AURA, photo: Dress Me Guide Me
The vintage and 2nd hand scene in Berlin is a very diverse world covering some rare vintage from golden times, contemporary high end brands as well as thrift stores where you can buy per kilo. The criteria which makes the difference between all those types is the selection of garments itself. While vintage is the label for clothes that were distinctive to a specific era that’s at least 10-15 years in the past, 2nd hand generally just describes clothes that have been worn by someone before. This could be anything ranging from 2000er high street pieces or last season’s designer stuff. Especially vintage stores pride themselves with the originality of their selection of pieces, that are mostly stand-outs, clean and in good condition. Just like well-curated 2nd hand shops they are usually done with a lot of love and passion, therefore vintage is usually more expensive than your average 2nd hand or thrift store.
Regardless of your personal preference, whether you buy 2nd hand or vintage as a political statement, to get trendy or luxurious brands for cheap or because you are searching for the pearl in a pile of random stuff to get that triumphant feeling of a precious discovery – Berlin’s got you covered!
Our guest contributor Emilie from Dress Me Guide Me selected some of the most awesome shops for you!
photos: Alicia Kassebohm
The fertile fuel of the mythic Berlin of the 90s and early 2000s was the abundance of unused buildings and spaces all around the city, especially in the East. So many business opportunities for small entrepreneurs, night clubs, music venues and even for yoga studios became possible through affordable space. This created a spirit of daring, bold minds open to new and experimental entrepreneurial concepts. And even if the rents nowadays are rising, this spirit remains to enrich the city day by day with yet another new amazing local business.
One month ago my friend and Yoga teacher Michaela Aue discovered a hidden gem in the second backyard of Prenzlauer Allee: an unused loft space with the rough Eastern charm of 90s Berlin. The space inspired her to team up with meditation expert Sophie Weiser to create a unique idea: Your Space – a creative hub that doesn’t need a label. Your Space will offer regular yoga and meditation classes during the week and unique and inspiring workshops in different disciplines on the weekend. Well connected to the local scene Michaela and Sophie gathered some of the best teachers and practitioners in town to celebrate the art of connecting body and mind. Starting from April 11, 2016, and celebrating its official opening on April 23, it will definitely become a place to visit not only once, but to become part of the tribe. For now it’s open until the end of June. Lets see how this concept evolves and finds its roots. Check out their weekly schedule here and follow them on Facebook for news and updates. More pictures, address and info after the jump.
Whether you’re in the mood for romance, showing a friend around from out of town, or just collecting your own thoughts outdoors, it’s always a good idea to take a stroll through Berlin’s cosmopolitan wonder. And now that the lovely spring weather is arriving, can you think of anything better?
Kastanienallee and its surrounding area has a reputation for being a bit uppity, perhaps too trendy, perhaps too crowded with tourists and young moms and their baby strollers. But despite the onslaught of haters, the Kiez continues to be one of the most beautiful areas in the city, if not the world!
photo: sfreimark / CC
It’s hard to think of anything more quintessentially Berlin than Mauerpark. It contains so much of what this city is about. Is there any phrase more encapsulating of Berlin than “wall park”? It speaks to the city’s storied past, and to our contemporary lifestyle of leisure and charm. Situated on Prenzlauer Berg’s western border with Gesundbrunnen, it’s perhaps the perfect spot to spend a pleasant day, while momentarily reflecting on the city’s history.
Every visitor to Berlin wants to see the wall. To this end, we have options. There’s the East Side Gallery in Friedrichshain with its famous paintings, there’s Checkpoint Charlie, the most touristy and mainstream spot, there’s the stately, dignified Berlin Wall Memorial (Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer), and there’s Mauerpark. Mauerpark is cool because it really is a great destination on its own, and is surrounded by the most vibrant neighborhood out of these options.
photo: kaffeeeinstein / CC
What is the essence of a city? What is Berlin made of? As we already established, it is mostly made of the people inhabiting it. Berlin is a concrete jungle, with many beautiful buildings. Old architecture and new people mix well. They flow through the city like water in the canals. Water is life, water pulsates, water is the substance we are made of. And there is a lot of this substance in a metropolis like Berlin. Next to the Spree and the seas of the capital, there are other springs of water: Fountains. All over the capital you will find those sometimes grandiose, sometimes simple water oases.
