Alternative Berlin: Beer, Culture, Art, and Architecture

By: Jessica Fishman

Walk down the streets of Berlin and you will immediately notice the uniqueness of this modern and urban city that seamlessly mingles with the old and historic. From the people, to the art and architecture, Berlin culture is synonymous with the unique, the bizarre, the modern, the old, the quirky, and everything in between.

Beer: Prater Garten

Prater Garden - Alternative Berlin Culture

Perhaps one of the more famous Beer Gardens, Prater Garten is located in Prenzlauer Berg. Drinking beer outdoors while enjoying a bratwurst or pretzel is an essential part of Berlin culture. Although well known, Prater Garten is still an authentic German experience not to be missed.

*Prater Garden and the Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood have a hopping nightlife. Consider sticking around the Prenzlauer Berg bars for drinks. 

Nightlife: White Trash Fast Food

White Trash Fast Food - Alternative Berlin Culture

No it’s not an American-Chinese restaurant. It’s a popular Berlin nightclub. This hipster hot spot is a local favorite for the Berlin nightlife scene. Berlin is full of nightclubs, and young and old Berliners alike won’t hesitate to stay out until 6am partying the night away.


Turkish Market Fabric - Alternative Berlin CultureCraft markets are everywhere throughout the city. To the left is a picture of the Turkish Market in Kreuzberg where you can find a wide array of fabrics, buttons, and ribbons, as well as other crafts and food stands.

Turkish Market buttons in Kreuzberg - Alternative Berlin Culture




The Mauerpark Flea Market in Berlin is absolutely enormous and offers rows upon rows of vendors with everything from antique steins, to handmade crafts, to vintage clothing, to books, cameras, bikes, chandeliers, and more. Food vendors and street performers also scatter throughout the market. Don’t forget to haggle!


*If you love flea markets, be sure to check out the Boxhagener Market, or “Boxi”, for unique, and often kitschy, finds.

Street Art

Berlin Wall Painting - Alternative Berlin CultureThe disassembled Berlin wall has been fostered by local artists and placed throughout the city. Look for segments of the wall as you walk the streets of Berlin. Other segments have also been turned into art and gifted to other countries. Be sure to check out the East Side Gallery, the largest open-air gallery in the world made from a piece of the Berlin Wall that expresses the ideals of freedom and liberty.

Art installations are everywhere. This particular record awning was on a random street in Kreuzber. Funky art installations like this one can be found all throughout the city.

Record Art - Alternative Berlin Culture

Architecture: New Meets Old at the Reichstag

Reichstag - Alternative Berlin Culture

The Reichstag Building, or the German Parliament building, was partially destroyed in WWII. Instead of trying to remain true to the original architectural style of the old stone building, architects decided to mix it up and build a giant glass dome on top. This beautiful mingling of new and old is a perfect example of the individuality of Berlin’s architectural style seen throughout the city. Tourists can also go inside the glass dome free of charge and learn about Berlin’s history while viewing panoramic views of the city.

Reichstag Glass Dome - Alternative Berlin Culture

If you’re into these ideas and want even more, check out the Alternative Culture in Berlin featured trip crafted by our local expert Adie from

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