Be careful what you wear

to a club in Berlin




‘Cuz if you’re dressed too fancy

they won’t let you in.




If you own a building

good luck keeping it clean




graffiti is so prevalent

even the cops look the other way.




Berlin could care less

about authority and rules




we might see police and government

they see powerless tools.




But the edge and the punk

isn’t what makes Berlin badass




head to Mitte or Charlottenburg

and you’ll see there’s still plenty of class.




It’s not exclusivity

that makes Berlin so cool




It’s the spectacular diversity

that inspires an inclusive attitude.




World class museums

or a gallery hole in the wall




Classical opera performances

Hip Hop in the subway hall.




Few buck Turkish kebab

or famous Currywurst




Michelin star restaurants

modern cuisine locally sourced.




High fashion design

flea markets in the park




weekend brunch buffets

epic parties after dark.




Hit up the Reggae beach bar

that sits along the river


Badass Berlin - 19


techno parties and raging clubs

don’t bode well for your liver.




In Berlin anything is possible

and anything goes




the people’s unique expression

exponentially grows.




No limits on possibility

No limits on creativity.




You don’t need a canvas

when you’ve got a city wall




You don’t need a bar

when you’ve got a recycled stall.




You don’t need a venue

when the whole world’s a stage




Taking it to the street

that’s all the rage.




Berlin once symbolized

the devastation of separation




in just 25 years they transformed it

into a symbol of unification.




Even the place full of people

once most misunderstood




Joined misfit forces making Kreuzberg

Berlin’s coolest ‘hood.




Call me idealistic

or perhaps even naïve




But this proves that anything

can be transformed to love when you believe.




When we embrace our differences

we see that we’re in fact the same.




When we embrace our differences

we eradicate our need to blame.




Divided we’re weak

together we’re strong.




When we come together

we can overcome.




When we let our wall down

we return to being one.



Badass Berlin - 41


One Badass Weekend in Berlin


Berlin is absolutely massive with a dozen neighborhoods, hundreds of museums, and thousands of events going on at any given time. Faced with the challenge of experiencing the city in just 48 hours (totally crazy!) I’ve put together this guide that highlights a little bit of everything that makes Berlin so badass.


With limited time, where you choose to stay is key. I recommend staying near the River Spree in Friedrichshain just across from Kreuzberg, the hippest neighborhoods in Berlin. Here you can find restaurants and hotels suited to all budgets and some of the best nightlife. I stayed at the super hip music themed nHow Hotel (doubles starting at 120 euros) directly on the river, with phenomenal views, an epic breakfast, an aromatherapy sauna (if you followed me in Finland you know how obsessed I am with sauna), and you can even rent guitars, keyboards, or DJ machines to bring up to your room for free. Just up the street across from the Warschauer Str. metro station, The Michelberger Hotel (doubles starting at 70 euros) is one of the trendiest hotels in Berlin. Budget travelers can stay right next door to the The Michelberger for cheap at Industrie Palaste Hostel (dorms starting at 12 euros) which has a communal kitchen and lots of hang out space.


To really explore Berlin, public transport is completely necessary, and fortunately is very convenient. Pick up a 48 hour Berlin Welcome Card (20 euros) for free public transport and discounts on hundreds of activities, tours, and restaurants.



After checking into your hotel, hop on the metro and head to the Mitte neighborhood, where you’ll find many of the famous historical sites including the Brandenburg Gate, the Berliner Dom, and Museum Island. If the weather is nice, grab a snack from one of the many cheap cafes in Hackescher Market and have a picnic on the lawn facing the Berliner Dom. If there’s time, visit one of the many incredible museums including the Neues Museum with the famous bust of Queen Nefertiti. Enjoy the sunset by taking a walk along the river that surrounds the island. In the evening, head back to Friedrichshain and grab a beer and a kebab on the street or enjoy a more elegant meal at the gourmet vegan restaurant Mio Matto (3 course menu, 27 euros), consistently rated one of the best restaurants in the city. Afterwards, check out the unique food and drink stalls at Neue Heimat, a former railway depot, with live music and DJs. On the same street at Neue Heimat, Revelar, you’ll find all kinds of hip and creative bars to explore.



After breakfast at your hotel, walk over to the river to the East Side Gallery. This 1.3 kilometer long stretch remains the largest intact section of the Berlin Wall, and the largest outdoor gallery in the world. While this structure once created immense suffering, it has become a beautiful canvas for creative expression. Plan to spend 1-2 hours walking along both sides. Hop on a metro to Alexanderplatz at noon to meet up with Alternative Berlin Tours for the Real Berlin Experience (12 euros). You’ll spend the next 4-6 hours exploring the city with a guide who has an incredible knowledge of street art and counterculture in Berlin. This is a great way to get an insider view of Berlin in a very short amount of time. (If you have more than 48 hours in Berlin, I highly recommend doing this tour early in your trip, so that you can go back and spend more time on your own in the spots that interest you.) Watch the sunset from the Oberbaumbruke, the bridge that connects Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain. In the evening, head over to Kreuzberg, the most international neighborhood in Berlin, for dinner and nightlife. There’s a huge variety of inexpensive eats, but for something really special, dine at Kantine Kohlmann (3-5 euros starters, 18 euros entree). This trendy bar and restaurant uses local, sustainable ingredients to make delicious modern twists on German classics. Do not miss the goat cheese salad, the klopse (traditional Berlin meatballs with potato foam and fried capers), and the seared pike with perfectly roast sunchokes. After dinner, take yourself on a pub crawl through Kreuzberg and end your night at Yaam for Reggae and Dancehall on the river.



Nothing goes better after the party than brunch, so head to Markethalle Neun (breakfast market every third Sunday of the month) to sample brunch street food style. Here you can enjoy a lively atmosphere and brunch dishes from all over the world including Eggs Benedict, Vietnamese noodle soup, green juice, and Fair Trade coffee. After brunch go to the famous Mauerpark Flea Market where hundreds of stalls sell anything from fine antiques to absolute junk. The real reason to come is the lively atmosphere, music, and karaoke. It’s pretty spectacular to see the way that the use of this space has transformed. Mauerpark was once divided by the Berlin Wall, and people lost their lives trying to cross it. When the wall came down, citizens created a green space, now used as a wide open place for free public use. Just around the corner you can learn more about Berlin’s history at the Berlin Wall Memorial.


A huge thank you to Visit Berlin for helping me make my Badass Weekend possible, to nHow for putting me up, and to Kantine Kollman for showing me what real German food is really about. 


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