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Berlin travel guide by Curso/Citytravelreview students

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    • INBERLIN A budget traveller’s Guide
    • INTRODUCTION A brief summary of the guide. HISTORY A whistlestop tour of Berlin’s history in ten key dates. 4-5 6-9 SURVIVAL GUIDE All the information you need to explore Berlin from where to stay to how to flirt in German. FEATURES Berliner Dom Potsdamer platz Auguststraße Gendarmenmarkt Pergamonmuseum Neues Museum Peacock Island Berlin Olympic Stadium 10-16 18 26 44 54 66 72 116 122 CONTRIBUTORS 142 - 145 ONLY INBERLIN The Buddhist House Book burning memorial Neue Wache Victory Column Alexanderplatz Checkpoint Charlie Saint Hedwigs Cathedral Brandenburg Gate Charlottenburg Palace Nikolaiviertel Sanssouci Gardens Reichstag Unter Der Linden Rotes Rathaus ART & CULTURE 20 21 22 23 24 25 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 38 39 40 41 42 43 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 56 57 58 59 Concerts at the Bode-Museum East Side Gallery Hamburger Bahnhof Boros Collection Scharf-Gerstenburg Collection KW Institute for Contemporary Art Gay Museum Museum of Film and Television Bauhaus Archive Old National Gallery Hauptstadt Zoo Gemäldergalerie Singuhr Sound Gallery Museum Berggruen Aquarium Berlin Berlin Concert Hall Monster Cabinet Boros Collection
    • CONTENT MUSEUMS CAFES & Jewish Museum 62 Blindenwerkstatt Otto Weidt 63 RESTAURANTS Topography of Terror GDR Museum Memorial to the Murdered Jews STASI. Exhibition German History Museum Ramones Museum Museum of Musical Instruments Milestones-Setbacks-Sidetracks Altes Museum Helmut Newton Foundation 64 65 68 69 70 71 74 75 76 77 BARS & NIGHTLIFE Katerholzig Berghain Mein Haus Am See Club der Visionäre Beirbar Dr Pong B Flat Weinerei Forum Suicide Circus 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 Les Galeries Lafayette Sing Blackbird Do You Read Me?! Saint George’s English Bookstore KaDeWe Stiefelkombinat Made In Berlin Turkish Market Dussman 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebap Fassbender & Rausch Rocco Burgermeister Fraulein Burger Tiki Heart Café Amar Indian Restaurant Bonanza Coffee Heroes Burger de Ville White Trash Fast Food Anna Blume Franken und Grunewald Barcomi’s Café El Rief Marheineke Markthalle Curry Clärchens Ballhaus Mutti Rosenburger Café im Literaturhaus Schwarzes Café Café am Neuen See 118 119 120 121 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 100 & 200 Bus Tour Schwarzlicht Minigolf Baum Haus Comedy Open Air Tiergarten Wannsee Lake Bearpit Karaoke Teafelsee Charlottenburg Gardens Britzer Garten Alternative Berlin Tour Brewers Berlin Express Tour Lake Tegel SHOPPING OUTDOORS Mauerpark Flea Market 134 & TOURS 3
    • INTRODUCITON By Martina Cocci Multicultural, innovative and colourful are just a few of the adjectives that spring to mind when thinking of Berlin. Everything you see in this city hides a secret which is ready to be uncovered. While walking through the streets, if you look carefully, you will notice that most of the monuments, the parks, the roads and even open air spaces try to convey a piece of Berlin’s controversial history. With this guide we want to introduce you to the most interesting places that you absolutely must see. 4 We start with a brief history of the city, it may seem boring, but be assured that it’s very important to be aware of the past in order to better appreciate some of the sites. The survival guide that comes next provides you with the most important information about hostels, public transport and other places you might need to go. Then we cover different sections. Culture is an important part of Berlin and we have highlighted the best bits along with an excellent guide to the museums and art galleries.
    • Cafés and restaurants can be considered one of the most interesting aspects of the city, as they mirror its multiculturalism. In Berlin you will find every kind of food from Turkey to China, from Italy to North Europe. Nightlife is another important feature, young people here have a wide selection of clubs, bars and pubs, so you’ll be spoilt for choice. Even shopping lovers can satisfy their needs, not only in the shopping area of Ku-dam, but also thanks to the opportunities that the city provides for vintage shopping and flea markets. During the warmer seasons it’s very enjoyable to spend an entire day in one of the various outdoor areas of the city: Tiergarten, Wannsee and Tegeler See. Last but not the least you will also find a piece of advice about the best guided tours both on foot and with other means of transport. So, don’t miss the oppor tunity to discover Berlin, especially if you have a low budget. Follow our suggestions and you won’t be disappointed! 5
    • HISTORY By Thomas Bamford 6 1237 The earliest mention of Berlin in a title deed. In the 13th century, itinerant merchants founded the trading posts of Berlin & Cölln near today’s Nicholaiviertal. A profitable medieval trade route, the Ascanian margrave of Brandenburg decided to amalgamate the two towns into one for political and security purposes in 1307. 1539 23 years after Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the all-saints church in Wittenburg, Berlin finally converts to Protestantism. Berlin prospered for the immediate few decades until it was thrown into the medley of the thirty years war (1618-48). Elector Georg Wilhelm (162040) attempted to keep Berlin neutral although this only succeeded in Berlin being battered by both sets of belligerents. As a result destruction, starvation, murder and disease ran rife through the city’s decimated streets. 1640 FrederickWilliam I, known as the great elector, succeeds his father Georg Wilhelm as elector of Brandenburg. His reign is categorized by a policy of encouraging immigration and religious toleration. 1871 The German empire is founded. Berlin is declared the capital under the command of Wilhelm I of Prussia. Berlin’s population skyrockets from 800,000 to 1.5 million inhabitants. Kaiser Wilhelm goes into exile in Holland as riots break out after Germany’s heavy defeat in WWI. Food shortages and leftist political aggravation characterize these tumultuous years, resultantly the government resigns and seeks peace with the allied forces. At the end of WWI in 1918, a republic was pro-
    • claimed in Berlin. In 1920, the Greater Berlin Act incorporated dozens of suburban cities, villages and estates around Berlin into an expanded city. This new area encompassed Spandau and Charlottenburg in the west, as well as several other areas that are now major municipalities. After this expansion, Berlin had a population of around four million. During the Weimar era, Berlin became internationally renowned as a centre of cultural transformation at the heart of the Roaring Twenties. 1920 power of German government. Hitler obtained full power after claiming emergency powers from Chancellor Von Hindenburg after the Reichstag fire. The fire was ostensibly caused by Dutch anarchist Marinus Van Der Lubbe, although many historians still speculate that the Nazi’s caused it themselves in order to gain emergency powers. The darkest hours of Berlin’s history begin. The American stock market collapses in 1929. America would call in all of its foreign loans and Germany was spared no slack, even after the massive reparations it was forced to pay under the Treaty of Versailles. This crippled the economy of Germany and employment rose to over 6 million people. As history has proved over and over, economic depression causes the rise of extremism – during this period National Socialism and Communism were vying for the 1933 7
    • HISTORY 1945 After the fall of Berlin in WWII, Berlin is spliced into 4 sections by the allied powers. The former population of 4.5 million is almost halved, with a third of all the city’s historic buildings and living space flattened. 1961 Berlin is slashed in two by the Berlin Wall. The Eastern bloc claimed that the wall was erected to protect its population from fascist elements conspiring to prevent the will of the people in building a socialist state in East Germany. In operation however, the wall served only to prevent the massive emigration & defection (dubbed the brain-train) leaving for West Germany. The path of the wall is marked today by a double row of cobbles throughout the city. 1989 A peaceful revolution leads to the destruction of the Berlin wall and subse- quently the dismantling of the GDR. As communism began to falter in Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia, new exodus points were opened, breaking a hole in the iron curtain. On November 9th 1989, East German official, Gunter Schabowski, announced that, “permanent relocations can be done through all border checkpoints between the GDR into the FGR or West Berlin”. This announcement caused mass celebrations on both sides of the wall, many participants bringing a chisel and hammer to take part in its destruction. 1990 Germany is officially re-united by the Grundgesetz constitution article 25. The end of the process is referred to as Deutsch Einheit, or German Unity. Berlin again becomes Germany’s capital and parliament returns to the Reichstag for the first time since 1933.
    • MODERN DAY BERLIN Berlin is now a world city of culture, politics, media and science. Its economy is based loosely on high tech industry and the service sector. It is a thriving cultural mecca, particularly amongst young people due to its vibrant nightlife (clubs have no legal obligation to close) and has become one of the coolest places on the face of the earth. Berlin is a fully unified and cosmopolitan city and an exciting destination for travellers. 9
    • german phrases SURVIVAL GUIDE ENGLISH|How are you? GERMAN|Wie geht’s? PRONUNCIATION |Vee gahts E Fine, thank you G Gut, danke P Goot dang-ke E Do you speak english? G Sprechen Sie Englisch? P Shpre.khen zee eng.lish E I don’t understand G Ich verstehe nicht P ikh fer-shtay-e nikht E How much? G Wie viel P Vee feel? useful websites www.visitberlin.de Visit Berlin|Official tourist authority info www.museumsportal-berlin.de Museums portal|Find information about 200 muse- ums, memorials and palaces as well as details about of exhibitions and events www.exberliner.com Exberliner|The ultimate city guide from Berlin’s English - language magazine www.sugarhigh.de Sugarhigh|Bilingual daily email magazine featur- ing the latest in contemporary culture in Berlin - art, music, fashion, food, film, events, jobs and more. www.bvg.de BVG| Berlin’s transport website By Stephanie Annett
    • essential info E Where’s ...? G Wo ist ...? P Vaw ist Currency|Euro (€) 100 cents = 1€ E Cheers! G Prost! P Prawst Visas Generally not required for tourist E I’d like (a beer) G Ich möchte (ein Bier) P Ikh merkh.te ein beer Money|Cash is king: credit cards are E Where is the toilet? G Wo ist die Toilette? P vo ist dee to.a.le.te Mobile Phones|Mobile phones oper- legal matters Drinking in public is LEGAL! The blood alcohol limit is 0.05% for drivers and 0.16% for cyclists. Anyone caught exceeding this amount is subject to stiff fines and a confiscated license. Language|German stays up to 90 days (or at all for EU nationals): some nationalities need a Schengen visa not widely used, especially in smaller shops ate on GSM900/1800. If you have a European or Australian phone, save money by slipping in a German SIM card Time| Central European Time (GMT plus one hour) Tourist offices|VisitBerlin has offices at the Hauptbahnhof, the Bradenburg Gate and on Kurfürstendamm Cannabis possession is a criminal offense and punishment ranges from a warning to court appearances. EMERGENCY Ambulance| 112 Fire Department| 112 Police|110 11
    • SURVIVAL GUIDE public transport Operated under Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG), Berlin has an extensive public transport network that makes travelling around the city faster and more convenient. The public transport system includes the U-Bahn, S-Bahn, Trams and Buses. All the train lines are colour-coded, numbered and labelled to make life easier. Berlin transport area is divided into three zones: A, B and C. U-Bahn The U-Bahn is Berlin’s underground rapid transit railway and runs within the city boarders. Mon-Fri – From 4.00-1.00 every 5 or 10 mins Weekend – 24 hours, every 30mins after midnight S-Bahn The S-Bahn is similar to the U-Bahn but it runs mainly above the ground. Mon- Fro – From 4.30-1.30 Weekend - 24 hours, every 30mins after midnight Tram lines Berlin has an extensive network of tram lines that run on dedicated sections on the road. The trams mostly run on the eastern side of Berlin as buses replaced trams in west of Berlin during the division. Mon-Sun – 24 hour service, every 30mins after midnight Airports There are two airports that serve Berlin; Tegel and Schönefeld. The Tegel airport can be easily be reached by the bus services while Schönefeld airport can be reached both by buses or the S-Bahn. By Lily Woi
    • accommodation When picking a hostel it is important to distinguish what you want from the hostel experience. Do you sacrifice price for comfort and location? Or cost efficiency to be far away from attractions? Below are just a few picks of numerous Berlin Hostels to choose from. Berlin Circus Hostel Offering a huge selection of accommodation, from beds in dorms to penthouse apartments, Berlin Circus is a fantastic option for those with a bit more money to spend. This hostel offers an all you can eat breakfast, daily dinner specials in the circus café and happy hour nightly in the hostel’s bar, Goldmans. All this is located within walking distance of the Rosenthaler Platz U-bahn (A very central location for nightlife). What you get from convenience in this hostel, you pay for in a slightly higher cost. Weinbergsweg 1a Mitte |10119 8/10 Bed Dorm €23 4/5 Bed Dorm €27 3 Bed Dorm €31 Double or Twin €33 Single €50 http://www.circus-berlin.de/circus_berlin_hostel.html Generator Hostel Prenzlauer Berg Generator is home to over 890 beds, offering a huge selection of cheap but effective dorms. Free Wi-Fi is included and it has a lively bar area outside (which offers bring your own BBQ’s nightly in summer). Happy hour is 18.00-19.00 and the bar runs from 17.00-2.00. Generator is a great cost effective way of staying in Berlin. It is located a short walk from Landsberger Allee S-Bahn station, but is only a short ride to Alexanderplatz. Storkower Straße 160 Prenzlauer Berg | 10407 Dorms from €5, Female Dorms from €9, private triples from €10.50, private twins from €15.50 http://generatorhostels.com/ 13 By Thomas Bamford
    • SURVIVAL GUIDE like a berliner... Educate yourself on local flair. 1) PARTYING like a berliner. 2) FOOD SHOPPING like a berliner. Having no curfew means Berliners literally party for the entire weekend. The bars and clubs are packed from dawn to dust and beyond. The clubs don’t start until around 1.00 and don’t reach their peak until 3.00 – 5.00am. Choose from underground techno clubs to beach bars to beer gardens - there is something in Berlin to suit everyone’s taste. There is usually a supermarket within walking distance of every neighbourhood in Berlin. Examples of supermarkets include Rewe, Kaisers, Lidl and Aldi. Local farmer markets are dotted over the city and have a great source of fresh produce. Shops are closed on Sundays, except bakeries, souvenir shops and supermarkets based in the major train stations including Hauptbahnhof, Friedrichstraße and Ostbahnhof. Entry into super clubs like Berghain will set you back about 14.00€ but the smaller venues will charge about 5.00€ to 10.00€. Drinks are relatively inexpensive compared with other cities. A Cheap fast food is the staple diet bottled beer will set you back here. approx.. 3€ The dress code is very relaxed with high heels and smart shirts looking out of place. The best advice is to stick to simple individual style in dark colours with flat shoes. By Stephanie Annett 3) EATING like a berliner. The ultimate cult snack food is Berlin’s Currywurst. This consists of sliced fried wiener swimming in spicy tomato sauce, topped with curry powder. Check out Curry 36 for the top dog in town.
    • Did you know that the ULTIMATE hangover prophylaxis, the good ol’ donor kebab, was actually invented in Berlin as a simplified version of a Turkish speciality? This is street food at its best and the best stalls have the queues to prove it. Thinly shaved roasted veal and fresh salad, doused with a sauce of your choice. Select from a combination of Krauter (herb), scharf (hot) and Knoblauch (garlic). Choose from the traditional donor served in lightly toasted bread or the slightly less messy ‘Durum’ donor served in tortilla style flat breads. For a supreme pig out, have your kebab served over chips in a donor box. Ich würde gerne der Grund für Deine schlaflose Nacht sein. I’d love to be the reason for your sleepless night. The humble burger is quickly becoming an integral part of Berlin’s fast food scene. Hole in the wall style burger joints have been popping up all over the city, offering greasy beef favourites and veggi delights at rock bottom prices. Bist du oft hier? Do you come here often? 4) FLIRTING like a berliner. If you would like to know some phrases that might come in handy when approaching those hot but super shy Germans, then read on: Hat es sehr weh getan, als du vom Himmel gefallen bist? Did it hurt when you fell from heaven? Glaubst du an die Liebe auf den ersten Blick oder, soll ich nochmal vorbeilaufen? Do you believe in love at first sight, or should I walk by again? Ich hab meine Telefonnummer verloren. Kann ich deine haben? I’ve lost my phone number. Can I have yours? Du hast schöne Augen! You have beautiful eyes! Wenn ich sage, dass du einen tollen Körper hast, würdest du es mich spürgen lassen? If I said you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me? Need extra tips! Try Flirtuniverisity.de for complete flirting courses. 15
    • From the iconic Brandenburger Tor to the über-modern steel and glass of Potsdamer Platz’s Sony Centre, Berlin’s architecture is a hotchpotch of the old and new. The city is also home to an impressively diverse collection of current and former religious buildings and a range of memorials to historical events – from the Siegessäule to the Neue Wache. You’ll soon realise that you’re spoilt for choice if you’re looking to while away some time contemplating a slice of architectural history often without spending a cent. 17
    • FEATURE BERLINER DOM By Emma Dennison Overlooking the Lustgarten park, this neo-Baroque cathedral with its elaborate stonework and striking copper dome was built by Julius Carl Raschdorff to replace a more modest 18th-century structure. Work began in 1894 and was completed in 1905. The gold- and marble-filled cathedral is much more comfortable than you might expect. It bears a closer resemblance to a concert hall than to an actual place of worship. The vividly-coloured stained glass windows depicting scenes from the life of Jesus and the ornately carved and gilded wooden pulpit are particularly noteworthy. The organ is also worth a special mention as it has an impressively intricate case and 7 200 pipes. 18 Am Lustgarten |Mitte 10178 +49(0)30- 20269-136 S: Hackescher Markt (Apr-Sept) Mon-Sat 9.00-20.00 | Sun 12.00-20.00 (Oct-Mar) Mon-Sat 9.00-19.00 | Sun 12.00-19.00 7€ standard | 4€ concessions www.berlinerdom.de A suggested route around the building is clearly signposted, and takes about an hour. This route covers the main worship area, a museum detailing the cathedral’s history and a walkway up to the dome with fantastic views across the city (though be warned – it’s not for those who aren’t keen on steps). The route also covers the crypt which houses monuments of the Hohenzollern dynasty – the rulers of Prussia (and Germany post-unification) from the 15th century until Kaiser Wilhelm II’s
    • abdication in 1918. The Crypt is particularly worth visiting on a hot day, especially after walking up to the dome, as it is much cooler than the rest of the cathedral. If you’d prefer something more structured, detailed audioguides in English, German, Spanish or Italian are available for €3, or guided tours can be organised by phoning in advance. The crypt also houses temporary exhibitions and a gift shop that stocks a wide range of souvenirs, both of the cathedral and of Berlin in general. There is an outdoor café, which along with the shop, can be accessed without paying the entrance fee. The Cathedral also plays host to a number of concerts and recitals throughout the year. “The vividly coloured stained glass windows are particularly noteworthy” 19
    • DAS BUDDHISTISCHE HAUS The Buddhist House By Lily Woi Edelhofdamm 54 | Frohnau 13465 S Frohnau Mon – Sun 09.00-18.00 Free www.das-buddhistische-haus. de Enter through wooden doors and trek up the long, steep staircase until you arrive at a Ceylonesestyle building situated at the top of a hill surrounded by lush greenery. The Buddhist House is the oldest Theravada Buddhist temple in Europe and was founded in 1924 by Dr Paul Dahlke, a homeopathic doctor and writer. Although this contemporary-style temple is architecturally very different from the temples in Southeast Asia, you’ll still experience the same feelings of serenity when you visit. A Japanese-style garden with a patio is located behind the building, where you’ll be able to take a relaxing walk and soak in the spiritual essence of this place. 20 Beautifully-crafted Buddha statues are dotted around the whole area. Some overlook the forest, giving the illusion that the Buddha is gracing you with his presence. Have an enlightening chat about Buddhism or meditation with Bhante K. Santharakkhitha, the resident Buddhist monk from Sri Lanka. If you’re interested in learning more about Buddhism you can visit the temple’s library, which is filled with an extensive collection of Buddhist literature. Free mediation lessons, lectures, Dhamma talks and Buddhist prayer sessions are also offered every week. Everyone is welcome.
