10 Alternative Things to Do in Berlin that You Never Thought About
1. Explore the hidden streetart at Schwarzenberg Haus
This is a secret tip as not many people who visit Berlin for the first time know about it.
Once you enter through the gateway, you’ll find yourself in a fairytale world. Walk in and out the many galleries and take your time to explore the load of street art.
2. Walk along the East Side Gallery and have a drink at the riverside behind
Walking along the preserved walls of the East Side Gallery gives you a feeling of how it was to be separated from another part of the town.
The walls are covered in street art that deals with the current topics of society and politics, mostly expressed as criticism.
When you reach the end of the East Side Gallery, continue behind the wall. The riverside is a popular place amongst locals and visitors to rest or take a beer.
3. Discover the urban garden project Prinzessinnengarten
Although a metropolis, Berlin can be the extreme opposite thanks to its alternative locals and their commitment to making their city an environmentally friendlier place.
Prinzessinnengarten, translated princesses’ garden, is a gardening site that everyone is free to use for growing vegetables, fruit and herbs.
Urban gardening is very popular amongst Berliners and also an important project to integrate a green culture into the urban life.
4. Travel back in time and get the ultimate DDR feeling
It’s nothing special to spot a Trabant or an Atari repair shop in Berlin. Even typical DDR items can be bought in shops that are specialized in maintaining the DDR era.
Don’t wonder if you see a mother with a DDR-style buggy coming your way. Berliners love to revive past times. Especially the 90s are very welcomed.
5. Try street food at the Turkish Market and listen to street music
Every Tuesday and Saturday the Turkish market takes place at the riverside. It’s a mix of street food stalls, flea market and street music performances.
Especially in summer, the market is a popular cultural event.
If you’re there, try Turkish street food like Cigarrenbörek, a vegetarian wrap filled with rucola, feta cheese and tomatoes.
6. Plan a trip to the abandoned themepark Spreepark
Berlin is the ultimate place for fans of urban exploration, people who like to explore abandoned sites. Berlin is full of them. We visited the Spreepark, an abandoned theme park in the heart of Berlin.
The only downside is that it’s fenced off, barring entry to the site. It’s a pity as the park seems inviting from the other side of the fence. You can catch a glimpse of a well-maintained ferris wheel and some gigantic dinosaur sculptures lying on the ground.
If you’re brave enough and don’t fear guard dogs, you can try to climb over the fence although warning signs dissuade from doing so.
There are many more abandoned places in Berlin. If you have the opportunity, explore Teufelsberg.
7. Check out the RAW underground nightlife
Are you looking for alternative parties in Berlin?
RAW, located by the famous Warsawer Bridge, offers everything that makes going out in Berlin an alternative experience.
Try vegan food, have some beers and join a party or more – all located within walking distance.
If you look for more clubs, you’re in the right place. The district Friedrichshain is home to the most alternative clubs of Berlin. No matter if open-air or indoors, there is always one club that suits your taste.
8. Join the Sunday’s flea market and karaoke in Mauerpark
The rule is to spend your Sunday in the Mauerpark. That’s what every Berliner and non-Berliner would tell you. And indeed, you won’t be bored.
Explore Berlin’s biggest flea market, take a seat in the bear pit for a fun outdoor karaoke show, sit in the grass and listen to street music or try more street food.
9. Visit Tempelhof and learn more about urban gardening
If you seek for a tranquil place away from the rush, head to Tempelhof, an airfield that’s no longer in use.
The city declared this place an urban park, used for all kinds of leisure activities and cultural events.
10. Explore Berlin’s most famous squat Köpi 137
Berlin feels like traveling back to the 90s. A time in which squats were part of a cityscape.
Nowadays you won’t find them so easily anymore but Berlin is still home to some squats.
Köpi 137 is a squat house including a caravan garden existing since the early 90s. Punks and alternative people live there together, contributing to Berlin’s alternative culture.
The city, however, threatens to tear them down in order to create space for new buildings financed by rich investors. This process is called gentrification. Berlin has a large anti-gentrification movement that organizes regular protests. The aim is to stabilize the rising prices for rents and to keep the squats alive.