After a long time of absence, I finally found the time to spend some time on my blog again. ‘June’ means nothing more than exhausting exam period (I secretly loved the fact that it rained all month, sorry not sorry), afterwards I barely had the time to relax and slow it all down, because I had to catch a flight to Berlin!
A few months ago, me and my girls squad decided to give our friend Camille on Erasmus a visit. It was the first time the seven of us were together again since ages, so the cosy atmosphere was immediately set. What made our trip different from all other city trips we had ever done, is that we were guided around most of the time by an Erasmus student. Camille showed us the typical Berliner spots no tourist would have ever discovered. Nevertheless, when in Berlin -a city plentiful of magical history- you also need to see the touristic crap, and that’s why we followed a guided tour with an enthusiastic, clever, entertaining – and Greek- city guide. A more than fun and interesting way of discovering Berlin’s most important monuments in one morning!
I listed my favorite (non-touristic) spots below, together with some pictures of our guided tour. So in case you didn’t made any plans this Summer… I highly recommend to visit Berlin! My personal opinion about this city is, first of all, that it’s SO FUCKING BIG. Seriously, you’ll definitely need a metro pass to see everything you wanna see. Secondly, you’ll notice that it’s a lot more alternative than other European cities. By that I mean in the way the youth dresses, the kind of techno-housy music they always listen to… Also, it happens a lot that people act a bit strange in the streets, you’ll exactly get what I mean once you’ve been there. Oh and not all of them are friendly, so just mind your words and try not to take too many pictures (they profoundly hate that, especially when they’re in it). The conclusion that I took after my journey, is that I love Berlin. Even in it’s strange ways, and despite the ugly, repelling, communistic buildings everywhere (there are many beautiful corners too though). I think we only saw a quarter of what Berlin has to offer so, I’m definitely going back there!
This is a HUGE thing in Berlin, according to Camille. Everybody does it, everybody loves it. That’s why she took us to one of Berlin’s most wanted brunch spots: Anna Blume. We waited like 15 minutes in line so I took advantage of that to shoot some Instagram pictures in front of the beautiful establishment. Entirely worth the wait, our three-floored platform brunch and healthy juices came their way and oh my GOD, I don’t think I enjoyed eating that much before in my whole life.
»Bezirk Pankow, Kollwitzstraße 83, 10435 Berlin
Also worth the visit: Silo (Gabriel-Max-Straße 4, 10245 Berlin)
Our Greek guide led us through Berlin’s most memorable buildings and history. That’s how we passed by Einstein’s university (Humboldt Uni), the Gendarmenmarkt with its Konzerthaus and churches, the Berliner Dom with the Altes archeological Museum next to it, the Fernsehturm (which houses a restaurant up in the air called Sputnik), Checkpoint Charlie, Brandenburger Tor and the Reichstag.
And this is the point where Camille took over to show us ‘the real Berlin‘. On Sunday we went chilling in the so called Mauerpark. We had cocktails while listening to a local live rock band (with a black singer, which I found rather remarkable since I’ve never seen a black guy leading a rock or punk band) and strolled around a second hand market. The park houses an amphitheatre where a kick-ass karaoke was held. Mauerpark am sonntag is the place to be for having a good time!
»Gleimstraße 55, 10437 Berlin
Inside what we first thought was some sort of squatting house, was located Haubentaucher. A super chill place with a big pool where we’ve spent a whole afternoon sunbathing, sipping rosé and watching the game Italy-Spain on big screen. A real recommendation for those who like to pretend they’re in Saint-Tropez or Marbella, for just a little while.
»Revaler Str. 99, 10245 Berlin
Whoever says ‘Berlin’ says ‘rooftops with the craziest views‘. To gain access to the notorious Klunkerkranich, you first pass a shopping center until its highest floor, then you walk some more up and there it is. Enjoy the view and a drink (I recommend Club Mate which is a typical Berlin drink, it tastes a bit like iced tea) accompanied by the music of a live band!
»Karl-Marx-Straße 66, 12043 Berlin (Neukölln Arcaden)
You have seen without any doubt several pictures of people posing in front of the graffiti covered Berliner Mauer. Let me tell you a secret so you won’t spend hours searching for your own, must-have picture: those were taken at East Side Gallery. Many come together here for exhibitions or just drinks by the river. Really impressive to walk next to this huge piece of history.
