November 27, 2014
If you’re like me and are not the most industrious of employees, you’ll probably spend your working day laboriously traipsing through a sea of search engines on a quest to discover the perfect weekend break. There are endless lists of travel websites that clutter the results of your Google search that completely render your weekend excursion a distant dream. With websites like AirBnB becoming increasingly popular, holidaymakers have been given the power to assemble their perfect trip piece by piece, helping formulate the perfect holiday. Here at MFM, we thought we’d save you time by carrying out the arduous job of picking a destination for you, and then you take it from there.
Berlin is home to some of the most stylish and ‘Instagrammable’ apartments that provide the perfect base to go discover the German metropolis and the glut of tourist attractions. The culture-rich capital city is renowned for its museums and architecture and has a wealth of riveting history centred on the notorious Berlin wall. Once you’ve picked a place to lay your weary head, whack on your bobble hat and get ready to explore – there’s no rest for the wicked in this city.
The most notable district, Mitte, can only be described as what Hackney would feel like if it was in central London, purveying the artsy vibes right in the middle of town. It’s laden with amazing concept stores and coffee shops coated in inspiring artwork and posters, forming an idiosyncratic and interesting place to wander around and absorb all the sights. You can’t spend a weekend in Berlin without visiting the Berlin Wall, so head down to Bernauer Strasse for to witness the harrowing site where the locale of the events that ensued in 1961 remains. You can walk along the wall to admire the amazing graffiti which an integral part of Berlin’s culture.
If your inner-sun worshiper isn’t satisfied abroad without sea & sand, Berlin has up to 30 manmade beaches for those urbanites longing for a seaside fix. The imported sand is dumped along the riverbanks and volleyball courts crop up for the ultimate faux-beach experience. If you don’t fancy dipping in the river (imagine swimming in the Thames…) then there’s an outdoor lido you can exhibit your finest breaststroke.
In terms of shopping, the city seems to be on point with their approach and attitude to retail. Shops like Darklands are transient and ephemeral, rotating their location to avoid attracting a following from the wrong crowd. Every 18 months or so they up sticks and move shop elsewhere, whilst still trading their usual avant-garde menswear designs. To your average Brit, the words “Pauls Boutique” can evoke images of flocks of teenage girls sauntering around in odious quilted jackets with the name emblazoned across the back, however in Berlin it’s actually a pretty sweet vintage store. You could waste hours on end rooting through the second hand gems that litter the entirety of the shop.
After a long day of lounging by the beach and finding yourself new dancing shoes you’ll probably want to loosen up with a stiff drink. You’re in luck. It goes without saying; Berlin has one of the best clubbing scenes in Europe. It’s a hedonistic party playground centred on music where the world-class Berghian is the Mecca of techno. The non-stop partying can go on for days on end where revelers will pour in and out through all hours. It’s not a place for the faint hearted, as there are plenty of weird and wonderful sights hidden away behind the old industrial edifice. The effortlessly endearing and ironically named “King Sized Bar” is a tiny little place situated inside a derelict building, covered in an obligatory coating of graffiti. Nip here for a swift drink or why not try the larger KTV that from appearance has no windows, no lights, just the faint sound of music seeping from behind a massive grey door.
The zany crowd can seem intimidating but everyone is there for a good night.
If you’re looking for an unconventional weekend that provides an educational and enriching experience whilst still being able to indulge in a fair bit of debauched fun, then Berlin is for you. It’s gritty and raw vibe is refreshing and will leave you wanting more. But good luck with the reality check at work on Monday, you’ll feel like you swam back in England in freshly laid cement.