems to be looking up for this district perched on the eastern border of Berlin. The vast avenues of pre-fabricated apartments still characterise the neighbourhood, though there are also some large areas of single-family homes in the south.
Berlin may be the largest city in Germany, but the capital is unlike any other big city in the world. What makes living in Berlin so unique is the historic pre-war Altbaus, the green parks, blue lakes, and especially the diverse neighbourhoods, each with their own characteristics and quirks. Living in Kreuzberg can feel totally different from living in Steglitz or Spandau. Every district offers something totally unique, and properties in Berlin are equally as singular. Berlin is on top of the global property market, and yet there are such a variety of properties available that nearly anyone can call Germany’s capital home.