Berlin - Charming City Apartment

Berlin - Charming City Apartment

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Dec 2011


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2 Bedrooms
Sleeps 4
1 Bathrooms

About our home

We are a German couple with a two year old son. We're looking for an exchange of three weeks to two months sometime between January and March 2014. Non-simultaneous exchange is not an option. Non-simultaneous exchange is not an option.

Our flat is comfortable, has a huge bathroom and a cosy kitchen - fully equipped, internet, balcony, parking available. If you're a bit adventurous, you have access to the rooftop via a rickety ladder. The reward is a stunning view overlooking a vibrant park and the city.

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1 bedroom & 1 livingroom/bedroom, 1 kitchen, 1 bathroom (1 hallway connecting them all), 1 larger room.

One room approx. 25 sq meters equipped with a double bed and an adjacent baby-bed ('Baby Bay'); a bed for a child of up to 2 years can be set up.
One room approx. 25 sq meters equipped with 2 small desks, cupboard, shelfs, a single bed/sofa, and a balcony on which 2 people can sit w a small table.

Kitchen approx. 13 sq meters equipped with a small table, stove, dishwasher, fridge, working space, sideboard etc, and everything you need to cater for yourselves like plates pan, pots, cutlery, etc.

Bathroom approx. 17 sq meters w bathtub & shower and a diaper changing table (can be stored away). And a toilet, of course.

Hallway w a cupboard at one end, coat & shoe rack.

Tiny larder room for foodstuffs etc.

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The flat is modernised, in a building from the 1900s. It's convenient & charming, w spacious rooms and high ceilings, has central heating, plank wooden floorboards, typical 'Altbau' folding doors, etc. The previous tenant had an iron stove installed, which is nice to heat up with some fire wood for a relaxed evening. Visitors normally fall in love with our flat straight away, for its spacious and warm feel.

***The downsides:
- the flat is on the 4th floor, no elevator. You'll get used to it :-)
- It's located around the corner from a street famous for its nightlife. But the noise level is normal for an urban area. As the flat is on the 4th floor and the windows take a fair bit of noise away, you won't be disturbed.

Features

Markus's reviews

As a host (1)

More about us

  1. We are looking for long-term swap-partners for a period of one to three months; sometime between February and June 2012. Non-simultaneous exchange is an option, depending on the details.

    We have both lived in Berlin for a decade or so. Marit is from northern Germany, but grew up in the beautiful city of Heidelberg. She is 33 and studied in Mainz and Berlin. For a nonprofit she now runs a scholarship that sends pupils abroad for a year. She also works as a German language instructor.

    Markus is 33 as well and from the extreme south of Germany, Bavaria. He studied in Berlin, now works as a Videojournalist and TV-author, which means he creates short pieces for German TV stations and internet videos mostly for nonprofit organizations.

    Milo was born in October and although there would be a lot to say about him, he is basically your average baby - with all the upsides and downsides.

    We treat other peoples' properties very well and carefully, which is what we expect from our swap-partners as well, of course.

Swap availability

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Where is it?

Neighbourhood

The flat is situated in the Kreuzberg/ Neukölln area, surrounded by the culture Berlin's famous for - art, nightlife, boutiques, Döner Kebap, and international crowd. Together with Northern Neukölln this area constitutes 'Kreuzkölln', the current 'it' place in Berlin (which is why a lot of people who lives here for decades have to leave once they want to move into a bigger flat - they can't afford it any more).

The flat is also located close or in convenient distance to the main tourist sights - Berliner Mauer, Brandenburger Tor, Checkpoint Charly, TV-Tower, Alexanderplatz, Museums, etc.

This eastern corner of Kreuzberg used to be a dead end because it was very close to 'the wall' and East Germany. Nobody wanted to live here. Now it is experiencing an amazing resurgence, complete with a new shop per week, exploding rental fees, galleries, designers, shops etc., internet startups, shared office spaces, 'anti gentrification' graffiti and neighborhood organizations, organic food parlors, political action groups, Utopia-agencies, Eco-activists and urban gardeners, exchange students, international Boheme and artists, theaters, stunned Turkish families and a lot of film crews trying to catch the feel for their new movie. On various days during the week, there also are four or five markets, some of which specializing in Turkish foodstuffs and textiles, others in designer everything, others in handmade everything, others in organic foodstuffs, others in a lot of stuff you don't need.

But it is also a very relaxed, settled and laid back place, with all the understatement and authenticity that we love Berlin for.

Just across the street, there is a large square with cafés etc. and a large, vibrant park (it's not a particularly nice park but it's famous for its peculiar mix of people, beauty and craziness). There also is a large public swimming pool situated on one side of the square.

There is a supermarket, a couple of smaller shops and a large supermarket for organic foodstuffs nearby, which is where we prefer to shop. There also are about a million cafes, restaurants nearby, an increasing amount of galleries, design stores and shared office spaces.

There also is a canal nearby, in which I wouldn't swim in, but it's nice to stroll along and sit on its sides. The river Spree is in walking distance. Prinzessinengärten is another nice place to hang out, it's hoping to be some kind of urban gardening utopia.

***Children:
Generally there is a lot of stuff that has 'Kinder-' in its name. A lot of people have children here and a lot of shops, cafes and other services cater to them. Much of it is organized by parents or enthusiasts, aided by state or private money.
There are many daycare facilities, one German-French institution just opposite our house. Some take children between 1-6 years of age. There are many schools around, as well.
In the park, there is what's called a 'Kinderbauernhof' - there are two massive pigs, ducks, sheep, rabbits, chicken, donkeys, etc., a playground is also part of it.
Across the road, there is what's called a 'Kinderzirkus', a circus made by children for children. It looks like fun.
Playgrounds are plentiful, too, and some are so cool you wish you were a kid yourself.

***Getting around Berlin:
We have two bikes which you could use. The flat is also well connected to the public transport system, with a bus stop right in front of the house (and buses are modern & do take baby buggies). We also have a car, a tiny Ford Fiesta, with a Maxi Cosy baby seat.

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