    • DENKMAL ZUR ERINNERUNG AN DIE BÜCHERVERBRENNUNG Book burning memorial By Bethany McDowell Bebelplatz 1 | 10117 Berlin U Friedrichstraße | Brandenburger Tor Free Hidden away in Bebelplatz, the Book Burning Memorial is a piece of artwork by the Israeli artist Micha Ullman and serves as a reminder of the Nazi book burning ceremony which took place on 10th May, 1933. On this night, nationalist students burned over 20,000 books which they considered ‘un-German’, marking the beginning of state censorship and control. Many of these books had famous and influential authors such as Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud and Franz Kafka. books which were burnt in 1933. The expanse of these empty shelves and the way this memorial is hidden underground raises many questions about censorship, suppression and freedom. How could people burn so many books full of knowledge and life? Beside the memorial is a bronze plaque with the haunting words from Heinrich Heine’s play, Almansor: ‘Where they burn books, they will in Called simply ‘Library’ and made the end also burn people.’ in 1995, the memorial consists of a small glass window fixed between cobbles in the ground. It is quite hard to find but there will be people gathered round it. Peering through the window you can see row upon row of empty white bookcases, with enough space to house the 20,000 21
    • NEUE WACHE The Guardhouse By Adam Lambert Unter den Linden | Mitte 10117 S + U Friedrichstraße Mon-Sun 10.00-18.00 Right next to the German History Museum on Unter den Linden, this monument provides the perfect place for a spot of thoughtful reflection away from the noise of the city. Built by architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel and completed in 1818, the neoclassical Neue Wache with its impressive columned façade and pointed roof served as a guardhouse to the troops of the Crown Prince of Prussia. Since 1931, the building has been used as a memorial and was first dedicated to the soldiers who lost their lives in World War I. The East German government then rededicated the memorial after World War II by lighting an eternal flame for the victims of fascism and militarism. 22 Today, the memorial is home to artist Käthe Kollwitz’ statue: Mother with her Dead Son. Standing directly under the oculus – a perfectly circular hole in the roof - the statue is vulnerably open to the elements. Kollwitz’ work depicts a grieving mother holding her fallen son, and is dedicated to all victims of war and tyranny. If you’re lucky enough to be there on wreath-laying days, you can witness the changing of the guards as it used to happen in the GDR.
    • SIEGESSÄULE Victory Column By Bethany McDowell Großer Stern | 10557 Berlin‎ S Tiergarten (Apr-Oct) 09.30-18.30 |(Nov-Mar) 09.30-17.30 3.00€ standard | 2.50€ concessions The Victory Column is a monument to Prussian militarism and was completed in 1873, two years after the victory over the French. However the column has now been transformed into a symbol of openness and cosmopolitanism. Barack Obama chose this landmark for his speech in July 2008, and in 2006 there was a giant public viewing area during the Football World Cup. The gay pride music festival, ‘Love Parade’, also used to march through here. You can see the gilded bronze statue of Winged Victory standing on her 67m (220ft) column from the Brandenburg Gate. She glitters in the sun and invites you closer. But don’t follow her blindly through the traffic; there are underground tunnels with interactive art installations to help you reach your goal safely. Once there, a climb of around 285 spiralling steps awaits you. This is not for the faint-hearted or anyone with a hangover! At the top, the fresh air and pleasant view of Berlin are worth the effort. You can spot most of Berlin’s major landmarks, such as the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag, albeit in miniature. This is a fun trip with a great panoramic view, plus if you pay the full price of 3.00€, you get 0.50€ off at Victoria Café opposite the column. 23
    • ALEXANDERPLATZ By Tamarah Green Alexanderplatz | Mitte 10178 S + U Alexanderplatz From a medieval cattle market to an eighteenth-century exercise ground, Alexanderplatz has seen a lot of change. A venue for both the glamorous and cocaine-fuelled twenties and the November 1984 GDR regime protest, it has always been an area for people to come together regardless of motive. Although not the most visually appealing space, Alexanderplatz (or “Alex” to Berliners) holds an enormous amount of German history - whether social, cultural or political. In the latter half of the nineteenth century the square was transformed from a transport hub to a shopping area, primarily due to its reconstruction after World War II. Attempting (and arguably succeeding) to challenge the West’s high-rises, the EastBerlin-constructed Fernsehturm (TV Tower) still dominates the skyline today and allows identify the 24 you to urban squarecity’s largest no matter your location. For 12.50€ you can access the Tower’s rotating viewing platform for a spectacular aerial view of the city. Some of the more inexpensive sights include the Brunnen der Völkerfreundschaft (Fountain of Friendship Between Peoples) and the 1969 World Time Clock. Both of these serve as popular meeting places amongst the bustle. With plans for demolition and reconstruction constantly on the table, Alexanderplatz will continue to be the face of change in Berlin, so be sure to visit the landmark sight at one stage of its constantly evolving timeline.
    • CHECKPOINT CHARLIE By Benjamin James Brady Friedrichstraße 44 | 10969 Berlin U Kochstraße | U Stadtmitte Mon – Sun 09.00 – 22.00 12.50€ standard | 9.50 concession http://www.mauermuseum.de/ Perhaps the best-known reminder of the former Iron Curtain is Checkpoint Charlie. This onceheavily-guarded border crossing may, at first glance, seem to be the most tourist-infested site you’ve seen thus far. There might, however, be a good reason for this. Amongst all its emotionally charged history, it’s also known for being the site of the famous standoff between US and Soviet tanks in 1961, when the world waited in horror as the prospect of a third World War loomed uncomfortably large. There isn’t much left of this infamous site apart from a mockedup border control booth and two actors in uniform, with flags and rifles at their sides. However these features are merely superfluous. The fascinating history of the site can be experienced in the museum Haus am Checkpoint Charlie. Inside you can read all about the heroic, desperate, and ingenious escape attempts by GDR citizens during the communists’ reign. Three floors of memorabilia crammed into small rooms is a lot to get through, yet it’s gripping - especially considering the lengths people went to in order to escape the leaders they never voted for. Homemade hot air balloons and one-man U-boats are just two examples of the would-be escapees’ ingenuity. 25
    • SANKT-HEDWIGS-KATHEDRALE Saint Hedwigs Cathedral By Lily Woi Hinter der Katholischen Kirche 3 | 10117 Mitte Berlin U Französische Straβe U Hausvogteiplatz Mon – Sat 10.00-17.00 | Sun 13.00 – 17.00 Free www.hedwigs-kathedrale.de Located in Bebelplatz, St Hedwig’s Cathedral is the most important Roman Catholic cathedral in Berlin and serves as the seat of the city’s archbishop. Consecrated in 1747, it was the first Catholic Church to be built in Prussia after the Protestant Reformation. The original neo-classical building, designed to resemble the Pantheon in Rome, burned down in 1943. It has been replaced by a modern interior by architect Hans Schwippert consisting of two churches with eight different chapels. Unlike other Catholic churches, the design is simple and unconventional. 26 As well as the tombs of many bishops of Berlin, the church also houses the crypt of Bernhard Lichtenberg, who was Provost of the Cathedral Chapter from 1938. Outspoken against the Nazis’ treatment of Jews and the euthanasia programmes, he was arrested in 1941 by the Gestapo and imprisoned for two years after publicly praying for the persecuted Jews. He later died en route to Dachau concentration camp in November 1943, and was beatified as a martyr in 1996 by Pope John Paul II. The cathedral’s many attractions include a room housing a collection of liturgical vestments and objects, an impressive organ and a uniquely designed dome, which is well worth a visit. Organ recitals are held on Wednesday at 3.00pm, and guided tours are available in English upon request.
    • BRANDENBURGER TOR Brandenburg Gate By Zoe Emilia Robertshaw Pariser Platz | Mitte 10117 S & U Brandenburger Tor When picturing Berlin, the Brandenburg Gate immediately comes to mind because of it’s deep-seated historical resonance. Designed by Carl Gotthard Langhans and built in the late eighteenth century, it has since undergone a few unwilling makeovers by political giants. The prime example would be that by Napoleon, when he kidnapped the Quadriga of the Goddess of Victory from atop the Gate and took her to France as a trophy. She was happily reinstated in 1841, and looks down majestically upon the tourists that flock to Pariser Platz, the luxurious square adjacent to the Gate. After World War II, the Gate came to symbolise divided Berlin - it was trapped in the East until Reunification led to its appropriation as a symbol of peace. Visit at dusk on a balmy evening when the sun’s rays spill across the columns and in busy seasons, the various buskers and entertainers create an atmosphere reminiscent of a festival. So go ahead and follow in the footsteps of Barack Obama, who in June this year made a speech from beside the Gate, and feel the history exuding from this landmark that has become one of the most recognised in Europe. Don’t hesitate to walk through Berlin’s front door and feel like you’ve truly arrived. 27
    • FEATURE POTSDAMER PLATZ By Natasha Owen Potsdamer Platz, named after the nearby town of Potsdam, is an area of Berlin known for its architecture and busy environment. Also referred to as ‘The platz to be’, it is home to dozens of restaurants, a large shopping centre, several luxurious hotels, the Sony Centre and many visitors. Shopping Potsdamer Platz Arkaden is a large shopping centre easily accessed from the S & U-bahn station. Inside, numerous shops can be found across several levels. Here you will find a variety of stores selling clothes, accessories, food and drink amongst other things. With so much on offer here, you could easily spend a day in the area. 28 U+S Potsdamer Platz www.potsdamerplatz.de www.potsdamer-platz-arkaden. de www.deutsche-kinemathek.de/en Hotels This busy quarter is also home to many glamorous hotels - perhaps the most deluxe is the Ritz Carlton. Others include the Grand Hotel Bellevue and the Palast Hotel which opened in the late 19th century. The Fürstenhof opened its doors in 1907 and the Esplanade followed just a year later.
    • Entertainment The Sony Centre is one of the main highlights of the Platz, bringing entertainment to the buzzing square. A large cinema can be found there, along with the Deutsche Kinemathek - Museum für Film und Fernsehen (Film and Television Museum). THE PLATZ TO BE” “ History pared to Piccadilly Circus and Times Square, however heavy bombing during World War II followed by the construction of the Berlin Wall rendered Potsdamer Platz unrecognisable. Until 1838, this area was a mere crossroads at one of Berlin’s city gates. After the construction of a railway station, the rural area began to blossom within a few decades. A period of economic growth after the creation of the German Empire in 1871 led to a ‘building boom’. In 1882 Germany’s the first electric streetlights were installed in the square. The area’s heyday was the Weimar period, when it was com Architecture Many architects were involved in the postReunification building and redevelopment of this area in Berlin. Headed by Italian Renzo Piano (wellknown for building the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and the New York Times Building), the eight-strong team’s members have all put their unique stamp on the magnificent skyline of the architectural quarter. 29
    • SCHLOSS CHARLOTTENBURG Charlottenburg Palace By Martina Cocci Spandauer Damm 20-24 Charlottenburg 14059 U Richard-Wagner Platz Apr-Oct Sun-Tue 10.00-18.00 Nov-March Sun-Tue 10.00-17.00 Mon Closed This palace was built by Fredrick III, Elector of Brandenburg, in 1699 as a summer residence for his wife Sophie Charlotte. It’s best to allow lots of time to visit the palace since the tour with the audio guide, which is included in the price, takes an hour and a quarter to complete. It can seem a little monotonous, but once you have started to walk through the royal apartments and rooms decorated in a variety of styles and materials you will be transported back to the period of the Prussian kings and won’t even notice the passage of time. You also have the option of just visiting one of the palace’s two wings. The first one, commissioned by Sophie Charlotte in 1699, 30 was designed in a Baroque style. The newer Rococo wing was built after Sophie Charlotte’s death in 1705. It contains the state apartments of Friedrich the Great and the Winter Chambers of Friedrich Wilhelm II. One of the characteristic features of the palace is the collection of Chinese and Japanese porcelain; the Porcelain Cabinet is especially amazing and contains more than 2700 porcelains that convey the triumph of the light thanks to the mirrors that surround them.
    • NIKOLAIVIERTEL Nicholas’s Quarter By Adam Lambert Am Nußbaum 3 | Mitte 10178 S + U Alexanderplatz www.nikolaiviertel-berlin.de This quaint borough of Mitte lies just five minutes’ walk along the banks of the Spree from Alexanderplatz, and is the reconstructed historical heart of Berlin. It was founded around 1200 but badly destroyed during World War II; many of the buildings are imitations of the once-grand medieval architecture. Often awash with tourists, the cobbled streets of Nikolaiviertel boast five museums and numerous restaurants which specialise in traditional German cuisine. Berlin’s oldest church - the St. Nikolai-Kirche, which gives the area its name - is the main point of interest and is now used as a museum which houses a permanent exhibition detailing the history of the church. Although quaint and picturesque, the district is perhaps somewhat lacking in authenticity and is partly spoiled by the numerous tacky souvenir shops that clutter the streets. An attempt to keep the focus on the history has led to the installation of numbered information plaques which adorn the buildings and outline the district’s interesting past. All in all, don’t let the touristy nature of Nikolaiviertel put you off as many an interesting holiday photo can be taken here while discovering Medieval Berlin. 31
    • PARK SANSSOUCI By Thomas Bamford An der Orangerie 1 | Potsdam 14469 RE: Potsdam Hauptbahnhof | Bus: Schloss Sanssouci Tues-Sun 10.00 – 18.00 | Mon closed Premium pass (allowing one day’s entry to all attractions) 19€ | 14€ concessions http://www.potsdam-parksanssouci.de/ 30 minutes by Regional Express train from Berlin are the verdant gardens of Park Sanssouci, surrounding the palace of Schloss Sanssouci. Sanssouci, French for ‘without a care,’ was built between 1745 and 1747 as the summer residence of Prussian king Friedrich II (Frederick the Great). The estate served as a resplendent retreat for when the King found ruling the Prussian Empire too overwhelming. 32 Arrive early to ensure you have time to see everything Sanssouci has to offer. There’s almost too much to see in one day, so pack plenty of enthusiasm to get you through the often lengthy queues. As well as Schloss Sanssouci, other major sights include the Neues Palais (New Palace), the Neuen Kammern (New Chambers), the Orangery and Schloss Charlottenhof. The luxurious 18th-century picture gallery contains paintings by Van Dyck, Caravaggio and Rubens. Schloss Sanssouci’s design was greatly influenced by Friedrich II himself, who disregarded many of his architect’s suggestions. The rooms have been preserved in all their splendour, despite Friedrich’s wish that the Palace last only for his lifetime and die with him. Park Sanssouci really is a big visit so plan your day so that you see as much as possible. Don’t forget to take advantage of the audio guides or guided tours included in the admission price.
    • REICHSTAG By Thomas Bamford Platz der Republik 1 | Tiergarten 11011 U Bundestag | U+S Brandenburger Tor Dome 8.00-23.00 daily – online booking required Free www.bundestag.de ‘Dem Deutschen Volke’ – so reads the iconic inscription above the entrance to the Reichstag, the home of Germany’s parliament. This gift ‘to the German people’ has become emblematic of the city’s chequered history of occupation, destruction and subsequent resurrection. The imperious building was erected between 1884 and 1894 and was designed by German architect Paul Wallot, who borrowed heavily from Italian Renaissance and neo-Baroque styles. Home to Germany’s parliament until 1933, the building has since played a huge part in Berlin’s history. The Reichstag was burned down in 1933, ostensibly by the Communists or perhaps the Nazis – the debate continues. The Nazi government used the building only for propaganda presentations and, having been bombed during World War II, it remained empty until Reunification. An epic reconstruction project, overseen by British architect Norman Foster, began in 1992. It once more became a seat of power, this time for the German Bundestag, in 1999. The building’s crowning glory is now its glass and metal cupola, a nod to Wallot’s original design. The dome is open to visitors and offers a panoramic view of the city as you scale its futuristic mirrored interior. A free audio guide is available, detailing the building’s history and describing the views. Book online and well in advance, especially during the summer months when it can get very busy. 33
    • UNTER DER LINDEN By Thomas Bamford 10117 Mitte U Friedrichstraße Französischer Straße U+S | Brandenburger Tor Stretching from East to West, from the site of the former Berliner Stadtschloss palace to the Brandenburg Gate, is Unter den Linden, the central artery of Berlin’s Mitte district. The road was designed by Johann Georg, Elector of Brandenburg, in the 16th century so that he could more easily reach his hunting ground in the Tiergarten. The addition of the linden (or lime) trees was an artistic flourish ordered by Elector Friedrich Wilhelm I. Friedrich II (Frederick the Great) added the Staatsoper Unter den Linden (Berlin State Opera) in 1741, and was later immortalised in an iron statue at the street’s eastern end. Frederick the Great also added the Prince Heinrich 34 Palace, which is now Humboldt University - notable alumni include Albert Einstein, Karl Marx, Otto von Bismarck and many more. The street today is a peculiar mix of museums, such as the Deutsches Historiches Museum and the Willy Brandt Museum, and flagship car showrooms such as those of Volkswagen, Bentley and Skoda. If cars aren’t your thing, try the art gallery underneath the Volkswagen showroom. There are also several monuments, such as the Book Burning Memorial and the Neue Wache -largely considered Karl Friedrich Schinkel’s masterpiece - and of course the ubiquitous souvenir shops selling a range of tat for tourists.
    • BERLIN RATHAUS Red City Hall By Stephanie Annett Rathausstraße 15 |10178 Mitte Free admission Mon - Fri 9am - 6pm U+S | Alexanderplatz This imposing red brick structure is an unusual blend of Italian Renaissance and Northern German architectural styles. The Rathaus boasts three courtyards and many arched windows, and is topped off with a striking 74-metre-tall tower. The 19th-century building is situated in Alexanderplatz, behind the elaborate Neptunbrunnen fountain. The Rathaus was severely damaged by allied forces in the Second World War but was quickly reconstructed in the years after. Following the division of Berlin, the Rathaus became the town hall for East Berlin whilst the West was governed from Rathaus Schöneberg. After the Cold War and Reunification, the Rathaus once again became the administrative centre for the whole city. It is now also the seat of Berlin’s mayor, Klaus Wowereit, and the Senate. Upon entering the building and ascending the grand red-carpeted staircase, you could be forgiven for imagining you were on the Titanic. Immerse yourself in the building’s grandeur and admire the stunningly intricate chandeliers. Explore the maze of rooms at your leisure, but don’t miss the nine-metre-high orange Pillar Hall; the Hall of Arms, with coats of arms for all Berlin’s districts; and the Grand Room, used for ceremonies. Don’t forget to sign the guest book when you leave, and take a sneaky peek at Barack Obama’s signature. 35
    • Berlin is a mecca of art and culture. Thanks to its low cost of living, Berlin has attracted tons of artists, musicians and writers over the years. This means that the city not only showcases the famous and well-known but also the new and up-and-coming. The art and culture here can be seen all around - whether you’re walking past graffiti or visiting a well-known art gallery, everything in Berlin is designed to enhance your cultural experience. 37
    • KONZERT AM BODE-MUSEUM Concerts at the Bode-Museum By Emma Dennison Portal des Bode-Museums, Monbijoubrücken | Mitte 10117 S Hackescher Markt |U+S Friedrichstraße (Jul-Aug) Sun 20.30 Free Entry, Donations welcome. www.sonntagskonzerte.de Every Sunday evening in July and August the steps of the BodeMuseum onto Monbijoubrücke become a concert venue, showcasing varied programmes of lesser-known chamber works. As traditional concert halls can be expensive, this is a more informal way to get your classical music fix without worrying about stuffy etiquette. The audience comprises of all ages and nationalities, with lots of young people, so don’t worry about feeling out of place. The concert starts at 20.30, however if you want a seat you should be there at least half an hour before. Otherwise sit on the floor or steps – but don’t expect much space. The concerts last around two hours, including an interval, so 38 bring something to sit on and a jacket as it can get chilly. Wine and beer are available to buy, though you can also bring your own. Programmes are free, and donations are taken during the interval. Despite the gentle hush that falls as the music begins, audience members come and go as they please, though the encores are usually worth the wait. Despite the comings-and-goings, the music can easily be heard thanks to speakers and the lighting ensures a clear view even as the sun sets. As a way to spend a Sunday evening in Berlin, watching the sunset over a beautiful building accompanied by wonderful music for next to nothing has to be one of the best.
