SIGHTS in Berlin:
Those who dare visit the creepy bunker. Built in 1943, it amasses five floors and offers a somewhat macabre mix of goodies. On one floor you will find yourself in the depths of a windowless crypt and in the other a showcase of creepy tales from the crypt.So start with a glass of Waldmeisterbrause at the bar and then take a trip through middle-age medicine and quackery, where amputations take place as the puppets hydraulically jolt and scream. And then it continues into the room of many eyes and an eerie labyrinth. When you you enter one of the only normal rooms in the house, we advise you to be on the lookout. This place is a creepy old-fashioned house of thrills designed for adults with humour and kids without fear.
A Stoll Along the
It may not sound like it belongs to a typical holiday, but it is certainly an impressive experience. So take some time to stroll along the old Berlin Wall, well, what is left of it. So start at Checkpoint Charlie, a museum full of interesting exhibits illustrating the story of the wall, its fall and the innovative fugitives that escaped to the west. Armed with knowledge, take a walk along the wall and have a think of the events that once took palce here.The longest surviving stretch of the Berlin wall is found along the Mühlen Strasse and has been painted by more than 100 artists from around the world. Over 1300 metres in length, it serves as a great guidepost and the largest open air gallery in the world. The paintings on the wall are not grim, but rather brightly coloured and speak of the great enthusiasm artists met the opening of the wall with. Don't forget to bring your camera!
Regarding architecture, not everything ran smoothly in Berlin after the fall of the wall. The new government quarters in Berlin is however a sterling example of successful modern architectur. Located right in the middle of Berlin, on the Spree river, the government quarter is so lightly crafted that it is somehow sleek yet elaborate. The undisputed tourist highlight is the Parliament House, with its famous dome, for which Sir Norman Foster is responsible. But you won't like what you're about to read: Waiting in line is worth it, and if you come early enough you might only have to wait for less than two hourse. But believe us, there is no better place to view this magnificient city than the viewing platform at the top of the dome.And for those who don't have time for parliament house can simply take a walk along the river as there are stairs behind the building that lead to the chancellor's garden. So take a break at 'Bundespressestrand', a beach bar on the river bank or in the Spreebogen park. Be warned: All the places on water get snapped up very early.
STAY in Berlin:
An intergalactic hotel in the middle of Berlin's Friedrichshain. Sound funny? Well it is! And according to the hotel's owners, it is also a favourite hideout for Austrian yodellers, Swedish models, British rockstars , Japanese business men, German race-car drivers and American dudes. SO you don't belong to the aforementioned categories? Shame, then the Michelberger Hotel is without a doubt worth the light speed trip, as it is one of the hippest addresses in town!There are 119 beds in the former factory, which are all hot and a few screws loose. What does that mean? Every room is a bit different, completely relaxed and very trashily furnished. The lobby is at times the coolest club in the city and the smorgasbord is open to all guest at any time of night and day and the reception is an entire space-shuttle of charming crew members. Those who fancy unusual hotels should prep their engines, start the countdown and blast into Michelberger hotel. Double rooms are available from ? 70 a night.
We are all allowed to enjoy a bit of luxury every now and again aren't we? If you have the same opinion as we do, then stop off at Hotel Amano. There's now showing off here, but rather an exercise in elegant restraint, with a touch of gold against warm grey tones. The hotel is located in the beloved Rosenthaler Strasse and was designed by the designer team Büro Gold. The ladies and gentlemen in the team went all out in the lobby and all shared spaces whilst the rooms and apartments are decorated in a calm, dignified manner: black, white and red feature in the rooms, but nothing more, which provides the perfect ambience after a day in the colourful city of Berlin. And you will never get bored in this hotel, as there is a fantastic view of the Berlin skyline from the roof terrace. And experience the unique sense of space in the restaurant, where the walls give way to giant windows. DJ Daniel W. Best and Alex Gallusheld add grooves to the comfortable bar on Wednesday evenings. One night in a double room is available from 95 euros.
Everyday is honey-sweet at this hotel. Wellness is guaranteed with every booking, whether you are just married or not even married at all! Although the Honigmond hotel doesn't appear that spectacular at first sight, it has won several awards for its relaxed, individually-styled rooms that have been tastefully fitted out with antiques. Dont let yourself be fooled by the unexceptional fassade, as a real comfort oasis is hidden beneath. Especially summer guests can enjoy this hotel's highlight: the garden, which will instantly whisk you away to a southern land. In earlier times, the area was used as a workshop for race-horse teams, however there are no signs of it's past to be felt. As a tip: when the hotel is fully booked, you can always kill some time in the hotel's restaurant, which is only 300m away and equally pretty.
