Useful Government Websites
http://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/diplo/en/ is an English language website maintained by the German government with information about visas, residency, work permits and items of national interest.
http://www.bvg.de/index.php/en/index.html is the English version of Berlin’s public transport online portal. It contains information, route maps and timetables for trains, buses, trams and ferries within the city. A useful feature is their journey planner which recommends public transport connections between addresses and points of interest.
http://www.bahn.de/i/view/GBR/en/index.shtml is the English version of Deutsche Bahn’s excellent website, which allows booking of local, regional and international train fares online. It is well worth joining their email list to receive advance notification of special offers.
Some great sites to discover more about the city, its history and what to expect are:
Interesting group sites about Berlin and its culture:
Expat blogs are a good way to learn about the day to day life of people living in Berlin. Some resources for finding expat blogs based in Berlin:
Expat Blog Directory http://www.expat-blog.com/en/destination/europe/germany/berlin/
Expat Women is a site designed to help all women living overseas. Their German blog directory can be found at http://www.expatwomen.com/expatblog/index.php?c=190
For professionals, a wonderful resource is LinkedIn.com. Once you fill out your profile, you can search for working groups to join that are based in Berlin, as well as search your business network connections for Berlin-based information and contacts.
Expat and Classified Sites
http://www.toytowngermany.com/ is a popular expat website, and is popular with people looking to find jobs or employees in English-speaking roles, and also for buying and selling household furniture via their classified forums. Members of the Toytown website arrange monthly meet-ups to welcome expats new to the city.
http://berlin.en.craigslist.de/ is the Berlin page of the world’s most popular classifieds website. It’s a great website for finding apartments for rent, secondhand furniture and bikes.
http://www.exberliner.com/ is the website of Berlin’s English language magazine, and is updated each week with “what’s on” information, restaurant reviews and more. Their classified section is popular with casual job hunters.
The Local bills itself as “Germany’s news in English”, and is updated daily with an expat perspective on the current affairs of the day, along with comprehensive local movie guides. It also has a busy classifieds section and a vibrant expat community forum.
http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=berlin&w=all A fun resource for learning more about Berlin, as well as meeting people who live there, is Flickr, the photo sharing website. By searching for “Berlin”. You can see many stunning photographs of the city, and then comment on the photos or send a message to the user and start a conversation. You’ll find many Flickr members are open, friendly and eager to share their knowledge of the cities they photograph.