Living in Berlin, you can not only get free furniture or free bank accounts but also free advice. Be it about renting, job seeking, healthcare, social welfare German language – here comes a list of various sources.
1. Welcome Center Berlin
The city of Berlin itself offers a free personal counseling service called Willkommenszentrum around these questions:
- What legal requirements do I need to fullfill?
- How do I find work, training?
- What do I need to consider while looking for an apartment?
- How do I find a school for my child?
- How does day-to-day life in Berlin work?
The people giving the advice speak many languages:
For even more languages, interpreters are available:
Read more on their website:
2. Healthcare counselling at Berliner Stadtmission
For people in trouble without (proper) health insurance, the Berlin City Mission (Berliner Stadtmission) is offering advice, even in many languages:
The service is free. You should make an appointment or come by during their service hours.
If you are not so much in immediate trouble but looking for a good expat health insurance, check out Popsure.
3. Facebook group Free Advice Berlin
It’s the sibling of Free Your Suff Berlin, just for getting info and advice. With currently more than 13,000 members, you get quickly get answers on any issue, at all daytimes. It’s BTW also the place where I got many recommendations for The Cheap Pizza Map of Berlin.
4. Free renter’s counselling
This one really helped a lot in the past: If you have problems with your landlord, unsure what you can do against the rent increase etc., seek free advice here. Keep in mind that they speak German, so bring a German speaker if necessary.
- Counselling at Kiezladen Zusammenhalt: Tuesdays between 18:00 and 19:00, no appointment needed, just come by (early)
- Mieterservice at Asum: Make an appointment before by phone.
There is also a good, paid offer by Berliner Mietergemeinschaft. It’s a renter’s association, offering a membership for currently 69 EUR per year and grating access to more than 20 advice consulting offices in whole Berlin, opened at different times and days all over the week. It includes a legal costs insurance for renting-related issues – in case you need to the take your landlord to court (or they are taking you).
5. Social and legal advice
Especially if you are an EU citizen, have lived here already for some time and also worked in a regular job, you might be eligible for social welfare if you are unemployed now, for instance for Arbeitslosengeld 2. But also for other legal problems, you can get free advice at several places. Most of it will be in German, so again, bring a German speaker if necessary.
Find legal advice at these places:
- Bürgeramt Neukölln: General legal advice for family law, labour law, medical law, consumer law and social law
- Bürgeramt Köpenick: legal advice, free for people with low income
- for students: Asta TU Berlin: advice on health insurance, studying with a child, housing benefit (Wohngeld), child support, student loans
… and more on these overviews:
6. Free City Service Hotline
About this one, I already wrote a while ago: The city of Berlin operates a phone support hotline where you can ask about all administrational stuff. And they also speak English. Read more in the extra article.
7. Repair Cafés
“Toss it? No way!” is the motto of the more than 10 Repair Cafés in Berlin. These are places where you can bring your broken laptop, bikes or even clothes and fix them together with experts. And the idea is not to just leave the broken thing there and let it get fixed – but to learn yourself how you can fix things.
At the café, besides the volunteering experts, you’ll find tools and materials to help you make any repairs you need. There is only one condition: It must be able to carry the things to repair into the cafés. So no fridges or cars.
Apparently, 50 to 80% of the brought things get repaired, so it’s definitely worth a try. And the cafés are always looking for volunteers, so if you want to to bring some Germans into your social circle, here you go.
8. Forums: Toytown Germany and Reddit
Toytown Germany is an English speaking portal related to Germany, with subgroups about Berlin. In the forum, you can ask various questions, or get advice by searching through old posts.
Same works for Reddit, the world-known, user-driven news portal. Its Berlin “subreddit” is a place to share news and ask for advice.
9. German Language on Stackexchange
Programmers among you most certainly know Stackoverflow, a very convenient Q&A (Questions & Answers) system. They have branched off several other platforms on different topics, and one of them is German Language Stackexchange.
Ask there your questions on correct word usage, pronunciation or curious ones like why German sounds so harsh. Questions can be tagged and upvoted, so can answers – and you can quickly find what you need.
10. BerlinCheap.com 😉
And of course, there is this blog, BerlinCheap.com. I am regularly writing about free offers and good deals in Berlin. Most popular articles are
- 4 Tips for Finding a Cheap Flat in Berlin
- 7 Free German Bank Accounts (+Credit Card)
- Get an earlier Bürgeramt appointment for free
Feel free to contact me to suggest new topics for articles, so I can find better out what could be interesting. Or just drop a comment here below.