Want to just chillllllaaaaaaxxxx in Berlin? Then check out these quaint, easygoing spots that will make you feel like a local without wearing you out.
Im Hof des Kunstlerhauses Bethanien am Mariennenplatz
Zugang gegenuber AdalberstraBe 73 U8 Kottbusser Tor
Photograph by Noema Perez via Flickr Creative Commons
To truly take in the local European experience, an evening with a movie under the stars is a must. The Freiluftkino in Kreuzberg is one of the best in Berlin. Come early for the struggle to set up your folding chair. Spend the next few minutes giggling as you watch others figure out theirs. Its the unofficial preshow entertainment. The large field is surrounded by classic buildings and shady trees. With its selection of German and foreign films, its large screen is a viewing pleasure. With a glass of wine in hand, enjoy the unspoken cammaraderie of filmbuffs as the sun begins to set and the movie begins to play, you’ll realize that life in Berlin could not be any more appealing.
Schonhauser Allee 12
+49 30 44017333
For those with healthy appetites–yet want to take a break from the much-loved Döner Kebabs–Due Forni is the place for you. This casual restaurant strives for authenticity with a charismatic staff of ItalianBerliners. The servings of this pizza joint are huge, so be generous and share with your friends. Although, it really is THAT good that greed and gluttony may overtake your stomach capacity. Du Forni’s ambience is that of fun, chaos, and good eats! There is seating both inside and outside the restaurant, with a small playground for the little children of Prenzlauer Berg, as well as for the big kids at heart. Their vast selection of beers, wines, and yes, gelato is a gastronomic dream.
Saturday afternoon market on Kollwitzplatz
On a sunny saturday, take a stroll down Kollwitzplatz, Prenzlauer Berg where you’ll find a feast for the eyes (as well as the stomach) in the outdoor farmers market. On saturdays, there is an extensive selection of food, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, cheeses, olives, homemade jams, Bavarian wurst, coffee, fresh orange juice, and even a kebab stand. Expect a crowd, most often of Englishspeaking expats and camerawielding tourist. While on thursdays, more of the local Berlin scene comes out to check out the organic fruits and vegetables, clothing offers, meats, wurst, and sweets.
Schonhauser Allee 45
U2 Eberswalder Strabe
Situated at the corner of Eberswalder Str. U-Bahn Station, Manolo’s is a great place to watch the hipsters stroll by. The benches outside the coffee shop is the perfect place to sit on a sunny day or warm evening, where the roar of the UBahn and jazzy street performers fill your ears and the array of lost backpackers is good entertainment. Its selection of coffee, juice, and snacks are healthy yet filling. Although, not the friendliest staff, its big enough for a sense of personal space and its not another “Starbucks” imitation coffee shop. Or at the very least, its not Starbucks.
U2 Eberswalder Str.
One of the best ways to nurse a hangover from the weekend chaos is to spend the day in Mauerpark. This park, also known as Wall Park, located in the busy district of Prenzlauer Berg. It has come to be the people’s park since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. You can start the day walking through the park and climbing up the steep hill where there is wall where you’ll find the local graffiti artists working their magic. If your stomach can handle it, have a go at the swings on the top of the hill, and feel the cool breeze as the view of the entire park appears and disappears beneath your feet. Once your done revisiting your childhood, take a walk through the sunday flea market. Here you’ll find hidden gems or just plain trash. Heaps of vintage clothes, china, vinyl albums, old photographs, and junk jewelry crowd the mazelike square. When you’ve shopped to your hearts content, have some kebabs, pommes (fries), or just some good old weiswurst on the outside stalls or eating areas where they sometimes have rock bands playing. Lay out on the grass and enjoy the music of the park, from jazz to dancing drum circles, the energy is lively yet relaxing. As the sun begins its hesitant descent, buy yourself some cheap wine and watch the figures turn into shadows of the night.
Revaler Str. 8
10245 Berlin Berlin
U1 Warshauer Str., SBahn
+49 30 41997165
Image by Runner1616 via Wikimedia Commons
The Film Kunst Video Shop in Friedrichshain is the Berlin Film addict’s “drug” of choice. Part video shop, part cafe, this rental store has a eclectic library of old, new, and foreign films. The films are organized by director, genre, and country ranging from Jean Luc Godard, Takashi Mike, Pedro Almodovar, Brunnel, and Wong Kar Wai. The staff are all film afficianados and are eager to share their knowledge. However, do not insult their intelligence by asking for “The Wedding Planner.” Signing up is free and if you rent a film after 11:30 p.m. it will only cost you 1 Euro to
expand your mind. It’s also the home of the Film Club, who can be heard discussing “flat shots” and other technical terms. This video den, with its chill ’50s vibe, granny armchairs, and wide selection of coffees and juices is also a great cafe and hangout spot for late night existensialist discussions.
ST. GEORGE’S ENGLISH BOOKSHOP
Wörther Straße 27,
Prenzlauer Berg U2
A visit to St. George’s English Bookshop is one of the more relaxing ways you could spend a saturday in Berlin. Pass by the organic food market on a saturday and load up on fresh strawberries and gourmet cheese, then just a block away you’ll find this busy bookshop. The quaint shop is loaded with an array of quality new and used books ranging from philosophy to pop culture. For the bibliophile in you, searching for a rare book would not be an unsurmountable feat, as the staff can special order any kind of book your craving for. With its large comfortable leather sofas and the sounds of soothing jazz playing in the background, spending a few hours curled up with a book is inevitable. It is also a great home for film buffs, as it plays a variety of films with English or German subtitles for the pocket friendly price of 3 Euros (which is inclusive of a drink). For those lost souls visiting or living in Berlin, St. George’s English Bookshop can be, to quote Hemingway, your “clean, well-lighted place