It’s a strange time right now, isn’t it? Winter is over and spring is not yet here. Or, to put it another way, it’s too mild not to leave the house and too cold to stay out in the fresh air for long. So if you just want to get outside without freezing, you should head for the nearest museum. Because some of Berlin’s art houses are offering us not only a change of scenery and heated rooms right now, but also really good exhibitions.
Here are five of them that are worth leaving the house for:
by Paula | Mar 13, 2023 | Art, Galleries, Museums
Photo: Hotel Plan Murin
Berliners unfortunately, spent most of the winter either with firmly cemented gray clouds in the sky or with abstruse squalls. The meteorological situation was honestly more desolate than usual. And after two years of lockdown, we felt the desire for a Berlin escapism even more. But where to? So where do you actually have snow, fresh air and almost always good weather? In the Dolomites!
Visit Südtirol invited us to explore the skiing and hiking region, and we have summarized our main highlights for you.
The Dolomites, located in the southern part of South Tyrol, are known for their sunny days, for the mostly trilingual town signs (German, Italian, Ladin) and probably even more known for the so-called Enrosadira, the Alpenglühen, which puts the landscape into a mystical state and around which many legends entwine, such as that of King Laurin and his rose garden.
Image: Giovanni Castellaz (CC BY-SA 4.0)
In addition to traditional alpine skiing, which is very popular in the Dolomites, alternative sports such as winter hiking, snowshoeing and ski touring, which do not require lifts, have become more and more popular during the pandemic. We took advantage of this opportunity to go on a guided hike from Corvara through the snow-covered forest up to the mountain hut La Marmotta. This is known for its particularly good dumplings, which we highly recommend.
The second winter hike took us from La Val across the idyllic Armentara meadows to the pilgrimage church of La Crusc, which has been standing under the rock face of the Sas dla Crusc in the Fanes-Sennes-Braies Nature Park since the 15th century. The neighboring hospice has existed since the beginning of the 18th century and used to accommodate pilgrims in the past. Today, the listed building is used as a mountain hut, and you can enjoy local delicacies there, too.
Reaching the summit & experiencing history
The next morning, our journey took us two valleys further: to Arabba. So, we strapped on our skis and headed for the Marmolata, the so-called Queen of the Dolomites. At a dizzying 3343 meters, it is the highest mountain in the Dolomites and part of the Marmolata group, home to one of the largest glaciers in the Dolomites.
This, like many other places in the region, has been important in recent history. During the First World War, the Marmolata was also a border mountain between Austria-Hungary and Italy, where tunnels were blasted into the glacier for food supplies and a veritable “ice city” was built.
The so-called “First World War Ski Tour” also commemorates this dark chapter of history, with its many victims on the Italian as well as the Austro-Hungarian side. The tour leads around the summit of the Col di Lana, which was brought down by blasting, along the former front. Traces of the war, such as tunnels and embrasures, can still be seen in many places. Probably the most spectacular and longest descent of the tour is the slope that leads from the Lagazuoi mountain to Armentarola in the valley.
Dinner—from rustic to elegant
A tour like this can make you very hungry and if you make a reservation in good time, there is no better place to enjoy local food than at Maso Runch Hof, a typical Ladin inn in Badia. The traditional menu consists of barley soup, Tutres (deep-fried dumplings filled with spinach and ricotta), Schlutzkrapfen (spinach and ricotta ravioli), pork knuckle, ribs, or goulash with homemade dumplings or polenta, and apple strudel with ice cream. Of course, you also have vegetarian options. But the inn isn’t fascinating only in the evenings with its rustic parlors; the family-run farm can also be visited during the day and holiday flats can be rented.
As a contrast to this, there is the modern and minimalist Guide MICHELIN restaurant L’ostì in Corvara, which impresses with its extravagant Italian cuisine and biodynamic wine selection. Vegan dishes are prepared on request and are truly delicious. The chefs and staff really do credit to their star.
Observing the stars
If you are interested in more than Michelin stars, you can join the torchlight walk that takes place regularly in all Alta Badia valleys. Due to the low light pollution, this is an opportunity to admire the stars, planets, and constellations that will be explained by an astronomy expert. With the help of a professional telescope, the stars or, depending on the phase of the moon, the moon and its craters can be seen very clearly. In August of this year there will be the Dolomites Star Party again, a festival where stargazing takes place in the context of concerts. So be sure to make a note for this summer.
While the sun has already set in other valleys, you can still enjoy the evening sun in La Val, especially in the spa area on the roof terrace of the recently renovated Hotel Plan Murin. The panoramic view of the mountains makes this place a true oasis of tranquility.
by Guest Author | Feb 8, 2023 | Accommodation, City Guide, Places, Travel, Wellness
left: artwork by Tony Cragg, right: Bar Brass.
