Although Berlin still has several sections ravaged by the effects of Communism, the areas closer to the city centre have newer housing that still remains affordable. There are 12 districts (Bezirke) in Berlin, and within those are several neighbourhoods (Kiez or Kietz), officially known as subdivisions (stadtteil).
Most apartment buildings are mixed use, with businesses and retail on the ground floor and apartments on the floors above.
The 12 districts of Berlin are as follows, with their administration numbers:
Mitte, which means “middle” in German, is located in the geographical centre of Berlin, and is composed of the neighbourhoods Mitte, Moabit, Hansaviertel, Tiergarten, Wedding and Gesundbrunnen. The oldest parts of Berlin are in this district. As the western-most part of the former East Berlin, there have been a lot of changes in recent years.
Moabit is quiet and on the river, and many buildings boast beautiful views. Hansaviertel has award-winning architecture, and is very pricey but apartment layouts are cramped. Tiergarten has elegant apartments, but the downside is being close to the zoo, which smells in summer. Wedding and Gesundbrunnen are areas that offer more affordable housing close to the city, but only streets close to the boarders of Mitte or Prenzlauer Berg are worth considering.