• News
  • Berlin: One of the world’s worst cities for expats?

Friday 24, November

Berlin: One of the world’s worst cities for expats?

Lack of housing, happiness and digitalisation mean Berlin has been judged poorly in an expat survey for 2023.

Photo: IMAGO / Seeliger

Friday 24, November

Berlin: One of the world’s worst cities for expats?

How do you judge what makes a city liveable? According to the formula developed by the expat network, Internations, before anyone decides to choose where to live they would do well to consider factors like ease of settling in, affordability, the friendliness of local residents, digitalisation, administration, availability of housing and how easy it is to learn the local language. Given those factors, where do you think Berlin would rank globally?

Not very well, it turns out. The report for 2023 ranks Berlin among the very worst cities for international residents, coming in at 45th out of the 49 cities ranked. The study was compiled by asking more than 12,000 expats questions on 56 topics that relate to living abroad. The city performed exceptionally poorly in questions related to overall happiness, ease of settling in and “expat essentials” (which relates to digitalisation, administration, housing and language).

To be honest, no one would be very surprised at where Berlin falls short. The city came in last place when it came to ranking for high-speed internet access and administrative issues, while respondents to the survey also reported significant problems paying with card and finding an apartment in the city.

For anyone thinking of upping sticks, the top three cities on the list were all in Spain with Malaga (1), Alicante (2) and Valencia (3) forming the top three. While the only listed cities which performed worse than Berlin were Hamburg (46), Vancouver (47), Rome (48) and Milan (49).