If you’re a hipster, you should probably go and seek out a hipster travel guide to Berlin (there’s tonnes of them). However, if you couldn’t care less about street art, flea markets, edgy bars, man buns or alternative live indie music then you might want to read on. Berlin is renowned for being a hipster city, but there is so much to do off the tourist track in the German capital even if you’re not a hipster. There’s a reason Berlin is known as the city of cool: because it has something for everyone.
Discover Berlin from a local perspective and use our guide on What to do in Berlin if you’re not into hipster activities...
PARKS GALORE: BE AT ONE WITH NATURE
Not many cities in Europe can boast having over 2000 green spaces - but Berlin can. The German capital is packed with thousands of recreational public parks for you to enjoy; in fact the city is home to more parks and gardens than any other city on the continent. On a warm summer's day get out and explore the beautiful family-friendly spaces. Take a nice long walk, cycle amongst the forest or sunbathe by the lakes. Our favourite parks in Berlin are Körnerpark, Charlottenburg Palace Gardens, Tiergarten, Grunewald Forest, Volkspark and Viktoriapark.
INDULGE IN JAPANESE RESTAURANTS
Love Asian cuisine? Berlin doesn’t disappoint when it comes to delicious, authentic Asian food - particularly Japanese. You simply must head to one of the city’s best but affordable Japanese restaurants for dinner. We recommend Dudu near Alexanderplatz (claimed to one of George Clooney’s favourite restaurants in Berlin) and while that may make you think it’s expensive, it’s actually very reasonable, especially compared to London or Paris prices. Inside you’ll find a sophisticated crowd (maybe only 1 or two hipsters), amazing cocktails, silky melt-in-the-mouth sushi and tasty hot plates. Top tip: ask to sit outside in the Moroccon themed marquee.
You may not know this but Berlin has an amazing burlesque scene. If you’re looking for an exciting evening plan, head to one of the city’s awesome burlesque shows where you can enjoy cocktails and a sizzling dance performance and great atmosphere. We recommend Prinzipal in Kreuzberg for a fun night of burlesque and top notch cocktails. While Kreuzberg is in the area of the city has its fair share of hipsters, the burlesque bar doesn’t seem to attract them.
HAPPY HOUR AND BURGERS AT BELUSHI’S
Instead of spending the evening in one of the cities edgy, hipster bars where you may not fit in amongst the sea of bold prints and beanies, opt for Belushi’s in Alexanderplatz instead. At this lively sports and party bar, you’re guaranteed to meet loads of other like-minded backpackers. The 2 for 1 Happy Hour at Belushi’s runs every day from 5pm - 9pm making it one of the longest happy hours in the city. What’s not to love? Serving up tasty burgers, a massive range of beers, cocktails and spirits combined with an epic playlist you can spend the whole night in Belushi’s.
Did you know a brand new Belushi’s is opening in Mitte? Check it out
Fancy a bit of a challenge? Get your friends together and have the best experience at an escape room. Escape Rooms are an awesome trend right now, not just in Berlin but all over the world. The German capital has its fair share of amazing, top-rated escape rooms to try. Our favourite is The Room, a live escape room experience where you solve a series of puzzles to complete the mission before the time runs out. Located in Berlin-Lichtenberg, this award-winning escape room is just great fun, especially on a rainy day in the city.
THE FOOD AT ARMINIUSMARKTHALLE
One of the best non-hipster places to try street food in Berlin is Arminiusmarkthalle where you can experience a true German food market. Unlike Markethall Neun, which is a hipster street food market in Berlin's Kreuzberg, Arminiusmarkthalle is much cheaper and still has a couple of years in it yet before the hipsters takeover and make it their new market hangout. Sample stalls upon stalls of amazing food from around the world in the indoor market as well as German delicacies. You can try irresistible pastries, Italian pastas, sausages, fresh fish, craft beer, cheeses, pulled pork sandwiches and way more.
HOFBRÄU BEER HALL
For a proper Bavarian dining experience, the Hofbräu in Mitte won’t let you down. Inspired by the oldest beer hall in Munich, the Hofbräu serves up huge steins of local German beer, massive pork knuckles and more hearty traditional food of Bavaria. The atmosphere in the Hofbräu is electric with waiters and waitresses dressed in lederhosen and dirndls and an awesome playlist to match. A great non-hipster experience of the city.
FREE WALKING TOUR
Looking to see the city with a knowledgeable guide to talk you through every sight? Then we recommend the Sandemans Free Walking Tour where you can have a free tour around Berlin’s most famous attractions with a group (who could become your newfound friends). With some Berlin history thrown in, you will get to see the Bradenburg Gate, The Berlin Wall, the Holocaust Memorial and explore some of Berlin’s significant streets, all for free. You can book yourself onto the free walking tour at the hostel reception at St Christopher’s Inns.
HANGOUT WITH THE ANIMALS AT BERLIN ZOO
The most species-rich zoo in the world, Berlin Zoo is a great attraction to visit on a sunny day in the city. With almost 20,000 animals and over 1,300 species, see the birds, monkeys, hippos, sea lions, elephants, giraffes, gorillas and more. Entry to the zoo is €15.50 for an adult ticket. Open every day of the year, come say hi to the animals!
THE OLYMPIC STADIUM
Olympiastadion in West Berlin is so worth a visit if you’re looking for something a bit different to do - especially if you’re a footie fan. Located in the Olympiapark, the stadium was built for the 1937 Summer Olympics and is now the third-largest football stadium in Germany. With a total of 74,475 seats and regularly playing host to massive sports events, concerts and festivals, it’s a pretty awesome tourist attraction. You can visit the stadium to have a look around for €8 if you’re an adult and €5 if you’re a student. With a ticket you’ll have access to most the stadium grounds.
GET A TASTE OF BERLIN'S STAPLE DISHES
This 3.5 hour tour is perfect for foodies who want to experience Berlin’s vibrant, multicultural food scene. On this Original Berlin Food Adventure Tour you can learn about the history of Berlin through food. Learn about the local neighbourhoods, enjoy 10 delicious food tastings and discover the city’s authentic cuisine like a local. You’ll get to try 10 dishes that basically sum the city up. From currywurst, local Berlin beer, Turkish baklava, Kartoffelpuffer (Germany’s favourite fried food) and more, definitely book yourself onto this if you love eating local food. For €25,20 per person all food and drinks will be provided as well as an expert guide to take you around.
ONE THING YOU CAN’T AVOID THOUGH
Craving a good cup of coffee? Berlin is brimming with alternative cafes where the hipsters hangout and order their complex conclusions. These coffee shops are great and the baristas (who are also hipster) really know how to brew an awesome cup of caffeine. Expect minimalist interiors, plenty of greenery, contemporary colours, matcha options and maybe even an indie soundtrack. If you want a quaint local coffee shop away from the hipster vibes, there aren’t actually that many options if you’re looking for one of the city’s best coffees. Why settle for a mediocre coffee right?
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