Altbau German Dining Room

After finishing my Master’s degree, getting married, and starting a new jobwhew! – my German husband and I decided it was time to upgrade our living situation.

Our old apartment was fine, but it was also a bit boring. So, we told ourselves that we would only move if we found something amazing – and we did. Our new apartment is directly in the historic city center, which means we are within walking distance to all of the best shops, restaurants and bars that our city has to offer. The building itself was built 1462-1463, although the top floors were not converted into apartments until 2011. This means our apartment is the best of both worlds – German Altbau (old building) flair with modern renovations.

Before we start the tour, here are the basics of the apartment:

  • Size: 89 sq m/958 sq ft
  • Rooms: 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom
  • Floor: 3rd floor apartment, extending up 2.5 floors

Let’s start the tour on the 1st floor of the apartment (the 3rd floor of the building). Here we have the bathroom, kitchen, and the largest bedroom. This floor has low ceilings, crooked beams, and lots of steps between different floor levels (those may all sound like negative features, but I love it).

Altbau German Bathroom

Altbau German Bathroom

The bathroom is a nice size, but due to the many beams, the builders obviously had to get creative when fitting in the shower/tub. I know it may not look like it in the picture, but it is possible (even for tall people) to stand up and move around comfortably in the shower. We are also lucky to have a window in the bathroom (that nobody can see into).

Altbau German Kitchen

Altbau German Kitchen

Just like our last apartment, we were lucky to find an apartment that came with a built-in kitchen (you often have to buy your own in Germany, even when renting an apartment). If you look at our kitchen counters, you will once again see the builders’ creativity in working around the particularities of this old building. Our counter has 4 different levels, which means there is a comfortable height for chopping no matter how tall you are! The shelf that we mounted to hold our pots/pans/utensils also highlights how crooked the ceiling is.

Altbau German Bedroom

Altbau German Bedroom

Our bedroom has the lowest ceilings of any room in the apartment, which means that Marco (who is 6 feet tall) does have to duck in some areas. Because of this, we put my dresser in the low area, so he doesn’t have to duck around that beam too often.

Altbau German Bedroom

Altbau Closet Solution

Due to our apartment’s peculiarities, we also had to come up with an innovative solution for creating closet space. Germans don’t do built-in closets, and those giant wardrobes that most Germans use would certainly not fit anywhere in the apartment. Instead, we hung hanging rods along the wall behind the bedroom door and hung sliding curtains from the ceiling in front of it.

And yes, we do have a TV in our bedroom. Don’t judge – this is the first time Marco or I have ever had a TV in our bedroom, and we like it!

Altbau German Apartment

The second floor is the reason we fell in love with this apartment. The pictures should be enough to understand why.

Altbau German Dining Room

Altbau German Living Room

On the second floor, we have our living/dining room, a sitting area, and a second bedroom. I didn’t include any pictures of the second bedroom because it’s still a work in progress.

Altbau German Living Room

Altbau German Windows

Another peculiarity of city center Altbau living – views like this. I actually don’t mind it though. When the evening sun reflects off of the tile roofs, it lights up our living room in a warm orange.

Altbau German Stairs Altbau German Loft

From our second floor, we have a set of very steep stairs that go up into a third-floor loft. There we have a bit of storage space (not pictured, obviously) and a desk. It’s a really great space for working and looking down on the living/dining room.

View from the Loft

Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention another highlight of this apartment – the garden! Even though our apartment is directly in the city center, we have a private garden, which we only have to share with the 1 other apartment in the building. This is our view when we look down on the garden from the living room.

German City Center Garden

If you haven’t gotten enough of our beautiful new apartment, then you can also check out this apartment tour video I made for my family. Please excuse the poor quality, this was recorded on my phone 😀

  • Mandi | No Apathy Allowed

    What a great apartment — I love it! But maybe I’m biased since I live in the 3rd floor Dachgeschoss in an Altbau in Bremen. 🙂 My apartment is split into two floors — the entry level has the living/dining room, kitchen, and bathroom; and once you climb a ladder/steep steps, you enter my sleeping area, which is at the very top of the house. Just like in your apartment, there are a lot of creative solutions to make everything fit into slanted corners (but at least there’s a built-in triangle-shaped wardrobe in the sleeping area — otherwise I have no idea what I would have done with my clothes!).

    Thanks for the tour, and the video is great — offers a nice perspective that you just can’t get in photos!