The austrian composer franz suppè said "you are crazy my child, you must go to berlin"."Whether for that reason or other motives: there are many people who have moved to berlin. And they have to get used to many things first. Sometimes it is quite difficult, but life here also has many advantages. 12 things that newcomers immediately love about berlin (and so do the locals).
Neighbors don't comment on when you come home at night
No matter what time of day you stumble up the stairs at home in berlin: as long as you don't throw up in the stairwell, no one cares whether you've just spent two days in a club or given a lecture on the role of poststructuralism in the works of foucault. Anonymity remains one of the great advantages of the big city.
It's not that you always have to remain anonymous here: if you're looking for community, you can get involved in neighborhood associations or plant a raised bed in your backyard – pretty much everywhere there are interested neighbors who want to get involved. The difference to the village: there mostly everyone has his own garden. And if it's too wild, there'll be whispering.
Berlin is living history
Berlin breathes history. The stolpersteine (stumbling stones) for the jews murdered by the nazis or the berlin wall memorial remind us of this fact. But if you walk through the wide streets of our city and are in the right mood, the cobblestones, the drinking fountains and the old houses take you on a journey through time. Generations of tenants have already lived in our apartments, have opened the heavy entrance doors to scurry into the backyard.
By the way, there used to be a lot more of these. After world war I, city planners demolished third, fourth and fifth backyards to let "light, air and sun" into the tenements. The "new building" took hold, the horseshoe settlement came into being. But in some places they still exist, the third and fourth backyards, where in former times sometimes horse and cow stables stood. When you walk through them, sometimes you can still hear the beating of the forge or the shouting that comes from the much too crowded apartments.
In schoneberg, you could imagine david bowie strolling the streets. And where the stolpersteine are, you should ask yourself who these people were, what they liked, how they lived. For berlin offers the right food for thought. By the way: at tipberlin history you can always find the best stories from the past (and learn how berlin is still shaped by them today).
A closely timed local traffic
Even though we, the newcomers, are almost as good at getting upset about crowded streetcars and the BVG as the berliners are: they secretly love the public transport in berlin. There are subways that come every four minutes and even BVG ferries. Most people are not used to that. They come from cities like cologne, where the subway doesn't really deserve the name, chugs through the city half the time as a streetcar, and sometimes has to wait ten minutes because cars block the entrance to the station.
Or they grew up in villages where there is not even a cab, let alone a bus, on sundays. In the evening also not – and indeed on each weekday. Saturday afternoon comes then perhaps times one. Berlin, on the other hand, seems like a land of milk and honey for mobility. Even on tuesday night at half past three the night bus faithfully turns the corner in deepest reinickendorf. This is not a matter of course even in metropolises. Anyone who has ever tried to find their way to bed at night in paris knows that. Beginner:inside tip: just take a seat in berlin's biggest carousel – the ringbahn. Our tips for each stop.
Most people understand "walk on the left, stand on the right"
In cities like hannover, dortmund or dusseldorf, you could sometimes think that the concept of "walk left, stand right" is about as hard to understand as quantum mechanics. Even in berlin, not all users of public transport seem to understand this – but more than in other cities. At least in many cases there are more standing people on the left side than the other way round.
And if not, you just pamper the flashbulbs – they know that already. A cheer for the berlin snout! Ebenjene try (!) we moved in then also to imitate, if we must fight ourselves then nevertheless times the way freely. This sounds like: "ick glaub es hackt, mach ma platz hier! Are you from cuxhafen or what??"We are glad that no one can see that we ourselves come from cuxhaven, schmuxhaven and until a year ago were on the left.
There is more culinary choice than "greek"
Here comes a thesis: in almost every german village there is a greek snack bar. The name is then saloniki, rhodes or mykonos and makes okay-it to super tasty gyros with fries. In the next small town, there's usually an italian restaurant and a german house with a bowling alley. Berlin, on the other hand, offers a culinary range that leaves us country pomeranians in awe. It seems to us that there are as many restaurants in berlin as there are grains of sand on the beach, as there are german tourists in mallorca, even as many as there are stupid statements by transport minister andi scheuer.
Of course, there are more turkish, arabic and vietnamese restaurants than average, but that can be justified by the fact that they make incredibly good food. Besides, there are also the others, and there are a lot of them. In berlin, for example, you can eat creole or uruguayan, norwegian or yemeni food.
Actually, there is no need to explain why spatis are included in this list. But we don't want to withhold our praise from you and the spati owners. Here comes a list within a list of why berlin's spatis are the best:
- They are always open (yes, there is this prohibition to open on sundays). But we are in berlin, so who cares? Didn't this ban have something to do with god anyway??)