You all know the story of Alice in Wonderland, right? Young Alice falls down a rabbit hole one day and lands in a magical world unknown to her. That’s more or less what it’s like when you visit the Bildgießerei Noack in Berlin. Maybe you haven’t even thought about it, considering all the art to be discovered in Berlin. Why this should change as soon as possible, I tell you here.
Most of the time, all roads to art lead to the Museum Island – after all, there’s a lot to see there. But sometimes you get off the path. Then you may suddenly find yourself in front of an impressive industrial building that calls itself the Bildgießerei Noack. What at first glance is architecturally stunning carries in its interior the history of a long tradition: the casting of sculptures.
by Paula | Jan 2, 2023 | Art, Museums, Restaurants
photo: Manfred Weber.
Have you ever experienced this? You’re standing in front of a packed buffet at the company Christmas party and you’re just about to start feasting when you think: wait a minute, where are the vegan and gluten-free dishes? Sometimes you’re lucky and find at least a selection of, well, one dish. But often there are simply no dishes that meet one or the other criterion – let alone both. Eating then becomes an exclusive and, let’s face it, exceedingly monotonous affair.
by Paula | Nov 25, 2022 | Christmas, Food, Market
When the founders of Berlin-based massage therapy platform Soulhouse reached out to me a while ago to ask me if I would be interested in trying out their new massage service, they probably had no idea that this would be such a dream opportunity for me. I’m somewhat a massage fanatic and to get offered to try out such a premium service is like Christmas and my birthday is coming together on the same day.
I really love to get massages and I will jump at any opportunity to get one. Whenever I book into a hotel that offers massages, the first thing I’ll do is book one at the earliest time possible. When I discover a new massage studio in my neighborhood, I’ll be the first one to try it out. And pretty much all of my previous and current partners have come under pressure to give me massages. So, clearly, I’m an expert now in the field of receiving massages and I won’t shy away from sharing my qualified opinion 😉
by Frank | Apr 6, 2022 | Wellness
Even though it seems there is very little good news these days, we have something great to announce that will really bring some joy to some of you. Kreuzberg just got a brand new nightclub: Marktlokal Klub! The district that is so famous for its nightlife and bar scene but oddly has so few actual clubs is finally getting a new one. Located at Markthalle 9 in the basement of the Marktlokal restaurant the new nightlife spot follows suit with Berlin’s tradition of having clubs in basements.
I instantly had to think back to places such as ZMF in Mitte (the original location from the makers of the iconic Griesmühle) or the famous Fuchs & Elster at Weserstraße (the original club from the Klunkerkranich team). In Kreuzberg, for instance, there were the two cute Kellerclubs Kleine Reise at Spreewaldplatz and St. Georg next to Ritter Butzke, both of which served as earlier locations for the Pornceptual party. In addition to that, there were countless places all over the city, that didn’t even have proper names, or at least I don’t remember them, as they were often lowkey hidden underneath restaurants or bars. I really like these smaller, intimate clubs, because they often have the best crowd and are never shy to surprise you with the most fun vibes.
by Frank | Mar 10, 2022 | Clubs, Kreuzberg, Party
Every one of us experiences individual struggles around the ongoing pandemic. One undeniable reality of the current time is the struggle of shop owners to attract customers, which especially impacts those with little to no online presence. That’s where the project Senior Shops comes in: this new initiative started by a group of Master students from the HWR Berlin school is devoted to highlighting various businesses run by elderly people.
by Michalina | Jan 28, 2022 | People, Shops
A few weeks ago we had the pleasure to be invited to try out a brand new resto-bar in Berlin and we finally want to share our experience with you today.
Bellboy Berlin is a concept bar that comes from Israel and much like other places from there such as Benedict, Night Kitchen, and Shishi, you can expect an overall experience for the senses and heart and not just a regular restaurant visit.
by Frank | Jan 11, 2022 | Bars, Mitte, Restaurants
If you are looking for a cute thing as a gift for a friend, loved one or even just for yourself it’s sometimes not so easy to know where to start looking, right? But don’t worry, that’s what we are here for. We went through our mental archive of all the shops in Berlin to find those that would fit the bill for this very purpose and came up with a cute little list of the best concept stores in Berlin that are perfect for gift shopping.
by Frank | Dec 21, 2021 | Charlottenburg, Kreuzberg, Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg, Shops
It’s time for our annual guide of new and newish breakfast and brunch cafes in Berlin! It’s been a wild 2 years and it was quite the challenge for Berlin’s gastronomy scene who had to keep its places shut during several lockdowns. But nonetheless, there are some courageous entrepreneurs who decided to open their places despite the global pandemic. Chapeau!
In our new guide, we included a variety of places that we discovered all over the city that offer a delicious slice of breakfast and contemporary brunch dishes that will have your mouth water and belly rejoice in anticipation. Now without further ado, here are the places we selected for you.
by Frank | Dec 3, 2021 | Cafés, Charlottenburg, Neukölln, Prenzlauer Berg, Schöneberg