Jackee Word's basic guide for new tourists in Berlin.
Every week, for about the last 2 years, I get messages from people asking me questions about Berlin, where to stay, where to go etc
As much as I would love to show everyone the Berlin I know and love, unfortunately there are not enough hours in the day for me.
So this is my guide to Berlin, for anyone who is thinking of coming and is looking for a few tips and hints.
WHERE TO STAY? It depends on what you want to do, but if you are looking for a cheap hostel then there is the Circus Hotel & Hostel, this as the name suggests is both a hotel and a hostel and apartments, the hostels range from around 19€ a night. No, you can not stay with me, no i do not have room on my sofa. The Circus hotel and hostel rooms are clean, the staff all speak english (because if you spoke a word of German you would not be asking for my help, lets face it.) and it is very central to everything.
You can also rent an apartment which happens a lot here, but avoid areas like Lichtenberg, Moabit, or areas that look like they are on the outskirts, because that generally will be the case that they are.
WHERE TO GO TO PARTY? I generally don’t cater for straights so this is purely for people who are either fashion conscious or homo, or both.
BLITZ: This party is a dress up party, if you love to get dressed up and creative then this is the party for you, the music is reminiscent of the Blitz kids and is one of the only parties in Berlin where people really get dressed up.
This place is trash-a-rama. the sound system is not the best, the music variety is always a surprise and the queen who runs it is a living legend. every sunday. with a dark room. and a pole. trash heaven.
BERGHAIN: Yes, that club you heard about, the one that goes on for days and is crazy. ONLY go on a sunday, better to go sunday morning or sunday afternoon, entry is normally 12€ and the music is HARD techno. STRICT DOOR POLICY AGAINST ASSHOLES SO DON’T BE SHADY.
CHANTALS HOUSE OF SHAME: This is a tranny friendly party (in fact, most gay parties are, apart from the major bear sex parties) It is messy, fun and gays of all varieties are here.
HORSE MEAT DISCO: Yep, that great disco party from Vauxhall, we have that here, and me along with two other lovely ladies host the party. it is a BIG venue here and a BIG party.
PARTIES START AT ABOUT MIDNIGHT AND GO ON UNTIL ABOUT 8AM
PEOPLE DO NOT CARE WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE/WHO YOU ARE.
WHERE TO EAT?
My top 3 places to get some munch at very reasonable prices are:
Transit: My number one biggest weakness is asian food and this place does the best asian food I have ever eaten, and I have been to Asia. The way the restaurant works is in a tapas style manner where you order a bowl of food, and each bowl is just 3 euros, so you get a couple of bowls and share. Really great place for first dates as you can eat a little bit if you want to and not appear like you have an eating disorder and not look like you are stuffing your face. win win.
Hannibal: This is one of my all time favorite places, When I lived in Neukoelln and Kreuzberg I was here a few times a week, the cocktails are perfect and the food is really great, giant portions for about 6-7 euros a dish and the cocktails are 4 euros, for any cocktail.
Oberholz: This place is my guilty pleasure, in fact I am there so much that I am like the furniture, This place is more pricey and the clientelle generally are with Macbooks and abusing the free internet, the food is top quality hence the price but this is a great meeting place for daytimes, lunchtimes and any other times. (Also a great place for throwing some flirty looks around!... and generally it is in the direction of the staff.)
WHEN IS BEST TO COME? If you like hot weather and lots of tourists and bumping into people from your hometown, come in the summer, if you like the cold, come in the winter as it is generally fucking freezing. I recommend summer as the parties are better and everything about the city is sexier.
WHAT SHOULD I KNOW BEFORE I COME? Being really loud and british/american/australian is quite possibly the most nausiating thing you can be as a tourist here in Berlin. and only makes things harder for the brits/aussies/americans living here.
Berlin is a poor city, do not expect to find loads of amazing boutiques stocking vintage westwood, because they don’t even sell westwood in this city. it is better for vintage shops.
People generally can speak English here, so making Nazi jokes on public transport is not polite and not good taste.
Germans have no problem with looking grumpy and staring, be warned, that does not mean they want to start a fight with you, so do not start a fight with them.