Berlin, Germany is a very cool city. Many people now consider it to be the coolest city in the world. Artists and hipsters are flocking to Berlin to let their creative juices flow. For location independent living, Berlin is the tops. It's cheap, it's central, it's modern with character and has a thriving community of professionals looking to network and mingle. Berlin is a new city and the online travel industry is a new profession. The Wall only came down in 1989 and the world of travel blogging has been around for a much shorter period of time. No wonder everyone is going to Berlin!
Apartment Rentals in Berlin
We had the opportunity to visit Berlin with HouseTrip during ITB, the World's leading travel trade show. While we didn't go to any of the show, we did attend a few of the late night events and gatherings to feel the vibe of the city. But what we loved the most was staying in our apartment, cooking meals and relaxing in comfort. You see, we've been traveling a lot over the past couple of years, so having all the comforts of home was a nice change. We bought groceries and wine at the local supermarket for a great deal. (Did I tell you that Berlin is cheap?) We ‘ate in' nearly every night and relaxed on the comfortable couches watching videos and reading guide books. We could both really see ourselves living comfortably here. It was a bit of a chore for us to pull ourselves away from our luxury apartment to go and see the sights.
Cool Berlin has Cool Apartment Hosts
One of the cool things about staying in an apartment is the local feeling you get when traveling. You don’t feel like a tourist. You stay in residential neighbourhoods and hang out a local eateries and bars. Next thing you know, you're becoming a regular at the local coffee shop and picking up the paper to see what's happening in the news.
Most hosts are passionate about their accommodation and have great stories of how they got into apartment rentals. We met up with two cool HouseTrip hosts during our stay in Berlin and had a chat about apartment stays in it's history in Berlin.
Stephan and his wife started buying apartments in their building in 2001 to have more room for for his growing business. They found that their relationship thrived when they were renovating apartments, so they followed their passion and bought more apartments to renovate and rent out as vacation apartments.
The Berlin Lofts have a rich history. Originally a horse stable for the military it’s was converted to loft apartments in the 60’s. The first politically motivated commune in Germany known as Communale 1, set up house here and Stephan remembers his neighbours telling him first hand accounts of the time that they occupied the building. They would practice escapes for future police raids. They eventually moved out, but the legend continues and Stephan has many stories to tell. They transformed these rough and empty industrial lofts into pure luxury apartments.
5 Lofts Apartments Berlin
Martina of the Five Lofts bought this complex with her husband in 1985 when the Berlin wall was still standing. Their friends thought they were crazy, but they had hope that one day the wall would fall and now they own an apartment building in one of the trendiest neighbourhoods of the city. Their building houses several apartments that are all completely renovated and overhauled.
After buying the apartments, they moved away for years and rented the properties out to locals. Or maybe squatters took over the place, that was common in Berlin during the time of the Berlin wall. Either way, the tenants eventually left and a few years ago they began to renovate at full steam and have turned their apartments to a place for couples and families to enjoy with comfort.
Something we loved about the 5 Lofts is that all rooms are disability friendly with elevators and large doors in both the entrance ways and bathrooms.
A lot of tender love and care goes into these Berlin apartments. I could see the passion the owners have for “their babies”. They design and decorate them themselves and they make sure that their renters have the best time possible. There are guide books and maps, tips and notes in the apartments for you when you arrive. They take you on a tour, show you how to use the appliances and they give you a lay out of the land and neighbourhood. The Berlin lofts even had a Nespresso machine with gourmet coffee for our enjoyment. The basics like sugar, spices, cooking oil and salt and pepper are on hand too just in case you need it.
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