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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some songs about the best city in the world ( not NY )

November 20th, 2014
Marlene-Dietrich-Berlin11

all rights reserved by Paramount pictures

before techno there was….singing. I KNOW!!!

in chronological order, some musical gems

1899 berliner luft
a well known paean of praise for the berlin air which makes everything splendid. obviously written before traffic jams. berliner luft is also the name for a refreshing mint liqueur.

1929 roter wedding
translates to red wedding – no connection with GOT! wedding was a communist district and so is the song. written in a time in which street fight between fascist and “reds”  were on a daily bases. watch the vid for some awesome pics of that time

 

no list is  finished without marlene dietrich

1954 Ich hab noch einen Koffer in Berlin
she is the original star of the golden 20ies. said fuck you to the nazis and their wish for some more propaganda. stayed true, made an international career  and died in paris. this song is about her never ending love for her home town. the title means ” i still have a suitcase in berlin. big up marlene!

1972 Rauch-Haus-Song
THE song about the vast squatting history in berlin. half of kreuzberg and schöneberg was squatted at that time. jolly times. there are better versions of this song, but the

1973 berlin
i don’t exactly know what lou reed was doing at that time here, but i assume the same david bowie was doing -….i was all so nice, it was paradise…
well, enjoy boys

1980 berlin
 boy, so many great songs emerged in the 80ies. this is my fav. nice NDW touch

no listing for the 90ies.  i have no idea what happened then i think i went to a party or sth.

2001 dickes b
translates as fat ( or rather phat) b, noting dubious here. a big berlin tune and an anthem for years.

2013 where are we now?
david. we still need to figure it out

 

enjoy my little list – see you at the reception


Free Museums and Memorials

November 19th, 2014

Hey Friends,

 

Its getting cold and rainy. Beeing outside all day to see all the sights is not as pleasant as during the summer time. So why dont escape the cold and visit some museums?! Berlin is City full of Art and Partys, but we also offer a wide range of museums and memorials. Beside all the big and famous museums, such as “Pergamon” or “Neues Museum”, there are many many others that are worth a visit. Most memorials, regional and historical museums and collections in general grant free admission. 

So here is a list of the admission free museums and memorials:

 

AlliiertenmuseuAnti-Kriegs-MuseumArchitekturmuseum der TU, Daimler Contemporary Deutsch-Russisches Museum Berlin-KarlshorstDeutscher DomDokumentationszentrum Berliner MauerEnergie-Museum BerlinGaslaternenmuseumTränenpalastWilly-Brandt-HausZucker-MuseumMuseum der Unerhörten Dinge, …. These are just a few with links. There are many more…..

 

domFoto (www.tierjarten.de)

 

Abguss-Sammlung Antiker Plastik
Alliiertenmuseum
Anti-Kriegs-Museum
Architekturmuseum der TU
Bezirksmuseum Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg
Bezirksmuseum Marzahn-Hellersdorf
Blinden-Museum Steglitz
Bockwindmühle Marzahn
Bundeskanzler-Willy-Brandt-Stiftung
Daimler Contemporary
Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas (Ort der Information)
Deutsch-Russisches Museum Berlin-Karlshorst
Deutscher Dom
Dokumentationszentrum Berliner Mauer
Dokumentationszentrum NS-Zwangsarbeit Berlin-Schöneweide
Energie-Museum Berlin
Erinnerungsstätte Notaufnahmelager Marienfelde
Friedrichswerdersche Kirche – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
Galerie Spandow
Gaslaternenmuseum
Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer
Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand
Gedenkstätte Köpenicker Blutwoche
Gedenkstätte Plötzensee
Gedenkstätte Stille Helden
Gedenkstätte und Museum Sachsenhausen
Gotisches Haus – Stadtgeschichtliches Museum Spandau
Grünauer Wassersportmuseum
Haus am Lützowplatz
Haus der Wannseekonferenz (bei Gruppen und für Sonderausstellungen wird Eintritt erhoben)
Heimatmuseum Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf
Heimatmuseum Köpenick
Heimatmuseum Reinickendorf
Heimatmuseum Treptow
Heimatmuseum Lichtenberg
Heimatmuseum Steglitz
Heimatmuseum Zehlendorf
Historisches Leuchtenmuseum
Informations- und Dokumentationszentrum der Bundesbeauftragten für die Stasi-Unterlagen
Jugendmuseum Schöneberg
Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien
Luftwaffenmuseum der Bundeswehr
Mendelssohn-Remise
Mies van der Rohe-Haus
Mitte Museum am Festungsgraben
Mitte Museum am Gesundbrunnen
Museum Blindenwerkstatt Otto Weidt
Museum der Staatlichen Münze Berlin
Museum der Unerhörten Dinge
Museum der Verbotenen Kunst
Museum Neukölln
Museumsverbund Pankow (ehemaliges Panke Museum, Standort Heynstraße)
Museumsverbund Pankow (Standort Prenzlauer Allee)
Naturwissenschaftliche Sammlung
Spandovia Sacra
Sportmuseum: für Ausstellungen
Tempelhof Museum
Topographie des Terrors
Tränenpalast
Willy-Brandt-Haus
Zucker-Museum
Zweiradmuseum
 

