Where to start here.
While living on the coast of Croatia 2 years ago, I jumped on a number of trains through the Northwestern portion of the country to Slovenia, up through Austria and then Munich, Prague and finally Berlin. By the time I arrived it had already been a weird week and I ended up with a tattoo that may have been ill-advised. But that’s another “jrrny”.
I stayed at St. Christopher’s Inn, which is a clean, popular and well run hostel in a great part of Berlin. It is however next to the scariest building in the world. This Volksbuhne place is terrifying. See photo. Anyway, I met fellow travelers and drank a lot of beer with them in the bar which is in the lobby of the hostel. It’s also one of the more popular bars in the neighborhood, which made it pretty damn convenient.
I rented a bike and aimlessly strolled around town, got lost, ended up in a HUGE, awesome park near the old Olympic stadium, people everywhere drinking Hefeweizen and listening to music, live or otherwise. Had a couple beers and a brat outside in the amazing Prater Biergarten (Berlin’s oldest, and most well-known beer garden) http://www.pratergarten.de/e/index.php. Later cruised down towards the hostel and popped into a great little restaurant called Fleischerei (http://www.fleischerei-berlin.com/). I made a bold move and went for steak tartar. It was a good call.
The next few nights I ended up at a German music video awards ceremony where upon entry you were give not one, but 2 massive shots of Jaeger. Sweet. I may have been crashing that party now that I re-think things.
What takes the cake on this trip was essentially a treasure map a man who owns a small streetside cafe gave me. He sat and chatted with me about what I was up to, where I was from etc, and suggested some good spots to try out, writing them all on the back of a coaster and handing it to me as if it were a Lonely Planet guidebook (see photo). This German hipster Rick Steeves seemed like a decent guy, so I tool him up on it.
I followed the makeshift treasure map to Dudu for dinner (http://www.dudu-berlin.de/) followed by a place called Buck and Breck which was hidden behind a secret door between a police station and a bistro. Not joking. It wasn’t open, figures. Headed back to the hostel to grab a couple girls I had met earlier and took them to Neue Odessa, where I was informed I most definitely would not get into without good looking girls. Or at least a good looking dude who spoke German. Place was better than what it sounds like, not a club, very low key but definitely a see-and-be-seen vibe. I’d give it a try if you’re in town for at least the experience.
Last note, there are so many insane things going on in Berlin. It’s pretty much known that whatever you want, and I mean whaaateeveeeeerrr you want, you can find. Either in the city in general or at a club dedicated specifically to whatever it is that floats your German boat. Berghain, Club Der Visionaere (http://clubdervisionaere.com/) etc are all insane and if you have the time and energy give them a go. If not, you can find entertainment and certainly weirdness anywhere. Pleasant weirdness, the kind you want to dive into and see where it takes you.
Don’t go to a place called Kosmonaut on Thursdays unless you really like leather and beards. If that’s your thing, definitely hit up Kosmonaut on Thursdays.