SHOPPING in Berlin:
Lozek + Stütz
Is your apartment shabby? It doesn't have to be. A step in the right direction would be a visit to the Lozek & Stütz showroom. The two revered interior designers don't just know what looks good, but also where it should be placed. They are the masters of design.They are both passionate out-fitters and fashion collectors, which met at - you guessed it - a house-warming party. Alexander Stütz is responsible for the unusual, eccentric solutions - which he learnt rather well during his days as Anne Maria Jagdfeld's assistant. And his partner, Claudia Lozek is responsible for matching colours to forms for that perfect look.The duo have a unique synergy, which results in the Prenzlauer Berg showroom being something quite special. How this could transfer to your apartment, is really up to you. Wall decorations, antiques, the strange and the beautiful, it's all here along with fabrics, furniture designs, one-offs and art pieces. The one thing you can forget after having Lozek and Stütz redesign your apartment is the house-warming party- it would be too much of a shame!
The name may be somewhat misleading. Eisdieler (ice-cream dealer) hints towards the presence of ice-cream, and lots of it. But the search for creamy respite will have to be taken elsewhere... Whether it's urban sassy or sassy casual doesn't matter. Its gotta be cool and be suited to late trip down to the local nightclub. As the four in-house designers can't be expected to create everything, every now and again other artists are invited to add their two cents. For example Jim Avignon designed a pair of shoes for Eisdieler not so long ago. Of course it's not cheap to fit yourself out with the sassiest labels in the city. Cult comes at a price. A branded t-shirt costs upwards from ? 25.
The Corner East
Welcome to the Vatican. No, it's not about the frumpy or the religous, and the people here are definitely not from yesterday. The bearers of possibly the hippest corner of the city are Josef Voelk and Emmanuel Bayser count as the popes of the Berlin fashion and design scene. While one writes for Vogue, the other does Katie Holmes' outfitting. When one is giving fashion tips to GQ, the other takes Tom Cruise on a shopping tour.The store is abundant with big, elegant labels such as Balenciaga, Lanvin, Stella McCartney and Marc Jacobs. Take the advice given in the store and you will be miles ahead when it comes to fashion, as both men know exactly what tomorrow will bring. One tip: Brace yourself, as you will find it all here - cosmetics, books, furniture and accessories.
EAT in Berlin:
What do you think about those crazy chefs who throw the conventions of consistency overboard and suddenly serve chocolate air and soup-dust? Not sure? Then you should absolutely drop in at Margaux and breathe in a serving of Iced Berlin Air or nibble on Mineralwater jelly. Our conclusion - more fascinating as absurd! The aromas explode, your tastebuds will be taken by surprise and the gourmet heart will dance for joy. Of course the Margaux undoubtably belongs to the five top restaurants in Berlin. However, it 's astonishing that you don't feel like an underdressed pile of misery hiding behind a miniscule portion. At the Margaux, you are able to enjoy a perfect meal in a comfortable atmosphere. And it is all thanks to the owner and head chef Stephan Hentschel, who principally uses only the freshest ingredients, extravagant wild herbs and Himalaya sauces.
When was that again? Nobody knows for sure. But at one point in Berlin, there came the day when Austrian cuisine became the in-thing. Austrians with friends in Germany would post off cheese-sausages and Manner waffle biscuits to their poor friends, relieiving the pain until the next Wiener Schnitzel.So save your trip to the post office and send those wistful ones to the Alpenstück. Everything here is freshly prepared using only the freshest ingredients. Bonus. Another bonus is the menu, which is full of delicacies from southern Germany and Austria, such as; Spätzle, Schnitzel and Apfelstrudel. The true heart of the mountains. What more could you want?A shot of Obstler liquor perhaps? Then take a pick from 40 of the best around!As another bonus, the restaurant is beautifully furnished. Personal touches such as the shindle covered walls really add to the traditional touch. However, you can leave your lederhosen at home.
If the Royal Grill is a bit too suave for you, then this is the best alternative barbeque location Berlin has to offer. It's not so dazzling, but rather relaxed, a legend in it's own right and it boasts an idyllic garden. In the middle of Kreuzberg, in the middle of Viktoriapark and right in the middle of the field there is space for over 100 guests spread over two floors.One quick view of the massive grill and there's no doubt that there is enough meat to go around for everyone. On a clear summer evening, it's advisable to grab a spot at around 4pm. That way you will have some space to yourself, at least for an hour or so.The clientele here show two different faces; laid-back and dynamic. From the Kreuzberg original, business men to students, anyone could be your neighbour at a table. So order a 'Berliner Weisse' beer, along with some sausage, meat and potatoes. As you will see, there's everything here for a great evening in Berlin.