Berlin had been high on my and Alex’s to-visit list for some time now. Having read and heard countless stories about the mass exodus of artists and 20-somethings from New York City to Berlin, I knew I had to check it out for myself. I had a sense that prices were moderate and the club scene was killer, and, of course, the history was a rich one…but that was about it.
We had the wonderful fortune of being in Berlin for the 25th anniversary of the fall of The Wall (something we *totally* planned in advance, I swear). The city delivered on the above, but it is also one of those cities that has a real vibe and feels distinct. I mean, I began asking myself, “ok, so what would it take for me to move here…like a.s.a.p.?” about one hour after settling into our little Kreuzberg flat, and I haven’t stopped. Here are just a few of our favorite addresses from our visit:
Though Germany isn't totally known for it's culinary prowess, there are still great bites to be had. And they obviously know how to drink. When you get sick of sausages and sauerkraut, head to more ethnic food spots. And be sure to grab a Club-Mate before any night out.
- Phohoi: When going out in the early morning hours and staying up until near-afternoon is the norm, some pho is a necessity. This place is relatively new and nicely decorated, but don’t let that fool you. The prices and food are still pretty bomb.
- Das Hotel: If I had to choose just one nightlife spot to go to for the rest of my life, this would be it. Relaxed bar upstairs, small sort-of-club downstairs, and good-looking male bartenders with nose rings…this place truly thinks of it all. And it’s a welcomed break from the traditional Berlin club scene.
- Five Elephant: Grab a coffee to go or snag a table inside or out. The menu is tight and the coffee and sweets are quite good.
- Café Kreuzberg: Ideal for an early-in-the-night cocktail in a laid-back atmosphere. The barman spent nearly 10 minutes making two gimlets, and they were perfect.
We’re all well aware of Berlin’s tumultuous history, and the city makes a great effort to pay homage to it. Hit Museum Island, go up into the Reischtag for a great view, hit Bradenburg Gate and walk along the remaining portions of The Wall, of course.
- Sing Blackbird: the cutest vintage/coffee shop. It’s like one of those shops you might see in NYC that look fab from the outside, but when you walk in everything is $100+, except here we scored a new wool coat and oversized black blazer, each under 25 euros.
- Brillenschatz: a bomb little glasses/sunglasses shop in - you guessed it - Kreuzberg.
- Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe: of all the WWII/Cold War monuments and museums, this may be our top. It is easily accessible (out in the open actually) and appropriately haunting.
Berlin has a mix of styles, to be sure. There's a Brooklyn-esque fashion esthetic amongst the 20-something population, though keep it casual and even a little grungy. Dress up for a night out and you may have a hard time getting in places.
Where to Stay
Kreuzberg. It’s perfectly quaint and cute, young and hip. I can safely say it was this neighborhood that made us fall hard for Berlin.
Photos by Erin