Cultural things to do in Berlin

Photo: Kai_Vogel

Berlin’s metropolitan area has nearly 6 million residents representing more than 180 different nations. It’s a city brimming with culture and politics. Not to mention the place is drop-dead gorgeous for those who know where to look — about one-third of the city’s area is either a garden, forest, park, river or lake. And Berlin’s popularity is gaining. In 2015, Berlin was the third most visited city in Europe, losing only to London and Paris (but coming in ahead of Rome and Barcelona).

Editor’s note: These spots are taken directly from travelstoke®, a new app from Matador that connects you with fellow travelers and locals, and helps you build trip itineraries with spots that integrate seamlessly into Google Maps and Uber. Download the app to add any of the spots below directly to your future trips.

1. Experience Berlin’s street Art.

 Street Art Berlin – Arte LocalBerlin, GermanyCheck out the incredible street art of #Berlin #streetart

Banksy, Os Gemeos, Obey, Blu are some of the names you can find around here…

2. Spend a day visiting the museum island.

one of our favorite views in #Berlin #vscocam

A photo posted by Fotostrasse (@fotostrasse) on

3. Strole through the Gardens of Gärten der Welt.

Gärten der Welt in Marzahn has 21 hectares of land with nine regional gardens, each representing the history and culture of the country. China, Morocco, Japan, Bali, and Korea are just some of the nationalities represented through the landscaping. Besides all the national gardens, the park has gardens dedicated to religions such as Christianity and the tropical garden that is filled with plants you can only find in South America or South East Asia. The park’s visitor numbers are increasing annually and this is not a place to enjoy with the masses. Make sure you check it out before it is overrun. Once a year they host the cherry blossom day. Check their calendar to see when it will happen next, it’s spectacular.

4. Go to a punk show.

Radio Dead Ones at the Coretex Stage #fotostrasse

A photo posted by Marcela Faé (@marcelafae) on

Berlin is the birthplace for techno but the punk rock side it is just too awesome to miss it. SO36, Ramones Museum, Køpi 137, Cassiopeia, Core Tex are some of the places you can find some punk rock.

5. Visit the eight windmills of Berlin.

Did you know that Berlin has eight working windmills inside its perimeter? My favorite is Britzer Muhle. We discovered this amazing place completely unintentionally when our crew were taking the bikes for a long tour over to Brandenburg. Once I was at Buckower Damm, I saw this weird shaped thing on the corner of my eye and I had to stop my bike. In the distance I saw Britzer Muhle and after a quick Google search, found out that there are another seven windmills in Berlin. Some of the windmills are much closer to the city center and there is one really close to Gärten der Welt. Britzer Muhle is open for tours Fridays to Sundays from 11am to 4pm.

6. Shop in Dong Xuan Center.

Asian Center ️ #tramp #plastic #paradise #heaven

A photo posted by Leon Karatas (@leonkaratas) on

The Dong Xuan Center is a one-of-a-kind Asian market. It’s packed with seemingly endless whacky products. It’s the center of the East-Berlin Asian community. Don’t visit without a large shopping bag or rucksack. Even if you’re not planning to spend money in weird and useless stuff, you will.

7. Admire the gothic architecture at Berlin Cathedral Church.

 Berlin Cathedral ChurchBerlin, GermanyA beautiful gothic building with a nice outdoor area around. #church #archaeology #history

8. View some of the street art originally along the Berlin Wall at East Side Gallery.

 East Side GalleryBerlin, GermanyIf you go to one part of the Berlin Wall, you MUST go here. This section features the best artwork and murals to be found along the wall. If you are into photography, you will love it. #art #berlin #history #free #gallery

9. Take a moment at The Garden of Exile.

 Garden of exileBerlin, Germany#gallery #history

The Garden of Exile stands outside the Jewish Museum Berlin. The garden represents the experience of European Jewish exiles, driven from their home during World War II. Standing in between the rows of forty-nine concrete container columns is a claustrophobic, disorienting experience, where you are aware that logically, escape is very close but physically, you feel as if you are trapped forever.

10. Get to know David Bowie’s favourite and famous spots.

you don't need to guess where we were this morning. #Bowie

A photo posted by Fotostrasse (@fotostrasse) on

His Berlin apartment is on Haupstrasse 155 in Schöneberg, the studio where Heroes was recorded is on Potsdamer Platz and so on.

11. Book a tour at Reichstag Building.

 Reichstag BuildingBerlin, GermanyOne of my two must-do things in Berlin! Book your free tour online in advance as they fill up. If you going when it’s cold, bundle up because the top, glassy dome of the building is open air and you won’t want to miss walking up and around it. They also point out Angela Merkel’s office to you. #politics #government #free #history

12. Stand at the base of the Berlin Wall Memorial.

 Berlin Wall MemorialBerlin, GermanyStanding with a friend on either side of what used to be the Berlin Wall on my first day ever in Germany. #history

13. Learn of the rich history of Sammlung Boros.

 Sammlung BorosBerlin, GermanyAlso known as “Boros Bunker” in English, this is one of my top 5 spots in Berlin you can’t miss! Like the Reichstag, go online and book a tour (only way to access it) in advance otherwise it’ll sell out. World class art collection – with Ai Wei Wei – in an old Nazi bunker that sheltered thousands of Germans during the war. You can actually see bullet holes on the outside of the building and spots where the toilets used to be inside the building. The family that now owns the building and art collection live in the penthouse apartment here. Really, really cool!!’ Cost is 12 Euros, I believe. #nazi #germany #berlin #art #gallery #history #war

14. Enjoy an evening at The Berlin Philharmonic.

Seduced by Stravinsky

A photo posted by Robyn Tse (@robynbiird) on

The Berliner Philharmonic plays for everybody that wants to listen every Tuesday at 1pm. The concert is performed by the wonderful students of the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler. It is by far the nicest thing to do over your lunch break in Berlin. Get there early is you’re trying to attend to one of the events during the summer. For security reasons, the number of visitors to the lunch concerts is limited to 1,500.