    • EAST SIDE GALLERY By Benjamin James Brady Mühlenstraße | 10243 Berlin U Warschauer Straße | S Warschauer Straße Open 24 hours Free www.eastsidegallery-berlin.de If you haven’t quite got your fix of what the coolest city in world has to offer; if you want the rawest kind of cultural significance that is also completely free, then the East Side Gallery in Mühlenstraße is a serious must-see. A 1.3km remnant of something as simple as a wall, used to divide people, cultures, ideas and ways of life, this weighty and utterly discriminating divider is now one of the largest outdoor galleries in the world. It was commissioned and decorated by dozens of international artists in 1990, soon after Germany’s reunification. The original works have been somewhat eroded by time, and in many cases distastefully defaced, but the murals still shine through. You get the distinct feeling that reunification was a time of sincere jubilation, when many felt a need to make a mark, a warning, and a celebration. You just have to gaze upon Dmitri Vrubel’s wry depiction of communist leaders Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker kissing to even begin to understand how powerful it feels, how poignant it is. All lovers of graffiti and revolutionary art should be in their element here. For 1.00€ you can also have a GDR stamp in your passport so you can say you’ve literally been there and crossed the border. Who knows where it will take you? 39
    • MUSEUM FÜR GEGENWART Hamburger Bahnhof By Benjamin James Brady Invalidenstraße 50-51 | 10557 Berlin U: Naturkundemuseum | S: Hauptbahnhof Tue – Sun 10.00 – 18.00 |Thur 10.00 – 20.00 | Mon Closed 14€ Standard | 7€ concession www.hamburgerbahnhof.de If you only have a few hours to absorb some of Berlin’s menagerie of creativity on offer it would have to be done in Hamburger Bahnhof. No, it’s not some kind of gallery/fast food outlet - it is, in all its magnificence, 10,000 sq ft of contemporary art housed in a former 19th century train station bordering the district of Mitte. On entering the cool, lofty, whitewashed interior you have the chance to view an everchanging array of temporary, cutting-edge exhibitions. But the main attraction is its permanent exhibition, at the centre of which is the Marx Collection. A humble assortment of 20th-century gems was made available to 40 the viewing public by Berlin entrepreneur Erich Marx in 1982, and Berliners and tourists alike flock to see it. There is nothing quite like standing idly among giant fragments of some of the past century’s most notable, and I’m talking about the likes of Warhol’s ‘Chairman Mao’, and early collage ‘Pink Door’ by Rauschenberg. Lichtenstein, Cy Twombly and Joseph Beuys also feature in the collection that offers an exciting focus on a predominantly American theme from the 1960s and 1970s. Even if you are indifferent to the above-mentioned and think it’s not your thing, the free guided tour on Saturdays and Sundays at 12pm is well worth it and will leave you all the more thirsty for what this great city has to offer.
    • SAMMLUNG BOROS Boros Collection By Benjamin James Brady Reinhardtstraße 20 | 10117 Berlin Mitte U Oranienburger Tor Thur – Sun | Viewing by appointment only 10€ www.sammlung-boros.de A bunker, an imposing structure, sits stoic and stark amongst its neighbouring city buildings. Built as an air-raid shelter during World War II, it’s had a myriad of uses over the years: Soviet prison, textile factory, and exotic fruit and vegetable warehouse (during which time it became known as the “banana bunker”) Today it’s owned by avid art collector and enthusiast Christian Boros and holds and exhibits, in slow rotation, his vast collection of contemporary art. The first exhibition opened in 2008 and lasted for four years; the second opened in 2012 and is still going. It has a labyrinthine interior, with 80 rooms lit with bare strip lighting. It’s scantily decorated in the ‘white cube’ style, with bare concrete walls. Some rooms are tiny, dark and close, while others have been hollowed out and seem vast, bearing the scars of renovation. Installations fill and complement the space, paintings loom in corridors, and giant photographic works are stylishly hung. It’s gritty - and bunker like. You need to book way in advance for the guided tour, so allow a few weeks. The tour is available in German and English, and takes about 1.5 hours. It’s well worth the money and is thoroughly engaging and thought-provoking. 41
    • SAMMLUNG SCHARF-GERSTENBURG Scharf-Gerstenburg Collection ByBethany McDowell Schloßstraße 70 | Charlottenburg 14059 U Richard-Wagnerplatz | S Westend Tues-Sun 10.00-18.00 Entrance included with Museum Berggruen Ticket www.smb.museum Ever wondered how to turn a horse’s rear-end into a skull? Welcome to ‘Surreal Worlds’ - the exhibition at Sammlung ScharfGerstenburg that will introduce you to a whole new way of looking at the world. Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg holds the Dieter Scharf Collection in memory of Otto Gerstenberg (1848-1935), an art collector who assembled one of the largest art collections of his time. His grandsons, Walter Scharf (19231996) and Dieter Scharf (19262001), inherited his passion for art and continued to acquire pieces for the collection. The exhibition holds more then 250 paintings, sculptures and lithographs, and includes 42 works by Dalí, Magritte and Miró to name but a few. It shows a world of marvels and metamorphoses, as the artists merge dreams with reality. There are films here too: Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí’s critical view of the bourgeoisie can be seen in the shocking surrealist film ‘Un Chien Andalou,’ which runs on loop along with other films made by contemporary artists. Marx Klinger’s series of lithographs entitled ‘Glove’ is also a must-see, and the free audio guide explains the diverse representations of the psyche in each picture. As for creating a skull out of a horse’s backside, you will just have to go and see that for yourselves.
    • KW INSTITUTE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART By Benjamin James Brady Auguststraße 69 | 10117 Mitte Tue – Sun 12.00 – 19.00 | Thur 12.00 – 21.00 | Mon closed U Rosenthaler Platz S Hackescher Markt 6€ standard | 4€ concession www.kw-berlin.de/en One of the main showcases for exciting contemporary art in Berlin is Kunst Werke. It is renowned for its repertoire of shows and hosts many artists from around the world. Because of its diverse and forward thinking approach to the art exhibited, it’s no wonder they get a lot of international recognition. The interior of the gallery is made up of small, quiet, separate spaces. As you meander through, musing on the strange and unique installations, the gallery eventually opens up into a cavernous hall-like basement which echoes your careful footsteps and leads down to a further barebrick-walled dungeon space. The curators use the space well and display the work sensitively. Go back through the reception area and take the stairs up to floor 3 ½, where there is more to see before heading down to the courtyard for a much-needed coffee. The shows change three to four times a year so there is always something fresh and new to engage in, and you don’t have to ‘know’ anything about art to appreciate them. Perturbed? Gobsmacked at what you see? Places like this exist to open your mind and encourage you to question things, not to be content with the norm - whatever you count that to be. 43
    • SCHWULES MUSEUM Gay Museum By Stephanie Annett Lützowstraße 73 | Tiergarten 10785 U Nöllendorfplatz U Kurfürstenstraße Sun, Mon, Weds-Fri 14.00-18.00 | Sat 14.00-19.00 | closed Tues 6€ | 4€ concessions www.schwulesmuseum.de Founded in 1985, this is the world’s largest (and Europe’s only) museum dedicated to homosexual culture. It aims to archive, research and communicate the history and culture of the lesbian, gay, trans, bisexual, intersex and queer communities. The 300 exhibits show visitors how gay men and women have lived, fought and partied over the centuries. Explore the execution of “gay” monks in the 1500s in Ghent, and the life story of Einar Wegener the first person to receive gender reassignment surgery in the 1930s. Learn how bodybuilding helped the acceptability of nude photography and how the statefunded Berlin AIDS project created a new social acceptance of homosexuality. 44 Temporary exhibitions keep the space dynamic, and the current exhibition commemorates the lives of Jewish homosexuals in the Third Reich. It includes twenty four biographies representing the experiences of homosexual Jews under the Nazis: from exile, deportation and murder to survival and post war life. Until a new permanent exhibition is installed in 2014, you can visit the interim exhibition “Transformations”. It details, through art, lifestyles and identities beyond heteronormative gender classifications. Same-sex relationships are still taboo and criminalised in many parts of the world, and this museum offers an understanding in order to admonish inequalities.
    • MUSEUM FΫR FILM UND FERNSEHEN Museum of Film and Television By Zoë Emilia Robertshaw Potsdamer Straße 2 | Tiergarten 10785 S + U Potsdamer Platz Tue-Wed 10:00 - 18:00 Thu 10:00 - 20:00 | Fri-Sun 10:00 - 18:00 7€ standard | 4.50€ concession http://www.deutsche-kinemathek. de/en From sci-fi to silent films, this museum charts the evolution of German cinema throughout the country’s turbulent history. Its location in Potsdamer Platz suits the metallic interior and futuristic layout of the exhibition. Having taken the lift that whisks you to the third floor of the building, you enter the first gallery: a geometric hall of mirrors which combines your own reflection with the faces of silent film stars. The dusky lighting and tinny background music transport you back to the 1920s; as the caption tells you, ‘the language of silent film is international’. The remainder of the exhibition is structured chronologically, exploring films that were released at the time of the Weimar Republic’s demise; films censored by the Nazi Ministry of Propaganda; and anarchic postWorld-War-II films. German film star Marlene Dietrich is at the heart of the exhibition: her costumes are displayed in a circular room in the centre and the walls are peppered with photographs of her. The audio guide is worth the 2€ charge as it gives invaluable information on notable exhibits such as props and models of film sets. The television exhibition, however, is less engaging for the non-German-speaker as the television programmes in the Museum’s archive are only available to watch in German. 45
    • FEATURE AUGUSTSTRASSE August Street By Benjamin James Brady Mitte | 10117 Berlin U Rosenthaler Platz S Oranienburger Straße Auguststraße is known as Berlin’s main gallery area. An area that encapsulates the thriving nature of the avant-garde, a hive of creativity that has turned into a magnet for all those looking for contemporary art and culture, be it gallery spaces or chic eateries. high ceilings and large metal framed windows. Previously unused for ten years, it held the 4th Berlin Biennale in 2006. It reopened in 2012 and now houses several independent art galleries and a museum devoted to former U.S. president John F. Kennedy and his family. Auguststraße was a predominantly Jewish neighbourhood before World War II. When the wall came down in 1989, buildings stood unused, abandoned from the days of the GDR. Galleries and young creative types knew how to take advantage of the cheap rent and cost of living. They moved into the area, thus establishing it as the centre of the German art scene. More art galleries line the street, from smaller outfits to larger institutions like Kunst Werke and the ME Collectors Room. Kunst Werke, in particular, brings a lot of international attention because of its Standing proudly amidst August Street, is the former Jewish School for Girls. It was designed by prominent architect Alexander Beer in the so-called ‘New Objectivity’ style, emphasizing function over form. Looking from the outside it’s dark and imposing. The inside, 46 however, is elegant and flowing with mosaic tiled floors,
    • interest in showing work from artists around the globe. Be prepared to be immersed, shocked, challenged and surprised when visiting. The street is also home to a number of independent fashion designers. Auguststraße a reputation for being an equally trendy spot for nightlife. For dinner choose between; Italian (Al Contadino Sotto Le StelleSlow), French (Brasserie Nord Sud), Spanish (Restaurant Ruz) or German (Clärchens Ballhaus). For something a little more dynamic try Shiso Burger, they offer an interesting Asian inspired take on gourmet junk food. “An area that encapsulates the thriving nature of avant-garde” It can be a long old stroll if you want to experience it all in one sitting but there is no shortage of coffee shops. For a little pick me up try Factory Girl, Auguststraße 29. They serve tasty variations on coffee (Cappuccino with Banana nectar), homemade lemonade and numerous well-crafted sweets and desserts. Breakfast and lunch are offered all day. As you’d expect from such an area, there are also many restaurants and music venues that give Auguststraße is lit up beautifully in the evening and is humming with people taking in the night. The atmosphere, especially during the summer months, is languid and sultry. There is a real mix of people and it seems so relaxing that you could easily spend your entire trip here, drinking it all up. 47
    • BAUHAUS ARCHIV Bauhaus Archive By Thomas Bamford Klingelhöferstraße 14 10785 Berlin S Nollendorfstraße Weds-Mon 10.00-17.00 www.Bahaus.de In 1919 Walter Gropius (the Bauhaus school founder) foresaw a new age in which civilization would become highly mechanized. He subsequently set up the Bauhaus school which purported a new way of teaching so that students would learn to become excellent craftspeople in workshop. The maxim of the school was to create products in which ‘function, not tradition’ should influence design. The exhibition is split into the different Bauhaus schools: ceramics, photography, stone carvings, weaving and architecture. The combined goal of each school is to amalgamate all of the schools into creating a ‘total’ work of art in which all arts, including architecture, would be brought together. Gropius realized his vision in the 48 iconic design of the utopian Bauhaus Archiv building with its iconic shed roofs cutting the suburban skyline. You will be surprised at just how many of the Bauhaus products are instantly familiar, for example Marcel Bruers ‘tubular chair’, the first of its design, with no hind legs. The highlight of the Archiv is the architecture section, where the display exhibits internal Bauhaus school competitions between architects to create a ‘Bauhaus settlement’. Perusing the Modernist housing models, notably the Red Cube by Monarth and Monarth and Ludvig von Der Rohe’s high rise at Fredrichstraße, it is difficult not to see the Bauhaus movement’s inspiration on modern Berlin architecture. Audioguides are available for a 20€ deposit and are advised, given the interactive nature of the presentation.
    • ALTE NATIONALGALERIE Old National Gallery By Martina Cocci Reinhardtstraße 20 | 10117 Bodestraße 1-3 | 10178 Berlin U+S Hackescher Markt Sun-Tue 10.00-18.00 | Thu 10.00-20.00 | Mon Closed www.smb.museum This art gallery offers an ex- tensive collection of 19th century works of art, created between the French Revolution and the First World War and ranging in style from Neoclassicalism to the Succession. Not only are the works – which are primarily paintings - worth seeing, but the Neoclassical-style gallery itself is also very attractive. At its entrance you will find a luxurious red carpet, covering a bright white marble staircase. The lower floor is made up of two sections: one dedicated to realism, where you will find the major works by Mezel, Constable and Curbet, and the other contains Neoclassical sculptures, such as Canova’s Ebe and Begas’ Amor and Psyche. When you reach the second floor, you en- ter a small room with a high blue dome that contrasts with the Neobaroque sculptures which line it. On the third floor you find yourself in the “Goethezeit und Romantik” (Goethe-era and Romantic) section, featuring masterpieces by Caspar David Friedrich, Karl Friedrich Schinkel and other key figures of the Romantic and Biedermeier schools. The schools covered on this floor include Idealism, Realism and Impressionism, and works by Monet, Manet, Liebermann and Feuerbach. Visiting the whole gallery takes more or less two hours, and an informative audio guide is included in the price. 49
    • HAUPTSTADT ZOO By Tom Shipman Hardenbergplatz 8 District 10787 U + S – Zoologischer Garten Mon-Sun 09:00-19.00 Zoo only ticket 13€ standard | 10€ concession Zoo and Aquarium combi-ticket 20€ standard | 15€ concession www.zoo-berlin.de As zoos go, Berlin’s is one of the biggest in Europe, covering a massive 84 acres. The number and diversity of animals here far exceeds what most zoos can offer. Holding around 1500 different species, the main highlights include lions, brown bears, arctic wolves, a giant panda, elephants, a polar bear, penguins and kangaroos. Its vast size can be daunting, and makes it very easy to miss several of the animal exhibits, so make sure you set aside at least half a day to explore. A suggested route covers everything, but following it is definitely not an easy task! Additionally, the lack of English on the information 50 boards means that without a good understanding of German you have little hope of learning much about the animals. The best way to enjoy your day here is to stroll leisurely around the wide leafy green footpaths, ice cream in hand. The animal pens have varied layouts, and some transport you to a Lion King-style savannah. Many pens are of a good size, leaving the animals plenty of space to roam. However the bare concrete indoor lion cages are small - quite a depressing sight considering the distressed pacing of the lions inside.
    • GEMÄLDERGALERIE Old Master Paintings By Bethany McDowell Stauffenbergstraße 40 Tiergarten 10785 U+S Potzdamer Platz Tues-Sun 10.00-18.00 Thurs 10.00-22.00 10.00€ standard 5.00€ for concessions www.smb.museum Opened in 1998 and housing works by true masters of their time - including Albecht Dürer, Titian, Caravaggio, Peter Paul Rubens and Gainsborough, as well as one of the largest collections of Rembrandts in the world - the Gemäldergalerie is a veritable encyclopaedia of western painting. One of the gallery’s highlights is ‘Amor Victorious’ by Caravaggio which depicts Eros, representing physical love, as more powerful than any other human endeavour. This is displayed next to Giovanni Baglione’s ‘Sacred Love Versus Profane Love’ which was commissioned by a Roman bishop in response to the scandal of Caravaggio’s piece. It is clear which painting is triumphant. The gallery’s works contain many surprising symbolic representations of love and sin. For example, a cucumber represents how the mother of God was preserved from original sin in Carlo Crivelli’s ‘Madonna and Child Enthroned,’ and the subject of Sebastiano de Piombo’s ‘Portrait of a Young Woman’ makes a V-sign with her fingers - displaying either virtuosity or vivaciousness. She does, however, have a certain coquettish gleam in her eye… This is a fantastic display of art, demonstrating how the old masters explored and developed art and its subject matter through time. The free audio guide is highly recommended as it explains symbols that might otherwise be overlooked. 51
    • SINGUHR - HÖRGALERIE Singuhr Sound Gallery By Tom Shipman Wasserspeicher Belforter Straße (Main Room) and Diedenhoferstraße (Second Room) | 10405 Prenzlauer Berg U - Senefelderplatz Wed-Sun 14.00-20.00 4€ standard | 3€ concession www.singuhr.de For the past 10 years the Singuhr Sound Gallery has been Berlin’s main venue for sound art installations. The unique Singuhr project has hosted over 80 different exhibits since its foundation. The gallery is split into two different locations, both within Prenzlauer Berg’s historic water reservoirs. Head to the main gallery first, pull back the curtain at the entrance and step into an eerie pitch black room. The gallery’s damp concrete labyrinthine structure coupled with the creepy whistling wind will send shivers down your spine. Were it not for the various wind chimes which are situated at random intervals around this dark maze, you could 52 more easily believe yourself to be on the set of a horror film than in a sound gallery. The spotlights above the wind chimes mean that you can see as well as hear the physical interaction of the wind with the instruments. Once you’ve explored the main gallery, head around to the other side of the reservoir and enter room two. Here you can find a variety of exhibits, such as a loud rotating mirror at the room’s centre which swings around reflecting sharp rays of light into your face.
    • MUSEUM BERGGRUEN By Bethany McDowell Schloßstraße 1 | 14059 Charlottenburg U Richard-Wagnerplatz | S Westend Tues-Sun 10.00-18.00 10.00€ standard | 5.00€ for concessions www.smb.museum/mb This modern art gallery is particularly worth seeing if you are a Picasso fan. Or if you would simply like to learn more about modernist art, then this is a good place to start. The museum is located directly opposite Charlottenburg Palace. Once used as officers’ barracks, the building has been refurbished into a stylish gallery with small rooms which disperse the crowd and make you feel like you’re on a private tour. The museum is named after Berlin-born artcollector Heinz Berggruen (19142007), who assembled the vast collection displayed here over a period of 40 years. Berggruen was a known Picasso enthusiast and there are over 120 pieces of the Spaniard’s work in the museum. The exhibition gives you a fantastic overview of Picasso’s artistic development through the different stages of his life. The collection also includes the painting ‘Nu Juane’, one of the first studies for ‘Les Demoiselles d’Avignon’, which was acquired by Berggruen’s family in 2005 for a cool $13.7 million. Also on display are over 70 works by Paul Klee alongside many of Henri Matisse’s works, including some of his famous paper cut outs, as well as works by Alberto Giacometti, Georges Braque, Henri Laurens and Paul Cézanne. 53
    • AQUARIUM BERLIN By Tom Shipman Budapester Straße 32 | Tiergarten 10787 U+S Zoologischer Garten Mon-Sun 09:00-18:00 Aquarium only ticket - 13€ standard | 10€ concession Zoo and Aquarium combi-ticket 20€ standard | 15€ concession www.aquarium-berlin.de Berlin’s aquarium was built in 1913 as part of the Zoological Garden complex. Comprising three floors, it is one of Germany’s largest aquariums and is home to a vast variety of not only fish but also amphibians, reptiles and insects. You enter on the ground floor, which is home to the aquarium’s entire collection of fish. The walls are lined with tanks, full of exotic and brightly-coloured fish, which stretch the length of the long thin room. Towards the end of the room the tanks get larger, and here several sharks can be viewed - including blacktip reef sharks, sand 54 tiger sharks and nurse sharks. Once you’ve explored the fish section in full, head upstairs to the reptile floor. The highlight of this floor is most definitely the crocodile hall, which was the world’s first ever walkthrough enclosure. It is an Indiana Jones style walk-through, where from the bridge you can view crocodiles and turtles below. The final floor plays host to the likes of frogs, toads and some deadly spiders and scorpions. Once you have finished exploring the three floors, there is a reasonably priced café selling hot dogs for 3€ where you can rest before perhaps visiting the zoo next door.
