Life in Berlin
ESMT brings Berlin, Europe’s most pulsating capital, to your fingertips. The campus is in the center of the city, with direct access to every neighborhood. Europe’s most vibrant capital is a center for entrepreneurship, design, cutting-edge architecture, famous nightlife, and unparalleled opportunities for both high-brow and alternative culture. From Currywurst street vendors to top restaurants, your appetite will be satiated in Berlin.
After living in Berlin, students repeatedly say that the city was a highlight of their experience. Its international culture welcomes all nationalities. Multiple festivals and celebrations of world culture pop up throughout the year. Apartments and expenses are low – it is one of the cheapest European capital cities. According to this website, it is almost one-third cheaper to live here than in Paris.
How much does it cost to live in Berlin?
This is a personal question, and it depends on your expectations for accommodation desires and food needs. On average, we find that students need €1,000 to €1,500 per month to live in Berlin. Students opting for a room in a shared flat may have expenses below this estimate.
Here are some facts about Berlin that we love.
Berlin is home to over 170 museums
The best thing on a rainy Sunday might be to take advantage of Berlin’s many museums. There are over 170, so it is really up to you what you are in the mood for. You can visit hot spots like Checkpoint Charlie, world-class art centers like the Bode Museum (below), must-sees like the Jewish Museum, or unusual findings like the Museum of Extraordinary Things.
The Berlinale is an international film festival that takes place in Berlin every February. At that time, the who’s who of the German and international film industry gather in Berlin to award the best film of the festival. Tickets sell out fast, so you have to be quick if you want to catch a glimpse of the directors and actors, including random Hollywood stars. The center of the Berlinale is Potsdamer Platz and the Sony Center.
Vibrant Food Scene
Berlin is (still) one of the few big capitals where you can eat well for a fair price. It seems like each month there is at least one new opening that brings another innovative idea to the city menu, and challenge to your taste buds (of course not including the daily openings of new ‘Döner’ fast food restaurants). Especially look out for the many small places that you can find on street corners. They often have the biggest charm. Or visit one of the Street Food Markets that are all the rave at the moment.
Berlin hosts 4.4 million people from over 190 countries, including over 160,000 students studying in 31 universities, making it one of the most diverse and welcoming cities in Europe.
Especially in summer you might find yourself in one of the city’s many cafés, drinking your coffee or eating your ice cream, surrounding yourself with the hustle and bustle that makes up Berlin’s unique city vibe.
By connecting and unifying different cultures, the city seems to reinvent itself constantly. This makes it easy to feel at home in Berlin, even if you are not originally from here.
A legendary night consists of only a few ingredients: caffeine, nice people, and the perfect setting. As regard to the latter, Berlin offers all sorts of venues to start, end and celebrate your night. From drinking wine in a little bistro in Kreuzberg, to celebrating all night (and day) in Berlin’s infamous night club Berghain. Berlin definitely knows how to seize the night.
Music and Theater Entertainment
Berlin is an excellent place to see some of the world's best symphonies, operas and theaters (the best for both architecture and performances).
Some venues, like the Deutsche Oper, the Komische Oper, the Staatsballett, etc. provide left-over tickets for students under 30 for only 13 Euro on the day of the performance. With a bit of luck you can get very good seats for a bargain. Make sure to be there at least one hour before the show starts (some people line up even earlier).
Pictured is the Konzerthaus at Gendarmenmarkt, only a five-minute walk from the ESMT campus.
Street Art & Graffiti
What some would define as meaningless smearing, or even vandalism when it magically appears on people’s house walls overnight, has become an important arts genre for Berlin’s street artists. Home to artists like XOOOOX, Alias and Mein Lieber Prost, Berlin is a center for street art, alternative culture, and eye-catching graffiti.
According to the UNESCO, Berlin curates three World Heritage sites.
Just across from ESMT, this ‘island’ holds an arts and history ensemble comprised of five museums: the Pergamon Museum, the Bode Museum, the New Museum, the Old National Gallery, and the Old Museum.
Royal Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin
Easy to reach via S-Bahn, this is definitely worth a day trip. If you go in the spring you can witness the beautiful garden blossom.
Berlin Modernism Housing Estates
Displays residential architecture of the 1920s, and can be found in different districts in Berlin.