Berlin is often categorized as a cultural hub, a hipster hangout and other various clichés that do little to describe the subtly quiet buzz and bleakness of the city. Winter in Berlin lasts well into April but this is not the sole reason that I would describe the city as bleak; it is much more poetic than that! It is the harsh skyline of concrete, the buildings that are slavered in graffiti and resonate rebellion. And the sadness of it’s history.
However the city is completely juxtaposed with courtyard Coffee Shops, late night raves and €3 Prosecco. The one stop district to really experience Berlin on a short trip has to be Kreuzberg. The New Deli Yoga Cafe is an excellent day time hangout for people watching, eating cheaply (food from €1.50- €6.50) and feeling Zen. I would love to say I actually joined the yoga class, I definitely flirted with the idea but the aforementioned €3 Prosecco affected my ability somewhat. But the fresh and healthy food did put me in good stead for the rest of the day.
I would highly recommend preparing yourself mentally and physically for a night at Berghain. This club is one of a kind and I would go as far to say there is nothing else like it anywhere else in the world. It is best to go here around 3am and not as the last stop to your night! The queue is the quietest, most civilized queue I have ever been in. It is full of eager party goers desperate to hide their accent and get past the heavily tattooed door man, to see if it is as good as everyone says.
He seemed to have the knack of making it the most exclusive club in the world; not judging people by who they are, how much money they have or what they look like – but more summing up what kind of ‘vibe’ they are giving off in the queue. Thus making it hard to know what to wear or how to act but there was definitely some stigma towards huge heels and large groups.
Once judgement day has passed and cameras have been confiscated you experiennce such a rush of adrenaline. You pretty much run up the stairs to the warehouse style dance floor, skip around the sex swing and up to the more elegant Panorama bar. The temperature is perfectly air-conditioned, you are able to buy champagne! In a glass! At a normal price (€7)! All of which seem a rarity in a club considered cool or musically relevant.
It also soon becomes apparent why they operate such a strict ‘get in’ policy. Everyone in the club seems to be on a certain wavelength, they are happy, relaxed and friendly to one another. Most people, after removing their non-descript coats to get in, actually look like they work for Vogue! There were a lot of understated Jil Sander, Phoebe Philo and Philip Lim style pieces. And it’s not long until you end up chatting to someone who is actually friends with Berlin’s fashion darling; Bonnie Strange.
Personally I am an avid fan of Instagram sensation Bonnie Strange. I made it my mission to seek out her clothing store: ‘The Shit Shop,’ whilst visiting the urban, vintage and boutique shopping area of Mitte. Their website describes the shop as a ‘Concept Store’ and suggest you wander through the main room of the glamorous 80’s wonderland, or get a tattoo made by Laura (Co-owner of shop) in her little tattoo studio in the second room.
So I was a little underwhelmed when it turned out to be a tiny shop without a tattoo parlour in sight. Not quite the walk in wardrobe I had imagined, with sections dedicated to the best eras of fashions past. However I’d still recommend going there for their one off designer collaborations (clothing from €40-€150.) I managed to pick up these exclusive Jeffery Campbells for €120, reminiscent of something Versace in the 90’s.
And there’s no point in having fabulous shoes without somewhere to wear them, so on my last night I checked into Berlins’ Soho House. This 5* Members club allows hotel guests to access to the Spa and gym, a rooftop pool, restaurants, bars, a screening room and also has private dining areas. I have always found the best way to experience a bit of high-life on a budget is to check in for just one night and here advance bookings start from just €110 for a double room, so not bad if you’re splitting it with a partner or friend. And that’s the thing about Berlin; there is a good mix of Bohemia and luxury. If you like art and history as well as fashion and music then you are bound to find Berlin the perfect city break.
Header image from www.visitberlin.de