    • KONZERTHAUS BERLIN Berlin Concert Hall By Emma Dennison Gendarmenmarkt 2 | Mitte 10117 U Stadtmitte Foyer (Apr-Oct) 11.00-18.00 Box office Mon-Sat 12.00-19.00 | Sun 12.00-16.00 www.kozerthaus.de Home to the Berlin Konzerthausorchester, this neoclassical concert hall was built in the early 19th century by Karl Friedrich Schinkel. Originally known as the Schauspielhaus and used mainly for theatre and opera, the Konzerthaus was reconstructed in the 1960s after being damaged by World War II bombing and reopened in 1984 in its current form. The exterior is dominated by its huge red-carpeted staircase and Ionic portico, which is often home to groups of tourists enjoying icecream. The building is topped by a sculpture of Apollo, the god of music and poetry, riding a chariot. The main venue of the Konzerthaus, the Große Saal, seats around 1500. A complete and faithful reconstruction of Schinkel’s design, the light yet opulent décor, accented with gold, is characteristic of the architect’s style. The walls are adorned with busts of notable composers and the room is lit by fourteen gleaming chandeliers. Other rooms are similarly decorated, with pastel colours and figures from classical mythology present throughout. As well as the Konzerthausorchester, the venue plays host to many other famous orchestras and soloists. It was also a favourite of the American composer and conductor, Leonard Bernstein. Books, CDs and postcards are available to buy from the foyer and box office and there is also a café with both indoor and outdoor seating. 55
    • FEATURE GENDARMENMARKT By Emma Dennison This late 17th-century square is framed by three of Berlin’s architectural gems; the Französischer Dom (French Cathedral) to the north, the Konzerthaus to the east and the Deutscher Dom (German Cathedral) to the south. The name Gerdarmenmarkt comes from the French Huguenot Gens d’Armes regiment, who used the land for stables in the 18th century. The square was heavily bombed during World War II, and later underwent extensive reconstruction. Under the DDR, the square was renamed Platz der Akademie (after the Academy of Sciences), but reverted back to its original name after Reunification. 56 The Deutscher Dom was built in 1708 for the German Protestant-Reform com- Mitte 10117 U: Stadtmitte | Französische Straße Französischer Dom Tues-Sun 12.00-17.00 Französischer Dom Viewing Platform daily 12.00-17.00 Huguenot Museum Tues-Sat 12.0017.00 | Sun 11.00-17.00 munity, and the tower and dome were added in 1785. After being bombed during World War II it was rebuilt in 1993, whereby the interior was remodelled to house an exhibition on democracy in Germany. Despite its name, the church (like the Französischer Dom) was never a cathedral in the traditional sense and instead gets its name from its domed tower.
    • The Französischer Dom was built was copied from an earlier bust between 1701 and 1705 by the by Johann Heinrich Dannecker. community of French Huguenot The pedestal is decorated with refugees. They came to Berlin at figures representing Lyric Poetry, the invitation of Friedrich III af- Drama, History and Philosophy. ter they were exiled from France Erected in 1869 and designed by in 1699. The building Reinhold Begas, the was modelled on the Hustatue was removed guenot church in Chaby the Nazis in the “The many 1930s and was not renton, France, which had been destroyed in benches and replaced until 1988. 1688. Like those of the green spaces The square is home Deutscher Dom, the Franzosischer Dom’s Co- make it an ide- to many buzzing rinthian porticoes, tower restaurants and caal spot for peo- fés, and is conveand dome were added in 1785. This provides the ple-watching” niently located near square with a pleasing to the shopping hub symmetry. As well as still of Friedrichstraße. being a place of worship The many benches and a concert venue, the com- and green spaces make it an ideplex also houses the Huguenot al spot for people-watching and museum and a viewing platform. several buskers are on hand to keep you entertained. It’s also a In the centre of the square, in feature on many walking and cyfront of the neo-classical Konzer- cling tours, ensuring there’s thaus, there is a white marble always a varied crowd. 57 statue of German poet Friedrich Schiller. The head of the statue
    • MONSTERKABINETT Monster Cabinet By Stephanie Annett Rosenthaler Strasse 39 10178 Berlin 16.00-22.00 Fri and Sat Thurs 18.00-22.00 S Wienmeisterstrasse U Hackescher Markt Standard 8.00€ Concessions 5.00€ www.monsterkabinett.de Located among the remnants of the former East Berlin is the nightmarish art display Monsterkabinett. When you enter Haus Schwarzenburg, a square festooned with street art spared from gentrification, you pass by a bizarre moving metal sculpture and then descend the spiral staircase to this surreal underground world. Inspired by the dreams of artist Hannes Heiner, it is a menagerie of computer controlled mechanical monsters, techno beats and strobe lighting. Bop along with ‘Puppi’ the techno loving go-go dancer or hangout with ‘Orangina’, the twirling six legged doll. Be 58 mesmerized and surprised by moving life sized ants and robots trying to steal a kiss. The labyrinth of murky darkness and mirrored rooms will astound, enthrall and perhaps even frighten you. Visit this display for hellish art you will never forget. Created and maintained by the art collective known as Dead Pigeons guided tours are available on Fridays, Saturday and Sunday evenings. Admission is quite pricey at 8.00€ and it is not suitable for kids under the age of 6.
    • BOROS COLLECTION By Benjamin James Brady Reinhardtstraße 20 | 10117 Berlin Mitte U Oranienburger Tor Thur – Sun | Viewing by appointment only 10€ www.sammlung-boros.de A bunker, an imposing structure, sits stoic and stark amongst its neighbouring city buildings. Built as an air-raid shelter during World War II, it’s had a myriad of uses over the years: Soviet prison, textile factory, and exotic fruit and vegetable warehouse (during which time it became known as the “banana bunker”) Today it’s owned by avid art collector and enthusiast Christian Boros and holds and exhibits, in slow rotation, his vast collection of contemporary art. The first exhibition opened in 2008 and lasted for four years; the second opened in 2012 and is still going. It has a labyrinthine interior, with 80 rooms lit with bare strip lighting. It’s scantily decorated in the ‘white cube’ style, with bare concrete walls. Some rooms are tiny, dark and close, while others have been hollowed out and seem vast, bearing the scars of renovation. Installations fill and complement the space, paintings loom in corridors, and giant photographic works are stylishly hung. It’s gritty - and bunker like. You need to book way in advance for the guided tour, so allow a few weeks. The tour is available in German and English, and takes about 1.5 hours. It’s well worth the money and is thoroughly engaging and thought-provoking. 59
    • Berlin has one of the most extensive and diverse ranges of museums in the world. Whether you’re interested in antiquities, science or Germany’s varied and chequered history, you’re sure to find something that appeals. From the world-famous Ishtar Gate of Babylon to punk-rock legend Johnny Ramone’s jeans, there’s almost nothing you won’t be able to find on display somewhere. So the only question is, where to start?! 61
    • JÜDISCHES MUSEUM Jewish Museum By Bethany McDowell Lindenstraße 9-14 | 10969 Berlin U Bahn Hallesches Tor Mon 10.00-22.00 | Tues-Sun 10.00-20.00 7.00€ standard | 3.50€ for concessions www.jmberlin.de The Jewish Museum documents the whole history of the Jews in Germany, however the most interesting and poignant part of the museum is the uncompromising way in which it presents the Holocaust. By using a zigzag design intercepted by a straight line, the award-winning architect, Daniel Libeskind, invites visitors to read between the lines before they even enter the museum. Throughout the museum you are encouraged to remember, explore and reflect on the past. The galleries have a disorientating interior, with sloping floors, and exhibit many victims’ belongings and photographs 62 alongside their stories. There are also thought-provoking works of art and commemorative spaces such as the Garden of Exile, an outdoor courtyard with tall grey columns topped by olive trees, the Holocaust Tower, a 24-metrehigh empty space, and the Memory Void, with 10,000 carved bronze faces which stare up at you as you step over them. Remembering the Holocaust is a complex process and one that has taken years to develop. But Libeskind has done a remarkable job and it is no wonder that 350,000 people visited the museum’s empty shell before it opened in September 2001. An audio guide is just 3€ and offers an excellent insight into the thought process behind the museum.
    • MUSEUM BLINDENWERKSTATT OTTO WEIDT Otto Weidt Museum By Adam Lambert Rosenthaler Straße 39 | Mitte 10178 U Weinmeister Straße Mon-Sun 10.00-20.00 www.museum-blindenwerkstatt. de A backstreet just off Rosenthaler Straße now serves as a street artists’ canvas but, in 1936, it was home to Otto Weidt’s Blindenwerkstatt (Workshop for the Blind). The museum now occupies the former workshop it documents and recounts Weidt’s personal stories and those of his employees, most of whom were blind or deaf Jews. Non-jewish himself, Weidt opposed the Nazi regime and took it upon himself to help those he could. Through employment in his workshop, many of his workers avoided deportation to concentration camps as their work of manufacturing brooms and brushes was deemed vital for the war effort. During the war it became ever more difficult to avoid persecution and so Weidt took radical action. Forging identity cards with fake German names meant workers like Inge Deutschkron could escape to a new life abroad. Others weren’t as fortunate. Before being discovered by the Gestapo, the Jewish Horn Family took shelter in the secret, dark, windowless room at the back of the workshop. That same room now forms what is perhaps the most poignant piece in the exhibition. Glass cabinets line the whitewashed walls of the other rooms and are filled with documents, letters and photographs. Audio-guides and computer stations further explain the exhibition and aid the aforementioned in recounting the museum’s history. Unique in setting and comprehensive in its artefacts, this museum does well to narrate the incredible story of the bravery of a humble workshop owner. 63
    • TOPOGRAHIE DES TERRORS Topography of Terror By Lilly Woi Niederkirchnerstraβe 8 |10963 Berlin U+S Potsdamer Platz Daily 10.00-20.00 Free www.topographie.de Located in the centre of the city, this two-storey, ashlar-formed, paned building houses the Topography of Terror exhibition. Considered as one of the most important institutions between 1933 and 1945, these were the headquarters of the Secret State Police (Gestapo), the Reich SS Leadership and Security Service (SD) of the SS and the Reich Security Main Office from 1939. Opened in 2010, this site is divided into three exhibition areas. Located inside the building is the Topography of Terror: Gestapo, SS & Reich Security Main Office on Wilhem- & Prinz-Albrecht-Straße exhibition, situated outside is the Berlin 1933 – 1945: Between Propaganda and Terror exhibition and the Berlin 64 Wall Monument that spans approximately 200 meters. Inside, with a combination of photographic materials and documents, this exhibition retells the rise of the horrid Nazi regime and the terrors, persecutions and exterminations they carried out on the many victimised groups throughout Europe. Computer stations, reading folders, audios and film recordings are also provided to give extra in-depth information. Outside, along exposed cellar wall remains, panels are hung explaining the humiliations and brutal killings of victims who were accused of being anti-government. A free English guided tour is also available on every Sunday at 3.30pm.
    • DDR MUSEUM GDR Museum By Martina Cocci Karl-Liebknecht Straße 1 | 10178 Berlin S Hackescher Markt Mon-Sun 10.00-20.00 | Sat 10.00-22.00 6.00€ standard 4.00€ concession www.ddr-museum.de If you don’t like museums but you do want to discover more about everyday life during the GDR (the period when socialism ruled in East Germany), then this is the place for you. Situated behind the Berliner Dom, not far from the Museum Island, the DDR Museum is one of the most popular interactive exhibitions in the world. The visitor has to get involved and interact with the exhibits, to handle objects and to look behind drawers and doors. In the building there are two main rooms, plus a typical socialist flat in which you can relax and watch original TV programmes from the GDR. Each room is divided into different sections by slabs, which function as both room dividers and as showcases - with drawers and doors to open and objects to look at and touch. At first the grey colour of the slabs gives a feeling of monotony and sadness, but the rooms are made more lively and colourful thanks to the red columns and ceiling where many slogans and mottos are written. Last but not least, do make sure to get a picture of yourself driving one of the old East German Trabant cars - a very funny souvenir of your visit! 65
    • DENKMAL FÜR DIE ERMORDETEN JUDEN EUROPAS MIT AUSSTELLUNG IM ORT DER INFORMATION Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe Information Centre By Stephanie Annett Cora-Berliner-Straße 1, 10117 Berlin U Brandenburger Tor (Apr - Sept) Tue - Sun 10.00 20.00 | (Oct - Mar) Tue-Sun 10.00 - 19.00 www.stiftung-denkmal.de This memorial is open to a myriad of interpretations and the underground information centre, located at the site’s eastern edge, tells the story of the unimaginable Holocaust. Architecturally, the information centre’s strongest feature is the coffered concrete ceiling which echoes the patterns of the memorial’s towering pillars. The exhibition begins with a visual timeline which outlines the events from the National Socialists’ rise to power in 1933 to the mass genocide. The exhibition is divided into four rooms which each confront personal aspects of the tragedy: the individual families, the 66 geographical extent of the crime sites, letters thrown by people aboard the one-way death camp trains, and the anguish felt by a mourning mother. One can feel oneself sink completely into the victims’ stories, and the way in which their normal lives were obliterated. The haunting silence is broken only by a recording reading the names and brief biographies of the six million known innocent victims. Upon exiting, the words of Auschwitz survivor Primo Levi: “It happened, therefore it can happen again” remind us that the threat of genocide continues to be a reality in some parts of the world today. Entry is free but donations are welcome, and there may be a short wait for entry.
    • STASI. DIE AUSSTELLUNG ZUR DDR-STAATSICHERHEIT STASI. Exhibition on GDR State Security By Thomas Bamford Zimmerstraße 90 | 10117 Berlin U: Kochstrasse | Stadtmitte +49 (0)302324-7951 You are being watched! This exhibition documents the immense espionage undertaken by the Stasi against GDR citizens, when the walls really did have ears. Packed into a relatively small area, the exhibition is split into three main sections: the operation of the Ministry of State Security, biographies and the subsequent ‘processing’ of those deemed ‘subversive,’ and finally the Ministry for State Security and Everyday Life. The collection claims that 1.44 million photos, 111km of written documents and 59 million file cards were recovered from the records of the Ministry for State Security. The exhibition chronicles their recovery and the help given by infuriated citizens, who occupied Ministry offices and secured the remaining documents as staff attempted to destroy them. This deeply unsettling exhibition gives an insight into the sheer scope of the reconnaissance, and into the paranoia and inertia that accompanied the state’s omnipresence in the GDR. Perhaps most unnerving is the section on ‘unofficial staff ’ informants who reported on all areas of society, and even supplied delicate information on their colleagues, friends and fellow students. The meetings between informants and the Stasi, undertaken in clandestine apartments, sound more like something from a John Le Carré novel than genuine historical events. Well worth a visit. 67
    • FEATURE PERGAMON MUSEUM By Emma Dennison Bodestraße 1-3 |Mitte 10179 S Hackescher Markt | S+U Friedrichstraße Mon-Wed, Fri-Sun 10.00-18.00 Thurs 10.00-20.00 14€ standard | 7€ concessions (1€ discount if bought online in advance) www.smb.museum This imposing museum, designed by German architect Alfred Messel and built between 1910 and 1930, houses exhibits discovered by German archaeologists in the Near and Middle East. The Pergamon consists of three sections: the Collection of Classical Antiquities, the Museum of the Ancient Near East and the Museum of Islamic Art. As the museum is very popular the queue to buy tickets can be quite long, so if you’re short on time it’s worth buying your tickets in advance. Free audio guides are available in several languages and give detailed insights into many of the exhibits. The first thing you will see when entering the Collection of Classical Antiquities is the Pergamon Altar. This stunning edifice originally stood on the Acropolis of Pergamon, a city in what is now Turkey, and was built around 160 BC. You can climb up the altar’s rather steep 68 steps to the Telephos hall, an inner courtyard whose friezes tell the story of Telephos, the mythical founder of Pergamon. The Roman Architecture room, with its mosaic floor and Miletian market gate and the Trajaneum hall complete the Collection. Visitors to the Museum of the Ancient Near East are greeted by the immense Ishtar Gate of Babylon.
    • Magnificent and vividly coloured, it is hard to believe that what you see here is only a small part of the 180-metre-long Processional Way originally located in the ancient city of Babylon. “The However, the most interesting is the 17th century Syrian Aleppo Room, a panelled reception room from the home of a Christian merchant. The panwith museum’s els, decorated were Biblical scenes, collections are set in the style of an so extensive Islamic book to ensure members of all that it would faiths felt at home. Other highlights include guardian statues and tablets from an Assyrian palace and other fascinating artefacts from what are now Iraq, be wise to deSyria, Persia and Anatolia. The Pergamon Musevote a whole um’s collections are so Situated on the first floor is the Museum of Islamic Art. day to fully ex- extensive that it would The exhibits are presented devote a perience them” be wise to fully expein chronological order, rangwhole day to ing in date from the 7th to riencing them. Plenty the 17th centuries. Ornateof seating is available ly decorated Seljuk prayer niches, a if you wish to pause and contemplate 13th century Alhambra dome and an exhibit and a bookshop offers a section of the never completed a wide range of related literature. Mshatta palace are among the Museum’s most impressive exhibits. 69
    • DEUTSCHES HISTORISCHES MUSEUM German History Museum By Natasha Owen Unter den Linden 2 | 10117 Berlin U Friedrichstraße Mon-Sun 10.00-18.00 8.00€ standard | 4.00€ for concessions www.dhm.de When entering this museum there are a few things you should remember: a student card, it halves the entrance fee to just 4 euros, a camera, to record the iconic historical artefacts as well as time and patience as the museum is large and there is a lot of information to absorb. To save carrying around heavy back packs or bags, a free cloak room is available and rather useful. The large building is not particularly easy to navigate around so an audio guide for 3.00€ is recommended. Starting on the ground floor, you will find Germanys more recent history dating from the World 70 Wars up until the re-unification of East and West Berlin. The permanent exhibition is filled with endless memorabilia and items including books, posters, cars and soldier uniforms. The majority of items on display are thoughtprovoking while others are utterly jaw dropping. A few paintings can be found downstairs which capture a shocking portrayal of the war. For more dated history, there is a lot to see in the maze upstairs. A variety of large paintings and artwork can be found alongside statues, clothes and armour.
