Berlin vs. Paris: currywurst or croissant?

The difference between Paris and Berlin isn’t just the spoken language. It’s not just about Le Louvre or Die Museumsinsel (Museum Island), the quality of life doesn’t just depend on the average temperature or population density. But it certainly helps to know some facts that may help you during a conversation, or that are relevant when starting a business in either metropolis.

We have put together some facts comparing the two Start Alliance cities Paris and Berlin for their qualities of a work and life environment. 

© Uhura Creative Media
© Uhura Creative Media


Affordable capital living

By comparing the cost of living between both cities, it becomes evident that Berlin is overall the more cost-efficient one. Although rents are constantly rising, Berlin’s city centre apartments are still cheaper than what most other capital cities have on offer when it comes to housing. The luxury of a diverse food scene and affordable restaurants is also a prominent advantage of living in Germany’s capital. Its population density is particularly low for a metropolis, which makes it a relatively relaxed and laid-back city to live in and commute through. Even though one may find it not as pretty, chic and grand as the French capital, Berlin’s rough-edged and free-spirit appearance has certainly struck a chord especially with young professionals.

City incentives and governmental support

A broad variety of initiatives provide support, in the form of platforms and events for newly established tech-related business. These initiatives aim to help new businesses successfully enter their specific market in a given city. The renowned and internationally recognized network, Start Alliance, encourages the formation of business networks in currently 10 cities.

Berlin has numerous initiatives, which offer support to startups and businesses, such as Berlin Partner, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, Gründen in Berlin and the Investitionsbank. while Paris has one main advocate in this field, namely La French Tech, which is considered the French "startup ecosystem“.

Berlin’s Global Startup Ecosystem

Berlin is acclaimed for not only being Germany‘s but Europe’s foremost startup capital. Its scene is rapidly increasing in size, due to the creative and business-orientated minds of the city. Berlin has a fairly open society, which makes it easier to network, as well as build and strengthen relationships with other individuals, businesses or industries from a range of different countries, cultures, mindsets and backgrounds. This diversity nurtures and manifests Berlin as a truly global startup city.

If you like to get a more in-depth look on this matter, browse further through Berlin’s Startup ecosystem and Life in Berlin.

Header image: © Unsplash

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Why should you start a business in Berlin?

Welcome to Berlin – the vibrant city in the heart of Europe! Berlin attracts businesses and startups from every sector. Science, research, and creative industries also love Berlin. True innovators enjoy living and working in Berlin, as the conditions for setting up a company in the city are outstanding.


Berlin offers the ideal infrastructure for setting up a company. The city’s new international airport makes Berlin quicker and easier to reach than ever from all over Europe and the world. Berlin’s public transport network is extensive and excellent. Office space is plentiful and rents are still lower than in most European capitals. And if you just want to test the waters, few cities have as many co-working spaces as Berlin.

>> Berlin – Heart of Europe

Innovative Industries

In Berlin, you can join networks and discover businesses in all the key innovative industries, including high tech, healthcare, life sciences, service economy, mobility, and logistics. There is also plenty of potential for rewarding and conducive partnerships with research facilities and other institutions and organisations in Berlin.

>> Doing Business in Berlin

Starting Out and Scaling Up

Feel the spirit of entrepreneurship in Berlin! Berlin startups such as Zalando, DaWanda, and ImmobilienScout24 are major influencers in the German market, and venture builders like Rocket Internet and Project A are also located in Berlin. Accelerators and incubators exist at every level and for almost any sector.

>> Starting up in Berlin

Research & Science

Berlin is the capital for researchers and scientists in Europe. You’ll find research on the hottest topics in fields like bio technology, medicine, communication technology, photonics, mobility and transport, and more, carried out by top-level experts at universities and institutions of world renown.

>> Brain City Berlin

Living in Berlin

Finally, the large pool of highly skilled specialists from all over the world is a key reason to locate a company in Berlin. Thanks to the relatively low cost of living and vibrant cultural scenes, Berlin attracts many highly talented people – which directly benefits businesses in the city.

>> Life in Berlin

A growing German economy – good for entrepreneurs and investors

GDP growth is high and unemployment is low. A large market with consumers who like to spend. It's a great time for investments and market entry in Germany. Reason-Why.Berlin offers useful information on the German economy and various aspects of building business in Berlin.