“What!? How can an apartment not come with a kitchen?” Is the exact reaction I had when I first found out that German apartments do not necessarily come with a kitchen. I mean, really, how is that even possible? It’s like the bathroom coming without a bath/ shower or like a friend of mine said, having two floors in a house, but sorry you have to buy the stairs before you can go up to the second level. Well, welcome to Germany!
So let me explain exactly how this works. Germany landlords are not obliged to fit a kitchen in an apartment before renting it to you. The pros are that the rent is lower and you can of course choose what kitchen you’d like to have. The cons being that fitting a kitchen is a lot of effort (especially when you need to furnish an entire apartment) and you are also kitchen-less for a good few weeks. Hello takeaways and eating out during a time that you’re trying to save money, rather than spend it as you head to Ikea AGAIN.
If you don’t want the above hassle (btw, I opted for the perfect location, and a newly renovated apartment plus kitchen hassle) then I’d suggest you look for an EBK during your flat hunt. An Einbauküche (EBK) means that the apartment actually comes with a kitchen – so luxury. However you can of course expect slightly higher rent.
It’s important to be aware that there’s a very big buying culture in the UK, compared to Germany where people will rent apartments for years, sometimes decades. Therefore buying your own kitchen can be nice as you get to have it exactly as you’d like it to be. Also, if you do decide to leave, you can either bring your kitchen with you (weird, I know) or sell it on to the next tenant or your landlord. If you’re living in Frankfurt, where there is a high demand for apartments, then this shouldn’t be too hard.
But yes, just be prepared for kitchen-less kitchens during your flat hunt in Germany. After hours of kitchen hunting both in shops and online, Ikea and OBI are where I spent most of my time and I opted for OBI in the end!