    • RAMONES MUSEUM By Thomas Bamford Krausnickstraße 23 | 10115 Berlin, Germany S Oranienburger Straße Mon-Fri 12.00-22.00 5.00€ with a drink | 3.50€ without a drink www.ramonesmuseum.com Hey, Ho, Let’s Go! Jump into the rocking world of The Ramones! Considered by many as the world’s first Punk Rock group, The Ramones have proved a seminal influence in Punk on both sides of the Atlantic. The self-proclaimed ‘first and only Ramones museum’ on Krausnickstaße is home to an eclectic and somewhat peculiar mix of memorabilia. Items such as Johnny Ramones stage ripped blue Levi’s (34/32”, in case you’re interested), the ubiquitous battered white converse (as worn by Marky Ramone) along with items such as Dee-Dee Ramones Coroners report from 2002, recorded as death by misadventure – dying of a heroin overdose, all complete the biography of the band. The small museum, hidden behind the RMCM coffee shop packs photographs of the band in their infancy taken by Danny Fields (Ramones tour manager from 19751988) shows an intimate side to the band, far removed from their laissez faire/über cool stage persona. Best advice for those unfamiliar with the band? Enjoy a drink (5 euros with entry) in the amiable and friendly bar area and flick through the free leaflet provided entitled ‘Rob Freeman on Recording Ramones’ in order to get a closer perspective on the band, their philosophy and recording traits. Best thing about the museum? The Ramones tunes blasting out loud and true just how the band would have wanted them played. 71
    • MUSIKINSTRUMENTEN-MUSEUM Museum of Musical Instruments By Emma Dennison Tiergartenstraße 1 | Tiergarten 10785 U+S Potsdamer Platz | U Mendelssohn-Bartholdy-Park Tues, Wed, Fri 9.00-17.00|Thurs 9.00-20.00 | Sat, Sun 10.00-17.00 4€ Standard| 2€ concessions| Tour (Sat 11.00, Thurs 18.00) 3€ www.sim.spk-berlin.de/mim_3. html Situated in the Kulturforum, adjacent to the Philharmonie, this museum is a must for music lovers. The collection began in 1888 and includes over 750 instruments, which range in date from the 16th century to present day. The ground floor covers the 16th to 19th centuries and the first floor houses 19th and 20th century instruments - including a 1972 ECMS synthesiser, identical to that used on Pink Floyd’s Welcome to the Machine. A café selling drinks and snacks is located in the basement, and books, CDs and 72 postcards are on sale at reception. You are free to explore the spacious open-plan museum at your own pace, or pay extra to join a tour (in German and English) which includes live demonstrations of some of the instruments. English or German audio guides, with recordings of many of the most interesting instruments, are available for free from reception as long as you leave some ID as a deposit. If you’re there on a Saturday at noon, be sure not to miss the free 30-minute demonstration of the 1929 Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Organ – the largest of its kind in Europe. This organ was used to accompany silent films in their heyday and can produce a huge range of sound effects, from a birdsong to a ringing telephone!
    • MILESTONES-SETBACKS-SIDETRACKS: THE PATH TO PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY IN GERMANY By Emma Dennison Deutscher Dom, Gendarmenmarkt 1 | Mitte 10117 U Stadtmitte U Französischer Straße (May-Sept) Tues-Sun 10.00-19.00 (Oct-Apr) Tues-Sun 10.00-18.00 Free www.bundestag.de/kulturundgeschichte/ausstellungen/wege If you’re passing the Deutscher Dom in Gendarmenmarkt, you may be surprised to discover that it’s not a place of worship... Its spacious, light-flooded interior was redeveloped in the 1990s after lying empty since being bombed in World War II. The space now houses an exhibition, run by the Bundestag, on German parliamentary history from the late 18th century to the present day. The exhibition progresses chronologically: the ground floor covers 1789-1848 and a mezzanine (currently under construction) details the Federal Republic’s parliamentary system. Continuing up the spiral staircase, the second floor focusses on Imperial and Weimar Germany and the third on the Nazi state and the GDR. The fourth floor explores women’s role in German politics and Germany’s place in Europe and houses a small cinema where informative films are shown at 14.00. The fifth floor is concerned with the history of German parliamentary architecture and the history of the Deutscher Dom itself is discussed inside the dome. The main information panels are only in German, however tours in English or French are available on request and there are sheets with key details in all three languages. Even so, the wealth of visual information and striking interior make the exhibition well worth a visit. 73
    • FEATURE NEUES MUSEUM New Museum By Lilly Woi Situated at the heart of Museum Island, the Neues Museum is sandwiched between the Pergamonmuseum and the Altes Museum. The museum was built by Prussian architect and builder Friedrich August Stüler between 1843 and 1855, making it the second oldest museum on Museum Island. After being heavily damaged during the World War II, the museum’s reconstruction was overseen by English architect David Chipperfield. The building reopened in 2009, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It houses the world-renowned Egyptian Museum, which contains 2500 ancient Egyptian artefacts and a collection of 200 papyruses. It is also home to the Pre- and Early History Museum; however the Pre-History collection is currently 74 S Bodestraβe 1-3|10785 Berlin, Germany U+S Hackescher Markt | Friedrichstraβe Mon-Wed 10.00-17.00|Thurs 10.00- 20.00| Fri-Sun 10.00-17.00 12€ standard|6€ concessions www.neues-museum.de undergoing reconstruction. From walls decorated with ancient paintings to majestic halls filled with beautifully sculpted pillars, each room is uniquely designed with the purpose of transporting you back to the ancient world. The highlight of the museum is the iconic bust of Queen Nefertiti. Other noteworthy exhibitions are the
    • Egyptian Courtyard which displays paintings of Egyptian temples, the World of Hereafter filled with coffins, mummies and death masks, and the Library of Antiquity where visitors can view manuscripts of ancient Egyptian literary works. “majestic halls filled with beautifully sculpted pillars, each room is uniquely designed” This museum is a must for all Egyptian history buffs. Free audio guides and detailed leaflets are provided to give visitors a more comprehensive tour of the museum. A small café located on the first floor of the museum is known for its delicious salads, and is also the perfect spot for some reflection. 75
    • ALTES MUSEUM By Martina Cocci Bodestraße 1-3 | 10178 Berlin U+S Hackescher Markt Sun-Tue 10.00-18.00 | Thu 10.0020.00 www.smb.museum This majestic neoclassical building, designed by the architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel, dominates Museum Island with its massive Ionic columns. The Altes Museum houses a great collection of classical antiquities arranged in a chronological order on two floors. The first floor displays artwork from Ancient Greece produced between the 10th and 1st century BC, such as sculptures, vases, craft objects and jewellery. Among the most fascinating works are the statues of the ‘Berlin Goddess’, the ‘Praying Boy’ and the ‘Enthroned Goddess from Taranto’. On the same floor you can observe a numismatic collection, presenting a great number of ancient coins from Greece and Rome. 76 The upper floor is dedicated to the art and archeology of the Etruscans and of the Roman Empire. Make sure you don’t miss the house-shaped urn from Chiusi, the clay tablet from Capua, as well as the portraits of Caesar, Cleopatra and Medea Sarcophagus. While walking around these antique artworks, you will see another neoclassical masterpiece, the so called ‘rotunda’, also created by Schinkel. It is lined with some sculptures that represent the Greek gods and with its towering dome it may remind you of the classical Pantheon in Rome. It is well worth visiting the museum, especially with the audio guide included in the price and it takes around an hour and a half to visit the whole museum.
    • HELMUT NEWTON FOUNDATION By Thomas Bamford Jebensstraße 2 | Tiergarten 10623 S+U Zoologischer Garten Tues, Weds, Fri-Sun 10.00-18.00 | Thurs 10.00-20.00 | Mon closed 8€ | 5€ concessions www.helmut-newton.com Documenting the glamorous life of the German-Australian photographer, this exhibition proves that - in the man’s own words - “the camera does not lie”… An intimate and introspective biopic records Helmut Newton’s immense contribution to fashion photography, and is split between two exhibitions, “World Without Men” and “Private Property.” The latter gives a personal perspective on the man behind the lens, from childhood to superstardom. “World Without Men” gives insight into the immense scope and variety of his work, which was characterised by bold lighting, controversial scenarios and striking compositions. The museum contains an eclectic mix of items, including a range of prosthetic nipples, the Newtonmobile - an armoured buggy designed by Fabrizio Guriano and a feature-length film, showing on the first floor, called ‘Helmut Newton: Frames From the Edge.’ The film presents a day in the life of the photographer, portraying his unpretentious and jovial approach to photography. Perhaps the exhibit most emblematic of Newton’s contribution to art is the collection of letters of condolence his wife Jane Brunell received after his demise in a car crash on Sunset Boulevard. The letters were from figures such as Margaret Thatcher, Giorgio Armani and Pierre Cardin to name but a few of the many who draw inspiration from him. 77
    • When you think of Berlin perhaps its cuisine isn’t the first thing that springs to mind. But actually the city has a thriving food and drink scene. From the imbiss (food stall), selling some of Berlin’s tastiest street food, the Döner kebab, a snack of Berlin origin, Currywurst, think hot-dog sausage covered in curry infused tomato sauce to some of the tastiest burger/gourmet burger bars out there. The café culture is growing rapidly and has been inspired by the high standards practiced in Australasia. And the restaurant scene, well, you’re going to be hard pressed to choose somewhere because there is so much on offer. 79
    • MUSTAFA’S GEMÜSE KEBAP By Lilly Woi Mehringdamm 32 |10961 Berlin U Mehringdamm Daily 08.00-24.00 2.50€ –3.90€ www.mustafas.de Situated just outside the U-Bahn exit is the world famous Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebap. With only two choices of kebap to choose from; chicken or vegetarian, this modest looking roadside food stand is known to sell the best kebap in Berlin. Both of them are prepared the same way minus chicken for the vegetarian option, obviously. They start off with a freshly baked golden crusted bun sliced in half which they spread with a choice of three sauces; hot, garlic, or herb sauce. Next, a handful of thinly sliced crisp shavings of grilled chicken are added. Then, it is stuffed full with a mixture of grilled and fresh salads compromising of tomatoes, onions, lettuces, pickled cucumbers, chillies and peppers. 80 Finally, they top it off with a spoonful of feta cheese and a squeeze of lemon juice. Not only does it taste delicious, their servings are so huge that you don’t know how to start eating it. For only 2.90€/2.50€ for the chicken or vegetarian kebap, this is a must try for all. As it is so popular there is always a queue, which could take around 40 minutes, so bring a friend along to accompany you.
    • FASSBENDER & RAUSCH By Martina Cocci Charlottenstraße 60| 10117 Berlin U Stadtmitte Mon-Sat 10.00-20.00 | Sun 11.00-20.00 www.fassbender-rausch.de Since 1983 Berliners and tourists alike have been able to taste Heinrich Fassbender’s wonderful chocolate. Rausch, another popular chocolate creator, joined Fassbender in 1990. Today activity is led by Jürgen Rausch, and like his ancestors his only aim is to satisfy chocolate lovers. Does he succeed in this aim? The only way to discover is to enter his shop, walk through his towering chocolate monuments, such as the Brandenburg gate, the Berlin Reichstag, and take the lift to the “Schokoladen-café”. Having seen the old building from the outside, it may seem like a very expensive café. The interior is also very elegant but not overly sophisticated, and nothing there costs more than 10 Euros. It is also the perfect place for families, its very child friendly, and young people can enjoy a chat whilst sipping a drink. The most popular drink is hot chocolate, but many people say that there are far better and thicker drinking chocolates all over the world. However the cakes are the right thing to taste, especially the orange and dark chocolate sponge which is covered with orange icing. Everything is served very quickly and kindly. So, chocolate lovers, do not hesitate, go and try it! 81
    • ROCCO By Emma Dennison Am Zwimgraben 6-7 | Mitte 10178 S: Hackescher Markt Open daily from 8.00 Starters 4-10€ |Main courses 6-12€ |Desserts 6.50€ www.rocco-restaurant.de/ If you find yourself near Hackescher Markt and in need of some sustenance, this restaurant in the arches beneath the railway is well worth a try. The majority of tables are outside under large umbrellas; when the sun goes down spherical lights preserve the welcoming atmosphere, and blankets are provided should the weather turn chilly. In addition to the bustle surrounding the station, buskers circulate and the ubiquitous rose vendors are also present. The diverse clientele comprises young and old, couples and larger groups, Germans and foreign visitors. The restaurant’s interior is dimly lit, with a more intimate feel. 82 The menu (which is bilingual GermanEnglish) is mainly Italian with a wide range of pizzas and pasta dishes, including classics and less common, but equally delicious, options. Meat and fish dishes are also available, and breakfasts are served until 4pm. The restaurant is equally popular with those just looking for a drink, be that a coffee or something from the extensive cocktail menu. The curious may like to try a Radler, an interesting mixture of beer and Fanta. The service is good on the whole, and the friendly waiters speak excellent English. Food arrives extremely promptly, but despite this you aren’t made to feel at all rushed.
    • BURGERMEISTER By Tamarah Green Oberbaumstraße 8 | Kreuzberg 10997 U Schlesisches Tor Mon-Thu 11 am - 3 am | Fri-Sat 11 am - 4 am | Sun 12 pm - 3 am www.burger-meister.de It might seem unusual that, in a neighborhood of cafes and restaurants, a burger imbiss in an old public toilet is worth visiting. As soon as you emerge from Schlesisches Tor station Burgermeister’s blaring techno and bustling queue greets you. A literal extension of the metro bridge, the exterior of the imbiss matches the dark green steel of the u-bahn station. With only three tables available, most patrons pull up empty beer crates as make shift stools. A red LED counter allows you to identify how long you’ll wait for your burger, and due to it’s popularity, don’t be surprised if your ticket reads ninety-six and the screen is only on thirty-four. Although a very popular drunk snack for Kreuzberg’s party-goers, this burger is far from the equivalent English drunk snack of cheesy chips. Their one hundred percent beef patty is best with the additions of ketchup, mustard, cheese and crispy bacon. It creates a rich and full tasting burger that contrasts nicely with the crisp, fresh lettuce it’s teamed with. The best part of a Burgermeister though, is always the bun. Butter toasted, fluffy and homemade, you won’t believe it when the total price for a burger and beer comes in at under 5.00€. 83
    • FRAULEIN BURGER By Tamarah Green Koppenplatz 1| 10115 Mitte U Rosenthaler Platz Tues-Sun 12:00-22:00 www.fraeuleinburger.de At the end of the appropriately named Grosse Hamburger Strasse you’ll find the most ladylike burger restaurant in Berlin. In the cities’ lists of the best burgers in town, Fraulein Burger is not only underrated, but sometimes forgotten in favour for more renowned Burgermeister, and Burger de Ville. What separates Fraulein Burger from the rest however, is the one hundred percent organic homemade approach to the ingredients themselves. As you sit and enjoy the 50s rockabilly inspired interior, a passing hipster carrying huge amounts of vacuum packed beef suggests they even mince the meat themselves. All vegetables, cheeses and buns are organic too, and the extra step to make their own mayonnaise and 84 ketchup is also taken so that you can enhance your burger guilt-free. The signature Fraulein burger is a popular choice for around 8.00€, and by adding just 3.00€ to your bill you can also enjoy their show-stopping homemade fries and an organic lemonade with your meal. The sheer amount of effort that goes into your burger does mean that you can wait up to twenty minutes before receiving it, but given the size and impact of it’s flavour, even the manliest of men might not be able to finish this honest, ladylike burger.
    • TIKI HEART CAFÉ By Benjamin James Brady Wiener Straße 20| 10999 Berlin-Kreuzberg U Görlitzer | M Spreewaldplatz Mon - Sun 10:00-03:00 | Fri Sat 10:00-04:00 www.tikiheart.de Kreuzberg is renowned for its Turkish markets, its many eateries and bars. You’d be hard pressed to find somewhere not worth going to. But if simple, hearty junk food is what you’re after in its ultimate form, served in an unusual setting, then Tiki Heart Café will not be a disappointment. Burgers are named after rock legends, such as? Elvis, you guessed it! The huge and mouthwatering cocktails are the perfect accompaniment to the burgers which are of no mean proportion. The “Lemmy” Burger, in all its grilled onion, cream cheese and pickle gloriousness, dripps fat into the basket it’s served in. A soundtrack of monster surf and rockabilly plays over the speakers as very fine, friendly, tattooed wait staff make it all flow like it should, effortlessly and easily. An all out kitschy burger’n’cocktail bar decorated with plastic pink flamingos, tiki masks, a bamboo covered bar area and with a retro clothes shop in the basement to boot, you’re sure to have a sensational bite that satisfies and titillates. Expect to pay less than 10€ for a burger and a cocktail. It’s honest, plastic, fun and tasty. 85
    • AMAR INDIAN RESTAURANT By Zoe Emilia Robertshaw Schliesische Straße 9 | Kreuzberg 10997 U Schlesisches Tor Business Lunch Mon-Fri 11.30 17.00 www.amar-berlin.de Walking down one of the main drags of Kreuzberg, Schlesische Straße, you can’t miss Indian restaurant and cocktail bar Amar. It juts out into the street, daubed bright orange. This curry joint is on the right side of kitsch decorated with oriental figurines, toting parasols, and elaborate patterns painted across plaster walls. This ensemble creates an authentic atmosphere that is not over the top so it slots well into its alternative area. The Business Lunch is a bargain as it offers a broad selection of vegetarian and meat dishes for between 4.20€ and 5.90€. The main dishes come with poppadoms, soup, rice and an after dinner shot of yoghurt to cleanse your palette. Each spice mix in the curries available have a distinctive taste, the Chicken 86 Dansek and Lamb Saagwala being particularly excellent. Each mouthful unearths more delectable sensations, and the smooth lentils in the Dansek compliment the thick, fiery sauce. The cocktail menu boasts numerous alcoholic variations from classic mojitos to more unique concoctions and, if you fancy a drinking in daylight, before 21.00 you can snap one up for 3.50€. If you’re not in an alcohol frame of mind the mango and banana lassies are extremely refreshing on a dry day.
    • BONANZA COFFEE HEROES By Natasha Owen Oderberger straße 35 | 10435 Berlin U Eberwaldstraße Mon – Fri 08:30 – 19:00 | Sat – Sun 10:00 – 19:00 www.facebook.com/pages/Bonanza-Coffee Coffee Heroes is in a great location, with cafés, bars, shops, and restaurants filling the street. The naked concrete walls of this popular coffee shop are misleading; the bare space leaves the coffee to speak for itself. It does not speak for itself, it shouts. With minimal seating area inside, customers are likely to sit in the benched seating area outside. It has been said Bonanza serves the best cup of coffee in Berlin and it is difficult to disagree. A wellpresented flat white coffee will cost you just 2.90€ and service with a smile is priceless. The staff are friendly and speak fantastic English. They are passionate about coffee and are able to make great recommendations. For 10€ it is also possible to buy Bonanza fresh ground coffee to take home and enjoy. If you are looking for a deliciously creamy but strong coffee, this is the ideal place to grab a flat white or a great espresso if you’d prefer something with a bit of a kick. For those who enjoy a real coffee, this is the place to be. 87
    • BURGER DE VILLE By Tamarah Green Hardensbergstr. 29 A | Charlottenburg 10623 U + S Zoologischer Garten MonFri 10.00-20.00 | Sat 12.00-20.00 www.facebook.com/BurgerDeVilleByTwentyFiveHoursHotels In the city that’s gone mad for burgers, where does the vegetarian fit in? Look no further than Burger de Ville’s silver caravan for the most creative vegetarian option a Berlin burger imbiss has to offer. The goats-cheese-stuffed giant mushroom is chargrilled with fresh peppers, before being sat on a bed of peppery rocket leaves in a toasted bun, making for an exciting and vibrant burger. The perfect accompaniment is the Funky Fries, garnished with olive oil, basil and plenty of garlic for that added kick. These come in at 7.00€ which, although not the cheapest, is good quality for money. 88 The carnivores will be pleased to find out that the meat options are just as creative and tasty. The 100% organic Black Angus beef from Brandenburg is seasoned with cumin and rosemary before being made into patties. The BBQ burger’s tangy and spicy undertones are complimented by the matchstick fries, and again come in at under 7.00€. Burger de Ville also have a selection of Fritz Kola soft drinks and beers for 2.20€, but for those looking for any excuse, some 5.00€ Prosecco will wash down your burger with added class and style.
