Travel

44 Little Great Things About Berlin

Those nearest to me know how close I hold Berlin to my heart. It’s my dream destination and one day I hope to live here forever and ever. But why? Why are you so obsessed with this city? Why are so many people obsessed with Berlin? I’ve put it down to the build up of these 44 little great things about Berlin.

44. Berliners Literally Do Not Give A Shit

 

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About what you’re wearing or if you’re having a mental breakdown on the U-Bahn. No cares, let alone judges you. Amongst all the weird things I’ve seen in Berlin the one that sticks out is the time I saw a guy dressed in full PVC, knitting on the S7 at 10am on Tuesday.

43. You Can Consume Alcohol Anywhere

 

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Drinking in public is 100% legal in Berlin. Public transport? Yep. Parks? Oh yeah. Even just, like, walking down the road? Yep. You can enjoy your bottle of gorgeous Berliner Pilsner without any angry German police officer coming up to you and yelling at you.

42. And At Any Time

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Späti’s sell alcohol 24/7. Späti’s are like the Berlin versions of 7/11 or Spar’s. Now I’m not one for pints at 8am, but I am in full support of a casual drink. Berlin is the only place where I can walk down the road, alone, bottle in hand and not be judged.

41. The Recycling System

 

 What an odd thing to like? Bare with me guys. So you, like any other backpacker, will be drinking a lot of beer in Berlin right? Well get this! When you’ve finished with your beverage you can dispose of it anywhere and someone (usually a homeless person) will come along and take it. This is because they get 8c for every beer bottle. This helps the homeless and keeps the streets tidy.

40. The View From Warschauer Brücke

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When I was living in Berlin I had the benefit of getting to see the view from Warschauer Brücke everyday. But it was at sunset when I really appreciate the view. It’s not even that there’s rolling hills, beautiful waterfalls or wildlife. You’re literally looking at the bustling and unique city that Berlin truly is.

39. Berlin’s International Residents

You don’t have to be from Berlin to be a Berliner. I don’t think I have ever met someone who is actually from Berlin, but that’s part of its charm. It’s one of the main contributors to Berlin’s diversity. Everyone has their story of how they’ve ended up living in Berlin.

38. The More Black You Wear The Better

 

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This stereotype is kinda true. Black is a popular colour of choice for clothes in Berlin. However, and take this as advice, if you’re coming to Berlin and you want to have a better chance of getting into the better known clubs like Suicide Circus, Cassiopeia and especially Berghain, casual black clothes all the way.

37. The Style

I’m very thankful to Berliners for making that whole “I’m Hungover AF” look chic. It’s not that I’m not a fan of colours, I had rainbow hair for crying out loud. But it just makes it easier to look stylish. So, Danke <3.

36. The Fact Heels & False Tan Aren’t A Thing In Berlin

I prefer comfort over fashion. Now that doesn’t mean I go clubbing in my tracksuit, but it does mean that I can go just about anywhere in semi-casual wear. So no walking home heels in hand with patchy tan.

35. <3 Efficient Transport <3

 

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Growing up in Dublin I have never known what reliable and reasonably priced transport was. Availing of Berlin U-Bahns, S-Bahns, trams and buses was just like “The train is actually here at the time the schedule told me it was supposed to arrive… I need to move here.”. It’s €2.70 for a one-way ticket, spanning over two hours if you care to take a coffee break on your travels, across all available kinds of transport. 

 

34. There is ALWAYS Something To Do or Check Out

 

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Berlin is a playground. I’ve never had a dull night out running rampant around the city. Whether it’s sneaking around an abandoned Soviet headquarters, attending a squat gig or dancing in a pre WW1 building. Berlin doesn’t really shut down, ever. 

33. There’s A Primark

 

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I could live without having a Primark nearby, I could. But that doesn’t mean I have too. Cheap socks and underwear for all here. Plus whether you’re absolutely sweating after day drinking in Mauerpark or frozen from strolling around the sights you can pop in and get whatever you need without spending too much $$$. 

32. There Is Street Art Everywhere

 

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When I first came to Berlin way way back in 2006 and noticed the shear amount of graffiti I genuinely thought the city was full of angsty teenagers. But nope. Berlin’s street art has a reeeeeaaalllly interesting history that actually goes back to the construction of the Berlin wall way back in 1961. But we’ll get into that another time…

31. That First Sip Of A Club Mate When You’re Wrecked

 

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I recently found a Club Mate outlet in Dublin and I was delighted. Club Mate is essentially caffeinated tea and can be considered easily addictive. Which is true. But it’s what you drink in Berlin to help you get through those uneasy mornings and long days. 

