My German Flat vs American Apartment


hey guys! come on in!
thanks for coming back to my channel and welcome to my apartment. I thought that
it would be cool if I showed you guys what my apartment in Germany is like and
point out some of the differences I’ve noticed between your standard German
apartment and your standard American apartment. And the first thing I’ll say
is that a lot of Germans learn English from British instructors and the Brits
call their apartments flats and so a German, when speaking English, will often
refer to their apartment as a flat whereas we call them apartments. So when you first walk into your standard German apartment you’ll notice a bunch of shoes
on the ground and that’s basically because when a German comes home, they’ll arrive, they’ll take off their shoes and they’ll put on what they call house
shoes or basically just slippers so that way they’re not tracking in any mud or
dirt or anything from outside and into their house. And that’s pretty cool but
I thought I was a little weird whenever I went to a German apartment for like a
party and I was expected to bring my own house shoes. Sometimes the host will
provide how shoes if they have enough depending on the size of the party but
yeah I had to bring my own house shoes and when I got there I was expected to
take off my shoes and put on slippers to there and socialize with everyone which
I thought was pretty strange. Alright let’s go into the kitchen so German
kitchens to me are really really different primarily because Germans
actually move their kitchens which, I know, it sounds crazy. So I never really
understood why when I went into IKEA in America why there was like this huge
section dedicated to kitchens like how many people are getting their houses
built and needing to buy cabinets and counters and whatever for the house and
then I moved to Germany and found out that Germans will go and buy their own
kitchen, install it into their apartment or their flat and then will actually if
they’re moving will de-install that kitchen, take it with them, reformat it
because obviously not every kitchen is shaped
exactly the same, and then they will reinstall it. Now obviously there’s
exceptions to this some Germans will be able to sell their kitchen to their
landlord or maybe the person that’s taking over the lease after them but for
the most part they move their kitchen with them. Another different thing is
that their refrigerators are drastically smaller than ours and it’s kind of hard
to show you on this video without doing a side-by-side comparison but if you
think about it I’m five foot seven and this is the top of my shoulder and this
is the top of the fridge, so my shoulder is actually above the height of the
fridge and the freezer is pretty small too. Another thing is their dishwashers..
so water in Germany is like really, really, really hard. If I remember
correctly when I looked it up our hardest water is still like ten times
softer than German’s softest water that’s how hard their water is. So because of
their hard water, Germans will actually add additives into their dishwasher to
soften the water and make sure that it doesn’t create this like film or calcium
like buildup or residue on their dishes. Another thing is that I have never seen
a Keurig for the entire time that I’ve been in Germany. I don’t know if they’re
here or not but I’ve never seen one but I have seen coffee appliances from other
brands. So, Tassimo is a popular brand that you’ll see in Germany and so is a Nespresso, and there’s a bunch of other ones but I’ve never seen a Keurig here
which is kind of interesting because I feel like Keurig just like took over
America over the past couple years. Alright I think that’s all for the kitchen
so let’s move to the bathroom. So as I walk into the bathroom, the first thing
I’ll point out is the toilet. So they don’t have handles to flush their
toilets. What they have are buttons, and usually there’s two of them. And as I
always say, the bigger the button the bigger the flush. And you’ll also notice
that there isn’t that top part to the toilet that we have and that’s because
it’s like inside the wall there. And the toilet doesn’t sit on the ground, it’s
basically just floating in the air there. Also a lot of German flats will have
their washer and dryer inside their bathroom. So another different thing is
that they have these cool heaters inside their bathrooms, which are basically like
towel rack shaped heaters so when you turn it on not only is it heating up the
bathroom but it’s also warming up your towel which is pretty awesome when
you’re getting out of the shower. What it is not awesome though is that again
because of this hard water thing if you have a shower like this where it’s like
this glass wall you are going to have to squeegee every single time you get out
of the shower. And it drives me crazy because like it’s just another step I
have to take when I’m getting ready in the morning is to squeegee down the
shower and if you don’t squeegee down the
shower you get these really bad hard water stains on your glass and it takes
kind of like a lot of effort to wash them off. Alright I think that’s all
for the bathroom let’s head to the bedroom and I’m sorry my place isn’t as
