You are crazy, my child. You must go to Berlin.
— Franz von Suppé, Austrian composer
Berlin: I was transported the moment I arrived.
With its complex history and central location within Europe, Berlin is an international hub of art, food, cinema, and music, infamous for its 24 hour social scene. It’s also become known as the vegan capital of Europe, something I was very excited about when I visited. The city has long been an example of a place full of cultural expression and freedom in the face of suppression. Darkness and light linger together here, in a harmonious balance which is rarely found. With so many unique things to do in Berlin, it’s tough to choose just a few.
My sister and I visited Berlin on a whirlwind trip through Europe, (I saw cheap plane tickets on Jetradar and snatched one up for her birthday present!) and we felt that it was one of the most vibrant and liveable cities we’d ever been to. Unique, artistic, delicious, gritty, and intriguing.
I can’t wait to go back. Until then, here are my Berlin faves.
UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN BERLIN
LOCATION : HOTEL ZOO BERLIN
A certified Green Globe Hotel, Hotel Zoo Berlin is conveniently located on Berlin’s renowned shopping street, Kurfürstendamm. The hotel was recently renovated to a more modern aesthetic with improved sustainability measures, and I love that it balances modernity with classic, old-world Berlin vibes.
EAT + DRINK
LOCATION : ROAMERS
GREAT FOR : BRUNCH
Cafe culture is alive and well in Berlin. Although the computer was invented in Berlin you won’t find laptop zombies lurking in every corner. Start the day with brunch at Roamers. You’ll feel as though you’ve entered a kitchen of mythical German forest elves. Byy the time we left we had made a new friend group of international artists and travelers.
LOCATION : TAK TAK
GREAT FOR : LUNCH
In the mood for perogies? Tak Tak has mastered the Polish essentials. Perfect lunch stop while wandering the city.
LOCATION : MONKEY BAR
GREAT FOR : AFTERNOON DRINKS AND SNACKS
IMAGE BY : LAUREL CHRISTINE
Best trendy rooftop bar? Head to Monkey Bar for colorful concoctions, a lively scene, and panoramic views of the city, zoo monkeys included. Perfect for an afternoon bite to eat and a sundowner.
LOCATION : TADSHIKISCHE TEESTUBE
GREAT FOR : AFTERNOON TEA
Care for afternoon tea? Experience something new with a visit to a lush, hidden away Tajikistani tea house. Enjoy a mix of Persian and Russian cultures at Tadshikische Teestube.
LOCATION : FRAGRANCES BAR
GREAT FOR : COCKTAILS
IMAGE BY : TREY RATCLIFF
In the evening, trust your senses and treat yourself to a one of a kind cocktail experience at Fragrances Bar inside the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Your nose will guide your way as you discover your next favorite drink by smelling a selection of luxurious perfumes, from Bulgari to Armani to Guerlain. The expert bartender will prepare a drink which tastes impossibly like your chosen scent. The presentation of each drink takes the full sensory world of Fragrances to another level. Ask your bartender to do a ‘scent horoscope’ reading based on your selection of perfume.
In addition to the finds below, in the Mitte neighborhood you’ll find many unique clothing stores and galleries. Some of our favorites were Anuschka Hoevener, Adddress Fashion, Claudia Skoda, R.S.V.P. Papier in Mitte, and there is a giant MUJI store.
LOCATION : OTHER NATURE
If you find mainstream sex shops to be unappealing, and want products that are healthy for you and the environment, this may be the shop for you. Other Nature is a feminist, queer, sex-positive, eco-friendly, and vegan sex shop. They’ll offer you tea and advice while you peruse the goods.
LOCATION : ABSINTHEDEPOT
Pick up a few gifts at the Absinthedepot shop and bar. With over 300 varieties of absinthe available, you won’t be able to choose just one.
Whatever your interest, from spy history to dinosaurs to creepy medical equipment, Berlin has a world class museum for it. Although you might think of Berlin as gritty and urban, it’s also one of the greenest cities in the world, with more parks, gardens, and forested areas than any other city in Europe. It even has more bridges than Venice!
LOCATION : MONSTERKABINETT
A trip to Berlin would not be complete without a few monsters crossing your path. See them on their best behaviour with a visit to Monsterkabinett. You’ll be taken on a wondrous journey amongst robots and creatures from another world. This dark alley home of both living and handcrafted nightmares is open year round. Check the schedule on the website for the most up to date tour times. Prepare to be haunted.
LOCATION : MEMORIAL TO THE MURDERED JEWS OF EUROPE
IMAGE BY : LAUREL CHRISTINE
As you stroll through the greenery within Tiergarten you’ll see many beautiful monuments and sculptures. Spend some time wandering quietly through the profound and somber Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.
Do you have plans to visit Berlin? Let me know in the comments below!