30. Getting Tipsy At Karaoke

 

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I had heard of this world famous karaoke, asking about it I was told it’s predominantly a tourist attraction and Berliners don’t go to it. However after a few cheeky Sunday beers I found myself floating over, the sound of Robbie Williams ‘Angels’ calling me. Next thing I knew I was 5 beers in, amongst a thousand tourists, screaming along to Bohemian Rhapsody. And it was fucking great. 

29. Clärchens ballhaus

 

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I love Clärchens ballhaus. It’s a pre WW1 dancehall located in Mitte, central Berlin. It somehow survived both world wars and Hitler which is very impressive in itself. It’s just a beautiful spot to have a coffee in the midst of Spring, or have some banter inside on a cold night. There’s still dances every night, Samba, Tango, Swing. So it’s worth going and making a fool of yourself!

28. So Many Wonderful Falafels Places

 

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If you’re a fan of delicious falafel goodness then Berlin is where you need to be. Falafels seem to be available on every street corner. There a favourite amongst the Berliners, they are also vegetarian and really cheap!

27. May Day!

 

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How does one describe May Day? Hm. Well imagine if an area, the size of a small village, turned into a street party for one day. Imagine DJ stages dotted around the place, street performers everywhere, massive street parties and everyone out to have a good time. This is the area of Kreuzberg on the 1st of May every year.  It’s pretty great guys.

26. Beer Is Really Cheap

 

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I probably should have mentioned this earlier. But yeah you can pick up a bottle of meh beer (Sternburg) for like €1.50. But you’d pay a euro more for a quality beer like Berliner Pilsner or Radeburger. Need I say more?

25. You Can Smoke In A Lot Of Bars

This one is for the smokers: but yes in plenty of bars in Berlin there are areas where you can chill with you beer, smoke and stay warm. Not bad. 

24. Also Russian Bars Are Pretty Cool

 

I don’t exactly agree with their politics but damn do the Russians do bars right. I love the kinda “We’re actually too broke to repair the wallpaper but I think we can pull it off” look about these places. They’re cosy, their beer is legit and the music is a nice change from the latest Calvin Harris track being blasted in your ears.

23. Gigs. Gigs. Gigs!

If you’re a music fan than you gotta get yourself to Berlin. They’re gigs on left, right and centre. Even if you were into weirdest, more niche genre of music, you’ll probably find a venue which plays just that kind of reggae mixed with laser beam noises.

22. Peppermint Schnapps Is Kind’ve Of A Thing & I Kind’ve Love It

Now i’m not sure if this is an East or West thing, or even authentic Berlin but taking shots of peppermint schnapps is like a thing. It’s like doing a shot of mouthwash with is really refreshing after 3 Jagerbombs.

21. Spotting Little Lucy Around The Place

 

Little Lucy is one of Berlin’s symbols, she the product of El Bocho, Germany’s version of Banksy. Lucy is based on a 1970’s Czechoslovakian cartoon where Lucy and her cat went on adventures, got along great and had a terrific time. However, El Bocho’s Lucy features her killing her cat in various ways. Like drowning her cat, ripping its head off, running the cat over in a tank. So keep an eye out for her.

20. YOGIS!

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These are so much harder to spot than Little Lucy. They’re little bottle-cork figurines, in various yoga positions, placed on top of miscellaneous street signs across the city. There’s no big metaphor behind them, they were literally created for the lols.

19. Augustiner

 


Augustiner isn’t actually a Berliner beer, it’s brewed in Munich I believe. But they sell it everywhere and it’s delicious so you should go to Berlin and buy five of them now. 

18. Also German Beer Doesn’t Give You A Hangover*

GOOD German beers don’t give you that awful headache come morning or make your stomach go AWOL. After about three weeks of not really suffering, yet drinking all the time, I asked about it, and yep, the beer is such good quality that it doesn’t give you an awful hangover.

17. There’s Amazing Bar, After Bar, After Bar

Berlin just has an endless array of awesome bars. If you go I really recommend getting outside the tourist areas and heading into the neighbourhoods of Neukölln, Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain. I’ll compile a list of decent bars to hit up soon enough so stay tuned!

