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Tech Career Insights: Lower cost of living commuter towns outside Berlin
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Lower cost of living commuter towns outside Berlin

23 June 2023, by Simone Markham

Berlin is one of Europe’s largest tech hubs with many software engineering job opportunities on offer. Although there are plenty of developer positions to explore, you may find living in Berlin too costly, or maybe you have struggled to find accommodation, or perhaps city life doesn’t appeal to you.


The good news is that Germany has a great transport system, meaning you can find a home in a more cost-effective town just outside Berlin’s borders.

Here is our list of the best commuter towns to consider if you are working in Berlin.


For those that are interested in history, Potsdam is home to 16 palaces and multiple UNESCO World Heritage sites. The city is also famous for establishing filmmaking as we know it today – the world’s first silent film was made in Potsdam.

Potsdam offers plenty of museums, cinemas, and events you can attend. And if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of a big city like Berlin, you’ll enjoy Potsdam’s serene parks, such as Babelsberg Park, Sanssouci Palace Park and New Garden.

Rental prices in Berlin are 29.4% higher than in Potsdam, making accommodation moderately priced in comparison. But there are cheaper towns to live in where you can secure a larger home for less.

Commuting to Berlin from Potsdam is easy, as both cities are part of the Berlin subway system U-Bahn. It takes around 40 minutes, making it a doable commute for those working in office a few days per week. Owning a car in Potsdam isn’t ideal since parking is limited and the commute to Berlin would take you 50 minutes.


Teltow is a very old town full of rich history, which can be seen in the old buildings throughout the town as well as historical sites you can visit. Despite being an old town, it’s home to many due to its convenient location between Berlin and Potsdam. It also has a cheaper cost of living compared to Berlin and Potsdam.

Due to a large population, the town mostly has apartments and townhouses on offer. Traffic can be quite heavy and parking limited, so owning a car in this town may not be ideal. Driving to Berlin would take you 50 minutes, as opposed to a 40 minute commute on the S-Bahn. It’s an ideal town to live in if you only need to go into office a few times a week.

There are few events to attend, but plenty of parks and rivers to visit. If you enjoy a tranquil setting, Teltow would be a great option for you. You can also travel to Berlin and Potsdam should you ever feel the need for more activities.

Hohen Neuendorf

In the late 19th century, a train station was built in Hohen Neuendorf and it became a popular commuter town for those working in Berlin. Today, it’ll take you about 30 minutes to get to Berlin via train through the S-Bahn, making it an ideal home if you work in office every day or a few times a week.

Commuting via car to Berlin will take you around 40 minutes. But with limited parking and heavy traffic, it may not be ideal to own a car in Hohen Neuendorf.

The town is generally quiet and since it was developed later than other towns in Germany, the buildings are more modern. There are both houses and apartments to choose from, making it ideal for individuals or families. And cost of living is similar to that of Teltow.

In your spare time in Hohen Neuendorf, there are a variety of small parks and some cultural events to visit, as well as sporting activities to partake in.


Rathenow is one of the cheaper towns to live in that surround Berlin, with relatively inexpensive housing compared to Berlin and Potsdam. There are lots of single-standing houses available that come with gardens.

Besides having your own garden, there are great parks and lakes to visit. And there is little nightlife, making this a great town for families.

Owning a car in this town is easy considering the light traffic and available parking. Driving to Berlin would take you about an hour and 40 minutes, whereas commuting via a direct train trip will take you about an hour. So it would be an ideal town for those working in hybrid setups where you only need to go into office two days a week or less.


Strausberg is another cheaper town to live in on the outskirts of Berlin, and it’s great for those that enjoy sporting activities. There are plenty to take part in, and a few cultural events if that’s more to your interest.

If you prefer looking into history, this old, small and quiet town hosts multiple historical buildings as well as museums that you can visit.

It’s useful to own a car in Strausberg as the town boasts light traffic and houses that generally offer parking. Driving to Berlin would take you around an hour. Otherwise you can commute through the S-Bahn which should be about 40 minutes, making this town ideal for you if you work in a hybrid setup.


This is another old town that’s close to Berlin. The town is known for being home to the world’s first radio station, which has been preserved to this day.

It offers cheaper cost of living and big houses with gardens, making it a suitable place for families. Most houses come with parking so it’s easy to own a car in this town.

There isn’t a lot of nightlife or events held in the town, which may not appeal to some. But for those looking for a tranquil setting, Nauen offers nearby rivers, lakes and wildlife areas that will appeal to nature lovers and are great for children.

Commuting to Berlin would take about 45 minutes on a direct train trip and 50 minutes in a car, making it ideal if you work in a hybrid setup.

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