Finding an apartment
My first apartment in Germany came through word of mouth. The second, I found on an internal company bulletin board system. The third one was in a newspaper and and the fourth one came from an estate agent. The last one came from a nationwide internet property organisation.
Once, in Ulm, I wandered into a newsagents and asked if they had a copy of the local paper with property adverts as I wanted to rent a place. The shopkeeper told me that she had a spare room that she wanted to rent and one of the other customers in the shop told me that her friend had an apartment that she wanted to rent out.
One friend placed a "room wanted" ad in the local paper and he found something very quickly too.
The moral of all this is that the normal methods that you would expect to use to look for an apartment will work in Germany just as well as in the UK.
Property adverts come with a jargon of their very own and, when they are based around a foreign language, they can be confusing.
For example, you might see:
80qm Teil Mobiliert Wohnung 3.5ZKKB SBk EBK TG 900 +NK150 3MM Kaution Ab 1.05
This refers to an 80 square metre part furnished apartment with three and a half rooms plus a cellar, kitchen and bathroom. A South facing balcony, a built in kitchen, an underground parking place, Euro900/months rent plus Euro150/month for heat, water and other costs, three months rent to be paid as a deposit and the whole thing is vacant from the first of May.
A half room in this sense would be something like a large, partly enclosed alcove or perhaps the entrance hall is 3m by 4M.
A ground floor flat would be EG and the first floor 1S etc. A Dach Wohnung is in the loft. (The D changes to TH in English to give the word Thatch.)
Of course, there are many more terms than just those but they are the most common.