16. And So Many Great Coffee Places

Berlin is uncredited for it’s coffee-making skillz. Imagine sitting on a busy street, watching the world go by with, having the chats with your friends. Doesn’t that sounds nice? That’s what people do in Berlin all the time. They just chill.

15. Wandering Into A Random Street Festivals Is Just A Regular Occurrence

Once in a while you’ll be walking around then BAM you’re in the midst of some neighbourhood folk music festival. Maybe there are warnings, there’s probably signs every but with my German restricted to Ja, Nein, Danke and Scheiße I don’t notice them. But it’s happened a few times, and it will probably happen again.

14. Where Bands Blaring Dubstep Dressed Up As Cute Animals at Noon On Sunday Can Share The Sounds of Their People

11903977_10204693221193259_12630656659780634_n  This is all I needed in life.

13. And Street Raves Are Just Another Thing That Happens

 

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I just love the fact that people walk down the street with a giant speaker blaring house music like it’s no biggie. Because in Berlin it is no biggie.

12. The Fact That Having An Abandoned Airport Is Like Whatev’s

 

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Tempelhof was a functioning airport until like the mid-naughties. These days it’s a public space where you can get on your bike and have a cycle around, or a picnic. Lollapalooza, amongst other festivals are held here each year. Whatever like…

11. Berlin Makes The Best Hamburgers

 

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Berliners do burgers right. They just love them. Plus most of the time they have the “neuland” option which means the cow actually got a decent life and it’s all eco-friendly too!

10. The Little PhotoAutoMat’s Dotted Around The City

 

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Ugh so touristy.  So what? There’s no better way to save some of those intoxicated moments than in one of these bad boys. They’re only €2 a pop and well worth the souvenir .

9. You’re Never That Far From A Bunker

Berlin being like the epicentre of power on the Axis side of WW2, not to mention it was bombed to bits up until 1945 and Berlin also being the centre of the world tensions during the Cold War it’s safe to they have a good few bunkers dotted all across the city. Which is kind of cool… Well I think it’s pretty cool. 

8. Having Zero Idea Where You Are & Then Spotting Alex <3

 

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Berlin is pretty f*cking huge so you will get lost. But that’s what Alex (the TV Tower at Alexanderplatz) is for. He pops up in the sky and goes “Hey you drunken assholes you live this way.” Danke Alex <3

7. Buskers On Warschauer Brücke

It is impossible to walk over Warschauer Brücke without seeing at least one busker, and usually they’re quite talented. Saxophone guy, boomboxers, the blonde girl with the guitar and plenty other musically gifted folks!

 6. Weed is Legal

Technically “Marijuana possession for personal use in Berlin is tolerated as long as the amount does not exceed 15 grams.”. You can still be prosecuted for it, but only if you smoke in playgrounds and the likes.

5. It’s All Leafy*

 

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Berlin has a copious amount of green space for a city which is awesome when it’s not below zero and snowing! 

4. Berlin Doesn’t Try To Be Cool

I can see why a lot of people see Berlin as a hipster havana, and in a way it kind of is. I’m not into wearing clothes that smell like mildew and look like shit, or follow some bizarre uber-cool compost diet or have a million piercings: but the fact is that in Berlin you are completely free to express yourself in whatever style or lifestyle you want to, free of judgement, and that’s pretty f*cking cool. 

3. BackWerk Bagels

 

I live for these bad boys. Of course there’s a million other delicious sandwiches and treats you can get in the ever ominous BackWerk. They’re pretty much everywhere in the centre of Berlin and make for a great, cheap snack.

2. Street Lights Just With Several Hundred Layers of Posters

 

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With the amount of events, gigs, raves and whatever else is going on in Berlin the sheer amount of postering builds up to the point of madness. Completely encapsulating the street lights of Friedrichshain. Plus it’s really fun to kick them…

1. There’s No Where Else Like it

 

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Berlin is what it is. A city booming with young creative folks, from all over the world, packed full of culture and in a constant stage of change. In a whole, Berlin is an old city that has been reborn, and to visit it, to witness this growth, the freedom, the fun is something not to miss out on.

There you have it guys, I hope you’re all on the flight comparison sites planning your next trip to Berlin!

Lazy Gal Out  x o x

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