15. Have a lazy afternoon by on of the many lakes, pools or man-made beaches.

 Freibad JungfernheideBerlin, GermanySince it’s such a big city, it’s surprising how many lakes and public pools there are in Berlin. This lake is very easy to access off the metro and still in the city limits. Great place to cool off on a hot day whenever there is one 😳 #swimming #berlin

16. Time travel in East Berlin.

#Berlin

A photo posted by Michael Schulz (@berlinstagram) on

There are so many great spots in East Berlin that will transport you to the cold war era. Two of my favorites are Karl-Marx-Allee and Leipzigerstrasse. Walking down both avenues is like going back to the 70s and 80s in Berlin. Karl-Marx-Allee is known as Stalin’s Bathroom because the architecture covered in tiles, just like in your bathroom. Take the U5 or the tram on the east side and emerge yourself in history for free. Grab a beer on the way and walk through iconic places, used for movie sets for the like of “The life of others” and “Goodbye Lenin”. Take a long walk following The Spree from Elsenbrücke towards the TV Tower. You’ll see this on the horizon. You’ll note scenery from “Run Lola Run” and the new series “Sense8.”

Train tripping through Europe, pt 2

FOLLOW FILMMAKER Blaze Nowara as he traverses Europe, hitting up London, Paris, Berlin, and Krakow, and visiting the local Hotel Indigo properties (part of InterContinental Hotels Group). These hotels are individually designed with each city in mind, taking care to reflect their locale and offer an authentic experience. Cookie-cutter chain hotels they are not.

In episode 2, we re-join Blaze at the Hotel Indigo Berlin – Alexanderplatz, his base as he takes us on a visual journey around the city, ending at a pub for a beer. He then travels to Poland, stopping in Krakow, where the Hotel Indigo Krakow – Old Town offers an awesome final example of how these properties are integrated into their surroundings. In keeping with the trip’s theme, Blaze completes his stay with a vodka tasting and a new group of friends.

Click here to check out episode 1!

 

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This video is proudly produced by Matador for the InterContinental Hotels Group.

 

10 of the best spots in Frankfurt to eat and party

Photo: Dan Lundberg

Frankfurt is the epitome of cozy and casual. From trendy clubs to brunch and creative bars in historic Sachsenhausen, this city is the perfect place to get your culture and cocktail on. All of these spots and more can be found on Matador Network’s new travelstoke app. Check it out and make some trip planning lists of your own.

1. Gibson

 GibsonFrankfurt am Main, GermanyMost people have a live-hate relationship with this spot. It’s spacious and music is good, but you do have to dress up a bit and line can be long. It’s good for a Saturday night out. #elegant #dancing #club

2. Barhundert

 barhundertFrankfurt am Main, GermanyI’ve got 2 words for the drinks here – On.Point. If you want to listen to good music and grab a few drinks with the crew but don’t want to be at a crowded club, this is your spot. #cocktails #casual

3. Sachsenhausen

 SachsenhausenFrankfurt am Main, GermanyThis charming cobblestone neighborhood has a ton of great restaurants and bars. If you’re not sure what the game plan is or if you’d like to bar hop, come over here. Swing by the river on a warm summer night. #food #casual #coffee #open-late #free-wifi

4. Sullivan

 SullivanFrankfurt am Main, GermanyAwesome cocktails and good food. Start at Sullivan before heading out for a barhop or to the club. #cocktails #free-wifi #casual

5. Hopper’s

 Hopper´sFrankfurt am Main, GermanyDefinitely make sure to stop by Hopper’s while strolling through Sachsenhausen. Gin tonic loves – this is for you. Their cocktail menu is great, my friend had the “Mother in law” and raved about it all evening. Atmosphere is very chill and relaxing. #cocktails #casual

6. The Kinly Bar

 The Kinly BarFrankfurt am Main, GermanyThis bar is a true hidden gem. In the spirit of speakeasy, it’s not the easiest place to spot. I found it based on a recommendation from a local friend. Drinks are delicious and very well-done. Staff is super friendly. Atmosphere is elegant and chill. #cocktails #casual #food

7. Plank Cafe-Bar-Studio

 Plank Café-Bar-StudioFrankfurt am Main, GermanyThis is one of the chilliest cafes I’ve been to. They really know how to whip up a good espero and cappuccino at Plank. I recommend it to coffee enthusiasts. #coffee #free-wifi

8. Maxie Eisen

 Maxie EisenFrankfurt am Main, GermanyCozy, chill spot with a hipster vibe. Pastrami sandwiches are delicious. Some days they’ve got live music which compliments the meal perfectly. #free-wifi #coffee

9. Bar ohne Namen

 Bar ohne NamenFrankfurt am Main, GermanySuper cozy bar with great cocktails. Ideal for a pre-dinner drink or a mid-day rest while you explore the city. #cocktails #food #casual #coffee #free-wifi

10. Good Food Lakalbahnhof

 Good Food LokalbahnhofFrankfurt am Main, GermanyPerfect for brunch, this spot will spoil you with delicious, fluffy toast, eggs and cured meats. It’s also vegetarian friendly and has gluten free options, so everyone will be happy. #brunch #free-wifi #coffee