Our Favorite Things in Berlin
We spent a few days in Berlin recently and loved it - luckily this seems to be a theme wherever we go. While we did most of the typical tourist sites, we figured telling you about the Reichstag or to do a free walking tour wouldn't exactly be new information to anyone that has a guidebook (or an internet connection). So, here are some (though not all) of our favorite things about Berlin, beyond the main attractions.
MauerPark Flea & Outdoor Karaoke
If you're in Berlin on a Sunday and the weather is good, and you have a sense of humor (or incredible pipes) you MUST visit the Mauerpark flea market. Every Sunday the park hosts a great collection of vendors and food stalls. Next to the markets, the park is filled with people enjoying themselves drinking and relaxing. Come between 12 and 7pm for Bearpit Karaoke, to witness an amazing (and bizarre) sight of hundreds of people watching as brave volunteers sing karaoke in the park's outdoor amphitheater. There are also some very industrious guys walking around the stands selling mojitos and beer.
In the summer, Berlin's parks are the place to relax (& drink) in the sun. Originally an airport, Tempelhof was used extensively by the Americans during the cold war, and was more recently converted to a park in 2008. It's a great spot to walk or bike around. All the runways are still intact, making it a pretty interesting park to visit.
Ora Cocktail Bar
We're pretty obsessed with cocktail bars and always looking to try at least one when we're in a new city. We loved this one (be warned, it's not exactly travel-budget friendly). If you're in the mood for a cocktail, Ora has great ambiance, and will definitely satisfy any cocktail itch you're having. You'll also feel like you've been transported back to the 1930s.
Doner Kebabs (or other Turkish Food)
Yes, we know. Berlin is in Germany, not Turkey. But seriously, if you're looking for a cheap and/or quick meal while walking the streets of Berlin, try some doner kebabs. One of our favorite meals in Berlin was the doner kebab from the stall at the train station.
Trendy Kreuzberg is known for its incredible Turkish food. So feel free to branch out if you've had too many doners.
Club Mate & Fritz-Kola
Okay, so neither of these is a sight or restaurant. But we loved them enough to add them on here. When you're in Berlin, try Club Mate. It's a yerba mate drink that has caffeine and is a cure for hangovers. A friend told us to try it on our first day, and we both got thoroughly addicted to them before we left. We'll admit, the taste was weird at first, but then we couldn't get enough.
Fritz-Kola is a German pop (or "soda" for you Americans) that comes in a bunch of flavors. Our personal favorite was the Cola + Coffee + Lemonade flavor. Pretty weird, but somehow it really works.
Ernst is a cheap and cheery dive bar in Kreuzberg area. If you're in the neighborhood its worth a quick pop-in drink. It's a go-to for many locals in the area.
This space is both coffee shop and general store. Pop in for a quick bite, browse their Instagram-worthy stock, or stay a while and people watch under those beautiful sky lights.
Roma Sinti Memorial
This is on the main strip, located between the Reichstag and the Brandenburg Gate, but it isn't one of the main attractions in Berlin. Tucked off to the side of the pathway is the Memorial to the Roma Sinti murdered during WWII. It's a bit depressing, but the memorial itself had a simple beauty to it. Each day they replace one flower in the center of the monument, representing the natural cycle of life and death (as the flower wilts over the course of the day). There are many incredible memorials throughout Berlin, but we found this was the least talked about for some reason, so we thought we'd include it in here to add to your list.
We're like fan people over here, but you know how much we love 25Hours. Stay here to explore a different area of Berlin, be near the Bauhaus, and even have a view of the zoo. Watching the orangutans tease zoo-goers from our room was pretty amazing/hilarious.
Have you been to Berlin? What did we miss? We're already starting another list for our next visit.