Christmas Markets & Events in Berlin 2016

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Gendarmenmarkt, photo: Michael Setzpfandt

Although this year it may feel like the Christmas Markets season came exceptionally early – with still no traces of snow and surprisingly mild temperatures, the festive frenzy is upon us – and we’re excited for all the Glühwein, Plätzchen and proper Christmas shopping. In this year’s guide, we’re reacquianting you with some places from last year and presenting others that are happening for the very first time.

When it comes to Christmas events, Berlin’s just as versatile as you might have expected – you’ll find a few traditional markets, some really design-oriented events, a film festival and even a masked ball.

Michalina by Michalina
on November 22nd, 2016
in Events

Urban Legends of Berlin: 36 Boys and their Reign over Kreuzberg

Ubahnen by Max Patzig CC-BY-2.0

photo: Max Patzig / CC*

I can still clearly recall the first time I set foot on the Kottbusser Tor. It was just different from anything I’d seen before. Its smell, dirt, and the zombie drug dealers whispering “ecstasy?” in front of the fruit and vegetables stand definitely made up for a powerful first impression.

Further perplexed by the army of dinky mannequins supposed to represent little boys sporting traditional oriental attire in a shop on Kottbusser Straße, I pretty much knew Kotti would become a place close to my heart.

Michalina by Michalina
on November 22nd, 2016
in Stories

Getting Started as a Freelancer in Berlin

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Berlin should come with many warnings, and one of them would definitely be that the city’s creative vibes may make you want to try freelancing. Which can be a good thing! To help you get over the paralyzing fear of becoming independent amongst the German bureaucracy, we prepared a succinct guide.

Michalina by Michalina
on November 21st, 2016
in Stories

Trattoria a’ Muntagnola – Italian Food Porn in the Heart of Schöneberg

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There are certain streets in Berlin-Schöneberg that are mostly known for representing gay culture from the 70s to the 90s.  Still, the Motzstraßen-Kiez attracts gay tourism and leather lovers from all over the world, especially to certain events like Folsom.

But what took me by surprise last week, was that exactly there, in the middle of the heart of gay Schöneberg, there was a culinary pearl that would teach me new secrets and wonders of the Italian cuisine. Located on Fuggerstraße 27, Trattoria a’ Muntagnola run by Pino and his wise mother Angela is a true Italian classic in Berlin.

Even though the interior is truly inspired by Italian exaggeration the food you will taste there can easily beat that of many star restaurants. On the occasion of the Berlinitalienisches Tomatenfest – a culinary festival organized by True Italian all about authentic Italian recipes with tomatoes, we had the chance to try out soem gems of their incredible menu.

We want give you a little preview of what you can expect and show you the map of this special food festival where you can participate and enjoy special recipes for a great price.

Claudio by Claudio
on November 21st, 2016
in Restaurants, Schöneberg

How to take your German to the next Level

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Learning a new language might prove difficult, especially when this language is German; pronunciation, declension, past tenses to mention but a few. Granted, every language has its own difficulties and challenges. However, the most difficult part in learning a language is not coming in terms with the basic rules of grammar, syntax or vocabulary, but maintaining regular contact with it beyond the few hours one spends in a classroom weekly.

The traditional teaching method would expect the student to improve his language skills by discussing rather mundane and/or out of touch topics and doing grammar exercises off a textbook. While that can prove efficient to a certain extent -annoying as it is, learning a new language avoiding grammar is impossible- it does not bring one’s language skills to the next level. By “next level”, I refer to the level, where the student is not exclusively dependent on a traditional course and a teacher, but they integrate them organically as one of their many tools in their attempt to elevate their language level.

In order to bring our German language guides to the next level as well, we spoke with someone who is an expert on the topic. Sela is the founder of the language school Sprachsalon in Neukölln and has had her fair share of experience with learning and teaching languages. We sat down with her and discussed some advice on how to fine-tune your German skills.

