Why are Software Engineers relocating to Berlin?

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In 2021, Berlin overtook London to become the best city in Europe for start-ups. Founders named the attractive business environment, positive Covid response and relationship with the EU as reasons for the city to take the crown. 

Start-ups to watch include Wonder, an advanced video-conferencing platform in which users can jump between, text, audio and video, Raisin, one of the city’s most innovative fintech companies, and Gorillas, the app-based grocery delivery service. 

But start-ups can only succeed if they can attract the right talent. Though there are plenty of skilled candidates in Berlin, demand far outstrips supply. So, does Berlin have enough on offer to attract new Software Engineers?

Living is cheap and easy

Berlin is one of the cheapest capital cities to live in in Europe – just check out our infographic which proves it. Whether you’re adding milk to your morning coffee (€0.84) or having a bottle of good red wine with dinner (€6), your money is going to go further in Berlin than it would in London, Paris, or Barcelona.

Germany has a great visa system, and citizens of the EU, Switzerland, Israel, US, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Australia and the Republic of Korea can apply for a residence permit for work purposes after entering the country. If you’re not from one of the aforementioned countries, you can still move by applying for a visa. Certain companies, such as Zalando, who happen to be looking for the world’s best Software Engineers as we speak, will even help you to relocate and help you through that visa process. 


The culture in Berlin is much less corporate than some of Europe’s other tech capitals. The city combines an eclectic array of nightclubs, bars and restaurants and the population is hugely diverse. This all contributes to a vibrant yet easy-going way of life. It might even challenge New York for the title of ‘the city that never sleeps.’ Some nightclubs open at 1am and close at midday, meaning you can go to a bar almost 24/7. 

It’s also an incredibly forward-thinking city, as evidenced by its moves towards becoming an eco-friendly capital. The public transport is extremely efficient, with 170 subway stations, an extensive tram system and large bus network. There are also 400 miles of bike lanes and – thanks to a brilliant rent-a-bike scheme – 15 per cent of all traffic is made up of cyclists. And, like everything else in Berlin, it’s cheap. The average ride on public transport will cost you €3, while bike hire starts from €0.08 per minute. 

Plus, the majority of people speak English, and many organisations, particularly those with an international presence, will use English as their common language.


The number one reason Software Engineers should consider relocating to Berlin is the sheer amount of opportunities available to them. Whether you want to be part of an innovative start-up, or you’d like to join some of the world’s biggest businesses who have made Berlin their European home, the city is your oyster. 

Confidence in Berlin is strong, with companies focused on the future. Take Zalando, Europe’s leading online platform for fashion and lifestyle, which was born and bred in Berlin. The organisation is currently looking for the world’s best Software Engineers, from Fullstack and Data Engineers to those specialising in iOS to Android. 

London might be the biggest tech hub in Europe, but Berlin is a clear contender for the crown. Your money goes further in a beautiful and bustling city and the opportunities are endless – what more could you want?

develop are partnered with Zalando to find the world’s best Software Engineers. Relocation support is available for the right candidates. For more information, please get in touch. 

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