It’s German Karneval you guys!

February 16th, 2015

Good morning everybody! Today is Rosenmontag!

I’ve never been a german Karneval enthusiast I must say, altough I grew up in a region of Germany, where it’s celebrated HARD. Maybe caused by witches with giant wooden masks, who scared me to death or drunk fat men in clown costumes on the street. Or old candy they threw on you during the parades. Or the terrible music, you had to listen to everywhere and couldn’t get out of your head.

But today, all over the country, there are huge parades, Konfetti, candy, music and people, mostly drunk, in costumes on the streets. Looks like this:

 

http://www.hotel-am-augustinerplatz.de/uploads/pics/rosenmontagszug-koeln-2012-2554065.jpg

©hotelamaugustinerplatzKöln

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.tel-aviv.diplo.de/contentblob/2582580/Galeriebild_gross/646942/karnevalrottweil2.jpg

http://www.neuepresse.de/var/storage/images/np/nachrichten/magazin/uebersicht/der-hoechste-feiertag-der-jecken-koelner-rosenmontagszug-gestartet/19137297-1-ger-DE/Der-hoechste-Feiertag-der-Jecken-Koelner-Rosenmontagszug-gestartet_ArtikelQuer.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Later the day it looks more like this.

http://img.morgenpost.de/img/motor/crop100110184/020872619-ci3x2l-w620/Alkoholkontrolle-DW-Sonstiges-Dortmund.jpg

© morgenpost.de

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part of the Karneval tradition is not only throwing yourself in a costume, getting drunk and roaring song lyrics you learned a minute ago,

but also laughing about the political satire on all the big parades, like in Cologne, Dusseldorf or Mainz. And that can look like this:

http://static.panoramio.com/photos/large/20044159.jpg

©panoramio.com

http://mcdn.newsnetz.ch/bildlegende/140486/1727226_pic_970x641.jpg?1423229071

©newsnetz.ch

 

http://bilder.t-online.de/b/68/32/17/66/id_68321766/610/tid_da/motivwagen-an-rosenmontag.jpg

©t-online.de

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The reason, why I show you all these pics is, you won’t be able to witness any parade here in Berlin. There was never a big tradition here, due to its very own history and the long seperation of the city, the leck of financial support etc. Another reason for me, why I love living here. But newcomers from the heartlands of Karneval brought a little bit of their tradition to the Capital.

If you feel like experiencing this very german tradition, even without a costume, paint your face (at least with some lipstick hearts on your cheeks) and go to one of these places (the KULTURBRAUEREI is actually the closest to our hostel. And there is also a Elektro-Swing Party tonight, starting at 11pm, if you had enough of german Karneval songs…)

 

http://blog.top10berlin.de/tag/rosenmontag-berlin-2015/

 

Oh! also! there’s a live stream of one of the big parades, happening NOW:

 

http://www1.wdr.de/fernsehen/unterhaltung/comedy/sendungen/karneval/rosenmontagszug148.html

 

 

Enjoy!


Berlinale 2015

February 2nd, 2015

Berlinale

Welcome to Berlinale – the international Film Festival “05.02.2015 – 15.02.2015

 

The Berlin Berlinale is the city´s larges event, with almost 20.000 film professonials from 124 different countries are all coming to the exciting capital of Germany. Artists from around the world are attracted to Berlin. Many consider Berlin the unofficial capital of German film. It is the home to a rich cinema scene and a diverse, discerning public. Also, Berlin has captured the imagination of countless filmmakers. Over and over again, the city has served as the backdrop for great silver screen productions, often becoming itself the secret protagonist of the movie. Think “film” and “Berlin” is bound to spring to mind.

For two weeks every year Berlin is totally enraptured by the Berlinale. This festival enjoys by far the largest audience of any filmfestival in the world, with more than 300.000 tickets that are being sold, this year….

About 400 films are shown, the majority of these films are world or European premieres.

The Berlin Festival is divided into different film sections, each one with its own focus:

Competition: “Big” international movies are competing for the prestigious awards, the Silver and Golden Bear

Berlinale Shorts: Short films, radical, independent, controversial, disturbing

Panorama: Independent art house productions and documentaries

German Kino: Latest productions from Germany, including feature and documentary films (all with English subtitles)

Forum: Experimental and cutting edge films, most of them from far-flung corners of the world

Generation: International film selection for kids and teenagers

Tickets may be purchased three days in advance. Tickets for repeat screenings of Competition films may be purchased four days in advance. On the day of the screening, tickets are only available at the box offices of the cinemas themselves and on www.berlinale.de.

