s r e d i s n i rl
Editorial Lily Prasuethsut, editor-in-chief Hera Sparnon, survive berlin Louise Cheeseman, sights Marj Clark, museums & memorials Sebastiaan Berswerda, arts & culture Adam Harris, recreation Helen Frear, food & drink Megan Lumsden, shopping Victoria Lewis, nightlife & music Layout Sally Grondowski Sebastiaan Berswerda Hera Sparnon Features Louise Cheeseman Megan Lumsden Helen Frear Marj Clark Hera Sparnon Adam Harris Reviews Sebastiaan Berswerda Louise Cheeseman Marj Clark Helen Frear Sally Grondowski Adam Harris Victoria Lewis Megan Lumsden Lily Prasuethsut Hera Sparnon German Language Tips Victoria Lewis Special thanks to Marcus, Matt and Lutz for all your support and expertise
Museums & Memorials
Arts & Culture
Food & Drink
Nightlife & Music
Life. Berlin is overflowing with it. Everywhere you turn, the air crackles with an endless supply of energy. From midnight dancing to intimate gigs, hidden shops and side-street bars, exquisite palaces and intricate graffiti, themed cafés and wide expanses of museums— there is always something happening, something to see, somewhere to go. Day and night, this city has everything you can possibly imagine and more. From an outsider’s perspective, it may seem overwhelming—or by some small chance, underwhelming. Whatever the case, our team humbly invites you to take this guide along as you discover the vibrant streets of Berlin for yourself. Through countless hours of writing, editing, researching and great amounts of the finest beers and spirits, we have compiled the highlights of our own Berlin adventures to share with you. Essentially we hope to bring you inside Berlin, not only as a tourist but as a real Berliner or, “Berlinsider.” Lily Prasuethsut, Editor-in-Chief
History From World War II to the division of east and west, Berlin has seen some of the most turbulent times in history. To avoid a textbook-sized account of Berlinâ€™s past, the following is only a snippet of this cityâ€™s immense record; however, it should be enough as you stand in line waiting to buy your ticket for one of the many historical museums.
Friedrich der Groβe
The Weimar Republic
Friedrich II (commonly known as Friedrich der Groβe) was born in January 1712, and became king in 1740 reigning until 1786. He remains one of the most famous German rulers. Known mainly for his military successes and his domestic reform, he made Prussia one of the leading European nations. It was during his rule that Berlin developed into a center of enlightenment. In fact, the large buildings constructed in this era still dominate the landscape today; the Armory, Opera Palace, Humboldt University and St Hedwig’s Cathedral all stand as testaments to Friedrich der Groβe impressive influence.
The Weimar Republic was a genuine attempt to create a perfect democratic country. However, the government introduced major flaws that eventually destroyed the Republic. The first of these blunders was proportional representation–instead of voting for one person, they voted for a party. Each party was then allocated seats reflecting the number of people who voted for them. Theoretically, this sounds fair, but in practice it ended disastrously as it resulted in dozens of smaller parties. No party was voted as the majority and no laws could be efficiently passed.
Survive History Berlin History Nazi Germany The economic situation in Germany was so severe, the government attempted to resolve the nation’s problems by printing copious amounts of money. However, inflation eventually became enormous with the employed and pensioners falling victim while a whopping 450,000 people were left unemployed. By January 1933, Hitler became chancellor and in August 1934, declared himself Führer–the leader of Germany. Hitler demanded absolute loyalty, ceasing freedom of the press and creating a rule of controlled terror. In April 1933 Joseph Goebbels, the Minister of Propaganda, announced a boycott of Jewish businesses. By autumn, hundreds of Jewish professors had lost their jobs and more than half of Berlin’s forty synagogues had closed. In January 1942, at Hitler’s request, a conference was held and the decision was passed to eliminate all Jewish, gay people, Gypsies, Priests and disabled (which was later known as the Holocaust) in order to create what Hitler believed would make a triumphant Germany. More than six million people perished in dozens of concentration camps, while only around 500,000 victims
survived. The final battle began in mid-April 1945. Soviet soldiers finally reached Berlin on the 21st of April, and by the 30th, the fighting had reached government quarters where Hitler committed suicide in his bunker behind the Chancellery. Two days later, Berlin surrendered to the Soviets when Red Army soldiers stormed the Reichstag and set it alight. On May 7th, 1945 Germany capitulated and a peace treaty was signed.
The Berlin Wall By the 1960s, Berlin was a divided city. The Soviet Union controlled the east while the US guaranteed freedom in the west. Thousands of refugees escaped East Berlin each day. On August 13th, 1961 the East Government started building a wall, physically separating the West and East. However, on November 9th, 1989 the borders opened and were engulfed by people from both sides. The streets were filled with people who began chipping away at the wall with hammers and axes whilst huge celebrations took place with people hugging and cheering. By Louise Cheeseman
Survive Berlin This city is safe, affordable and easy to navigate. If youâ€™re looking for transport info, weather or general tips about Berlin, the following should help you feel right at home.
Berlin offers excellent and extensive public transport run by the BVG. There are four ways to explore every little bit of Berlin: the U-Bahn (subway), S-Bahn, tram and bus. The U-Bahn is the underground rail network and can be compared to the subway network of London. The S-Bahn is the urban rail line and is very similar to the U-Bahn but runs mainly above the ground. Trams only operate in East Berlin since they were privatized in West Berlin and turned into the Metro-bus later on. The bus
network is the most extensive system and will reach practically any destination. The U-Bahn and S-Bahn form the core of the efficient public transport. All lines run very frequently; you won’t have to wait longer than 5-6 minutes to step aboard. Trams and buses run every ten minutes in the city center. The U-Bahn and S-Bahn train service continue throughout the night on most routes and all night Friday to Sunday as well as the nights before legal holidays. Other nights, there are night buses running at 30 minute intervals so don’t worry about getting home in the middle of the night. Three zones
Beware Bear tip! Use the Öffi app on your smartphone to plan your journey in Berlin or use the the planner at www.bvg.de
The public transport has three fare zones: A, B and C. The S-Bahn ring serves the border of zone A, the city center. This is also the environmental zone. Zone B ends at the city limits. Tegel Airport is within this zone. Zone C stretches out 10-15 km beyond the city limits. Tourist destinations like the Potsdam Palaces, the concentration camp Sachsenhausen and the Schönefeld Airport are located in this zone.
Survive Berlin AB
Group ticket day ticket (5p max)
Berlin CityTourCard (48 hours)
Berlin CityTourCard (72 hours)
Berlin CityTourCard (5 days)
Berlin WelcomeCard (48 hours)
Berlin WelcomeCard (72 hours)
Berlin WelcomeCard (5 days)
Tickets For each zone, there is an appropriate price. Take a look at the table above for an overview of the prices. (Last updated August 1, 2012). Presenting the Berlin CityTourCard entitles the bearer a discount up to 50% at almost fifty different tourist attractions and events. The WelcomeCard is similar but is valid at more than 200 different tourist attraction and events. More info on these cards can be found at www.citytourcard.com and www. berlin-welcomecard.de. Tickets can be bought at many places throughout the city and are also available using ticket machines at every U-Bahn and S-Bahn station, transfer points and inside the trams. You can pay with bank notes, coins or your bank card. Don’t forget to validate your ticket before your journey. Ticket validation machines are located on all platforms at the S-Bahn and U-Bahn stations. You can validate your tickets inside trams and buses. In buses, pre-purchased tickets must be shown to the driver upon entry. Bus 100/200 Bus route 100 and 200 will take you to most tourist locations in the city. A few places
along the bus 100 route are the Brandenburger Tor, the Reichstag/ Bundestag and the Victory Column in Tiergarten. Bus 200 is a little more extensive starting in Prenzlauerberg and will find its way to Potsdamer Platz and the south of Tiergarten. You can use a regular ticket for the bus tours. Just hop on and off wherever you want to enjoy a day of sightseeing without paying a huge sum of money. By Sebastiaan Berswerda
Airport Essentials There are two main international airports in Berlin: Tegel and Schönefeld.
Support for both airports is available from their call center staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week: +49 1805 000186 (Land line price: 14 ct/min.; mobile phone networks max 42 ct/min).
Tegel Airport 13405 Berlin
Tegel (TXL) is located northwest of Berlin and is the closest to the city. The X9 is the bus route that connects Tegel Airport to most of Berlin. Bus 109 goes from Tegel Airport to Jakob-Kaiser Platz U-Bahn station in little more than five minutes; the 109 also goes to the Charlottenburg S-Bahn in under 25 minutes (give or take). The 109 can also take you to the Zoologischer Garten U-Bahn/SBahn station. Tickets for all the buses can be bought at the airport or at ticket machines by the bus stops. Taxis are also of course an option with prices varying depending on your destination. Flughafen Schönefeld 12529 Berlin Schönefeld (SXF) is located to the southeast of Berlin and once served the DDR and East Berlin. Flughafen railway serves Shönefeld with trains running every 10 minutes. The Airport Express is quite fast with a journey time of 25 minutes to Ostbahnhof, Alexanderplatz, 30 minutes to Friedrichstraße, Hauptbahnhof, and 36 minutes to the Zoologischer Garten. Keep in mind that Tegel is in zone B, so if you’ve bought a season ticket for zones AB you’re good to go. However, Schönefeld is in zone C so you will need to make sure you purchase an extension ticket for your journey to or from the airport. To reach information on both airports, their travel routes and flight information, visit www.berlin.de or www.berlin-airport.de
By Sally Grondowski
Climate Situated in northeastern Germany, Berlin is a part of the vast northern European plain which spans all the way from northern France to western Russia. The city was built upon an area of predominantly flat marshland, which explains the pungent smell that sometimes tickles the nostrils on hot summer days. Around a third of Berlin’s area consists of parks, gardens, forests, lakes and rivers making it a great place for outdoor excursions, whatever the season. Berlin has a humid continental climate with aptly defined seasons. Expect summers to be warm with some humidity and average temperature highs around 22-25°C (72-77°F) and lows of 12-14°C (54-57°F). Winters tend to be cold, with temperatures reaching lows of -2°C (28°F). Temperatures tend to be warmer within the built up areas of the city center where the buildings retain heat and form a microclimate. Most of the city’s rainfall occurs between November and January, with light snowfall taking place mainly between December and March. Those looking to go out and about in winter should take a trip to one of Berlin’s many parks or gardens; they’re immaculately maintained and never too far from warm coffee shops! Taking a boat tour around the city is another great way to take in some sights that isn’t compromised by the cold. By Helen Frear
Where can I get my...? Groceries:
• Lidl • Aldi • Kaiser’s • Rewe • Netto Markt • Penny Minor medical treatment?
• Apotheke (Pharmacists)
Deodorant, soap, shampoo, toothpaste...
• Rossmann • Schlecker Free WiFi
• Sony Center • Small Cafe’s (ask for W-lan) Serious medical treatment?
• Charité - Universitätsklinikum Berlin • St. Joseph Krankenhaus
Billig Berlin Top tips of things to do when you’re on a budget Berlin is bursting at the seams with exciting activities to lose yourself in. Of course, it can be difficult to decide on what to do in a city with so much to offer. Scan this handy list for some tips of billig (cheap) things to do in Berlin when you’re feeling poor (don’t worry, you’re still sexy).
Reichstag One of the most important historical sites in Berlin, this epicentre of German political reform has seen two world wars, been partially destroyed and finally rebuilt in the 1960s to become the popular visitor destination it is today. Its impressive dome, currently constructed with glass, offers 360 degree views of Berlin. Considering this world class visitor destination is free to explore, it is well worth making an
appointment online and seeing inside this important historical center for yourself (page 31).
East Side Gallery Situated in Friedrichshain, what was once a part of the Berlin Wall is now a site dedicated to the city’s prominent street art scene. An international tribute to freedom, the East Side Gallery not only hosts the largest
Survive Berlin remaining continuous strip of the wall, but it boasts of over 100 artistic murals and is the largest outdoor gallery in the world. Completely free and a feast for the eyes, a wander along East Side Gallery will give you countless photo opportunities and food for thought on cultural diversity (page 57).
Topography of Terror and Stasi Museum Situated near Checkpoint Charlie on Friedrichstraβe, these permanent exhibitions are the perfect opportunity to explore Berlin’s intense political history. While the Topography of Terror (page 44) gives stark and respectful insight into Germany’s political behavior during WWII, the Stasi Museum (page 49) sheds light into the Soviet’s Secret Police during the Cold War years. Both exhibitions are fresh, interactive and highly educational experiences.
Berlin’s Walking Tours There are a number of free walking tours that operate throughout Berlin. Companies such as Brewers Tours offer comprehensive, extensive walking tours covering areas from museum island to Checkpoint Charlie, and are completely operated on a “pay what you think it’s worth” basis. Various companies also offer alternative tours of the city. For example, alternative Berlin dedicates their tours to the vibrant subculture present in the city, and have their fingers on the pulse when it comes to street art, urban exploration and Berlin’s underground scene (page 56). Although varying in content, both kinds of city tours are in ready supply from numerous companies, and can help visitors grasp great contextual knowledge of the city (page 26).
Sachsenhausen Concentration 17 Camp Although not a pleasant side of Berlin’s history, the former site of this WWII concentration camp nevertheless played its part in the city’s past. It is now open for the public to gain a better awareness of some of the atrocities witnessed within its walls. With a number of informative exhibits and the opportunity to walk around this site, Sachsenhausen helps visitors gather facts about this building’s gruelling formative years. Immensely informative, moving and a place to reflect on some of the shocking events communities have had to witness through the years (page 51). By Marj Clark
Be Prepared! Crime is low in this city but sadly, as a tourist you are a target for pick-pockets and petty thieves. Alexanderplatz is notorious for petty theft so keep your bags zipped and close to your body. Luckily, there are a couple of tricks to make sure that if you do have things stolen, the damage is minimal. Make an “emergency paperwork” bundle and keep it with your clothes. In this bundle include:
• a copy of your passport and drivers licence • a bank statement of all your regular bank
accounts (with emergency phone numbers)
a phone calling card (just in case your phone gets nicked too)
• a copy of your insurance policy • a copy of receipts for your most valuable
items (like phone, laptop and/or camera)
The Petty Cash System Taking out large amounts of cash from a Cash Point is the best way to save on bank fees, but carrying all that cash around can be risky. Use the “Petty Cash System” and give yourself a daily allowance before you head out for a day of exploration. If you keep your spare cash locked up with your passport and bankcards in a locker or a safe at your accommodation, you will eliminate half the hassle of having to replace bank cards and your passport while abroad.
Where’s my Wallet?
What to do if your stuff gets stolen: Step 1: DON’T PANIC! Seriously, this may sound difficult, but stay calm and you’ll be level-headed enough to amend the situation. Step 2: Cancel your bankcards. The best way is to call your card company directly.
Step 3: Make a police report. You will need to do this within 24 hours for your travel insurance to cover the incident. The Alexanderplatz Police station is tricky to find but they will usually have English speaking officers on hand. Step 4: Call your insurance provider. Cash may not necessarily be covered, but there may be expenses from this incident, and getting this money back should make you feel better about the situation (its probably going to be the only refundable part of your vacation). They will want a police report number and an explanation of what happened. They may also be able to help you get in touch with friends or relatives at home who can help you out. Step 5: (If your passport is stolen) Pay a visit to your friendly local consulate! Let them know what has happened, and they will help you get home or arrange an emergency passport. They will want it paid for by credit so if your cards have been stolen too, you may have to call in a big favour from your family or friends at home. Which brings me to step 6…
Step 6: Borrowing money from friends. Sadly, getting emergency cash will take a couple of days and you’ll probably need some money in the mean time. You’ll need at least 20 Euros a day for food, travel and beer. Make sure you pay them back as soon as you get your own money! Step 7: Be prepared to be bored and/or frustrated for at least three days. This is how long it will take to get things straightened out again! Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but this is sadly the cost for becoming a victim of theft as a tourist. By Hera Sparnon
Beware Bear Tip! Look up a list of consulates in Berlin: http://tinyurl.com/d28t25a Visa International Phonenumber : 0800-811-8440
Basic German While most Berliners seem to have a good grasp of the English language and are more than happy to practice their skills with visiting foreigners, it’s always helpful to learn the lingo when taking trips to foreign climes. Locals will appreciate you making the effort, and learning even a few phrases will enrich your travel experience. Here are a few handy words and phrases to help you on your way…
Please/Thank you (very much) Bitte/Danke (schön) Yes/No Ja/Nein
Hello/ good day Hallo/Guten Tag Good morning Guten Morgen Good evening Guten Abend Good night Gute Nacht Goodbye Auf Wiedersehen Bye Tschüss
Excuse me/ Sorry Entschuldigung
Can you speak more slowly please? Könnten Sie bitte langsamer sprechen?
20 How are you? Fine, and you? Do you speak English? No, I don’t understand (you) Yes I understand you. What does…..mean? What is your name? Correct/affirmative I was only joking! “Helllo, I am Barry Ze German” “Hallo, Ich heiβe Barry Ze German”
Wie geht es Ihnen? Mir geht es gut, und Ihnen? Sprechen Sie Englisch? Nein, Ich verstehe (Sie) nicht Ja, ich verstehe (Sie) Was bedeutet….? Wie heiβt du? Genau Das war nur ein Schwerz!
Beware Bear Tip! The Bear is the symbol of Berlin, and will give you handy tips through this guide.
1 1 4 1 7 1 0
2 1 5 1 8
00 hundert vier
0 zwanzig fünf
369 = driehundertneunundsechzig
58 = achtund-
0 driezig sechs
3 1 6 1 9
Mobile Phone das Handy
Where is the local internet café? Wo ist hier ein Internet-Café? Is there WiFi internet access here? Gibt es hier einen WLAN-Zugang?
I’d like a SIM-card for your network. Ich hätte gern ein SIM-Karte für Ihr Netz. I want to buy a phone card. Ich möchte eine Telephonekarten kaufen. Where is….?
I am looking for…
Ich suche… How far is it…?
Wie weit ist es?
uby bus tby train pby taxi mit dem Bus mit dem Zug mit dem Taxi
on foot zu Fuβ
Sights As the capital of Germany, Berlin has a lot more to offer than just eccentric nightlife and delicious meals. Promising to be a picturesque setting for an array of intoxicating sites, the city is jam-packed with places that must be visited more than once.
Mitte Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral)
Am Lustgarten Alexanderplatz (U2,U5,U8,S5,S7,S75) Mon – Sat 9:00 am – 8:00 pm Sun and holidays 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm (Closes 7:00 pm Oct - Mar) €4.00 - €7.00 www.berlinerdom.de Completed in 1901, the city’s largest church makes an imposing statement from its spot overlooking the Lustgarten on the banks of the River Spree. With its baroque-style façade and prominent central dome it’s hard not to be impressed by architect Julius Carl Raschdorff’s monumental creation. Upon entering the magnificent cathedral, your eyes are immediately drawn up towards the 110 meter high Dom that
has been beautifully restored after suffering bomb damage during World War II. It is extravagantly gilded and richly decorated with mosaics containing over 2,000 colors. The Dom serves as a place of worship, as a museum (situated on the first floor) and a concert hall. Venture below to the Hohenzollern Crypt, which is home to more than eighty sarcophagi of Prussian royals, the most notable of which are those of Friedrich I, a Duke of Prussia and Sophie Charlotte. Visit the Dom during the evening for a chance to hear the powerful tones of the famous Sauer pipe organ. Those feeling up for a challenge can climb the 267 stairs to the open air gallery atop the Dom to be rewarded with stunning panoramic views across the city. On your way up, keep an eye out for the Dom’s resident bees—hives are tended to on the roof as part of the conservation initiative “Berlin is Buzzing.”
