We have a spacious, sunny apartment in a peaceful, conveniently located neighborhood of Berlin. Giant windows and high ceilings give each of our rooms a pleasant, airy feeling. Spread out in three large bedrooms (one especially for children) and one small office with high-speed internet and free phone calls around Europe, Australia, and USA. Enjoy our comfortable living room with tons of books and a piano, connected to a private balcony where you might sip a glass of wine and look out over our pretty street. Eat delicious German food in the bright kitchen with built-in wooden bench & table, with glass doors overlooking a beautiful green yard. Bathroom is large by European standards, full tub and shower and pretty tiles on the walls. The apartment is up one flight of stairs; our landlords, who speak excellent English, are the only other occupants of this elegant turn-of-the-century mansion. We don't have a car, and have not needed one while living in Berlin. The neighborhood has plenty of shops withing walking distance, and easy access to trains and buses that can have us in the center of Berlin in minutes. We LOVE this place and hope you will too!
Our neighborhood of Berlin, called Lichterfelde West, is a pretty, relaxed family neighborhood with historic mansions and plenty of greenery. That said, it has the advantage of easy access to all of Berlin's vast cultural resources: (nearby S-Bahn train takes 5 min. to a busy, crowded shopping area with everything imaginable; 5 more minutes to a neighborhood with trendy international restaurants and cafes; 5 more minutes to the glitzy center of West Berlin, home to the Philharmoniker and several theaters; 10 minutes beyond that and you are in the midst of architectural wonders and historically significant sights, as well as some of (we think) the world's most interesting museums! And so on!) And that is only what we have on the same train line--you can also take the bus from our neighborhood, directly across the city to the center of East Berlin; you can make use of the vast network of train/bus/tram connections in the public transportation network to get to any point in the city. There are TONS of things to explore, and while our neighborhood is not "downtown", it is a snap to get around from here...and you will be so happy to retreat to a calm area at the end of a busy day! Our neighborhood has plenty of interest in its own right: very pleasant brick streets and sidewalks with lots of greenery and contact with interesting local people; convenient shopping for all daily needs, especially a big natural food store around the corner; three very nice parks within mere blocks of our home; bike lanes going almost anywhere in the city (use of our bikes/helmets/bike trailer is included for your convenience. And the drivers here are REALLY good about sharing the road with bicycles!) It is also a very easy bike or bus ride to the lakes and the heavily forested areas at the western edge of the city--unbelievable that in a European capital you can get the feeling of being alone with nature! The historic Eastern German town of Potsdam is also easily reachable--Enjoy!
We are a family of four from the United States and from Spain. We speak English, Spanish, French, and German. Melissa teaches at an international high school and Julio is a writer working from home, so we are normally free to exchange in the summer and during school vacations. Our interests include theater, music (especially jazz), and the occasional running of a marathon! Our two sons are very good travelers and love to visit amazing buildings and/or kids museums. We love to cook and enjoy finding fresh local ingredients and traditional recipes. As we live in a large city, we are especially interested in exchanges that allow for some time to immerse ourselves in nature, especially in Melissa's home state of Wisconsin, but considering other parts of the world as well.