A Short Guide to Berlin’s Best Hangout Spots

Berlin renowned for its nightlife. However, what if you’re after somewhere to go during the day, or the club and bar atmosphere isn’t for you? Then Berlin has plenty of things on offer for you too. I have carefully chosen three spaces that have different things to offer. The spaces are my favourite places to […]

Berlin renowned for its nightlife. However, what if you’re after somewhere to go during the day, or the club and bar atmosphere isn’t for you? Then Berlin has plenty of things on offer for you too. I have carefully chosen three spaces that have different things to offer. The spaces are my favourite places to visit in Berlin, from an alleyway with two small museums that highlight the mistreatment of the Jews in Nazi Germany- to a market dedicated to international Street Foods. Berlin has a lot to offer. I hope these suggestions take your fancy and you manage to visit at least one on your trip.

 

More than Currywurst and Döner

On a quiet street in the artistic district of Kreuzburg, sits the bustling Markthelle Neun. Each Thursday from 5-10pm this 19thCentury Market Hall becomes filled with the scents of feta, spit roasted pork, topped off with a hint of tarragon. Exposed hanging lightbulbs, and long wooden tables makes this a space of community dining for people from all walks of life. It showcases that Berlin’s food scene has a lot more to offer than just Currywurst and Döner.

 

With most stalls selling their food from between €6-8 it makes gourmet delicacies accessible to all. You may be under the impression that is this pricey for street food, and many may agree with you on that. However, everything is worth every penny you pay. Watch the passionate vendors add those little last pinches of spices and flavour to each dish to make sure they all go out perfect.

 

Some of the stalls change from week to week, but there is always something for everyone. The food on sale comes from all corners of the world, and reminds you of how accepting the international city of Berlin is. Here without all of the expenses you can travel the world- using your tongue as a passport. From the small, squishy and sweet Mochi Ice Cream Balls to a freshly tossed Pad Thai. You can take your taste buds on an exotic adventure.

 

Come with a few of your friends, each grab a plate of something from a different stall, sit at one of the communal tables and make your dinner a more social experience. The crowds, mouth-watering aroma and the laid-back atmosphere makes this mixing pot of humanity an excellent place to chill out- if you ignore the gleaming light of the Aldi in the centre.

 

Ensure to arrive early so you are able to grab a seat as by 6pm the crowds start to gather, and it becomes a survival of the fittest to find yourself some table space. If you come in a group and can’t all fit onto the one table, don’t fear, buddy up, grab a seat and rub elbows with the locals. You might hear some unusual stories and make a few new friends.

       
Martkhalle Neun, Eisenbahnstraße,
Street Food Thursday 5-10pm, Markthalle Neun is also open throughout the week and as a Farmers market on Friday 12pm-6pm  and Saturday 10am-6pm. It also hosts a Breakfast Market the third Sunday of each month from 10am-4pm.

 

A Place for all to be Themselves

Mauerpark Flea market may not be the most traditional flea market in Berlin, but it is certainly the biggest and disputably the best. With it being more of a day of events rather than a just Flea Market, Mauerpark makes the Ruhetag a little less bleak for those visiting the city on a Sunday.

 

This market’s stalls host many of Berlin’s talented artists selling clothing, artworks and jewellery. The artists themselves are usually the ones proudly presenting their own work- and will happily speak to you about their influences and how they created it, if they aren’t too swamped down with other customers.

 

The handmade and passionately created crafts compliment the bargain bins of the more conventional side of the flea market. Second-hand clothing, antiques, accessories and furniture are all on offer here. If you are looking to find yourself a hidden gem, it’s best to set aside plenty of time as there is a lot on sale.

 

If shopping isn’t one of your interests- but food is- then you’re in luck. Mauerpark has a lot on offer for you too. There are delicacies from all around the world. You can sink your teeth into the savoury Japanese Pancakes: think hash browns, with gooey cheese then sprinkled with some spring onions and soy sauce. Fuel your day with the Argentinian ‘Messi’ Sandwich- filled to the brim with spicy Beef and Vegetables. If you need to satisfy your sweet tooth watch a crepe be cooked up and be delicately drizzled with the filling of your choice. Nutella and Banana always feels like an award winning combination. To wash down all of these delicious foods, visit one of the stalls selling freshly squeezed juices. Oranges get juiced to each order, so you can bask in the zest filled air. In the winter months, fiery and fruity mulled wine is on offer to warm up your insides and help you feel jolly.

