Your to-do list to most things when settling in Berlin

Your top 10 first things to do 🙂

This neat timeline you see underneath will help you set a to-do list to make sure you do things in the right order.
Please allow a few seconds of your precious time to load it fully. If you see anything missing, let me know. 🙂



  • Reply Karl 09/08/2020 at 14:41

    Link is broken. Please notify when fixed.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 11/08/2020 at 20:29

      Hey Karl. Which one?

  • Reply Dr. Dre 15/05/2019 at 20:11

    Hey. I think I’ve waited 5 hours and don’t see anything. It just shows [timeline-express] both in my laptop and mobile phone. Of course, I meant a few minutes, not 5 hours lol.

  • Reply Isadora Fernandes Ferreira 14/04/2019 at 22:45

    The link seems to be broke. Also, is this mobile or landline phone plan?

  • Reply izy 24/06/2018 at 16:19

    Hi Bastien,

    I am an EU citizen living in a WG in Berlin for several months now without registering (doing touristy stuff). My health insurance from my home country is no longer active.
    I have some savings so I don’t plan on getting a job any time soon.
    My question is, if I register do I also have to get health insurance if I don’t want to? Bear in mind I won’t be working or applying for any benefits in Germany or elsewhere.


    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 25/06/2018 at 20:15

      Hi Izy. If you are resident here, you need to get coverage by law. No way around it. If you don’t plan on working, you could try to apply for Harz 4 so they cover these costs, but i’m not sure that would work.

      • Reply izy 02/07/2018 at 14:46

        Bummer. Thanks for the answer though, I’ll probably have to delay registering until I decide I want to get a job.

  • Reply Sashank Yalamanchili 12/03/2018 at 13:06

    Hi, I am an Indian Citizen in Belgium on work permit B. I resigned my job in Belgium as I have multiple online contract opportunities to work remotely for US companies which will be my only source of income. I am currently in Berlin (AirBnb) I am trying to get registered for German residence permit with either self-employment or startup business which I am yet to decide. I am not very good at organizing the application and paperwork for such, can you please recommend a professional legal agency that I can hire to do this entire process for me from scratch to end correctly, to ensure I get my residence permit approved asap before my legal stay in Schengen expires?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 13/03/2018 at 21:01

      Hi Sashank. I’m afraid i don’T know anybody. Good luck.

  • Reply Karen walsh 04/02/2018 at 19:27

    Hi, my son just arrived in berlin yesterday, he is just staying in a flat for a few days till he decides where to live and if a guy he knows will flat share with him, is it possible to get work without having registered or if he stays in a hostel till he gets an apartment can he get a number for working…he wants to start working as soon as possible as he is d pending on me for money at the moment.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 06/02/2018 at 21:07

      Hi Karen. All the answers to your questions are in the post about the anmeldung and getting a tax number.

  • Reply Louise 13/10/2017 at 12:02


    I have being doing some research into the possibility (fading rapidly) of moving to Berlin. I just wanted to let you know how informative your work is and how much I enjoyed reading it. Keep it up!


  • Reply Linnea Mellander 08/09/2017 at 15:48

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

  • Reply Abou 01/07/2017 at 22:03

    I just wanted to say thanks for the effort you have put in to this blog. It is so helpful especially for those like myself who have never managed to learn German….
    I will be moving now to Berlin and wish to ask if you would have any suggestion or recommendation for intensive German class… I have seen some ads in the Berlin metro but do not have anyone to ask for reference about those schools..
    Any advise is welcome..

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 03/07/2017 at 09:51

      Hi Abou. Glad the blog is helping. You can find more info about German classes on this post.

  • Reply Lizbeth Carrasco 23/03/2017 at 14:33

    Hi there . Im almost arriving to Berlin to do my masters in April (I come from a Caribbean Country called Dominican Republic) and this page has been really helpful. I have a question regarding the Fee that Germany charges for radio, tv services, I read somewhere that it could be up to 280Euros a year, do you happen to know any info about this.


    Best regards,

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 23/03/2017 at 16:33

      Lizbeth, i have written a dedicated post about this. You can find all the info there.

  • Reply Lin 07/03/2017 at 19:36

    Hi. Looove this site. Maybe its a stupid question but can I get moved to Berlin and get all the needed documents and then go looking for a job? My ideal plan is to find simple job at first to pay the bills and then actually go looking for something my degree… Im from EU country.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 08/03/2017 at 09:16

      Hi Lin. Yes, i don’t see why it wouldn’t be possible.