clean as it probably should be for this apartment tour but uh truth be told I
don’t really care. So, the first thing I always notice about a German bedroom or their hotel rooms a lot of times they have these two mattresses that lay next
to each other to make up, this is basically like a queen-size bed .And if
you notice those are actually two different blankets too. And when I moved
in with my boyfriend I thought it was like really weird it seemed like I was
like what is this the 50s we can’t sleep in the same bed together and I’ve grown
to love it. It is awesome. I sleep so well and I think it’s just like the better
way because if you think about it it’s not exactly natural to sleep right next
to someone and be able to get like super restful sleep because maybe they move or making noise or whatever but for some reason having this like defined sleeping
space for yourself you get like way better sleep. So if you look behind me
you’ll notice that this is like a wardrobe and again it looks similar to
IKEA, right? What you’d see in IKEA. And that’s because Germans, they don’t have
closets. They don’t do the closet thing. So you basically have to go and buy
wardrobes from furniture stores if you want to be able to hang up your clothes
because there are no other options. There are no closets. Another thing I’ll point
out in here are the windows and I think they’re
pretty cool. I’ve heard that a lot of Americans think that the
German windows are super fascinating so this isn’t a window, I mean this is a
door, but it’s the same mechanism. So you can either open it completely, right, or
you can bring the handle up and it’ll just as I call it I call it the German
way of opening so I don’t really know like what a proper term for it should be
but basically it just tilts the glass away from the wall and so you get some
airflow without opening the entire window or door. I think it’s pretty cool!
Alright let’s go into, oh! One more thing. So their light switches are
different. Instead of having like the actual light switch looking things that
we have, they have basically square buttons as their switches. And they also
don’t really have door knobs. I’ve never… I don’t think I’ve ever seen a door knob
in Germany. They mostly have door handles. This is what I’m used to seeing all
throughout Germany. Alright let’s go into the living room. So the furniture in
here I think is pretty standard. Again, it looks like something you’d see in Ikea
and I’m sure any German hearing me say this all is probably really annoyed like
IKEA is not the only furniture store and I got that, but I just think IKEA
resonates really well with your average American because it describes the style
of furniture it is not so much the quality. So as I mentioned, there’s not a
lot of closets, there aren’t a lot of like built-in storage in German houses
and apartments, and so they’ll buy furniture that’s much more functional
than I think what the average American has in their home so that they can like
get the storage they need out of the furniture. The other thing I’ll point out
in here is the heater. So when you look at the heater, I always think it looks
like this old-school again, I’m like throwback to the 1950s style heater. They
don’t have like central air here like we do in
most of your new houses in America. They have these heaters. Actually they don’t
have air conditioning. I’ve never seen a house or an apartment with air
conditioning… they rely on opening the windows and
using the curtains and the shades and the blinds to basically keep their house
cool in like a more natural way instead of using air conditioning. And then again,
with the heaters, they have these like vents and it doesn’t really create a lot
of airflow and so Germans will, and there’s a term for it but I just don’t
know it and even if I did I wouldn’t be able to pronounce it right, where they
open up all of their windows for a certain amount of time to just basically
like air out the house or the apartment to get any moisture out and make sure
that no mold starts growing. And the last thing I’ll show you in here is the
blinds. So most German houses and apartments will have these roll-down
blinds that are basically on the outside of the window and I did this, it’s an
electronic function, and so it’s rolling it down itself. I don’t think this is
anything particularly fancy… it’s pretty much standard. Maybe it’s not electronic,
maybe you have to manually roll it down like I did in my old apartment, but for
the most part their blinds are on the outside of the window and they’re shaped
like this instead of ours which are on the inside usually and they have like
the standard sliding type design where you can like open them and close them.
Alright guys! That’s all I have for you today thanks for joining me! I hope you
enjoyed this video and if you did give it a thumbs up. If there’s anything I
missed that you know of a difference between a German apartment and American
apartment feel free to put them in the comments, I would love to learn from you!
And if you have any questions from me, throw them in there too. Thanks for
joining me! I hope you subscribe to my channel I’ll be posting videos every
week. See you next time! Bye. Bye! I’m gonna go edit this video now so I
need you to go.

