After the success of the articles on Unusual Lisbon, Unusual Barcelona, Unusual Rome and Unusual Marrakech, the Berlin version could not be missing! If this is not your first time in Berlin and you have already visited all the main attractions or if you want to get away from the tourist routes, this article is for you! I know the German capital very well and in my most recent visits I was in the mood for something new… For this I went to find the unusual Berlin, the slightly hipster and underground one of Berliners, far from the tourist routes. And what discoveries! I tried to collect in this list the ten locations that surprised me the most for their strangeness and originality. I hope they can be useful to other urban explorers when boarding! So if you already have the classic photo in front of the Brandenburg Gate and the graffiti of the East Side Gallery you know them by heart, do not despair… Berlin still has a lot to offer you!
1. Liquidrom: Futuristic Spa
Il Liquidrom is a futuristic spa with techno music from underwater speakers and nightclub lights. I liked it a lot because it combines the atmosphere of a Berlin club (city of techno and sleepless nights) with an environment of relaxation and comfort. Inside you will find saunas, Turkish baths and salt water pools. If the weather is not the best, spend an afternoon or an alternative evening: it closes every day at midnight and on weekends it stays open until one o'clock!
Möckernstraße 10, 10963
2. Thai Park: market and street food
Il Thai Park is officially called Preußenpark, but by the Berliners it was renamed a Thai park for a reason… the incredible Thai market that takes place there in spring, summer and, if it's nice, also in autumn. With good weather in these seasons the park changes its face during the weekends. It is invaded by Thai housewives who sit on the ground selling food freshly prepared by them or brought from home specially. Equipped with stoves and pots, they prepare all their specialties for bargain prices and, in the heart of Berlin, transport you with their colors and scents straight to Bangkok!
Kamenzer Damm 34
3. Teufelsberg: abandoned American base
Teufelsberg is perhaps the location more out of the way and difficult to reach of this list, but could not possibly miss in an article on unusual Berlin. Literally translated, it means the "Devil's Hill" and it's a hill in the forest west of Berlin. There is one old base abandoned by the American government which during the Cold War was used as an espionage center against East Berlin. Today it has been occupied by artists and hippies and has been transformed into a center of street art and non-conformism. To get there you have to get off at the metrò Grunewald and walk in the woods for a good half hour. But I assure you that it is really worth it! It is a unique place, where you can spend hours exploring and never stop finding new works of art and murals. From the roof, on which there are suggestive domes with extraordinary acoustics, you can enjoy a 360 ° panorama over the whole city. For street art lovers it is an absolute must!
Teufelsseechaussee 10, 14193
4. Natur-Park Schöneberger Südgelände: park in an old railway junction
This park was a total surprise… I came across it almost by chance and I assure you that it has become one of my favorite places in the whole city! The entrance is adjacent to Priesterweg metro station and to access it you have to pay a symbolic amount for the maintenance of the structures. It is about an old railway junction which fell into disuse after World War II and, by now you know, as typical of Berlin was then transformed into a public park. The railway routes have been reconquered by nature and the paths wind along tracks wrapped in ivy and surrounded by dense vegetation. Performances are also held here in summer, and there are permanent exhibitions by contemporary artists and sculptors in various parts of the park. For street art lovers, here you can also give vent to your creativity. In fact, there is a section where anyone with spray cans can do graffiti!
Prenzlauer Allee 80, 10405
5. Badeschiff am Spree: swimming pool on the Spree
If you are in Berlin in the summer and the heat is felt you cannot miss the Badeschiff am Spree. Literally "Pool on the Spree" it's just what the name suggests: a one-of-a-kind river pool! If you are imagining an infinity pool, with river water surrounding it on all four sides… you got it right! It is also equipped with a bar and sun loungers and offers an oasis of relaxation in the city jungle. It tends to be full at peak times and on weekends, but it is certainly worth a visit if only to be able to say that it has almost taken a swim in the Spree!
6. Haus Schwarzenberg: street-art a go-go
Haus Schwarzenberg is an alley within walking distance of Hackescher Markt, one of the most central metro stations. Really worth a visit if you are around! Will find beautiful murals and graffiti, bars where you can enjoy the atmosphere unusual while sipping a craft beer and small independent museums and cinemas. I came by when the underground monster museum was open and I can assure you that rarely in my life have I seen a more creative and bizarre place! If you are a lover of original sculptures and surprising places you can't miss it! Graffiti changes several times a year because street artists use this alley and inner courtyard as an ever-changing canvas. So if by chance you have already been there, there could be news!
Rosenthaler Str. 39, 10178
7. Klunkerkranich: rooftop with a view
Among the places of the Unusual Berlin he could not miss him, a quirky and surprising bar located on the roof of the Neukölln Arcaden shopping center, a few steps from the fermata di Rathaus Neukölln . The location alone is worth a visit. To get there you have to go up to the top floor of the shopping center car park and go up the ramp leading to the bar. One will welcome you spectacular views across Berlin and a magical atmosphere. The restaurant is entirely built in wood and has a large panoramic terrace where in good weather it is possible to sip your drink while enjoying the view. Entry costs three or four euros depending on the day and time, but there is always live music from the early afternoon.
Karl-Marx-Strasse 66, 12043
8. Tempelhof Park: park in an abandoned airport
This is a a place much loved by Berliners, but usually snubbed by most tourists. And the old city airport closed in 2008 and transformed into a public park. If you haven't guessed it from this list, Berliners love to convert unused spaces and give it new life. Tempelhof is perhaps the most striking example of this. The large take-off and landing runways are now roads used by runners, skaters or even by practitioners of windskate, a sort of kitesurfing on a skateboard. In the grassy areas concerts, barbecues and meetings of all kinds are held, from seniors who do gymnastics to new mothers who are dedicated to yoga. It is not every day to take a walk in a disused airport and I assure you that it is an experience not to be missed!
former Tempelhof airport
9. Spreepark: the set of many films
Lo Spreepark is an old abandoned playground dating back to East Germany. Set of many films, including the action-movie Hanna, remained closed to the public for decades. Also in this case, nature has returned to take possession of the landscape. The roller coaster and ivy-shrouded rides and rusted Ferris wheel give the place a unique, post-apocalyptic flavor. For a few years, by booking in advance, in the summer you can take guided tours and I was lucky enough to be able to explore it. If you have the opportunity and if, like me, you love the charm of abandoned and mysterious places, I really recommend you to visit it.
Totilastr. 14, 12103
10. Zeiss-Großplanetarium: super-modern planetarium
For a planetarium fan like me, it is Zeiss large planetarium it was a stage that I could not miss! It is located in the center of Prenzlauer Berg ed it is one of the most modern and equipped planetariums in Europe. It offers truly unique shows and the large screen on the ceiling manages to transport you into space in a hyper-realistic way. I always recommend checking their website to find out the times of the performances with English and Spanish subtitles. Moreover, if you are interested, under the starry vault of the central pavilion there are also concerts and theatrical performances “under the stars”!
Prellerweg 47-49, 12157