Berlin – one of the most exciting city I had pleasure to visit. If you are looking for adventure, thrill, art, fashion, never ending parties or a mishmash of different architectural styles this is the place for you!
Berlin was always close to my heart due to huge art and fashion scene. It’s also one of the most inspiring and creative city in Europe and after Budapest, I could consider to live there (although south of Spain is still my priority). During my 4 days trip I walked more km, that in the past half a year. Even rainy and windy weather did not stop me to explore the city. While walking you are able to discover many hidden spots and unexpected streets and since I am quite lucky, I usually manage to end up in the coolest places of particular city. I also did a little research about good hang outs and fashion stores in Berlin before my trip, which I would like to share with you in this post.
Only in Gorki Apartments, located at Weinbergsweg 25 (Mitte)! This boutique hotel, yet private living space can host you from one day up to several months. I was shown few of the apartments, located in this building and I was totally speechless. Interior of each place is just incredible. Massive bed with several pillows and beautiful linen, kitchen corner with all the supplies, wooden vintage table and little pieces of furniture make this place artistic and super cozy at the same time.
But what truly got me was magic, black bathtub with golden ornaments, situated in the middle of the room or corridor (depends on the apartment). Can you imagine a better evening, than taking a relaxing bubble bath and being surrounded by magnificent interiors? I would have serious difficulties to leave this place in the evenings, especially in autumn/winter season.
credit: Gorki Apartments/illustration: Irmela Schautz
Helmut Newton Foundation (Museum of Photography), which is located at Jebensstrasse 2 (Charlottenburg) is definitely a place you must visit. You will see Helmut Newton’s private property, which is a rare showcase of the photographer’s personal life. It includes films, numerous of his publications in various magazines, one of the most recognizable photographs and portions of his library and office from Monte Carlo. There are also various exhibitions of other artists (last exhibition: “Undressed” by Mario Testino).
Dalí Museum, located at Leipziger Platz 7 (Potsdamer Platz) was another important spot for me. Since I am the biggest fan of Salvador Dalí art and had already a pleasure to check various of his paintings and graphics in different countries, I could not resist to see them again. “Among this probably most comprehensive and representative overview of the graphic works, the museum shows work portfolios, illustrated books, sculptures, numismatics and three-dimensional installations of the surrealist artist”. It’s totally worth to check it!
LUMAS art gallery, located at Rosenthaler Str. 40 -41 (Mitte) was the last place I wanted to visit, before leaving Berlin. Although we have LUMAS in Budapest, I was curious about photographs presented here. No surprise! LUMAS always offers such a diverse collections, that you have serious problem which piece you should actually buy. From fashion to landscape photography your choice is pretty much unlimited. I love the interior of this place as well. Very sophisticated, yet artistic with big neon: Liberation of Art.
Once you are already in Rosenthaler Strasse, do not forget to check Haus Schwarzenberg – Rosenthaler Strasse 39 (Mitte), which is “(…) an unpretentious space where art and creativity are allowed to flourish. Festooned with graffiti, paintings and strange iron objects, in Haus Schwarzenberg you are likely to get lost in a bizarre maze of doors that lead way to varied and fascinating attractions: from a museum dedicated Anne Frank’s feelings to an old workshop for the blind, here you can easily spend a whole day without getting bored”.
House of Small Wonder was without a doubt, one of the best breakfast and brunch places I have been so far. This little spot is situated in kind of office building at Johannisstrasse 20 (Mitte). It’s usually packed and on Sunday mornings there is a big line of people, sitting on the wooden bench downstairs, waiting for the place. Once I visited this place and had my late breakfast, I was not surprised why it’s so famous. Wonderful interiors filled by many plants, big wooden tables (which you can share with other guests) and Japanese style blinds plus fantastic wallpaper placed on the wall. All of this create a real Japanese atmosphere.
This place is run by few cute Japanese girls, who will do everything possible to make your day pleasant. I was really surprise, when one of the waitress forgot my order and came to me apologizing at least five times, bringing right away my cappuccino and Matcha cookies, which were on the house (in Budapest you could only dream about such service). Delicious food with Japanese influences: organic eggs and vegetables, homemade bread and pastries, which are all freshly baked throughout the day. I would definitely recommend you to order Sobro Don or vegan dish Onigiri set. Basically you can sit there few hours and you would have serious problem to leave this place. This cozy spot is definitely my top recommendation in Berlin.
credit: House of Small Wonder
Hallesches Haus, located at Tempelhofer Ufer 1 (Kreuzberg) is a general house, food join and event space all in one! I discovered this place totally by chance while I was passing by this charming building. You will be able to find there many home decor accessories including candles, blankets or pottery. If you get hungry, the next room offers a light menu of fresh baked goods, sandwiches and breakfast bowls along with Berlin-roasted coffee. The design of Hallesches Haus is quite minimalist, yet eye-catching. Worth to mention friendly staff, which is always a big advantage.
credit: Hallesches Haus
If you ever need a warm soup, you should definitely visit A.Horn.
Located in Carl-Herz-Ufer 9 (Kreuzberg), literally saved my life. I was walking around Kreuzberg in rain, so the only thing which came to my mind, in order not to get sick was a bowl of a warm soup. This super cozy but quite busy place, with nice interiors and overall great atmosphere, remained my a bit one of those busy lunch places in Spain, where you could notice a mix of people including small children. My chicken soup was served in a big, glass cup where I could perfectly see majority of the ingredients. Soup itself tasted like heaven. A.HORN was recommended to me by a local and without a doubt it was a perfect place for having lunch.
