Monday, 10 April 2017

The Beginners Guide To Berlin

I have the spent the last 3 years on and off in this incredible city and have learned a little bit about the best places to go and how to fill up your days.  So if you are new to Berlin and looking for things to do and the best Doners, read on....

Sunday, the day of rest.  And there is no better place to rest than Mauer Park.  Head towards Eberswalder Strass and walk down to enter the very special bubble.  It is like a free festival, with street musicians from all over the world every few metres, a giant flea market (If you walk around at about 3 or 4 pm they are virtually giving away the stuff).  There is a Spatkauf just accross the road selling a wide selection of German and Czech beers from between 1 and 2 euroes.  There is also a big Karaoke Colliseum where you can sing to a very big and very supportive crowd.  There is also a basketball court and the smell of BBQs all around.  This is why I love Berlin, there is space for everyone to express themselves.  Sing your favourite song at the karaoke, busk, shoot some hoops in front of a crowd or sell your old belongings.  If the weather is nice, Mauer is a must!

After a lovely day and a few beers you are probably gonna want a Doner and there is a place close to Eberswalder Strasse that makes the best!  It is called Royal 44 and is close to the Ubahn station.  It is 3 euroes for one of the most spectacular Doners in all of Berlin.  It is a Gemuse Chicken which means it is roasted chicken breast sliced up, with Gemuse which is like Potatoes, Aubergine and other veg fried with a hint of spice, then mixed with the freshest most delicous salad.  You get free Turkish tea and a smile from people who do what they do with pride and love, that Doner is a must!  There is also a good pizza place just accross the road which does nice pastas, salads, lasagnes and much more for only 3 euroes.

Monday, head to a park in the day.  There are so many here in Berlin!  The ones I have found are the best are Gleisdreik, Neukoln, Grunerwalder Strasse and so many more.  Just take a nice walk around and you wont be far away from a nice chilled park with a bench always waiting for you and nice people around playing frisbee and supping a Sterni.  Warschauer Strasse should always be a station you pass by, as there are usually brilliant buskers plying their trade their.  Though, the police are sopping them more and more, and there is a growing darkness, but it is still always worth a look.

In the evening head to Sandman Bar in Neukoln.  They have live music every Sunday and Monday and it is a great meeting place for musicians and artists.  You can smoke whatever in there and they have a nice brown bar feel and a good selection of whiskeys.

Tuesdays it could be good to head West.  There are a lot of nice places here and though it doesn´t have the vibrancy of the East, it is still worth a visit.  I usually find a game of darts at the Kiwi Bar is a good night.  It is run by a very great Kiwi guy who has built a beautiful bar and it has a real dart board!  Most bars here have electronic darts and I never got the hang of that.  But here he has the real thing a very broad selection of whiskeys and beers from around the world.  It is on Albrechtstrasse in Steglitz.

After the Kiwi bar you are gonna want another Doner, and this one is joint 1st with Royal 44.  It is called Ruya Doner and is located on Albertstrass and can be reached by taking the M48 or M84.  It is 3.90 a Doner but SO worth it.  There is usually a big queue outside and that is always the sign of a goooood Doner.  I had to wait 40 minutes the other day, but with that first bite I realised why it was worth it.

Take the Ubahn to Warschauer, see what´s occurring and then take the tram and head towards Artliners Bar.  You can smoke whatever there and they have live music nearly every night!  It is a very nice brown bar, with a good vibe and very smokey!

You might want a break from the Doners, so, close to Warschauer Strasse, there is an Indian Restaurant with a menu that has every dish for about 5 euroes and is always lovely.  Just go to the bottom of the bridge that goes over the train station and turn right and you should see it.

All around this area there are great bars and most of them have live music, which is free entry and you make a donation to the hat at the end, a great system if you ask me.  Wednesdays is also an open mic at Bar Bobou in Frankfurter Allee.  Again, smoke what you want with a great selection of whiskeys and usually always a good standard of performers.

Thursdays - Go to the big Turkish Market called Maybachufer in Kreuzberg.  They have a lot of cheap, good quality food  and stalls and a great vibe.  There are usually street musicians there and it is the heart of Kreuzberg.  Then keep heading through the market and get to Treptower Park.  Very nice there, with boats and lovely places to eat and drink for very cheap.  Find a bar on the way and enjoy the night.

Friday, head down Warschauer, see what´s occurring and then just pick a direction and walk.
If you are lucky, you might catch the wonderful Alice Phoebe Lou

Saturday, there are so many markets, but your best bet would be to head to Hackesher Market.  It is close to the centre and always has street music and a nice vibe.  You are close to the river, so just walk towards it and you end up in this beautiful park watching the boats pass, while numerous street musicians play.

Sunday.....Ahhhhh, Mauer.

Hope this helps!  And if you see a street musician, drop a euro or a coin in as it helps to sustain the vibrancy of the street music culture here.  Alles klaar.

Other things worth a mention are....The Yorkstrasse Doner, a very strong contendor, located between the S and U bahn.  They have beef Doners here aswell, all bio ingredients, but my fave is the Gemuse Chicken.

Keb´up on Nollendorfplatz is also an excellent Doner.  They have lamb or gemuse.

Get out at Schleisches Tor and pick a direrction to walk, there are great bars and music around there.

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