HOW TO: Holiday in your own city (AKA West Berlin)

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As a kid, one of my fondest memories is holidaying in my own city with my parents. Ok – so this probably isn’t my fondest. I mean I would have better ones.. But it’s up there. Weirdly it’s something my family used to do often’ish. It probably had something to do with the feeling of fun for everyone, with half the price tag.

This is probably one of the best things about holidaying in your own city, the cost to get to said destination is free – so what you are saving on airfares/ bus/ train tickets you can be putting towards some fancy digs for you and your missus/ mate/ self. In my reality this means finding the coolest hotel, in an area of which you infrequently visit. For us? That’s the west and this is your how to guide.

STAY

25HOURS HOTEL BIKINI BERLIN – I am voting yes on this hotel every fucking time. To date I have stayed at the 25hours Hotel Hafen City location twice, Number One Hamburg once and Bikini Berlin just this last week with Bron and those PonyDanceClyde femmes, and it is literally the best place on earth. The Berlin location is the newest and considering we are talking Holiday’ing in your own city and Berlin is currently mine – let’s focus here. Everything is great about this here Bikini hotel.

  • The design makes you feel glamorous but unafraid to break things.
  • You’re staying at Bikini Berlin? You get access to free MINI and bike rental. That’s right, nobody’s fucking around in the west.
  • There are these epic hammocks on the main floor for lounging, any hour of the day it’s like being in an urban jungle.
  • Brunch is next level lecker and endless. Can someone say GERMAN BUFFET !
  • The top floor has a super sexy bar with dim lighting and that wonderful leather/ wood vibe. If you don’t meet dudes at Monkey Bar (and get up to some form of monkey business) you won’t meet them anywhere/ there is probably no hope for you.
  • Adjacent to the bar – dinner at Neni. Which was just like everything else – aspirational.
  • We are giving away a nights stay here… You have until midday on 17th Feb to enter. All details are found here.

Sleeping is your place to start. And once you have focused on that – everything else is going to fall into place. If you are lucky – you will find a hotel much like Bikini Berlin where you don’t really need to leave…ever. But just say you get itchy feet and want to explore on your holiday in your own city, here are your go to’s for the wild wild west.

EAT

If you venture to a new area to hotel in your own city, which is what we are 75% recommending here. You need to eat out. Not because the food is going to be that differnt from your own area, but there are going to be all sorts of places you would never try – and you never will try because.. lazy.

BRASSERIE LE FAUBOURG – Get your fancy on, we are about to enter a real restaurant. Brasserie Le Faubourg is part of Hotel Concorde, specialising in a French/ Mediterranean cuisine – it all points to you being in for a  nice fancy experience.

HUGOS – German fusion ! Hang on, what exactly is German fusion? Is it like schnitzel with spicy salsa and a light Asian greens salad..? I DON’T EVEN KNOW ! But I’m ready to find out. Berlin is very much missing good German fare, so when on offer – we are all about it.

NENI – The big idea behind Neni on the top floor of Bikini Berlin is that everyone is able to try bits and pieces of everything, pots and pans are taken from the kitchen and placed directly on the table without any airs or graces. It’s family style without the family, thank god (just kidding mum !)

DIEKMANN – If you are feeling your pockets pinch a little bit (because we often are in Berlin) Diekmann might be more your speed. It looks quiant as fuck and a little more digestable on the pocket book than the aforementioned establishments. You can actually get a “business lunch” at this establishment, which is so Wolf of Wall Street decadent – it’d be rude NOT to go.. !

EDDS – Not into spending a small fortune on dinner? Sometimes-same. Check out Edd’s – Stil in Berlin says it’s the best thai food in the city. And while I don’t necessarily trust the Germans when it comes to their recommendations on the Asian flavours – I’m open to this.

DRINK

I must sound like a raging alcoholic every time I talk you all through where to holiday/ how to do it correctly – but where I’m from: you didn’t go unless you took a photo. And it wasn’t fun unless you toasted it with a cocktail. So getting your lips around some delicious form of fruit/ 40% proof  mix is on your agenda. I fell like this is also a must if you are working your way towards a sexy weekend or even a girls weekend of holiday fun – because life is genuinely more excited after a drink or two.

RUM TRADER – This jaunt is said to be the “oldest bar in Berlin” and with that super exclusive. Not to say it won’t let you in if you aren’t wearing all black and look disinterested like most bars in Berlin – but it only has a 30 person capacity. So, yeah.

GREEN DOOR – Green Door SCREAMS West Berlin, with all sorts of quite old/outdated furniture/decor etc and a classic cocktail list. If you are from rest of Berlin (being not the West) we are throwing this on your list, as we probably couldn’t find much like it around our usual neck of the woods.

HAUS AM NEUEN SEE – beautiful big biergarten in the middle of Tiergarten. Deutsch food, great in any season as long as it isn’t raining. There’s also a restaurant inside, however it’s more expensive. Oh and there’s often a “DJ” out in the middle of the lake, on a floating pontoon. And paddle boats to hire… GERMANY !

DIENER TATTERSAL –  less on the cocktail side, more like an old Kneipe but with character for dayssss. This is probably the place I would drag my German mates into thinking it would be kitsch and fun – and it would be !… if you’re not German.

SHOP

Every time I have traveled I have mostly opted to eat out less and shop more. Probably because I would prefer to go home more or less the same size but with much nicer things. I’m not advocating to shop yourself into poverty, or even the notion that we need things and isn’t being a consumer fun. But having a keepsake from your time away seals your adventure as an actual thing – rather than a frivolous activity masking everyone’s boredom.

ANDREAS MURKUDIS – Possibly one of the most beautiful and delicious stores in Berlin. Andreas Murkudis has everything you could ever want under the label “to die for”, and so much more. From high end fashuns to chocolate to porcelain items of wonder – it is well worth a fist full of your hard earned €uros.

A.P.C. – because I die. And this should be everyone’s holiday something-something.

V.KLOEDEN – This spot if full of all that kitschy Deutscher stuff that should get your heart racing. A traditional’esque toy shop in the West that believes toys should never be boring. V.KLOEDEN is your one stop shop for the traditional Germany we all can’t get enough of.

WINTERFELDT MARKT – Everyone loves a flea market, so this will be no exception. Winterfeldt Markt is 250’ish stalls of stuff – from food to vintage finds to probably someones trashy clothes. Get there – make a day of it, find a one off piece to call your own.

Now, go on. Explore the (wicky-wicky) wild wild West.

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About LUCY

Femme of sass, sometimes.