Travel Germany – Random Wonderful Places and Spaces in Berlin

The Teufelsberg in Grunewald, the Tiergarten, the Oberbaumbruecke in Kreuzberg, the Molecule Man on the River Spree, Museum Island in Mitte, the Tempelhofer Feld, the Reichstag Dome, Charlottenburg Palace, the Brandenburg Gate, the Mauerpark… and the list of Berlin’s top tourist attractions and sightseeing sites goes on. Here comes a choice of random wonderful places and spaces in Berlin.  

Travel Germany – Random Wonderful Places and Spaces in Berlin

I created a guide where we find out whether you are Unfuckwithable, and explain why it is great to love but to leave people wild. I tell you how many bridges you have to cross when in Berlin and where you find one of Berlin’s sexiest swimming pools. I show you unexpected pieces of art, architecture enthusiasts will love the guide too, especially when I tell you about that museum on a pepper mountain. I show you where you can visit a music venue where sunsets often come in violet-pink and a “club” where they danced already through the night 100 years ago. Visit a church that was once attacked by bombers and hear stories about good people, murdered without trial. Eat at a restaurant which is 55 metres up in the sky, and drink speciality coffee at one of Berlin’s most famous Cafés.
When Berlin was first mentioned in 1237 only 2,400 people lived in town. The Berlin of today, now over 780 years old, has 3,520,000 residents. Believe it or not. Everybody loves Berlin, and here it comes. There is this one populist politician who is confused about one fact: "I am increasingly concerned about the fact that in some Berlin restaurants the service speaks only English." True. I love it; it is a truly international place, good news for all tourists who don’t speak German. Everybody is welcomed. Good news from the centre of town: Just do it, speak English. No one in this part of town would ever even think about it. Life is what you make it. One either belongs to the group of the inquisitive types who want to discover new places or one belongs to the group of boring moaners, who fear change.

Berlin is a perfect place for coddiwomplers

You could spend years wandering the streets of Berlin and it would still be exciting. Think critical, be conscious of how you behave and what you believe; talk to people, talk to as many different people as possible, young, old, hipster, homeless, big, thin, the ignorant. Do not believe the hype. Look with your own eyes. Keep in mind that the past cannot be changed, but it is in our hands to create a lovely future.

Berlin has a lot to offer, places are instaworthy and many look like the main character in a Wes Anderson film. When you plan a trip, stop searching for tour operators and just start walking. The German capital is friendly, welcoming and exotic. You would think that the roughly 3.5 Million people who call Berlin home make it a crazy busy town, whereas, in reality, it isn’t. It is a capital city but at times feels like a provincial town. Berlin has a proper airport now, opened years too late in October 2020. So far it had two really cute ones, Tegel airport closed its doors for good. Winters are freezing cold but summers are amazingly warm and long. And I could go on and on and on. Berlin invites locals and visitors to coddiwomple, to travel in a purposeful manner towards a vague destination. There is so much to see and think about: Berlin is a perfect place for coddiwomplers.

Street Art by Innerfields

Are you Unfuckwithable - Berlin

When I saw this mural, it touched me deeply, since (to me) it says so much about our times. Thanks to social media cheating became widely accepted, together with tribalism (bullying etc); many people sadly turned into assholes. On Twitter as well as on Instagram people believe to be famous because they get likes, some do almost everything to get a like. Just a reminder, you are better than that. Ever since I started #Igramethical things changed dramatically. In short I stand for genuine commenting, I follow others because I love their content, I'm not hiding in the background like a ghost or spy, I don’t buy followers nor likes, I won’t follow users to gain followers and unfollow later, I mark promotion as promotion, I use relevant hashtags only, I'm not engaged in commenting pods.

Other users I'm connected to through social media and whom I asked about their Instagram strategy were ready to accuse me of being pretentious or aggressive. Some played the "do I have to know you?"-game (showing me what a nobody I really am; clever). I'm sorry to say it over and over again, no, no matter what you try to say, fraud is wrong, still not into it, sorry. Shortly after I saw this mural I saw a T-Shirt in a shop window on Mulackstrasse at a shop called Starstyling, that says: "Unfuckwithable – when you’re truly at peace and in touch with yourself, and nothing anyone says or does bothers you, and no negativity or drama can touch you". I am unfuckwithable, but until today I didn't know there is such a splendid word to describe my feelings.

