An Urban Road Trip around the Southwest of Berlin


Sometimes when we follow our everyday life in our little neighborhoods traveling between a maximum of three districts from work, to the girlfriend, and back home, we completely forget how big Berlin actually is and how much there is to discover beyond our usual comfort zone. And as we need to soak up as much daylight as possible in the darker and colder season of the year we have all the more reason to go out and explore the city beyond the S-Bahn ring.

Thanks to the multiple comfortable car sharing services we have here in Berlin the ride to our next adventure is literally just around the corner. For our brand new tour we have teamed up with one of those services: DriveNow which has one of the biggest fleets of cars – you will find their BMW and MINI all over the city. You can either use the car for a short practical ride from A to B and pay by minute, or you can book the car for a package of 3, 6, 9 or 24 hours to make little trips to further places.

For our little excursion we booked a DriveNow car to explore some places in the Southwest of Berlin. It’s incredibly convenient to be able to go there by car, on your own speed and without any hassle or schedule. Even though some of the places of our tour can also be reached via public transport it’s just tedious to go from one to the next.

Another upside of going by car is the fact that it instantly feels like a fun little road trip. The new stereo system of Harman Kardon that is now available in selected DriveNow cars even gives you your soundtrack of the tour in the most amazing quality. But now let’s get going!

Stop 1: Bierpinsel

On our way out of the center we made a first stop at the iconic Bierpinsel in Steglitz. The bizarre looking little tower is fully covered with a mural that makes it look like a little creature. The building used to be a disco, a sports bar and an art cafe, but has now been left abandoned for the last decade. We hope it will one day find another purpose again to bring some life into it. Until then we wave hello to this quirky Berliner whenever we pass by.


Stop 2: Teufelsberg Spy Station

Our next stop is an absolute classic and even after quite a few visits it’s still so much fun and there is always something new to discover: The former spy station on Teufelsberg, the iconic domes and towers fully covered in ever changing street art murals. I remember the times I went before it was always a long hike from the S-Bahn station or up from the closest parking space. But did you know you can actually drive all the way up and park inside the premise for a few extra Euros? Totally worth it!


Stop 3: Former Customs Office at Checkpoint Bravo

Checkpoint Bravo near the Autobahn crossing Dreilinden used to be the border crossing between the American sector of Berlin and the GDR. The former customs office is a pretty iconic piece of architecture and I was always eager to see it live with it’s circular holes and the long yellow pipe that ends with a clock. It’s not really something that you can reach without a car as it’s ride next to the highway. But it’s a really fun place to take pictures at!


Stop 4: Brücke Museum & Kunsthaus Dahlem

These two museums are so far outside the center that I never really got around to go there even though they are quite interesting. The one – as the name already suggests – shows the art of the famous artist collective Brücke from Dresden and is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary, while the other shows various exhibitions of modern and contemporary art in newly formed exhibition space inside a former artist studio.

photoRae Allen / CC (filtered)

Stop 5: Botanischer Garten

It doesn’t matter if you go here in Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter – the Botanical Garden of Berlin in the district of the same name is always worth a visit! Especially the cacti house is amazing, but also the entire park is just beautiful. In December for instance there is a special illumination festival going on and during the year there are several events in the night like concerts and readings.

photo: I. Haas, Botanischer Garten & Botanisches Museum Berlin

Now it’s time to head back into the city to drop our DriveNow car off in our neighborhood. It was a pleasure to explore the city and its surroundings with a car for a change – especially with the high quality sound of the Harman Kardon in our ears! We’ll sure do that again soon…

Thanks to DriveNow for the support and inviting us on the tour!

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<a href="" target="_self">Frank</a>



Frank is the founder and editor-in-chief of iHeartBerlin. He takes photos, makes videos, and writes texts mostly about what's going on in Berlin. His vision and interests have shaped iHeartBerlin since its conception back in 2007 - and he hopes to continue bringing you the best of Berlin for many years to come.