The best thing about visiting a destination for a second or (in my case) even a third time is that you get the chance to discover more and more. Once you’ve seen all the touristic highlights you are able to go beyond them and to explore a city like locals do. Or you can do it right away of course, when you aren’t interested in the touristic highlights.
Today was my first day in Berlin, and while my first two visits to the city were several years ago it felt like yesterday as soon as I walked over Unter Den Linden. Funnily enough actually, since I had trouble remembering what the city looked like and what the hell I did during those first two visits. But yeah, it all came back to me quite fast.
Berlin was a very, very unexpected visit, and I actually just planned it the night before leaving to the city. Which only left me with just enough time to pack my bags and deal with ‘who would take care of my dog’ before going to bed and mentally prepare myself for a seven hour road trip. So what to do when you have an unplanned citytrip to a city where you’ve already seen all the tourist highlights? That’s right, enter the first café you see with Wi-Fi, and look for local to-do’s, hotspots and neighborhoods.
Or at least, that is what I did.
I was searching for things to do in the café, but it didn’t take me long to find out that Neukölln was the place I should go to. While it is both very modern as it is a pleasant neighborhood in central Berlin, it is also a neighborhood filled with small cafés, (flee)-markets, small boutiques and vintage/second-hand stores you can only find in Berlin. Locals even describe it as the ‘hipster’-part of Berlin where Instagrammers fall in love. Now, I would’t exactly describe myself as a hipster or an Instagrammer, but I fell in love too. Neukölln, is just as I would describe it: typically Berlin. It feels relaxed, chilled out and liberal. It isn’t hard to feel like an expat when you are surrounded by no one else then locals. It was the perfect way to start my trip: I realized it quickly enough: ‘I’m in Berlin!’
So, if you have time left, or want to wander around a wonderful neighborhood in Berlin? Go to Neukölln!
- Melbourne Canteen
- Five Elephant
- Heat & Beat
- Sing Blackbird
- The Good Store
- Visit the Stadtbad
- Enjoy the fleemarkets
- Bike rental
- Drink loads of coffee in the hipster-bars
- Shop vintage clothes
- Relax at the park