Art, business, glamour and Party!!! Don’t miss it…. J

If you need more INFO about Tickets, Venues and Partys just check out www.berlinale.de


Folks. It’s the Superbowl Weekend!

January 31st, 2015

This goes out to all Americans in Berlin. Most of them, right? And to non-Americans like me, who year after year, on a Sunday’s winter night prepare with energy drinks, beer, chips, gather with the other two non-american friends, who also have nothing to do on a Monday morning, switch on the TV around 1AM and wait for the America’s biggest sport event of the year to start, THE SUPER BOWL! So now you’re here in Berlin, dear football enthusiast, thinking about finding a stream to watch it, spending all night in the hostel, being really quiet, because of the unaware and ignorant people in your dorm room, who just don’t get it. It doesn’t have to happen that way! Fortunately enough people in this city LOVE to see the Seahawks destroy their opponent once more,  don’t leave the room during the halftime show (how bad will that be this year!), get excited about ridiculous ads  and actually have nothing to do on a Monday morning. This is where to go fellows!

 

I start with the most american one (it’s SO american!) and the closest one to our hostel, which is convenient, since you can actually walk to that place. It’s, and that probably true, Berlin’s biggest SuperBowl Party, they do everything to  warm up your heart so far away from home: two big screens, a s**tload of flat screens, live english commentary, cheap pitchers, American beer, Burgers, Rips, Wings, serious football fans.

Belushi’s bar

Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße 39-41

free entry

https://www.facebook.com/events/696059220512231/

 

The White Trash Fast Food, now located in the heart of Kreuzberg, doesn’t say much about their SuperBowl Night, it either costs 1 or 3€ entrance (depends on if you look on their website or facebook), but they’re a great venue with awesome staff, serving fantastic burgers and good drinks in a super laid-back atmosphere (try their bowl cocktail! I don’t remember now how it’s called exactly, but it’s a GREAT drink for 3-4 people! With a burning fire in the middle!). White Trash is always a great decision.

White Trash Fast Food

Am Flutgraben 2

http://www.whitetrashfastfood.com/events/

Starts 11pm

 

The FC Magnet Bar, also located in Mitte, is THE bar for local soccer fans. Ask some of our staff, they’re regulars at that place. It’s a small, super friendly bar, good people, good beer, no place to freak out and go crazy, but I feel like often that is the better way to go anyways. So if you want to watch the match in a chilled bar, more intimate than the big Superbowl event, eat good Hotdogs and have cheap good beer, this is your place for Sunday night!

FC MAGNET Bar

Veteranenstr. 26

http://www.fcmagnetbar.de/news/list

starts 11pm as well.

 

Have fun you guys! May the Patriots show the SeaHawks that they aren’t the Broncos!


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Posted in Events in Berlin

Fashion Week Berlin

January 14th, 2015

Starting next monday, Berlin will host on of the most important fashion weeks from the 19th till the 23rd. Models, Hipsters, Fashion Shows and after Partys. The world of fashion in one city. Its “Fashion Week”!!!  Its the perfect time for buyers, trade experts, the media and people that are interested in fashion to collect information at fashion trade shows and attend exhibitions and off-site events.
 Fashionweek

You will find all the different Shows, Labels, Events and after Partys here….

Berlin “Fashion Week”


Various Labels will present their latest collections. Such as Perret Schaad, Whitetail, Sopopular, Isabell de Hillerin, Sadak, Vektor, Bobby Kolade, Odeur, Guido Maria Kretschmer,  Hien le, Anne Gorke, Augustin Teboul, Laurel and many many more.

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week (at Brandenburger Tor)

Enjoy the Show!


Struth! the germs got me

January 4th, 2015

images

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

some weird homespun remedies Germans really use.
i shit you not – they actually work

 

 

1) snuffles: inhalation of salt and chamomile
bring 2 liters water to boil, mix with chamomile ( you can use teabags) and 3 spoons of salt – inhale. helps fighting runny noses
2) sore throat: cold pack
put a wet cloth around your throat, then wrap it with a scarf over night. your body will pump as much blood as possible to the cold region, i.e. your throat. satisfaction guaranteed
3) sore throat: gargling
depends on whether you like it salty or not. I usually gargle a salt solution. alternatively you can bring 500 ml to boil , add  2 spoons of sage and let it simmer for 15 minutes. this tincture tastes better than salt and helps too.
4) cough: onion syrup
cut up an onion in half, sprinkle with sugar and leave covered for 1h. „enjoy“ the juices that appear on the surface. they will not only soothe your cough but are rich in vitamin C.
5) all purpose: beer cure
my fav – it either helps or not, but you  tried at least. beer cure is common on bavaria, but so are marian apparitions….
6) chicken broth
boy, these chicken need to run quickly during flu season. a chicken broth is ubiquitous in winter. it is literally the WD-40 of flu remedies

enough voodoo.
there is also a pharmacy just round the corner from the hostel. ask for aspirin complex if you want to be fit within minutes.


