CITY GUIDE BERLIN
Crazy, colourful and cosmopolitan. Berlin, the German capital, is renowned for its exceptional variety of attractions, its flourishing cultural scene and a way of life that is both fast-paced and relaxed is second to none in Germany. It is wonderful mix of old and new, between the traditional and the modern that set the city apart from the rest.
I suggest to set up your base in Berlin Mitte and book a room at either Hotel Amano or Weinmeister. Alternatively, Lux 11 and Cosmo are just as centrally located and offer a good value for money, too. Sir Savigny is a hip hideaway in West Berlin, but a little off track, similar to the 25hours Hotel. However, the latter is worth a visit for its rooftop bar (Monkey Bar) and oriental-inspired restaurant (Neni). Lastly, The Dude is a small boutique hotel near Kreuzberg.
St Oberholz is Berlin’s go-to-coffeeshop for start-ups. Five Elephants not only roasts top-notch coffee, but also must be one of the most appealing designed cafes. Distrikt serves the best breakfast in the capital. Their acai bowls are brilliant and the pancakes taste insanely good. Silo prepares brilliant sandwiches and Daluma (picture) makes fantastic juices, smoothies and bowls. Along with Distrikt, Daluma, and Silo, The Store pleases a vegan’s dietary regime. Lois is a cosy little corner cafe. Come in the morning, sit outside, and watch people rushing past to work. Step inside Salumeria Lamuri in Kreuzberg and it feels like you leave Berlin behind and find yourself in Rome or Milan. Roamers is a hidden gem that does it name justice and feels like a little globetrotter hangout.
Though it is more of an Austrian than German tradition, Wiener Schnitzel is a delicacy that you must try. Borchardt is your best bet for such. Order a Schnitzel with Gurkensalat. Also, on the weekends they host parties above the restaurant. Ask for 1. OG. When in Germany you must have some sausages, go to Bier’s Ku’damm 195 for your Currywurst. And, you cannot leave Berlin without having tried a Döner, so go to Hasir to do so. On the other end of the scale, Grill Royal is more of a fine-ding type of restaurant, but with an incredible selection of meat. The Chateaubriand is outstanding. From the makers of Grill Royal, I recommend to dine at Dottir, which is inspired by Nordic cooking. Go to Burgermeister to try the city’s best burger. It is located right under a bridge. Not under a bridge, but you will find Katerschmaus sitting within an archway and being another cool restaurant. Along the same lines, Nobelhardt & Schmutzig is known to have one of the most creative kitchens in Germany. Crackers is a former nightclub that has turned into a restaurant - a big open space with a good vibe, good food and also good for a drink. Bar Raval brings Spain to Berlin in a pretty authentic way. They even serve Pacharan, which is a Spanish digestive. I guess the name speaks for itself, but Standard Serious Pizza makes the best pizza in my opinion. Though, De Noantri’s also tastes brilliant.
As I mentioned above, Monkey Bar inside the 25hours hotel offers sweet panoramic views and delicious cocktails. Buck and Breck looks like a random storage place from the outside. Ring the bell, enter a Japanese-inspired speakeasy and enjoy a glass of sake. Tausend, which sits under a metro station and is hidden behind a big metal door is another bar that is not to be missed. Bar Milano must be one of my favorite places. They brought the infamous Italian Aperitivo to Berlin. Go for afterwork drinks and stay until late, connect with people, whilst enjoying a Negroni. Lass uns Freunde bleiben, which translate to "Let’s remain friends“ is a place, where you can probably make new friends.
I guess Berghain and Panorama Bar do not need any further explanation. Watergate has a brilliant sound system and is located right next to the river. Kater Blau, which is run by the former Bar25 owners is another electric place. Whilst Berlin is known for its techno scene, Prince Charles will play mostly hip-hop sounds. Trust, similar to Tausend, is hidden under a bridge, brings together a good crowd of people and plays good music. Lastly, Kingsize is a smoky, sweaty, tiny pub. It is a Berlin institution that was shut down many times, but always comes back.
Do You Read Me and Soda are taking care of my magazine supplies. Ocelot is one of my all-time favourite bookstores. Across the road you find Civilst, which is a sleek skate store that also offers nice street wear. Soto is your place if you fancy minimalistic fashion and accessories, especially from Scandinavian designers. Next door you find No 74, which is an Adidas and Y3 store. Around the corner you sits Alte Schönhauser Allee, where you find Firmament, which holds all the famous Japanese brands. In the same area, APC, Wood Wood and Aesop have a set up. When it comes to sneakers, Solebox and Overkill will supply you with all the limited kicks. Nearby Overkill you find Voo, which is a concept store that sells great coffee, has curated a nice array of brands and throws cool parties. Lastly, Bikini is a hip mall that is home to a number of cool stores, including Vitra and Mykita.
Markthalle Neun is an indoor food market that serves all sorts of specialities from different parts of the world and Mauerpark is a cool flea market. Teufelsberg is a former US radio station that offers brilliant views across the city and is decorated with some brilliant graffiti. Furthermore, Tempelhof is an old airport that has been turned into a recreational park. Come here on the weekend whether it is for a run or a pick nick. If you like running, then I recommend to train in Tiergarten or by running along the Spree.