The city of street art, falafel, uber-cool cafes and flea markets. The one that holds my heart firmly in it's hands. It's no secret that Berlin is where my soul comes to life and one day I hope to pack up my bags and make the big move to the land of pretty parks and abandoned buildings galore. Having visited pretty frequently over the last five years, I have quite the list of recommendations over on the East side (Kreuzberg, Neukolln & Mitte are the places for me) and it would surely be a shame to not share them with you? The full list would probably take about three weeks to write so for now I'll give you some of my favourites but if you're visiting soon please just get in touch with me and I'll send you my full list of places to go! Personally, my favourite time to visit is for the fun of May Day where you can drink and dance the night away but I'm also rather prone to putting myself through the harsh winter conditions, there isn't a bad time to go and I wholeheartedly recommend buying a plane ticket now if you haven't made the trip yet.
I tend to stay with friends while in the city now but Michelberger is always my first port of call if I have a little bit of extra dough. With the most chilled vibes and brilliant interior design, the Michelberger is the ultimate reasonably priced hotel and you'll find Instagram opportunities on every corner. Working and drawing in the bar is a favourite pastime of mine and even the toilets spark inspiration with a new soundscape on every visit. The cosy room is small but does what it says on the box and provides you with a comfortable space to rest and a steamy shower, complete with window that looks out on to the bed (maybe just one for lovers). If you don't stay, be sure to pop by for drinks in the evening and a game of table football, it's the place of cocktail and dreams and here you do feel like all of your fantasies could come true.
Boxhagener Platz, Grünberger Str., 10245
Boxhagener is a charming little park, perfect to relax in and just a short walk away from the Michelberger. On Sundays you'll find a sweet little flea market with vinyls, clothes, furniture and various other little trinkets, much more bearable than some of the other larger markets around and surrounded by great food and drink! Santa Maria is a trendy Mexican restaurant just on the corner with great mojitos and BURGERAMT does top notch burgers to eat-in or takeaway.
Monkey Bar, 25hrs Hotel, Budapester Str. 40, 10787
You might have to wait a good while to get into this bar on a busy evening but trust me the wait is worth it. With panoramic views of Berlin and windows directly overlooking Berlin zoo, the interior of the place is vibrant yet cool and relaxing. The extensive drinks menu is hard to choose from but one thing that you'll regret not trying is the sweet potato fries - a perfect snack for overlooking the hoards of monkeys. I've heard accompanying restaurant NENI Berlin also does lovely food but I'd advise booking ahead to ensure you get a table.
Cafe Cinema, Rosenthaler Str. 39, 10178
Cafe Cinema resides in one of my favourite areas in Mitte. The entrance to a secret passage, this is the perfect little cafe to enjoy a hot chocolate avec Baileys and people watch from the antique-filled interior. On a sunny day sit outside and take in the graffiti and flags in the passage, all leading to a secret cinema, bookstore and art installation - perfect!
To Scare Yourself.
We always have to visit somewhere abandoned on any trip to Berlin, even though I'm an absolute wuss and spend most of the time crying behind my camera. Although I've been to a few places, the best thing to do if you're looking for somewhere abandoned to visit is just to check out the #abandonedberlin tag on Instagram - new places appear all the time and old places have a habit of being burned to the ground. One place that does seem to have lasted some time is Ruine Kinderkrankenhaus which recently had a facelift by a graffiti artist with a penchant for repetitive doodles. There's a lot of abandoned building to go through on the site but look for the actual doors to property (as opposed to trying to scale the building) and you'll find it's pretty easy to walk around without injuring yourself in the process. The whole abandoned thing is rather beautiful when you see nature take over, but do be careful too as there are a lot of open manholes and the structures aren't technically safe so always stay vigilant and don't go at night, unless there is a party because yes, that happens too and I wouldn't want you to miss out.
Motto, Skalitzer Str. 68, 10997
Tucked away in a courtyard on Skalitzer Strasse, Motto is a hidden gem of a bookshop and one that I tend to spend a good hour browsing in. In here you'll find rare books, zines and tiny illustrated books from a variety of artists, it's fully of typographic inspiration and wonderful book layout designs. Make the time to look around as the books tend to be stacked and your one true publication love could be hidden.
Schee, Rosenthaler Str. 15,A delightful little creative lifestyle store selling a wide range of prints, interior pieces and stationery. From the golden walls through to the little tags you take to the counter to purchase your print, everything has been thought out in this store and I was rather thrilled to find it on my latest trip. Everything is super affordable and eclectic, making it the perfect stop for gifts, or just for yourself of course!
Do You Read Me, Auguststraße 28, 10117 Berlin
R.S.V.P Papier, Mulackstraße 14, 10119 Berlin
The ultimate store for any paper lovers out there. There are actually two store just opposite each other on the same street and you might think you don't need any more stationery, but R.S.V.P will show you otherwise. From their board of bulldog clips to their sweet selection of cards and wall of paper, there is something to entice you in every crevice and you're sure to find something you didn't even know you needed.
Bikini Berlin, Budapester Str. 38-50, 10787
Bikini Berlin is probably my favourite shopping centre ever. It doesn't put a foot wrong with any of the shops inside and although I can still pick out a few favourites such as Schwesterherz Berlin, LNFA store and the Super concept space, this ever-changing landscape is likely to surprise you with it's creativity and imagination. I've never seen a similar concept and if you're a lifestyle store addict this is the absolute shopping destination for you. The garden space allows you to look across the zoo and the rooftop is also the gateway to Monkey Bar as mentioned before.
Do you have any secret gems in Berlin? Be sure to comment below if you do!