If you need more Info, just ask us at the reception.

 

Have a nice day! :)


Berlin microbreweries

November 13th, 2014

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alright , alright. German beers may have a good image, but let’s face it. IMHO Pilsener is boring. It is designed to be drunk in large quantities, and it really works! You can have 6, 7, 8 or more beers and the next morning you are like “half an aspirin, a glass of coke and off I go”. But really., every time I drink a Helles, I almost fall asleep from the boredom in my mouth.

here are some lovely, local alternatives, in case you think the same

1) Eschenbräu

the premises don’t look inviting, unless you grew up in a concrete block like me. they have different type of brews, also pilsener.. however theirs tastes so much better than the bottled alternatives from the  bottle shop. try the dark one if you are more into malty flavors. definitely one of my favorites in Berlin. once you enter the pub you will quickly forget the bunker feeling you had outside.

2) hops and barley

beautiful pub in an old butchery. in their cellar they brew pilsener, dark, wheat beers and always a special. i usually take the special. the prices are surprisingly moderate and the beers delicious. they also show football games and have a down to earth menu: sausage and pickles.

3) Prassnik

I promised the owner not to promote his pub since it is rather small, but hey! the pub is a 5 minutes walk from our hostel. please only go there if you are a smoker or want to take up smoking. as i mentioned, the pub is small but the beer is totally worth it. cheers

4) Vagabund

definitely the spot for those who miss a proper pale ale.  in the absence of alternatives to pilsener he owners found their own brewery. perfect spot for great minds who think alike.

5) Bier kombinat

a no frills bar for those who don’t need any bling with beer. alongside own creations they have a large collection of bottles from other microbreweries. don’t miss this spot if you are in kreuzberg, it is truly unique

 

come people, come. fine beers have finally arrived in berlin.

cheers

 


Professional Sport Clubs in Berlin

November 12th, 2014

Hey Friends,

 

today we would like to introduce Berlins biggest Sport Clubs to you. Berlin offers a wide range of Sport Clubs. Such as Football Clubs, Ice Hockey Clubs, Basketball Clubs, Handball Clubs and so on… Some of these Clubs also play in the first German leagues. It is always a special event for us to visit a game, because the atmosphere in our Stadiums is fantastic!! Berlins Fan scene is quit large, as the smaller citys around Berlin don’t have any big Sports Clubs. So many people form the surroundings visit Berlin on the weekenend to see their favortie team playing. Also the entrance fee, compared to other Countrys, is pretty cheap.

 

Foto (vom Deutschen Volleyball Verband)

 

Hertha BSC

 

Hertha BSC is one of the oldest football Clubs in Germany. It was founded on Juli 25th 1892. The Home games are played at the “Olympiastadion”in Charlottenburg – Wilmerdorf. Unfortunately this team is not one of the stronger football Clubs in germany, the last time they have been German Champion was in 1931, but it is always great to be at a game. Their stadium can host up to 77.000 people. So its LOUD!! And the regular visiting Fans, especially the so called “Ostkurve”, direct great fan koreografi‘s. Tickets cost between 15 and 50€. To get there, you simply use the “U2″ Metro line. It will go all the way to the Olympic Stadium. Next match day in Berlin is the 29th of November. They will play against the current Germany Champion “Bayern Munich”.

 

Alba Berlin

 

Alba Berlin is the biggest and most successfull Basketball Club in Berlin and Germany. They have won the Cup for the last 2 years and have been German Champion for several times. Their home base is the “O2-World” right at Ostbahnhof Station. It can host up to 17.000 people. Tickets cost 8 – 70€. The next match day is Sunday the 23rd.

