Both of us are urban bunnies- we’ve lived in big cities all our lives and relish the variety, cosmopolitanism, and anonymity they offer. Unsurprisingly we love Berlin. (In)Famously described as ‘poor but sexy’ by its mayor Klaus Wowereit, it is exactly that. It isn’t the cleanest or the prettiest European capital, but it is definitely the quirkiest and the most eclectic.
It’s easy to fall in love with Berlin because it’s full of character. It’s young, dynamic, and volatile and we would live there in a heartbeat. Want to know why we love Berlin? Keep reading:
#1 The Music
We have a voracious appetite for music and street art, and Berlin is amazing for both those things.
Music is everywhere in Berlin. The best part? There are free open air micro-concerts happening everywhere you look. Walk around Alexanderplatz on a sunny morning and you’ll see what we mean- there are musicians at every street corner, people pausing to hear them, fans cheering them – the atmosphere is infectious. Our favourite is a guitarist/singer who usually performs under the bridge at Alexanderplatz – he goes by the name Johnny Jukebox Berlin and is amazing.
#2 The Art
As with music, Berlin’s best art is to be found on the streets, not museums or galleries. Don’t believe us? Just take a look at this artist painting portraits on the pavement using just coal and chalk:
Just look at those eyes!
If you’re a street art aficionado, Berlin is the place for you. There’s graffitti, paste-ups, stamps, and some amazing pieces by street-art masters such as Dscreet, Stik, and Space Invader. The best places to look for street art are Kreuzberg, Schlesisches Tor, and Mitte (especially Rosenthaler Strasse). We have a lengthy piece on street art in Berlin coming up for all the street art geeks out there 🙂
Some of the street-art masters we spotted: Dscreet’s famous owl next to Stik’s stick person
Berlin is the global centre of electronic music, and sure enough its electronic music landscape is bewildering. There are clubs by the dozen, but if you’re fond of ambient electronic music or a mixture of electronic music with strong guitar riffs, then ask around and look for parties in non-traditional spaces such as disused cellars and empty industrial buildings. It’s hedonistic, it’s free thinking, it’s experimental- we love it!
The icing on the nightlife cake? The Berlin Metro runs 24*7 on weekends- London tube are you listening?
Warehouses are where the party is at in Berlin
#4 Beer is cheaper than water
A bottle of water costs €2 in Berlin. A bottle of cola costs €1.5. A bottle of local beer costs €1.2. What can be better?
German fondness for beer is probably the worst-kept secret in the world, but Berlin takes it to a new level altogether. The beer culture here is crazy – even the tiniest restaurants have extensive beer menus, there are endless biergartens (beer-gardens) with rows upon rows of wooden tables and huge mugs of beer , and beer seems to be the most popular breakfast drink.
Our favourites? Savi loved Radler (beer+lemonade), a German staple, but I loved the Berliner, the local wheat beer.
Coca Cola €1.5, Berliner €1.2 – We rest our case 🙂
If you’re looking to unwind over a couple of beers, head to Cafe am Neuen See, located deep inside Berlin’s sprawling park Tiergarten. The beer garden is in an idyllic location by a lake. There are endless rows of wooden tables under chestnut trees- it’s easy to spend an entire afternoon here. More information and reviews here.
Notice the lake in the background?
#5 The Best Stuff is Free
Our favourite things in Berlin are all free. We suggest:
a) Visiting the roof terrace and dome of the Reichstag Building. The panoramic view is especially spectacular at night. It is free but you need to register before going. More information here.
b) Walking around Kreuzberg, Berlin’s most bohemian district – devour the street art, binge on scrumptious Turkish food, stroll through the Kreuzberg park, explore Kreuzberg’s rebellious alleys, and acquaint yourself with its alternate music venues.
c) Visiting the Mauerpark Flea Market- Berlin’s largest open-air market. It takes place every Sunday and is a right delight! It’s huge, chaotic, and fun. Find yourself a vintage coat, an old camera, or just grab a hot-dog, and beer and attend the public karaoke at the park’s amphitheater – makes for a perfect day out. More information here.
Berlin skyline from the Reichstag Building
Mauerpark Flea Market- chaotic but fun
Quirky bags at Mauerpark Flea Market
Both EasyJet and Ryan Air offer cheap flights from UK to Berlin. Prices start at £50/one way. The city is lively all year round, but is at its liveliest during summer months (June-September).
Hungry in Berlin? Read about our favourite cheap eats in Berlin to find out more about its cosmopolitan food culture.
Stuck on packing for Berlin? We have loads of fun outfit ideas and inspiration.
If you find yourself in Berlin, make the best out of the city using the Berlin Travel Card. (use code JULY6 at checkout to get 10% discount on all passes).
Have you been to Berlin? What is your favourite part about the city? 🙂