By Victoria Lewis
“What’s the price?” “Wie viel kostet das?“
Berliner Fernsehturm (Berlin Television Tower)
Alexanderplatz (U2, U5, U8, S5, S7, S75) 9:00 am - 12:00 pm (Mar - Oct) 10:00 am - 12:00 pm (Nov - Feb) €7.50 - €12.00 , €19.50 (VIP) ww.tv-turm.de Piercing Mitte’s skyline is the Berliner Fernsehturm. Built in the 1960s by the GDR government as a visual demonstration of the socialist party’s strength and proficiency, the glinting metallic sphere remains an ever-present spectacle above the streets of central Berlin. Situated just outside Alexanderplatz station, the TV tower offers visitors panoramic views of the city. A forty second lift ride takes you to the 203 meter high panoramic level where, on a clear day, you can enjoy Berlin’s beautiful architecture and leafy parks from a birds-eye perspective. Several of the city’s landmarks can also be
observed from this tower, including the River Spree, the Rotes Rathaus (red brick Town Hall), Humboldt University, the City Opera and the Berliner Dom. The Berliner Fernsehturm is home to Berlin’s highest bar, where you can choose from an extensive selection of cocktails, long drinks, wines, beers or non-alcoholic beverages. Try some of the Fernsehturm’s very own, aptly named signature cocktails: a 360°, Skyscraper or Horizon for 7.50 Euros. Take advantage or the bar’s daily happy hour between 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm— all cocktails priced are at 5.50 Euros. An additional twenty one steps will take you to an exclusive rotating restaurant which offers a diverse, but pricey menu. Reservations for the restaurant are highly recommended. Although the enjoyment of The Berliner Fernsehturm experience is largely weather dependent, it allows visitors to enjoy Berlin’s sights from a wholly different perspective. By Helen Frear
Beware Bear Tip! Be prepared to queue for the view; the ticketing system allocates its entry into 10 minute slots!
“Magistrat” by the city government, today the town hall is primarily used to host events and exhibitions. The hall is open to the public during the week, inviting visitors to marvel at its grand interior. Once you have managed to heave your way through the hefty solid wood front doors, you’re met with the imposing entrance hall. The redcarpeted marble staircase draws your eye upwards towards elegant arches, stained glass windows and gold leaf detailing. Visitors are also granted access to the beautiful “Hall of Pillars” on the first floor. If you’re around central Mitte, be sure to stop by. By Helen Frear
(Red Town Hall)
Alexanderplatz (U2, U5, U8, S5, S7, S75) Mon - Fri 9:00 am - 6:00 pm www.berlin.de/rbmskzl Instantly recognizable by its striking red-brick exterior and high Renaissance inspired architecture is Berlin’s spectacular town hall, the Rotes Rathaus. Overlooking the Neptunbrunnen Fountain, the Rotes Rathaus stands in the same spot as the city’s first town hall which was built in the midthirteenth century. Commissioned to design a new building in architectural contrast to the nearby City Palace of the Hohenzollerns, Prussian royal architect Hermann Friedrich Waesemann is the man to thank for the hall’s modern day design. Although the town hall suffered extensive damage during the Second World War, it has since been restored to its former glory under the supervision of state secretary Fritz Meinhardt. Formerly used as the library of the
The Brewer’s Berlin Walking Tour - Free Express Friedrichstraβe (U6) www.brewersberlin-tours.com The Brewer’s Free Express Berlin Walking Tour provides visitors with a taste of the many cultural and historical experiences that the city has to offer in just three and a half hours. It is ideal for those embarking on a whistle-stop tour of the city or for new arrivals in need of an introduction. Tours depart daily at 1:00 pm from outside the Altes Museum, which is situated within the infamous “Museum Island” and can be joined on the spot or with a reservation. Just a stone’s throw from Friedrichstraβe, visitors are met by a member of the seven-strong team, like the charismatic Australian named Theo. Although not a native Berliner, Theo enthusiastically delivers knowledgeable and engaging accounts of the city’s turbulent history whilst remaining respectful and engaging. The Free Express Tour incorporates a number of the city’s highlights like the
Sights Nature German Historical Museum, The Memorial of War and Tyranny, The Humboldt University, Checkpoint Charlie and the Jewish Memorial before concluding beneath the Brandenburger Tor. It’s also worth noting that the tour operates on a pay-what-youfeel basis so it’s always within budget. By Helen Frear
Beware Bear Tip! Wear your most comfortable shoes as the tours can run overtime!
Greek mythology and are decorated with reliefs and sculptures designed by Gottfried Schadow, a German sculpturist. The structure is comprised of five portals which create an impression of great strength. Towering at a majestic twenty meters tall and sixty-five meters wide, the gate is a magnificent sight to behold. A statue of Quadriga, a four-horse chariot, is driven by Victoria the Roman goddess of victory, elegantly sits on top watching over the city. Street vendors stagger the vicinity, tourists flash their cameras as bikes and businessmen pass by but this is definitely a must-see sight at any time, day or night. However, it is particularly recommended to go at night when the Brandenburger Tor is splendidly illuminated by glowing lights. By Louise Cheeseman
27 Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate)
Unter den Linden Brandenburger Tor (U2) The Brandenburger Tor is one of Germany’s most important monuments bearing witness to 200 years of history where it once represented the separation of East and West Berlin. However since the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the Brandenburger Tor now stands proudly as the only remaining city gate leading to Unter den Linden and symbolizes the reunification of Germany. Commissioned by King Frederick William II of Prussia, and built by Prussian architect Carl Gotthard Langhans in 1791, the design was originally inspired by the historical Acropolis in Athens. The embellishments on the inside of the columns include scenes of
throughout the 19th century. Originally it sat in the Platz der Republik but was later relocated to Tiergarten where it survived World War II without any serious damage. The column sits in the middle of busy Groβer Stern roundabout so getting across to the monument may at first seem a bit daunting. However there are four access tunnels that avoid any risks from the onslaught of cars. Once inside you will find extensive historical information as well as a lot of steps—276 to be exact. For only three Euros you can climb the column and be rewarded with some of the most magnificent views of Berlin’s surrounding architecture and gardens. By Adam Harris
Fat Tire Bike Tours
(Victory Column) Am Groβen Stern Tiergarten (S5,S7,S75) Mon - Fri 9:30 am - 6:30 pm Sat - Sun 9:30 am - 7:00 pm €2.50 - €3.00 Victory Column sits in the middle of the tranquil Tiergarten exactly 1500 meters west of the Brandenburg Gate. It offers some of the most spectacular views of the surrounding gardens. Designed by Heinrich Strack in 1864, this dramatic column is dominated by a golden statue of the Roman goddess of victory, Victoria. This monument was built to commemorate German military successes against France, Denmark and Austria
Alexanderplatz (U2, U5, U8, S5, S7, S75) Mon - Sun 11:00 am and 4:00 pm Meeting point under the TV tower—look for the sign €12.00 - € 24.00 www.fattirebiketours.com Berlin is a city that can be explored in a number of ways. Cycling however is one of the most popular ways to truly take everything in. At Fat Tire Bike Tours you can explore the surrounding district of Mitte in only four and a half hours. The tour meets at Alexanderplatz station and is led by a member of Fat Tire’s thirteen friendly team. After a short briefing at the station, riders are led on a mini adventure around Berlin, exploring its history, culture and livelihood all on a relaxing bike ride. You get to experience an exciting fresh look at Berlin that takes you through parks, across bike paths and down roads less travelled. The tour is of such detail that you get stopped every few hundred meters to be told a new fascinating fact about Berlin.
Nature Sights Highlights include the Brandenburger Tor, Marienkirche, Checkpoint Charlie, the Reichstag and of course the many beer gardens that overlook the Spree River. Tours range from the all-in-one to more specific rides covering other areas of Berlin in more detail. For a reasonable twentyfour Euros you can explore the fun trails in a healthy, exciting and by far one of the best ways you can sightsee Berlin. By Adam Harris
Panoramapunkt Potsdamer Platz (U2, S1, S2 , S25) Daily from 10:00 am – 8:00 pm €4.00 - €5.50 www.panoramapunkt.de Panoramapunkt is a breath taking experience giving you an opportunity to grab a bird’s eye view of Berlin. Situated in the stylish Kollhoff building, an elegant structure completed by its
namesake in 1999, this addition to Berlin’s skyline sits proudly in the freshly developed Potsdamer Platz. The lavish interior of this hotel matches its classy facade. Walk through marble clad hallways before you are taken to Europe’s fastest elevator. Reaching 100 meters in twenty seconds, feel your ears pop as you soar to the top. Guides are present in the lift to impart information and answer queries. At giddy heights, you are treated to a view of the stunning, sprawling city. From Victory Column to strips of parkland, you can see it all. To accompany your view, a detailed exhibition lines the platform, which not only lists the topography of surrounding areas, but also explains the turbulent, fascinating history of Potsdamer Platz. Grab a bite on the rooftop cafe and return to ground level refreshed with a new outlook of the city’s history. Panoramapunkt is far more affordable than the TV Tower, and has a lot more to offer. By Marj Clark
Kathedrale and Die Humboldt Universität which is known for educating great minds like Dr Albert Einstein. The 13.5 meter high statue of Friedrichs der Groβen (Fredrick the Great) glistens in the midafternoon sun as walkers pass an array of bustling cafes, restaurants, and shops before finalizing their journey at Pariser Platz. Here lies the impressive Hotel Adlon, where Michael Jackson dangled his son “Blanket” out of a window. Last but not least, the outstanding Brandenburger Tor appears in full glory and impressive as Paris’s Arc de Triumph. By Sally Grondowski
Gendarmenmarkt Französische Straβe ( U6)
30 Unter den Linden
(Under the Linden Trees) Brandenburger Tor/ Friedrichstraβe (U2) This cherished boulevard sits in the heart of the historical Mitte district and begins at the site of the former Stadtschloss (City Palace) at the Lustgarten Park. Linden trees were added to this avenue in 1647 to give it the popular name “Unter den Linden.” It was under Hitler’s political impositions in WWII that they were chopped down and replaced with Nazi flags, overshadowing the handsome street. Fortunately the trees were replanted in 1950 and now fancifully line the pebbled pedestrian walkway in the center of two busy carriageways. Strollers can blissfully lose themselves amongst the spectacular architecture of Bebleplatz Square which is home to the Staatsoper (State Opera), St. Hedwigs
The Gendarmenmarkt is a magnificent square, mostly known for the architectural trio composed of the Deutscher Dom and Französischer Dom, the German and French cathedrals and Schinkels Konzerthaus (concert hall). Together they form one of the most stunning ensembles in Berlin. Originally built in 1688 according to plans by German architect Johann Arnold Nering, the square dates back to the seventeenth century to a time when Mitte was an emerging new quarter of the city. Unfortunately during the second World War most of the square was demolished. Redeveloped after plans by Georg Christian Unger, its full restoration was finally completed in 1991. The Französischer Dom now houses the Huguenot museum. The Deutscher Dom, rebuilt in the 1980s and restored in 1996, houses a permanent exhibition on the history of the German Parliament. Today restaurants, designer shops and hotels engulf the square while tourists from around the world clutter up the area as
Museums Nature Sights Sights buses and cars speed by on the neighboring main road. Although the square is undoubtedly a beautiful part of the city, a real interest in architecture must be had to appreciate the surroundings otherwise it just seems like any other tourist destination. By Louise Cheeseman
can be found. Designed by German architect Paul Wallot, the Reichstag was completed in 1894. Unfortunately, a raging fire burnt through the Reichstag in 1933 heavily damaging the building. Suffering continuous bombing throughout World War II, it wasn’t until 1999 that the Reichstag was fully restored—sixty-six years after the fire when the Bundestag moved from Bonn to Berlin. Upon its restoration, British architect Lord Norman Foster added new value to the iconic building by topping it with a halo-like glass dome complementing the neo-classical architecture whilst adding a modern twist. This grand redesign has made the Reichstag one of the most appealing sites in Germany. you not only get to see the epic architecture that makes this building, but you can also climb the circular dome above and look down on the Bundestag. From its rooftops, spectacular views can be seen. Visits are free after online registration. Waiting periods are usually three days so book ahead if your stay is short. Free audioguides complement the tour perfectly. Security is very tight so make sure you bring your passport as identification otherwise you will miss out on one of Berlin’s best sights. By Adam Harris
Reichstag Platz der Republik 1 Brandenburger Tor (U2) Daily 8:00 am - 10:00 pm Admission is free with reservation www.bundestag.de Situated in the centre of Mitte and only a short walk from the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag symbolising German democracy
Checkpoint Charlie Friedrichstraβe 49 Stadmitte (U2,U6)
Checkpoint Charlie is one of Berlin’s most popular tourist attractions. Situated on a strip of Friedrichstraβe, this checkpoint was once the busiest roads during the Cold War era, but what remains now is an area overpopulated by tourists. Features of this tourist hotspot include the Haus am Checkpoint Charlie, a costly museum which although thought-provoking and informative, is overburdened with wornout exhibits. Outside on Friedrichstraβe, you’ll find a tall pole displaying pictures of soldiers, both of whom are actually models, with appropriate pouts aimed at each side of the checkpoint. The checkpoint itself is guarded by two male strippers. The street is swarming with people, souvenir shops and fast food eateries at all times of the day. There are mixed reviews of Checkpoint Charlie. Tourists frequently make a pilgrimage to Friedrichstraβe in search of the past, but some leave feeling empty handed. What was once an area of historical importance is now exploited for the tourist industry. However, whether you love him or are bemused by his crass presentation, Checkpoint Charlie is nevertheless one of
the most photographed sites in Berlin, and you may also want a slice of the action. By Marj Clark
St. Hedwigs Kathedrale
Hinter der Katholischen Kirche 3 Alexanderplatz (U2, U5, U8, S5, S7, S75) Mon - Fri 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Thurs 11:00 am - 5:00 pm Sat 10:00 am - 4:30 pm Sun 1:00 pm- 5:00 pm www.hedwigs-kathedrale.de If you were to fly over central Berlin and take in its sights from a bird’s eye view, then you may be drawn to a perfectly proportioned green dome. This dome forms the roof of St Hedwig’s Kathedrale, a Roman Catholic place of worship. The cathedral is named not after Harry Potter’s faithful pet owl, but after the one time Duchess of Silesia who was canonized in 1267. Today, the cathedral serves as the seat of the Archbishop of Berlin. Built in the eighteenth-century, by permission of King Frederick II, St Hedwig’s Cathedral was the first Catholic Church in Prussia after the Protestant Reformation. The cathedral’s Neo-classical architectural
Nature Sights style reflects that of the Pantheon in Rome, although in somewhat more modest proportions. Like many of Berlin’s buildings, the cathedral burned down during air raids and has since undergone extensive reconstruction, the result of which is stunning. Inside, a circular skylight and abstract stained-glass windows flood light into the church, creating golden patterns that gleam off its deep grey marble floor. Benches form concentric circles around a grand organ, the design of which is echoed on the cathedral’s lower level. Tours for this beauty are available on request. By Helen Frear
Alexanderplatz Alexanderplatz (U2, U5, U8, S5, S7, S75) Russian emperor, Alexander I famously visited Berlin in 1805. To commemorate his visit Ox Market was renamed Alexanderplatz in his honor. Following this, the area has become one of Berlin’s major interest points. The development of the area began in the late 19th century with the S-Bahn being built. The U-Bahn later followed in 1913 and a commercial center was built around them. By the 1920’s Alexanderplatz was the center of Berlin’s nightlife. The 1960’s saw Alexanderplatz go through redevelopment under German Democratic influence. The square became pedestrianized and the iconic TV tower was built to highlight East Berlin’s technological advancements over the West. Currently, Alexanderplatz is a commercial hotspot. The Saturn center is a huge electronics store that will keep any technology fanatic occupied. Adjacent to this is the Alexa Center—a three-story shoppers paradise. With over 180 stores, you can literally lose hours in this place.
The Rotes Rathaus (Red City Hall), the TV tower, Fountain of Friendship and a rotating World Time Clock surround the square, plus Museum Island is only a short walk away. For those visiting Berlin, Alexanderplatz is pretty hard to avoid since it’s a main hub of interest, so look forward to stumbling across this square’s many delights. By Adam Harris
Prenzlauerberg Kollwitzstraβe Kollwitzstraβe Senefelderplatz (U2) Kollwitzmarkt is on Thursdays and Saturdays In the heart of gentrified Prenzlauer Berg lies the posh Paris-que avenue whose namesake derives from artist Käthe Kollwitz who once called it home. Lined with stunning 19th century town houses and shady sycamore trees, Kollwitzstraβe is a favorite haunt of the stylish set. Stop by Art Nouveau café and flower shop Anna Blume for a calorific cake before heading down to the leafy square, Kollwitzplatz. This little oasis of calm is home to a bronze sculpture of Käthe Kollwitz. Next, follow the road down to tiny ice cream parlour Il Glaciale for an authentic Italian ice cream. If you’re lucky you’ll be treated to a performance by one of the many street musicians who frequently play this spot. At the Kollwitzplatz Markt, expect fine foods and homemade handicrafts in excess as lovers of all things gourmet converge to spend, sup and socialise. As to be expected, products of this quality do not come cheap, so bring plenty of pennies to find the perfect purchase. By Victoria Lewis
Kreuzberg Stern und Kreisschiffahrt Boat Tour Boats leave from Jannowitzbrücke Station Jannowitzbrücke Station (U8) Single trip € 15.00, return € 20.00 www.sternundkreis.de
Did you know that Berlin is crossed by a multitude of rivers and canals? During March to October river boat company Stern und Kreisschiffahrt offers a variety of tours. Discovering the city by boat is a great way to gain a new perspective of Berlin. This particular boat tour meets at a café bar in Jannowitzbrücke, (look out for an orange flag with a star) and lasts for around three and a half hours. If you don’t want to be stuck waiting around, be sure to check the times beforehand as they can be a little unpredictable. Since weather isn’t always a guarantee, this tour can be enjoyed below from the comforts of a warm, seated cabin where friendly staff is happy to meet your culinary desires. Or you can head to the open top deck where you can experience a 360-degree view of the city. Depending on which tour you go on, you can witness Charlottenburg Palace, the Reichstag, Nikolaiviertel, the City Palace building site, Berlin Cathedrals and Museum Island. If a relaxing afternoon sounds like your sort of thing, then this tour is definitely for you. By Louise Cheeseman
Charlottenburg Olympiastadion (Olympic Stadium)
Olympischer Platz 3 Daily 9:00 am - 7:00 am €7 Olympiastadion (U2/S5) www.olympiastadion-berlin.de/en.html The Olympiastadion (Olympic Stadium) needs little introduction, as it was home to Germany’s 1936 Olympics. In 1931, the Olympic Committee made Berlin the host city for the 11th Summer Olympics. When the National Socialists came into power in 1933, they instead decided to use the Olympic Games for propaganda purposes. By 1934 construction for the new national stadium had begun. Werner March, a German architect, designed the quickly renamed Reichssportfeld (Imperial Sports Area). It was 1.32 square kilometers wide and with a capacity of 110,000 once completed, and had been enlarged to include facilities for sports such as football, swimming, hockey and equestrian events. Although the stadium was modernized in 2006 for the FIFA World Cup, much of the exterior remains the same. Two identical, thin, tall towers point out the main entrance where the five Olympic rings are suspended in the air. On the other side of the stadium, the Marathon Gate interrupts the continuity of
the tiers along the oval perimeter. This open area contains the original stand where the Olympic Torch would have been placed, as well as plaques of German athletes who brought home gold. Rows of stone columns run around the outside of the stadium and still align with the original lamps inspired by the Olympic Torch. The Olympic Bell is also on display outside with designs of a German eagle holding the five Olympic rings in its talons on one side, and the Brandenburger Tor on the other. The rim displays the Olympic motto: “Ich rufe die Jugend der Welt” (I call the youth of the world). Interestingly, two Swastikas are still partially visible at the bottom. For a more meaningful experience, it’s worth purchasing the separate audio guide (which you can grab for an extra three Euro). This self-guided tour lasts around an hour which is just enough time to take you on a unique journey exploring the history and propaganda behind the Olympiastadion. By Louise Cheeseman
Beware Bear Tip! Opening hours change depending on the season so make sure to check the website before visiting!
