A collision of tastes, disciplines and imaginations from around the world, Berlin, boasts some of the greatest art, design, music and cinema.
Street Food: Curry at the Wall
The bratwurst, and its spicier, saucier cousin, the currywurst, are must-haves for the discerning Berliner. Curry at the Wall is in the heart of the city and is one of the best on offer. As is typical of the vegan capital of Europe, a plant-based option is available and arguably the tastier choice.
Live Venue: Filmkunstbar Fitzcarraldo
You could spend the whole night bar-hopping through the streets of the trendy neighborhood Kreuzberg and those of nearby Freidrichshain and Neukölln. However, Filmkunstbar Fitzcarraldo epitomizes the characterful, creative-friendly atmosphere of East Berlin bohemia. With regular jazz nights and a robust library of DVDs upstairs that are free to rent, it’s a highlight among the plethora of quirky watering holes.
Hotel: Hotel de Rome (and its rooftop terrace)
For a higher-end experience, however, check into the Hotel de Rome. You can drink in the Berlin skyline alongside a refined menu of cocktails, including the ‘Touch the Sky’ – a light, fragrant blend of rosé vermouth, fresh strawberries and champagne.
Coffee Shop: Isla Coffee
Known around the world for its considerable hipster milieu, Berlin long lagged behind other cities in terms of brunch culture until Isla Coffee emerged. A lovingly-made selection of pastries, guest coffees, and some intriguing twists on brunch staples make for a refreshing start to your day.
Museum: Jewish Museum
A considerate, elegant walk through the collective memory of the city’s Jewish community, the Jewish museum is an intimate reckoning with the 20th century’s most significant historical trauma. Its permanent collection features personal artifacts that ache with yearning and loss, and the temporary exhibitions reflect the plurality of the international Jewish experience today.
Gallery: Galerie Mikro
This tiny upstairs space in Charlottenburg, founded in the 60s by American historian Michael Cullen and British linguist Robin Davis, was one of the first spaces to exhibit the work of a young upstart called David Hockney. The gallery still showcases a superb selection of contemporary works imbued with a considerable creative legacy.
Snacks: Brammibal’s Donuts
Drop in on any Brammibal’s joint, a quick stop to further cultural fantasy, and you can find some of the tastiest donuts on the continent. Its spectacular creations include chocolate peanut fudge, hibiscus sprinkles or maple smoked coconut and every delight on offer is also, surprisingly, vegan.
Market: Fleamarket at Mauerpark
Hopefully, the September sun is still lingering, and if so, you’ll find the flea market at Mauerpark every Sunday packed with stalls of trinkets, knick-knacks and long-forgotten memorabilia. It’s a vibrant space to move through on an afternoon, thanks to the public karaoke session that runs all day in the park’s amphitheater. Step up to the mic if you dare.
Local Institution: Mustafa’s Gemüsekebap
Berlin is not necessarily a renowned culinary capital because of its pricier establishments. However, visitors and locals of all stripes continue to flock to Mustafa’s humble food van, where you can grab one of his world-famous Gemüsekebaps. The prospect of queueing for up to two hours may be daunting, but this vegetable bap bursting with potato, pepper, onion and a delicious balance of hot sauce and sour cream is a truly transcendent experience.
Hungry for more? We’ve curated another nine picks for Berlin here.