    • WHITE TRASH FAST FOOD By Natasha Owen Schonhauser Allee 6-7 | 10119 Berlin U Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz Mon-Fri 12:00-open end | SatSun, 18:00-open end www.whitetrashfastfood.com Upon arrival at this quirky eatery, it may appear you’ve turned up at a Chinese restaurant. This isn’t necessarily true. This food place was once upon a time a Chinese restaurant and the marble features still remain. The food menu is a variety of great burgers, healthy salads and fish dishes making it a struggle to find the Chinese food you were lead to believe they serve. White Trash is more of a TGI Fridays meets Grunge fast food joint mash up. The deco resembles a cliché American food place with red and white chequered table clothes and a rundown rock basement interior with music posters and horror films being played on screens If that’s your cup of tea then it’s a great place to go for lunch, dinner or even live music in the evening. As well as serving great food, they have music such as hard rock, garage and punk. This perhaps isn’t the best place to go if you’re trying to lose a few pounds but you won’t be spending many euros. It’s rare you will find a thick, mouth-watering burger that is too big to fit in the bun. Starting from 8 euros you can continue to add additional toppings until your heart’s content and they also offer a vegetarian alternative too. The shrimp and chips are also recommended if you don’t fancy a burger and the desserts are fantastic. If this is too pricey, go between 1pm and 4pm and you can get the same food at a cheaper price. 89
    • ANNA BLUME By Zoe Emilia Robertshaw Kollwitzstraße 83 | Prenzlauer Berg 10405 S-bahn Eberswalde Straße Mon – Sun 08.00 – 02.00 www.cafe-anna-blume.de Settle into cafe Anna Blume, situated on the corner of Kollwitzstraße and Sredzkistraße. Luxurious Prenzlauer Berg is an area predominately inhabited by families and well off Berliners. The name of the café is drawn from a Kurt Schwitters poem, which encourages us to indulge in our ‘27 senses’, something Anna Blume is more than capable of fulfilling. Be lead inside by the enticing aromas that emanate from the bakery. Sample an array of baked goods as well as savoury meals, and ice cream. Take a seat in one of the art deco red leather booths that echo dishevelled glamour. On warmer days, relax on the pavement outside with the well groomed hipsters and adult groups. They are famous for their vast array of breakfasts served 90 on tiered stands for two and, although costly, each meal is presented with such delicacy that your money is satisfyingly well spent. If you want something less pricey the ice cream is more affordable at 1.30€ a scoop and their unique flavours include delectable Walnut or Indian Mango. If you just need a coffee fix, pop in for a cup of their house blend for 2.20€. Exit right and stroll down Kollwitzstraße Straße to leafy and idyllic Kollwitzstraße Square to engage in some relaxed reflections.
    • FRANKEN UND GRUNEWALD By Emma Dennison Gossowstraße 6 | Schöneberg 10777 U Viktoria-Luise-Platz (Mar, Apr, Oct) 11.00-21.00 | (May-Sept) 11.00-22.00 www.franken-grunewald-eis.de This ice-cream parlour is tucked away on the corner of Gossowstraße and Motzstraße. It’s a real hidden gem, appropriately decorated in mint-green and cherry-red. There are only three tables inside, and a few stools in the outside area shaded by a chocolate and vanilla striped awning; most prefer to grab their icecream on the go. The parlour’s selling point is its huge range of flavours – 24 in all. In addition to the classics you can find chilli-chocolate, marzipanpoppy-seed, walnut-goat’s-cheese and many more, including sorbets and kulfi for those with more exotic tastes. You can really taste the natural ingredients as the flavours and textures light up your tastebuds. At only 1€ a scoop you really have to try several! A range of sundaes and milkshakes are also available, but if you want a real surprise go for the German speciality Spaghettieis – ice-cream moulded and decorated to look like a plate of spaghetti! A selection of cakes and hot and cold drinks are also available, as are larger tubs (500ml or 1l) of ice-cream if you prefer to indulge in the comfort of your own home. Reviews from magazines such as Zitty, displayed unobtrusively on the walls, give credence to the widely-held belief that this icecream parlour is one of Berlin’s best. 91
    • BARCOMI’S CAFÉ & KAFFEERÖSTEREI Barcomi’s Café & Coffee Roasters By Lily Woi Bergmannstraβe 21|10961 Berlin U Gneisenaustraβe U Mehringdamm station Mon-Fri 08.00-21.00| Sat-Sun & Holidays 09.00-21.00 www.barcomis.de Fancy a cup of coffee? Then, head down to Barcomi’s Café & Kaffeerösterei for a cuppa. This American owned coffee house takes its business seriously, offering countless variations of this infamous drink. With a range of classically self-roasted coffee starting from 2.20€, they serve arguably the best coffee in Berlin. Proudly displayed in their shop window is a roasting machine with sacks of raw coffee beans, waiting to be refined. You could try their aromatic house blend, which has a rich, bright, tangy flavour. Or if you want something exotic, you can try the Äthiopien Mocca Sidamo coffee. It’s a thick aromatic coffee with hints chocolate and fruit. The coffee is served 92 with a small glass of fizzy water for cleansing your palette. Also, you could enjoy your coffee with a slice of their delicious homemade cakes, like their creamy lemon cheesecake, or moist apple walnut caramel cake for 3.30€. With their charming atmosphere, cosy décor and friendly staff, this is a great place to relax and catch up with your friends. They have limited seating so it’s best to avoid going there during lunch hours as it can get pretty crowded.
    • EL RIEF By Emma Dennison Schönhauser Allee 47 | Prenzlauer Berg 10437 U Eberwalde Straße Mon-Sun 12.00-01.00 Meals from 2.50€ |Drinks from 1.20€ This restaurant’s unassuming exterior doesn’t do its food justice, however on stepping inside you begin to form a better idea of what to expect. The low lighting, blue and white tiled walls and traditional art adorning the walls all let you know that you’re in for an authentic Middle Eastern treat. The menu is very extensive, ranging from falafel and hummus to koftas, all at extremely reasonable prices – especially given the quantities. The falafel is served in a pitta pocket bigger than your hand, stuffed so full that you may have difficulty eating it without asking for more napkins. As well as the falafel, the bread is packed with crisp shredded lettuce, juicy tomato and a generous drizzle of thick sesame sauce. Choose a soft drink from the range in fridge, which has a bottle opener handily attached, or there is a variety of herbal teas for just 1.20€. As there are only seven tables inside and four outside it can get quite busy, especially around lunchtime when large groups of young people arrive. However, you can order any of the dishes to take away – a particularly good idea if you’re on your way to the nearby Mauerpark on a Sunday afternoon. 93
    • MARHEINEKE MARKTHALLE By Lily Woi Marheinekeplatz/Bergmannstraβe 15 | 10961 Berlin U Gneisenaustrasse Mon-Fri 08.00-20.00 |Sat 08.0018.00 |Sun Closed www.meine-markthalle.de Settled within the buzzing residential area of Kreuzberg is Marheineke Markthalle. It’s a brightly lit indoor food market that is filled with a wide range of food stands and serves a diverse variety of cuisines. You will be able to taste food from England, Greece, France, Italy, Spain and Vietnam. Some of the food they sell include Greek olives, Spanish chorizo, Italian wines and Swiss cheese. There is also cheap yet delicious hot food for sale such as a succulent roasted whole chicken from Geflügel-Oase, for 3.50€, and a plate of crispy chips from Dogan’s Fischbar for 1.30€. The local butchers, fishmongers, bakeries, fruit and vegetable stands are also available which sell fresh ingredients at a modest price. 94 Head to Berliner Privat Rösterei café for a cup of their house-roasted coffee or try a delicious organic pistachio ice cream at Eissalon Tanne B. There is also Kräuter & Gewürze tea bazaar that sells all types of unique flavoured teas and a BioBuffet shop that sells vegetarian and vegan fare, offering something for everyone. Outside, the oak-colour brick building is surrounded by lush green trees, offering shade to the seating available, a perfect spot to sit back and enjoy your meals.
    • CURRY 36 By Tamarah Green Mehringdam 36 Kreuzberg 10961 U Merringdam Mon-Fri 9 am - 4 am Sat 10 am - 4 am | Sun 11 am - 3 am www.curry36.de Before you try a currywurst, the idea of a sausage drowned in ketchup and curry powder might sound awful. Put your preconceptions to one side though, as when Herta Heuwer first came up with this combination in 1949, she knew she was onto something. Today, currywurst is Berlin’s trademark fast food, with hundreds of imbisses selling the snack around the city. To the casual currywurst fan, most of these sausages will taste the same, and Curry 36’s status as the best in the city will seem redundant. Believe the hype though; one bite of their take on the snack will convince you otherwise. Their powder-firstsauce-second formula makes this currywurst one of a kind, sealing the spice into the sausage for a real hearty flavour. The thick, homemade ketchup is another string to it’s bow, putting to shame the watery versions of it that you put up with on the way home from a club. Located on what seems to be the Sunset Strip of the fast food world, the humble imbiss is directly opposite Mustafa’s Gemuse Kebap, making this street a must for the hungry Berliner. There may be a queue due it’s popularity, but be reassured that you’re in for Berlin’s very best currywurst. 95
    • CLÄRCHENS BALLHAUS By Benjamin James Brady Auguststraße 24 | 10117 Berlin U Weinmeisterstraße | S Oranienburger Straße Mon – Sun 11.00 – Late | Food served 12.30 – 23.00 www.ballhaus.de Along the famous gallery district of Auguststraße is a stylish remnant of an early 20th century dance club. This legendary building has had its doors open since 1913. At first glance you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in 1920’s Berlin. Lights hang amongst the trees in the courtyard, the clattering of cutlery and plates. Well dressed wait staff, looking busy but not hurried. It all adds to the ambience of this gorgeous little setting and makes you feel all the more eager to soak it all up. It might look like a place for only the notable and prominent, its not. The famous mirrored ballroom upstairs, with its dark lofty interior and perfectly decaying original features, is still used for the occasional grand soirée. It’s 96 open to viewing all the time, steal a glance it’s beautiful. But the main courtyard and ballroom downstairs is the focal point. The menu is very reasonably priced, expect to pay 8.00€ - 15.00€ for a main and offers classic German and Italian cuisine. The Stone oven pizzas are authentic and go well with a cold German Pilsner. If you fancy yourself a bit of a dancer then tango, salsa, and swing are on the agenda all through the week. It’s just as enjoyable to sit and watch.
    • MUTTI By Bethany McDowell Großbeerenstr. 36 | 10965 Berlin-Kreuzberg U Mehringdamm Tues-Fri 12.00-22.00|Sat-Sun from 17.00 www.mutti-kreuzberg.de Too calm a setting for Gordon Ramsey, but with a similar aura of quality surrounding its food, Mutti (Mummy) is a tiny but extremely cosy restaurant that serves luxury homemade food. It specialises in southern German cuisine such as Käsespätzle (cheesy noodles), Maultaschen (ravioli) and Bratkartoffeln (pan-roasted potatoes). Stepping into Mutti feels like you’re walking straight into your Grandmother’s kitchen. With its walls painted a light shade of magnolia, black and white tiled floors next to modern, charcoal coloured furniture, the décor is old fashioned yet trendy. Then there’s the food, the glorious food! Quality and quantity go hand in hand here with hearty, authentic, homemade dishes. The lamb stew with hefty dumplings is a particular favourite and comes with rich gravy and generous helpings of fresh beans, shallots and carrots. The menu is written on a chalk board and changes daily, but if you’re really stuck on what to order, ask the owner to recommend something as his English is excellent and he’s more than happy to help. Mains range from 10.00€ – 15.00€ and are definitely worth every cent, all the food is organic and locally sourced. A cold beer is around 3.00€ and is a perfect match for this German cuisine. 97
    • ROSENBURGER By Stephanie Annett Brunnenstrasse 196 10119 Berlin U Rosenthaler Platz Open daily from 11.00 If you’re in Mitte and you’ve got hunger pangs then head down to snack central Rosenhaler Platz for a quick fix at Rosenburger. Cute and compact, this humble burger joint boasts an impressive array of freshly made organic beef and veggi burgers. Place your order, take a seat on the simple wooden benches, and wait for your number 98 to be called in bingo hall fashion. Scoff down a top- notch beef burger, paired with fries, and wash it down with a Fritz cola for a mere 6.30€. The classic burgers are a large, succulent affair and the cooks have the grilling perfected to a fine art. If you are feeling super naughty indulge in a portion of chilli cheese fries or curly fries for 2.90€. For a less greasy option choose the Vital burger made from an array of vegetables, or a scrumptious fresh salad. Sit on the tables outside in the hiving street and take advantage of the neighboring cafe “Mein Haus am See” open access wifi.
    • CAFÉ IM LITERATURHAUS By Martina Cocci Fasanenstraße 23 | 10719 Berlin U Uhlandstraße Sun-Mon 09.00-24.00 www.literaturhaus-berlin.de/ unten/service/cafe Situated in the shopping area of Ku’damm the café im Literaturhaus is a great mixture of modern and historic architecture, since it is placed in the historical garden of the Gründerzeitvilla, along with rather modern furniture. The outdoor garden is composed of three areas only open during the warm season, with comfortable chairs, wooden tables, and parasols. Upstairs there are two areas, the so called “Wintergarten”, with a terrace outside, and a room surrounded by glass and iron walls, with many plants within it. Even during the cold season costumers can experience the atmosphere of nature, indoors. They serve breakfast, sandwiches, and variety of cold and warm dishes, as well as drinks. You can get a French baguette, served with very fine Parma ham, eggs, and salad, or if you prefer tuna, you can order the cornbread sandwich with tuna salad and tomatoes. The sandwiches could be bigger, as they cost 6.50 Euros, but be sure that each ingredient is fresh and chosen very carefully. If you’re on a low budget, this may not be the right café for you, as the food and drinks are quite expensive. However for a one-off, its fun to experience how it feels to be a little sophisticated. 99
    • SCHWARZES CAFÉ By Benjamin James Brady 148 Kantstraße | 10623 Berlin U Uhlandstraße | S Savignyplatz Open 24 hours www.schwarzescafe-berlin.de Schwarzes Café is in glitzy West Berlin. This place is a hot spot for late night after drink feasts and early morning post clubbing breakfasts. However, don’t be put off by this implied clientele. It attracts all kinds; business people, artists, and tourists and is, by any standard, a very relaxed rendezvous spot to have breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Inside it’s darkly clad and intimate, think old painted murals, somber wall colours and gentle lighting. The backyard seating area is a perfect little spot for a mid summers evening. It’s cool and leafy with shabby chic garden furniture. Subdued light bulbs hang languidly over peeling art nouveau posters. The menu is broad, confidently worded and available in German 100 and English. The only problem is that everything in it sounds as just as good as the next. Tall glasses of beer are bought out followed by fresh warm bread. Candles are lit, whenever they go out. The Gnocchi al a pesto verde (7.90€) is a sumptuous hearty plate of food with a super fresh garnish. Stirfry? (8.80€) YES! So mouthwateringly tasty it’s all you’ll ever want to eat again and again. Service is ultimately what you’d like to expect anywhere you go. Prompt, attentive, very relaxed and professional.
    • CAFÉ AM NEUEN SEE By Zoe Emilia Robertshaw Lichtensteinallee 2 Mitte 10787 S Tiergarten Beer Garden Mon - Fri from 11:00 Sat & Sun from 10:00 Restaurant: open from 9.00 Rowing Boat: 5€ for 30 minutes, 10€ for an hour http://www.cafeamneuensee.de/ This beer garden, framed by Tiergarten’s picturesque greenery, has put its own rustic spin on the classy beer garden. Plant pots filled with dainty pastel flowers are interspersed around the numerous clusters of visitors that include locals and tourists alike. To find the Café exit the Tiergarten S Bahn, turn right into the park and follow the path to the right around the Neuer See lake. Take a seat on the decking on the edge of the lake with a wholesome draft beer, 3.90€, or a glass of tangy prosecco, 2.90€, or one of the non-alcoholic beverages available. Food is selfservice from the beer garden chalets and the pizza is mouthwatering, costing you either 8.50€ for vegetarian or 7.90€ for meat. Whether you’re feeling romantic or you’re just up for a relaxing ride, you can hire a rowing boat. The rowing technique of the visitors varies, but just avoid crashing into fellow water babies, and skirt around the lake’s duck islands. Drift into an open spot on the lake and listen to the rare silence. Thumping music is not vogue here, unlike many of the socialising spots in Berlin, making it the perfect place for conversation. 101
    • Berlin’s nightlife. Eccentric, lively, hedonistic, bizarre and varied. Whatever your tastes are, there is something in Berlin for everyone. From chilled out beach bars to heavy 48 hour weekend techno raves, the spectrum and choice available is massive. The city plays hosts to some of the world’s biggest and wildest clubs. However, the entrance policy for the majority of them is very strict which can lead to some very disappointing experiences. Safer options for a good night include an array of bars selling quality German beer. 103
    • KATERHOLZIG By Tamarah Green Michaelkirchstrasse 22 | 10179 Mitte U Jannowitzbrucke Fridays and Saturdays: Opening Times Vary www.katerholzig.de There are two sorts of clubs in Berlin: the concrete, intimidating structures associated with the hardcore techno scene, and the ethereal, bohemian dance floors that edge the river Spree. After queueing for up to an hour you’ll find that Katerholzig fits into the latter of these, existing as the club realisation of our childhood dreams. Surrounded by the graffitied remains of an old soap factory, this concrete playground is coloured by marquees, sofas, bonfires and fairy lights. Scraps of fabric and mobiles made from old kitchen utensils hang over the many platforms of the outdoor seating area, whilst an over-sized statue of a Chinese moneybeckoning cat sits on the roof 104 watching over the party.
    • With three small dance floors and an array of bars (a beer will set you back around 3.00€), Katerholzig is an intimate clubbing experience, allowing to you to familiarise yourselves with those you’re getting sweaty with. The plentiful amount of seating - including the popular stalls with direct access to the river - arguably make this the most social club in Berlin. As the vibe transforms from nonstop carnival to daytime drinks on the river bed, remember what Robert Montgomery’s neon artwork beams at you from across the river: “the city is kinder and wilder than you think.”
    • MEIN HAUS AM SEE By Tamarah Green Brunnenstraße 197-198 | 10119 Mitte U Rosenthalerplatz Mon-Sun 12:00-12:00 www.mein-haus-am-see.com Choosing not to boast the name of the building on any of the signage, Mein Haus Am See is the physical embodiment of playing it cool. Mentioning only that is a cafe and bar can be seen as either an attempt to try hard or appear modest. Especially upon realising that it also serves as a live music and performance venue, as well as an occasional art exhibition space. One trademark is the stall seating at the back, where steel stairs have been littered with cushions forming a creative and stylish interior space. This area is great for smaller groups to enjoy a Weiss beer (3.60€) rather than sharing one of the eight seater 106 tables that dominate the main floor. There’s also a smoking room with a glass partition, but finding a seat inside is usually a rarity. Wallpaperstripped and paint-peeled walls create a backdrop for the art on show. Despite looking as if the art has been lifted straight from your tumblr dashboard, these emphasise Mein Haus Am See’s agenda to integrate the arts into their bar and cafe. Although, seeing as the hipster clientele have manipulated every visible logo to look like genitalia, they may not be as appreciative of art as they first seem.
