Berlin – Meine Liebe
All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin. And therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words ‘Ich bin ein Berliner!’
John F. Kennedy
How does one describe a city in words when there is so much to say and experience in real life? I will give it a try, but you better come and visit and breath the creative, inspiring and tantalising air of Berlin yourself.
Berlin, the capital of Germany; a city that has lived many lives and survived many battles.
The history of the city and the people we all know quite well; a wall that divided the city, communism vs. capitalism, Hitler’s bunker where he committed suicide when the communist tanks where advancing. Berlin has been burned, bombed and rebuilt to where it is today. I would dare to call Berlin the cradle of re-birth of a united Europe. The city has an eclectic mix of different nationalities, architecture, historical highlights, and superb food from all over the world, great party scenes and much more.
If you want a quirky start of your stay you book your own romantic caravan at Hüttenpalast in the Kreuzberg/Neukölln area. Another place I can recommend is Gorky Apartments in Berlin Mitte. Here you can stay for a longer time and you will feel at home immediately with everything accessible from the doorstep. Most people book via AirB&B, which is a great way of getting to know the real Berlin from a real persons home. Accommodation in Berlin is fairly priced and you get value for your money.
Now we come to the real fun part, what to do when in Berlin. I have so many favourite things to do but I’ve tried to boil it down to a few must-do.
Two markets you absolutely cannot miss!
At the charming Markthalle Neun, Eisenbahnstrasse 42-43 you will find lots of delicacies from different countries and regions. It’s a real food Mecca with a lovely and welcoming atmosphere. You can order food from the small stalls and get wine and beer by the glass while enjoying you simultaneously peeking at the chef who cooks the food. My other favourite is trendy Neue Heimat, Rivals Strasse 99, where food, DJs, live music, a flea market and design objects fit in a 4000-square-meter industrial building on the River Spree. The market is inspired by the streets and cultures of the world and every Friday from 7 pm Neue Heimat host “Bar and Food Night” with concerts, food and delicious drinks. Neue Heimat is hip right now and here you experience the authentic and the seedy bits of Berlin.
Galleries – a true feast for the eyes.
Berlin offers an abundance of art spaces and it is a perfect city for those who want to get a dose of cultural capital. My absolute favourite is the C/O Gallery at Hardenbergstrasse 22-24 who recently moved into America Haus which is a dream for anyone who is interested in photography. Well-known photographers like Annie Leibovitz, Peter Lindbergh, Nan Goldin, Martin Parr, René Burri, Arnold Newman and Robert Mapplethorpe have all been shown at the gallery. Along the whole Auguststrasse (Mitte) there are loads of galleries and restaurants. Visit particularly CWC Gallery situated in the former Jewish girls’ school. They show contemporary and iconic photographs, sculptures and artwork from private collectors and art institutions. Why not have a lunch at Mogg & Melzer who makes a cool version of New York delicacies such as the Pastrami Sandwich with all trimmings.
Food to seduce your taste buds.
I absolutely love Cocolo Ramenbar at Gipsstr. 3. Cocolo, which by the way means heart in Japanese. I could eat their Japanese Ramen soups 7 days a week. The place is tiny and there is always a queue, but so worth the wait. Incredibly authentic Japanese but still with a vibe of Berlin. Come and try it out for yourself! District Mot at Rosenthalerstr. 62 is a theme restaurant with a Vietnamese street food concept. They really made an effort to recreate a piece of Saigon and the attention to detail is remarkable. A sweet, funny and loving place with food that excites your taste buds. Try their famous Bun Cha; you will not leave disappointed.
Restaurant Gugelhof at Knaackstr. 37 invite you to a tasting of Alsatian dishes and my favourite Choucroute and other delicacies often cooked with Riesling wine. A charming and traditional restaurant with a story since President Clinton ate here with Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. In addition, the restaurant is located at the beautiful Kollwitzplatz, which is a meeting place for artists, lawyers and families in a symbiotic harmony in the lively Prenzlauer Berg.
Cocktails with superior views of Berlin and the Zoo.
The Monkey Bar on the rooftop of the 25hours Hotel Bikini, Budapester Str. 40 shows off just how cosmopolitan the city of Berlin has become. Here you get a 360-degree view of the city, and Berlin Zoo while sipping perfectly mixed drinks to soft lounge music.
This is a perfect place to relax after a day of shopping at the KaDeWe and Kurfürstendamm! The Monkey Bar is the new vibrant destination in the middle of the urban jungle.
Relax at an Urban Spa.
If you get tired in your feet of all the walking and want to treat yourself to some relaxation, I think you should head to Liquidrom at Möckernstraße 10. Here you can relax in a warm saltwater pool with pleasant music under the surface and different lighting and colour effects. The dark hall that is architecturally stylish has soothing effects on the mind and body. Besides this, you can enjoy different types of saunas such as Finnish and Himalayan and they also offer a variation of massages.
A very special experience!
Welcome to enjoy Berlin!