Berlin, Germany’s capital, drives youthful creatives to its city’s neighbourhoods in their droves making it one of the most free-thinking and creative places to visit in the world.
Over the years Berlin has come to be known as the hipster capital of Europe. Unsurprisingly, with its vibrant 24h-hour nightlife, an array of effortlessly cool cafes and bars and a growing culinary scene to visit, Berlin offers culture unmatched by other major cities.
Walking along the River Spree as the sun sets over Berlin Cathedral. Crisp golden leaves litter the early autumn pavement as you decide which of the cities eclectic restaurants to eat at. The German architecture takes you back in time with its gothic influences.
Head onto the U-Bahn and pick one of Berlin’s many areas to try out new and varied cuisines and, once you’ve washed is down with a local beer, its time to try out its happening nightlife, feeling the pulse of the music and the haze of the flashing lights as you and hundreds of other strangers throw life’s worries aside and party the night away.
One of Berlin’s many facets is its ability to mix old and new. As well as having a historical and cultural past such as the likes of Brandenburg Gate, Berlin offers visitors more modern and hip ventures such as Weddings basement gigs or Kreuzberg’s hectic club scene.
Here, Far Out as picked out all of its favourites to inspire your trip:
Planning a trip to one of Europe’s hippest locations can be daunting, and yes there is a lot going on. Thankfully though, you’re in luck as Far Out here have done the leg-work to find out the coolest and most thriving places so you can get the most out of your time in this cultural hub of Germany.
Brimming with nightclubs, street food and art galleries, Kreuzberg has long been the hub for young and trendy people to culminate. Its alternate lifestyle highlights the gritty and glamorous nature of Berlin.
Maybe the most ultracool location in any city, Kreuzberg’s diverse culture is a great spell that has drawn tourists and entrepreneurs to its streets and together they have made it the area that has the highest density of clubs in Europe.
First opened in February of 1902 Kotbusser Tor (or Kotti to locals), the area has fast become the hideout for beatniks, hipsters and dandies.
Seen as an emblem of a powerfully diverse neighbourhood, it is like a hyped up version of Kreuzberg with vibrant and exhilarating scenes and heaps of authentic cuisines. This cool hotspot has late night flower shops and cool hangouts.
Known as the up-and-coming neighbourhood of Berlin, it has had slower growth than Kreuzberg but is definitely an area no to be missed. Almost instantly you will feel at home here, people tend to stay here longer so you won’t have the tourist feel that some of the other neighbourhoods will.
Given the diverse culture of places like Kreuzberg which has seen more English speaking people in the area, Wedding is more traditional and, obviously German is the predominant language is spoken on the street, which gives a more authentic feel and a chance to try out broken German. Its influx of bar, dance studios, vegan restaurants, clubs in abandoned swimming pools and gigs in basements enhance its strong appeal to young travellers.
Hailed as Berlin’s latest centre of all things cool, Neukölln is worth planning a trip to. Many have discussed its changes have been that quick that even Google Maps can’t always keep up-to-date.
The area is now littered with vegan cafes, lively hybrid stores and art galleries with what was once abandoned. In keeping with Berlin’s nature of changing the old into something new and fresh Neukolln embodies everything that Berlin stands for.
East Berlin’s former neighbourhood, it is often sought after by tourists for having the longest stretch of the Berlin wall, the East Side Gallery and the socialist boulevard, Karl-Marx-Allee. As well as these aspects, this neighbourhood has punk-locals, artists and a nightlife that is unique to this part of Berlin, inspired by the people the walk its streets.
Don’t Miss Out On…
Meeting at the boarders between Neukölln and Kreuzberg, this small bar with shiplike interior offers an eclectic array of dishes that changes week in and week out. It is the perfect place to visit with an amazing summer garden ambience.
It is a must for anyone who is visiting the neighbourhood of Kreuzberg.
Situated in the Mita district, this art gallery is a treasure trove of contemporary art, sculptures, spatial installations, light and performance-based work and more.
Housed behind metre-thick walls, it is not the usual aesthetic for a museum to say the very least. There are no signs telling you where to go and no reference to this being a museum. It consists of around 500 works in total by artists such as Damian Hirst, Olafur Eliasson, Wolfgang Tillmans, Anselm Reyle and many more.
Does this really need any introduction?
Set in a former power station, Berghain is one of Berlin’s most exclusive clubs. So much so, no one has any idea what the rules are for getting in. There have been assertions on forums, but none has a clear idea of what it takes. Infamous Sven, Marquardt agent states that “he seeks inspiration from the nocturnal atmosphere and meets characters that awaken his visions; he is able to discern the potential of his protagonists before they even suspect a thing.”
If you manage to be one of the 1500 strong crowd that gets in for a weekend for euphoric tales and pumping techno head over to Berghain and see if can get passed the clubs legendary bouncers.
Getting There and When…
Winter in Berlin is cheaper than the summer. With that in mind, if you needed to pick some specifics then chilly December is a good month and you’ll be able to make the most of those legendary German Christmas markets. January and February are usually the coldest months but can be great for new year celebrations. Summer starts in June until late August, but keep in mind these are peak times for tourism so prices and hotel options may vary.
Berlin has two airports Tegel and Schönefeld. Tegel is north-west of the city, a mere five kilometres. The quickest ruote is to take the underground network to the city centre via the 109 and 128 buses. The quickest way from Schönefeld, which is 18km south-east of the city is by S45 and S9 suburban railway lines.
If you are planning to rent a car be aware that downtown Berlin is an environmental zone. This means that you need to get your vehicle a sticker to indicate its emissions rating.