Museums & Memorials Berlin is bursting with museums. Offering over 170 and even a whole island dedicated to museums, the city is buzzing with exhibitions suited to everyoneâ€™s taste. Whether you adore art or are a history buff, there is a museum waiting around every bend. Flip the pages and be taken on an inspirational, mindboggling tour full of Greeks, gruelling wars and... currywurst.
Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery)
Bodestraβe 1-3 Hackescher Markt (S5, S7, S75) Tue - Sun 10:00 am - 6:00 pm Thu 10:00 am - 10:00 pm €4.00 - €8.00 www.smb.museum
One of Museum Island’s brightest jewels is the Alte Nationalgalerie. Standing between the rails of the Berlin Stadtbahn and the eastern banks of Bodestraβe, the Alte Nationalgalerie showcases a stunning fusion of architectural styles, combining late classicism and early Neo-Renaissance. The gallery was established in 1861 after banker Johann Heinrich Wagener donated 262 paintings by both German and foreign artists. Inside, the Alte Nationalgalerie’s grand entrance hall is at once theatrical and temple-like. The dramatic red carpeted staircase winds its way around elegant, dovegrey marble columns as sunlight floods in from the hall’s vast windows. Artwork aside, the Alte Nationalgalerie is exquisite. The first floor houses a striking and diverse collection of works by Adolph Menzel, ranging from large scale paintings such as “The Balcony Room” and the “Iron Rolling Mill,” to portraits and rural landscapes. The upper floor reveals the gallery’s beautiful, ornately decorated domed ceiling. The centrerpiece of the building leads onto room after room of paintings by Impressionist masters such as Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir and Edgar Degas. Audio-guides are available for those who want them. Spend an afternoon wandering around this spectacular tribute to the artistic masters of the nineteenthcentury and leave awed and informed. By Helen Frear
Museums & Memorials
Deutsches Historisches Museum
The museum was founded in 1987 with the overall aim to present German history in an international context and to encourage an understanding of the country. The project gained great support from Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who believed the founding of a historical museum to be a national priority. Originally, the collections were planned to go to a building in the Reichstag. In 1989, the Federal Government instead transferred the collection to the Zeughaus of 1695, a former Arsenal and the oldest building on the Unter den Linden. The permanent exhibition takes you on a tour of Germany’s history with over 800,000 artifacts including a collection of 20th century propaganda posters, an intense military collection, picture archives, fashion, maps, instruments and everyday artifacts–all of which are displayed across four levels. A word of caution: be careful not to get lost! The rooms are spacious and at times this museum feels cluttered with arrows unreliably dotted around on the floor making it easy to walk past them. However, this shouldn’t stop you from visiting; much like Germany’s compelling history, this museum is also impossible to ignore. By Louise Cheeseman
(German Historical Museum) Unter den Linden 2 Hackescher Markt (S5, S7, S75) Mon - Sat 10:00 am - 6:00 pm €4.00 - €8.00 www.dhm.de
Declared as a place of “enlightenment and understanding of the shared history of Germans and Europeans, ”the Deutsches Museum displays two thousand years of dynamic history on the avenue of Unter den Linden.
Beware Bear Tip! If you want to visit multiple museums, consider buying a 3 day pass for €19.00 (€ 9.50 reduced)
Pergamon Wit h o n e of th e mo s t st u n n i n g colle c tio ns in B e rlin t he Pe rg am o n M u s eu m i s si mp l y bre a thta k ing Am Kupfergraben 5 Hackescher Markt (S5, S7, S75) Mon - Sun 10:00 am - 6:00 pm Thu 10:00 am - 9:00 pm €4.00 - €8.00 www.smb.museum Designed by Alfred Messel and completed by Ludwig Hoffman in 1930, this magnificent museum proudly stands on Museum Island. When you begin your tour of the
museum, you will be awestruck by the original Pergamon Altar. This massive structure was once considered as “one of the wonders of the world” by a Greek poet. It is also believed that the original purpose of the altar was for sacrificial ceremonies. When you are walking around gazing at this beautiful monument, notice how the walls around the room are covered with The Frieze, statues depicting a battle between the Gods and the Giants.
Museums & Memorials Walking through the door to the right, you are taken to the time of Alexander the Great with the heads of Trojan and Hadrian statues on display along with columns and other parts of the buildings and structures depicting this period. Stroll in between extremely high columns and you enter Babylon. Your eyes are instantly drawn to an absolutely enormous blue Ishtar gate that is beautifully decorated with mosaics of horses, lions and mythical creatures. The contrast of the yellow and gold pictures on the blue background is simply captivating and makes you want to stay in this room for hours. The vibrant and well preserved Moghul carpets and rugs in the Museum of Islamic art are amazing. The sheer length and size prove just how rich the Moghul rulers of India were. You can also go into a reception room of a palace that was bought by Friedrich Sarre and transported to the museum in 1912. Throughout your tour of this calming space, the audio guide provides you with facts that make it so much easier to understand how and why the ancient civilizations were built and designed whilst explaining the extremely precious artifacts.
If you donâ€™t take a couple of hours out of your visit to witness the magnificent history held in the Pergamonmuseum, you will regret it. By Megan Lumsden
Am Lustgarten Hackescher Markt (S5, S7, S75) Tue-Sun 10:00 am - 6:00 pm Thu 10:00 am - 10:00 pm €4.00 - €8.00 www.smb.museum
Am Lustgarten Hackescher Markt (S5, S7, S75) Sun - Wed 10:00 am - 6:00 pm Thu - Sat 10:00 am - 8:00 pm €5.00 - €10.00 www.neues-museum.de
Standing prominently in the middle of Museum Island is the Altes Museum. It is one of Berlin’s three world renowned museums dedicated to classical antiquities. Built in 1830 by architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel, the Altes Museum is a sight in itself. An important piece of Neo-Classical architecture, the dramatic building stands magnificently tall with its eighteen fluted Ionic columns which can leave you feeling a bit insignificant as you pass through the entrance. Across the top of the mammoth building, an inscription reads “Friedrich Willhelm III has dedicated this museum to the study of all antiquities and the free arts, 1828.” The impressive rotunda shaped exhibition is held over two floors and covers Greek art on the first while Roman and Etruscan pieces are displayed on the second. There is a lot to take in as you wander around the museum. The Greek exhibition gives you insights into the everyday happenings of ancient life. The Roman and Etruscan exhibitions are displayed in the same fashion showing armor, statues and pottery. Various rooms are scattered throughout the museum exhibiting ancient coins and the Art of Love in Antiquity. Be prepared to be intimidated again by the sheer size of genitalia in this room. The Altes Museum is a must for anyone visiting Berlin as it combines fascinating exhibitions and artifacts with outstanding architecture. By Adam Harris
Don’t let the name fool you—the Neues Museum isn’t that new anymore. Located on the legendary Museum Island, this museum provides an outstanding home for all things ancient, including one of the largest Egyptian collections around. The Prussian architect, Friedrich August Stüler, originally built this fascinating museum in 1855 after orders from King Frederick William IV who argued that there was not enough space in the Altes Museum. Although it was closed in 1939 during WWII, it still suffered significant amounts of damage and underwent an intense six-year facelift by British architect David Chipperfield, who elaborately restored and recreated the building. It officially reopened again in 2009. Inside, this museum is graced with a partially destroyed, yet elegant interior. White, modern, marble stairways glide along walls of old bricks indented with bullet holes. Tall pillars stand eroded, Egyptian murals and classical mosaics lace the ceilings and walls adding to its historical character. Ask for an audio guide so you can fully appreciate the outstanding artifacts this museum has to offer such as the Bronze Age Berlin Gold Hat, the Troy collection, the Egyptian book of the dead, the skull of the Neanderthal from Le Moustier and of course, the majestic bust of Queen Nefertiti.
By Louise Cheeseman
Museums & Memorials Deutsches Currywurstmuseum Schützenstraβe 70 Stadtmitte (U2, U6) Mon - Sun 10:00 am - 10:00 pm €7.00 - €11.00 www.currywurstmuseum.de The Deutsches Currywurst museum tells us “everyone loves sausages” and that Germany’s quintessential snack is so much more than just meat–it’s a way of life. You might dispute these statements, but at the very least this museum will fuel your brain with nutritional information and your belly with laughter. Fun, interactive and compact in size, this glossy museum is packed full of lively exhibits that will whet your appetite for quirky knowledge. Displaying facts in a vibrant manner, you can find out where a number of fast foods originated, the history of the Imbiss, and where hot dogs got their name. On a more serious note, credible exhibitions are set to test visitors’ knowledge on food sources and to educate people on political and economic struggles in 20th century Germany. A documentary made in 2004 sheds light not only on the population’s eating habits, but gives insight into Berlin’s cultural diversity. There is a section of the museum dedicated to the environment, which proves to be an informative, playful display about recycling. The Currywurst Museum has plenty of educational value plus it’s also really good fun. When you feel like you have learned some interesting information, you can chill out on the sausage-shaped sofa, listen to Currywurst song tributes through ketchup-shaped headphones, and of course grab a free sample of spiced Currywurst before you leave. Even if you don’t like sausages, you’ll at least get a new perspective from the experience. By Marj Clark
Denkmal für den Ermorderten Juden Europas (Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe)
Cora-Berliner Straβe 1 Brandenburger Tor (U2) Mon - Sat 10:00 am - 8:00 pm (Apr - Oct) Mon - Sat 10:00 am - 700 pm (Nov - Mar) www.stiftung-denkmal.de Situated on the crossing of Cora-Berliner-Straβe and Behrenstraβe you will find the Denkmal für den Ermorderten Juden Europas. It consists of 2,711 concrete blocks on a space of nineteen square meters. At first glance this may seem like a depressing graveyard. When walking through these concrete slabs you will notice the lack of space between the pillars. It is impossible to walk next to someone, thus resulting in experiencing feelings of claustrophobia and discomfort. When standing in the middle of the square with concrete all around you, the feelings intensify, as if you are lost in a maze. The concrete shapes don’t have any inscriptions, making them as anonymous as the six million Jewish victims during World War II.
American architect Peter Eisenman did not design the memorial with one definitive meaning. Rather, it can be interpreted in several different ways. Regardless, a visit to this controversial and insightful memorial is a must to contemplate the meaning for yourself. By Sebastiaan Berswerda
Topographie des Terrors (Topography of Terror)
Niederkirchnerstraβe 8 Potsdamer Platz (S1, S2, S25, U2), Kochstraβe (U6) Tue - Sun 9:30 am - 7:00 pm (Apr - Oct) Tue - Sun 9:30 am - 6.00 pm (Nov - Mar) www.topographie.de
When narrowing down sites to visit, the Topography of Terror is always worth a trip. Located on the former site of the Reich’s main office, this permanent exhibition hosts an informative, subtle and stark display of militarized 20th century Berlin. Its exterior is lined with the remains of the Berlin Wall. Surrounding the museum is a vast expanse of land, a bare space designed as an area for visitors to reflect on the atrocities witnessed in this city through the years. The building’s monolithic stature has a weighty presence, and the external exhibition shown within the lowered trench offers in-depth insight into Germany’s political
struggles pre-WWII. Inside, the Topography of Terror focuses on the Third Reich era. With precision, it details the behavior of the SS on a political level; intimate photographs and artifacts allow visitors to see the full extent of the ordeal millions faced during the Nazi regime. Visitors can listen to rare audio samples and view short clips of sinister political speeches made during this era. Immensely moving interactive exhibits and wall-mounted displays uncover the devastating events millions had to endure. TheTopography ofTerror is an informative and tasteful tribute to the millions affected by World War II. By Marj Clark
Buchstabenmuseum (Museum of Letters)
Beware Bear Tip! Give yourself a few hours to walk around the Topographie des Terrors. You won’t be disappointed!
Karl Liebknecht Straβe 13 Alexanderplatz (S5, S7, S75, U2, U5, U8) Mon - Sat 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm €2.50 www.buchstabenmuseum.de For those interested in graphics or those with a penchant for design, The Buchstaben-
Museums & Memorials the pet shop’s accompanying goldfish graphic to the museum which now serves as Buchstaben’s logo. The Buchstaben Museum is an ongoing project and although information accompanying this small exhibition is limited, the staff is highly knowledgeable and more than happy to inform you. By Helen Frear
Museum für Naturkunde (Natural History Museum)
museum offers an Aladdin’s cave filled with neon wonders. Founded as a nonprofit organization in 2005, the museum is dedicated to the preservation of threedimensional signs and letters from around the world. The museum treats its exhibits as historical artifacts, exploring the background of the signs ranging from the manufacturing process to the letters’ unique typographical qualities. The Buchstaben museum thrives on the diversity of its content. The modernist, spotlighted interior houses carefully arranged letters of all shapes and sizes, displaying modern acquisitions alongside more retro pieces with the museums oldest sign dating back to 1947. Anonymous pieces reside alongside now obsolete signs from giants of pop culture such as Samsung’s ‘S’ and the iconic McDonald’s ‘M’. Each neon letter or sign is handcrafted and therefore unique. Amongst the museum’s most cherished pieces is a donation from a former Berlin pet shop designed by a man named Manfred Gensicke. What sets this sign apart from the others is that the design is not molded to a typographic font but based on Gensicke’s own handwriting. Gensicke has since lent
Invalidenstraβe 43 Naturkundemuseum (U6) Tue-Fri 9:30 am-6:00 pm; Sat-Sun 10:00 am - 6:00 pm €3.00 - €5.00 www.naturkundemuseum-berlin.de Established in 1810, the Museum für Naturkunde is now the largest museum of natural history in Germany with the biggest dinosaur exhibit in Europe. It is renowned for two spectacular exhibitions: the exquisitely preserved specimen of the earliest bird, Archaeopteryx and a very special patron, Brachiosaurus brancai who after several years has become increasingly popular. At the beginning of the 20th century, an expedition to Tanzania in Eastern Africa became one of the most successful dinosaur excavations of all time. German paleontologist Werner Janensch recovered a staggering 250 tons of bones between 1909 and 1913, and later shipped them to Berlin. Discover the world of dinosaurs, evolution, the solar system and the history of plants and animals. As well as a variety of zoology, mineral and paleontology collections, uncover the now extinct Quagga and Tasmanian tigers, and all things spidery as you walk around these remarkable exhibits. By Louise Cheeseman
Berliner Medizinhistorisches Museum der Charité (Berlin Museum of Medical History) Charitéplatz 1 Hauptbahnhof (S5, S7, S75, U55) Tue-Sun 10:00 am—5:00 pm; Wed & Sat 10:00 am—7:00 pm €3.50 - €7.00 www.bmm-charite.de
A stone’s throw from the main train station Hauptbahnhof, you’ll find the medical museum. The exhibition in this museum is spread over three floors and takes you on a tour of the developments in medical science from several centuries ago until now. The first floor hosts an art exhibition, making you wonder if you went to the right museum. However, if you continue your journey up the stairs you will find that the second floor is by far the best. It’s not the main information (available in German and partly in English) on medical science or the history of the Charité hospital itself that is so exciting, but it’s the next room that will leave an unforgettable impression. While hearing ominous sound effects like deep bass-like booms, you can gaze at hundreds of gory body parts in jars such as deformed legs, infected pancreases and fetuses with birth defects. After this
gruesome display, biographies of former patients on the third floor won’t matter that much anymore. This weird museum of wonders is definitely worth a visit, but it’s not a place for the faint of heart. By Sebastiaan Berswerda
Gemäldegalerie (Portrait Gallery)
Matthäikirchplatz 04/06/10 Postdamer Platz (U2, S1, S2, S25) Tue – Sun 10:00 pm-6:00 pm; Wednesday 10:00 am- 1000 pm €4.00 - €8.00 www.smb.museum The Gemäldegalerie hosts a diverse and prestigious collection of art from some of the world’s most prolific painters. Currently housed in the architecturally impressive Kulturforum, close to Potsdamer Platz, this collection, which had its origins in 1830, has grown to include pieces from all over the world. In its current location, the paintings are clearly displayed in 72 spacious galleries which are ordered according to their date and genre. Visitors can take a leisurely walk through six centuries of artistic movements, from trail-blazing, effervescent
Museums & Memorials Renaissance works to moody, atmospheric landscape paintings from the 17th century. Each piece has been immaculately kept, with opportunities to get so close to the paintings, you can view the course textures and cracks within the intricate strokes of paint. This gallery is proud to play host to world-renowned works, including Botrocelli’s stunning Venus, Cranach the Elder’s detailed Fountain of Youth, and a number of exquisite and extremely wellpreserved 15th century triptychs. Whether you are passionate about Rembrandt or have a general knowledge on painters, the concise and detailed audioguides will help you on the way to building a rich knowledge on the history of art. By Marj Clark
Museum für Film und Fernsehen
(Museum of Film and Television) Potsdamer Straβe 2 Postdamer Platz (U2, S1, S2, S25) Tue-Sun 10:00 am-6:00 pm; Thu 10:00 am-8:00 pm €4.50 - €6.00 www.filmmuseum-berlin.de Do the names Oksar Messter, Henny Porten and Marlene Dietrich mean anything to you? Or the films Metropolis and Dr. Caligari’s Cabinet? If not, then a visit to the Museum für Film und Fernsehen will make you fully aware of these icons and masterpieces of Germany’s film and television milestones. After walking though the modern entrance, there is a lift that takes you on a magnificent journey where upon exiting, you are guided through to cool, black doors on the left and into another exciting adventure.
Looks can be deceiving because the museum entryway feels like a dark tunnel, but when you venture further, you are greeted by a room full of mirrors. This futuristic room has three screens but the reflections from the mirrors produce an illusory atmosphere making the whole room seem as if it’s filled with screens of classic film clips. There is a huge section about Henny Porten, the queen of the German cinema from the early days. Little models of cameras from the time of Oskar Messter even move about. The dawn of Metropolis is also depicted gracefully as you continue throughout the museum. This classic is set in the year 2026 and follows the life of the city’s ruler Freder; Metropolis is one of Germany’s most important films for being ahead of its time and is still considered to be one of the greatest films. The ninety year old iconic outfit from Metropolis is still in pristine condition and takes is clearly the pride of the museum. Further on in the museum, the beautiful Marlene Dietrich, from such films as The Devil is a Woman and Blue Angel, is remembered and respected with a huge exhibit. Full of costumes, outfits, letters from lovers and family, gifts and wedding photographs, it is an amazing sight to see. For any film and television fanatic, this museum is a definite must! By Megan Lumsden
“Is there a concession? “ “Gibt es eine Konzession?”
Prenzlauerberg Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer (Berlin Wall Memorial)
Bernauerstraβe 111 (documentation centre) Nordbahnhof (S1), Bernauerstraβe (U8) Tue - Sun 9:30 am - 7:00 pm (Apr - Oct) Tue - Sun 9:30 am - 6.00 pm (Nov - Mar) www.berliner-mauer-gedenkstaette.de
Between S-Bahn station Nordbahnhoff and U-Bahn station Bernauerstraβe lies the Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer (Berlin Wall Memorial) which commemorates the period of the Berlin Wall. Covering a length of several hundred meters, where the wall once stood, it gives information about the Berlin Wall, in particular about the time when it was just built. Using information billboards, confrontational photos and interesting videos, it educates visitors on how the wall was built, what the job of the border guards was like and about the attempts by East Berliners to escape to the west. You also get a glimpse into the lives of the families who lived in the apartments along the border before they were relocated to elsewhere in the city. Finally, there is a special memorial for the 98 victims who died in escape attempts.
