‹Icke› – Berlin
Berlin is like a teenager that constantly changes her appearance and reinvents herself. She has her own will and doesn’t care what people think. Berlin is proud, at times tough, direct, but always real and honest. As soon as you think you have understood her, she has gone though another metamorphosis. Therefore the golden rule to get the best out of this stubborn lady: Enjoy the moment with Berlin, breathe deep and soak everything in. It might all different when meeting her next time.
This is a snapshot of Berlin with some of the places I love at the moment, for the moment in my beloved Berlin. Berlin please, never grow up!
Rent a bike (cheap bikes can be rent here: Lila Bikes; Schönhauser Allee 41, 10435 Berlin (Prenzlauer Berg); Mob.: +49 176 611 249 09) to discover town and feel like a local. There are plenty of bike paths. But watch out: The locals drive like crazy…
Alternatively take a “Tagesticket AB” (Day Pass) to get around town. It costs 7,00 Euro. You can buy them at the ticket machines at the U-Bahn and S-Bahn stations. Tobacco shops with a yellow sign indicating “BVG” also sell tickets. The U8 is the best option to obeserve people from all walks of life.
Weekends in Berlin are all about sleeping in and enjoying a beautiful breakfast before starting the day. Most Cafés open at 10.00 am and are crowded by 11.00 am. So you should either be an early bird and get there by ten or after 12.30 pm.
Rag and Bone Man
Briesestraße 9, 12053 Berlin (Neukölln); (U7-Karl-Marx-Str.); (Mo-Fr: 9.00-19.00; Sat/Sun: 10.00-18.00)
This little place in the heart of Neukölln combines everything I like: cosy atmosphere, hip but not yet hipster, inspiration, amazing food also for the eye (see pictures above). The place also houses a small second hand, macrame and flower shop. You should definitely try the freshly made “Berliner” with vanilla custard and jam. As I am more a salty breakfast eater my breakfast here always has two courses: Poached egg on avocado toast as a starter followed by the “Berliner”. If you choose the green tea you can get a second, third and fourth flush of your tea for free. The other drinks are served in pretty small glasses for the money they cost…
Sanderstraße 13, 12047 Berlin; (U8 – Schönleinstraße); (Tue-Sun: 10.00-18.00)
It’s really hard to decide in this cafe: Best porridge (e.g. with blueberries and cardamon) in town that feeds you for the whole day or delicoius “smørrebrot” where you dive into a jungle of fresh lettuce, berries and smoked tofu until you reach the homebaked bread with butter? Two courses don’t work out here as the porridge is such a rich dish. So you have to visit twice. The hot drinks are all served in a massive “hug mug” that takes care of enough hydration.
Weinbergsweg 8, 10119 Berlin; Phone: +49 (0)30 76213035 (U8-Rosenthaler Platz)
My favorite eat out in “Mitte”. Always crowded especially in the evenings so better reserve a table! Tasty, freshly made Chinese dumplings that are served in the typical bamboo dumpling steamers. Though most people come for the dumplings, I highly recommend the silk tofu, which is served slightly warm with a tasty sauce. Also very delicious and something very different is the sticky rice in a lotus leaf. Drink either one of the tasty fruit cocktails (I prefer the one with lychee and watermelon) or drink a tea flower (for the lovebirds, try the white tea one, it is tied into the shape a heart and unfolds a beautiful flower in the hot water).
Mulackstraße 29, 10119 Berlin; (U8-Weinmeisterstraße)
Head to this place for a hot Vietnamese soup “Pho” off Mitte’s main shopping street “Alte Schönhauser Straße” and relax from shopping in a calm and friendly atmosphere. The fresh fruit cocktails revitalize. Really good value for money. Small soup, some summerolls and a drink for less than 10.00 Euro/person!
Le Corbusier House
Flatowallee 16, 14055 Berlin; (S-Olympia Stadion)
Hardenbergstraße 22,10623 Berlin; (S/U-Bahnhof Zoologischer Garten)
I never was disappointed by C/O’s photo exhibitions. Though I preferred the old location at “Altes Postfuhramt” in Mitte they made the most of the new location – the house represents so much the look of former West-Berlin. Apropos, take the chance to discover the former West Berlin after visiting the exhibition…
Hobrechtstraße 66, 12047 Berlin (Neukölln), Phone: +49 (0)30 37 30 58 06, (U-Hermannplatz)
In the heart of “Wrangel-Kiez” Hüttenpalast is an old factory building that has been transformed into an indoor camping ground. You sleep in an old refurbished caravan on white linen. The bathroom is shared as it is on a normal camping ground. Do not worry, the hall is heated! A Caravan for two costs 69,00 Euro per night. The price also includes tea/coffee, a croissant and an apple served in the common area. For a proper breakfast head to one of the many cafés close by, e.g. Café Valentin.
Rosenthaler Straße 69, 10119 Berlin (Mitte), (U-Rosenthaler Platz)
Great value for money. You are in the heart of Mitte. Hackescher Markt with all its little shops are only a stone’s throw away. The rooms are very clean, the mattresses, pillows and duvets very good. The fact that you can choose between a room with or without a window shows what kind of hotel this is…If you book early in advance you get a double room with window for 39,00 Euros. That’s unbeatable. Café Fleury (Weinbergsweg 20, 10119 Berlin) is a three minutes walk and serves very tasty breakfast with a hint of French.