History lesson I. The Royal Palace.

December 29th, 2014

Today it gets historical folks.

As you have probably seen the big construction side on „Unter den Linden“, on the opposite site of the Berlin cathedral, you also might have asked yourself wt* is happening there. Berlin gets it City Palace back!

The history of the „Berliner Schloss“, destroyed in the hail of bombs during the last days of the 2nd world war, actually begins in 1443, at a time, where Berlin didn’t even exist as a city yet, but started together with Cölln as another settlement to develop economically and politically. So hard, that the elector prince Friedrich II. (I had to translate this from the german word „Kurfürst“. If you’re confused, if this means that a prince got elected: Nope. But this helps: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince-elector ) decided to move his residency down to the Spree river, where also trade routes were easier to control.

Unfortunately it is unknown, how the medivial palace looked like. During the 16th century Prince-elector Joachim II. let it mostly tear down and constructed a Renaissance building, which got nearly destroyed during the long years of the Thirty Years War and was again rebuilt under Friedrich Wilhelm, the Great Elector Prince.

It probably looked like this, illustrated by an unknown artist in the year 1685.

664px-Berliner_Schloss_1685

It seemed to be a lot of building, rebuilding, tearing down, inventing new, construction side here, construction side there. Everything we love about our city until today. It’s one big construction side. Anyways, Friedrich III., who should become King Friedrich the First decided in 1701 to change the palace to his permanent fancy high-end royal residence, with a new Baroque facade, new private and representational/above stairs chambers with ceiling paintings and a castle square (where the March revolution of 1848/49 broke ground!)

437px-Rittersaal_(Schlüter)

This form of the place last until the last days of World War II with just slight changes and a dome, constructed between 1845 to 1853.

The City Palace around 1904.

1904

On Feburary 3rd 1945, the day of the hardest air strikes in Berlin, the palace burnt down completely from the inside, beside the Northwest wing and just left the foundation walls with all the plastic decorations (which got destroyed in 1949 during the shooting of the Soviet movie „The Battle of Berlin“!). In 1950 also these remainings got blown up by the GDR govermnent. Today when you walk through the Volkspark Friedrichshain, up on the hill in the middle of the park, you actually walk on the rubbles of this extraordinary royal palace.

kriegsbild

Since 2011 the palace grows and grows back again to finally be completed in 2019 as the Baroque Palace in its last form. There’s tons of information out there, if you’re interested in the developing of the project. You can also go to that big cube on Unter den Linden, the “Humboldt Box”, which provides the plans, models and the history of Berlin’s oldest palace.

Have a look here:

http://www.humboldt-box.com/en/

And now let’s all run for kings and queens and election princes!

 

(all pics Wikipedia)

 


you can’t survive on doner kebabs

December 11th, 2014

better than dönerwell, technically you can. however, if you are tired of lying to your mum what you had for dinner there are some great alternatives.
we have all been there, the question of all questions: food or beer. if you have just a nickel for food here are some suggestions how to save there. canteens are the answer. dirt cheap and apparently healthy. at least they don’t sell ketchup as salad.

there are some great canteens throughout berlin which are open to public, not just the staff.
let me begin with a strange one
police canteen in marzahn (märkische allele 174). renowned for its authentic east german food ( better than it sounds and quite filling)
you will spend less than 4€, guaranteed! it’s for police so don’t go there straight from the club

 

kiezkantine (Oderberger Straße 50,)
a stones thow from the hostel, open on weekdays between 12.00 to15.45. there you get  some great food prepared by people who have  mental issues but make it up by  great  cooking skills. veggie options available.

 

canteen at the volksbühne theather (Linienstraße 227)
accessible from the back of the massive building. food is nothing special but down-home and you will be able to spot some truly interesting people you would normall have to pay to see.

 

universal music canteen (Stralauer Allee 1, Friedrichshain)
pretty swanky – with some wannabees. the highlight is the deck on the river on the oposite side from  watergate.
the food is more international than in the other ones but slighty more expensive. i just checked this week’s menu, pretty delicious for max 7 euros.