    • CLUB DER VISIONÄRE By Tom Shipman Am Flutgraben 1 | District 12435 U Schlesisches Mon – Fri 14.00 onwards | Sat – Sun 12.00 onwards Entrance - 5€ www.clubdervisionaere.com Situated next to a canal in Kreuzberg near Treptower Park is Club der Visionäre, a small outdoor club / bar that is open day and night. In the day time make sure the sun is out when you go so that you can take a drink to the water’s edge and dip your feet in the cool water. At night the vibe changes as the DJ’s take over and blare out techno and house music in the small and sweaty garden shed like dance room. The grime and smoke filled air is all part of the late night charm. To cool off simply head outside to the wooden decked area, which has a number of oversized picnic benches, on which to chill and socialise. Despite not being one of Berlin’s wildest nights there is still enough here to satisfy those midweek clubbing desires. The party runs through the night on weekdays. Drink prices are reasonable with a beer setting you back around 3€ and unlike other clubs gaining entry is relatively easy. The minimum age is supposed to be 21 although this is fairly lax, girls below this age should be prepared to flirt a little with the bouncer. 107
    • BEIRBAR By Natasha Owen Alexanderplatz Alexanderplatz U2 Open 11:00 til Late Beirbar has a small pub style feel to it and is located in Alexanderplatz. It specialises in selling the wellknown Berliner Kindl Weisse in a wide variety of flavours. For those not usually keen on beer drinking or if you just want to try a new variety of flavours this is a handy place to grab a drink. With nine different flavours to pick from, you are spoilt for choice. For those who don’t drink beer, it really doesn’t taste like it! With flavours such as grapefruit, sour cherry, green apple and woodruff it is hard to distinguish the real taste of beer. On a sunny day, you can sit outside where you will have a lot more room than in the small interior. The bar takes up the majority of the inside space and has a few seats for customers scattered around it. Although the space isn’t ideal, it’s a great place to go and try a plethora of different flavoured Kindl Weisse before you leave. 108
    • BERGHAIN By Tom Shipman Am Wriezener Bahnhof | District 10243 U+S Warschauer Str. Friday – Sunday: Opening Times Vary Entrance - 14€ www.berghain.de Feel the techno beats coarse through your body in Berghain, one of Berlin’s biggest, most outrageous, and most bizarre clubs. It’s not for the faint hearted, or those adverse to nudity or heavy techno. Getting in can be a major issue with lengthy queues and a random yet strict entrance policy. It’s advisable to dress down, wear black, queue in smaller groups, and attempt to hide the fact that you are a tourist. However, if you are one of the lucky ones to be ushered inside then you will be in for a weekend of craziness. Set on three floors in an enormous abandoned power station it’s very easy to get lost in, although make sure not to stumble inadvertently into one of the notorious dark rooms. A plethora of bars serve a variety of drinks as well as ice cream and sandwiches (beer - 3.30€, vodka mixers - 7€). The two sweaty industrial dance floors, complete with world class sound systems, smoke, flashing lights, lasers, and techno’s biggest DJ names, are certainly the main attraction. Your body will shudder from the giant speakers’ bass as you attempt your best rendition of the techno step away into the night / morning / afternoon / next night etc. 109
    • DR PONG By Tom Shipman Eberswalder Straße 21 | 10437 Prenzlauer Berg U - Eberswalder Strasse Mon-Sat 20.00-Varied | Sun 19:00-Varied Entrance - Free | 5€ bat deposit www.drpong.net Entering the door into Dr Pong you would be forgiven for thinking that you had arrived into a squatters den. The main room that holds the solitary Ping-Pong table is a smoky concrete shell with grimy grey walls. However, this is all part 110 of the charm of the place - its utter simplicity. In the bar area there is a DJ table where music varying from techno to hip-hop is pumped out to support your table tennis rhythm. The bar sells cheap drinks with a beer setting you back around 2.50€. All these factors come together to make this a must visit if you are looking for an alternative night. People of all table tennis abilities stroll around the table in jovial spirits, loving the unique Dr Pong atmosphere. It is a great place to meet locals and tourists alike as everyone is very approachable, all just happy to be playing one big game. Don’t fear if you’re pretty useless at the game or have never played before, it is not competitive and nobody will laugh at you for going out early in each game on a repeated basis.
    • B FLAT By Thomas Bamford Rosenthaler Str. 13 0119 Mitte U Rosenthaler Platz www.b-flat-berlin.de Behind an unassuming facade on Rosenthaler Straße lies the urban Jazz club B-flat. The club was opened by the Zotus brothers and actor Andre Hennecke in 1995. The yellow walls along with the orange and red industrial inspired lighting accentuate the urban jazz vibe. This coupled with the sweaty (there is no air-con) and intimate floor (patrons often within touching distance from the musicians when at capacity) quickly generates an electrically charged atmosphere. Live shows run from Monday through to Saturday showing an eclectic mix of modern jazz, Latin jazz, funk and soul as well as Afro Cuban, salsa Jazz and Balkan jazz (to name but a few…). With such a varied mix of music to choose from it is imperative to check listings. Cover charges range from 10€ to 15€ but on Wednesday night Robin Draganic hosts a jam session for free with budding local Berliner Talent. If you plan to head down on Wednesdays it is often packed to the rafters, so head down about 8pm to ensure you will be seated at a table. The club has been graced by such prodigious talent as: Aki Tikase, Alexander Von Schlippenbach, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Rigmor Gustafsson, Peter Brötzmann and Conny Bauer to name but a select few. Happy hour is every night from 8.309.30pm with nightly cocktail specials. Beers start from 2.20€3.20€ and wine 3.20€. 111
    • WEINEREI FORUM The Winery By Adam Lambert Fehrbelliner Str. 57, Mitte 10119 U Rosenthaler Platz Daily 10.00 – 24.00 | Wine tasting and Buffet: 20.00 – 24.00 www.weinerei.com Clustered around low coffee tables, miss-matched vintage armchairs and sofas scatter the oak wooden floors of this winery. You’d be forgiven for thinking yourself in your gran’s living room as retro glass light-shades dangle from the ceiling. Daily from 8pm the winery operates a self-service, honesty policy. Void of any visible cash register, the bar is lined with selections of red, white, rosé and sparkling wines, with cider also being available. All drinks are left for you to help yourself to after you have paid a 2.00€ deposit for a 112 glass. A board behind the bar gives prices for during the day, but come 20.00 the ethos here really is pay what you think it’s worth. So keep a tally and an eye on the board and give generously. The buffet is also a self-service affair and despite being promisingly named it is lacking in choice, usually comprising of soup, a pasta dish and bread. Be sure to arrive early to grab yourself a table and some of the buffet’s offerings as the bar fills up as fast as the food disappears.
    • SUICIDE CIRCUS By Tom Shipman Revaler Straße 99 | District 10245 U + S Warschauer Straße Usually Wed - Sun 10€ Weekend | 8€ Wed www.suicide-berlin.com Despite this clubs disturbing name, it’s location, lax entrance policy, and lively atmosphere makes it a must visit. Set in Berlin’s hotbed of nightlife, just off Warschauer bridge, the club is easily accessible at all times of the day and night. It’s a mid-size venue with an indoor and open air dance floor, along with a separate room that hosts a long bar (very quick and easy to get served at). Many famous DJ’s and artists have taken the chance to perform at this intimate venue including, most notably, Plan B. Throughout the weekend techno beats blare from the speakers on both dance floors, early into the morning, with the open air dance room being the club’s particular highlight. The wooden decked area is covered by a makeshift circus themed cover and the floor is packed with fellow lively party goers. Smoke bellows out from an array of machines and different lasers pierce their way through creating a trance like feel. The club’s best nights are at the weekend, however, you will find it difficult to find a better Wednesday club night than here. Drink prices are also very reasonable with a beer setting you back around 3€. 113
    • As one of Europe’s biggest cities, Berlin definitely isn’t short of space. This is a major bonus if you are a person who loves being outdoors. There is a plethora of lakes available for you to take a swim in as well as a large amount of parks in which to escape from the city’s hectic urban sprawl. Cycling is very popular within the city and hiring a bike for the day is a great way to explore. 115
    • FEATURE PFAUENINSEL Peacock Island By Lily Woi Peacock Island Palace: (Apr – Oct) Tues-Sun 10.00 – 17.00 |Mon Closed| (Nov-Mar) Closed 3.00€ standard | 2.50€ reduced fare www.potsdam.de Situated at the border of Potsdam and Brandenburg is Peacock Island, a nature reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a short ferryboat ride away from the mainland and is the perfect location for a fun day out with family and friends, or for a romantic stroll with your loved one. This island has a very interesting and intriguing history dating back to the 17th century. Originally called Kaninchenwerder (Rabbit Island), this island started out as a rabbit breeding station set up by Elector Frederick William I. Then, in 1685, it became a crystalglass foundry for chemist Johan Kunckel and this is where he discovered the process of produc116 ing artificial red ruby glass. Left unused for around 100 years after a fire burned down the foundry, King Frederick William II acquired the island. He then had a small summer castle built for himself and his mistress. It resembles a romantic ruin and has an English styled
    • garden surrounding it. In the 18th century, Frederick William III turned the island into the royal menagerie, housing over 900 animals of 100 different species. The animals were later transferred to the Berlin Zoo, except for the Peacocks, hence the reason why the island was renamed Pfaueninsel. There are also many buildings smattered around the island for you to explore, including the Neo-Gothic styled Cavalier House and the ruins of Meierei abbey. On the east shore of the island is the Memorial Temple for Queen Luise and on the west is Jacob’s fountain, surrounded by lush greenery. As you walk along the path you will also pass through the site of Kunckel’s Laboratory, the Aviary and the Frigate Harbour. The interior of the palace can also be explored, but only through a guided tour. “The island has kept most of it’s 18th Century characteristics” Today, the island has kept most of its 18th century characteristics. This along with the island’s special feature of freely-roaming peacocks has made it one of the most popular summer attractions in West Berlin. As you take a leisurely stroll down the gravel paths and through the beautiful Rose gardens, you will see peacocks roaming free. You will also be provided with the amazing scenic view of the river Havel. 117
    • 100 & 200 BUS TOUR By Tom Bamford Mon-Sun 05:00-24:00 U+S Alexanderplatz 2.40€ Single Berlin’s 100 bus is somewhat of the city’s worst kept secret. Nevertheless it is an economical alternative to other pricey bus tours. The number 100 was created as a way of linking East and West Berlin after it’s re-unification in 1990. The bus route meanders past over 30 points of interest and is a great way to supplement a ‘self-taught’ tour where you can ‘hop on and off ’ at your own leisure . Costing only 2.40€, it is an excellent option for budget travellers and those who are more interested in a do-it-yourself approach to sightseeing. Beginning at Alexanderplatz the bus follows the Karl-LiebknechtStraße, taking in the Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral), Schloßplatz and Museum Island. The bus then travels through to the Under der Linen (often jam-packed with traffic so best avoided at peak times) up to the Brandenburg Gate. By getting off at this point you can also examine the Reichstag in its magisterial beauty. The bus then passes through the beautiful Tiergarten, passing the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Bellevue palace and the victory column on the Großerstern roundabout. The bus continues into city’s west past the Breitscheidplatz and Kurfürstendamm, where the Kaiser Wilhelm Church resides. The bus adjourns at the Zoologischer Garten. The 200 bus follows much of the same route but goes further on through the embassy quarter and into Potsdamer platz. This is a much better option as it is likely to be less full than the 100. Best seats on the top at the front!
    • SCHWARZLICHT MINIGOLF By Zoe Emilia Robertshaw Görlitzer Str. 1, im Görlitzer Park | Kreuzberg 10997 U1 Görlitzer Banhof Mon-Thurs 12.00-22.00 | Fri 12.00-00.00 | Sat 10.00 – 00.00| Sun 10.00 – 22.00 5.50€ standard | 4.50€ concession www.indoor-minigolf-berlin.de Wear white and glow under the UV lights at Blacklight Mini Golf in Görlitzer Park. Buy a beer in the bar above the course and venture down the stairs to the basement where five surreal rooms will transport you to different neonsaturated worlds. Don a pair of 3D glasses (for a surcharge of 1€) and immerse yourself in the florescent haze of a mural style Berlin jungle, complete with an overgrown Brandenburg gate. Launch the ball into the air to ring a cowbell on hole seventeen and attempt to master hole sixteen which is more of a skate park than your classic windmill. The techno beats are seamed to remixes of The XX in the eighteen track playlist, creating the atmosphere of the clubs Berlin is so famous for. The bar above is decorated with charming retro wallpaper, reminiscent of the 1970s, and this suits the chilled X-Box areas for teenagers. If afterwards you fancy sampling a range of food and drink, the café/bar Edelweiss is also above the course. A portion of their dumplings with wild mushroom stew will make your visit particularly satisfying. 119
    • BAUM HAUS COMEDY OPEN AIR By Tom Shipman Griessmuehle, Sonnenallee 221 12059 Neukölln U Sonnenallee Thu 18:00 - Late Free admission although donations are welcomed. www.comedyinenglish.de to it: several tree houses, a hollowed out car turned into seating, a large fire surrounded by eager pyromaniacs and several swings. The atmosphere is also very chilled as the clientele are predominately there to sit and have a laugh. Laugh out loud at this free openair English speaking comedy night. Well, attempt to laugh when you can because a funny joke here is relatively sparse. In-depth gags based on the difference between Berlin and Birmingham’s water pressure have been known... Don’t eat before you go as different market stalls sell a range of freshly cooked BBQ food. Vegetarians needn’t worry either as pizza and omelettes are also available. Cheap alcohol at the bar goes some way to improving the comedy, with beer priced at a very reasonable 2.50€. The venue’s river bank provides an ideal drinking location. Despite lacking in funny comedians the night is still surprisingly worth a visit due to the venue itself, and the fact that it’s free. DJs also perform late into the night following the comedy. It’s approached by walking down a long dark alley that reveals a rather surreal setting at its end. The venue has a hippy commune vibe 120
    • TIERGARTEN By Bethany McDowell S Tiergarten Free Find a secluded spot in the Tiergarten and you’ll feel as though you’ve been transported into a Jane Austen novel. With long avenues of tall trees, large lawns and meadows, it’s hard not to envision Mr Darcy emerging from one of the many ponds. It’s very easy to forget that you’re in the middle of a capital city. The park’s central location, the cute cafés such as Café am Neuen See and the many famous sights including the Victory Column and Bellevue Palace mean that this park is a favourite destination for both tourists and Berliners alike. Take a The Tiergarten translates as stroll around the gardens, have a picnic, Animal Garden as it first served rent a bike or sit and daydream about as hunting grounds which were Mr Darcy, this is the perfect spot for all. full of wild boar and deer. In the 19 down the trees and had the park transformed into a landscaped garden. The English style was fashionable around this time and these designs have heavily influenced what you see today. After World War II, the park was stripped of its trees as citydwellers used the wood for fuel. Restoration began in 1949 and everything in the park has been planted in 121 keeping with the original designs.
    • WANNSEE LAKE By Tom Shipman S Wannsee As lakes go Wannsee is one of Berlin’s largest and most spectacular. It is situated in the south western district of SteglitzZehlendorf and is easily accessible on the S-Bahn. Walk across the road from the station and be engulfed by the lake’s seaside atmosphere, with outdoor umbrella laden cafes and various ice cream parlours. The lake itself is an idyllic place and the picturesque view is one which you will find on many postcards being sold locally. The clear water stretches off into the distance, reflecting the various boats on its surface in a mirror like fashion. As well as being a photographer’s dream there is a lot more to do here than gaze at the view. Its vast size makes it difficult to navigate so make sure you dedicate a whole afternoon if you wish to explore it 122 in full. Hit the extremely large sand beach and swim in the lake, but be aware that is gets very crowded on summer days (changing facilities are available). Another option is to get on a boat and explore the vast expanse of water from its surface. You can either hire your own if you’re seeking a rowing adventure or go on one of the regular organised boat tours.
    • BEARPIT KARAOKE By Stephanie Annett Gleimstraße 55 I 10437 Prenzlauer Berg U: Eberwalder Straße Sun 15.00 www.bearpitkaraoke.de For the past five years Irish chap, Joe Hatchiban, with his gift of the gab and custom made mobile karaoke unit has been entertaining locals and tourists alike, usually on dull Sunday afternoons. Join 2000 others at 3pm and cram into Mauerpark’s amphitheater - the location of Berlin’s former “death strip” between the East and the West. A colourful umbrella on the circular centre stage serves as a useful barrier from the sun and it is set intimately close to the roaring crowd. The open air session attracts folk from all walks of life ranging from Broadway belters, rockers with long manes and seductive Latinas, all performing as if they were alone in front of the bathroom mirror. Anyone can have a go but be warned, it’s a gladiatorial experience. If the crowd love you, your courage will be rewarded with a frantic thunderous applause, but prepare to be booed if they think you’re rubbish. Feeling brave? Head down early and sign up with the 50 other foolish souls. If not then grab a cool beer, jostle for a seat in the dust and enjoy this feel good Berlin institution. 123
    • FEATURE OLYMPIASTADION Berlin Olympic Stadium By Natasha Owen Olympischer Platz 3, 14053 U-Bahn line U2 Opening Times: 09:00-19:00 Prices: Adults:7,00 € Reduced Rate 5,00 € www.olympiastadion-berlin.de A fair distance from central Berlin you will find the 1936 Olympic Stadium, an iconic historical monument in more ways than one. With a considerable amount of intriguing history, for a good price, you can enter the grounds of the stadium or even pay a small amount to have a splash in the Olympic pool. Tours can be arranged or you can set your own pace and explore the site as you wish. With maps and information points scattered around the stadium there is always something to learn. 124 Exuding with history, the grounds are infamous for holding the Olympic games of 1936. The go ahead to build a stadium was originally given some time before for the 1936 games. The building started in 1914 but was unfortunately terminated in 1916 due to the First World War.
    • On August 1, 1936, the games were inaugurated by Adolf Hitler and the flame lit by athlete Fritz Schilgen. These games became notorious for Hitler’s disregard towards Jewish and non-Aryan athletes and his refusal to shake their hands. This was of some interest especially after the memorable gold medal win by African American athlete Jesse Owens. matches in 1974 and it later held an additional six matches, including the final, for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Holding over 74,000 spectators one can be overwhelmed by its grandiosity, whilst also enjoying and absorbing the history. The stadium should not be viewed as an attraction only suitable for those interested in sport. Since the Olympics, the stadium has been the home of Hertha BSC Berlin from 1963 until the present day. However, the venue has not only been a home to sporting events, it has been, and is still used as a music venue for many well-known bands such as Genesis, AC/DC, Guns N Roses and many more. “The grounds are infamous for holding the Olympic games of 1936” The original stadium was designed by Otto March, a famous German architect and a previous student of the Berlin Academy of Architecture. One of his sons, Werner March then designed the second. Since the delayed opening in the 1930’s the stadium has been renovated twice, once in 1974 and another in 2006. The renovations took place in order for Berlin to play host to two FIFA World Cups. It was a venue for three 125
    • TEUFELSBERG Teafelsee By Tamarah Green Charlottenburg 14055 U Theodor-Heuss-Platz As you’re making the half hour walking journey from the u-bahn to Teufelsee, you’ll certainly realise that you’ve stepped a little out of the city. Surrounded by towering evergreens, cycling families and wandering couples, this is a popular destination for those looking to relax. The lake itself looks like an interrupted Monet painting, with water lilies and naked swimmers creating an idyllic picture of summer. Although primarily nudist your choice of outfit will not be judged by any of the lake-goers who are lazing on the grass. Many Berliners label Teufelsee as the best lake, so be sure to take a dip and make the most of the summer weather. Overlooking the lake is the former listening station Teaufelsberg, used by the NSA (National Security Agency) in the American Sector prior to the fall of the wall. Climbing up the hill to 126 the entrance you’ll be surprised to find out that the hill was man-made after WWII by using the rubble of bombed buildings. Some squatters have tapped into Berlin’s interest in abandoned buildings however, so if you’re looking to enter the grounds be prepared to pay a steep 15€ to do so.
    • CHARLOTTENBURG SCHLOSSGARTEN The Gardens of Charlottenburg Palace By Martina Cocci Spandauer Damm 20-24 | Charlottenburg 14059 U Richard-Wagner-Platz Sun-Tue 10.00-19.00 | Mon Closed Free entrance If you exit the gate of the palace and turn right a new world will appear in front of you: the gardens of Charlottenburg. The creation of the gardens was commissioned by Sophie Charlotte. They were originally created in a French baroque style, however, the architect August Eyserback then transformed them into English style gardens. Extremely long lines of ancient green trees create a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere. The central part of the grounds consists of two lawns lined with different kinds of colored flowers such as daisies and roses. If you follow the path, you will reach a majestic fountain that opens out at a little lake. A lot of tourists and local people sit on the steps placed at the beginning of the lake which is decorated with marble statues. While sitting there you will come across some ducks and white swans that swim peacefully, without even noticing the presence of human beings. However, this is just one part of the gardens and when you enter the woods two more places will appear in front of you. The Mausoleum is one of these, where some of the most important Prussian Emperors lie buried. The other is the Belvedere, the teahouse, which is also used as a viewing tower. This is a perfect place for tourists and locals alike, whether you want to run, have a picnic or just to relax on the grass while reading a book. 127
    • BRITZER GARTEN Britzer Garden By Bethany McDowell Buckower Damm 146 12349 Berlin U Alt-Mariendorf |Bus 179 Sangerhauser Weg Mon-Sat 9.00-Dusk Standard 2.00€ Concessions 1.00€ www.gruen-berlin.de Originally built for the Federal Garden Show in 1985, the Britzer Garten provided 90 hectares of greenery and nature for the citizens of West Berlin. It was built for those who were cut off from the surrounding countryside at that time. Today it continues to serve this purpose, only now tourists can also join the locals in marvelling at this beautiful park. The park is picture perfect with a spring fed lake, landscaped gardens and modern statues. The flowers are the main attraction for many and they alone make the visit worthwhile. If you are around in spring then the ‘Tulipan’ (a vast display of multi-coloured tulips) is not to be missed 128 and during the summer the Rose Garden is at its radiant best. It truly is a pleasure to walk through these gardens and view Mother Nature in all her well groomed pride and glory. If you are starting to tire then catch a ride on the Britzer Museum Train where the 600m track allows you to have a rest whilst viewing the park. Plus the train looks like a distant relative of Thomas the Tank, adding to the park’s toy town ambience. There is also an old windmill, a petting zoo and Makunaima (an entire village made of clay). The park certainly has plenty of different options to occupy those with a short attention span.
