Quick brain dump of reasons. Some may be obvious, but I’m just not sure how much people know about Berlin:
– Cheap, very cheap, living costs compared to other capitals. Rents are rising steadily, better move sooner than later
– Inexpensive restaurants, you can have a decent lunch for 5.5 EUR in any part of town
– Active, high-quality meetup scene. The machine learning meetup has 200 people sessions every month. There are advanced reading groups, some invitation-only. You will not be isolated intellectually
– I cannot attest to this, but the night life is second to none I hear
-Good supply of organic food/organic supermarkets. Good vegan restaurants.
– A lot of green within the City, a lot of parks
– International. ‘Berlin is not Germany,’ germans say. Berlin is fundamentally opposed to tradition, rules, and risk aversion. People do cross traffic lights in red here. You can talk about change without getting raised eyebrows around you.
– Because living costs are so low, people have a lot more runway to bootstrap. ‘I have seen people running around with hardware prototypes who have never had funding; this will never happen in NY’, said a visiting friend.
– Alternative. People come to Berlin to ‘Whatever it is they want to do’. And because of generous unemployment benefits (that some people abuse; universal basic income is happening here in a covert way!) people can spend their entire life being a poet or a ballerina without starving.
-Street musicians, graffiti
– Popular with young people. Average age must be half that of a traditional German city. Natality rate is the highest in EU.
– Bilingual and international schools and kindergarten, some of them public and free of charge
– A lot of co-working spaces
– Good low-cost air connections to other european cities at Schönefeld airport
– Easily reachable Tegel Airport
– 2h from Baltic sea, well-connected to Prague and Poland, which are nice destinations if you want to escape for a weekend without having to fly
– A lot of bycicle paths. You can go by bike everywhere and rarely cross path with a car. In the rare case that a street doesn’t have bike paths, sidewalks are so wide that it looks ridiculous. I hear that in war times, the space in front of a house was used to grow food for the building in front of it.
– a lot of street cafes and beer gardens (a bar that specializes in Beer; here there’s one in every corner)
– Main subway and train connections running 24h/7 during the weekend. You don’t need a car. You don’t need to pay a expensive taxi to come back home after a night out.
– Night buses if no subway connection during night hours (not on all lines).
-Top research university Hospital Charite
– Rich and inexpensive cultural life
– International companies
– Easy to navigate around the city with just English. No real stats that I could find, but my gut feeling is that on the train and bars you will hear English as often as German.