I’m sure that for many of us, Airbnb has completely changed the way we travel and experience cities and places over the past few years. Airbnb has opened doors to private homes, people’s lives and otherwise hard to reach places, giving us a more immersive travel experience than we could have ever imagined.
For some time now, Hosts can not only offer their homes on Airbnb, but also experiences. Just like the many unique stays on Airbnb, these experiences are offered by Hosts around the world who offer their guests authentic adventures for every conceivable interest.
The big Berlin Marathon is upon us later this week and as a special treat, Airbnb has invited the international marathon icon Kathrine Switzer to Berlin for a Fearless Fitness Experience that you can participate in now!
Switzer has become famous as the first official female runner in the Boston Marathon back in 1967. Until that time it was an unwritten rule that women could not participate in marathons because they were physically not capable of it. That was until Switzer broke the rules and took part in the 67’s marathon anyway as part of a team with two guys. While most other men in the race were impressed by Switzer it was the race director Jock Semple that ran after her and tried to stop her, only to be pushed off the race track by Switzer’s boyfriend and athlete Tom Miller.
The Berlin Pride Week is finally upon us, and we’re ready to celebrate! If you’re looking for fun activities beside joining the parade on Saturday, we’ve got just the list for you. Together with Airbnb, we’ve singled out 5 fun and slightly unusual experiences that will let you embrace the upcoming celebrations and learn something new while supporting the local community. Check them out!
When people come to visit Berlin they don’t necessarily want to tick off the major sights of the city. Many visitors want something different: that edgy Berlin feeling and way of life the city has become famous for. This real side of Berlin is best experienced by mingling with the local people who live and breathe the city’s heart and soul.
As we celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th, we have combed through Airbnb’s extensive catalog of experiences to identify some of Berlin’s best female hosts. So whether you’re about to host friends and want to surprise them with an unusual alternative to sightseeing, or feel like trying something new yourself – read on and check out these awesome experiences!
It does not take a lot of imagination to think of Berlin as a giant playground. In times of Pokemon Go and other augmented reality games, the street-running movement and immersive theater experiences, everything – and everybody – seems ready to play.
But I don’t think that the origin of Berlin playfulness is based on technology, fitness or even cultural trends. I remember vividly how years ago I met on a subway ride a young dude that outed himself as a philosophy professor. (The combination of young dude and philosophy professor was a surprise at that time. Nowadays I am not as easily surprised ;-)) He told me that he is part of a creative project called invisible playground. In this project, he told me they tried to research and examine how a daily portion of playfulness can affect your overall happiness.
But invisible playground is not the only creative project celebrating the idea of a playful city. The Berlin-based artist duo 44Flavours have already left their footmark in the local creative scene. Experimenting with all kind of art forms, from murals to posters, and painting to sculpture, the two friends Sebastian Bagge and Julio Rölle, have worked together since they were students. Their success formula is a vibrant combination of teamwork and creative chaos. For the #LiveThere exhibition by Airbnb they created an interactive playground where you can tell your personal Berlin story. There you can listen to murmuring teapots, talk to enchanted mirrors and have fun with all kinds of everyday objects transformed into a creative installation. The idea behind this project is to share different stories about Berlin and to emphasize how with a spark of creative inventiveness and playfulness every trip to Berlin can become a one of a kind experience.
Inspired by that idea, I thought of how we could be more active in experiencing our city as a playful place. I started thinking about the rules and I realized that the games you decide to play on your personal urban playground don’t have to follow any rules or even the norms of standard morality. Between lust and pain is the instinct to play. Therefore I dove deeply into my own imagination and created a set of Berlin-specific mind games. Follow my colorful, funny but sometimes also sensual and dark inspirations to transform your everyday life in Berlin into a crazy game-like experience.
illustrations: Sophia Halamoda
After how many years can you say that you are a real Berliner? Five? Maybe ten? Or maybe 20? Some people even say that only the people who were born here have the right to be called “real“ Berliners. But what about if you were born in Berlin but left at the age of 10 and never came back? Would you be a real Berliner then?
I would like this nonsense about real Berliners and not real Berliners to stop once and for all. Most of the people now living in Berlin came from elsewhere and might even leave and go somewhere else after a couple of years. The Berliner-DNA is not defined by your birth certificate, your current Geo-Tag or the length of time you have spent in this city. As kitschy as its sounds, being a Berliner is a matter of your heart.
But sometimes listening to your heart is not as easy as it sounds on paper. To give you some help in discovering the (not so) secret essence of this lovable city, we joined forces with our favorite cartoon artist Sophia Halamoda. As a creative contribution of the #LiveThere exhibition by Airbnb we created a semi-serious guide to how to become a real Berliner. Go and discover after the jump.
UPDATE (Nov 2019): If you love the illustrations and sense of humor by Sophia you will love the new book Like A Berliner that we made in collaboration with her that will get you even further into the Berliners’ way of life.
Berlin Biennale 2016, photo: Timo Ohler *
This summer seems to be the perfect time to discover new art and cultural exhibitions in Berlin. It’s not Gallery Weekend, it’s not Art Week either, yet there are still so many interesting exhibitions going on worth checking out. Of course the biggest one of all of them is the current edition of the Berlin Biennale that takes place at multiple venues all over central Berlin. This year’s concept of the acclaimed exhibition is quite controversial, the more reason for us to go and check it out! But we also have a brand new private art collection in town that follows in the footsteps of the me Collectors Room and the Collection Boros at the former Bunker. This one found a new home in the former Konzulat, a place that will be dearly missed but is now filled with new life. For a less high-concept, more down-to-earth kind of exhibition we recommend the #LiveThere Haus, an exhibition by visual artist collective 44flavours from Berlin who took over the Hallesches Haus for a few days next week. This and much more in our new Berlin exhibition highlights guide for the summer of 2016. Enjoy!
Next week Berlin is getting a royal visit from Queen Elizabeth and her husband prince Philip. Obviously the two will be staying in some fancy 5 star hotel and will be driven around in the city in a private limousine. But what if the queen was more down to Earth than that and actually staid in a stylish Airbnb loft and took the public transport? This hilarious photo series nicely illustrates this unlikely but endearing scenario. Enjoy the early undercover royal visit from the “Queen” after the jump.
photos: Cristian Castelnuovo and iHeartBerlin
What makes you feel welcome in a new place, a new city or a new home? When I came to Berlin for the first time it was the free seat in the subway at Warschauer Straße waiting for me every morning to go to the university in Dahlem. I expected the subway to be a hostile and neurotic place and yet it was very relaxing for me to spend the 45 minutes just sitting there to observe the different kinds of people Berlin had to offer (and still has).
While traveling the world I discovered that there are many rituals and even traditions of welcoming strangers in a home. For the Milan Design Week that took place from April 14-19 this year we had the chance to see a very diverse and interesting interpretation of the topic. The social home sharing platform Airbnb partnered with the creative design and innovation center Fabrica to create Housewarming, an experimental exhibition celebrating simple welcoming traditions and the connection experienced by guests and hosts through sharing their home.
The exhibition took place at Palazzo Crespi, a historic and impressive private mansion that was open to the public for the first time for this year’s Milan Design Week. Embedded into the different parts of the Palazzo we discovered the installations and performances of 19 international designers who showed their versions of the welcoming traditions from their home country. Enjoy our impressions after the jump.