It’s not making mistakes that counts but instead what you do to avoid repeating them. I don’t think those words could be truer of any country than Germany at the moment, where they are taking great measures to help alleviate the migration crisis in Europe.
One of my closest friends in the city is German. For the past five years, we have both talked about taking the other to visit our homelands and to see it through the eyes of a local. As fate would have it, earlier this year, I was able to live Berlin through her eyes. I took you to a little visit to Sanssouci here but let’s talk through my full guide to Berlin.
Stay : I stayed at a little boutique hotel called Lux 11 located in Mitte, just a little walk from Alexanderplatz (like Grand Central). This hotel is perfect to visit with a significant other. The cafe and restaurant attached to the hotel were both excellent too. They also had their own lifestyle brand store called Type Hype that has some of the best typography posters and leather goods. It was the perfect store to pick up gifts and souvenirs.
Another stay option would be Soho House Berlin. Located right across the Television Tower, the view from their roof is unparalleled.
I wanted to see the city as I would experience it as a local..so I spent more of my time in the local hot spots. Mauerpark is the best place to spend a lazy afternoon looking through old records, finding 100 year old beer mugs and some great street food. Linnen was a the cutest restaurant to get brunch around this area.
Berlin hit me hard even before I landed – the architecture is so different from NYC and the city is just vast. I was not expecting that.
I did visit the Holocaust Memorial and Brandenburg Gate by Unter der Linden (similar to 5th Ave) and the museum mile. The only museum I visited and that continues to stay with me is the Museum of Photography. They have rotating collections of different artists and since Berlin was home to Helmut Newton, hold his personal collection of photographs here. I can’t quite tell you what exactly impressed me so much, other than I walked out of here changed. The images were that visceral and captivating.
There is something for every shopper in this city. I loved going to KaDeWe to see some Berlin designers like Marina Hoermanseder. Katrin Langer makes clutches and these are a must see as well. Thrifting is a big culture here and so there are plenty of vintage stores to scour. Paper and Tea had beautiful stationary and tea leaves. Bikini Berlin was a surprise – a lifestyle mall, you could easily spend the entire day in here exploring. Mykita was one of my favorite spots selling wooden sunglasses.
If I can manage it, next summer I’d like to be back here and just spend the weekend like a Berliner taking in the calm of the day, but make it to dance the night off at Clarchens Ballhaus without fail.
Photos by Lena Braun