The weird things you’ll find while apartment hunting in Berlin

I’ve started digging around Craigslist and a few other websites to get some sense of what the standard of living is like in Berlin. I’ve been warned by many that there are quite a few scammers around, so I have no intention of actually apartment hunting until I’m THERE, but it’s fun to poke around and see what’s available.

I already knew that Berlin is an alternative city. But, holy cow, there are some WEIRD Berlin apartment listings on the go. For the most part, the apartments seem stunning and affordable. But these are a few favourite listings I’ve come across. Seeking out the weird has practically become a hobby.

Sink and toilet combo
I loved this one because it’s like you can do your business and then wash your hands without standing up. I mean, who doesn’t want to sit on a sideways toilet?


This apartment belongs to an artist, as if it weren’t obvious. But I’m particularly intrigued by the skeleton in the corner. A muse?

tanning bed?!

This probably actually is just a bed with really intense lights, but on first glance, I thought those were tanning bed lights. Either way, INTENSE.

barrell shower

I didn’t know barrel showers were actually a thing.

Pink kitchen


Pink sea creatures


Creepy swordfish

This apartment is STUNNING, but the swordfish on the wall throws me off. It looks like he’s up to no good.

Actually he just kinda reminds me of the Bad Joke Eel.


But my VERY favourite is this one:

Screenshot 2014-09-28 22.09.16

I have had nightmares about it ever since it was discovered. The cigarettes add a nice touch.

  • December 08 2014

    Ok, I really love the artist’s apartment but I’ll never understand why people would like to hang on walls some animals. Fish, especially.
    And how can people stand such a pink room?
    Really, some people are weird! ;)

    • December 10 2014

      The pink room! GAH my eyes! Hahaha

  • December 08 2014
    Nathalie M Harris

    I’ve been dreaming of the sideways toilet! A real time saver…

  • December 08 2014

    Apartments here are the weirdest.

    My friend lives in an old East Berlin apartment. There’s a bathroom, complete with sink, toilet and washing machine. However, the bathtub and shower are in the kitchen! At first it appears that there’s a counter but alas when you lift it up, there’s a bathtub underneath. To get into the bathtub, you have to climb on a chair and then jump in. When your shower is over, you can pull the counter back down and chop vegetables.

    In my old apartment, I had to shower sitting down and sit on the washing machine while it was in spin cycle.

    Also, some apartments here are still heated by coal. Yep, you got to go out and buy coal to keep your flat warm!

    • December 08 2014

      I like apartments heated by coal. I wouldn’t want to live in one, but I like the smell in the streets in winter. :)

      A friend of mine lived in a flat share for some time where she had a tiny room in the attic, no heating except a tiny oven. She had to go to the basement and chop wood every day. Of course you can’t really regulate the temperature of burning wood, so it was either freezing cold or a sauna.

      • December 10 2014

        I don’t think I actually know what that smells like…

        • December 11 2014

          I don’t know how to describe the smell, I guess it’s like a campfire, but not as smoky and it doesn’t burn in your eyes. For me, it smells like the silent, calm holidays after Christmas, when the small town I grew up in was completely dead because all the grown-ups were enjoying their free time at home on the couch or in bed, and only we kids were outside playing in the snow. I tried to google a description of the smell and found a guy who describes it as “the smell of not growing up”, which is also very close IMO. :)

          • December 12 2014

            Oh I LOVE that. I need to experience it.

    • December 10 2014

      That is AMAZING.

      Not the coal thing, though. I don’t think I’ve ever heated anything with coal.

  • December 08 2014

    Those tiny bathrooms are relatively common here. There’s lots of old buildings here, and in the old times, they often had only one toilet per floor, not per apartment. Later, when renovating, they then tried to squeeze bathrooms in tiny storage rooms that most apartments had.

    In my apartment (ground level) I have a huge window in my shower that goes to the backyard. The previous tenant attached some blinds, but they’re slowly falling apart now because, well, they’re in a shower and they’re made of cardboard or something. Gotta do something about this soon. I think I’ll glue some frosted glass style foil on the window, so my neighbours can still enjoy my silhouette without being confronted with all the details.

    • December 10 2014

      LOL. That’s awesome. I once lived in an apartment with frosted glass on the bathroom window, and then maybe five months later I was walking home from school and noticed that you could literally see EVERYTHING in the bathroom from the street. It was like, a one-way frosted window. Yay.

  • December 08 2014

    get excited for all the creepy dolls at Berlin flea markets.

  • December 09 2014
    Jameela Deen

    omg some creepy things but really funny article.

  • December 10 2014

    this doll will haunt my dreams!

    But actually Berlin is a great place to look for an apartment, just don’t go on craigslist.
    A friend of a friend just posted this on facebook:
    (give me a shout if you need help translating)

    I don’t know him personally but it MUST be less scary than the room with the doll

    • December 10 2014

      Bahaha. That site looks great, thanks! I’ll take note of it. If I were moving sooner, I’d totally hit him up.

  • December 13 2014
    Shut Up and Go

    Lmao the tanning bed lights!!! What is that even about! When I lived in Berlin, I lived in a flatshare in Karlshorst. Oh, how I miss that place!

    • December 15 2014

      I CANNOT WAIT. Do you think those really are tanning bed lights? I’m having trouble deciding.

  • January 06 2015