This marks the first interview of my “Explore like a local” series featuring people from around the world in their hometown. Learn more about each destination and how to explore it ‘like a local.’ If you wish to be interviewed please email me.
Today we Explore Berlin like a local.
1. Who are you and where is your home town?
I’m Neni and I am from Berlin, the capital from Germany. I studied journalism and I love to travel, eat and read.
2. What is one thing I can´t miss when visiting?
No one should miss the Gendarmenmarkt. It is, in my opinion, the most beautiful place in the city. It’s busy, but not crowded. The architecture of the whole street is so neat, especially the main buildings the German Cathedral, the French Cathedral and the Concert Hall.
French Cathedral View, Berlin
The German Cathedral is also a museum and tackles everything from the first ideas of a united Germany, back in the early 19th century. The French Cathedral has one of the best views in Berlin Mitte. You see all major sights like the Brandenburg Gate, the Parliament Building, the Museum Island and so on.
The Concert Hall offers a free concert every Tuesday. So I highly recommend that. All in all it’s a chic and historic place.
Berlin Parliament quarter
3. Where are the best places to eat?
Tough decision. I tried to narrow them down to my five favourites.
- Thai Wiese (Thai meadow) is at Preussenpark and it´s basically a big picnic. People from Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines bring their cooking stuff, a chop board and what else they need and cook at the meadow. The best is to bring all your friends, buy all kinds of food, sit down and have a pick-nick.
- At Kulturbrauerei you get a street-food happening every weekend and on special occasions. You get to try food from around the world and get a chance to try the latest food creations. It´s always exciting to see and eat there.
- Windburger is the perfect place for vegan and vegetarian burger, but you get them with meat too. The best part are the Berlin Fries with special sauce.
- An Egypt restaurant I really love is Baraka. They have amazing plates with all kinds of small bowls of food. Great for sharing.
- And last but not least Gustav & Gold. This restaurant is very chic. They serve German food with a modern twist in a very welcoming ambience. Their menu changes almost daily, but they always have meatless options.
Baraka food Berlin
4. Where to go for the best coffee?
I’ve got to admit that I don´t like Berlin’s coffee culture, I much more prefer the cute tea shops such as Tigertörtchen in the oldest neighbourhood of the City, Nicolai Quarter. Another amazing place is Sumak in Kreuzberg. They offer traditional Turkish tea and they serve it so lovely. In Mitte you find a Tadzhikistan tee house where guests have to take off their shoes and sit on the ground.
5. How to get there? Are there any tricks to using public transport?
Berlin has an easy and affordable public transportation system. Tourists should get the Berlin Card. This card gives you the chance to take every bus, tram, metro and S-Bahn for your whole stay. Further you get discounts on museums and other activities.
6. What do you love most about your home town?
The city is colourful, open-minded, flawed, honest, cultural and historic. There is a sheer endless amount of activities and restaurants. You can eat and see everything you want.
7. Are there any hidden gems only known by locals?
I love books so I’m always on the hunt for new ones. My favourite stores are St. George’s in Prenzlauer Berg and Curious Fox in Neukölln. Charming second-hand stores with a wide range of cheap books and the warmest atmosphere.
Another thing I would recommend is Insel der Jugend (Island of Youth). It’s a really small island where you get to drink a beer and enjoy the nature. The perfect quiet spot with a lovely ambience. But you can also get active and rent a boat or canoe.
Oh and if you’re planning big, you can rent the whole island!
Museums island, Berlin
Neni blogs at Travel and Lipsticks
and where she shares many insights on Berlin and further abroad. If food is your interest, Neni also shares recipes from around the world. You can also follow her adventures on Facebook