88 Replies to “My German Flat vs American Apartment”

  1. I came here after watching the 6 unpopular opinions in Germany video, and this isn't what I expected. Truth be told, I don't understand why so many people complain about "negative comments", I haven't heard anything offensive, she was just describing the differences she noticed from what she was used to and what she encountered in Germany (and she often even said, she liked it, so…). True, it's not like that everywhere in the whole country, but it's her experience, and it's not totally wrong, either. You know only what you know.

  2. Love this , but I would've loved to see more of the apartment 🙂 my family is from Germany and I still have family there that I've never met , I wanna go there

  3. Americans are very materialistic, they dont like others having something better than them, which plenty do, America doesn't have the biggest and best of everything, every American I have come across has tried to compare everything with theirs, nobody gives a fuck to be fair, when I was in America visiting family, they took me to various houses (friends of theirs) I never saw a clean house in America apart from the house I stayed in, I didnt even sit down in 1 house kept my mouth closed, filthy reptiles

  4. hot tip for the lime built up from the water: white vinegar. soak some paper towels in white vinegar, put it on the glass or tiles, let it sit for a while, might even have to spray more vinegar on if it dries out too fast. but it'll desolve the lime and you don't have to scrub. use a bag or small container with vinegar for the shower head 🙂
    I miss the shades outside the windows most, followed by windows and a set up to actually be able to air out the house

  5. Recommendation. I came here looking for the differences in apartments but was a bit disappointed because your in the video about 98% of the time. Not that your bad to look at (quite the contrary), but a good video is a nice balance of show tell with narration vs. direct eye to eye contact. Think about it, even in conversation no one typically maintains that much eye contact. IMHO.

  6. European DO NOT NEED large frigate because we do not eat Frozen and other junk food Americans do eat i live on both sides

  7. Why we move our kitchen? Because we spend a lot of time in them and cook instead of only making sandwiches 😛

  8. Oh… I understand why people would get offended at the water part xD It's logical, though, when your first impression of German water is in a complex with noticeably hard water that you think water in Germany is just generally hard xD

    We don't add anything to our dish washers or anything, and our glasses are totally fine. You just solved my eternal mystery why glasses at other people's places I visited sometimes look so milky xDDD

  9. I never even thought about it but yes even visiting my relatives in the Slovak Republic they don't have closets to hang your clothes in. I kept everything in my suitcase and everything became wrinkled. I just thought about it now. No closets. How did I miss that.

  10. Ich muss ehrlich sagen… das ist das dümmste Video was ich gesehen habe … so 75% in dem Video sind nur bei ihr so und nicht wie sie sagt bei uns deutschen…

  11. Americans take off their shoes only if they are extremely soiled, otherwise they wipe their feet well before entering a house if their shoes are not soiled.

  12. haha I came here because I got 2 german friends, one of them got an apartment, but he never had his own bedroom and he can't afford a bed…

    so weird cause I thought that he was rich to live in an apartment.

    And another german lives in a flat but the interior looks luxurious

  13. Nice Video! I think the word you mean at time 10:35 is" Lüften" = opening the window/door for fresh air. 🙂 greets from Berlin

  14. Shoes are for outside, we walk our clean homes with bare feet or socks/slippers. Shoes shouldn't enter your living room, it's simple logic.

  15. Not the typical German apartment, I Guess you didn't have the luxury to see many since houses are hard to get. But this is just 1 of the many apartments the landlord has, and doesn't care about – just to milk the cow.

    Greets from Holland.

  16. Thanks for this Video, Kelly – I'm Austrian and have traveled a lot – spent a lot of time in the US – had also a girlfriend from the US for quite some time – and I really like the US – had always a good time there! So I think your video is pretty funny to watch and a lot of things are right – but three things are (sorry) nonsense: 1) At least in Austria (I think in Germany too) when you rent an apartment there HAS to be a kitchen (at least a simple) with a stove, a sink, and a fridge – the only exception would be sometimes that it is a new house and you are the first person to live there. 2) The hard water thing is very different from location to location – but as already mentioned in another comment the difference lies in the way how the water is treated differently in the US – here in Vienna we get mountain water from the alps and I think it's not treated at all – it's a little harder but it tastes excellent – and I never wipe the shower glass after showering ;-). 3) It's true that we take off our shoes (most of the time) and walk around in socks or have a pair of "home-shoes" (like I do) – but nobody would EVER ask a guest to bring their own house shoes – that would be really strange :-(. One more funny thing about the bed: My wife and I think the US way is much better – we have one big mattress and one big blanket – and we feel always kind of "separated" when we have to sleep with "boundaries" between us – I think the "two-bed" – policy applies more to apartments that are rented out to different people regularly so that they would have the possibility to separate the beds for whatever reason….