But they are always architectural masterpieces, relics of other times, loaded with history and symbolic meanings. But they are also places to rest and dwell. On fountains, people who don’t know each other come together, people who have a date, people who are alone.
See ten of our favorite water places in Berlin and get some inspiration to plan your next walk in the city. Right after the jump.
Kanaan, photo: Kfir Harbi
Berlin never ceases to amaze me in terms of its relentless ability to open new places. I was reposting our “new restaurants” guide from last year only a couple of months ago only to realize that it’s already been a year. So I thought, with all the news of new places popping up recently, it’s time for a brand new “new restaurants” in Berlin guide – the 2016 edition, so to speak. And again here I was thinking it would be a quick piece with maybe 6 or 7 fresh new restaurants. Well, think again, Frank – it’s BERLIN – there is not gonna just be only 7 new places… My list ended up including 15 (!) exciting new restaurants that opened their doors in the past few months. And I’m just talking about the places that stand out and already experience a good portion of hype! Of course we’ll add new ones along the way this year, so stay tuned for more. But for now here is our fresh pickings.
Berlin rarely comes short when it comes to original and unique ideas to make ordinary things more interesting. Take restaurants, for instance: Why eat in a normal place if you could also eat inside an old bus, in a greenhouse or in a gondola that came all the way from the snow covered Alps. For some dining experiences you just need a very special location for that extra amount of oohs and ahhs. We compiled a list of the 13 most unusual restaurants and cafes in Berlin that won’t disappoint you with their unique locations.
photo: Alicia Kassebohm
Berlin is a city that ends up in smoke. No hard feelings here, if we’re being real: a cigarette with a good drink is one of the most oddly satisfying things. It is bad though. For the environment, others and mostly you. We all know this moment the next morning when smelling your hair and clothes from last night. It’s a rough one. Suddenly, all of your choices from last night are just the burn mark on your new sweater that smells like it was manufactured out of ash in a volcano. Not only non-smokers, even the toughest chain-smoker must be grossed out in this moment. Not to mention: hangovers are way harder when you didn’t only have Mr. Gin and Mr. Jack Daniels with you, but also the Marlboro Man. Or Pepe.
If you’ve had enough of all of the smoke and fire and want to burn the bad choices, we have some addresses for you where you can get a drink or dance without the fumes. Right after the jump is our list of favorite non-smoker friendly bars (which by our definition are bars that have separate smokers and non-smokers areas or are completely smoke-free).
Berlin is a modern, contemporary city like any other, but in one respect it has an awfully bad reputation: Credit cards – let alone any other modern-day form of payment – not accepted! You will read this as a warning in any guide book or hear this from any visitor of the city who complains that they had to pay in cash in the restaurant, couldn’t pay with credit cards in a big electronic stores or with any card whatsoever at the cinema. Germans really seem to value cold hard cash…
But this is changing right now, we just haven’t noticed it yet! With my last visits to the IFA consumer electronics fair I have come across new forms of digital payment multiple times and I wondered, how these are already implemented in Berlin so far. I investigated a bit and made some practical tests.
One of the technologies that I found especially intriguing is the so called mobile wallet that you have on your smartphone. They exist on multiple platforms, the one being interesting for me as an Android user is called MyWallet and it’s available for free at the play app store. What it is is a digital version of your wallet that includes your credit cards, right on your smartphone. Another technology that I tested is the mobile app of Paypal that let’s you use your Paypal credit to pay in stores. More about that and my favorite stores, cafes and restaurants that offer mobile payment after the jump.
Appetizer or main meal in itself, when sharing food with friends hummus is always high up on the list. We all know it’s made of chickpeas but there is an art to making really good hummus, dressing it up and adding accompanying dishes. It already starts with the main ingredient chickpeas. Different people have different methods of peeling off the thin clear skin to make the hummus rich and less seamy. While we’re not able to share the ultimate trick of making the best hummus with you, we have our recommendation of best places in Berlin to fulfill your hummus craving. Best enjoyed with a group of your favorite people. Read more after the jump.