Berlin is a vast and unique location. As the capital city of Germany, it is larger than London or Rome. However, built to house 7 million residents, its population is around just 3.5 million, making it an impeccable city in which to live and work. This means that usual rush hour times for other cities remain eerily quiet here. You’ll have no problem getting a seat on the subway and you won’t have to queue for anything aside from the occasional supermarket run.
Stoked in dark and illustrious history, the city centre poses impressively rebuilt gothic architecture, large open green spaces, roof gardens, up to date eco systems and thousands of jogging and cycling residents seemingly conscious of their health and impact on their natural surroundings. In the further reaches of the city however you will find Amsterdam-like streets filled with homeless people drinking alcohol and with obvious drug habits. Of course this is part of the underbelly of any city but here it is clearly a problem. The large groups of men hanging around in some areas can be intimidating but its worth putting up with to seek out the best vinyl shops!
Below are some of the best locations we found for art, drinking, buying vinyl and sight seeing. We went to Berlin with no preconceptions or itinerary so if you know the city well and can recommend more places we’ve missed – feel free to comment and share your findings!
Essentials: Camera – Sunglasses – Subway Map
We were in Berlin for 4 days and stayed in a 4* hotel – this cost around £170 per person including flights from England.
Some of the sights travelling from the airport to central by train.
Our first supermarket. The style was noticeably different from England and the bottled beer crates reminded me of American superstores. They sell ‘Party 7’s’ which is a keg carrying 7 pints of larger – I don’t think we’ve had these in England since the 70’s!
Beautiful architecture and spacious roads
This place comes well recommended – it was easy to stumble upon but unfortunately we didn’t find it open. It’s right by the Berlin Tower. http://www.what-club.berlin/
The Cathedral in Berlin looks older than it is – it was rebuilt after the war sticking with the style of the former buildings gothic architecture.
We found a brilliant Irish Bar named Kilkenny!
Am Zwirngraben 17-20, 10178 Berlin, Germany
More beautiful architecture
Art and graffiti is everywhere in Berlin
Checkpoint Charlie – The Berlin Wall
The Record Loft
This one is incredibly hard to spot so keep your eyes peeled for door number 9 on Adalbertstraße road. It looks like a block of flats and you have to walk down an alley before you get to the record store but its well worth it! It has a vast collection of everything from punk and indie to dubstep and hiphop. There were some really unusual and beautiful records in this place and we spent a long time in there. The best thing about record stores in Berlin compared to England is that they all allow you to sit and listen through your selection on headphones before buying, needless to say – you end up staying longer and buying more.
Adalbertstraße 9, 10999 Berlin, Germany
**VEGETARIAN EATING OUT ALERT!**
Pirates Bar served me by far the best vegetarian meal I’ve ever eaten! I would highly recommend this place! The staff were lovely and the view of the river is great. It’s also just opposite Universal Music if you fancy trying to pop a demo of your band in the letter box..
Mühlenstraße 78-80, 10243 Berlin, Germany
The Audio-In Record Shop was a little tricky to find but well worth it. They have a great selection of rock, punk and indie music aside the usual dance records.
Fernsehturm de Berlín
The television tower in Berlin was excellent. We had complimentary passes with our hotel booking and once you’re up you can stay for hours. It was brilliant to see the sun go down up there and wait for the Berlin street lights to go on. You can also enjoy a drink at the neat bar they have!
The Berlin Gate – Brandenburg Gate
Incredible pieces of street art were everywhere along the river through Berlin
A boat tour through central Berlin took us past parliament and through Museum island.
The b flat Jazz club
The subway trains reminded me of the New York subways in the film The Warriors.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this article and that it’s given you some ideas of where to go and what to do. Feel free to comment and tell us of your Berlin experience!