I’m not the typical person that arrives to a city and just go to the indicated touristic hubs. I like to walk and discover by myself streets, gardens, cafés and museums. Last autumn, I was in Berlin for my 4th time but for a longer time (5 weeks), enough to discover a new one, an alternative city to tourism, the real one… I kind of became so local that when I had visits and had to be in the city center (TV tower, Branderburger Tor, Reichstag, blabla) I was really pissed off of the crowded touristic places.
So, here my 8 places to discover an unconventional Berlin far from tourists:
1) A karaoke bar near Warschauerstrasse
Near the world-known „East Side Gallery“, there’s a perfect karaoke bar: Monster Ronson’s Ibachin bar (http://www.karaokemonster.de/). The atmosphere, the people, the activities, the happy hour on Tuesdays, the karaoke boxes… entering that bar is kind of going to Wonderland. And if you’re in Berlin for some weeks, you can check if this bar is hosting the lessons and rehearsals of the Berlin Pop Choir (Check the activities in the FB page: http://www.facebook.com/berlinpopchoir/).
2) Picknick in Schlachtensee
You can reach Schlachtensee with the S-Bahn S1 (pink line) from Friedrichstrasse. There’s a walk around the lake of about 5km for having a nice walk and stop somewhere to have a picknick. Really worthy!
3) Sunset from Görlitzer Park
Görlitzer park is not one of the biggest of the city but I was impressed. This park is history itself as you can see the footprint of the war in the big hole in the middle of the park that was done by the bombing from the WWII. We enjoyed the sunset from there. Not the typical sunset above the sea 😛
4) Freedom in Tempelhof
The former airport is an incredible spot of the city. I was living just next to it and I loved to have my coffee and breakfast there and just watched at all the activity that was going on there: people walking, running, skating, with the dogs, doing some kite-skating… Don’t forget to have a look to the amazing and creative allotment garden that’s placed there.
5) Naturpark “Märkische Schweiz” and the lakes
If you’re visiting the city and want to hang out in some lakes in the surroundings (far from those near the city and more crowded of people), you can go to the lakes in the Naturpark “Märkische Schweiz”. You can reach it by car (rental) or by train (you can rent a bike and take it with you too).
6) Go to a concert!
There are concerts every day in Berlin! Check out the performances for the days you’re visiting the city!
7) Disco night? Lido!
A lot of people visit the city to go out during the entire weekend in these crazy and huge electronic discos of the city. I’m not so in electronic and techno music, I prefer alternative, indie, postrock, blabla… and I found in LIDO a good option for going out! Not as expensive as those electronic discos, good atmosphere, good DJ’s and they offer a lot of concerts, even included in the entrance free! I discovered a really nice group from Wien there J – http://www.lido-berlin.de/
8) A rooftop bar in Neuköln
On the “Neuköln Arcadien” building, a commercial building next to the U-bahn station “Rathaus Neukölln” there is a charming rooftop bar from where you can see the entire city and enjoy a drink while having a look at the rooftop garden that they have set up there.
- Tiergarten is big enough for finding some places for yourself.
That huge piece of nature in the middle of Berlin is just… WUNDERBAR! 😀 Spend at least half a day to walk around it.