As someone who loves travel and is a 21st Century kid, I need to keep up with the times! And that means jumping on the bandwagon when it comes to new and innovative ways of using technology and the internet to get the best rate flights, accommodation and tours. Lo and Behold, Airbnb was born!
I’m sure you all know what Airbnb is, its a website that allows people to rent out their full apartment or single rooms to visitors. It’s often a great way to not only find a bargain, but also find a unique place with a bit of character and in a location many tourists probably wouldn’t visit. I first started searching for places on Airbnb when I was trying to book up a place for me and two friends to stay in Berlin. None of the hostels were tickling our fancy, and 99% of the hotels didn’t offer a triple room so it was going to cost us a fortune paying for two separate room. I must have scoured every single listing on the site before I found the perfect one.
Finding the Right Neighbourhood
Berlin doesn’t have a central point as such, so again a lot of my time was spent trying to find the most suitable neighborhood based on what we wanted to do and see. After a few recommendations from friends who had visited and lived in the city, Kreuzberg was our choice of location. Kreuzberg is artsy and indie, almost gentrified but without the snobbishness. The streets are lined with wine and cocktail bars, local food cafes, parks, galleries and a lively nightlife. Kreuzberg is just south of the Spree river and was once boxed in on three sides by the Berlin wall. Once I had decided 100% on Kreuzberg, the Airbnb website and app has an option to view only listing in your specific neighbourhood, either in list or map view which is handy for a quick glance to see what is nearby.
The Entire Process
We booked our apartment well in advance to avoid disappointment because those babies were filling up fast! The whole process was easy and straightforward, and our host Maria was quick to get in touch or answer any of our questions. The only drawback for me was having to use a credit card, I know it’s safer and more secure than debit card, but it’s a bit difficult when you don’t have one! Definitely something I need to look into getting since travelling is becoming a lot more personal with real people.
After texting Maria once we landed and were outside the apartment, we sat across the street in a cute little bakery/cafe having our first drink in Germany! Our host arrived promptly, answered all our questions and then took us up to the apartment for a quick tour and talk on the house rules. Maria even gave us recommendations and a map to get us started on our first day. Checking out was simple as well, we were simply asked to leave the keys on the dining table if we had no issues to take up with the host (which we didn’t!).
The apartment itself was outstanding, we couldn’t fault it. It was a top floor, open planned living area that slept six people. Four 4 beds were situated on a mezzanine area with a further two in a small alcove in the living room. It had a TV, large Velux windows, comfortable sofas, books to read and most importantly when travelling hand luggage only…a hairdryer! The large windows flooded natural light into the entire apartment (it had black out blinds too), and the large bathroom would be sufficient for six girls to get ready!
The location of our aparatment was on Dresdener Strasse, and as I said earlier, it had everything we needed for a day, afternoon and evening out, including a cute little cinema that showed everything from Hollywood blockbusters to native German indie films. I might even do a post later on what to do and see in the surrounding areas/Kreuzberg as a whole.
Overall I would book through Airbnb again, the process was quick and easy, and it allowed us to stay in a cute little local street away from tourists and in among the locals.
Have you ever used Airbnb?
What’s your favourite type of accommodation?