Friday, 17 May 2013

Berlin Guide

Taken outside Berlin Zoo,  January 1992
That's me in the middle & my friend, A, who we are meeting up with in Paris this time around, on the right. 

I can't tell you how excited I am to be visiting this city. 20 years on and I'm sure I'll see a huge difference, visually, culturally and energetically. The wall had only just come down 2 years before my last trip (crikey, that makes me sound so old). I loved the feel of Berlin then and I have a feeling I'm going to love it even more now.
My friend, Bruise Mouse, spent some months there last years so has been full of insightful information and handy tips.... some of which I've listed below. A huge thank you to you BM for your enthusiasm and knowledge on Berlin. You've really sparked my interest to discover the hidden treasures of Kreuzberg...and beyond.

Guides to get you going:
Sandra's Guide to Berlin...makes me want to be there right now!
Slow Travel Berlin
Still in Berlin
Kreuzberg'd: Everything you Never Knew You Wanted to Know about Kreuzberg.
Design Sponge's Berlin City Guide
Unlike Berlin City Guide
ExBerliner magazine for expats is a brilliant hard copy magazine with feature articles and guides to whats happening around Berlin.
Petite Passports retail guide to Berlin for some consumer spending.

Too many incredible galleries to list here.  Grab yourself a guide or check out:
TimeOut's top picks here.
BerlinList Gallery Guide.
My Premium Europe: Top Contemporary Galleries Berlin.

Chay Village the most incredible vegetarian vietnamese food! A must (walking distance to Stadtbad Schonenberg... an highlight for us.  This swimming pool is beautifully built).
Felix Austria for goulash and hearty Eastern European fare (situated directly across from Marheineke Markethalle, a foodies heaven, in Kreuzberg).
Lokai, farm to table. Serves up regional dishes which are announced each morning on their blog.
Yam Yam great for lunch authentic, affordable Kroean food.
Tin, for a glass of wine in the sun overlooking the canal.
District Mot in Mitte.
Morena Cafe  a great place to stop and plan your day.  Free wifi available too.
Brio Cafe Bar Kreuzberg. Amazingly simple Italian food.
Kaffe Bar fantastic coffee! In the same street as Brio above. A great place to spend time. Free wifi.
Organic Weekly Market at Ankerklaus, Kreuzberg. Saturday Mornings.  Good coffee, beautiful breads, fruit and to a park.
Incredible eco supermarket where you can buy everything environmently friendly in a great package..... & cafe: Kochhaus
Wohnzimmer on Helmholtzplatz in Prenzlaur Berg is a great little bar with yummy food and lush decor.
For the fun of it... The oldest beer garden in Berlin, Pratergarten.

THE BEST second hand clothing store in Berlin! Tragflache in Prenzlauer Berg (although I have just read they've moved due to high rent :(....... check out their Facebook page for updated info.
Harry Lehmann's Perfumery is a step back in time! It's out in Charlottenberg but if you are heading to the Bauhaus Archives a little side step for some 'Titano Man' aftershave is worth a trip.

Flea Markets, The best way to spend a Sunday in Berlin:
Boxhagener Platz great furniture, lighting, clothes and knick knacks. Lots of great cafes in the surrounding streets too. there's a park and small water for the kids in the centre.
Mauerpark this is huge! Get ready for the crowds.  Great food stalls and everything and anything you can imagine on offer.
Arkona Platz located in a side street close to Mauerpark.  I preferred this experience.  Fabulous stalls and way less people.  There is also a great park to the left to entertain the kidlets while you shop.

Great bookstores:
Do you read me? The best magazine the world??
Kulture Kaufhaus
Saint Georges Bookshop
Another Country

Inner city havens (there are so many wonderful back street parks in Berlin.  Way too many to mention but here are a few of our favourites):
Prinzessinnengarten: So excited to be finally visiting this place. A reclaimed car park turned into an incredible active market garden & cafe in the heart of Kreuzberg.
Berlin Botanical Gardens
Badeschiff another of Berlins urban-regeneration projects. A swimming pool set in an industrial park on the river.  Fun times.
Park am Gleisdreieck in Kreuzberg.
Treptow Park. Vast and full of meandering Berliners on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.
Viktoria Park Kreuzberg
Landweher Kanal, Kreuzberg. Genius!  Worth a stroll along the canal to this gem.  Take a copy of ExBerliner and sit in the afternoon sun amongst the BBQ-ing Berliners.
In Prenzlaurberg......Kollwitzplatz , Helmholtzplatz Surrounded by cafe's & bars with a brilliant toy store and some great 2nd hand clothing stores in the side streets.
Stadtbad Schonenberg our favourite swimming pool in Berlin.  Worth seeing just for the architecture.
The rather epic Tiergarten and Golden Lizie.

Legoland!  Z was in heaven here.

Alternative Berlin Tours have a range of tours by local guides on offer.  I did the street art walking tour which was a fun way to master the public transport system and see hidden pockets of the city..
The Hidden Path

Berlin Welcome Card


Anna said...

We were last in Berlin in 1999 and happened to be there for the 10th anniversary of the wall coming down. I loved that city.. would love to go back one day.

And I had a total nerd moment there and got excited about seeing Mikhail Gorbachev and the first George Bush.

Adventures with Dementia said...

What a momentous visit! I totally get your 'nerd' moment that's incredible you were there for that moment in history... hanging with Mikhail & George ;)

Bruise Mouse said...

Oh, I so wish we were coming with you.
I'm sure the whole trip is going to be one of those life-changing whole family experiences.
Counting down.

Adventures with Dementia said...

Oh, now that would be fun. We wish you guys were too.xx

Anna said...

and did I mention the Scorpions singing Winds of Change under the Brandenburg Gate, Loved it :) have to catch up on the first bit of your trip.. i'm behind on my blog reading!


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