  17. There are lots of opinions about taking off shoes or leaving them on. In the US I don't know anyone who walks around their house with dirty shoes, at least not intentionally. Many people in the US have attached garages so that they really aren't bringing dirt from the street (or the frequently mentioned dog poo). Those who work in offices don't get their shoes dirty at work. Dirt from shoes is often just not an issue. The smell from some peoples feet after they have been in shoes for a few hours can be an issue.
    A set of cultural behavior works is an particular context and it can be interesting to see what different features that requires and why that is. Then one can choose to what to implement for oneself.
    The door handles are an interesting example. The knobs in the US are also combined with door latches that permit lightly pushing the door shut. Many Germany doors expect one to turn the handle to shut the door, otherwise they are quite loud. Knobs in Germany don't work well with their latches. Knobs are available in Germany and used in kindergardens so small children can't open the doors. US knobs also incorporate locks in them, whereas the german locks are separate and therefore require more effort to install. So it is not as simple handle versus knob.

  18. I'm kind of shocked about the shoe thing cause when my landlord visits with an other German handy man they are always shocked that I ask they take their shoes off.

  19. btw, these external window blinds are not only for keeping the appartment dark but also a good protection against intrusion. They seem to be leightweight but due to their construction, they can slow down an intruder quite effectively.

  20. Pretty cool video. One thing that I found interesting: the heaters were described as 'old school.' I think they're a logical choice: you can heat up one room instead of a whole apartment or house. Makes perfect sense, especially these days where we are, or should be, concerned about the environment, burning fossil fuels etc. Being Danish and married to a German – and having lived in the US for 25+ years, I am still amazed by how much energy people in the US use to heat up rooms that nobody uses. 'Old school' seems hip and 'with it' in a way that forced air systems don't.

  21. Shoes inside the home, tracking it all over – ew! It's just too lucky when people traipse around inside in the shoes they wore outside – and next thing you know, you're padding around barefoot without sox… Much prefer the cleaner Northern European version.

  22. Most of the Germans live in rented apartments whereas America is, by and large, a nation of homeowners. So these rented flats are made quite cheaply and almost have the same standard equipment.

  23. Whaaat i never heard about anyone wearing slippers at parties!! (And im german and living in Germany) and I think most students at least dont move with their kitchen

  24. Aaand i didnt know that the water here is harder 😀 interesting fact!! I’m jealous of everyone who doesnt have to clean the shower!!

  25. Durch-lüften is the work you are looking for. Circulate the air through the apartment. You should mention the sound-proffing quality of German windows. You close them and you hear —— nothing (almost)

  26. US refrigurator is bigger because in the states everything is a competition, even fridge size… SMH

  27. The kitchen thing surprised me too! First time flat hunting the agent shows me into a small empty room and says, "…and this is the kitchen". I said, "No, THIS is a small empty room." LOL I was stunned that I actually had to BUY kitchen cabinets and appliances. That, I think, was the biggest flat/apartment difference to me. Maybe I was too stunned after this revelation to notice anything else.

  28. Hi Kelly!
    A big difference is the electricity: especially the sockets are way different, also the voltage (110V vs 220V). What we don't have in the kitchen is a sink with an incorporated crusher (is that the word for it?). It is very convenient to avoid having a trash bin in the kitchen. As far as the bed is concerned, we do have 2 individual mattrasses, but one large bed sheet and one large quilt (couette) to cover the whole thing (we have tried the combination of 2 mattrasses, 2 bed sheets and 2 quilts, but then there was always a problem "in between"!! if you see what I mean.).
    Take care Kelly.

  29. Here, in Luxembourg, the houses and apartments are always sold/rented with a fully equipped kitchen and a bathroom. There is a rule that anything that is fixed to the wall has to remain, i.e. kitchen furnitures and equipment, complete bathroom, integrated closets, ceiling lamps, etc.

  30. This is not particularly German apartment. Almost all European countries have the same things. For example. If you see apartment in Poland would be exactly the same.

  31. It never ceases to amaze me when people comment their unease with taking their shoes off at the door. Most people assume only the Japanese practice this measure of cleanliness; I was raised to do this since I can remember, and I was born and raised in NYC.

  32. Its kinda funny to watch this video as a german. Our water is not too hard, the water stains are because the water is chemical-free. no chlorine, just pure water. Its also way more healthy. And the windows? Come on, I never have seen windows without this tilting-mechanism. Its just the european standard.

  33. -Well, Germans love their house very clean. Normally, when you visit someone even if it is a friend, you ask: Soll ich meine Schuhe ausziehen? Should I take my shoes off? and the house owner will tell you: no, no need or they will just let you be in their house in your socks.
    -Germans love their kitchens and will carry them to their new apartments.
    -You are going to find doorknobs in really cheap plywood doors and in very old houses. We don´t like them actually!
    -Opening the windows for a certain amount of time ( 10 minutes recommended) is: "Zugluft" which means let the air freely flow through your house.
    -The water in Germany has the best quality of water in Europe, I always drink from the tap. The hardness of the water is different from town to town and regions. North Germany has less hard than in south Germany.