In the middle of the Bernauerstraβe you find the documentation centre where you can read official documents and see videos about the Berlin Wall dating from that period. It also exhibits all kinds of personal documents put forward by (former) residents of Berlin. From the top of the documentation centre you can look at a part of the wall that is still intact, including a watchtower. The intriguing Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer is very comprehensive in terms of the information it provides. It manages to create a vivid picture of what it was like when the wall was built. For anyone who wants to know more about the history of the Berlin Wall this is a mandatory visit. By Sebastiaan Berswerda
Friedrichshain Computerspielemuseum (Computergames Museum)
Karl-Marx-Allee 93a Weberwiese (S3, S5, S7, S75) Wed - Mon 10:00 am – 8:00 pm €5.00 - €8.00 www.computerspielemuseum.de Though a small and lesser known gallery, the Computerspiele Museum is still an attraction worth visiting if you want to experience the only one of its kind in the world. Opened in 1997, the museum provides visitors with a funky interior; full of splashes of blue, citrus colored shelves crammed along the walls and large cushy chairs. Even if you are not aware of the fast growing gaming culture, anyone can appreciate a fun afternoon of hands-on, mind stimulating activities whilst learning about the history, science, creation process and hard work that goes into crafting a video game.
Museums & Memorials One wall provides visitors with a fascinating timeline that chronologically displays authentic video game consoles, from 1975 to 2011, displaying everything from early Apple computers to newer Playstation models. Highlights of the Computerspiele Museum are classic games like Pong or Gauntlet on authentic arcade machines, and Zork on an old-school computer—all of which are playable. Also hard to miss is a giant joystick which you can hop onto for invigorating rounds of Pac-Man by yourself or with a friend. By Lily Prasuethsut
surveillance equipment are a definite must see. Highlights include the hidden cameras disguised as watering cans, marker pens and even a tree stump. It can appear all too comical at times but the shocking dark truth is apparent when reading about the many lives that were ruined through the MfS’s nefarious activities. The museum lacks English translations but this isn’t too problematic as audio guides are only three Euros enriching your experience. For 5 Euros, the Stasi Museum is a very educational and intriguing museum which may leave you looking over your shoulder more often than you used to. By Adam Harris
Lichtenberg Stasi Museum Ruschestraβe 103 Magdalenenstraβe (U5) Mon - Fri 11:00 am - 6:00 pm Sat - Sun 12:00 am - 6:00 pm €4.00 - €5.00 www.stasimuseum.de A sign fittingly reads “For your safety, surveillance cameras” as you exit the U-Bahn at Magdalenenstraβe, the nearest station for the Stasi museum. Hidden away in what was once the former head office for the Ministerium für Staatssicherheit (MfS) lies an exhibition that explores the shady side of state security in East Berlin. The museum has the appearance of a novelty office from the early nineties. Full of brown décor, the offices give the impression that the Stasi museum might be a bit of a drag. But despite being simple in appearance, there is a lot to take in. The museum covers the history of the MfS and gives insight into the lives of agents and suspects surrounding Cold War espionage. The displays of low-tech
Charlottenberg Käthe Kollwitz Museum Fasanenstraβe 24 Uhlandstraβe (U8) 11:00 am - 6:00 pm €3 - €6 www.kathe-kollwitz.de Famed for her hard-hitting interpretations of war, mortality and bereavement during early twentieth century Germany, Käthe Kollwitz is one of Germany’s most prolific artists. Situated in lovely Charlottenburg, this museum is the permanent home to a wide collection of her life’s work. Spread over three floors of an immaculate manor house, it is the perfect place to explore the psychological depths and political undertones underpinning her career. Sculptures, lithographs and sketches are accompanied with detailed biographical information and historical background. Exhibitions are concisely displayed being grouped chronologically or placed according to subject matter.
and historical background. Exhibitions are concisely displayed being grouped chronologically or placed according to subject matter. The peaceful, airy environment gives visitors space to digest and reflect on her raw, highly emotive pieces. A fantastic place to closely examine the influential, revealing and intimate depictions of the human condition, the Käthe Kollwitz museum is essential viewing for anyone interested in art, history and sociological ideology. By Marj Clark
history. A catalogue of knowledge is displayed in eye-grabbing exhibitions that capture all the visitors’ senses. The Jewish traditional music floats into the halls as you lose yourself in a maze of informative displays. The layout of the museum is formed in such a way that you find yourself engulfed by each period of rich history. Covering a whole spectrum of time from the Middle Ages to the bleakness of the Holocaust, the Judisches Museum devotes intricate attention to each gallery. Taking you from darkness into light and at times becoming visually devastating, this museum is an emotional kaleidoscope, seeping through your consciousness to leave a lasting impression in your memory.
By Marj Clark
Lindenstraβe 9-14 Kochstraβe (U6) Mon- Sun 10:00 am - 10:00 pm Tue 10:00 am - 8:00 pm €2.50 - €5.00 www.jmberlin.de The Judisches Museum is one of Berlin’s newest visitor attractions and an absolute must see. Constructed in 2001, the building alone is utterly stunning. Designed by Daniel Libeskind, its imposing external facade is comprised of steely, charcoal chrome material which glints in the sun. Inside, the visitor feels distorted on many occasions as Libeskind has created an immaculate, sterile labyrinth. Striking, long diagonal corridors intersect on the ground floor to display many eras of the Jewish community. It is ergonomically challenging to walk through with the visitor feeling sensations of being skewed on the squint flooring. Climb a tall, intimidating staircase and immerse yourself in 2000 years of Jewish
Neukölln Sowjetisches Ehrenmal (Soviet War Memorial)
Am Treptower Park Treptower Park (S8, S9, S41, S42, S46, S85) Walking through Treptower Park, you can’t help but notice the Soviet War Memorial. This commemorative space was built in 1949 to remember the 80,000 Soviets that were lost fighting in World War II. The Treptower Park Soviet War Memorial is one of three in Berlin and is by far the most impressive. The sheer size of the park strikes a deep message about the sacrifices that were made in the World War II. The park itself is a resting place for 5,000 Soviet soldiers adding to the somber atmosphere. The main path is lined symmetrically with trees that lead up to two red granite Soviet Flags with two kneeling Soviet soldiers. Sixteen limestone blocks are spread equally along the edges of the park with fascinating Joseph Stalin quotes.
Museums & Memorials
A truly epic statue sits on top of the graves of 200 soldiers; this twelve meter statue shows a Soviet soldier holding a sword saving a German child while crushing a swastika beneath him. This image seems to sum up the park as it highlights the triumph of the Soviets whilst respectfully commemorating the lost. By Adam Harris
Oranienburg KZ Sachsenhausen
(Concentration Camp Sachsenhausen) Straβe der Nationen 22 Oranienburg (S1) Mon - Sun 8:30 am - 6:00 pm (Mar 15 - Oct 14) Mon - Sun 8:30 am - 4:30 pm (Oct 15 - Mar 14) www.stiftung-bg.de Sachsenhausen, a former concentration camp, is located approximately 18 miles from Berlin. From 1936 until 1945 it was mainly used as a prisoner camp. From 1945
until 1950, the Soviets used it as a special camp. Nowadays, the remaining grounds and buildings are open to the public as a museum and memorial. When entering the camp you’ll first notice the infamous “Arbeit macht frei” slogan on the gate. After passing these gates you’re standing in the roll call area where you’ll find that it’s not the wind giving you the chills, but the image of what must have happened during World War II. You can also visit the mortuary, holding cells, Jewish barracks including a washing room and lavatory, barracks used by the Soviets, and the remains of the main site of mass murder, which is cynically named “Station Z.” You can find intriguing stories about the persecuted cultural communities that spent time here in the camp on various boards situated around the camp. You may find it quite emotional when you realize what horrible circumstances people were forced to live in making Sachsenhausen a visit you’ll never forget. By Sebastiaan Berswerda
Arts & Culture After the reunification in 1990, Berlin established itself as one of Europeâ€™s brightest centers for arts and culture. Famous for its elaborate and inspirational street art scattered throughout the city, Berlin continues to grow and thrive as a magnet for a multitude of different kinds of artists to display their work in various exhibitions in the city.
Mitte Berliner Lister Art Fair Check website for location details Sept 13th – 15th, 1pm - 9pm Sun Sept 16th, 1pm - 7pm www.berliner-liste.org Entry €5 - €8
Berlin Art Week usually kicks off with its biggest and best-established art fair: Berliner Liste. The size of this fair cannot be underemphasized. With over 120 artists and galleries contributing, you’ll lose yourself amongst a labyrinth of exhibitions. The fair is set up for the most promising and inspiring modern art in Berlin and the world. The location changes from year to year to account for an ever growing pool of talented contributors. Whilst at the fair, there is an obvious push to “sell.” This isn’t surprising considering it’s become internationally renowned as the place to purchase the crème de la crème of modern art with what rich people refer to as reasonable prices (think at least three figures for a postcard). For those too poor to purchase, allow at least four hours to happily peruse and bask in the ambiance
of creativity. This is the perfect place to be completely blown away by the large scope of imaginative insight. Distinguishing “local” artists is difficult. Most seem to be based temporarily in Berlin while originating from far corners of the world like Austria and Zimbabwe. Despite the reputation that post-postpost-modern art can alienate any non-art aficionado, Berliner Liste displays so many of the finest examples of minimalism, cubism, modern-classicalism and lowbrow work, you’re bound leave impressed, entertained and envious of the blinged-up buyers. By Hera Sparnon
“Berlinartparasites.com is a great website for catching one-off art exhibitions and openings”
Arts & Culture History Berliner Philharmoniker Lunchkonzert
(Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Lunchtime Concerts) Herbert-von-Karajan Straβe Tiergarten Potzdamer Platz (U2) 1:00 pm Tuesdays www.berliner-philharmoniker.de Free To the untrained eye, the exterior of the Berlin Philharmonic looks like a post-modern Chinese teahouse wrapped in golden foil. In actuality, architect Hans Scharoun’s rather unusual construction is home to one of the world’s leading orchestras, the Berliner Philharmoniker, and contains a myriad of musical delights inside. Every Tuesday from September to June, hundreds of music lovers of all ages pile into the lofty foyer for free lunchtime concerts starring members of the Berliner Philharmoniker. Dubbed the Digital Concert Hall as footage is beamed live over the web, these 45 to 60 minute concerts offer the opportunity to catch the world’s finest musicians perform in a spectacular setting. The whitewashed geometric interior with its high, angular ceilings and light filtering
through coloured stained glass windows creates quite a heavenly atmosphere. The acoustics are outstanding (you can literally hear a pin drop). The music is second to none. It really is something special. Arrive early to secure a good spot. Concert-goers happily line the floors, staircases and mezzanine level balconies for the best vantage points. Alternatively, book at table at the Philharmoniker restaurant to enjoy a more leisurely musical munch! By Victoria Lewis
Berliner Gauklerfest (Berlin Clown Festival)
Around Schinkelplatz near the Palace Square Alexanderplatz Station Entry €3 Mon - Fri 2:00 pm - 11:00 pm Sat - Sun 12:00 pm - 11:00 pm With its enchanting magicians, live musicians, fire shows, acrobats and stilt walkers, the Berliner Gauklerfest is full of fantastical surprises. This clown festival is an annual event which, over its ten day duration, celebrates the joys of theatrical performance.
Berliner Gauklerfest takes place on Schinkelplatz, just a short walk from Alexanderplatz station. The 3 Euro entrance fee grants you access to the outdoor stage area, where a myriad of artisan stalls and German street food vendors await. Try a traditional currywurst or a piece of langos (flat bread) that is served delightfully warm with garlic oil and salt; or for those with a sweet tooth, treat yourself to a piece of sugary apfelstrudel (apple strudel) . Take in a performance from one of the festival’s stages—the array of standup comedians, magicians, pop, swing and jazz musical acts are sure to entertain and inspire. The festival is a great place to indulge in an afternoon beer and some unique entertainment. Make sure you pick up a program in advance so you don’t miss out! By Helen Frear
Alternative Street Art Tour Meet at Alexanderplatz Starbucks Alexanderplatz (U2, U5 and U8, S5, S7, S75) Free* (tip recommended); bring U-Bahn ticket www.alternitiveberlin.com 12:30 pm daily Delve into the alternative scene and explore the urban art meccas of Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain and Mitte. Discover how Berlin has been shaped by the hippies, artists, punks and Turkish immigrants who inhabited and rebuilt deserted areas during the time of the Berlin wall. You’ll be treated to some of the most impressive and iconic large scale murals this city is blessed with. For example, “The Astronaut” by Victor Ash is a massive black and white stencil floating in space on the blank ‘firewall’ of a Kreuzbergian building. You’ll weave your way from Kreuzberg along the Spree and into Mitte to see witty and colourful CCTV cameras stencilled by El Bacho, or dramatic portraits chiselled into plaster by Vhils. With all the massive pieces of artwork strewn about the city, it won’t take long for you to realise that every scribbled tag and flaky paste-up is communicating with you. Remember to bring water and your best walking shoes. You need them after three hours of wandering in awe of the Berlin streets. By Hera Sparnon
Arts & Culture History Friedrichshain East Side Gallery Mühlenstraße Warschauer Straβe (U1, S3, S5, S7, S75) www.eastsidegallery.com Located in the district of Friedrichshain along the Mühlenstraße lies the world’s largest open air gallery: Berlin’s famous Eastside Gallery. Annually, multitudes of people visit the 1.3 kilometer stretch of the former Berlin Wall to observe the 105 incredible paintings on display. In 1990, 102 international artists were invited to come and create pieces of art that would celebrate the freedom which was gained when the wall came down in 1989. Due to damage from erosion, graffiti and vandalism, a vast majority of the once vibrant and fresh artwork is now hardly recognizable. Luckily, remediation of the gallery began in 2009 to help restore two thirds of the paintings. In doing so, the gallery has achieved heightened interest from the press and public giving it much hope for full restoration in the approaching years. Some of the most impressive pieces include The Mortal Kiss by Dimitrji Vrubel,
which depicts the famous scene where East German Prime Minister Erich Honecker and former Soviet Leader, Leonid Brezhnev have a lip locked embrace. Another evocative piece is Birgit Kinder’s Trabi (Trabant) Knocking Down the Wall, a daring and graphic image showing a car breaking through a section of the infamous wall. These are only a few of the magnificent murals; to take a piece of Berlin’s diverse art home, bring your camera and get snap happy as you stroll pass the inspirational wall. By Sally Grondowski
Stroke Urban Art Fair Sept 13 -16 (check website for times) Postbahnhof, Straße der Pariser Kommune 8 Ostbahnhoff (S3, S5, S7, S75) Day tickets €10 www.stroke-artfair.com If modern art makes you cringe on the inside then the Stroke Urban Art Fair is for you. This art exhibition specializes in bringing together the darker, trashier and more playful genre of urban art into one spacious warehouse for display. Within two massive
levels, you will witness over forty art collectives, crews and individual artists from all over the world present their work on walls, canvases, t-shirts, toys and posters. You can even purchase a piece for yourself (depending on your budget.) Demonstrations happen all around giving you the sense that some of the artists have rebelled against preparing in advance; they instead decide to tackle their given space with aerosol cans and paint brushes while the crowds mill around curiously watching. If you are considering making a purchase, the “open walls gallery” specializes in selling art from Berlin’s most prolific street artists. Alias’ signature duotone stenciled prints can be bought for as little as 150 Euros, which is cheap considering Bill Gates is a known collector. If you’re looking for something cheaper, 1 Euro can buy small diaries, puzzles or calendars from Eboy, a collective who creates pixilated and cartoon-like characters for adults. Either to take home, play with or just look at, the Stroke Urban Art Fair is definitely the best way to see some of the most cutting edge urban art available in one space making it an annual event not to be missed. By Hera Sparnon
me Collectors Room Auguststraβe 68 Weinmeisterstraβe U8 Tues - Sun 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm €4 - €6 www.me-berlin.com Selim Varol has been collecting limited addition toys since he was six years old. Now many years later, the me Collectors Room proudly showcases his collectables. Varol is originally from Dusseldorf with Turkish roots. When he was twelve, a large part of his collection disappeared but this only fueled his drive to collect and preserve. When entering the me Collectors Room, visitors are greeted by the aromatic smell of the coffees, teas and food that the cafe has to offer. The staff is extremely pleasant and stand by waiting to give as much information as they can before you enter. All the exhibits in this gallery constantly change so it’s hard to say what will be there but past exhibits have included the Mona Lisa with Marge Simpsons’ blue hive of hair, the All Cannibals exhibit, which scrutinized cannibalism in art form and the Passion Fruits exhibit, which was the first selected works from the Olbricht Collection.
Arts & Culture History Upon leaving the wonderful but weird collection, there’s a gift shop where designer toys and postcards can be taken home to show friends and family pieces of the fascinating museum. By Megan Lumsden
Kreuzberg Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Bethanien Arts Centre)
Kottbusser Straβe 10 Kottbusser Tor (U8, U1) Mon – Thu: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm Fri 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Free (donations recommended) www.bethanien.de Hidden by leafy recesses of the surrounding grounds in Kreuzberg is the Bethanien Arts Centre. It boasts Berlin’s longest and highly prized international artist residency program, as well as a long and turbulent history. Commissioned by Friedrich IV in the mid19th century, the building was a nursing hospital until it was saved from scheduled demolition in 1970 by art collectives, historical building conservationists and the local community. Brought back from the brink of destruction, the building was revived and transformed into what it is today: a sanctuary for creatively minded people of many disciplines, from interpretive dance to projection installations and everything in between. Winding through the brightly-painted corridors of the center, you’ll be treated to a range of cutting edge exhibitions that explore a variety of medias including sculpture, film, photography and painting. They also often reflect the socio-political and cultural backgrounds of the international artists, who through the residency program, are given the resources and support to flex their imagination and craftsmanship skills. The Bethanien complex also houses a surprisingly well-priced café and restaurant, plus an open-air cinema that plays English, German and other international art house films. By Hera Sparnon
Recreation You would expect the capital of any country to be filled with urban concrete; however, Berlin manages to find a nice balance between greenery and gray. Whether you stumble into the Tiergarten hoping to escape the city noise, wander the Royal Potsdam Palaces or immerse yourself in a film at the Sony Center, you are sure to find a few relaxing days amidst the action of Berlin.
from the weather and if that isn’t enough, the entire area is covered with free Wi-Fi. By Adam Harris
Cinestar Potsdamer Straβe 4 Potsdamer Platz (U2, S1, S2, S25) www.cinestar.de
Mitte Sony Center Potsdamer Straβe 4 Potsdamer Platz (U2, S1, S2, S25) www.sonycenter.de In what was once a desolate part of noman’s-land at Potsdamer Platz now lies Berlin’s trendy Sony Center, a plaza full of shops and restaurants. Built in 2000 by architect Helma Jahn, the complex is seen as more than just an entertainment center. The modern, natural design allows customers to enjoy a natural space that is not found in other shopping complexes. The center accommodates an IMAX theater, cinema, beer gardens, a variety of cafes, restaurants, hotels and even the famous Sony store that will leave you spoilt for choice. Prices are a little above average but you pay for what you get; iconic architecture, dry outdoor space that is free
Planning a movie night? Then head over to the Cinestar located in the Sony Center. This luxurious and large cinema shows original (non-dubbed) movies, without subtitles. Grab yourself something to drink at one of the drink stalls located nearby and once entering the screening room, relax in one of the comfortable chairs and sit back. After watching German commercials, random movie trailers and even more German commercials for about half an hour, the actual movie starts. The Cinestar Cinema is nothing special, but fits your needs when looking for a movie in original language. Germans tend to love the dubbed versions of the movies though, so you might find yourself pretty lonely during your stay. By Sebastiaan Berswerda
Prenzlauerberg Mauerpark Gleimstraβe Schönhauser Allee (U2) Sun 8:00 am - 6:00 pm (flea market) Sun 3:00 am - 7:00 pm (karaoke) www.mauerparkmarkt.de www.bearpitkaraoke.com Mauerpark’s flea market and adjacent karaoke attract thousands of visitors every week.
