The Berlin Culture Guide - Expedia Australia Travel Blog

The Berlin Culture Guide


The Berlin Culture Guide

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.

Get your culture fix

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.

Where to eat…

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.

… drink and make merry

On the map: Cheap wine you say? We’re interested. At Weinerei punters rent a glass for €2 and are then invited to drink as much as they like – there can be anywhere between 12 and 20 bottles to sample on any given evening. It might sound too good to be true, but this is an example of Berlin’s laid back, liberal side at its very best. Once you’ve quenched your thirst, you simply pay what you think is fair by dropping your cash into a bucket at the door. Not surprisingly, this honesty system wine bar gets a lot of attention, so arrive early and ask what’s for dinner. The food operates on the same principle as the booze.

Off the beaten track: The clue is in the name – visitors to the Green Door simply ring the bell and wait for someone to let them into this secret Schöneberg cocktail bar. Inside, the mismatched, vintage aesthetic and kitsch ornaments are complemented by a long, uncluttered bar, where some of the best drinks in the city are mixed, poured over ice and served up to locals in the know.

Bed down for the night

On the map: Follow in the footsteps of celebrities and royalty with a stay at the legendary Adlon Kempinski. Sitting among the linden trees on the city’s most famous boulevard, Unter Den Linden, this five-star hotel was established in 1907. After being severely damaged in the closing days of the WW2, the building reopened in 1997 and has a two Michelin-star restaurant and luxury spa. The hotel sits in the central Mitte District, just minutes from the Brandenburg Gate. A former city gate, this neoclassical arch was built in the late 18th century and looks especially stunning at night when the horse-drawn chariot carrying Victoria, the Roman goddess of victory, is illuminated.

Off the beaten track: One of the quirkiest places to stay in Berlin is the 25Hours Hotel Bikini Berlin, which is housed in the iconic Bikini-Haus building. Half of the building looks out over Berlin Zoo – stay in a Jungle Room, accessorised appropriately with monkey soft toys and a hammock by the bed, or an Urban room for great views of the city skyline and an industrial chic vibe.

 

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