Wir lieben Berlin: Part ein

English Translation *(We love Berlin Part one)

So instead of giving you a boring ramble of everything we did, where we went and all of the practical details of tourist sites which you can find on our last year’s blog about Berlin, we decided to show you some of our favorite things in installments based around images of this city. Since Berlin is a city that tickles your eyes with sprawling old squats, graffiti covering every surface and trendy/well-themed bars and cafes, we will not waste our time or yours with our written words.

Graffiti

kreutzberg, near our flat

kreuzberg, near our flat

Our Neighborhood Grocery Store!

Our Neighborhood Grocery Store!

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Prenzlaur berg

Prenzlaur berg

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The graffiti in Berlin is everywhere, literally. I think it makes the city look more artsy. Graffiti often has the reputation of an act of rebellion which makes an area look degenerate and run-down. I think it’s the exact opposite in Berlin. On apartment buildings, it often appears that graffiti works are commissioned because of their singular theme and gigantic scale. Everyone embraces it for the art form that it is here and I highly doubt that you would find someone getting arrested over it.

German beer

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Banana Hefeweizen

Our collection

Our collection

Germany is a nation of beer lovers and because of that, I love Germany. Germany is home to Oktoberfest and countless varieties of beer ranging from HefeWeizen, Dunkels, Pilsners and everything in between. We went to the grocery store and bought 11 beers for 8 euros. For the rest of the week, we blindly stuck our hand in the fridge and tried a new one. Also, we went out for Ethiopian one night and Ellie ordered a mango DjuDju beer which is African. It got poured into a gourd bowl by our waitress and which Ellie drank from. It was seriously the most delicious fruit beer I have ever had, not too sweet, just perfect. Even if Germany doesn’t brew it, they’ll still have it, as was the case with DjuDju beer.

Tacheles

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An old art-based squat that is constantly under government scrutiny, Tacheles is becoming very main-stream and popular but I  still find the concept fascinating. A gigantic warehouse in the middle of one of the richest districts of Berlin that houses artist studios and the whole thing is covered from head to toe in graffiti and trash. It also has about 5 bars attached, a store, a cinema, and a restaurant. It has a gigantic piece of property with sculptures out back and cozy chairs. Tacheles is precisely what Berlin is all about.

Having our own Kreuzberg apartment

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We found our apartment in Kreuzberg on Craiglist. The renter, Miek is originally from New York but finally made the fateful move to Berlin after constantly visiting and falling more in love with the city. Kreuzberg is a bohemian neighborhood that has a lot happening. Every time we looked up a party or bar that we wanted to go to, we were pleasantly surprised that it was right around the corner from our flat. Everything is happening in Kreuzberg. It was our favorite area last summer and after living here for 10 days, it still remains our favorite. The apartment was also close to public transportation and bordered on Fredrichshain as well, so we could walk across the bridge and be in another neighborhood in no time. It was so nice to not stay in a hostel and ended up working out to be about the same price as staying in a one for two people. We would absolutely not hesitate to stay here again as the place was clean, safe and made us feel like we were proper Berlin residents.

Random/funny pieces of art that are also functional

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Berlin is full of funny art pieces in public spaces that are also functional. We couldn’t resist taking a photo of this cute dog park.

Lots of Wine, in case you get sick of beer 🙂

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Hamburger Bahnhof

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Resting outside the museum

Hamburger Bahnhof is an old train station that has been turned into a modern art museum. The permanent collection is wonderful with lots of Warhols and the temporary exhibit changes fairly frequently. Last summer, we enjoyed the temporary exhibit a lot, but this time the main exhibition hall was closed so we enjoyed the permanent collection. Regardless, you should check it out because it’s free on Thursday from 2-6.

Independent art galleries

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Poster

Poster (yes, that is a hamburger foot with onion toenails)

Berlin is full of art galleries everywhere. If you are tired of spending time on Museum Island, you should check out the smaller places. Most have better modern art and are friendlier and not jam-packed with tourists. Most will let you browse if you ring the bell and many have interesting mission statements as well. We toured one art gallery that displays only modern art completed by people who live in Africa and they don’t tell you that all of the artists are African until the end of the display so as not to bias your opinion of the pieces. Their mission is to get these African artists who are often quite famous in Africa to have international recognition of their work and not be treated as “up and coming” artists in Europe. We saw many galleries during the walk from Rosa Luxembourg Platz to West Mitte, but there is art in every neighborhood and just requires a walk around.

Beach Bars

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Most people will scratch their heads and think, but Berlin isn’t on the beach, is it? No, you’re right, but that doesn’t mean they can’t truck in loads of sand and make a beach bar near the river Spree. Bundespresses-Strand and Bar Yaam are two good ones. Bundespresses is our favorite and where all of the pictures above were taken. We relaxed here for two hours one day with a beer in the gigantic red bed and we came back for a Couchsurfing meeting here a few days later. There is volleyball and lots of different loungers and it’s pretty popular with the locals after work.

Dolores

Ah, our favorite fast-food eatery in all of Berlin. Probably the best burritos I have ever had, EVER. I am a gigantic burritto/tex-mex fan and for me to say this about somewhere speaks volumes. Located near Rosa-Luxembourg Platz, this burrito spot is always packed. They have lots to choose from for vegetarians such as my favorite “mole tofu” burrito and the ever delicious “lime tofu” burrito. The burritos are usually under 5 euros and are massive. I will be dreaming of these burritos forever and ever.

Don’t worry, this is just Part 1. We have loads more photos and reasons why Berlin is the best city ever.

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2 Responses to “Wir lieben Berlin: Part ein”


  1. 1 Mum Z June 29, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    Can’t wait to hear @ China! I’m sure you’ll get some great photos!


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