Recreation to watch, Bearpit karaoke is an exhilarating experience. The audience offers warm support and rapturous applause which can be heard ringing out into the early evening air. The atmosphere sizzles into the night and both events have enough to offer visitors to cement Mauerpark’s reputation as one of Berlin’s best highlights. By Marj Clark
Friedrichshain Der Kegel Revaler Street 99 Warschauerstraβe (U1) Tue - Sun 10:00 am - 11:00 pm Mon 2:00 pm - 11:00 pm www.derkegel.de They tend to transform a normally tranquil part of Prenzlauer Berg into a buzzing hive of activity. The flea market boasts hundreds of stalls where you can find everything from Indian embroidery and hand painted teasets to original clothing from a collective of independent designers. It’s a place to pick up something unique and surprisingly cheap. There is also an abundance of delicious foods to sample; steamy fresh wraps and crackers smothered in heavenly homemade honey make the perfect snacks as you comb the market. By mid-afternoon, an enthusiastic crowd gathers in the “Bearpit.” This amphitheater plays host to open air karaoke sessions hosted by the charismatic Irishman Joe Hatchiban. The moment Joe brings his parasol-covered equipment on stage he is immediately met with cheers from countless on-lookers. Sign up to sing, and then wait for your moment in the spotlight. Whether you’re looking for eternal stardom or simply want
Der Kegel is proof that there is no excuse for a boring weekend in Berlin. Spend your time getting in touch with your inner monkey and scale “the cone” in this rock climbing café. Set in an abandoned train yard in the Raw Temple area, the surrounding locale is buzzing with activity. Der Kegel itself is sandwiched between a nightclub and live music venue. Bring a buddy and climb the 18.7 meter “cone” structure by hiring ropes, harnesses and climbing shoes for 15 Euros. When, or if,
you reach the apex, you’ll be rewarded with a view; a book also awaits your handy dandy signature. You can also record an account of your strenuous personal journey to the top. If you like to keep it cheap and easy, you can hire climbing shoes for 2.50 Euros and have a go climbing the small labyrinth of three interconnected concave artificial walls or two big indoor halls, both with padded floors to break your many inevitable failures. The actual café serves beer, tea and coffee. Here you can take a well-deserved break on a lovely top deck balcony where you can watch dozens of other wallclimbing wannabes try out the hundreds of route options. It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional or just a beginner—this venue caters to all experience levels and is guaranteed to supply a day of extreme fun.
for monarch Freidrich Wilhelm, Berlin’s largest park was designed in the 1830s by prominent landscape architect Peter Lenne. Wandering the wide avenues with scenes reminiscent of an English country estate, it’s easy to forget you are in one of Europe’s major capital cities. Over 70 points of interest are dotted around the park, including striking monuments, tranquil lakes and beautiful gardens. Don’t miss the impressive 67 meter high Stiegessäule at the heart of the park, erected to celebrate 19th century military victories. Luiseninsel with its enclosed garden and flower beds is a particularly idyllic spot, as is the tranquil Neuer See, the largest of Tiergarten’s lakes. Be sure to stop by lakeside watering-hole Café Am Neuen See for a Bavarian beer break. By Victoria Lewis
By Hera Sparnon
Hardenbergplatz 8 Zoologische Garten (S5, S7, S75, U2, U9) Mon - Sun 9:00 am - 7:00 pm €13.00 www.zoo-berlin.de
Tiergarten Straße des 17. Juni 100 Tiergarten (S5) Stretching from eastern Charlottenburg to Pariser Platz, the rambling Tiergarten covers a massive 555 acres and is actually a district in its own right. A former hunting ground
Beware Bear Tip! The best way to explore Tiergarten is by bike. Head to Fat Tire Bikes next to Zoologischer Garten S-Bahn Station and get one for 10 Euros.
Opened in 1844, the Haupstadt Zoo covers eighty-four acres and is located in Berlin’s Tiergarten district. The zoo is comprised of a variety of diverse animals ranging from brightly plumed tropical birds to massive polar bears and silver back gorillas. In total, there are about 17,727 different kinds of animals for visitors to ogle. Generally, the assortment of creatures are sleeping, eating or aimlessly wandering their enclosures, but always out in plain sight. The paths of the zoo are divided into different sections that require memorization or directionless exploration since maps are not given out, unless you want to shell out five Euros. The zoo itself is large and requires
Recreation between three to four hours in order to properly view each animal. Packing water and snacks to eat on the go is highly advisable unless you want to spend a hefty amount at the zoo cafés found at the several locations within. Overall, the atmosphere is aimed of course, at families and tourist outings. Give this place a go if you want to see some cute baby animals, but give it a miss if you don’t want to gawk at caged creatures pacing about.
Beware Bear Tip! If you want to visit both the Zoo and the Aquarium, you can purchase a combination ticket for € 20.00
By Lily Prasuethsut
Zoo-Aquarium Berlin Hardenbergplatz 8 Zoologische Garten (S5, S7, S75, U2, U9) Mon - Sun 9:00 am - 7:00 pm (Apr - Oct) Mon - Sun 9:00 am - 5:00 pm (Nov-Mar) €13.00 www.zoo-berlin.de A crab once spoke quite highly of the sea singing, “It’s better, down where it’s wetter” and in the Aquarium, wetter is definitely better. Berlin’s Zoo Aquarium opened in 1913 and is rated as one of the best aquariums in the world. Like most of Berlin, World War II took its toll on the aquarium with only 91 of the 3,715 animals surviving in the end. Both the zoo and aquarium were completely destroyed and rebuilt on Hardenbergplatz. For those of you looking to visit just the aquarium, there is a separate entrance which thankfully bypasses the long zoo lines. The aquarium is spread out across three floors and includes a reptile and insect area where huge hairy tarantulas crawl around the actual seating area! The first floor is flourishing with sea creatures. Jellyfish lurk around corners and sharks look eagerly on at passersby, whilst children play with more friendly fish in the open top tanks. Feedings take place on Mondays and Thursdays at two
o’clock; you can watch sea bass, stingrays and hammerhead sharks tear through their dinners. If this bloody feast makes you peckish, then you can always grab something to eat in the Aquarium Bistro. A souvenir shop is
also included inside for those of you who just can’t resist a cuddly fish toy. For those of you looking for an entire day out in Berlin, this is a worthwhile visit that compliments the zoo perfectly. By Adam Harris
Charlottenburg Schloss Charlottenburg und Schloss Gartens (Charlottenburg Palace and Gardens)
Spandauer Damm 10 Richard-Wagner-Platz (U7) Mon - Sun 10:00 am - 7:00 pm (Apr-Oct) Mon - Sun 10:00 am - 6:00 pm (Nov-Mar) €3.00 - €6.00 www.spsg.de The Schloss Charlottenburg is the largest and most significant enduring Hohenzollern residence in Berlin. Originally built as a summer home for Prussian Queen, Sophie Charlotte, the palace was expanded by subsequent rulers with the oldest section dating back to 1695; Frierdich der Groβe installed the Neue Wing in 1740. Visitors enter through the gift shop to
purchase tickets from the register (you exit here as well so save yourself the weight and pick up goodies after your tour). Then optional audio guides, which actually make the tour more enjoyable, can be picked up at a desk to the left. After getting your ticket checked, head up the winding staircase with your headphones to experience an enchanting afternoon exploring the lavishly decorated, Baroque themed chambers. French and German paintings can be found hanging on countless richly multicolored walls while vases, busts and sculptures line the various rooms. All sections can be viewed in one day within a reasonable two and half hours. Once your self-guided tour is over, and your eyes are glazed over from viewing the decadent chambers, journey to the side of the palace and venture into the luxurious, perfectly kept yet simple Schloss Gardens to catch some sun. There is a lake and the River Spree nearby plus plenty of trails to keep you busy. There are also plenty of eateries nearby and you can even get a takeaway to picnic in the gardens. If you only have the time (and patience) for one fancy palace, then the Schloss Charlottenburg is the one to choose. By Lily Prasuethsut
Neukölln Britzer Garten Buckower Damm 146 Alt Mariendorf (U7) + Bus 181 Mon - Sun 9:00 am - dusk €1.50 - €3.00 www.britzer-garten.de This ninety acre horticultural haven, regarded as one of Germany’s most beautiful gardens, has been delighting flower fans since its opening for the German Garden Show in 1985. Centered on a stunning lake fed by meandering streams dotted with flower beds, rockeries, copses and luscious lawns, the Britzer Garten is a genuine joy to explore. From spring to autumn, visitors are treated to dazzling displays of color. Daffodils herald the start of spring with their golden glory, followed by a myriad of multi-colored tulips in April. Dahlias delight from August to October and with over 200 varieties on show, it is not to be missed.
The garden is vast so those short on time or energy should take a tour of the miniature “museum” railway which stops by the major sights while giving informative commentary. Next, take a well-earned break at one of the many cafes on site. Café am See is a particularly picturesque (if a little pricey) lakeside spot. Britzer also boasts a year round events programme; from summer plays and outdoor music concerts to Oktoberfest celebrations, there really is something for everyone. In short: Britzer is bloomingly marvelous! By Victoria Lewis
“I want to rent a bike” “Ich möchte ein Fahrrad mieten”
Dahlem Botanischer Garten Berlin-Dahlem
absolutely worth the visit, especially during spring or early summer when most flowers are blooming. Side note: watch out for squirrels collecting acorns more successfully than the little guy from Ice Age. By Sebastiaan Berswerda
Königin-Luise-Straβe 6 Botanischer Garten (S1) Mon-Sun 10:00 am - 6:30 pm €3.00 - €6.00 www.botanischer-garten-berlin.de
If you’d like to visit a garden that’s not a beer garden, your first choice should be Der Botanische Garten Berlin-Dahlem. This enchanting gem is about 106 acres in size, making it one of the biggest botanical gardens in the world. It houses over 22,000 different kinds of plants, trees and flowers ranging from prickly palms to colorful chrysanthemums and even carnivorous plants. At the entrance, the helpful staff will provide you with a map, a useful tool considering the garden’s size. On this map you will find suggestions for seasonally appropriate routes allowing you to admire the corresponding foliage. To see everything in this enormous garden, you will find yourself wandering around for several hours. What you see is
Pfaueninselchaussee 1 Wannsee (S1, S7) + Bus 218 Mon - Sat 11:00 am - 7:00 pm €2.50 - €3.00 (ferry)
Just outside the outskirts of Berlin lies the idyllic Peacock Island. The island is 167 acres in size and offers–besides peacocks of course–several places to visit including a castle, a hunting lodge and multiple gardens. It was the summer residence of Friedrich Wilhelm III. The island, which is on the UNESCO world cultural heritage list, has been a wildlife preserve since 1924. A ten minute bus ride from Wannsee Station brings you to the ferry. For three Euros, this ferry takes you across the Havel River to the island. To protect the cultural heritage,
Recreation a sign will inform you that many things like cycling and leaving the paths, smoking, playing ball or listening to audible music is prohibited on the island. The silence you experience while exploring this island is unrivaled. Except for a dozen peacocks and a handful of people, there is little activity on the island. If you are looking for a day of rest or for a romantic walk with your significant other, Peacock Island is the perfect place to escape from the bustle of Berlin. By Sebastiaan Berswerda
Potsdam Sanssouci Park Park Sanssouci, Potsdam Potsdam Hbf (S7) + Tram RE1 Mon-Sun 9:00 am - 5:00 pm (Apr-Oct) Mon-Sun 9:00 am - 4:00 pm (Nov-Mar) www.potsdam-park-sanssouci.de ‘Sans-souci’ - the french meaning of “without a care” was the name given to the breathtaking gardens surrounding Schloss Sanssouci (Sanssouci Palace) in Potsdam. This stunning park was dreamt up by King Frederick the Great in the 18th century. The park’s east entrance will lead you down a majestic avenue guided by pebbled
pathways and plush perfectly trimmed hedge ways. As you stroll leisurely towards the center of the gardens, prepare to be greeted by the marvelous Great Fountain. Built in 1748, this beauty shoots jets of water to a height of 38 meters and sits beneath a vast row of terraced vineyards which lead up to the majestic Sanssouci. Lose yourself amongst mythological marble statues, blossoming fruits, flowers, and charming lakes as you walk the paths of the garden. Along the way, pieces of remarkable structures remain including the gleaming gold adorned Chinesisches Teehaus (Chinese Teahouse), an oriental leaf shaped pavilion. You can’t enter the teahouse, but you can still admire the Chinese inspired sculptures and architectural finishing. The lovely Baroque styled Neue Kammern (New Chambers) marks the park’s western end; for a small fee (2.50-3.00 Euros), you can grab an audio guide and tour the former orangery turned guesthouse. This is quite a bargain considering you can’t enter other buildings in the park. Unspoiled and exquisitely maintained, this picturesque park remains timeless. Just a short train journey from the city center, Sanssouci Park is the perfect spot for a peaceful day out. By Sally Grondowski
Food & Drink Contrary to popular belief, there is far more to Berlin’s culinary repertoire than wurst and beer. The city is home to an array of weird and wonderful eateries, ranging from quaint café’s and themed restaurants, to Imbisses and Turkish kebap joints. From coffee to cake, you’re guaranteed to find a little bit of what you fancy!
Mitte Bandy Brooks Karl-Liebknecht Straße 1 Alexanderplatz Station (U2,U5,U8,S5,S7,S75) Open daily from 9:00 am - 6:00 pm www.bandybrookes.org
Mark Twain themed ice cream parlour Bandy Brooks does not instantly stand out from the crowd. It occupies a fantastic spot overlooking the Berliner Dom by the Spree River. It has a clean but decidedly bland looking interior and their large selection of ice creams and sorbets are unfortunately concealed from the customer by chrome lids. Luckily ice cream is Bandy Brooks’ speciality. Boasting at least ten delicious flavours and four varieties of scrumptious sorbet–with a medium cone/bowl costing a cool 1.90 Euro and a large (let’s call it enormous) one priced at 3.50 Euro-this place is certainly worth a second look. Even better are their range of quirkily named ice cream combos. “Mark Twain’s Best Friend” combines Belgian chocolate, macadamia nut and mocha ice cream with caramel, chocolate sauce and cream, while “Huckleberry’s Finest” appeals to even the most health conscious consumer in blending mango and strawberry sorbet with yummy fresh fruit (cream is optional!). Not ice cream weather? Then why not try a warm Nutella and banana crepe with a couple of their home-made chocolates, washed down with a steaming hot drink. Bandy Brooks also has a second ice cream parlour located on Freidrichstraβe opposite the U-Bahn station, perfectly situated for a post-shopping break. By Victoria Lewis
Kaffee Einstein Friedrichstraβe 206 Friedrichstraβe (U6) Mon - Fri 8:00 am - 12:00 pm Sat-Sun: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm (There are 17 stores in Berlin; hours vary in each) www.einstein-coffeeshops.com Einstein’s Cafes are a thirty year old chain of coffee shops specializing in the science of caffeinated beverages. Stores can be found at various locations throughout Berlin, mostly in busy areas such as Friedrichstraβe or the Ku’damm. Amidst a sea of non-descript fast food eateries and carbon copy Starbucks stores, Einstein’s, with its dark, creamy colored logo stands out. Sporting large windows offering you a view into its immaculately maintained interior, this chain is a tad classier than its competition thus attracting tourists in droves. Boasting a sleek, clean interior, with mahogany tables, leather bound chairs and the scent of freshly ground coffee, Einstein’s
Food & Drink offers a large selection of beverages. Customers can choose from frothy milkshakes, cappuccinos, milkshakes and a wide selection of wines and spirits. If that doesn’t whet your appetite, their juicy, fruity cocktails, fresh sandwiches and delicious muffins might prove very tempting. It might be difficult to nab a table, but if you are prepared to part with a few extra Euros than you would elsewhere, you won’t be disappointed. By Marj Clark
relatively generic with little to make it stand out from the crowd, Balzac offers a warm and inviting environment where one can enjoy a generously sized mug of smooth, rich coffee for just 2.80 Euro. Alongside its range of hot beverages, Balzac also offers a selection of pastries, including banana, apple and lemon breads, chocolate brownies and kirsch-vanille Streuselkuchen. Try a soft, jam-packed Balzac muffin for 2 Euro, or a warm, chewy cookie for 2.25 Euro. If you fancy something savory, you can try one of the varieties of reasonably priced, Italian-inspired sandwiches, such as the rustico country ham, mozzarella bagel or dill-avocado cheese wrap. The continual buzz speaks volumes and is a testament of the reliability of Balzac. With both indoor and outdoor seating available, this chain is great for a cheap and cheerful afternoon fix or grabbing a quick coffee on the go. By Helen Frear
Balzac Coffee Potsdamer Platz 10 Potsdamer Platz Station (U2, S1, S2 , S25) Mon - Fri 6:00 am-11:00 pm Sat 7:00 am - 12:00 am Sun 7:30am-10:00 pm (There are 5 stores in Berlin) www.balzaccoffee.com Balzac Coffee first broke onto Germany’s café scene in 1998, claiming to combine classic coffee culture with the practicalities of the ‘to-go’ philosophy. On entering Balzac, one is immediately stimulated by the aroma of freshly ground coffee, bold décor and buzz of activity. Although the chain’s aesthetic is
“Can I have a coffee please?” “Ich möchte einen Kaffee bitte”
the second floor are accessed by a glass elevator at the rear of the shop. This luxurious eatery offers stunning views of the Gendarmenmarkt, which is best enjoyed with a rich hot chocolate priced at 4.30 Euros and a flavorsome Schokoladentörtchen (chocolate cake) for 3.95 Euros. If you fancy a more extreme dosage of chocolate delight, the restaurant offers skillfully made dishes including Kalbsragout (Ragout of Veal) which is accompanied with cocoa tagliatelle for 11.90 Euros. With a bustling ambiance and accommodating staff, this shops experience is definitely one not to be missed! By Sally Grondowski
Fassbender & Rausch
Charlottenstraβe 60 Stadtmitte (U2,U6) Shop Mon - Sat 10:00 am - 8:00 pm Sun 11:00 am - 8:00 pm Café Mon-Sun 11:00 am - 8:00 pm Restaurant Mon - Fri 12:00 am - 6:00 pm www.fassbender-rausch.de On the corner of Mohrenstraβe and Charlottenstraβe you will discover one of Germany’s most established chocolatiers: Fassbender & Rausch. Before entering this playground of tastiness, have a look at the shop’s marvelous window displays. These exhibit extraordinary handcrafted chocolate replicas of the Titanic, the Reichstag and Brandenburg Gate. The shop’s ground floor holds an impressive array of cabinets filled with chocolate, truffles, pralines, biscuits and similar goods. A gift box filled with lip-smacking confections including petit champagne truffles, praline mousses and decoratively sprinkled dark chocolate panna cottas can be had for as little as 5.75 Euros. The unique Schokoladen-Café and Schokoladen-Restaurant situated on
Beware Bear Tip! You may start developing a food baby after visiting this store!
