This April, Preen is taking you on a ride. We’re all about traveling to escape or even to find that one thing you can never have if you just stay still. From journal entries to travel advice, we’ve got your ticket booked for a getaway from the everyday grind.
Berlin is one city that’s easy to fall in love with. Alive constantly with new ideas but also bordered by German tradition, it’s a world city that carries the pulse of today’s society. One wouldn’t be able to get to the next train stop without seeing at least five people dragging along their luggage bags either to or from the airport.
In my short time in the city, I was able to live more like a citizen rather than a tourist. I never got to see the Bradenburg Tor or the Jewish Museum. Instead, I would take the train on my own, walk in and out of drugstores (hoarding high street makeup, of course) and simply just getting lost between the TV Tower and the Neptunbrunnen. (Is that a far distance or was I so lost that I can’t really tell?) One time, as I was walking along Tiergarten, I passed by a pop-up flea market full of antiques and collectibles straight out of a classic novel, full of people who I would have mistaken for characters I have seen in books. When I lost my way back to my hotel, a street performing duo held a crowd mesmerized by their renditions of Nina Simone hits and songs from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
After all, the best places to visit in foreign lands aren’t the usual tourist spots but the stops considered commonplace by the locals. Some of the friends I made over there (another good thing to do when in Berlin) would also agree and were glad to give me a few more pointers on how to effectively spend 24 hours in the city.
The first would be to start your day with a cup of coffee. Coffee is very important in German breakfasts and the Deutch pride themselves in their different brews. (Did you really think I was going to start your day with a pint of beer?) Preferably this cup should be taken at a café by the Landerwehr Canal. A beautiful spot in the city, it would encourage you to walk around and just soak everything around you: families going about their day, professionals off to work, and how the city wakes up in general. There are a few other spots along Kreuzberg that you could also go to.
Afterwards, try to make your way to Humana at the Frankfurter Tor. It is a four-story shop full of secondhand clothing from the ’60s to the ’90s “to ironically wear at your next bad party while secretly thinking they actually look excellent on you,” as my friend said, and couldn’t be a better way to make the shop a must-see.
If you’re in a large group, you can opt to go to the Tempelhof Airport, which no longer serves planes but is now a place where a lot of people jog and fly their kites on a spring day. For something a little more artsy, the Hamburg Bahnhof is a museum that allows you to see good collection of modern and post-modern art from talents like Andy Warhol and his contemporaries.
A good place to also walk around and to find somewhere to dine in is Alexanderplatz. Lined with local restaurants and small shops, it is one of busiest squares in the city. Just adapt a few German words and you’re going to blend right in.
As the night time approaches, you need to be smart when it comes to your strategy. An underground club, such as Brunnen 70 wouldn’t only be a great place to dance, but also educate yourself in history as the club is a converted underground bunker for the military.
But Berlin is a place were there is a club for every type of individual. For those who want to explore their fetishes without any restrictions, there is the KitKat Bar. The cushy pink walls of Roses is considered a gay bar but still opens its doors to straight men and women, and is usually filled with people from all over the world. For a really cool joint that’s full of techno and electronica, there is Berghain. For a more cultural route, there is also Wilde Renate which is a club made of multiple rooms for you to explore and boasts of original décor from the 1920s.
No matter what club you choose, or if you prefer to go for some club-hopping, you’re set till the morning and may just find yourself by the canal once more, ready to get over the hangover with some coffee.