The Mulackstrasse in the Berlin borough of Mitte was once an area for all the ones who treated fraud and theft as a profession. There were hookers and small shops, dealers and villains. Trendy and loud and grey-ish Torstraße is not far away, as well as the Alte Schönhauser Strasse. Around here everything changes so fast, shops come and go, new properties are built, fresh faces move in and out again before places can become their home. The small Mulackstrasse, lined with properties from Wilhelmine times which are today perched between newly builts, has become an internationally known fashion address. Another beautiful shop on Mulackstrasse is the stationary store R.S.V.P.

Info: Starstyling Mulackstraße 4, 10119 Berlin. Hours: Monday to Saturday 12pm to 7pm. Sundays closed. 
R.S.V.P. Mulackstraße 14 and 26, 10119 Berlin. Hours: Monday to Saturday 11am to 7pm. Sundays closed.

Love Her But Leave Her Wild - The Greens

The café The Greens Coffee and Plants is somewhat tucked away on the site of the old minting mill from the 1930s. The owners worked with revamped vintage wooden furniture, colourful tiles and painted the place white before they decorated it lavishly with green plants.

Then there is a mural that says Love Her But Leave Her Wild. One thing that is really boring in any character is trying to restrain other people's visions and dreams, and ideas. I was delighted to read this quote from Atticus on the wall of the café. You have to be strong and stand up for your dreams. Don't listen to the ones telling you that you can't. At The Greens Coffee and Plants, you get Juices, coffee, cake and salads served by friendly humans. Dishes are prepared seasonally using local organic ingredients, and I would visit anytime again to eat the Quinoa bowl with watermelon and the cake as dessert plus two flat whites I had.

Info: The Greens Coffee and Plants Am Krögel 2, 10179 Berlin. Hours: Monday to Friday 10am to 6pm. Saturday and Sunday 12pm to 6pm.

You have to cross 916 bridges in Berlin

By accident I found a beer garden on a boat. Do you see the bridge in the background? Berlin has more bridges than Venice in Italy, 916 bridges in total, and that is twice as many. Berlin has more canals than Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands. If you follow them you reach the North Sea, the Rhine River and the Baltic Sea. Stroll along the old harbour for a little bit of maritime flair. Info: Märkisches Ufer, 10179 Berlin and Rolandufer, 10179 Berlin.

Berlin’s Sexy Swimming Pool

This is the entrance to a hotel in a 100-year-old Neo-Renaissance style building in the Berlin borough of Prenzlauer Berg. If you can spare EUR 6, go for a swim in the hotel's quiet heritage listed 20 meters long and 12 meters wide swimming pool that was closed for 30 years and reopened recently. This true Berlin treasure is open to guests and visitors.

Info: Hotel Oderberger Berlin Oderberger Strasse 57, 10405 Berlin. Visit the website for opening hours and more info.

Swimming pool illuminated with green and blue light.

Get excited when you find unexpected pieces of art in Berlin

In days gone by, all types of artisans worked here, this was a part of Berlin where workers and their families lived. Then WW2 came and after that the times of the dictatorship of the GDR. Soon after the wall fell, and there was money, the entire neighbourhood was historically restored. Today it is simply beautiful with lots of cafes, theatres, cinemas, galleries and boutiques. In one courtyard, of what used to be a factory where sewing machines and later bicycle chains were produced, you find a poem, a collection of opposites, by German artist Thomas Locher titled "Either/Or". To give you an idea, here are a few of the questions: Private or public. Senseless or meaningful. Privileged or chanceless. Against each other or for each other. Free or oppressed. Loud or quiet. Weak or powerful.

Info: Sophienstraße 21, 10178 Berlin. There is also a deli that is worth a visit. Barcomi's Deli Sophienstraße 21, 10178 Berlin. Hours: Monday to Saturday: 10am to 9pm. Sunday 9am to 9pm.

A true delight for all who are enthusiastic about architecture

This house by the Spree River is a true delight for all who are enthusiastic about architecture and design. You can find this view of Paul-Löbe-Haus in the immediate vicinity of the chancellor's office, the famous Reichstag building and the light blue Bundestag kindergarten which is built in the form of a ship.