 

isin japanese canteen (Mittelstraße 24 , mitte)
just  round the corner from branderburg gate in a bleak back-road you’ll find this fine, yet still affordable sushi restaurant. it’s not really a canteen, however it mostly caters for japanese staff from companies nearby

 

now you don’t have to lie to anybody anymore – you are welcome


ELI5: berlin public transport system

November 27th, 2014
a different ay to use the U-bahn

also a way to use the U-bahn

there is much confusion about how to use our public transport. let me try to explain

tickets:
tickets are valid for 2 hours and must be validated (small box usually located next to the ticket machine). you can only go in one direction. for going back you need a new ticket, even if you still are within the 2 hours.
AB tickets cover all of the city. an ABC ticket is only needed if you want to leave town, i.e. if you want to go to schönefeld airport of potsdam
sort trip tickets are good for 3 stops on U & S and 6 on busses and trams
reduced tickets are for elderly, children or unemployed only.
best value is the day ticket – stamp it ONCE only. if you are staying longer than 5 days buy a week ticket – stamp that one also once only.

means of transportation:
no, there is no difference between U-bahn, S-bahn, busses or trams. tickets are valid for all of them. to companies run the network, the yellow one ( the good ) and the red one (the bad)
S&U usually rum at lest every 5 minutes, from 4am till midnight. N-busses run along underground lines when the underground has stopped.
M-lines: introduced a couple of years ago, confuse still most of the berliners. either trams or busses which operate 24/7 every 10 minutes. quite handy to get home.

what to do at night:
take the following lines to get home:
tram M10 – runs between friedrichshain and prenzlauer berg every 10 minutes. get off at eberswalderstrasse
bus N2 – night bus, operates almost the same route as the U2 every 30 minutes
tram M1 – runs from friedrichstrasse and mitte. get off at kastanienallee
bus N8 takes you from neukölln to hackescher markt, take the N2 from there

this journey planner is also pretty handy 

that’s all folks – if you have any further questions we are more than happy to help. come down to the reception


Prepare for the Winter – Vabali Super Spa

November 26th, 2014

Hey Friends,

 

Berliners know that Berlin only has a 2 seasons, Summer and Winter. Now the time has come. The summer finally saied goodbye to Berlin, the nights are getting longer and the days are getting shorter. And as if that wouldn’t be enough, it’s also getting colder. The Winter in Germany is known to be grey and veeeery cold. The coldest ever measured temperature in Germany was -37,8°C somewhere in Bavaria. Fortunately it doesn’t get as cold here in Berlin. The coldest night measured in Berlin was -24°C in 2012. Not as cold as Bavaria, but still very cold.

 

So how do Berliners survive this cold and dark season?! Here are some suggestions on how to make it through the winter.

 

1. dress properly

 

Like my grandmother said when i was a little boy, “dress like an onion”. Try to wear at least 5 layer of clothes. Vest, shirt, sweater, cardigan and jacket. 2 pair of socks, a pair of thermo underpants and some pants. Gloves, scarf and a hat. (i recommend to put your socks and underwear on the heating before you wear it) Now as you wear 7 kilos of clothes you probably look like that….

 

winter_baby                                  foto (www.markt.de)

 

2. Relax in a Spa

 

Whats better than lean back and enjoy the heat of a sauna when it is cold and grey outside?! Right! A massaga just after the sauna. :D Berlin offers various places to relax and escape from the cold. One very special Spa is the “Vabali premium Spa” close by the Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Hbf). There you can feel free to enjoy their spacious sauna area with soothing salt, honey, and fruit aromatherapy, numerous pools and relaxation areas, harmoniously-designed massage and wellness treatment premises.

 

spa 2                                  foto (www.vabali.de)

 

Vabali premium Spa

 

3. Spend some time at the Christmas Market

 

So you are wrapped in lots of clothes and relaxed after sauna. Now you are just missing a hot and stong “Glühwein” (mulled wine). During this time of the year you can find them pretty much anywhere. But they taste best at the christmas markets. I recommend to visit the one at “Gendarmenmarkt”. It is known to be the most beautiful christmas market. Close by the museum island. It’s nice and cosy. Good food, some little shows at their stage and many little shops that sell homemade thingies. if you prefer to visit an action christmas market, then go to Alexanderplatz. Here you will find roller coasters, shooting stands, bumper car and many more attractions. But be careful with your bags! Unfortunately it is the most profitable time for pickpockets.

 

weihmarkt              foto (www.schopaholic.livejournal.com)

 

Christmas Market at Gendarmenmarkt

 

How to Prevent Being Pickpocketed

 

have a good winter time here in Berlin!… :D


Mele Kalikimaka everybody!

