Wednesday, 6 April 2016

My Berlin Top 10

So at long last I got the chance to visit a city I've always wanted to see - BERLIN! I spent a semester in West Germany studying Communication Design at Fachhochschule Düsseldorf in 2013 and looking back, I can't believe I never made the trip until now. I went with my HND class and we stayed for a week at the Wombat's Hostel. I would highly recommend this - especially if going in a big group - as we were in such a brilliant location and it was less than £300 for the week and that was including flights to and from Edinburgh. We were only one U-bahn stop from Alexander Platz and the rooftop bar and terrace had amazing views of the TV Tower (and cheap beer)!

I absolutely loved every single thing about the city. The graffiti, design shops and bars are all so cool and creative I really didn't want to leave! If I could pick just 10 things I would recommend to do they would be:

The archive documents the Bauhaus movement and they have a very extensive permanent exhibition, as well as a few visiting collections throughout the year. I highly recommend the audio tour as it allows you to walk around at your own pace and focus most of your time on your favourite pieces. It was great to see all the collections I've studied in the past - especially the Marcel Breuer chairs!

The quirky contemporary art gallery is situated within an old air-raid bunker and our tour guide was incredible funny and really made the trip memorable. The bunker's distinct history makes it a real gem right in the heart of the city. It's past uses include a POW camp, tropical fruit store and a hardcore techno club with traces of each of these still visible throughout. This is definitely a must-see during your trip but be sure to book in advance as it's very popular and spaces are limited.

Described as a 'Concept Mall', Bikini Berlin is a shopping centre with a twist. It's full of lovely boutiques with really stunning merchandising. Their modest collection of stores sell a whole range of products including beautiful modular furniture, ceramics, fashion and interiors. The glass-lined terrace looks straight on to Berlin's Zoological Garden and there are lots of lovely foodstalls to find. The unique marketplace on the ground floor houses around twenty stationary pop-up shops that are definitely work a look as well.

This Danish design store can be found on Auguststrasse and I'm so glad I ventured in after seeing lots of cute ceramic pots in the window. HAY was initially a furniture collection but now sell ceramics, accessories, stationery and loads more. Even if you're not looking to buy anything, you won't regret a quick browse!

A unique 'Concept Store' with a cafe serving organic delicacies. They offer a range of items from notebooks, bags and posters all with their own printed typography. I found the shop a little too pricey for my budget but it was worth a look at least. They even have vintage letterpress cases that I managed to sneak a rummage through.

A remaining section of the wall that has been transformed in to a really colourful outdoor gallery space. The East Side of the wall features 150 paintings by artists from all over the world and is described as the 'international memorial for freedom'. There are areas of the wall that the public have graffiti-ed themselves as well and - although not as good - are still very impressive. We spent about an hour here and I would of happily gone back to see it again and again!

Prepare to spend a good few hours here! The museum itself is spread over two floors and then on the ground floor there is a 'Holocaust Tower'.  Made entirely from concrete and with only a slit of sunlight, the tower was designed to provoke a feeling of unease and is an experience that shouldn't be missed. The exhibition that hit me most however, was the 'Memory Void'. It's made up of 10,000 'screaming' faces (seen below) of steel spilled over the ground. You're encourage to walk across them and the noise was almost unbearable. I won't give too much away but I was really moved by it all.

A contemporary art gallery situated in an old railway station. The permanent collection of paintings include work by Gerhard Richter and Imi Knoebel and most of the pieces shown are from 1960 onwards. They also have contemporary 'filmic' pieces and photography that are worth a look.  Even if you wouldn't usually visit an art gallery, the Bahnhof's collection is so extensive you're sure to find something interesting. My favourite pieces there include work by Erich Marx and of course, Andy Warhol.

A very quirky, lively district just south of the city centre. It is known for having a large Turkish community so of course the kebabs are unreal! Kreuzberg was once home to Berlin's punk rock movement and the SO36 Club (where in the 70s saw the likes of Iggy Pop and David Bowie) remains extremely popular to tourists and locals alike. It is a very 'arty' district and once attracted immigrants, hippies and artists from all over the world. This gives Kreuzberg its unique flare of diversity and the bars and cafes make the area a real hipsters paradise!

An underground techno nightclub in Berlin Mitte. It first opened in 1991 in the vaults of the former Old Wertheim Department Store but closed in 2005. It reopened in 2007 in a renovated power plant and has 2 floors featuring techno and house DJs from around the world. The basement room is mainly hardcore techno (definitely worth going to see even if it's not the music you're in to) and the upstairs room is a bit more mellow house. It's popular with both tourists and locals so the queues are long and if you're going in a big group I would advise you to split up in to twos or threes - the bouncers can be very picky with who they let in!

If you're planning a trip and want some more ideas of things to do/places to see or have some great ideas of your own - leave a comment and let me know!

Please note: The images included here that are not mine have been linked to their original site.


  1. Will definitely be visiting Berlin after this post - this has helped massively! Xxx

    1. Aww I'm glad you liked it Millie :) You'd really love Berlin! xxx

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  4. Regardless of whether you are occupied with history, workmanship or culture, Berlin has numerous best sights for guests to appreciate.The exhibition hall at Checkpoint Charlie, some portion of the previous Berlin Wall, is an unquestionable requirement see just like the moving Holocaust Memorial found near the Brandenburg Gate. Not much is left of the Wall itself, but rather there are a few segments as yet standing, which are massively well known with guests.

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