Info: Paul-Löbe-Haus, Konrad-Adenauer-Straße 1, 10557 Berlin.

Berlin’s favourite music venue

This town has so much going on. The "Waldbühne" (a stage in the forest) in the Berlin borough of Westend was erected during the construction for the 1936 Olympic Games. The audience-stands of Berlin's most iconic open-air arena are built on the slope of a natural ravine. The arena can host a capacity of 22,290 people. Sunsets often come in violet-pink. If you happen to be in Berlin in summer, try to get tickets for a concert. Whatever the weather come rain or shine it's wonderful to see a concert in this venue.

Robbie Williams in Berlin

Info: Waldbuehne Waldbühne Berlin im Olympiapark, Glockenturmstraße 1, 14053 Berlin. Check websties for tickets.

Go where they already danced 100 years ago - Clärchens

Claerchens Ballhaus in the Berlin borough of Mitte is a place where dancing started 100 years ago. What followed are fun dance parties, the extermination of Jews during WW2, the repression during the cold war and over recent years the hipsters arrived in the area. Otto Dix painted the sign at the entrance. I love to hang out here in the beer garden in spring and summer, and I usually try to show this place to everyone I know. The beer garden is in the place of the former front building of the property which was completely destroyed in WW2. And today? It is an unusual feeling, to have tour groups taking photos of you while you eat dinner, but still, I love to go here and to me it is magical.

Info: Claerchens Ballhaus Auguststraße 24, 10117 Berlin. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday 11am to 12am. Friday and Saturday 11am to 4am.

Berlin - About good people, murdered without trial

There are many incredible places that are as beautiful as they are tragic and where one can learn about individuals and groups that tried to fight the German National Socialist regime between 1933 and 1945. Most of them, who believed in the good of people, were murdered without trial. Most people say that is a million light years ago, and apparently everything is so very different these days.... I wonder, every day, why do people today get such a massive kick out of looking down on others? It really seems as it is rewarding for some. But honestly, who wants to be a bystander if someone finds others crap just to be feeling better? At the Zionskriche, you can learn about Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a protestant pastor, who actively resisted the Nazis. He was executed by the SS on Hitler's express orders in April 1945.

Info: Zionskirche Zionskirchplatz, 10119 Berlin. Wednesday to Saturday, 1pm to 6pm, Thursday 8-10 pm (live guitar music), Sunday 11am to 5pm (from November to Easter until 4pm). Ask whether you can climb the tower, chances are it is possible while you visit.

A museum on a pepper mountain?

The Museum for Architectural Drawings by architect Sergei Tchoban who also designed the (shopping) Mall of Berlin is on a site called Pfefferberg (Pepper Mountain literally translated) which was opened in 1848 for a brewery. You see the chimney, a relic of these days. The area was nationalised after WW2 and during the dictatorship of the GDR. After the wall fell everything changed for the better. Today there are restaurants, theatres, bars and this museum on the premises. The striking building's surface is decorated with fragments of architectural sketches.

Info: The Museum for Architectural Drawings Christinenstraße 18a, 10119 Berlin. Hours: Monday to Friday 2pm to 7pm. Saturday and Sunday 1pm to 5pm. Tickets EUR 5. Reduced tickets EUR 3 (proof is needed for students, unemployed and people with disability). Please check the website for more info.

Bombers once attacked Berlin

You see the damaged spire? The church in the Berlin borough of Charlottenburg was damaged in a British air raid on Berlin in November 1943. After WW2 a new tower was built, and in the ground floor of the damaged one is a peace memorial hall. It is so very hard to believe that British bombers once attacked Berlin. Totally silly to think this possible in our day and age. It isn't silly. Everything is possible. Obviously. Better be careful what we vote for. I often wonder in case this would happen again, would future generations build peace-memorials, take photos of them and post them on Instagram in the hope to avoid future conflicts? Travel with your eyes open. Learn about history.

Info: Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedaechtniskirche Breitscheidplatz, 10789 Berlin. Hours: Monday to Sunday 9am to 7pm. Tickets: Free.