Nordische Botschaften (Nordic Embassy Lunch)
Rauchstraβe 1 Zoologisches Garten (S3, S5, S7, or S75, alsobus 100 or 200 stops here) Mon- Fri 10:00 am – 11:00 am + 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm lunch from €4.00 - €6.00 www.nordicembassies.org If you’ve ever fancied dining with diplomats, try a trip to the Nordische Botschaften. This turquoise complex, reminiscent of a giant
Food & Drink ice cube, is the rather fitting abode of the Nordic embassies of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. Entry is gained via the maple-clad Felleshus, meaning “house for everyone” in Danish. Exposed concrete walls are attractively softened by wood panels and an airy glass roof creating a surprisingly warm and welcoming Nordic minimalist interior. The canteen, located on the second floor, continues this theme–think upscale Ikea meets a Swedish sauna and you wouldn’t be far off imagining it. Once inside, skip the salad bar and head straight to the hot food counter which serves up a selection of daily specials. Unfortunately there’s not a meatball or pickled herring in sight. Instead, cannelloni, grilled fish or chicken breast with salad or fresh vegetables are offered and the freshly prepared food is of an ambassadorial standard. If the weather’s fine, pull up a pew on the balcony overlooking leafy Rauschstraβe-you’ll be the “envoy” of all your friends! By Victoria Lewis
Cara’s Gourmet Leipziger Platz 1 Potsdamer Platz Station (U2, S1, S2 , S25) Mon-Fri 7.30 am- 9pm Sat 8.30am-9pm Sun 9.30-8pm www.caras.de Cara’s gourmet coffee prides itself on serving only fresh, healthy foods and beverages. This classy chain founded in 1998, boasts a silhouetted lady with a coffee cup hat as its logo, a symbolic reminder of the people growing coffee in other regions of the world. Cara’s sets itself aside from competitors by pioneering its good-will philosophy and setting affordable prices.
Cara’s gourmet boasts a clean, modern and stylish interior in a palette of cream, cool chrome and rich mahogany perfectly complementing its coffees. The chain offers a wide selection of rich and aromatic coffees from around the world including Brazil, Costa Rica, Kenya and even their very own, Cara Cole. House blends are also available; a small, strong Americano for 2.10 Euro. After 6:00 pm, the drinks selection extends to a select bar menu that offers cocktails at happy hour prices from just 3-5 Euros. Combine the joys of both coffee and cocktails with a Cara’s Cubano, or go fresh and fruity with their sweet Summer Punch. Enjoy a light lunch with one of Cara’s freshly prepared salads-the pesto pasta, rocket, cherry tomato and parmesan is a fresh-flavoured delight, or grab a fruit smoothie to go. Whether you’re looking for a sophisticated lunch stop or quick fix, Cara’s is a tasty contender with a good conscience. By Helen Frear
Café am Neuen See
Lichtensteinallee 2, Tiergarten (S5,S7,S75) Open daily from 9am www.cafe-am.neuen-see.de Located in the rambling Tiergarten on the banks of the tranquil Neuer See, this charming lakeside watering-hole and eatery is undoubtedly worth a visit. Sipping on a Bavarian beer under the chestnut trees in the outdoor beer garden whilst being surrounded by colourful flowers tumbling over the rustic wooden decking, it is easy to forget you are in the center of bustling Berlin. Serving a wide range of delicious draught beers and wines, with most prices ranging from 2.60-3.70 Euros, a drink in the Tiergarten won’t make a dent in your pocket. Sample the Sommer Rosewein–a rather unlikely combo of rose with fresh lemon juice and mint as it’s guaranteed to get your taste buds tingling. The self-service café dishes up delicious stone-baked pizzas, steaming hot pretzels, salads, desserts and ice cream in summer. The adjacent (and rather pricy) covered restaurant has a more extensive menu, but in such a beautiful
location, itseems a small price to pay. Those looking to beat the crowds can go for a float on the nearby tranquil lake. Boat hires cost 10 Euro per hour so, sit back, relax and enjoy one of Berlin’s finest summer spots. Victoria Lewis
Queen of Muffins Potsdamer Straße 110 Kurfürstenstraβe (U1) Mon - Sat 8:00 am - 6:00 pm Stepping into the quaint room of the Queen of Muffins shop, you’re welcomed by a friendly smile, a modest atmosphere and a glass display on the counter where you can see an array of mouth-watering pastries. For only 2.80 Euros you can treat yourself to a coffee and a homemade specialty muffin topped with a rich yet light layer of icing and oozing blueberries or raspberries. Take one bite of the fluffy, fruit filled delight and you’ll want to take a dozen home. If the weather’s nice, you can take a seat on one of the wooden chairs outside that are placed perfectly for watching the world go by. This café is a perfect example
Food & Drink of venturing a little further away from the nearest Starbucks; you might just stumble across one of Berlin’s hidden gems. By Louise Cheeseman
surprisingly present as the wood fired oven does a great job preserving the rich flavours. During your meal you might be distracted by the annoying noises of the S-Bahn. Fortunately this can’t even begin to ruin your delicious dish. It might even be difficult to finish off your plate but you can always take the leftovers with you which is definitely recommended because these pizzas are too good to be left behind. By Sebastiaan Berswerda
Zwölf Apostel (Twelve Apostles)
Georgenstraβe 2 Friedrichstraβe (U6) Mon - Fri 11:00am - 12:00pm Fri - Sat 11:00 am - 1:00 am (There another eatery in Charlottenburg) www.12-apostel.de When entering this spacious pizza place, your eyes are immediately drawn to the painted ceiling. Although it’s not a Michelangelo, you can still admire the scene above your head and the matching biblical paintings on the walls. There are some pasta and antipasti dishes, but you should go here for one of the twelve main pizzas—all named after an apostle. However, they cheated a bit with a few names (Magdalena, Levi, Paolo and Markus), but with the quick delivery of pizzas to your table, you’ll soon forgive and forget this error. The full-sized pizzas are massive and don’t even fit on your plate. Despite the behemoth dimensions, taste is still
Beware Bear Tip! When visiting the business lunch on weekdays from 11:00 am to 16:00 pm, all pizzas are only 7 Euro.
Que Pasa Oranienstraβe 27 Oranienburger Straβe (S1,S2,S25) Mon-Sun 11:30 - open ended www.quepasa.at
Que Pasa may not be a traditional German bar, but this Mexican eatery is a must when you come to Berlin. One of a pair, this cheap and cheerful restaurant situated in the Kreuzberg area is packed every night with locals who have just finished work and tourists who are trying out the funky bars in the area. A themed bar in a different country must be tacky right? Not this place. The interior of Que Pasa is very toned down and not over the top. Candle lit tables surround an outside bar on bustling Oranienstraβe making it an ideal spot to enjoy a Mojito on a warm summer’s evening. Not only are the cocktails delicious but the food is plentiful and morish. For 8.50 Euros you can get “The Three Amigos” which consists of a burrito, enchilada and taco that’s accompanied by rice. Or if you can’t finish such a humongous meal, why not try the fajitas for 9.50 Euros. The bar staff are very friendly with their cheeky banter and easy going attitudes. You’re guaranteed to have a fantastic night with cheap drinks and delightful food. By Megan Lumsden
“Can I see the menu please?” “Kann ich die Speisekarte sehen, bitte?”
Prenzlauerberg Anna Blume Kollwitzstraβe 83 Senerfelderplatz (U2) Open Daily 8am – 2am www.cafe.anna-blume.de Situated on leafy Kollwitzstraβe, this chic corner café with attached flower shop is the perfect spot to soak up Prenzlauer Berg street life in summer and to cosy up in winter. Boasting an Art Nouveau interior designed by Thomas Steiffert and streetside tables underneath sycamore trees, Anna Blume oozes romance and tranquillity. Try the signature tiered breakfast, crepes, fresh salads and sandwiches with their wide selection of coffees and speciality teas. The Anne Blume “cake bar” is a cakelovers’ paradise. It offers a wide variety of delicious homemade Teutonic treats such as Himbeer Sahne and Schokoladen Praline. Mouth-wateringly moreish and satisfyingly
Food & Drink sweet, a mammoth-sized slice costs from 2.90 – 3.50 euros, and be warned, these cakes are seriously good! Late risers should not miss the warm lunch menu, and after 5pm a freshly-prepared evening menu is also available. Arty floral creations adorn each table and can be ordered from the flower shop while you eat which is a novel concept that adds to this café’s appeal. Please note: cheeky sparrows hop between outside tables, so leave food unattended at your peril!! By Victoria Lewis
Café CK Marienburger Straβe 49 Senefelderplatz (U2) Mon-Fri 08:00-19:00 Sat-Sun 09:00-19:00 http://cafeckberlin.com/ Picture the scene: One lazy afternoon, you are strolling down the Marienburger Straβe close to the Rosa-Luxemburg U-bahn in need of a quiet coffee fix. A brightly coloured building coated in a vivid orange, yellow and blue paintwork catches your attention, enticing you to see what lies behind the daring walls. You have reached Café CK. This exclusive coffee shop prides itself with a wide variety of beans from across the world. For bursts of highly intense flavor go for the rich expresso macchiato priced at 2.30 Euro or the creamy Caffe Latte auf vanilleeis priced at 4.30 Euro. The rest of the drinks menu also includes an array of teas, juices and alcoholic refreshments. To ease off the afternoon hunger cravings, a wide range of delicacies is offered. For a burst of cherry goodness, try the Kirschstreusel priced at 2.70 Euro, or a generous slice of the tantalizingly moist Banana Bread, priced at 2.30 Euro.
Soak up the quirky coffee cup lighting and snug seating arrangements. With free Wi-fi readily available and a broad selection of books, magazines and board games to entertain, this one off coffee shop is well equipped for a keen bean looking for a place off the beaten track! By Sally Grondowski
Bonanza Coffee Roasters Oderburger Straβe 35 Eberswalderstraβe (U2) Mon – Fri 08:30 – 19:00 Sat - Sun 10:00 - 19:00 http://www.bonanzacoffee.de/ Bonanza Coffee Roasters is rightly hailed as one of Berlin’s hippest coffee houses. Situated on breezy Oderburger Straβe, its striking, stripped down décor gives it an edgy appeal. While the outdoor seating area remains continental, Bonanza’s appearance looks more like a busy warehouse than a cafe. Step inside to experience the art of serious coffee making. Canvas bags filled with beans line each corner and half the store is taken up by massive, elaborate machinery designed to make the perfect brew. These mysterious contraptions are masterfully handled by an industrious staff who forms an orderly, precise production line. The menu is so varied, picking the perfect blend is tricky. With coffee sourced from all over the world, you’re spoiled for choice. Bonanza also possesses an exceptionally rare coffee grinder–one of only three in Europe–that slowly draws flavor out the bean. You can actually smell the difference in the air. The rich aroma, sweet tangy taste and sheer effort poured into each cup crowns Bonanza as the indisputable king of coffee. By Marj Clark
feta, mint and freshly hand squeezed lemon juice top off this delightful miniature feast. The only unfortunate feature is the lengthy wait time, however the relentlessly long line for Mustafas kebaps is a clear testament to the excellence of his modest, satisfying and applause worthy meals. By Lily Prasuethsut
Hard Rock Cafe
Mustafas Gemüse Kebap
Kurfürstendamm ( U1, U9) Restaurant Sun - Thu 11:30 am – 11:30 pm Fri - Sat 11:30 am – 12:30 pm Bar Mon-sun 11:30 am – Late www.hardrock.de
Mehringdamm 32 Mehringdamm (U6) Mon - Sun 10:00 am – 2:00 am €2.50 - €2.90 www.mustafas.de Mustafas Gemüse Kebap arguably supplies the inhabitants and travelers of Berlin with perhaps the finest kebaps in the city. The imbiss stall is clean and offers its customers an open view of the kebaps’ creation where the fresh vegetable mixture is kept in the front along with a massive stack of compacted chicken hypnotically rotating on a vertical rotisserie. The menu is delightfully simple and provides customers with two choices: a chicken kebap or a vegetarian kebap. Both are served either as a döner, which is a popular pita-syled bread for those unfamiliar, or a long, tin foiled wrap. Generously tucked in between layers of lettuce, tomatoes and perfectly grilled potatoes, carrots and eggplant are Mustafa’s delectable sauces: a tangy secret sauce, spicy sauce and garlic sauce all spread across the bread providing each bite with a robust burst of flavor. If chicken is preferred, tender slices are carved off the rotisserie and spread alongside the veggies. Crumbled
If you’re looking for a fun time and a particularly notorious tourist trap, go to the Kurfurstendamm to find the Hard Rock Café. Inside, you will be greeted with a friendly welcome and a shiny modern contemporary design. Like most Hard Rock cafes, there is also a Rock shop, located on the left as you walk in (with limited edition t-shirts for around 25 Euros) and authentic memorabilia dotted around its two floors. Upstairs, apart from another bar, you can find one of Jimi Hendrix’s guitars, as well as a little something left behind by Elvis Presley himself. If you’ve been to one of these chains before, you probably know what to expect from their menu. But if not, then you’re in for a bit of a treat. With nachos, legendary burgers for around 15 Euros, a variety of sandwiches and calorie-busting desserts the only problem you might have is finding room to fit it all in as the food will surely not disappoint. By Louise Cheeseman
Food & Drink
Haci Baba Kebabhaus
Adalbertstraβe 88 Kottbusser Tor (U1, U8) Open 24/7 €2 .00 - €4.00
Adalbertstraβe 93 Kottbusser Tor (U1, U8) 11:00 am-2:00 am www.maroush-berlin.de €2.00 - €5.00
From the outside, Haci Baba looks like just another of the many kebab shops lining the streets of Kreuzberg. Its neon orange signs, plastic outside seating area and clean tiled interior conform to what seems to be the Berlin kebab shop standard. The food, however, is anything but ordinary. Just 2 Euros will buy you one of the biggest and tastiest döner kebabs around. Served in a giant pita-like bread and packed with succulent meat, fresh lettuce, tomatoes and onions, not to mention an array of sauces, a kebab from Haci Baba may just change your view of kebabs forever. For those who don’t fancy such an overload, the dürum kebab (kebab wrap) is just up your street. These bad-boys are so big you will probably have to save some for later. Haci Baba also serves a variety of other kebab-based options such as Turkish Pizza, while vegetarians are also well catered to in the form of falafels and chips. Add to the mix some very friendly, funny staff and you’ll be a regular in no time! By Victoria Lewis
Hiding amongst the hubbub of the Kottbusser Tor area is Maroush. A restaurant that feels and looks like a Lebanese oasis amidst the chaos of downtown Adalbert Straβe. Its walls are adorned with elaborate ottoman patterned paint decals. The menu looks like a large, unreadable roll of ancient papyrus, which is fits in perfectly with this tiny, modest shop front. The tables are simple “take-away” style yet its well worth sitting down for these meals, as you’ll probably want to scarf down your dish in one go. All their plated meals come with a delightful assortment of aromatically spiced salads and pickled vegetables. You can also request traditional stuffed vine leaves. But if you don’t have the time to hang around, you can grab any of these options in tinfoiled pita bread to take away. The falafels are hand prepared per order and fried to perfection. It’s also handy to know that with the massive variety of vegetables, all these sandwiches are full of vitamins and therefore a super healthy alternative to your average kebap. By Hera Sparnon
Kebaps So Good You Can Eat Them Sober! Unless you still haven’t recovered from jetlag then you’ve probably noticed the abundance of kebap shops in this city. The food is surprisingly fresh and tasty, considering it’s so well priced. Most takeaway treats will only set you back 2-4 Euros which can make preparing food from scratch at your accommodation seem almost completely inefficient. In 1971 Mehmet Aygüna; a Kreuzburgian Turkish immigrant who opened “Hasir’s restaurant” pioneered the technique of placing traditional Turkish kebap meat and salad into pieces of bread. A humble man in one act of culinary ingenuity had created a streetmeal sensation that would spread across the world as the “döner 83 kebap.” Today Berlin’s standard is still arguably the best in the world, and for 2-3 Euros, it’s hard to resist a döner-a-day diet.
Cheap Eats on the Street €1.50 - €4 Currywurst: Sausage drowned in ketchup with curry powder on top. Super cheap but
this is one of those “love it or hate it” foods! Served with chips or bread it can be quite tasty but the nutritional content is questionable…
€2 - €5 Fried Noodles: Served with pseudo fresh vegetables for as little as two Euros. Cost
effective and usually yummy.
€4 - €8 Burgers:
Unlike everywhere else in the world, a burger in Berlin can be a classy affair. Usually pricier then other street foods generally because places like “Burgermeister” and “Kreuzburger” make a burger so good it’s worth every penny.
Food & Drink
Standard Doner Kebap
Usually lamb meat roasted expertly on a rotating column. The typical sauce arrangement is garlic, yogurt and spicy chilli but these and the salad options can be picked per your individual preference. For the “poorer cousin” equivalent, try a Turkish pizza; with salad, the flat bread baked with mincemeat and herbs, this is a smaller meal for a smaller cost but should still fill a grumbling tummy. A quick note: often the grumpier the kebab maker, the better the doner.
Our pick: Haci Baba Kebap
Vegetarian? No problem! Falafel is another traditional Turkish fair and an irresistible meat alternative. In most areas falafel stores are abundant. The handmade mixture of parsley, chickpea, couscous and garlic is traditionally molded and deep fried to order, served in bread with the typical assortment of salad and sometimes even bonus ingredients like pickled vegetables. Falafel is also usually available at regular kebaparies, but they are usually mass-produced and microwaved making them not quite as impressive.
Our Pick: Moroush
Gemüse (ge-moose) Kebap
Filled instead with a delightful array of marinated and cooked Mediterranean vegetables, the “gemüse” variety can also have chicken, but the vegetables are usually so tasty you’re not missing anything if you go without (except an extra 50 cents). The gemüse kebab can also feature extra “gourmet” ingredients such as extra sauces, feta cheese, mint and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Our Pick: Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebap
By Hera Sparnon
Shopping Berlinâ€™s shopping scene is brimming with haute couture and shabby-chic styles making the city one of the fastest growing fashion meccas in Europe. With the commercial stores and malls on KurfĂźrstendamm to vintage shops and boutiques of Kreuzberg and Prenzlauerberg, Berlin has it all. This section of the travel guide has a wide variety of shops for you to go out and grab the best deals off the rack.
Do You Read Me?
Auguststraβe 28 Oranienburger Tor (U6) Rosenthaler Platz (U8) Mon - Sat 10:00 am – 7:30 pm www.doyoureadme.de
Wörther Straße 27 Senefelder Platz (U2) Mon - Fri 11:00 am - 8:00 pm Sat 11:00 am - 7:00 pm www.saintgeorgesbookshop.com
Somewhat hidden in the long Auguststraβe you can find Do You Read Me, a unique bookstore that specializes in contemporary magazines, books and journals ranging from photography, art, philosophy, “creativity” and more. When you enter the small establishment, you will initially wonder why this bookstore is so special, but soon you’ll notice the unique items they have to offer. Themes such as Cycling in the Alps, Sex in Advertising or Enjoying Rum are all to be found on the shelves of this neat little shop. They even offer books from all corners of the world and include many foreign languages like Russian and French. You’ll find yourself enthusiastically flicking through the various magazines for a considerable amount of time. Do You Read Me is the perfect place to admire niche magazines, and you most likely will find yourself leaving this little shop with at least two or four obscure magazines.
