5 alternative places to go to discover the real Berlin.
Berlin’s gritty wonders go far beyond the confines of the average visitors well-trudged path. Forget the museums and the Brandenburg Gate, the city’s rich culture and unique vibe is most alive in the places undisturbed by the tour buses. From eccentric bars to independent art studios to a public toilet turned restaurant, here are 5 alternative places to go where Berlin’s creative and historical heart beats the loudest.
Converted from a public toilet sat under a train line, Burgermeister may not look sophisticated, but it certainly knows what it’s doing when it comes to creating mouth-watering burgers. Being one of the top places in the city to go to get your fast food fix, Burgermeister offers a simple and honest menu, fresh no-fuss food cooked before your eyes, and quick service.
Yaam Beach Bar
Despite not actually being on or even near a beach, Yaam Beach Bar keeps its own at being Berlin’s very own pocket of Afro-Caribbean sunshine. By day it is one of the most chilled spots in the city, where you can lounge around on their outdoor terrace complete with sand, and enjoy original Caribbean food and Jamaican beer. But at night the bar turns into a thriving club, with a regular program of DJ’s and bands that bring an alternative music scene to the city, playing Hip Hop, Dub, Afrobeat, Soul and Reggae.
Mauerpark Flea Market
There are many flea markets to choose from in Berlin, but none really come up better on price and choice than Mauerpark Flea Market. As a happy mix of stalls selling both second hand and new products, the market is your go to place for cheap vintage finds, handcrafted gifts and even artwork, with many emerging artists selling their work there. Taking place every Sunday, it is a great way to spend an afternoon, with plenty of opportunity to stop to eat, drink and explore the area if you want to take a break from shopping.
Roses Bar could best be described as Berlin’s answer to Alice in Wonderland meets Aladdin’s Cave, but even that doesn’t really portray how wacky it is. The bar is a rather cosy size, made more so by the fact that every corner to crevice is stuffed with peculiar ornaments and strange artwork, complete with furry walls and chandeliers casting the rooms in coloured light. However it is not just the interior design that draws in a steady crowd each night but the bars reasonable drink prices, late opening hours and some of the best electro music Berlin has to offer.
Berlin’s creative scene is booming with countless independent art shops and galleries popping up all across the city. But if you’re looking for something a bit unusual and truly original, then Zozoville Gallery is definitely worth a visit. Owned by Berlin artists Mateo Dineen and Johan
Potma, the studio is both a gallery of their imaginative and otherworldly cartoon artwork and a place to buy prints of their work.
This is not by all means not an exhaustive list of all Berlin’s hidden treasures, but hopefully should be enough to get you started in exploring this fantastic city. Have fun!