After only a few short weeks, I feel like a Berliner – I love it. It’s a quiet, bubbling monster which has everything to offer. I hope this guide will give you some ideas on what to do…
Photo: The boat tour next to Museum Island
Things to do (apart from clubbing):
- Head to Mauer Park on a Sunday if it’s summer. A few thousand people and a karaoke machine, what could go wrong? Bring some beers.
- Tempelhof is an old disused airport runaway, where people bring their bikes, chill out and enjoy the sunshine surrounded by the wheat fields.
Teufelsberg is an old American spy tower in the South West of the city which has been turned into a graffiti ridden space. It is very cool. You can take the train to Mohunger Allee Station and walk 15 minutes through the forest from there.
- Take a boat tower along the Spree with a guided listening tour for around €12.
- Visit the famous Check Point Charlie, The Memorial Jewish Cemetary and Brandenburg Gate.
- Rent some bikes (weather dependant of course) and head along the canals or to the Treptower Park.
- Culture Box in summer is a series of bars along the canal with a cute little swing.
- If it’s winter, the Christmas markets are always great for a warm cider and a Currywurst.Photo: The fields next to Tempelhof, the old airport South of Berlin.
Photo: The graffiti in the listening tower at Teufelsberg.
Don’t risk it, buy a ticket for the public transport. If not, the fine is €70 and the transport officers do not care if you’re only in Berlin for the weekend. You can buy a day ticket for €7, or a single journey is €2.80. Alternatively, you can rent a bicycle for €10-12.
Photo: Swing along the canal at Culture Box.
If you are smart about where you eat, you can have an entire meal for under €5. Berlin has a very large Turkish population, which means there are great Turkish falafel and kebab houses all over the city.
Photo: Mustafa’s Kabeb Gemüse Shop
My favourite falafel restaurants are:
- Al Hanan – Arabische Spezialitäten in Neukølln for €2.50 (deep South)
- Rissani – near Gorlitzer Park Ubahn, add mango and spice for an extra taste sensation, also €2.50. (South)
- My favourite – Mustafa Demir’s Gemüse Kebab Shop in Friedrichstein for a slightly more expensive price of €3.50 (East). The only downside is that there are no seats to sit down.
- Falafel Jakoub in Neukolln was recommended as the no. 1 in some travel Berlin falafel blogs but Mustafa’s is best for me. Again €2.50.
- And finally, Dada’s falafel coming in at the highest price of €4.00, obviously in the West (darrrling).
Berliners love their healthy cafes and there are many vegan cafes and ice creams shops. Here are a few great lunch places:
- Klub Kitchen in Mitte is an upmarket healthy food eatery. Their sweet potato and glass noodles bowl with tofu for €6.50 are scrumptious. If that doesn’t fill you up the gluten-free chocolate cake certainly will.
- Cafe Frida in Kreuzberg is an adorable cafe which serves fancy teas and cakes.
- House of Small Wonders with the famous stairs (below) for an after bite.
Photo: House of Small Wonders with its now famous staircase.
- For a cheap eat, YAAM is a Jamaican inspired outdoor space with a series of food stands, bars and a view of the Spree. Pay €1 to get into experience great food and vibes, especially try the first van on the left. Not only is the owner a great guy but his €3 vegan wraps, (sweet potato, potato wedges, smothered in peanut sauce with salad), are enough to turn a meat eater vegan….I had two.
- The ‘clean living’ restaurant The Bowl in Friedrichstein, the ‘super smoothies’ certainly help any Berlin hangover.
- Kaffee 9 is a coffee shop which packs a punch near Gorlitzer Park.
Photo: ‘Uncle’ making the best €3 vegan wrap at YAMM.
- For a cheap eat, the best pizza for €2.80 for 6 slices is Turtle Pizza; it wins every single time. Grab yourself a Spåti Bier (a beer from the corner shop) and try the delicious assortment of pizza on display in the window.
- If you’re a fan of your meat, try The Bird (in Prenzlauer Berg and near Hackescher S-Bahn station). The burgers are out of this world (I’m now veggie but I have tried them!) Have a look via the link.
- A good place for some Thai is Lemon Grass in Friedrichstein and for a nice vegan Vietnamese, try Soy in Mitte. I love their paper spring rolls!
- If you’re feeling a bit fancy, I cannot recommend Katz Orange in Mitte enough. Incredible food, intimate atmosphere and an extensive wine list.
Photo: Turtle Pizza in Kreuzberg. 6 slices for €2.80.
In Berlin, you will never be short of a great bar. Particular favourites:
- Bars in the South, John Muir near Gorlitzer for fantastic cocktails around €9/10 and Que Pasa is an Indian restaurant which does €4 cocktails and they are lethal.
- Bars in the North – Zum Starken August (a circus/ burlesque themed bar), Bad Fish, Zu Dir Order Zu Mir. and Fitcher’s Vogel serves €2.50 beers.
- Bars in the West/where you’d take your parents for a nice drink with great views of the city – Monkey Bar, PANORAMAPUNKT or Soho House Berlin (if you know anyone who is a member.
- Bars in the East/ Friedrichstein – Fitcher’s Vogel near Berghain and Das Kaleidoskope. Both very cosy lit by candle light… aww.
Photo: Sunset at Soho House Berlin.
AND FINALLY, how could I forget?…. Clubbing.
I must start with the king of clubs that is, of course, Berghain. I myself have had a 60% success rate. It does depend on the time, the day and if they feel like letting you in. It is brutal but so is life and you just have to get on with it.
Always have a backup plan so that when you don’t get in, you can go somewhere else. The best time to go is Sunday morning around 9/10am without a doubt. I’ve tried smiling and not smiling and also been told that I’m ‘rude’ when I didn’t smile so god only knows what Sven and his men are looking for.
Tresor, Wilden Renate are good clubs as is the Berliner’s Kater Blau. If you’re more risque… head to Kit Kat Club. Club Der Visionaere is a nice bar/club by the canal which costs €5 to get in. Perfect for sunset tunes before things get too heavy.
Photo: The famous Berghain. Good luck.
For any further please send me an email.
❤ STG x