  • Reply Ena 21/02/2017 at 00:05

    I friend of mine lives in Berlin almost 5 years. Hi have not paid the tax for Deutschlandradio. Is it possible that he hasn’t received warning before a lawsuit? He have received only “Rundfunkbeitrag” (not every month). May you write me, where he can check this information (about warning before a lawsuit or something similar) and whether he will have some consequences?

    Thank You,

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 21/02/2017 at 09:54

      Hi Ena. I have written a dedicated post on the topic this way. You will find all relevant information there.

  • Reply Sierra 24/11/2016 at 16:01

    Wonderful website you have with such valuable information, thank you for providing it.

    I am just slightly confused by this timeline, hopefully someone can help…I was under the impression you had to get the anmeldung before the visa (if you are filing for artist visa). But the timeline here shows the visa as the first thing to get before the anmeldung. Could someone clarify for me? 🙂

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 24/11/2016 at 19:06

      You are here on a tourist visa i suppose -> your register with the anmeldung -> your apply for the artist visa.

  • Reply Farrukh Abbas 17/10/2016 at 22:01

    Had a chance to go through your web page and i must say its an amazing site and you had put so much material to guide new comers to Berlin with less difficulty. I’ll be travelling to Germany in Nov and trying to find a short term apartment for my wife and 2 kids (6 years & 1 year). can you please advise how many rooms my temporary apartment should have and whats the cheap area that i can rent for few weeks or month untill i can find a long term apartment.
    Thanks & Regards,

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 18/10/2016 at 09:54

      hey there Farrukh. I’m glad you like the site. With 2 kids, i guess you will need 2 bedrooms if your kids can share one. In terms of area, i cant point to something specific as you probably have your own parameters to take into account. You will see quickly what the market is like here on the website i suggest on this page. Good luck.

  • Reply Noelia Cabane 07/07/2016 at 22:49

    Hi there, great article!
    I just moved to Berlin with a working visa (not EU) and now I’m living in an Airbnb, the problem is that I need to open an account to get a SIM card, and then I need a phone to open a bank account. Also I have an appointment for Anmeldung in 08.08 which is next month? what should I do? can do something outside the circle of dependencies?

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 08/07/2016 at 17:38

      How about pre-paid options? Did you have a look at options on this page?

  • Reply Don 23/06/2016 at 23:45

    Hello! Thanks for this great site. I have a timing question that I was hoping you could help with. I’ll be coming to Berlin in August for about a week, and leaving stuff with friends. I’ll then need to travel to the UK for a couple of weeks, and will return to Berlin September 1 or so. I was considering making my (Freelancer) visa application during that week in August, but am concerned that I might be asked to come back to bring supporting documents or something in the weeks following my application. Do you have any sense of whether or not this is a common part of the process? Do the authorities often ask for applicants to return with supplementary materials or documents, or is a pretty much a one-time visit and then you just wait and see?

    I would wait until September, but I am starting a class on September 15, and I’d like to reassure them that my visit is taken care of as soon as possible.

    Thanks for any advice you can offer!

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 24/06/2016 at 14:40

      It’s hard to give a definitive answer. (Have you seen this page btw about visas?). It really depends on your nationality, visa requirements, etc. I have known people that needed to go there only one time and others that missed some documents and had to go back. Just make sure you know all the requirements and all the documents to need to bring. Also, giving the processing time it requires, i doubt they will ask you to come again before you are back in Berlin.

      • Reply Don 24/06/2016 at 22:23

        Thank you!

  • Reply Ivan Lee 05/04/2016 at 20:08


    I came to Berlin with my wife a week ago to travel Germany and learn German. Before coming to Germany, I applied for a masters program that starts in October, and I found out yday I got admitted. I have yet to apply for a student visa.

    How can my wife stay in Germany with me? We are both us citizens, and we can finance our stay here.

    Thank you.

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 05/04/2016 at 20:34

      Visa issues are quite complex and work on one-to-one basis. I am myself not well versed into it. Have you seen this page ?, Expath’s coaching could really help you go through the process if you need it.

  • Reply leo 22/02/2016 at 12:25

    I’m in love with your blog thank you so much 🙂

  • Reply Alex 15/01/2016 at 13:27

    The link seems to be broke. Also, is this mobile or landline phone plan?

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 15/01/2016 at 15:45

      Fixed. thank you for letting me know. This one is for mobile, if you want landline, it usually comes with internet that you can see here.

  • Reply Ela 09/01/2014 at 17:24

    I think you should mention Aufenthaltserlaubnis as well, as it’s easy to forget.

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