Visit Berlin Like a Local

Visit Berlin Like a Local

When in Rome, be like a Roman, the saying goes. You can say the same about any interesting city, so sure enough about Berlin as well. You can do a tourist excursion with a guide and get an overall view of the city and the major must-sees. To really understand the Germany of today, you ought to experience Berlin like a local.

Here are ten suggestions to go around Berlin like you live there, from great places to eat to sights you think were unthinkable:

  • Dine at ClärchensBallhaus. You don’t speak German? Bring someone who does, because English is not much heard here. This is a stunning place where German and Italian food are brought together as if they belong. And this delicious food is served in a venue where it feels like time stood still. The vaults at the ceiling bear old-world chandeliers, giving you the idea to dine in the ballroom of a castle. Except for one thing: here you can dig into a perfectly made pizza! After your dinner, put on your dancing shoes for Tango Tuesday or Wednesday’s swing dance. After all, you just had dinner in a restaurant in Europe’s oldest ballroom venue!

  • Drinks at Fragrances, Ritz-Carlton Berlin. Not your every day’s cocktail bar: at Fragrances in the Ritz-Carlton Berlin they serve cocktails that complement your favorite perfume. And they all come in their own unique glasses to enhance the drink. This very peculiar cocktail lounge feels a bit like an international gentlemen’s club for adventurous men… Each drink you order has its own story and ingredients, so sit back and relax in a sitting area with your friends or lover for some wonderful creative drinks, custom-made. The vessels for the drinks are worth noticing as they all come with an innovative surprise.
  • Relax at the Prater Biergarten. A Biergarten is the most German thing there is, and Prater Biergarten is the oldest in Berlin. There you can drink beer under the chestnut trees that are standing there since at least 1837. It is not quite clear when exactly the garden started, and the many different tales about the roots of Prater don’t make it any easier. One thing is for sure: the local love to enjoy their local beer on the outdoor terrace from April through September – the other months are too chilly for outdoor drinking and chatting..

  • Sleep like a local. OK, locals won’t sleep in a hotel, so this is where you have to behave like a tourist. But no worries, if you want to the hip Berlin flow there are plenty of possibilities. Like the Moxy Hotel near the Ostbahnhof. It’s one of the most hip and modern boutique budget hotels in Berlin! Cheap rates, just locals would like!
  • Ride a bike around the city. Berlin has a great public transportation system, but limited parking in the old neighborhoods. If you have an environmental-conscious mind like the locals, you get around on a bike. That is very German these days. You go at a slower pace which gives you the opportunity to explore the city in a different way – to see Berlin like the locals do. Berlin on Bike is a friendly rental company that even delivers guided bike tours if you don’t feel too confident on your bicycle to take Berlin by yourself. If you want some more local cuisine, you can take an evening food tour by bike: a scenic trip and some yummy food!
  • Treat yourself at the Guerlain Spa. Waldorf Astoria has a lovely Spa where you can relax after a day on your bike. Take a facial and then some zen time in the indoor pool. The steam room and the ice station will help you reset your body and mind, and you will be prepared for some new adventures afterwards.
  • Dine on a rooftop. Have dinner at the rooftop restaurant Neni. You will get some of the best views of the city. Like a panoramic view of the well-known Berlin Zoo and on City West. Don’t forget to go to the restroom. The last toilet in the ladies room has walls of glass that give you a full view at the monkeys in the zoo – and they can see you too! That is some restroom experience I daresay.
  • Visit the different neighborhoods. Like any big city, Berlin is divided into a number of neighborhoods, each with their own atmosphere and energy. Berlin counts 60 areas in total, so you won’t be able to visit them all. Sort out a few that catch your eye when reading about the city and make a plan for a tour. The free app app.visitberlin.com will surely help you out.
  • Shop on Kurfürstendamm. Kurfürstendamm is the best, renowned and most elegant shopping area in Berlin. The architecture makes it even more appealing to spend some time there, even if you don’t buy anything. You can find shops with reasonable prices as well as boutiques of top designers like Chanel, Cartier or Yves Saint Laurent. You can stroll and browse through the shops and sip a coffee in cafes that are decades old. Everything in this area seems to have a story and history that may be worth exploring

  • Go out in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg. Want to go out where the young and cool locals go? You got it right here! This area is quite colorful and always humming and hopping. It has the most clubs per square kilometer in Berlin, and there is always something buzzing. You can dance the night away, or just chill, very often into the wee hours of the night.
  • See the Gardens of the World. It may sound like a touristic attraction, but the fact is that many locals like to come here too to get away from the buzz in the city. Gardeners and outdoor people love to be here. This unique, expanded park has garden styles from all kinds of cultures – hence the name. A visit here is a nice relief from the crowded streets and noise of Berlin.
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