BERLIN CITY GUIDE
OYE is a steadfast champion of independent artists and labels, particularly those from within Berlin’s city limits. However, if you are after that new house release on anything but vinyl, you should go somewhere else. From 70’s Funk to minimal techno, OYE stock a vinyl purists idea of heaven.
We enjoyed this place so much we went twice. The Krautburger in particular was a revelation, including traditional German components like sauerkraut as well as exceptional beef burger, bacon and cheese. They even cater well for vegetarians with four varieties of vegetarian burger including halloumi burgers and roast vegetable patties.
The Bunker, as it was known throughout its days as a hardcore techno club, is home to the contemporary art collection of Christian Boros. Originally a WWII bunker to shelter Berliners from the air raids, it is now an art gallery that exhibits a vast collection of sculptures, photography, installations and paintings. Advance booking required.
This place was a great find. After a long morning of walking between scheduled stops we desperately needed a coffee and stumbled past this place. Equidistant from Neukolln and Kreuzberg, Bully’s is traditional in a trendy Berlin kind of way but, like most places, they do great coffee and a fantastic cinnamon danish.
If you travel east along the river Spree from the centre of Berlin you will get to Treptower Park. Next to this park, sandwiched between non-descript warehouses is a vast collection of anything from old bras to SNES controllers to arcade machines. This is Treptower Flohmarkt (fleamarket) and is great for simply wandering and exploring. If you speak German and are prepared to haggle, you’ll probably find a bargain.
Beaker’s is located in Prenzlauerberg, pretty close to Mauerpark amongst several grand blocks of apartments. They serve great quality food, including pretty substantial american pancakes, moist, flavourful scrambled eggs, and (as is seemingly standard for Berlin) fantastic coffee. To order you have to tick the combination of items you want to shove in your mouth on the actual menu which is then collected by the staff. Obviously our favourite bit.
Using the public transport in a new city is one of our favourite things to do when travelling abroad. It shouldn’t be something you use to get from your hotel to the next photo opportunity, it should be an event in itself. The U-Bahn and S-Bahn are great examples of this. Really easy to navigate and amazing if you enjoy people watching.
Berlin’s sprawling Zoo has an incredible primate section with large indoor glass fronted pens. If you go quite late and stay after it has officially closed, you will get to wander around without anyone else in there with you. Its quite a surreal experience when all you can hear is the quiet calls of the animals as the sun sets.
Overkill was a little more upmarket than we imagined it would be. Across the river from Urban Spree it sells tons of spray paint and pens as well as rare and expensive sneakers. Don’t let the glossy shopfront intimidate you as the staff were incredibly friendly.
A popular tourist destination for those who don’t mind skipping a fence to explore it. This grey, concrete prefabricated building has been empty since 1990 but there still remains a large amount of Iraqi documents & propaganda to rummage through. Despite at least one fire and several lootings the building is as it was before the Iraqi staff were ordered to leave.
Discreetly located in an old Warehouse behind Warschauer Strasse Station, Urban Spree is instantly recognisable thanks to all kinds of street art and graffiti plastered on it’s walls. It’s serves as a creative hub, gallery, hang out and exhibition space, with events on constant rotation. Well worth a visit, even just to experience some of the vibrant creative scene found in Berlin.
Mauerpark is located in Prenzlauerberg. A fairly small area but has a great reputation. It used to be part of the Berlin wall and a 30m strip of the wall still stands at the top of the hill, behind the amphitheatre. On most days you will find artists painting there. Its a great hang out on a sunny day and during the summer they host open air karaoke in the ‘Bear Pit’.
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