well, 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
there is much confusion about how to use our public transport. let me try to explain
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
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….
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. 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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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. Mostmemorials, regionalandhistoricalmuseumsandcollectionsin generalgrantfree admission.
So here is a list of the admission free museums and memorials:
Abguss-Sammlung Antiker Plastik
Architekturmuseum der TU
Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas (Ort der Information)
Deutsch-Russisches Museum Berlin-Karlshorst
Dokumentationszentrum Berliner Mauer
Dokumentationszentrum NS-Zwangsarbeit Berlin-Schöneweide
Erinnerungsstätte Notaufnahmelager Marienfelde
Friedrichswerdersche Kirche – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer
Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand
Gedenkstätte Köpenicker Blutwoche
Gedenkstätte Stille Helden
Gedenkstätte und Museum Sachsenhausen
Gotisches Haus – Stadtgeschichtliches Museum Spandau
Haus am Lützowplatz
Haus der Wannseekonferenz (bei Gruppen und für Sonderausstellungen wird Eintritt erhoben)
Informations- und Dokumentationszentrum der Bundesbeauftragten für die Stasi-Unterlagen
Luftwaffenmuseum der Bundeswehr
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
Museumsverbund Pankow (ehemaliges Panke Museum, Standort Heynstraße)
Museumsverbund Pankow (Standort Prenzlauer Allee)
Sportmuseum: für Ausstellungen
Topographie des Terrors
If you need more Info, just ask us at the reception.
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.
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 yearManufacturersandTraders of handicraftsandcraftsfrom around the world meet in Berlintoshow theirhigh-quality ethnicandnatural products.
One of the most exciting exhibitions I’ve seen the past months is “Ryan Trecartin – Site Visit”, the first solo show in Germany by the video artist Ryan Trecartin, in the “Kunst-Werke for contemporary art” in Berlin-Mitte. Trecartin, born 1981 and based in Los Angeles, creates videos and installations, which alienate us on the first glance, but seem familar at the same time. He draws his contents, narratives and aesthetics from elements of Pop culture with protagonists, we think we know, but cuts, edits and shows us his images in such a fast, frenetic pace, that I felt uncomfortable, excited, amused and totally confused while watching. Video art is an art form, which might be hard to enjoy at the beginning, it is not as easy to receive as a good old Warhol painting or concrete art in general, but it invites the spectator to question their own perception towards a still relatively new art form and their expectations of what art is and can be. Ryan Trecartin’s video installation in the Kunst-Werke (the room is spectacular by the way!) absorbs you and leaves that feeling of wanting to explore much more of it.
I have great sympathy for art which I don’t understand right away, which confuses me and makes me curious and let me think about it for weeks. If you are interested in that and in an artist, who the MoMa PS1 and “The New Yorker” celebrated as “the most consequential artist to have emerged since the 1980s”, you found one of your activities for your Berlin visit.
For more information go to the website of the KW: http://www.kw-berlin.de/en/exhibitions/site_visit_432
Berlin is known for having one of the best Club scenes on this Planet. Various venues which couldnotbe more different, exciting and sometimes mind-blowing. Especially in the Electro scene. But Berlin of course has got more to offer than heavy Techno and Rock nights. Our lovely city is also an important center of Jazz. Plenty of world known Jazz musician live and work in Berlin such as Jocelyn B. Smith and Till Bronner, one of the best German jazz trumpeter.
Also still going on until the 30th of November, an impressive exhibition about how Berlin would look like if the Nazis would have won the 2nd World War so that Hiteler’s and Albert Spreer‘s dream of a world capital would have come true. Fortunately it never came as far. But the constructional drawings and miniaturemodels of what they have planed can be seen at the “Berliner Unterwelten” side close to S-Bahn “Gesundbrunnen Center”. For instance they planed to build an arch de Triumph that was supposed to be like 10 times bigger than the one in Paris…
You can visit the exhibition form Thursday to Sunday, 11am till 6pm. The admission charge is 5€.
More Info about the exhibition you will find on their website.
From the 10th until the 19th October, Berlin will sparkle as a range of illuminations and projections light up more than 60 famous landmarks and spaces.
Come to Berlin and experience fantastic light shows all through the city center. This year more than 60 sights, squares and buildings in Berlin will be amazingly illuminated during the coming two weeks. If you visit Berlin during this time, you should really go for sightseeing by night!!!!
All major sights, famous landmarks, historical buildings and cultural monuments become transformed by light and projections. It is an unique sight! Brandenburg Gate, Berliner Dom and the TV Tower are being put in a different, artistic light. It is a once in a year unique opportunity to see Berlin by night! The Berlin Festival of lights is one of the biggest illumination events in the entire world. And the cool thing is, the festival is totally admission-free!
This top artistic and cultural event attracts people from all over the globe. Beside the fact that the festival attracts a lot of tourists, also a lot of hobby(photographers) come to Berlin to experience the city by night, in a different light. For photographers it is an unique opportunity to play with light and use the festival to make artistic pictures of some of the most beautiful spots in Berlin.
Special “light-seeing” tours on the Light-Liner bus, by boat on the Light-Ship, on foot with the Light-Cruso or by rickshaw with the Light-Velo will give locals and visitors alike the chance to experience the creative compositions up close. Check the “Festival of Lights” website to inform yourself on the timetable for the LIGHT-SEEING!
So, what’s going on in our neighbourhood?
Our hostel is surrounded by many interesting streets. One of them is Torstrasse, a 5 minute walk to the south. A couple of years ago expats tried to establish the terms NoTo and SoTo to describe the areas north and south of Torstrasse. The question is not if they succeeded ( they did not), but what makes Torstrasse so interesting to be compared with Houston Street in NY. For sure, it is not its beauty. With its loud traffic and grey facades it resembles more the typical Berlin street just after the wall came down. However, here you will find some of the most interesting shops, restaurants and bars Berlin has to offer. Let me try explain. Here is a small selection of places I really like.
They serve only one menu per day, but the effin best authentic French food you find that night. Reserve ahead
Good beer, proper drinks and the best thing – you are protected from the outside by dark curtains and masked windows. Hire somebody to drag you out at a fix time, or you will start the next day here.
An institution for the digital Boheme due to its free wifi ( and the beautiful view of Rosetnthaler Platz). There is also an ever-changing daily menu as well as a variety of fresh juices and coffee
Modern Chinese kitchen with delicious and exciting dishes. Just order the crazy orange chicken. Not too expensive and plenty of seats.
You like some fancy shades that would compliment face ? They are best destination for vintage glasses in Berlin, not only because of their range but also for the professional guidance.
3 Minutes sur Mer
Oh lala. This is some really nice French food. Make sure you reserve in advance. This is the smaller and cheaper bistro style brother of Bandol sur Mer. If you are into French cuisine, but prefer a more relaxed atmosphere this is your place.
My fav halloumi shawarma place. Easily to overlook and quite non-descript, thiss place serves delicious arab street foods for a decent price. ( in case you spent too much on a French tarte and are still hungry)
Well, not really a bright star on Torstrasse, but an honest one. The best description is in the name already – sports bar. No-frills, no bs, but beer and Bundesliga.
Unpretentious 1920s style bar. They brew their own beer, which is by far less boring than most pilsners you can get in Berlin bars. The service is not overly friendly but low-key, so you can spend hours there. Located on a corner, you have many windows heading on Tortrasse. Please avoid if you are non smoker.
Adidas’ first select store worldwide. They have, what other won’t, limited issues of Adidas collabs with renowned designers – always strictly limited and hard to get.
The only thing you need to do now, is to come to our hostel and we will point to the right direction. See you in NoTo