    Very cool video, thank you!

  34. Is it true that in US, when you go to a party with your girlfriend, you will walk back home alone because girls there usually have left the party with a bunch of black guys?

  35. German don't have house shoes. Japanese do. What part of Germany are you visiting. I'm from Holland btw… they can copy our watermanagement from 200 km away. I didn't knew our neighbors were such douche bags. No wonder we're number one beer exporter. Germany got 250 times more beer brewers, we're number 1. Ask them if they use sewer water when they brew.

  36. This apartment setup is common troughout all Europe, not just German thing. We are used to living in less space and owning less stuff

  37. Such a bunch of shit. I live in germany since 40 years and never was i expected to bring my own slippers. nobody in germany does that. And the thing with the toilet and the bed isnt the always same everywhere in germany. Did you see two appartments and now you think that you know anything about germany? youre a liar an a shittalker! PS.: nice Like-dislike-ratio, bitch x-D

  38. I have traveled to England a few times to visit friends and they don't have screens on their windows to keep out bugs and anything else with wings, lol . Do the German people use screens on their windows? I have always wanted to go to Germany since it is my heritage. You are very sweet to do these videos. I am a new subscriber and loving your videos. A big hello from Chicago 🙂

  39. I spent a few months in New Zealand and didn't have to take shoes off in the house. At least before I went in I asked if they wanted me to take my shoes off and they said no and they even wore shoes in their homes.

  40. you won't see air conditioning system like in US, although some houses will have air to air/water heat pumps, not the same thing but kinda close..The reason is the price for electricity, cheap in US, Germany has the highest in Europe..

  41. I thought your apartment video was more of a face video. I didn't really see hardly any of the apartment. Can't wait to see your visit to the dentist video! Keep up the good work.

  42. The shoe thing is in the southern states and out west, it keeps floors cleaner plus out west it keeps salt and chemical used to melt snow out of carpets and in south it keeps sand out of rugs.

  43. LOVE LOVE LOVE your channel! I have been doing similar with France. Thank you for the compliments on my videos on my channel beautiful! xx

  44. No idea what you are you used to. And also not no idea where you looked. I am from Germany and your review here is a bit out of the way! We do not not all buy at IKEA, we do not need your american way of view! Living in the US differs from place to place, don't try to tell me that people in the south have the same houses as people in the north.
    What you are showing here is a stupid stereotype view on the world. Good luck with your life while remaining that dump

  45. Good video. Anyway, you should really not talk completely random stuff when it comes to numbers. Do a tiny bit of research before saying stuff like "the softest german water is more than 10 times harder than the hardest american". Just for you to read up on that: 
    https://water.usgs.gov/owq/hardness-alkalinity.html 
    https://maitron.ch/wasserhaerte-deutschland/
    And consider units. The softest water of this chart (which is Hamburg water) is about 120g/l in the American scale, which is on the edge between medium hard and hard water in american scale and by far not as hard as the hardest american water which would be around 1120g/l
    Anyway, your tendency is of course right: average american water is softer than averarge german water

  46. House shoes thing is funny becouse while in Germany you have to bring your oun shoes going to a party in Poland it is custom that the "house shoes" are provided by the host of the party 🙂 not by the guests 🙂

  47. The fridge is not small, its normal – at least for a person from central Europe 🙂 For me it seems that american fridges are huge 🙂

  48. door handles are better than doorknobs. Imagine its very wet weather or freezing cold and you get home with huge amount of shopping and your palms are paining you becouse of the huge bags and the doorknob is wet or freezed, and its kind of uncomfortable to open the door. 🙂 with the doorhandles you can use your elbow to open it, or use more strengh of all of your palm, but with doorknob it could be irritable with using only the strengh of your wet or paining and freezing fingers 🙂

  49. YO! Kelly is the best! she really inspired me to start my own channel. It's not much but it's honest work. I post every Sundays and Wednesdays, come check me out!

  50. HARD WATER BUT you can drink it OUT OF THE TAB….in the US youll get led poisoning or oil poisoning or gas poisoning or or or or or or….BETTER some limestone stains then fearing CANCER whenever you use your tapwater…XD

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