 

Eisbären Berlin

 

The “polar bears” berlin are the most successfull Hockey team in Germany. Since they have been founded in 1950, they have been 15 times GDR-Champion and 7 times German Champion. Their home base is also the “O2-World”. Tickets would cost 15 – 20€. Next match day is the 16th of November.

 

Füchse Berlin

 

The “foxes Berlin” are Berlins biggest Handball Club. handball is a pretty european Sport and not very famous overseas. But it is an intense Sport full of little fights and strain. If you havn’t seen a game yet, it might be time to visit one. Their home base is the “Max-Schmeling-Halle” Berlin. Just one metro stop away from the Hostel. Tickets would cost 8 – 30€. Next match day is the 16th of November.

 

If you need more Info about matchdays or how to get to the staduims, just ask us at the reception.

 

Enjoy your Berlin Stay!! :D


The days are getting colder…

November 10th, 2014

…so do the evenings. What many of us Berliners love to do in early winter, and so do I, is to explore Berlin’s wonderful cineastic scene, far away from all those giant Imax-3D-monstrous Screen-8€Popcorn-Hollywood-Blockbuster-asbadasTheExpandablesTwo-movie theaters. Luckely, there are a lot of people who really love movies, are interested in movie theaters, which feel more like a big comfortable living room and express their love and knowledge in a way you can totally see and esteem, once you stepped into one of the little venues. All the things you would definitely miss in a big theater like the Cinemax at the Sony Center (which by the way can be great, if you like 3D and stupid but entertaining action movies. I saw the last Star Trek there and it was AWESOME!)

Here is a very small but personal list of my favorite little movie theaters in Berlin:

Number One for me is definitely the “B-ware Ladenkino” in Friedrichshain, with their little bar in the front room and 5 movie rooms, labyrinthine somewhere on the ground floor. From arthouse to b-movies to documentaries and horror trash (like the fantastic Sharknado II) or the series “Worst movies in the world”, the guys who run this theater are real enthusiastics, interested in original versions and even got a oldschool film projector for their screenings.

http://ladenkino.de/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/ladenkino2.jpghttp://4.bp.blogspot.com/-kI49pRCmzpg/TzqJwIZ_rOI/AAAAAAAABwI/BUzUh_Axcb4/s1600/Lumberjack%2BDisco.jpg

http://ladenkino.de/

 

An even smaller one (just 32 seats!), but beautiful and actually really close to the hostel,  is the “Lichtblick-Kino” on Kastanienallee. Their aspiration goes way more to avangardistic, experimental and political movies as well as to old Hollywood Classics.

Berlin's Lichtblick Kino, Prenzlauer Berg

http://www.lichtblick-kino.org/

 

The “Eiszeit”-Kino in Kreuzberg has it roots in the West-Berlin squat scene of the early 1980’s. Since 1981 movies were shown in the shed of the backyard house, documentaries, short movies, avantgarde film and porn.

Today it is a love little venue with two screening rooms, but still with  an extra-ordinary movie selection I really love:  experimental, nonconformist, challenging.

 

http://www.eiszeitkino.de/css/images/foyertische.jpghttp://www.eiszeitkino.de/css/images/hofeingangtag.jpg

http://www.eiszeitkino.de/

 

All theaters show movies in OV, often with Subtitles. :) HAVE FUN!

 

 

all pics ©Ladenkino, Lichtblick, Eiszeit


Upcoming events…

November 5th, 2014

Hey Friends,

 

winter is coming to Berlin slowly but surely. The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting colder. Walking around Berlin sights all day is not as pleasant as usual. Now it is the time for Spa’s and Cinema’s! Berlin offer a wide range of different Spa/ Saune and Wellness places.

 

Here is a list of our Top 5:

 

1. Float Berlin

 

2. Saunabad

 

3. Olivin – Wellness Lounge Sauna

 

4. Ruhepool Berlin

 

5. Stadtbad Neukölln

 

stadtbadStadtbad Neukölln (© Berliner Bäderbetriebe)

 

International Shortfilm Festival

 

So now as you are warm and relaxed, what about some nice Shortfilm Festival?!?  Berlin will host the 30th annual Shortfilm FestivalIt will take place between November 11th and 16th in various venues. Such as Babylon Mitte, Volksbühne, Roter Salon, Grüner Salon, Passage Kino, Filmtheater am Friedrichshain, Eiszeit Kino, Central and Bi Nuu. There will be 500 shortfilms shown from about 100 countrys. With approximately 19.000 visitors it is the biggest Shortfilm Festival in Berlin. Check it out!

