There is no doubt Berlin is the city of secret spots and underground culture. For this reason, the best way to dive deeper and find the hidden gems that the city has to offer is to seek advice from the locals. With this in mind we interviewed David, he is a Berliner, world traveler, and shared with us his favorite spots in town. David knows what it takes to grasp different cultures, he is a true world explorer. He and his partner Patrick have been traveling all over the world and share their inspiring journeys on Instagram, from around the globe.
WHERE TO STAY
In my opinion, the best area to stay and experience the real Berlin would be Kreuzberg, Neukölln or Friedrichshain. The most typically gay neighbourhood in Berlin would be Schöneberg, however the gay scene you find there is more stereotypical. In Mitte you have the main tourist attractions, but it’s in these other districts where you will find the true soul of Berlin, which makes it a unique city, different from other major European capitals. Here you have loads of bars and, of course, clubs that will make your time in Berlin, interesting and memorable.
THINGS TO DO
- Go to Admiralbrücke and enjoy a beer by the canal, this a nice place to sit and chill.
- Berlin nightlife is a big part of the local culture that you can’t miss. There are options during the day and night time with electronic music indoor and outdoor.
Berlin is a very safe and gay-friendly city. As any major city, you should pay attention to your belongings as there might be pickpockets in the most crowded metro stations.
- Watch the beautiful view of the city during sunset from the rooftop of the Klunkerkranich.
- Take some cool black and white pictures in one of the many photo booths around the city.
WHEN TO GO
The best time to enjoy Berlin is during spring and summer, when the weather allows you to walk around the city without freezing! As soon as the temperatures gets warm enough, every park is full of people hanging out and enjoying a beer in the sunshine with their friends. The city is surrounded by many lakes, which are one of the top hang out spots for locals during the summer.
Being as big of a city as Berlin, there are always many events happenings, from art exhibitions to flea markets and nightclubs. No matter when you visit, there will surely be something for you.
WHERE TO EAT
Berlin is not a city where you will easily experience traditional German food. The most typical from Berlin is actually a Donner kebab. There are many restaurants around the city, Mustafa’s being the most popular. If you want to enjoy a kebab as tasty, but without waiting in line for over an hour, head to Has Mevlana, at Kottbusser Tor or simply known as Kotti, which is a district of the eastern part of Kreuzberg, formerly a part of West Berlin. In this area of town, you may feel like you are in Istanbul. It’s an exciting place where you always find something new to explore. If you like Turkish food, you can also visit the deli Knoffi.
Vietnamese food is also big in Berlin. There are many great Vietnamese restaurants. My personal favourite is Umami, which is more like Asian fusion.
WHERE TO PARTY
Berlin has a huge gay scene. You can find places and parties for all kind of tastes, audiences and types of music: pop nights, never-ending techno parties, drag-shows – and much more!
TOP GAY BARS RECOMMENDATION
The most popular gay bars in Kreuzberg are Möbel Olfe, which is always packed specially on Thursday evenings, and Südblock, a bar/restaurant which has an open air area.
FAVORITE GAY CLUBS
As for clubs, as I mentioned the offer is huge. Aside from the renowned Berghain/Panorama Bar, there are many other options, such as SchwuZ, KitKatClub or (bi-)monthly parties like Pornceptual, Gegen or Cocktail d’Amore.
DAY TRIPs FROM BERLIN
Take a tour in the concentration camp of Sachsenhausen. Is a very insightful experience that you shouldn’t miss in order to understand the local culture in a deeper level.
Potsdam is home to quaint, Baroque buildings, scenic landscapes and many majestic palaces. This is certainly the most typical day trip from Berlin. It’s about a 35 minute train ride from Berlin Central Station.
WHERE TO SHOP
If vintage markets are your thing, Berlin has lots to offer! The biggest and most popular flea market is on Sundays at Mauerpark. But there are always many other smaller markets around the city where you can find something authentic to take home as a souvenir.
GAY PRIDE IN BERLIN
The Pride Parade is always fun and very crowded. It’s a nice time, but I would say pride here is not as big as it seems to be in other cities. The typical Pride parties are quite generic and kind of feel less authentic than what you would find any other weekend.