Feel like having a salad with goat cheese? No better place than Strandbad Mitte.
Located at Kleine Hamburger Strasse 16 (Mitte) has nice food menu with reasonable prices. This place has also quite interesting design – wood mixed with dark green tiles gives you a bit cold but at the same time exciting feeling. You can also grab one of available magazines or bring your laptop and work from there.
Surprisingly I did not party this time in Berlin, but if you wish to check some great clubs or bars with electronic music, follow I Heart Berlin.
Wish to bike in Berlin and stay safe? All of this is possible once you visit Happarel Bicycles workshop, located at Urbanstrasse 71 (border of Kreuzberg and Neukölln). I heard about this workshop already in 2014, when I saw an interview in Deutsche Welle (Polish edition) with one of the owner Eberhard Schilling (you can check video here). Together with his French colleague Antoine Capeyron, he developed innovative reflective solutions for better visibility at nighttime. The moment I saw their reflective bikes in a video, I knew that this place will be on my list to visit in Berlin. Regardless of rain and rather bad weather conditions I managed to find this workshop and have a little interview with Ebi ( thanks God he offered me a tea, otherwise I would’ve frozen to death). This place although a bit small, had all the necessary equipment to make your baby (bike) reflective. On the top of that you could also buy there designed T-shirts and reflective caps plus choose one of many reflective stickers (really good design, I got one as a gift).
My two favorite bookstores in Berlin are: Soda books located at Weinbergsweg 1 and Do you read me? located at Auguststrasse 28 (Mitte). Both places offer a selected range of international, contemporary magazines and reading material. You will find there themed journals and books with a focus on art, fashion, photography, design as well as architecture, literature, music, society and contemporary culture. I was a bit surprised when I saw in Soda books, Australian niche magazine Frankie (which I am a big fan btw).
Berlin is definitely the European capital of street fashion. I spent entire day to check all the trendy stores for you, however I ended up doing shopping in a souvenir shop, where I got the most cheesy gift for myself – an oversize black hoodie with ‘I Love Berlin’ print.
A lot of fashion stores, including the well known brands such as: & Other Stories, AllSaints, Monki, Weekend, Cheap Monday are located at Friedrichstrasse. If you are looking for niche brands, you should check places around Rosenthaler Platz (Mitte). One of the coolest shop I found there was Augusta, located at Rosenthalerstrasse 7/ Auguststrasse 44, Spreeheidi located at Rosenthaler Straße 19 and Superconscious located at Weinbergsweg 22. They offer big selection of contemporary clothes for men and women.
I found there many wool cardigans, hoodies and really nice selection of shoes from sneakers to more classic ones like loafers, ankle boots or pumps. Some of those shops offer also fashionable accessories like backpacks, clutches designed golden platted jewelry and home decor items. If you are looking for a Scandinavian design – furniture and home accessories such lamps, flowerpots or any other home decoration, visit Bolia store located at Chausseestrasse 1 (Mitte).
Of course, once we are in Berlin we need to check some “different” type of fashion as well. With stores like Schwarzer Reiter and Très Bonjour located at Torstraße 3 Berlin takes kinky to the next level, elevating some leather or latex accessories like chokers and harnesses from the dark rooms of fetish clubs straight onto the streets. It took me a bit of time to walk from Auguststrasse to Schwarzer Reiter store (considering my swollen foot it was quite painful walk), but somehow I could not resist to check the latex clothes. When I entered this store a young man, who was a shop assistant, did not pay too much attention to me. Considering my red woolen coat and cute pom pom hat, I believe I was not within his target group. I walked around the store and checked some ultra tight clothes, no idea how people can fit in them? You either need to be super skinny or have some magic power to take them off. I guess your foreplay would take much longer, as this type of leggings, dresses or bodysuits could stick to your body for good. Any of you have experience with such clothes? Don’t be shy and share it in a comment field (I am curious and million people out there as well!). I think it would be safer to choose some sex toys. This place was full of them!
Très Bonjour (right next door), offered ultra sexy lingerie, stockings, dresses, tops & basques but majority of them were made out of latex as well. Not sure if your boobs would feel comfortable but if you wish to surprise your partner, you know where to shop!
As any of big cities Berlin has its dark side as well. It’s not a secret that there is quite big drug scene here, but what truly shocked me were the places, where drugs have been distributed. One of my friend took me to Urban Krankenhouse (hospital in Kreuzberg) where among many hospital wards, there was also one for people with mental diseases and drug addicts. It’s not that I was planing to hang out in hospital while visiting Berlin, but it was interesting to get to know that many drug dealers are standing just in front of this place and waiting for their potential clients. Imagine that some drug addict finally decides to get a treatment and meters away from him there are already bunch of guys ready to sell him drugs. We saw a few guys hanging out at the reception and later on, they were hiding in the little corner outside of this hospital and doing their business. It was really sad to witness this. Another spot where you could see drug addicts (mainly heroin addicts) and plenty of dealers was Kottbusser Tor. I don’t want to dig too much into this topic, but worth to check some information online before you go to Berlin.
If you have any questions or some other spots worth to recommend leave a comment!