 

International Shorfilm Festival Berlin

 

Bazaar

 

Also starting next week, a BIG trade fair at the “Messe Berlin”. It is called “Bazaar” and will take place between November the 12th and 16th. Once a year Manufacturers and Traders of handicrafts and crafts from around the world meet in Berlin to show their high-quality ethnic and natural products.

 

Check it out: Bazaar

 

For more Info just ask at the reception….

 

Have a great time in Berlin :D


Berlin Berlin

November 3rd, 2014

Alex

You might have heard of, Berlin once had a wall running through the middle.
After 25 year of reunification most signs of the separation have disappeared. Quite often you don’t really know if you are in the west or the east. The years of division have nevertheless left some peculiar trails. In most cities you usually have only 1 of which Berlin has 2. Some examples?
The zoo
Do you want to visit the zoo? Alright, you can choose between the famous one and the Tierpark in the east. I prefer the second. Why? Because it is much more spacious and renowned for its reproduction which means many cute baby animals in springtime.
Botanical garden
You can choose between a park style garden with admission or the botanical peoples park with no admission. Have a guess which one is where…
Football
For its size and importance Berlin has 2 bleak football teams. One is Hertha with the fantastic Olympic stadium as home ground. The other one is Union, a working class club. Union fans collected money to rebuild their stadium as the club itself did not have enough capital.
Airports
Landing in Tegel feels more like arriving by bus. The Airport is small and cozy with short transfer to city centre. There was simply not enough space for a huge airport in a fenced up city.
Arriving in Schönefeld doesn’t feel like landing in the economic power horse of Europe at all. This was the GDR Berlin Airport and hasn’t lost any of its socialist character.
The new, central airport was due to open 2 years ago. The new deadline is 2016. Berlin, you did it again…

There are many more examples, like e.g. 2 opera houses, 2 observatories and so on.
Be careful in taxis – -the Schwedterstrasse you are looking for is in the east!!!


Uncanny places – a cemetery tour to Berlins history

October 28th, 2014

There are many places to visit in Berlin. Some are less obvious than others. Cemeteries give you a profound insight in the past. There are many throughout the city worth visiting. Easiest to be visited with a bike of a jetpack.  We do have some for rent at our reception, bikes I mean.

Soviet War Memorial at Treptower park
One of 3 built soviet memorials in Berlin after WWII. 5000 of the 80000 soldiers who fell during the battle of Berlin are buried there. With its huge statues it is one of the most compelling places in the city. The maintenance and repair of the site was a part of the agreement between Germany and USSR. Otherwise the Russians would have said NJET to the reunification.

Dorotheenstadt cemetery
Dates back to the 18th century – this is the VIP cemetery in Berlin and also one of the abundantly decorated. If you are into German philosophers this is the one you must not miss. Hegel und Marcuse, Heinrich Mann and Bertolt Brecht are buried here. Berlin maintains also  a number of honorary graves for people who made distinguished contributions in politics and culture. The entrance is Chausseestr 126 in Mitte

Friedhöfe am Halleschen Tor
A complex of several cemeteries connected rich in famous names
E. T. A. Hoffmann, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy and  Carl von Siemens ( the founder of the famous German Corporation) are buried here. Entrance is Mehringdamm 21 und in der Zossener Straße 1

Invalidenfriedhof
Different histories collide here. Resting place for Prussian generals, this cemetery was cut in half to make room for the Berlin wall and watchtowers. You can still see the madness of both, Prussian warmongering and GDR madness.  This was also the last resting place for Manfred von Richthofen (the ‘Red Baron’)

Weißensee Cemetery
Second  largest (100acres) Jewish cemetery in Europe. 1880 the existing cemetery at Schönhauser Allle ( 5 minutes walk from our hostel)  became too small so this one as established. It contains approximately 115,000 graves. Entrance Herbert-Baum-Straße

Zentralfriedhof Friedrichsfelde
Definitely THE socialist/communist  cemetery in Berlin
Among others Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Liebknecht, Walter Ulbricht and Erich Mielke are buried here. There is also a permanent Exhibition about the labour movement and its members. U-Lichtenberg