November 23rd, 2014

It’s that time of the year again! With sparkling lights, mulled wine, Lebkuchen, Christmas gifts, Santa Clauses, little Jesuses, music, really bad and really good food and a billion of people, enjoying this very german Advent season traditions. Berlin hosts over sixty Christmas markets annually and here are some of our favorites!

 

http://www.tvmovie.de/sites/www.tvmovie.de/files/import/images/content/69793/schoene-bescherung-G1_3572452.jpg

 

 

Really close to our hostel you can visit the Scandinavian-themed Lucia Weihnachtmarkt in the Kulturbrauerei. Much smaller than other markets, but definitely cosier and concentrated on more alternative food, drinks and wonderful gift ideas. And a real Santa Claus!

Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt in der Kulturbrauerei, 24 November to 22 December, 2014. Mon-Fri 3-10pm, Sat & Sun 1-10pm. Admission: free.

 

The “Nostalgischer Weihnachtsmarkt am Opernpalais

With live music, family activities, art exhibitions and more than 200 stands of crafts and food, the stretch between Staatsoper and Opernpalais gives you the perfect Christmas feeling and leaves you with warm hearts and a shitload of Christmas presents. :)

Nostalgischer Weihnachtsmarkt am Opernpalais, 24 November to 28 December, 2014. Open Mon to Thu 12pm-9.30pm, Fri& Sat 11am-10.30pm, Sun 11am-21.30pm; 24 Dec Closed; 25-28 Dec 11.30am-9pm). Admission: free

 

Christmas market at the Gedächtniskirche                                                      

One oft he biggest christmas markets in West-Berlin and a West-Berlin classic. In the middle of re-born shopping district „City-West“ the focus lies still on german cristmasy food, even after 30 years. So, if you’re looking for mulled wine, “Grünkohl”, “Bratwurst” and “Weihnachtsbrot”, this is your place.

Weihnachtsmarkt an der Gedächtniskirche, Breitscheidplatz, 10789, Charlottenburg, 24.11.-.1.15, So-Do 11-21 Uhr, Fr+Sa 11-22 Uhr, 24.12. 11-14 Uhr, 25.+26.12. 13-21 Uhr, 31.12. 11-2 Uhr, 1.1. 13-21 Uhr

 

Holy Heimat!
The „Neue Heimat“, located on the RAW-Area in Friedrichshain, usually a great weekly food market with live music and DJS, turns into the „Holy Heimat“ during the Advent season. Beside delicious street food, youl’ll get great christmasy stuff and can even drive a round skating rink!

Holy Heimat, Revaler Straße 99, Neue Heimat, RAW-Gelände, Tor 3, 12045, Friedrichshain, 27.11.-21.12., Do+Fr 15-24 Uhr, Sa+So 12-24 Uhr

 

Weihnachtsmarkt on the Gendarmenmarkt                                               

This is a classic one in Berlin-Mitte. Doesn’t need many words. It’s a beautiful place, not too big, but probably very packed.

Gendarmenmarkt, 10117, Mitte, 24.11-31.12., tgl. 11-22 Uhr, 24.+31.12. 11-18 Uhr, 25.+26.12. 11-22 Uhr

 

Nostalgic Christmas market in front of Schloss Charlottenburg               

This is something for our honeymoon love birds. The market looks beautiful with all its wooden little houses and shining roofs, Christmas pyramids and you can try fantastic food like fresh smoked lax and mushrooms.

24 November to 28 December, 2014. Mon-Thu 2-10pm, Fri-Sun 12-10pm. Christmas Eve closed. Admission: free.

 

Spandau Christmas Market                                                                                   

Before you go to the terrible version of a Christmas market at Alexander Platz, take the time and drive with the U7 to the end of the line, it’s worth it! You’ll be rewarded with the biggest Christmas market in Berlin, located in the old town of Spandau. The village-like looking area has more than 250 stalls and Christmas rock concerts every Friday, a St.Nikolai Christmas garden, a traditional craft market and apparently (I’ve never seen it myself) a medivial plague procession every wednesday :O

Spandauer Weihnachtsmarkt, 26 November to 23 December, 2014. Sun-Thu 11am-8pm, Fri 11am-9pm, Sat 11am-10pm. Admission: free.

 

Stay updated with us on Facebook and Google+ for weekly updates and information about dozens of Christmas markets, which will take place just on specific weekends during December like the Rixdorfer Weihnachstmarkt, “Weihnachts-Rodeo” in Prenzlauer Berg, the Holy Shit Shopping weekend and many, many more.

And now let’s become a little emotional and listen to one of the greatest christmas songs ever, which is NOT “Last christmas” by Wham, although that’s a pretty good song ;)

 

 


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Posted in Allgemein