»Bezirk Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, Mühlenstraße, 10243 Berlin
Also worth the visit: Badeschiff am Spree (Bezirk Treptow-Köpenick, Eichenstraße 4, 12435 Berlin): similar to Haubentaucher, only the pool here is located in the middle of the river Spree. Go there preferably on weekdays to prevent long waiting lines.
On Tuesday, we went for coffee and breakfast at Schiller Backstube Deli, near Potsdamer Platz in the heart of Berlin’s business district. I immediately fell for its ‘hipster’ yet fancy decor. Since we had to recover from an intense night of partying ’till sunrise, my cappuccino, orange juice and strawberries were very welcome.
»Inge Beisheim Platz 2, 10785 Berlin
Also worth the visit: The Barn (Auguststraße 58, 10119 Berlin), Oslo Kaffeebar (Rauchstraße 1, 10787 Berlin)
An address in Berlin’s rather posh district. I could tell from a girl’s to die for Louis Vuitton sandals I spotted in the elevator, that this was the place to be for the true blogger that I am! We actually went to Neni for lunch, but I can imagine that it’s as good or even better for dinner with drinks in the Monkey Bar afterwards! This Libanese restaurant and bar are housed on the same floor, equipped with large windows from which you have an incredible view on the zoo. And in particular on the monkeys! I don’t know about you, but delicious Libanese food, drinks and monkeys, all together?! Absolute H E A V E N. A spot I’d definitely return next time I’m in Berlin!
»Bezirk Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, Budapester Str. 40, 10787 Berlin
Also worth the visit: Lemongrass for Vietnamese food (Anklamer Str. 38)
#5. DRINKS AND NIGHTLIFE
Oops, I could go on and on with this section! Camille took us to Weinerei on the first night: a cool café with second hand furniture. The principle is this: you pay a 2 euro entrance fee, then you just fill your glass with any wine you’d like, you grab some food you think will satisfy your needs. AND REPEAT! The only thing the owners ask, is that you are honest enough to pay a reasonable price for the amount of glasses you drank when you leave. So it’s totally up to you… But don’t forget, Karma’s a bitch.
»Veteranenstraße 14, 10119 Berlin
We went clubbing afterwards near our hostel, the place was called The Weekend. And yep, another rooftop, ladies and gents! When you decide to throw a party in Berlin, be aware of the fact that the guards of some clubs don’t let a lot of people in. They are very selective, and in a very random way. Obviously, as a girl you have more chances to get in, but even then, if the guard is not having his night, you won’t. The Weekend’s guards were more chill, the music was nice (techno-house, even though I’m not a big fan, I liked it!), so if you wanna have more security about the course of your night: this is a really good address. And don’t forget to dress alternatively! Leave your high heels and glitter dress at home.
The Belgians played against Hungary one night, so we watched and celebrated at HERMAN Bar (a Belgian bar). An evening to never forget with a good old Duvel and fries in hands! The place to be for soccer game watching, or having a chat with other Belgians. You know, in case homesickness kicks in…
»Schönhauser Allee 173, 10119 Berlin
Last but not least: Club der Visionaere by the water. An open-air club with cosy setting. 100% epic night guarantee!
»Am Flutgraben 1, 12435 Berlin
Our hostel was called ONE 80° Hostel and is a real recommendation for a stay with friends. Cheap and basic, but all we did there was sleeping so honestly, we didn’t need no great luxury to have a great time. Friendly and helping receptionists, your own bathroom and separated toilet, a nightclub (of which we didn’t make use), a bar and free Wi-Fi. You can opt for an included breakfast for 5 euros a day. It’s located near the centre of Berlin (Alexanderplatz) and 5 minutes from the central metro station. The only ‘negative’ point I can come up with, is that in the morning it’s rather noisy because of the traffic outside. But if you want to see Berlin, it doesn’t make sense anyway to lay down in bed until late in the afternoon, does it? And in case you want to meet up with our Greek guide: she picks you up at the hostel for a free tour!