- There are countless types of beer, some even have kolsch.
- Spatis are the saviors in need, when you need toilet paper, cheese or coffee on sundays.
- If you want, you can dispute a conversation with one word: when seller:inside "everything?The correct answer is: "everything"!"
The magic of backyards
Hardly anything comes close to the atmosphere in berlin backyards on a summer evening around 8 o'clock. It somehow gives you a feeling of inner warmth when you push open the heavy doors to the backyard and are greeted by a tangle of voices and sounds.
You then enter a zone that is more private than life on the street and yet not completely cut off from the hustle and bustle of the others. From the window in the side wing, third floor, comes the clatter of plates, from the window below comes the smell of onions being fried, and in the back house someone is playing the piano. In between the sounds of a children's TV show and sometimes a demanding "anneee!"At the entrance to the back building there is an ashtray and a smoker. And above it all, a rectangle of blue sky is glowing.
All the water
For the fact that berlin is not located at the sea, there is a lot of water here. And water is known to make a city more livable. In berlin there are more than 1600 bridges, which is more than venice has to offer. Some of them are so beautiful that you not only want to walk over them, but also linger on them. That's why we've put together a list of the 12 most beautiful bridges in berlin. But also away from the bridges the water shapes our city: whether in little venice in spandau, at the landwehrkanal or at the spree river. Our home villages and towns, on the other hand, usually offer only a stream – sometimes a river, if the going gets tough. Berlin is a great place to explore in, on and around the water.
The club culture
Okay, let's put all our cards on the table: how many of you moved here because of berlin's club culture?? If the clubs were a reason for your move, that's definitely understandable. Techno has shaped berlin like liver cassemels have shaped munich. No wonder: after reunification, the city offered an incredible amount of free space for people to realize their own ideas of clubbing.
It wasn't about fancy interiors or fancy drinks, but about music and celebrating together, about dancing and watching the sun rise together. Even if the free spaces are becoming less and less and techno has long since become mainstream: in berlin, partying is still the most fun.
Because there are so many different clubs, because no one looks at you funny in the subway in the morning when you look out the window with smeared makeup, because the best djs still like to come to berlin. And if it's lockdown again, there's an exciting book project with photos of the clubs in lockdown. For all other times we tell you here how to get to berghain.
Every district has its own character
There is hardly a city to which the saying "you know one, you know them all" applies less than berlin with its various districts and boroughs. Just because you've lived in neukolln for a year doesn't mean you know berlin. And that's a good thing. Even after several years of living in berlin, no decades, you can discover corners here where you have never been before. Depending on which district or neighborhood you are in, the streets sometimes even seem as if you are not in berlin at all. If you come from a place where there is at most the upper and the lower village, then it's exciting to take a bus line from the villa districts of dahlem via schoneberg to the zoo.
Not everything is clean
Some berliners may grumble about unkempt parks, old sofas on the streets or urine in the subway station. Okay, the latter is really not pleasant. But when you come from a village where everyone fastidiously sweeps the street on saturdays and hunter fences dominate the scene, a little berlin laissez-faire does you a hell of a lot of good. Then it's fun to look at the tags on the doors and walls while walking through kreuzberg. Or spontaneously take a bedside table from the street. You can also look at all the junk on the street from an art-critical point of view: the aesthetics of berlin's bulky waste.
In some small towns it is forbidden to walk on the lawns. Thank you berlin for letting plants in parks like the landschaftspark schonholz grow a bit the way they want to. The fact that sometimes naked people sunbathe in your parks, and on other days the bass roars through the treetops.
Finally, the most important thing: most newcomers love berlin's cultural diversity. On the one hand, we mean the variety of theaters, cinemas, readings and concerts that the city has to offer. Most importantly, we mean the many people of diverse cultures who gather and live side by side here. When you walk along badstrabe in wedding, sonnenallee in neukolln or schlesische strabe in kreuzberg, a wide variety of languages reach our ears.
The feeling that you don't yet know everything about the world, but also about the cultures that are native to berlin, is what makes life here so exciting. It is even more beautiful when you can observe how the cultures mix and how something new is created. Like kebabs in bread. How boring would life be without kebabs and people who grew up a little differently than you did.
More on the topic
It wasn't long ago that we wrote about 12 things that newcomers first have to get used to. But if we're honest, the unfamiliar aspects of life in this city are actually quite fun and at worst – yes – take some getting used to. And it's not all big city. Did you know that you can also look at the stars in berlin?? In these 12 places, they shine brighter than the city lights. You love to look at the water? These are berlin's 12 most beautiful islands. Experience more berlin city life here.