Founded in 2003, St. George’s bookstore is one of the few in Berlin, or perhaps all of Germany to provide customers with English language books. Primarily second hand, with an emphasis on buying back from customers, the bookstore still maintains a professional demeanor with a hint of scruffiness. The shelves in the front focus largely on philosophy, theory, fiction and German history. As you make your way to the back of the store, you’ll walk by the register on your right and volumes of poetry on your left; names like Pound, Ginsberg, Bukowski, Plath, and Walcott (among many others) can be found here. If you find an interesting book on the history of Berlin, you can hunker down in a cozy seating area on a worn yet comfortable sofa. The workers are usually nearby stocking shelves, ringing people up, or guiding people to their appropriate sections. Light indie music can be heard in the background perfectly complementing St. George’s atmosphere. English speaking students and natives desiring English material are frequent customers you can see milling around the
By Sebastiaan Berswerda
Shopping store. If you are in desperate need of the latest book in English, or the calming smell of good literature, St. George’s is definitely the place to go. By Lily Prasuethsut
Who Killed Bambi? Eberswalder Straβe 26 Eberwalder Straβe (U2) Mon - Thu 11:00 am - 8:00 pm Fri - Sat 11:00am - 9:00 pm Price range €14.00 - €40.00 Who killed Bambi? Well you won’t find the answer here but what you will find are outrageously cool tees and wacky print dresses that make you think of hippie/ Bohemian styles. This awesome store is not just limited to one area of Berlin. There are in fact three Who Killed Bambi? stores dotted around this sleepless town. Not only does this great store stock brand new clothes but it also hosts customized vintage apparel which makes finding abstract and unique items so much simpler. Even the interior of each store is completely different meaning a separate trip to each store a must. A relaxing, electronic array of sounds follow you as you take a look around this store so why not go and check it out for your fine self! By Megan Lumsden
Mankii Vintage Gormannstraβe, 16 Rosa Luxemburg (U2) Mon - Sat 11:00 am - 7:00 pm Price range €10.00 - €100.00 www.facebook.com/mankii.vintage.de One rising star within the countless vintages stores in Berlin that deserves your attention is Mankii Vintage. Inside, expect to discover garments and glitter galore. From the glamorous 40s to the glaringly neon 90s, store owner Jasmine has selected the best items from sixty decades of fashion. She hosts a diverse range of skirts, dresses, woollen wares, t-shirts and accessories— all of which are in good condition. Her boutique is orderly and modest, yet the quirky displays of dolls and ornaments in each corner add a creative, playful streak. Clothing isn’t always cheap. The average cost of a jumper, for example, is fifty Euros. However, some bargains can still be found. To compensate for the added cost, the quality of the clothing is a cut from above. The added charm of her affordable homemade jewellery, knitted doll display and her adorable pet dog Lulu—who appears as a doorman and instore model—all combine to make Mankii a must-see on your Berlin bucket list. By Marj Clark
Alte Schönhauser straβe 50, Rosa-Luxembergplatz (U2) Mon - Sat 11:00 am - 8:00 pm Price range €12.00 - €30.00
Mulackstraβe 7 Weinmeisterstraβe (U8) Mon - Fri 11:30 am - 7:30 pm Sat 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm Price range: Price: €12.50 - €800.00 www.lalaberlin.com
If it’s affordable, fashionable clothes you’re after then 24 Colours is the shop for you. All the items in this wünderbar shop are top quality, made from the softest cotton, denim and wool, and the brightest materials. There’s everything from t-shirts with cool animal prints and photography prints to jersey sports jackets to super short denim shorts. Everything is very reasonably priced and available in a variety of sizes so you are bound to find something that’ll fit. Not only is it a great value but as you wander through the store, soft minimal tunes accompany your shopping experience. Additionally, the staff is very friendly and helpful. You even get free jelly beans and other sweets with each purchase. By Megan Lumsden
Leyla Piedayesh, a former editor for MTV left her music snipping job to set up Lala Berlin, a magnificent boutique that is filled with delightful garments. When you walk into this beautifully laid out shop, you are greeted by a happy employee who graciously shows you the designer items displayed around the room. The layout of this lovely shop is color coordinated with a crisp, white background. Everything off the hanger is laid out so neatly, you almost don’t want to disturb the effortless folds. There is such an eclectic variety of items that can be purchased from Lala Berlin. Elegant, floaty dresses to airy blouses and even note pads, ready for you to fill with memories of travel excursions, can be found in this store. There are also tons of patterned scarves sitting in a simple, quirky cabinet.
Shopping A mixture of hip hop, minimal house and electronica plays as you browse through the upscale array of clothes. Lala is at best, a great place to window shop. Or if you want someone to treat you to some expensive, lavish apparel take them here! By Megan Lumsden
Sanderstraβe 11, Schönleinstraβe (U8) 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm Price range €12.00 - €40.00
Chaos in Form Falckensteinstraβe 46 Schlesisches Tor (U1) Mon - Wed 12:00 pm - 9:00 pm Thu - Sat 12:00 pm - 12:00 am Price range €12.00 - €40.00 If it’s one-of-a-kind, wacky t-shirts, leggings and vest tops you’re after, then Chaos in Form is a must. Nestled in Kreuzberg just minutes from Schlesisches Tor U-Bahn, C.i.F. is bursting with color and life. Each item of clothing or retro styled necklace and rings gets its picture taken before you leave the store. Because each item has its very own print, the store keeps a portfolio to keep track of each unique item. From crazy aliens to super models and acid house smiley faces, this place is full to the brim with one of a kind designs. Outside the shop, a group of tables and chairs are conveniently provided so once you’re done shopping, you can chill. This is one of the many eye catching features of C.i.F because the chairs and tables are colored brightly and distinctively mimicking the treasures inside. By Megan Lumsden
In the Neukölln area of Berlin, you’ll find thriving second hand and vintage store Sing Blackbird, but with a twist; there is a lovely cafe mixed in with the shop. On top of that, you can take clothes into the shop and sell them! Before you even step foot into Sing Blackbird, you can smell the scrumptious food being prepared in the kitchen. Go in further and the scent grows stronger. Turn left and the art gallery-esque shop opens for your shopping desires. Everything is sorted into various sections. From ladies smart to casual apparel, accessories and shoes to band shirts and big, warm wooly jumpers. It even has a 70% off section, which is handy because some of the items in the store are a tad expensive. Another great thing about this rockin’ place: every year the staff celebrates Sing Blackbird’s birthday with a huge techno, dance filled night. Prince Charles is just one of the DJ’s that has headlined this event. So, bring a bag of clothes, sell them, and treat yourself to some Sing Blackbird merchandise. It’s a win-win situation. By Megan Lumsden
Türkenmarkt Maybachufer Schönleinstraβe (U8) Tues - Fri 12:00 am – 6:00 pm
Kaufhaus des WestensKaDeWe
Every Tuesday and Friday afternoon, this colourful fresh food and goods market brings a taste of the Bosphorus to Berlin. Lining the canal along Maybachufer, a visit the Türkenmarkt feels like a trip to a Middle Eastern bazaar. Exotic aromas drift through the air as veiled housewives jostle for position to get the best price from moustachioed vendors hawking their wares. With tables bursting with fresh fruit, vegetables, flatbreads, olives, clothes, herbs and spices, it’s hard not be by enticed by this bustling market’s charms. If the sheer variety of goods on sale does not have you drooling, the knock-down prices will, so ditch the supermarket and stock up here instead. But remember, Middle Eastern rules apply so be prepared to barter to bag a bargain. If your bags are heavy and your pockets a little lighter, take a break from bartering and stop by a streetside food stand for some typical Turkish fare. Try a piping hot Gözleme (Turkish savoury pastry)with creamy feta and spinach for a scrumptious snack and wash it down with freshly squeezed orange juice. Then take your purchases and follow the Landwehrkanal west along leafy Planufer to the aptly named Urbanhafen, a pretty little lakeside park perfect for picnics! By Victoria Lewis
Tauentzienstraße 21-24 Wittenbergplatz (U1) Mon - Thu 10:00 am - 8:00 pm Fri 10:00 -21:00 Sat 9:30 am - 8:00 pm www.kadewe.de Whoever came up with the phrase “variety is the spice of life” must have been referring to Europe’s leading department store Kaufhaus des Westens. This imposing, seven story building can be found on Wittenbergplatz, in the Schönberg district. Opening its doors in 1905, Berlin merchant Adolf Jandorf decided to present customers with an array of desirable goods from all over the world thus setting new standards in service and always keeping a step ahead of its competition. Today this high end store is comparable to the glorified Bloomingdales in New York. On entering this luxurious treasure chest, you will be bombarded by brands galore. The first five floors showcase designer labels ranging from Hugo Boss to Coco Chanel offering a vast amount of beauty products, cosmetics, house hold goods, stationary and the latest multimedia merchandise. Journey to the sixth floor and let your senses feast on the vast selection of excoticly coloured fruits, succulent breads and unusual cheeses. Displayed beneath rich golden décor, even the packaging gleams grandeur! Champagne, chocolate and café bars are also available on this floor teasing and tempting. To finish off this priceless experience, visit the Wintergarten restaurant on the top floor for a delicately arranged buffet of
Shopping gourmet cuisine. For a sweet afternoon treat try a deluxe sized portion of the apfelstrudel mit sahne und vanilleeis (apple strudel with vanilla ice cream) for 4.95 Euros. This fashionable lounge also presents splendid views across Berlin. Youâ€™ll probably leave the KaDeWe with a hole in your pocket, but you sure wonâ€™t regret it! By Sally Grondowski
The Kurfürstendamm (The Ku’damm)
Kurfürstendamm Kurfürstendamm (U1/U9) Most shops are open Mon - Sat 9:00 pm -10:00 pm closing between 8:00 am -10:00pm Kurfürstendamm is to Berlin what Oxford Street is to London, or 5th Avenue is to New York. Locally known as the Ku’damm, the 3.5 kilometer long boulevard is home to a wide array of shops, hotels and restaurants. The boulevard was originally constructed as a pathway for Elector Prince Joachim II to allow him to pass from his palace, located in the Unter den Linden, to his hunting lodge in the Forest of Grünewald. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, statesman Otto Von Bismarck oversaw the renovation of the Ku’daam into a luxurious, leafy boulevard lined with ornate villas. During the roaring twenties the boulevard was the centre of leisure and nightlife in Berlin. Like much of the city, the Ku’damm’s architecture suffered severe damage from air raids during the Second World War, destroying many buildings and rendering many of the grand villas irreparable. The Ku’damm has, however, retained its reputation for luxury and opulence. The section between Fasanenstraße and Olivaer Platz is home to the flagship store of German designer Jil Sander, a master of individually tailored elegance. Other world renowned names such as Gucci, Gianni Versace and Jean Paul Gaultier sit in this section as well. Strolling towards the top
end of the Ku’damm, where Breitscheidplatz merges into Tauentzienstraße, one will come across a number of department stores including mainland Europe’s largest, the lavish KaDeWe. High street chains such as Mango, Zara, Urban Outfitters, Bershka and H&M are peppered amongst the designer stores and exclusive boutiques, accounting for all tastes and budgets. Countless cafés cater to weary shoppers and those who wish to relax and soak up Berlin’s effortlessly cool coffee culture. Choose from global giants such as Starbucks and The Hard Rock Café, German chains such as Cara’s Coffee or one of the many independent coffee shops. The Ku’damm also offers a wide variety of culinary treats, including numerous ice cream parlors, bakeries and fresh-fruit smoothie stands. Leysieffer’s chocolate shop has occupied the same location on the boulevard for over a century, in which they have perfected the art of truffle making, gingerbread cookie baking and many more wonderful, handmade products. It’s also worth exploring the side streets that lead onto the Ku’damm as they are filled with quirky cafés, antique shops, junk shops, boutiques, and chic hair salons set in Berlin apartment houses from the turn of the nineteenth-century. Once a symbol of Berlin’s wealth and prosperity, the Kurfürstendamm remains today, a vibrant and popular shopping destination for both visitors and Berliners. By Helen Frear
Charlottenburg Garage Ahornstraβe 2 Nollendorfplatz (U1/U2) Mon to Fri 11:00-19:00 Sat 11:00 am - 6:00 pm Price range €1.00 - €20.00
Just off of Einemstraβe and less than 2 minutes from Nollendorfplatz, lies a second hand, vintage lover’s paradise called Garage. When entering down the stairs, you’re met with a wall-to-wall room of clothes and color making it impossible to know where to start. There are clothing styles from nearly every decade of the 20th century; from elegant sequined dresses of the 40s, American high school letterman jackets of the 50s, psychedelic tie-dye trousers of the 60s, massive flares that ruled the 70s, bat winged jumpers of the 80s and retro Adidas track suit jackets of the 90s are just a few in this varied shop. Musical intonations of jazz or disco play in the background allowing for a cheeky dance as you gleefully load your arms with apparel. The beauty of this vintage haven is that clothes can be bought by the kilo for a measly 17.99 Euros! Even if a kilo is too much, clothes are still cheap as t-shirts, dresses and jeans cost between 1-19.99 Euros. Baskets for the kilo can be found at the tills to the left of the entrance. The staff seems to think they are too cool for school, but this shouldn’t be a bother since you only see them when you pay. Plus, the prices and assortment of clothes definitely surpasses the snobby workers. By Megan Lumsden
Beware Bear tip! Make sure to check your baggage allowance before entering this shop!
Shopping Planet Headquarters Schlüterstraβe 35 Uhlandstraβe (U1) Mon-Fri 1:30pm - 6:30 pm Sat 11:30 am - 6:00 pm Price range €30.00 - €100.00 In the buzzing area of Charlottenberg, lies a store that stands out called Planet Headquarters. Open since 1985, Planet Headquarters offers a wide variety of clothing and accessories. Brands from Religion to America Vintage and Converse can be found across the store. Band tees like the Ramones can be found here as well. A lot of unusual but high quality items make the shopping experience far more interesting than going to your typical brand name stores. Not only are the bags, clothes and shoes super cool, the staff are even cooler. They are willing to help with any queries about sizes and where the changing rooms are, or if you just want to have a little chat, they’re more than happy to talk your ear off. Although the jeans, trainers and t-shirts are ace, they are a bit pricey; however, the quality and uniqueness of Planet Headquarters makes this trip worth it. By Megan Lumsden
How big is that? “Wie Gross ist das?”
Nightlife & Music Famed for its hedonistic club culture and constantly evolving music scene, Berlin is a thriving creative hub with music at its beating heart. All night techno temples and achingly cool jazz haunts keep this city awake catering to the most eclectic tastes. Berlin loves to party, and in a city where beer is cheaper than water, you know youâ€™re in for a good time.
Surviving “The Scene”
The perfect night out from Berlinsiders resident party boy, Adam Harris.
Berlin has one of the best nightlife scenes in Germany, if not Europe. It even competes with New York in being “the city that never sleeps.” Whether it’s the famous techno, mysterious underground or edgy punk scenes you crave, Berlin’s got it all. The biggest secret to surviving a night in in Berlin is to pace yourself. In true laid-back European fashion, there are no laws on the length of a party. No boring sound pollution laws. No silly licensing laws. Nothing. Berlin is one of the few places where they actually listened to the Beastie Boys and gave the people the “Right to Party.” Most clubs won’t bother opening their doors until 11:00 pm and the party doesn’t actually start until two or three in the morning.
“ Although not strictly legal, drinking on the street is tolerated by the authorities ”
“ The biggest secret to surviving a night in Berlin is to pace yourself. “
I repeat, pace yourself. It is possible to have days where you can stop by Yaam (pg #) for a cheeky afternoon drink and end up not even making to the club so use your common sense. Most Berliners pre-drink at bars before hitting the clubs. Bars like Barbie Deinhoff’s (page 106), Yesterday (page 102) and the Weineri Forum (page 102) are all great places to socialize and intoxicate yourselves before proceeding onwards to a club. You may be thinking that pre-drinking at bars is going to double your costs of a night out but that isn’t necessarily true. Entry is usually free to five Euros, beer is around 2.50-4.00 Euros and spirits and mixers are around 4.50-6.00 Euros. Bars are not the only way Berliners prepare themselves for a big night out. Many people flock to see live music. Venues such as Lido (page 107) offer live music every night with a range of acts from indie
Nightlife & Music “ Berlin’s nightlife is a huge part of its culture. “ to heavy punk to Balkan Beats and even comedy shows. Although not strictly legal, drinking on the street is tolerated by the authorities so you will find that the majority of people on a night out will have some form of drink attached to their hands. Most food joints will sell drinks to go and almost all shops have a handy dandy bottle opener on the counter for your convenience. Be sure to finish your drink before you reach the club as some places have completely random door policies and will single out the drunk or drunk-esque tourists among the crowd. Berlin’s nightlife is probably most famous for its long list of superb clubs. KaterHolzig, Berghain, Tresor, White Trash and Cookies (pg #) are just a few clubs rated very highly amongst Berliners. Expect to leave very late and very drunk. Your best chance of hearing about one of Berlin’s notorious underground clubs is leaving a club. Those with enough stamina will have a huge advantage at this point as underground clubs come and go on a daily basis; just because you get invited one night, doesn’t mean you’ll be invited back the next time. Don’t be under the impression that soaking up the culture is limited to seeing the Berlin Wall, Reichstag and Checkpoint Charlie. You are severely mistaken. Berlin’s nightlife is a huge part of its culture. Set aside a day to experience the coolest, hippest bars and dance in some of the most famous and electric clubs in the world. After all, you are on holiday in Berlin.
Mitte B-Flat—Wednesday Jam Night Rosenthaler Straβe 13 Rosenthaler Platz (U8, S5, S7, S75) Sun - Thu 8:00 pm - late Fri - Sat 9:00 pm - late www.b-flat-berlin.de
There are few places in the world that really ‘get’ jazz. B-Flat provides a dimly lit and intimate environment for musical magic to happen. B-Flat’s Wednesday “Jam Night” provides improvised jazz performed by a variety of artists from different cultural, musical and geographical backgrounds. A drummer from Chicago may play with a young Berlin-born saxophonist to create a Cuban spiced rhythm line. Whatever the mix, the musicians utilize the simple musical framework of jazz and build an elaborate meld of melodies. As you squeeze into the low seats with candle lit tables, don’t forget to talk to the people around you. On a jam night, the majority of the crowd is full of musicians waiting for their shot at the stage. “What do you play?” is a valid and exciting topic of conversation. At the end of each set, the stage is cleared and new performers eagerly take their place. If you feel like a night of solid musical appreciation, go to B-Flat’s and you will bear witness to some of the best performances of your life. By Hera Sparnon
Absinthe Depot Weinmeisterstraβe 4 Rosenthaler Straβe (U8) Mon – Fri 2:00 pm - 12:00 am Sat 1:00 pm - 12:00 am www.erstesabsinthdepotberlin.de Fancy a memorable night out in Berlin? If the answer is yes, don’t go to the Absinthe Depot. It’s not a bad place to party- you’re just likely to get excessively drunk. This super cool shop on Weinmeister Straβe turns into a bewitching bar during the evening. With over 50 types of surprisingly tasty absinthe to try, you’re guaranteed to have an interesting night. From gentle, fruity flavours and absinthe-based cocktails to shots that are barely legal, this bar’s got the lot. After sampling some of the Depot’s wares, you might find yourself stumbling home. Fortunately the staff is responsible and won’t let you get too wasted so
Nightlife & Music shots are watered down and sugared to soften the blow of this powerful spirit. The interior of the Absinthe Depot is old fashioned, kitschy. The Depot is featured on many bar crawls, so expect it to be teeming with tourists. Drinks can be expensive, but gloating about a night spent here will turn your friends green with envy. By Marj Clark
“What is your phone number?” “ Was ist deine Telefonnummer?”
