There are two sides to Berlin. No, we’re not referring to the city’s geography. There are the must-see museums and tourists spots, but there’s also an alternative side to city that isn’t included in all the guidebooks. Here’s our guide to the ‘on the map’ and the ‘off the beaten track’ attractions of Berlin.
On the map: Save your legs and hop on a sightseeing Hop-on Hop-off bus to take in Berlin’s most famous buildings and popular attractions in one day. Use the headphones to tune into the running commentary as you drive past historic sites such as Potsdamer Platz and the creative neighbourhood of Kreuzberg. There’s plenty of stops along the way so you can get off and explore.
Off the beaten track: Check out Berlin’s grungy and gritty subculture by joining an Alternative Berlin twilight tour. Promising to ‘lead you down the rabbit hole’, these unconventional sightseeing tours introduce visitors to a handful of districts that tourists don’t normally experience. From exploring abandoned relics to raiding street artists’ favourite haunts, this is a great way to get under the city’s skin. Tours take place on Friday and Saturday nights and it’s not unusual to end up at a private party in some obscure location afterwards.
On the map: If you’re looking to grab a cheap eat on your way from one sight to another, you’re spoiled for choice in Berlin – there are 200 street vendors peddling an array of delicious sausages across the city. The most popular variety, and easily the city’s culinary emblem, is the currywurst – there’s even a museum dedicated to this spicy sausage. Whether you eat yours with mayonnaise or mustard, you can’t go wrong at Curry 36 in Kreuzberg, a streetside vendor with something of a cult status, reportedly selling up to 1000 wurst a day.
Off the beaten track: Yes, sausages are a big part of the Berlin experience, but don’t let your porky appreciation distract you from the plethora of food trucks that regularly roam the city, pulling up to serve food from all over world. There’s House of Flying Dumplings, which sells steamed wontons into the small hours, and Vatos Tacos, a vintage milk cart turned Mexican feasting destination that also hosts the odd DJ night.