 

The entrance to Mauerpark usually hosts a busker promoting their musical talent and their independently released compositions. Most of these unsigned artists are hoping for a chance to get their break into the music business, and with the talent they possess you’ll be hoping they do to. Through the fleamarket, to the more park-like section many locals will be singing, dancing and acting their hearts out to try and earn some of your spare change- or notes if you think they’re especially brilliant. You’ll find a DJ next to an opera singer next to a clown next to street dancers. No-one is hiding at who they are Mauerpark.

 

If you are visiting during the months with warmer and drier weather (generally May-October) the comical Joe Hatchiban leads Bearpit Karaoke in the Mauerpark amphitheatre. Budding vocalists volunteer to sing along to their favourite tunes to the hundreds of people the karaoke attracts each Sunday. The best part? The sense of community from supporting the brave soul who steps onto the circle stage whether they have a hidden talent or not.

 

It is worth setting aside a whole day to dig for a treasure in the flea market, eat some amazing food and watch some talent, or the untalented at the karaoke. With the accepting, creative and something-for-all atmosphere you’d be missing out if you didn’t pay Mauerpark a visit on your travels.

 

    

Photo by Jane Pipkin
Bernauer Str. 63-64, 13355 Berlin
Open every Sunday: 10am – 6pm, Karaoke starts at around 3pm-8pm (dependent on weather and crowd)

A Little of everything

Neighbouring the intertwining courtyards of Hackstater Höfe, which were formally used by Jews in hiding trying to get around during tyrannical Nazi Germany, sits something that now bring a lot of life to the area. Through a humble entrance off of Rosenthaler Straße lays a secret artistic paradise.

 

From two museums that highlight the mistreatment of Jews, to walls covered with street art, to a quaint little seamstress’s shop and workshop. Haus Schwarzenburg Street Art Alley packs a lot into its small space.

 

The Anne Frank Zentrum and Museum Blindenwerkstatt Otto Weidt offer a little history to your visit and will give you a blunt reminder of the treatment of the Jews in Germany’s past. Whilst the Anne Frank Zentrum is moving location from November 2018 the Museum Blindenwerkstatt, will remain in the same place. It takes you through the story of Otto Weidt and how he helped some blind Jews escape the oppression of the Nazi regime.

 

In stark contrast to the darkness of these museums the walls outside are plastered with the creativity of Berlin Street artists. The walls ooze colour and make you joyful but still many of the pieces are packed with political and social messages. You’ll be taking small and careful steps to be able to gaze at the art. The Haus Schwarzenberg Street Art Alley will also give you an opportunity to experience some of Berlin’s notorious street art off of the tourist-beaten track. With big names such as Dr. Cream and El Bocho you’ll get to see some of the Berlin street art great’s work sprinkled along the ever-changing walls.

 

Sit in the vine filled courtyard and have a couple drinks at the undeniably cool Eschschloraque to discuss what you learnt at the museums and what you get out of the art. Chill out to the deep house music peacefully playing in the background.

 

Also don’t forget to visit the shops on offer here, the Neurotitan shop and gallery sells locals artists prints, clothing, comics and many more items. It’s worth visiting here to see if you can find a piece of art to take back home for a more unique souvenir to remember your time in Berlin by. The shop up the stairs from here sells bespoke clothing, and has the seamstresses workshop also on sight- just remember to say ‘hallo!’ on arrival to let them know someone in present.

 

The Haus Schwarzenburg Street Art Alley has a lot to offer to someone who wants a calm and quiet place in the city to chill, learn something and rest their feet after a day of sightseeing. With plenty of things to do its worth spending a full afternoon here.

Rosenthaler Straße 39, 10178 Berlin
Anne Frank Zentrum: Tuesday to Sunday: 10am – 6pm 
 Eschschloraque:
  Open everyday 2pm – 4am
Neurotitan Shop and Gallery:  Monday to Saturday 12pm – 8pm
Museum Blindenwerkstatt Otto Weidt:  Open Everyday from 10am-6pm

 

Written by Robyn Cooper.

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