Berlin in one of those cities that never ceases to amaze me. It is a melting pot of cultures, history and art. For anyone that has been there before the only question is when you will be going back or moving there! I don’t think I have ever met a person that doesn’t like the city and in my short guide you are going to find out what it is that tourists and locals love to do in this incredible city.
Mingle with the locals
Berlin is a place that you have to know to really know what you are doing to have a truly authentic experience and there are many small cafes, restaurants, bars and clubs that are often go unnoticed by the unsuspecting tourist. This is where locals come into the equation and meeting some is the ideal way to enjoy. If you are interested in meeting with locals to get a great experience, a tour of the city or more or less anything from home dinners to exploring the underground techno scene you can also use Withlocals to meet and interact with all the interesting people in Berlin. I would highly recommend this because they know so much about what to do and what to see. You only have a short time there, so locals are a great way to finding things that you can’t read in a guide like this. They have years of experience and you have none, so trust them and not some review online.
Hang out in the park
If it is summertime the parks are always full in Berlin (exactly the opposite during the winter) and it is a great place to get a couple of cold drinks and enjoy the sunshine (you could even do this with your new friends!). The Germans are quite serious about their beer, so get a good one. My personal favourites are the ones from the south of Germany. A good option is an Augustiner or a Rothaus, as these are some of the best you will ever try. If you aren’t into beer you can always get a nice soft drink like a Fritz Kola or a Club Mate, these are super refreshing and best served ice cold.
Head to a lake
This is a typical Berlin thing to do and there are many lakes located very close to the city that are just waiting to be visited. There are great public transport links and getting to the lakes should be no problem at all. If you want to add an even more authentic layer to it you can hire a bike and ride there yourself, which is also great if you want to find one that is more private. Many are within 20 kilometres of the city centre. Some great lakes that I enjoy in Berlin are Wannsee, Muggelsee, Krumme Lanke and Schlachtensee. These are amazing places to go with friends to spend the day swimming, eating and relaxing.
Hang out in Kreuzberg
Kreuzberg is a place that every Berliner knows too well and it is somewhere where you can do more or less everything. For me it is like the heart of the city and it is more interesting than the actual centre of the city and many people would definitely agree. It is full of great shops, bars, cafes and restaurants. It is also one of the most colourful places to be in terms of the people there and the different ethnicities. It is a very young and vibrant neighbourhood that is perfect for a good round of people watching whilst drinking some of the best coffee you could possibly imagine.
Go to a flea market
Any good Berliner knows a good flea market and visiting one on the weekend is a great way to get a place to eat, as well as checking out vintage clothes, bikes, furniture and much more. Places like Mauer Park are big and impressive for their atmosphere, but lack the local flair that a lot of smaller flea markets have and have become increasingly expensive. Having a great time doesn’t have to mean spending a lot of money. I would highly recommend visiting the Hallenflohmarkt (flea market halls), which has a huge selection of furniture, tools and pretty much anything you could imagine. Afterwards you could take a dip in the pool at Badeschiff (a pool on the river Spree) or get a drink at Club der Visionaire.