    • ALTERNATIVE BERLIN TWILIGHT TOUR By Stephanie Annett Friday and Saturday nights Meet at 6pm Booking essential. Please contact bookings@alternativeberlin.com www.alternativeberlin.com Forget the Reichstag and the Brandenburg gate and take this alternative twilight tour to get a sneaky peak into the subcultures and underground world of this “poor, yet sexy” city. Lead by an authentic Berlin hipster the tour lasts about 5 hours, with plenty of beer stops along the way. Explore the authentic Haus Schwarzenburg which is laden with street art. Try and spot El Bocho’s work of the cat; hating Little Lucy. Delve into the bizarre world of Monsterkabinett; an art display of robotic monsters dancing to techno music. Witness street artists at work in the creative Urban Spree gallery and watch the skateboarder’s brave Europe’s largest half pipe at SkateHalle. The highlight is the walk around an abandoned ice factory which is now the home to squatters. At this point of the tour you can see how an outcast community live and party on a daily basis. Bring a beer and join the squatters on the roof for a breath-taking view of Berlin at night. The guide provides a spray can and you are able to leave your mark on this unique building by having a go at graffiti yourself. The last stop on the tour is a hackerspace designed to look like a crashed space station. Mingle with the hackers and if you’re lucky they will show you the latest projects in the members only labs. 129
    • BREWERS FREE BERLIN EXPRESS TOUR By Stephanie Annett Departure point is the corner of Friedrichstrasse and Georgenstrasse, in front of the Brandy Brooks ice cream store. U + S: Friedrichstrasse Station www.brewersberlintours.com Brewers offer a pay-what-youthink-you-can tour which allows travellers on all budgets to have a whistle stop peak at the coolest city on the planet. Berlin may be 10 times the size of Paris but the legendary sights are within a compact space that can easily be explored by foot. The energetic and entertaining guides are passionate about their city and its colourful 800 year history. You will visit the majestic and photogenic Brandenburg Gate; a former symbol of division that now epitomises German reunification. Learn about the iconic burned, bombed and rebuilt Reichstag, which was used by Hitler as the pretext to kill off democracy. You can also have a photo beside the hotel balcony that Michael Jackson famously dangled his 130 baby from. Follow the line of the Berlin wall from the rare architecture of the Nazi Air Force Ministry to Checkpoint Charlie; the spot where US and Soviet Tanks faced off after the wall went up. You can also stop and admire the Berliner Dom, stroll down the historic Unter den Linden and ponder life in the beautiful surroundings of the Lust garden. Three and a half hours may seem a long time, but you will soon become engrossed in the tales of Berlin from its darkest hour to its brightest moments.
    • TEGELER SEE Lake Tegel By Tom Shipman U Alt-Tegel, S Tegel Free Entry Set away from the busy streets of Berlin in the North Western Reinickendorf district sits Lake Tegel, a short walk from the nearest underground station. It is one of Berlin’s biggest lakes with clear water sprawling into the distance, only interrupted by a leafy green island at its centre and many sailing boats. It’s perfect for a relaxing day in the sun, however, do take care to avoid the droppings left by the waterfowl if you’re looking to pass it in a horizontal fashion. The visitors are predominately families along with many loved-up couples enjoying the lakes romantic atmosphere. Sunset is particularly breath-taking and the benches on the water’s edge provide an ideal viewing spot. With paths leading all the way around the lake’s circumference it is advisable to cycle rather than walk if you wish to discover the lake’s beauty in full. There is much to discover including a busy beach with changing facilities, if you fancy a dip in the lake, and a 900 year old oak tree named ‘fat Marie’. There are also regular daily steamboat rides and places to hire out your own rowing boat or pedalo if you wish. However, if you’re looking for a livelier viewing you can do so on one of the weekly Saturday night boat parties. 131
    • Berlin has a large and diverse range of shops but is probably best known for its vintage scene. There are a number of higgledy-piggledy flea markets to explore, aswell as some of the best vintage clothes shops you’ll ever come across. Berlin really is a shabby-chic treasure trove of mysteries just waiting for you to come and browse. However, Berlin also caters for those who enjoy the finer things in life. The KaDeWe and Galeries Lafayette are Berlin’s answer to Harrods and Bloomingdales. They are both well worth a visit, even if it’s only to window shop. Whether you’re after a one-off vintage piece, a designer label or a tacky souvenir (Ampelmann dog collar, anyone?!), Berlin has it all. So take a look at our best picks and see for yourself ! 133
    • BERLIN MAUERPARK FLOHMARKT Berlin Mauerpark Flea Market By Martina Cocci Bernauer Straße 63-64| 13355 U Bernauer Straße |M Wolliner Straße Open every Sunday www.mauerparkmarkt.de In most European cities tourists can find the odd flea market but the Mauerpark market in Berlin should be one of the places on the must see list for every visitor. On Sundays, a great amount of stalls hide in the middle of the crowd which is made up of both tourists and local people. All of them fight their way through the stands, trying to find the best bargain. Among the stalls, you will notice diverse offers: from food to furniture, shoes to jewels and clothes to ancient objects such as pottery, paintings decorative objects and toys. The food is one of the best parts of the market with specialities from all over the world, including Kebab, Bruschetta, Waffles and Wurst. Yet, above all, the real aspect that has made this market 134 so popular is the lively atmosphere where you will challenge the five senses: the music that comes from the old gramophones, the smell of incense and food that comes from the different stalls, the taste of specialities like different flavours of honey or other kinds of food and the touch and sight of vintage clothes and objects. All the people there seem really enthusiastic and everyone is keen to keep this tradition alive.
    • LES GALERIES LAFAYETTE By Martina Cocci Friedrichstraße 76-78 | 10117 Berlin U Französische Strasse Mon-Sat 10.00 – 20.00 www.galerieslafayetteberlin.de Don’t worry, it’s a French name, but we are still in Berlin! After reunification, the French group decided to open its first subsidiary in Germany. The department store opened in 1996 thanks to the joint creative minds of French architect Jean Nouvel and artist Patric Blanc. The building is a modern temple of glass with the interior centered around a cone where a massive Eiffel Tower hangs from the ceiling. German people are used to defining this building as the daughter of the original French one, since it reminds them of the famous dome of the Boulevard Haussmann department store in Paris. The building is remarkable, but we should also observe the façade: created by Patric Blanc, it represents a vertical garden with different species of plants on a glass, which give greenery and nature to the street. The shopping centre is made up of 4 floors with an exclusive range of products. Starting from food in the basement up to make-up, men’s, women’s and children’s clothes produced by the most popular and expensive international brands. So, if you have an excess of money to spend on shopping then this is the right place for you. Otherwise, it’s worth visiting the building as it’s considered a work of contemporary art in its own right. 135
    • SING BLACKBIRD By Stephanie Annett Sanderstrasse 11 | Neukölln 12047 Schönleinstrasse Mon - Sun 12.00-19.00 www.singblackbird.com Tucked away down an inconspicuous street in the trendy neighborhood of Kreuzkölln, you will find the quirky vintage clothes and coffee shop, Sing Blackbird. This is the perfect concoction for lovers of vintage fashion, homemade cakes and freshly roasted java. The store contains delicate lines of colour coded and reasonably priced garments from the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s. The focus is on wearable chic in timeless styles and classic accessories. After, you can sit and admire your purchases in the charmingly compact café. This café has been creatively reinvented from a former phone sex centre with well-chosen wallpaper, a splash of silver paint and some antique birdcages. Sip a cappuccino for 2.40€ 136 and take a seat by the window to watch the intimidatingly laidback, arty citizens of Kreuzkölln. Alternatively, taste the vast array of vegan treats on offer whilst drinking the hipster favorite, Fritz Cola, for 2.80€ and take advantage of the free Wi-Fi. Still can’t get enough of Sing Blackbirds Vintage Clothes? Then check out the website and join the crew every second Sunday for an outdoor flea market during spring and summer.
    • DO YOU READ ME?! By Benjamin James Brady Auguststraße 28 10117 Berlin U Rosenthaler Platz Mon – Sat 10.00 – 19:30 www.doyoureadme.de As the digital age quickens at an ever-alarming rate, traditional means of acquiring records, books, and magazines is becoming more of a collector’s occupation. Do you read me?! is a magazine shop, minutes away from lively Oranienburger Straße. They offer a select range of contemporary international magazines and reading materials, covering a range of subjects from fashion, art, photography, literature, and current affairs. It’s an intriguing little space to browse and gives you a heightened sense of appreciation for beautifully made things. Magazines are not just glossy here, they are crafted, stylish, and imbued with real workmanship. Shelves are lined with eye catching, colourful and interestingly titled releases. ‘Useful Photography’, a journal focusing on ‘overlooked and underwhelming images taken for practical purposes’, is fun, if not bizarre. As is the art and photography journal, ‘Toilet Paper’. You could spend a whole afternoon here, curiously looking at each of the attractive, cool and peculiar titles. The magazines aren’t cheap (7.00€ – 29.00€) but, if you’re after something more than your usual trashy mag and want to fill a bookcase with thought provoking and obscure works, then it’s worth a look. They have another outlet in Potsdamer Straße, with a larger reading room that hosts regular recitals. 137
    • SAINT GEORGE’S NEW AND SECOND HAND ENGLISH BOOKSTORE By Martina Cocci Wörther Straße 27| 10405 Berlin U Senefelder Platz Mon-Fri 11.00-20.00 | Sat 11.0019.00 www.saintgeorgesbookshop.com Bookworms pay attention, this review is for you! Far away from the busiest areas of the city, in a residential district, is a small bookshop ready to display the largest selection of new and used English language books in Berlin. Its name is Saint George’s. It was founded in 2003 by two twin brothers named Pau and Daniel. When you enter, it’s like stepping into an old library full of ancient books and culture jumps out of every corner. Made up of two tiny rooms, the shop contains tall shelves full of every genre of books at the lowest prices. The first room is dedicated to literature, not only does it contain English authors such as Shakespeare 138 and Austen, but also American, French and German writers. The second part is dedicated to travel literature, more recent authors, biographies as well as German history. Moreover, a big, old sofa allows customers to relax in the middle of the room, while browsing through some of the books. Last but not the least, a very efficient service of shipments is provided: if you order a book before 17.00 it will arrive the next day.
    • KADEWE By Emma Dennison Tauentzienstraße 21-24 | Schöneberg 10789 U Wittenbergplatz Mon-Thurs 10.00-20.00 | Fri 10.00-21.00 | Sat 9.30-20.00 www.kadewe.de Built in 1907, the iconic Kaufhaus des Westens department store covers 60 000 square metres and is Europe’s second-largest after Harrod’s. Its original motto, ‘The customer is king and kings are customers’, neatly encapsulates its main aims: being Berlin’s most exclusive shopping venue and providing exceptional customer service. The ground floor houses the beauty department and the Luxury Boulevard – a labyrinth of designer accessory shops-within-a-shop. The first floor offers menswear and even features a professional shoe-shining service! The second floor is dedicated to womenswear and shoes, accessories and lingerie are on the third floor along with childrenswear and a hair and beauty salon. The fourth floor contains home ware and high-end Berlin souvenirs. The fifth floor is devoted to multimedia, books and stationery, with an intriguing canine outfitter and a toy department that will brighten any child’s day. The sixth-floor food hall is perhaps the KaDeWe’s main attraction – paradise for any foodie. In addition to buying food to take home, you can perch at various bars to sample some. The seventh floor buffet restaurant with its glass roof offers inspiring views of West Berlin. The unintimidating staff speak excellent English, and tills are never far away. Although much of the stock may be out of your budget, you can buy a KaDeWe canvas bag for only 3€ - so who’s to know? 139
    • STIEFELKOMBINAT By Bethany McDowell Eberswalder Straße 21-22 | Prenzlauer Berg 10785 S Eberswalder Straße Mon-Sat 9.00-18.00 www.stiefelkombinat.de Stiefelkombinat (roughly translated as ‘boot combination’) is surely what the contents of Mary Poppin’s magical bag would look like if it were upturned. This shop sells an endless array of, well, stuff! Every nook and cranny is covered with shoes, clothes, belts, bags and a huge selection of Dr Zhivago-style fur hats. Even the shop’s façade is littered with vintage items, from 70s-style denim jumpsuits to quirky brightly-coloured suitcases. This is truly a never-ending Aladdin’s cave of vintage items. Never have so many shoes been in 140 one room! The boots from which the shop must get its name tower over you, hanging from nets stretching from floor to ceiling. And don’t worry if your feet’s soul mates are hanging just out of reach - the staff, while evoking an air of nonchalance, are actually quite friendly and will be more than happy to help. The only downside to this place is the price: shoes start at 25.00€ and boots at 60.00€. However, you can feel the quality - most pairs have already lasted a good 20 years! If you don’t want to splash your cash, it’s still worth popping in here just to see this endless vintage bazaar with your own eyes. Plus, scarves start at 10.00€ and you can never have too many scarves!
    • MADE IN BERLIN By Adam Lambert Neue Schönhauser Strasse 19 | Mitte 10178 U Weinmeisterstrasse Mon-Sat 11.00-20.00 Tue 12.00-15.00 20% discount Berlin, Hauptstadt of hipster. Here, vintage is vogue and original style is the norm rather than the niche. Situated on trendy Neue Schönhauser Straße, Made in Berlin is arguably one of the city’s best vintage shops and never fails to delight discerning locals and tourists alike. Clothes from brands such as Adidas, Levi’s and Lacoste are thoughtfully arranged by style and era, alongside unique nameless 80s and 90s garments – all at affordable prices. The women’s section, found on the first floor, is well-stocked with hand-picked pieces from fluorescent 90s sports tracksuits to chunky knitwear and chintzy floral dresses. At the back of the shop, a room filled from floor to ceiling is a veritable Aladin’s cave of shoes and accessories. Spiral stairs, adorned with tote bags and wedding dresses, lead to the men’s section which fills the basement. Peruse the rails of vintage denim jackets, retro silk shirts and Levi jeans in the bohemian basement. Woodland scenes on light panels decorate the walls and birdsongs playing out over the speakers make for a laidback shopping experience. With a varied range of quality, well sourced vintage clothes at reasonable prices, Made in Berlin is most definitely worthy of its ‘best vintage store’ reputation. 141
    • TÜRKISCHER MARKT Turkish Market By Lily Woi Maybachufer |Kreuzberg 10967 Berlin U Schönleinstraβe Tue and Fri 11.00-18.30 www.tuerkenmarkt.de Looking for everything Turkish? Then head down to the popular ‘Turk market’ located at the bank of Maybachufer. As you squeeze through the market, you will be caught in the hustle and bustle of people buying and selling all things Turkish. This market has many stalls selling a lot of different things ranging from meats, fruits and vegetables to olives, textiles, spices, jewellery, shoes and random essentials such as gloves, door knobs and shoelaces. The freshly made crispy gözleme filled with feta, spinach, olives and mushrooms is a must try Turkish pastry. You can also enjoy a freshly squeezed juice for one euro as you stroll through the market. 142 After you’re done shopping, sit by the Landwehrkanal near the East end of the market where you will be able to relax and enjoy live music and performances. This market attracts local housewives with their children tagging along, curious tourists and young people on a budget. All prices are negotiable and you will be able to get the best deals when you head to the market near closing time. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to get five mangoes for as little as one euro.
    • DUSSMANN DAS KULTURKAUFHAUS Dussmann the Cultural Department Store By Lily Woi Friedrichstraβe 90 |10117 Mitte Berlin U S Friedrichstraβe Mon – Fri 09.00 -00.00 | Sat 09.00 – 23.30 www.kulturkaufhaus.de If you’re looking for anything related to culture, then go no further - Dussmann’s probably has what you’re looking for! This massive, modern, five storey building is a cultural departmental store. It sells an extensive range of books including fiction, history and much more. But you can also get CDs, DVDs, audio books, vinyl, games and stationaries. delicious food, such as crunchy apple salad and scones served with jam and clotted cream. You will be dining next to the unique and vibrant Vertical Garden filled with exotic plants. Designed by internationally renowned botanist Patrick Blanc this garden creates an extraordinary ambience for your meal. In the unlikely event that you can’t find the books you’ve been looking for, the staff are more than happy to order it for you. There are also live music events on a regular basis. With so much to see, you could just spend hours here! Located right at the end of the store, next to a statue of a Sphinx, is a shop selling a large selection of English language books. With comfortable reading corners located in different parts of this store, you can sit back, relax and enjoy your read. A cosy tropical themed restaurant is located on the first floor offering 143
    • PROFILES LILY WOI Not only is lovely Lily an account and finance graduate from the University of Bristol but she also speaks an impressive seven languages. Originally from Malaysia, this chick has travelled the world and radiates coolness wherever she goes. ADAM LAMBERT LAYOUT Having studied French and German at Newcastle University means Adam feels right at home in Berlin. He’s in his element trawling through vintage shops and snapping away with his camera. His insider knowledge and razor-sharp wit make him an excellent guide. MARTINA COCCI 144 Witty and smart, Martina is an Italian student from Milan and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Languages. Knowledgeable in all things chocolate, she is the go-to girl for any tips on how a hot chocolate should taste.
    • BETHANY MCDOWELL EDITOR As editor in chief and ‘layout coordinator’ she’s our ever present rock in a tumultuous sea of missed deadlines, unwritten articles and misplaced semi colons. Beth studied French and German at Aberdeen University, and is a 3-time marathon runner. TAMARAH GREEN Sassy and fiery with a curly mane, this free spirited Jersey lass has been an irreplaceable part of the team. Her favourite activities include reviewing gourmet fast food, and at the weekend you’ll find her pulling shapes in Berlin’s best night-clubs. STEPHANIE ANNETT Having studied pharmacy in her native Ireland, Stephanie is now completing a PhD focusing on cancer research. With her outgoing and friendly personality she always has suggestions if you want to have fun. 145
    • PROFILES EMMA DENNISON EDITOR Traversing Europe one classical concert at a time, this cultured Yorkshire lass will give you the city’s suavest recommendations. An aspiring translator recently graduated in French and Maths from Leeds, she’s down to earth and sharp as a whistle. 146 TOM SHIPMAN EDITOR Tom is a recent English Literature graduate, somewhat thought of as a young Shakespeare. He is due to study a Master’s degree in Marketing & Advertising in Leeds this year. Tom is an outgoing, young man who has made the most of his time in Berlin. Not only has he been an editor BENJAMIN JAMES BRADY but has ensured he has thoroughly EDITOR Attired in zany shirts, this joyrider explored the city during his stay. of the world has an epic arty streak that proved invaluable when jazzing up the guide. His sense of humour and level headedness helped ground our group, while his whiskery facial hair frames a friendly face that’s always keen to help and inspire.
    • THOMAS BAMFORD EDITOR English Literature graduate, film buff, jazz fanatic and all-round purveyor of cool, Mr Bamford the Wham member lookalike is well-travelled, well-versed in literary treasures and loves a game of cricket to boot. Jolly good old bean! ZOE EMILIA ROBERTSHAW LAYOUT NATASHA OWEN LAYOUT Dedicated and creative in equal measure, this Nottingham Trent Multimedia Graduate is an invaluable layout designer. Happiest when in her element, she’s seldom seen without her camera around her neck and always has time for anyone. A true gem. With bright ginger hair and an outgoing nature, party girl Zoe certainly stands out from the crowd. Her keen eye for style and design has been invaluable for the guide’s fantastic aesthetic outcome. Graduating with a 1st in English Lit at Liverpool University means that her writing isn’t too bad either. 147