The Idealist

Idealist City Guide: BERLIN

Berlin is a fascinating all-year round destination that has maintained an interesting counter-cultural vibe, despite being Germany’s capital since the reunification following the fall of the Wall in 1990. It’s Europe’s second largest city after London and has a rich mix of music, live performance, shopping and youth culture. The city has a lot to offer business travellers and affluent thrill seekers alike, from swanky hotels to high-end restaurants and entertainment hubs and some very popular weekend-long nightclubs.

You can also bring your family:  there are plenty of attractions for both adults and children, not forgetting the parks and playground activities that’ll keep young ones engaged.

The main sights

Of course, much of Berlin’s history is deeply intertwined with the War. You can spend a weekend here partying and enjoying some great cuisine, but a trip to Berlin wouldn’t be complete without some thought to its past. Some of these attractions include the Jewish Museum (Lindenstraße 9-14, 10969), Checkpoint Charlie (Friedrichstraße 43-45, 10117), Reichstag Building (Platz der Republik 1, 11011) and the Museum Island, which houses five major museums.

If you have the chance, expand your exploration to the city’s neighbourhoods to set your sights on a few of the less well-known attractions such as the Berlin Wall Memorial Park on Bernauer Str. 111, Berlin and the Museum of Things on Oranienstraße 25,. We particularly love the Museum of Things, which collects together some amazing artefacts of popular culture, design and everyday objects. It’s a great and fascinating antidote to high art!

Shopping in Berlin

Berlin has risen to the ranks of the leading cultural and creative arts centres in the world since the fall of the Wall. Should you happen to travel there for business or holidays, check out the following stores for interior design accessories, antique furniture, or other souvenirs to take home.

Bless 

Oderberger Str. 60,.

Bless is a concept store focused on fashion that takes your shopping experience to a whole new level. Upon entry, you will be treated as a guest and this will continue until you leave the store. Besides the homelike hospitality, you will receive at Bless, you get to shop for some really unique items that you can bet your mates won’t have!

Hausen

Krossener Strasse 25, 10245.

Get the best of Scandinavian themed interior design accessories at Hausen. Some of the things you should expect to find at Hausen include home décor, dishware, rugs, and blankets; among others. After a recent expansion, there is more to browse through, and chances are you might find something you like.

Hallesches Haus Event May 2016

Hallesches Haus

Tempelhofer Ufer 1, 10961.

Get to see a carefully curated assortment of interior design products here. You can also browse through the very extensive Hallesches Haus online shop. We liked in particular some of the eye-catching impressive cacti, geometric terrariums and a collection of inspiring hanging fixtures. This is distinctive and witty accessory shopping at its best! The building is a knock out too!

Schwesterherz

Gärtnerstraße 28, 10245.

Schwesterherz is another stylish paper and Scandinavian themed Berlin store offering a wide variety of home décor, stationery, and other accessories. Schwesterherz has three different stores in Berlin.

Parkhaus

Schröderstraße 13,.

Visit the Parkhaus store in Mitte and browse through the store’s rich collection of rare home decoration items, antique furniture, and other accessories. Parkhaus stocks a wide variety of seasonal interior design items so their customers can keep updating their homes’ look.

Hotels

It doesn’t matter what your business in town is, Berlin has a place for you to spend the night, of course depending on your financial might. If you are looking to spend the night in the German capital, some of these hotels might interest you.

Abion Villa

Kirchstraße 13, 10557.

Furnished with comfortable armchairs and mahogany beds, the Abion Villa offers decent levels of accommodation and pretty much everything you need for a decent stay. The hotel is situated in the quiet Moabit district of the city.

Casa Camper

Weinmeisterstraße 1, 10178.

Casa Camper Berlin is situated near the city’s downtown. Red is the dominant colour in the hotel after the Camper shoes brand it celebrates. Everything from the reception area, the suites, and the hotel branded umbrellas are painted red. We’re not really sure why a Catalan shoe firm would have a hotel in Berlin, but we love it!

Gorki Apartments

Weinbergsweg 25, 10119.

Gorki Apartments are housed in a 19th century Mitte building. Suites vary in size, but each comes with comfortable bathrooms, bedrooms, and dining areas. And they look beautiful. Just look at that roof deck!

Das Stue Hotel

Drakestraße 1, 10787.

Das Stue hotel is just next to Tiergarten guest can easily access the sprawling green beauty. The hotel has a restaurant, lounge and garden terraces. The hotel has some eye-catching artwork in the lobby and inside the rooms. This is real luxury living!

Sir F.K Savigny Hotel

Kantstraße 144, 10623.

The Sir F.K Savigny Hotel is a stone’s throw away from the beautiful Savignyplatz. It is a 44 room hotel designed to give the sense of a private residence. We could live here too!

Dining in Berlin

There are plenty of restaurants and cafes in Berlin all serving different local and foreign cuisine. In addition to the hundreds of cafes and restaurants, all the major shopping malls in the city have food courts if you’re after a quick bite (Schnellimbiss, fact fans!). If you want to grab a bite in Berlin, you better have some cash on you unless you will be dining in fancy places such as the Grill Royal (on Friedrichstraße 105b) or The Ritz on Potsdamer Platz 3, 10785. Many standard restaurants and café in Berlin don’t like to take credit cards.

For breakfast, you can go to Aunt Benny’s on Oderstraße 7, 10247. They have good coffee, pastries, sandwiches and other baked goods. La Soupe Populaire on Prenzlauer Allee 242, 10405, doubles up as a restaurant and gallery. It’s a good place to grab lunch as you enjoy the beautiful surrounding art. The city is filled with fast food restaurants such as Angry Chicken on Oranienstraße 16 and Big Stuff Smoked BBQ on Eisenbahnstraße 42/43 and if it suits you, by all means, indulge.

Berlin’s Major Art Galleries

Some of the major art galleries in the city include the Galerie Crone (Rudi-Dutschke-Straße 26, 10969), the Contemporary Fine Arts (Am Kupfergraben 10, 10117), Galerie Eigen Art Lab (Torstraße 220, 10115), Galerie Capitain Petzel (Karl-Marx-Allee 45, 10178) and the KW Institute of Contemporary Art (Auguststraße 69, 10117). You will find a vast collection of old and recent art in any of the galleries mentioned above.

 

Traveling from London to Berlin

You can travel from London to Berlin by plane, train or bus (or drive at a push). A flight will cost around £100, more or less. Train or bus may be the cheaper options, but a non-stop flight is much more convenient.

 

What do you say?

Have we missed anywhere that should be on our Berlin itinerary? Let us know below…

  • Ben is a painter and DJ and loves all things concrete, urban and handmade. Based in London, when he’s not working on an interior renovation, he’s riding his scooter down some alley or other in search of the perfect cortado.

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