LifeStyle in the heart of Berlin
14 April, 2014
Por Tensi Sáncez de Actitudes Magazine
As soon as you get off the plane, you realise that life in Berlin is peaceful, unhurried and stress-free and that this city is somewhere where pollution does not form part of the landscape.
For a Berliner, there is no more precious treasure than being able to enjoy a sunny day and take to the streets in search of simple, everyday pleasures like walking, enjoying a bier somewhere in the open, reading a good book in one of the city’s 2,500 wonderful parks or visiting one of the hundreds of art galleries.
The German capital exudes modernity with a clearly unique personality that is reflected in the art that flows throughout the city and is embodied in endless forms. If you add to the mix that life in Berlin is not expensive, you come to the conclusion that this is one of the most dynamic capitals as far as European art and design are concerned.
The entire city is linked perfectly by the metro, a tram or train service. You will find it virtually impossible to discover somewhere that cannot be reached by one or more of these three modes of transport (although you may need a bit of patience at first to decipher things). That said, I want to highlight the Mitte district, which can be visited without the need to use public transport. Mitte means “the middle” or “half”, which is why this district is described as the heart of the city and is the best-known district in Berlin as here you will find the historic city centre.
One of my favourite hotels in the city is the Eurostar Berlin. Here you will want for nothing. There’s a pool, a sauna, a pianist in the lobby who accompanies you during breakfast beside the art exhibits, added to which the staff are really friendly.
From the hotel, a pleasant stroll along the banks of the river Spree will take you to Mitte, where you’ll find many shops, galleries, bars and restaurants. Let’s start with the fabulous Flagshipstore and its collections by more than twenty young German and Scandinavian designers. At Who killed Bambi, you’ll find women’s fashion and accessories with daring designs at good prices. Storia and Fairly offer some very feminine and elegant fashion that you will find impossible to resist.
Greta&Luis is a multi-faceted shop with a great deal of style, especially in clothes for young men. Another of my favourites is Potipoti, a Spanish brand created in 2005 by Silvia Salvador and Nando Cornejo. Its philosophy is to combine graphic design, art and fashion. All its collections are designed in Berlin and manufactured in Spain. You won’t be able to leave without buying something!
In Berlin, it’s impossible not to be seduced by the world of vintage clothing & accessories. One great example is Waahnsinn, where you’ll find an infinity of second-hand gadgets, clothes and accessories.Class of Berlin /run by Franzisca, designer of the Marlenes Tochter brand) is the perfect place to get yourself some vintage clothes from the 1930s through to the 1960s. They also offer a barber’s service. Finally, discover all things vintage with a touch of class at Garments, where you’ll succumb to authentic treasures at very reasonable prices by de Comme des Garcons, Valentino, Channel or Martin Marguiela, along with other outstanding brands.
If you like your objects and furniture to have a more industrial and retro look, Objets trouvés is the home décor place for you. Its peculiar frontage makes it easy to find. Not far away is the marvellous gallery ofOliver Rath, Rath-Gallery. His photography has an impact on everybody and inspires inner reflection. A few streets down is the aquabitArt gallery and its more avant-garde exhibitions.
Stopping for a coffee anywhere in the Mitte district is essential, and even more enjoyable when sitting out on one of the outdoor terraces. However, this is one special place hidden away down a side street at 39 Rosenthaler Straße. Once you find this place, you’ll think you have travelled back to a Berlin of times gone by. The graffiti is hypnotising. Go with the flow and follow it to the end where you’ll discover various art galleries, including Neurotitan Shop & Gallery, where you’ll no doubt lose yourself among the books, records, t-shirts, etc., and Central Kino, a unique cinema-shop with popcorn included.
To recover from the shock and to admire the unique nature of this side street, take a seat on the terrace atCafé Cinema and savour one of the excellent German beers on offer.
In the Mitte district, stretching from Hackesche Höfe to Oranienburger Strasse, there are many bars that flung open their doors to the hoards of West Berliners after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Some of these places are relatively easy to find but it’s more fun to lose yourself among the bars that sprout like mushrooms and disappear from one day to the next.
By Tensi Sáncez from Actitudes Magazine
Picture by Ruben Seco
You now have the essential tips for any first visit to Berlin. What are you waiting for to book your Vueling flight?
14 April, 2014