Cookies Friedrichstraβe 158-164 Franzsösiche Straβe (U6) Tue - Sun 7:00 pm - late €10 and up www.cookies.ch Cookies is one of Berlin’s quintessential nightclubs making it a common hangout for international celebrities. Located on Friedrichstraβe, this cult destination is central to Germany’s vibrant dance music scene. Open primarily on Tuesday and Thursday nights, Cookies is one of the most buzzing venues for the midweek party crowd. Its dark, atmospheric interior holds many surprises, including smaller rooms adjacent to the dance floor where you can scrawl on the walls with chalk, or take a disco break and chill out on the sofas. Drink prices are very reasonable, staff are friendly, and the unique union of musical genres mixed together by the DJ’s can cause a frenzy or chill the crowd out in equal measure. You can alternate between rooms with each keeping the perfect balance between floating melodies and throbbing bass. Hosting a number of guest DJ’s from clubs all over Berlin, every night spent here is likely to be diverse. One thing that Cookies guarantees is a good time, making it a hit with both Berliners and international guests alike. By Marj Clark
Weekend Bar Alexanderstraße 7 Alexanderplatz Station (U2, U5, U8) Thu – Sun 11:00 pm – 6:00 am €12 www.week-end-berlin.de Hidden away, on the thirteenth floor of a high-rise office block close to Alexanderplatz station, lies the stylish Weekend bar. What’s more, the entrance is a little concealed with no signs, so keep an eye out for the Humana vintage clothing store! Once you’ve paid, walk around and you’re greeted by four lifts waiting to take you up. Surrounded by an array of sweeping panoramic windows that provides you with an overall view of Alexenderplatz, the circular bar is in the middle as you walk in. It’s lit up by a radiant glow from frantic flashing lights surging in time with the beat of the music. Positioned underneath the windows are rows of seats that allow you to take in Berlin —they’re perfect to slump down in when all that dancing becomes a little too much. A DJ box at the other end of the room smashes out the latest techno hits onto the pulsating dance floor. Smokers get their own room too.
Drinks prices can range between three Euros for a bottle of beer to seven Euros for a spirit and a mixer, but with its extensive opening hours, spacious floors and gorgeous view, it makes for a great place to party until sunrise. By Louise Cheeseman
Prenzlauerberg Weinerei Forum Fehrbelliner Straße 57 Rosenthaler Platz (U8) Cafe Mon - Sat. 10:00 am - 8:00 pm Sun 11:00 am - 8:00 pm All you can drink 8 :00 pm - 12: 00 am €2.00 www.weinerei.com/forum
Located at the intersection of Fehrbelliner Straβe and Veteranenstraβe lies the shabby chic Weinerei Forum. The concept of this establishment is quite simple. Pay two euro at the entrance and get a glass from the bartender. You may refill this glass as often as you want with a variety of low quality (and sometimes unlabeled) white, red and rosé wines. Upon departure you pay an amount what you would have given in a bar or café. Although this bar advertises with a “pay what you want” promise, they don’t actually follow this policy. Impolite staff asks you
Do you have Facebook? “ Sind sie auf Facebook?”
specifically to keep track how many glasses you’ve had throughout the evening. While sipping away they will be counting their money to see what the proceeds are of the evening thus far. Expect an angry stare from the staff if you pay less than what they expect you to pay. All in all, there is a somewhat oppressing atmosphere. If you can’t be bothered by that and if your taste in wine is not so exquisite, then the Weinerei is an excellent location for a pre-drinking party. By Sebastiaan Berswerda
Yesterday Metzer Straβe 2 Senefelderplatz (U2) Daily 8:00 am - 5:00 pm Free entry, drinks between €3.50 – €8 www.musikbaryesterday.de Leave your troubles at the door of Yesterday, let your hair down and have a laugh. Set in the busy district of Prenzlauer Berg, it’s a cheesily themed time warp bar that lacks pretention, but is not short of furry pillows and psychedelic lamps. Its décor is an overzealous display of 60s and 70s decadence. Try your hand at an archaic pinball machine before crashing on one of the cushioned chairs. It’s sensory overload where patterns clash, decades collide and fashions wrestle each other in a rainbow cascade of trend stereotypes. Its overwhelming appearance is enough to make you dizzy–and that’s before you’ve had a drink. To match its “far out” ambiance, Yesterday offers many crazy cocktail concoctions. Complete with contrived names, the drinks menu, much like the bar, is aimed at Berlin’s tourist market. Not exactly
Nightlife & Music cheap and not reflective of Berlin’s edgy bar culture, Yesterday is still fun if you want a silly night out. Pose like Twiggy beside one of the mannequins and dance to some dated Europop before hitting somewhere more adventurous. By Marj Clark
Friedrichshain Yaam Beach Bar Stralauer Platz 35 Ostbahnhof (S1, S3, S5, S75) www.yaam.de 10:00 am - late Yaam is one of the most diverse bars in Berlin. Tucked away behind the colorful East Side Gallery, it offers a breath of fresh air from the inundating city streets.
Slip into this vibrant multicultural hangout and you can expect to find cozy canopies, deck chairs and hammocks all within spray-painted walls. Kick off your shoes and play on the sandy deck area before sipping on a delicious coconut flavoured cocktail. Yaam’s impressive space expands to cover a special play area for children, volleyball pitch and cozy huts before winding down to the River Spree. Although it becomes a thriving music venue in the evening, attracting reggae bands and diverse DJ’s every night, it ema nates a chilled out, family-friendly ambiance during daylight hours. It is no wonder that Yaam is popular with so many different cultural communities. It’s a truly unique tourist highlight. Come sunshine or rain, many flock to catch Yaam’s Caribbean vibe and savour its serenity. By Marj Clark
Berghain Am Wiezener Bahnhof Ostbahnhof (S3, S5, S7, S75) Sat 12:00 am – 12:00 pm Sun 12:00 am - 12:00 pm €12.00 www.berghain.de Berghain is widely regarded as one of the best clubs in the world. Sitting in a neglected looking neighbourhood near Ostbahnhof, the former power station has become something of a mecca for the hedonistic generation since its Love-Parade inspired beginnings in the early nineties. Famed for its tough (and often mysterious) door policy, long DJ sets and residents among the technoelite, Berghain (which also doubles as HQ for the prolific Ostgut Tontrager record label), is an absolute must for serious clubbers.
Cavernous ceilings, exposed metal and tons of concrete perfectly personify the dark, industrial techno sound that is Berghain’s music policy. In the colossal main room, DJ sets can go on for up to eight hours allowing plenty of time to lose yourself to the hypnotically booming beats. Sister club Panorama Bar focuses mainly on house/ tech-house and is a slightly milder affair, while the men-only Lab Oratory (Berghain was originally a gay club) and smaller club Berghain Kantine offers alternative options to the main club. Fridays nights tend to be quieter with parties usually finishing by Saturday afternoon, however Saturday nights are busy so be prepared to queue for at least an hour. Entry costs around 12 Euro, but as Saturday parties commonly continue well into Monday, you are sure to get your money’s worth!
By Victoria Lewis
KaterHolzig Michaelkirchstraβe 23 Henrich-Heine Straβe (U8) 10:00 pm - late €5.00 - €15.00 www.katerholzig.de KaterHolzig is without a doubt one of the preeminent Berlin clubs. Like its infamous competitor Berghain, you will probably have to queue for a long time and the chance you’ll get turned away at the door is high. But once you’re in, you’ll wind your way through a corridor banged together from timber slats like a child’s cubby house. Eventually the hall opens up to reveal a magical inner courtyard, a remnant of the old soap factory that once existed here. Surrounded by bonfires, massive graffiti murals of cats, skeletons, and faces plus lit by a bright spider’s web of interweaving string lights, you can’t help but be impressed by this staple of the Berlin nightlife scene. Explore this complex further and you will find at least two large dance floor areas with smoke machines and bangin’ techno. But this institution is actually much more than a club.
Nightlife & Music KaterHolzig also hosts a myriad of cultural events such as theatre performances, film screenings, gigs and dance affairs. (Keep up with all the happenings on their website). There is also an excellent restaurant on the top floor with magnificent views of the River Spree and TV Tower. There’s even a spa behind the main entrance called SchnurrBad which is open most weekdays and stays open late into the evening. Despite the pricy entry fee, KaterHolzig is definitely a club you’ll want to check out in Berlin. By Hera Sparnon
Kreuzberg Tresor Köpenicker Strassa. Heinrich-Heine-Straβe (U8, U2) Mon, Wed, Fri and Sat
€5.00 - €15.00
www.tresorberlin.de In a city with a club hidden on practically every side street, the name Tresor resonates as the longest running nightclub around. Reestablished in a former industrial power station in 2007, it plays host to some of the biggest DJs around including Trouw, Marcel Heese and Alex Bau. With everything glowing a subdued red and slightly obscured by swirls of fog and dust, it can get a little tricky to find your way around. But once you’ve passed through the mini maze of halls, just aim for the stairs and the sounds of hard, industrial tunes. Consisting of three floors, Globus, the +4 Bar for all things experimental and
a smoking area, there’s plenty to keep you entertained and occupied till the wee hours of the morning. Remember to bring a form of ID (no student cards) or you’ll be left behind as there’s a surprisingly strict policy. Inside, long drinks vary between six to eight Euros, beers are 3 Euros and shooters start at two Euros! So gather your friends, put on your best Berliner outfit and hit the town for Tresor’s booming beats. By Louise Cheeseman
Madame Claude Lübbener Straβe 19 Gorlitzer Bahnhof, Schleisches Tor (U1) Free entry to bar between; €6.00 - €20.00 for live acts/events Mon - Sun 7:00 pm - late http://www.facebook.com/MadameClaudeBerlin Have you seen Madame Claude? You may have heard murmurings of her alluring, topsy-turvy decor and roof-raising DJ sets, but you simply must sample this bizarre little darling for yourself. Situated in the epicenter of Kreuzberg on Lübbener Straβe and Wrangle Straβe, just a five minute walk from the U-Bahn station, Madame Claude is an ever popular mistress of the XBerg (what the locals call Kreuzberg)
Beware Bear Tip! Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg are renowned in Berlin as the best area’s for big nightclubs and super-cool small bars.
clubbing scene. David Lynchian in design intermingled with a decidedly 70s vibe, Claude’s look is hard to imagine until you’ve seen it with your own peepers. Disappear downstairs into the dimly lit depths of Madame Claude and you can discover a mixed range of experimental, indie, art-rock, grunge and electro music, all contained under a ceiling adorned with upside down furniture. Combine that with a mega mix of new, live music seven nights a week along with ping pong tables, and a cheap, no frills drinks menu, you’re set for an aural adventure. Famed for hosting groundbreaking music sets, its deliberately dingy exterior and eclectic range of tunes exudes a chilled out atmosphere, perfect for people on the prowl for new music. Turn up with twenty Euros in your pocket and be ready to dance all night.
By Marj Clark
Barbie Deinhoff’s Schlesische Straβe 16 Schlesisches Tor (U1) Mon - Sun 7:00 pm - late Tue 7:00 pm - midnight €4.00 - €10.00 www.barbiedeinhoff.de Run by celebrity drag queen Lena Braun, Barbie Deinhoff’s is an ideal bar to visit before hitting up the nearby club/venue Lido. Red and pink seem to be the running colors of the locale as the lights and walls flash brilliantly in your face. However, perfumed with cigarette smoke and dimmed illumination, the atmosphere is quite chill. Even with a DJ on hand playing catchy electro beats, people are usually sitting back, casually swilling drinks and having relaxed conversations in mismatched chairs, barstools and retro couches. The drink prices run a bit high especially since an extra Euro is required for the DJ. Happy hour starts 7:00 pm to midnight on Tuesdays with cocktail specials during the winter. The menu is decently varied with the usual mixed drinks and beers so don’t expect anything too fancy. Later on in the night, the crowd livens up with a spinning disco ball, but the ambiance remains unruffled making Barbie’s a great place to end the night as well. By Lily Prasuethsut
Club Der Visionäre Am Flutgraben 1 Schleisiche Tor (U1) €2.00 - €3.00 Fri – Mon (depending on season and weather) www.clubdervisionaere.com Tucked away in an unassuming spot alongside a canal in Kreuzberg, Club der
Nightlife & Music Visionäre is a favourite haunt of the ubercool after party crowd. Housed in a log cabin propped up by creaking wooden beams with an outside deck area draped under a sleepylooking weeping willow, this chill nightspot is essentially more of a bar/hangout than a club. It’s an ideal place to hang out on a sunny day to watch the sun rise after a hard nights clubbing. Music policy leans towards house, techhouse and minimal: DJ sets are often spontaneous and events tend not to be planned far in advance. While there is a small dance floor, the sound system is very quiet and party-goers are more likely to be found chatting than dancing, lending the club a fairly relaxed air. Entry is a bargain at around 2-3 Euros and the door policy is somewhat laid-back, although like many Berlin nightspots large groups are a tad frowned upon. For those in need of refuelling, the club’s upper level doubles as a takeaway that serves pizza, burgers and chips at reasonable prices. By Victoria Lewis
Lido Cuvrystraße 7 Schlessisches Tor (U1) Prices and Opening Hours Vary Parties usually begin around 11:00 pm www.lido-berlin.de Lido is a tricky place to categorize. Newcomers may assume it is a concert venue as they frequently host live bands; however the emphasis is primarily on the late night party scene. Formerly a cinema, Lido was renovated in 2006 and reopened as a banging place to go on a weekend night. The venue especially caters to the indie, rock and electronica crowd whilst mixing in their immensely popular Balkan Beats nights. A disco ball hangs from the ceiling and spins
as lights and projectors pulse to the beat of the music. The venue itself is quite massive as it boasts an indoor area complete with a stage, DJ stand, seating areas and bar. There is also another bar in an outdoor area with a sweeping marquee shielding guests from the weather, yet it is open enough to provide ample fresh air for dancers needing to cool off. Drinks are nothing special here; beers and standard coke and spirit mixtures are available but you’ll probably be too busy swaying to the tunes to notice. Like any other night scene in Berlin, the best time to head over is late, even for the live shows— the bands play short sets to get the dance party going all night long. By Lily Prasuethsut
Bei Schlawinchen Schonleinstraβe 34 Schonleinstraβe (U8) Free Entry 24 hours When it’s late at night and you need a quiet drink, you can always go to Bei Schlawinchen. This watering hole is unique because at thirty, it’s one of the oldest bars in Berlin. Unlike every other 24 hour bar in Berlin, this cozy little haven away from the chaos of the streets has all the ingredients for the perfect nightcap.
for the perfect nightcap. Located just a short walk along Shönleinstasse, you’ll have to ring a bell on the front door to be greeted by the friendly bar staff. The bell system has been put in place to make sure that all the patrons are not the type to start trouble, and when inside you will feel all the more comfortable as a result. The décor is unique and eclectic, as the walls and ceiling are heavily decorated with an impressive array of brick-a-brack and antiques. Wooden rocking horses, ship balustrades, antique instruments and gramophones poised above your head give your eyes plenty to feast on. All these items are amazingly squeezed into a bar no bigger than a small living room. A foosball table is crammed away in a corner and is a perfect way to play the rest of the night away. The music is also eclectic, but if you’re after something specific, there’s a jukebox. The bar serves all the basic beverages like wine and long drinks but the typical choice is beer (unsurprisingly), and at reasonable prices, it seems quite fitting to finish off your night. By Hera Sparnon
Narr Bar Böckhstraβe 24 Schönleinstraße (U8) 4:00 pm - late If you’re looking for a spot for a quiet drink that’s a bit off the main route, then the Narr Bar gallery and café may be just the place for you. Set in a leafy, tree lined side-street, this understated gem serves as a café, bar and amateur art gallery for up and coming artists looking to exhibit and sell their work. Narr Barr is sunken down below street level with a slightly tired, shabby chic interior softened by well positioned spotlighting and candles. The drinks menu is simple, affordable and unpretentious. Enjoy a cup of coffee at one of their flower adorned tables for just 1.70 Euro. Beer is priced from 2.80 Euro and a generous glass of wine is 3.80 Euro. Caipirinha Mojitos are advertised for 4 Euro with a to-go option for those looking for a quick alcoholic refreshment. Narr Bar often hosts exhibitions so walk by for a drink and the chance to pick up some unique, original artwork. By Helen Frear
Nightlife & Music
Tempelhof Berlin Festival Templehof Airport, Berlin Platz der Luftbrüke (U6) Fri 12:30 pm – 4:00 am Sat 12.30 pm – 4:00 am 1 day €49.00; weekend ticket €72.00 www.berlinfestival.de Whether you consider yourself to be a punk or a rocker, the Berlin Music week definitely offers something for everyone. The Berlin Festival is part of Berlin’s established music week, which is celebrated every year in early September. As well as offering and producing a thriving music festival set to tantalize your ear drums, the city also manages to combine events including an array of club nights which are spread across 40 alternative institutes making it an international hotspot. The actual Berlin Festival happens at Tempelhof Feld, which was once a former major airport for the city. However, it now plays host to fairs and events within the city. The Festival playfully follows the airport theme positioning the main stage between two plane wings, while five other stages can
be found hidden inside the hangers. During previous years this festival has presented an abundance of artists including Skrillex, Metronomy and Public Enemy while exhibiting itself as an IndieElectro Festival. This dynamic festival also bestows some of Berlin’s very own quirky and unorthodox artists and designers, as well as an assortment of food for a small fee, and manages to entice even the most disillusioned person. By Louise Cheeseman
“We are having a party!” “ Wir machen ein Party!” 109
Lily Prasuethsut, Editor-in-Chief
Our California girl and all-around top editor, Lily is a fan of all things geek. When she’s not playing computer games or watching Star Wars you can find her dancing to her favourite bands dressed as a soya bean drink!
Hera Sparnon, Layout , Survive Berlin
One of the most awesomest people on Earth, Hera’s travelled all over the globe and made friends wherever she goes. She’s always smiling and can be found at Mauerpark singing to the crowds. Hera is definitely one of the coolest people around.
Louise Cheeseman, Sights
Despite her name, Louise is neither a cheese fanatic nor a man. She can always be found armed and ready with a camera in hand and on average, takes a photo every 12.6 seconds. She is an extremely nice, quirky girl, who up to the age of 16 believed Robin Hood was an actual fox.
Marj Clark, Museums & Memorials
Be warned! This Scottish wench will jabber away sharing stories with anyone around her. In addition, she isn’t scared to show her singing skills either. Every Sunday at Mauerpark, she has entertained hundreds of people with hits by Madonna, Journey and the Divinyls. Marj is a good addition to any kind of gathering as she is sure to create a smile on your face.
Sebastiaan Berswerda, Layout, Arts & Culture
GENAU. What would we do without the great and powerful Sebastiaaaaaaaaaan? Do you like waffles–yes, he likes waffles! He knows every song written, and he knows more than you, because Basti is Fantasti. He has the body of Adonis, pulls a good duck face and also takes a “GREEEAT Phot-oh.” He appears out the smoke in nightclubs like a creepy ninja and dances like your dad. But we love him, and he gets our R.E.S.P.E.C.T!
Sally Grondowski, Layout
Sally is, simply put, the sweetest girl in the world. Practically perfect in every way and like a true English lady, she makes the best cup of tea this side of the Channel. Not to be underestimated, this young woman is also a pro-active creativity powerhouse.
Helen Frear, Food & Drink
Helen brings a splash of fashionable sophistication to the group. Good looking by day (even when she’s a tad hung over *cough*) and by night with her hair whipping back and forth on the dance floor. She’s down to earth and cracks a good joke, or two, as well. Plus, you’d never guess she’s a Nottingham-er!
Adam Harris, Recreation
Adam Harris, or rather Dr. Adam Harris, is top Lad with a capital L. Likes a tipple or two and loves his chilies. Ten ja’s out of ten!
Victoria Lewis, Nightlife & Music
TECHNO, TECHNO, TECHNO, a bit of head jamming and more TECHNO. Passionate music lover, she can party the night away and still manage to whip up incredible reviews…..her flower photography is also top-notch!
Megan Lumsden, Shopping
Megan, or better yet known as the Aberdeen Tiger, is absolutely grrrrreat (with a Scottish accent of course). A photo without her isn’t a real photo until she’s in it striking one of her famous poses. But in all seriousness, she’s a good friend, a kind soul, an occasional lead balloon (just kidding, she never is) and a bona fide babe with her luscious red locks. This Tiger is simply one a kind. Rawr.