It’s summertime and open airs are the true love of the city! Who doesn’t love a cold beer in the sun, while dancing to mellow beats by the water? Berlin’s summer period is short but sweet, so you gotta know your best spots to drop by during the week or (reasonable as you are) at the weekend to enjoy a drink, a little dance and a chat while sunsets draw us in like moths to a flame and the following city nights are long and warm. To ensure you summertime fun we put together our favorite outdoor open-air clubs, that will give you serious festival feels in the middle of the city – yaass to that!
photo: Funkhaus Berlin.
In all of the years that I have been living in Berlin the city never ceases to surprise me with new incredible places, no matter if they are incredible buildings, stunning interiors, unusual locations or innovative concepts. When people who are planning to come to Berlin or are already here but want to experience something new, they often ask me about places like that and where they can find them. My first reaction is always that I am missing the right answers because all the places are so familiar to me, after 18 years, what can truly still surprise me. But then I think back to the moments when I first discovered those incredible places, sometimes even before I had seen pictures of them, and how they made me feel. With this memory in mind I curated the following list of amazing places that will take you by surprise when you first visit them. Our readers who are more familiar with the city might know a lot of them already, but maybe we manage to have at least a couple that you don’t know yet.
Already in its second edition, the True Italian Festival of authentic Italian cuisine stormed the city last weekend with over 50 locations to explore. Organized by our friends from Berlino Magazine their goal is to promote Italian dishes that are not so famous in Germany. The great deal about this festival is: You get a unique specialty and a drink all for the special price of 7 Euros. Sounds good right?
This year we decided to have a special look at a cute little restaurant and breakfast place in Friedrichshain. Monti Caffe’ Bar offers a selection of Italian pasta dishes and international cakes and breakfast options. It’s definitely not the typical kitschy Italian restaurant with odd interior choices you might know from your holiday. Instead, Monti is more like a cool urban spot with clear influences of playful Italian design mixed with Berlin elements like concrete and steel details. Check out the address, opening times and some pictures after the jump. Read on…
One of Berlin’s hottest neighborhoods, home to the longest surviving part of the Berlin Wall turned into the East Side Gallery, as well as some of the best clubs and bars, Friedrichshain couldn’t be missing from our coffee guide: little spots, great coffee. Some very dedicated coffee enthusiasts make sure each coffee experience we have in this neighborhood is an amazing one. Make sure you try these places out when you find yourself around this part of the city.
Wondering how to spend the weekend if the weather does you a favor and is nice ever again in the future? Look no further as we’ve gathered for you some of our favorite cafes and restaurants by the water; because, what’s a better summer setting than this? Whether a lake or a riverside, these places are absolutely perfect for summer strolls, and God knows how we miss those. So next chance the weather gives you, grab your friend, your boo, your mom, and be where life is nice! You will find us there sipping on our beer, letting our toes catch some vitamin D.
Who would have thought in the mid 2000s that a tiny shack of scrap wood on an abandoned lot at the river Spree would ever become the quirky urban oasis that is the Holzmarkt today?
It was in the year 2004 when I stepped into the so-called Bar25 for the first time. At the time it was a tiny improvised bar made of recycled wood at the end of an overgrown footpath in the wastelands of the Spree riverbanks in Friedrichshain. There was no techno party going on there, just the comfort of a worn out couch and some beers. I was on a date then that I hardly remember now, but I remember the place because it became of one the most legendary international techno clubs and a hub for youth culture of the post-millennium era.
Over the course of the next 7 years the buzz around this inconspicuous little place became louder and louder. I dropped by every now an then observing their journey to techno heaven and international fame. The bar grew bigger ever year, adding a small circus arena, a pizza parlor, a restaurant, a spa, a pool, a hostel and more cute little things to its world making it a little paradise that you never wanted or needed to leave. They started the whole cult of going to a place and not leaving it for 5 days straight. You didn’t have to, because there was everything you needed – plus a swing with a lovely view of the sunset over the Berlin city silhouette. There was a lot of feathers, confetti and glitter involved, something that set the Bar25 apart from it’s more understated neighbor Berghain that opened around the same time as them.
Parma di Vinibenedetti, Wedding
You know, there is pizza and than there is original Italian pizza! When it comes to this beloved comfort food I am totally loyal to the people who invented the dish sometime in the 18th century. I actually live right on top of a regular pizza delivery shop, so the temptation is so near, but to be honest I would rather order in a real Italian pizza from further away before I eat even a bite of that globalized crap (sorry) from downstairs.
Berlin is full of pizza places, but how do you know where to find the real deal? A lot of great places are actually really low key in their appearance, so you can’t judge those kind of books by their covers. Luckily our friends from Berlino Magazine found a solution for this dilemma. With their True Italian food festivals they are promoting the best and most authentic Italian restaurants in Berlin. The next edition that takes place in 2018 is dedicated to Pizza. We thought the True Italian Pizza Week is a great opportunity to extract our first True Italian Pizza guide from their list of participating restaurants. If you want to try out some of the best pizzas in town you should follow their map and get a taste of some special pizzas in each of the places marked on it.
To wet your appetite we selected our favorite pizza place per district in our new guide!
Berlin is the capital city of flea markets and visiting these iconic institutions is a great way of spending a couple of hours of your weekend (singles watch out: there is a strong possibility of starting a flirt with a handsome stranger at the innumerous stalls) but as I walk along the Spree towards my first destination, the Arena Indoor Flea Market, feelings of smallness start to unsettle. In fact, I could not have chosen a worse day to venture out into flea markets – it is freezing cold, bloody foggy and there is mud everywhere due to the melting snow and I cannot stop thinking to myself that only a strike of luck will prevent me from slipping and falling into the river. It would not be the first time…
photo: Standert Bicycles Pop Up Week
A lot of things that are popular in Berlin are fun, but some of them are probably not the kind of thing your doctor would advise you to do. With one exception. We love biking! Although the basic biking know-how in Berlin is comprised not only of beautiful routes, nice places to hang out with fellow riders, but also a bunch of rules to keep your bike safe from being stolen, it’s the favorite pastime for a lot of us. With the Berliner Fahrradschau coming up this weekend, we wanted to give you a little heads-up in terms of the great bike shops that continue to promote this healthy hobby all year round. Read on…
Before we all buckle up for this little joyride, let me start with a disclaimer: the selection of places below is a very subjective one, intending to highlight the wide range of leisure options available around Warschauer Strasse, but even more so to convey some of its unique spirit and direct your attention at a few lesser-known spots. Therefore, I am going to include some of the more or less immediate vicinity, fully aware of the fact that Schlesi is in Kreuzberg, and leave off some distinguished venues like Berghain, since they’re doing a great job speaking (raving?) for themselves. Read on…