Berlin Travel Guide
The ultimate guide to the best things to do and see in Berlin
Without a doubt, Europe’s coolest city, Berlin has it all: 24-hour-nightlife, food from all over the world, affordable prices and is full of beautiful people. It’s not a typical European city with a historical centre (that was largely destroyed in the war), but rather has many vibrant and distinct districts to explore. Whether you’re coming for a weekend, a week or planning to move here, start here with my basic Berlin travel tips, or jump down below to read my latest Berlin travel blogs.
Popular Berlin Travel Blogs
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• “Yo! Sissy” – Berlin’s First Queer Music Festival
• Queer Berlin – Your Guide to Berlin’s Best LGBT Hotspots
When to Visit
Berliners say that to deserve the summer, you have to stay through the winter, which can be long indeed! Berlin summers can be glorious, with long nights, perfect weather to sit outside in the many parks and loads of things happening outside. Being such a big city with so many interesting things going on, visiting any time in the year will guarantee there’s something fascinating happening! It can be rainy pretty much any time of year in Berlin, though, so make sure to bring at least a light rain jacket, even in the summer!
Cool Things To Do
Bauhaus Archiv – Documenting the history of the Bauhaus design movement from the early and mid 20th century, this museum is unlike many of the others in Berlin (even the quirkier ones) and a must for any lovers of design and architecture. The collection includes teaching materials, models, plans, photographs and a library, all fully open to the public and giving you a fascinating insight into this iconic period of German design.
Sunday brunch – Berliners take their Sunday brunch very seriously. Anywhere from 11am till 3pm, you’ll find most cafés and restaurants full to the brim with locals lazily eating, drinking and chatting. Many places offer all-you-can-eat buffets, several with vegan brunch offerings where you can easily spend the first part of your Sunday recovering from the night before.
Berghain – This iconic club, and perhaps the ‘coolest in the world’ is not to be missed if you’re a lover a techno and unabashed hedonism. Surprisingly, perhaps the best time might be to go on Sunday afternoon after brunch, as it stays open all weekend long and is by then in full swing without the three hour line to get in. Just make sure to dress mostly in black, don’t turn up drunk or in a large group and don’t stare at your phone while waiting to be let in.
There’s so much history to learn about in Berlin it can be a little overwhelming to tackle it by yourself. Instead, check out this selection of tours in Berlin.
LGBT – Gay Berlin Travel Guide
Gay-friendly businesses can be found all over Berlin, though historically the neighborhood of Schöneberg was the center of gay life. Nowadays there are gay bars all over the city, even in the places you might least expect. The new gay Berlin is now mostly centered in Neukölln where you’ll find gay clubs, queer bars and even occasional drag shows. These are a few of the best things you should know about:
“London Calling” at Schwuz – Every first Friday of the month, this indie Brit-pop night at one of Berlin’s most laid-back gay clubs is my favourite night there. The crowd is pretty mixed, but tends to be mostly cute alternative boys.
Silver Future – One of the queerest bars in Berlin, this cosy spot in Neukölln (where else?) is ideal for meeting some new people, having an intimate chat or starting a night out. With its quirky and oh-so-Berlin style, it’s guaranteed to get you in the mood.
Boiler – Perhaps the nicest gay sauna in Europe, Boiler is the perfect place to come and relax, by yourself, on a date or with friends. Of course, you can find some action here (especially in the steam room) but it’s also nice enough of a space that coming just to use the sauna facilities is just as worthwhile!
More gay travel resources here.
Berlin Hotel Deals
Berlin has plenty of cool and quirky hotels, as well as all the big chains you’d expect. They can get full when there’s a conference or special event in town, so consider booking in advance. I’ve found that using Booking.com, Agoda.com or Hotels Combined can be useful for finding last-minute deals.
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