Nikos by Nikos
on November 18th, 2016
in Stories

The Haunted Ferris Wheel of Spreepark

Spreepark Drone Shot

For the fans of American Horror Story this makes a great setting for the unraveling of gruesome and spooky plotlines. The ferris wheel used to be part of the Spreepark, a theme park in Treptow Köpenick that opened in 1969 as Kulturpark Plänterwald. Unfortunately, a lack of ample parking space and a rise in the price of the ticket led to the closing of the park on the onset of the current century. What followed was an unbelievable series of stories about the park and its owner that far exceeds the notoriousness of most other abandoned places in Berlin. The following spectacular drone video made by a Swedish drone flyer and urban explorer showcases the park, as it is now; abandoned and forgotten with the ferris wheel moving slowly in the wind as if ghosts keep it company to make it forget its eternal loneliness.

Nikos by Nikos
on November 18th, 2016
in Videos

The Story of Berlin’s Origin: Alt-Berlin & Cölln

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Köllnischer Fischmarkt, 1886, photo: F. Albert Schwartz

At iHeartBerlin, we believe that living in your city makes much more fun once you get to know it a little. Why not go beyond mastering the most frequented routes leading to Mauerpark, Warschauer Strasse, or Berghain (well, at least to its gates), and find out something about Berlin’s origins? We’ve got quick facts you may impress your next Tinder date with. You never know.

Michalina by Michalina
on November 18th, 2016
in Stories

How to host an unforgettable Dinner

Harvest Muse

One of the major aims we have here on the blog is to find ways for you to have an amazing time in Berlin. Regardless if you live here or if you are just visiting, we want you to make the most of this amazing city and have an unforgettable time here. With our guides and reviews we’re offering a lot of recommendations on what to do here – with our recent collaboration with Priceless® Berlin we have also introduced you to a whole new spectrum of unique experiences from culinary delights to fun adventures.

But what makes an experience really unique and unforgettable? It’s not really as easy as it sounds. We thought a lot about this, because we wanted to create our own “priceless” event for you. As the season of cosy nights at home and lovely holiday dinners is approaching we decided that we wanted to do something related to amazing food. So we sat down with someone who really knows something about excellent food: our Blogfabrik colleague Sophia Hoffmann, who recently published her second amazing cookbook “Vegan Queens”. Together we developed a dinner event of a different kind. “Harvest Muse” turned out to much more than just a dinner party. For the delight of our guests Sophia created something that could almost be described as an altar of the fruits of Autumn – a beautiful food installation that was first admired and photographed and than later devoured by the attendants. In a short interview Sophia explains how the idea came up and what other advice she can give to our readers on how to host an unforgettable dinner.

Frank by Frank
on November 17th, 2016
in Books, Food, People

Hating Berlin with Vladimir Nabokov

Fuck you Berlin by Christian Schirrmacher CC-BY-2.0

photo: Christian Schirrmacher / CC

Ever since I left Warsaw for Berlin, it’s become one of my favorite pastimes to mercilessly scrutinize Wikipedia to come up with names of artists that have once been just as excited as me to settle in the city on the Spree. I succeeded in many such cases, took a closer look at the immortalized in many sources exile of David Bowie, and even found some surprising names to join the list of people obviously grateful for their Berlin adventures, like that of the British painter Francis Bacon.

But as it turns out, not everyone enjoyed their stay to the same extent. Vladimir Nabokov, who lived here in the long period between 1922 and 1937 reportedly “never became fond of Berlin and at the end intensely disliked it”. If you’re anything like me, you’ve had your fair share of some Berlin inflicted distress and even though you wouldn’t really consider moving out, if you ever had the chance to express your frustration in a more elaborate manner than crashing an empty bottle of Sterni, you’d probably take it.

Michalina by Michalina
on November 17th, 2016
in Stories

Experience the Berlin Wall as a Virtual Reality Tour

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Have you ever wished you could travel back in time and experience different eras in history, that have always fascinated you and you have been constantly watching films or reading books about? Well, this tour will definitely satisfy your wishful thinking. Whereas the usual tours consist of a guide narrating stories about the place you are visiting, a collaboration between When in Berlin Tours and Time Rift Tours offer you the opportunity to experience Berlin and the division of the city through the Berlin Wall with the help of virtual reality tour in an impressive 360° stereoscope experience. History comes at the forefront, as it does not remain in the constraints of memory, but unravels in front of your eyes at an unprecedented pace. We have a little video for you that gives you an impression of the tour and how it works.

Nikos by Nikos
on November 17th, 2016
in Videos