The sun is shining, flowers are blossoming, and the bees are coming out to play, it can only mean one thing: it’s Berlin season! Berlin oozes in cool factors must do’s and sees, we say, what happens in Berlin stays in Berlin, right? But it’s not just the dark dens and tourism that brings 40k + new residents each year. We wanted to share with you some of our Berlin local daily do’s so you can share in the community love on your next trip!
Chill at Tempelhofer Feld
What was historically used for military practice in World War II and later was a central airport in Berlin (which, luckily for half of the city residence was closed in 2008) Tempelhofer Feld is now a beautiful flat and sometimes overgrown hangout for Berlin dwellers. Often used for sports like kite surfing, blading and biking, Tempelhof is also the local go-to for outdoor grilling sessions or to relax with a beer to watch the sunset – and they do have some of the best sunsets! Expect half of the west side to be there if the sun rays are shining, but luckily Tempelhof is soo big that there is no chance you won’t find the perfect place for your cart-wheeling practice. We suggest checking out the Tempelhof community gardens where locals have a yearly permit to plant to their heart’s content, and we get to relax in a handmade picnic area surrounded by all of their green-thumbed work!
Sunsets by the Berlin lakes
Being located inland means Berlin isn’t your go-to beach destination, however, they do have some of the most stunning lake districts we’ve seen in a capital city this side of Europe. If the heat picks up on your travels then do as the locals do and pack a picnic and head to the See (Lake). Best Lakes you can reach by public transport or by bike (which we always favour) are Wannsee, Krumme Lanke, Schlactensee, Lieptnitzsee. All are surrounded by a nice green scenery with good vibes and they arent too overcrowded. If you didn’t pack a bikini, then never fear, Berliners are known to jump right on in, costume or not!
All night and day dance sesh
Berlin is well known to attract a plethora of local and international creative types every year, so it’s no surprise that it has one of the best electronic music and club scenes in the world. If dancing is your thing, then you’re in the right place, Berlin never sleeps – literally. You’ll find something to groove to most nights of the week, or conserve your energy and hit the df bright and early Sunday morning with the locals and boogie all the way until Monday. Keep in mind Berlin is a very, er, liberal city and most clubs won’t allow photographs on the premises. Some great club suggestions are Sisyphus, About Blank, Griessmuehle, Tresor, Kater Blau, SchwuZ, Prince Charles, Sameheads and the gloriously infamous (and must go for die-hard techno fans) Berghain.
Go everywhere by bike
Berlin has a great public transport system, but for a city that has 1€ beers, the cost of transport could be better. This may or may not contribute to the exceptional biking mentality of Berlin where most locals prefer to hit the pedals to a car or train. Bike hire is cheap and frequent; it’s a great city to ride in with most areas providing bike lanes or the cyclist can easily use the roads. From our first-hand experience, we can contest that it’s actually quicker to ride your bike in most parts of Berlin than to take other means of transport. Not to mention all the sites and streets you get to see first hand. If you’re in town on the last Friday of every month you could even join in with the 100’s of locals who get together and take over the streets in a Critical Mass friendly demonstration. Power in numbers!
Berlin brunch; it’s a serious thing
Berlin locals love to brunch. It may or may not occur in-between breakfast and lunchtime, and it may even be a whole day event – the time is aloof to Berlin, which is why this city is so fascinating! What we do know is to expect brunch, just don’t ask when or how long for!
Walk the streets and discover what the locals are doing
If you leave your Airbnb, hotel or hostel, there is 100% chance you’re going to head-butt some fantastic street art, heck, your hotel probably is covered in it. That’s just the first creative point of this great city. Its inhabitants are innovative and expressive, and chances are if you take a stroll about you’ll find some welcoming activities the residents have on offer. From live music in the streets to endless amounts of art galleries and events, Berlin is saturated in cultural. So grab a Berliner from the closest Späti and lets street art guide you!
Berlin’s theatre scene is vibrant and diverse, something to cater to every taste. Berlin has a distinguished presence in the industry for its innovation and experimentation; it is the birthplace of Expressionist Theatre after all. We recommend immersing yourself into the Berlin theatre experience and see what’s on the schedule at the Maxim Gorki Theater, Deutsches theatre, Volksbühne and The Berliner Ensemble just to name a few of the greats!
Museums, gallery and history galore
Yes, we know hanging out at the museum all day may seem like a touristy thing to do, but Berliners are cultured people too! And the city certainly caters for it, not only is there your selection of great galleries and museums, there is a whole island dedicated to it! Simply called Museum Island, the outside is aesthetically pleasing as the content inside. With modern, contemporary and ancient artefacts on display for all to explore, there is something to suit anyone’s aesthetic. Off the island, there is also an abundance of history museums and memorials to visit, including the large-scale Holocaust Memorial and Museum, a World War II memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust.
Find where the locals grab their delicious coffee
Watch out Italy, Berlin is on the rise with its exceptional production of coffee, and trust us, we have done the hard job of taste testing for you. With some amazing grassroots roasters popping up over the town and a city full of caffeine enthusiasts, you won’t find it too hard to leave your local brew house at home for too long. If you’re situated in Neukölln//Kreuzburg check out the best brewers in Berlin Two Planets, Café Islya or Kaffeebar. For those in Mitte or Prenzlaurburg mosey over to local roasters Five Elephants or The Barn. ENJOY!
Peruse a flea market
Whether you have check-in luggage or can only manage to carry on surely just a little bit of shopping can’t hurt, right? A local favourite weekend activity (beside brunch, of course) is to peruse the local ‘Flohmarkt’ (flea market). Each district in Berlin will have at least one or two on each month or more in the warmer months. And whether you actually want an antique lamp or that rare copy of Faust (which is most likely in German) the Flohmarkt is always full of great weekend energy. Shop like a local, buy from a local, simple as that!