Eat at a restaurant in the sky in Berlin

I love that one can find pretty sights on almost every corner in Berlin. I see magic everywhere I look in this town. A restaurant 55 metres high up in the sky, in a structure that looks a bit like the Eiffel Tower, what is not to admire?

Info: Berlin Radio Tower Hammarskjöldplatz, 14055 Berlin. Hours Restaurant: Mondays closed. Tuesday to Friday 6pm to 11pm. Saturday to Sunday 11.30am to 11pm. Tickets restaurant: EUR 3. Reduced tickets restaurant EUR 2. Phone: +49 (0)30 3038 2900. / Observation deck. Hours: Monday closed. Tuesday to Friday 2pm to 10pm. Saturday to Sunday 11am to 10pm. Phone: +49 (0)30 3038 1905. Tickets Observation Deck: EUR 5. Reduced tickets EUR 3.

The famous Café Kranzler on Kudamm

The café at the famous Café Kranzler on Kudamm in the Berlin borough of Charlottenburg has been an institution for the last 180 years. Over recent decades that tradition had died somewhat and the owner was a fashion brand and the café was foremost visited for the view and its history. Now it is run by coffee roaster The Barn, and it is all about quality beans. Gasp. Yes. Drinking great coffee to me is like intensely listening to a song over and over again, because it triggers the most wonderful emotion. It is the same like reading exceptionally well written books; you soon will be bored by confusing and cliché-ridden-stories. I admire their stamina to introduce quality coffee to Germany. And as for the location of the café. This is a great example for the spirit of Berlin; people use traditions to create a future. This is a friendly and fun place in the west. Go, order a coffee and I promise you will never look back.

Info: The Barn Kurfürstendamm 18, 10719 Berlin. Hours Monday to Sunday 10am to 8pm.

Brave architects - people with vision

The architecture of this church in expressionist style which opened its doors to the public in December 1929, was described at the time as to be top-notch. Look at this porched entrance with its dark blue glazed ceramic. It is rather spectacular to this day. Apparently, locals weren't so sure about the look of the church with its red clinkered facade. How cool is it that these architects were brave enough to build this property in this style? Imagine they would have listened to the complainers. Never stop dreaming.

 Porched entrance with dark blue glazed ceramic.

Info Kreuzkirche Berlin-Schmargendorf, Hohenzollerndamm 130a, 14199 Berlin. Germany.

A façade well-travelled – From Gdansk to Berlin

What you see here is what I would call a façade well-travelled. It has the most amazing history. As so often in life, the reality is stranger than fiction and the whole story is almost a bit too bizarre to believe. This Gothic facade of an old patrician house was built in 1520 in Gdansk in Poland. In 1822, Frederick Wilhelm III of Prussia learned that it was to be demolished. After he decided to buy the facade it was transported by ship to Berlin. Architect Schinkel designed the whole property so that it would work together with the new facade. Existing buildings were demolished. A new foundation was set. The structure was rebuilt. Ornaments were added. Meanwhile, the people in Gdansk filled that gaping hole with a building in a different style. In WW2, and together with all atrocities, the Germans committed, also this building in that other town was destroyed. In the 1970s, a new house was erected designed in line with the original from 1520. The one in this photo, the cavalier house on Peacock Island, UNESCO World Heritage Site. In short. The original is now in Berlin and the copy is at its original location. The reality, stranger than fiction.


Cavalier House, Peacock Island, Berlin, Germany. Dorothee Lefering. The Touristin
Cavalier House - Peacock Island and Gdansk in Poland

Info: Peacock Island. Pfaueninselchaussee 100, 14109 Berlin. See the property in Gdansk and read about Gdansk: Travel Poland. See, Eat, Think and Sleep in Gdansk and Sopot.

Pack your suitcase for Berlin

I still have a suitcase in Berlin (Marlene Dietrich). There are so many good things about Berlin. Whenever someone asks me where I live and I respond with "Berlin" people instantly assume that I am cool (lucky me, I really am). Everyone I talk to, no matter where I am in the world, loves Berlin. And most people want to live in Berlin or move to Berlin soon, have visited recently, or want to visit (you get it). What exactly are you waiting for? Pack your suitcase for Berlin and start coddiwompling.

From Berlin with love