Berlin – outside of the [_]
By: Lonely Peleg
“Poor but sexy” as stated by the mayor of Berlin. By far one of the coolest cities that I have ever been to. We all love to have fun, but everyone has a different perspective on what fun is. Berlin is one of the only cities in the world that has every kind of fun you can imagine on offer. From historical sites, museums, art capital, the invention of hipsters, restaurants, bars, parks and clubs—Berlin has it all. And best yet, it’s cheap. The thing I like the most about Berlin is after one day of walking down the street I felt part of the city. It doesn’t matter how you dress, what you like, or where you are from—Berlin will accept you. I have been to Berlin more than 5 times in the past few years and these are a few things I would recommend doing in Berlin that are a little outside of the box.
Teufelsberg- Radar station
Hop out the metro station and a quick cycle through the woods will lead you to Devil’s Mountain, or known in German as Teufelsberg. After WWII, Berlin was demolished, and it took a lot of time, manpower and money to rebuild the city. All the rubble and garbage from the war was collected and formed into an artificial green mountain. The US government then built a radar station here during the Cold War to spy on the Soviet Union. When the war ended, the Americans abandoned the radar station that still stands there today.
In the past, it was possible to sneak in and enjoy the crazy view and street art in the radar squat. Nowadays, a private company guards the gate and for 7 euro you can get a guided tour. The main attraction is to snake your way up the broken stairs to the top of the station. You can see the city of Berlin sprawled beneath you. Random junk and impressive artwork will follow you all the way to the top. Enjoy the view and the acoustics with a bottle of cava.
Badeschiff swimming pool
In the heart of cool Kreuzburg, just behind the bridge, you will find a crystal clear swimming pool in the middle of the river. A Funky vibe and a white sand beach with techno beats surround you as you pass a wooden dock that leads you to an old ship that has been transformed into a floating swimming pool on the river.
This is a great place for a chilled sunny afternoon. The entrance is cheap, but beers are not, so drink ahead.
After the legendary KaterHolzig closed, this is probably the best club in Berlin. If Burning Man was a club, it would look like this. Giant fires welcome you as you enter into an open air sandy dance floor with abandoned trucks to climb and dance in. You feel like you’ve jumped down the rabbit hole and entered Wonderland. Every space has its own vibe and people of all sorts will surround you. It doesn’t feel like you’ve entered a club so much as a universe of itself- going in on Friday and leaving on Monday morning it is what we call going away for the weekend in Berlin.
Every Tuesday and Friday there is the Turkish market along the canal in Kreuzburg. You will find fresh fruit and veggies, as well as meats and traditional foods at a reasonable price, especially if you come at the end of the day.
Berlin is probably the most progressive city in the world when it comes to being vegan. It is easy to find vegan restaurants, cafés, pizza and ice cream on almost all streets as well as bio supermarkets.
The best falafel I had was AT the beginning of Kreuzburg, right near the canal. It’s a small place that serves falafel similar to the traditional falafel I find in Israel. Instead of using tahini however, they use peanut butter sauce.
If you are around Neukölln, you have to try the hummus in the local Palestinian/Lebanese restaurant. As an Israeli, I take my hummus seriously, and it is not easy to find good hummus elsewhere in the world, but Neukölln is one of the better places to find it.
BBI burger Neukolln
Voted one of the best burger places in Berlin, this place lives up to its rep. Sit on the sidewalk outside and drink beers from the convenient store across the road as you eat massive burgers filled with toppings. This burger is for sure one of the best I have eaten.
Templehof is the old airport located in the centre of cool Berlin. After the people of Berlin voted against converting the airport into skyscrapers and business parks, the city of Berlin decided to keep it as a park and convention centre for the people. The landing is used as a playground for skateboarders, BMX riders and cyclists, and there is even a community garden where locals plant their veggies in old bath tubs and bikes.
Especially in the summer, there are a lot of open air and underground parties every weekend. Check it out online.
Cool bars and cheap booze
Tip: want to fit in, wear black.
-Lonely Peleg and Kat Scriven
World Traveler, 10 Years, 108 countries. Follow Lonely Peleg’s adventures on Facebook