illustration: Berk Karaoglu.
With this cursed year coming to a close, Berlin descends into one of the most magical times of the year: the holidays. Normally complete with Glühwein, freezing cold, and Christmas markets, this winter is going to feel far from normal (except the freezing cold). Although the holidays may be a bit different this year, it’s still the season to give back to the people you love and the city we all love. We’ve compiled this gifting guide featuring small businesses from Berlin if you’re looking for an alternative to Amazon. All the businesses listed in the following guides are small, ethical, locally owned, and sure to make your loved ones (and their owners) smile.
For the party animal:
If your friend is missing the club more than eating out, you know they’ll be dying to get back to the dance floor in some new rave gear. Check out iHeartBerlin’s clubwear guide here to get them decked out. Many of the brands also offer gift cards for the indecisive party animal in your life.
For the coffee lover:
This friend is really missing cafés right now and is craving a flat white and pastry enjoyed inside. Although that’s not possible at the moment and won’t be at least until next year, many of the cafés listed in our guides (here and here) offer gift cards, delivery or take away or you can treat your friend to a caffeinated (or boozy) brunch once things open up again.
photo: Distrikt Coffee
For the tattooed maven:
We all have one friend covered from head to toe in tattoos (it’s Berlin so I’m sure you know someone). Why not treat them to some more body art this holiday season and support one of these queer tattoo artists?
Tattoos by Brody Polinksy, Sophia Lee Tattoo, Othmane0, Elemental Tattoos and _Lebeuf_
For the Gay rights activist:
It’s Berlin (must be read in Daniel-Ryan Spaulding’s voice) so we’re sure you know a ton of people that identify with the LGBTQ+ spectrum. To get them something amazing this holiday season and support a small queer business, have a look at our queer, local businesses guide. The list ranges from soap, art and fashion to genitalia themed ice cream so there’s something for everyone.
photo: Lusty Ice
For the newbie to Berlin:
Whether your friend just moved here or is dying to, give them a taste of the city with the Like a Berliner book from iHeartBerlin, illustrated by Sophia Halamoda. This journey through Berlin will teach them the many layers of this beautiful city we all call home. We’ve also got t-shirts and other Berlin themed goodies in our shop.
For your fashion-obsessed friend:
If you’ve got a friend who’s always shopping, why not help them support some local designers this year? iHeartBerlin has a whole guide to Berlin-based designers that you can check out here.
photo: Lala Berlin
For your friend who loves a good cocktail:
We all have one friend who’s always got a drink in their hand (probably Glühwein this time of year). And what are the holidays if not an excuse to get drunk? We’ve got a guide for bars that will deliver cocktails to your door so grab a gift card or just plan a (safe and responsible) night in with a glass (or seven).
photos: Drink Syndikat
For your friend with exquisite taste:
If your friend has a very specific style, interest, or passion, we’re sure there’s a place in Berlin to satisfy their needs. Check out our guide on concept stores for your friend with niche taste, we’re sure you’ll find them something.
For your freak in the sheets:
Whether it’s your fuck buddy, spouse, or club friend, we’ve all got that freaky someone in our life who could go for some new fetish wear, a satisfying sex toy, or a steamy experience this holiday season. Have a look at our guide for all things sexy in Berlin for gift inspiration.
photo: BettyFvck @bettyfvck