Giovanni Jubert's picture

Hi typofriends,

I am planning a short trip to Berlin in January
and i thought I would ask for your advice
for things to see,
places to visit,
bookstores and such.

Thanks to all
and best wishes for the holidays!


lorp's picture

I'll also be in Berlin. My dates are Dec 29 to Jan 2 or 3 if anyone wants to have a beer. I also need to know about the bookshops, but hopefully Adam and Verena will be around to show me those.

— Laurence

dole scum's picture

Prenzlauerberg, Mitte and Friedrichschain are good places to explore, urrrrr also the Bauhaus Museum. Have fun.

The new york times gives a rundown of some clubs in berlin:

The Club Scene, on the Edge

Published: December 12, 2004

Mix Williamsburg in Brooklyn with the Lower East Side, add a Teutonic accent and you've got the increasingly hip Berlin neighborhood Friedrichshain. It is home to both students and slackers, as a cracking night life has sprung up in the shadow of the Ostbahnhof, the main train station in the former East Berlin.

Separated from western Berlin by the River Spree and, until 1989, the Berlin Wall, this part of Friedrichshain was lucky to avoid the fate of other East Berlin swathes that were razed and rebuilt with plattenbau, the Communist-era concrete-slab apartments. Prewar buildings and narrow, cobblestone streets give it a neighborhood feel.

But history is never far away. Visitors can indulge in the current nostalgia for the days of the German Democratic Republic by viewing the longest remaining section of the Berlin Wall at the East Side Gallery, along the Spree. It includes the famous portrait of Erich Honecker and Leonid Brezhnev in a passionate clinch. Despite sporadic attempts to preserve it, much of the masonry is weathering and defaced by graffiti.

This kind of solid G.D.R. street cred is what the night life of Berlin has been craving, and Friedrichshain is the kind of neighborhood it has been colonizing since 1989. There's still room there for illegal clubs and the geheimetipp, the in place. This is usually a club or bar that opens in an abandoned building or courtyard for a month or a week or even a night. But permanent bars have made the scene, too.

As in most neighborhoods on the cusp, though, the original residents and the scenesters rarely meet. You won't find an old Ossi inside a new bar and you won't find a hipster in a neighborhood kniepe.

While prices in Friedrichshain are lower than in western Berlin, the weak dollar means that cocktails cost much the same as in New York. (A mojito is around $8 or $9, at $1.35 to the euro.) The night life in Berlin has an egalitarian tradition, and there's rarely a velvet rope or a bouncer passing judgment on who gets in. Some of the dance clubs charge entrance fees - ranging from about $8 to $25.

Here's a sampling of the hottest spots. Things are generally at their swingiest between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. at the bars, while the dance clubs go till the wee hours.

At Habermayer, 6 Gärtnerstrasse, (49-30) 2977-1887, a dragged-out D.J. in a red-sequined dress does her thing while the bartender charges a 1-euro deposit on pint glasses to deter pilfering. The 70's mod design - low couches and round plastic stools - isn't overdone.

Astro-Bar, 40 Simon-Dach-Strasse, (49-173) 768-2625, is a smoke-filled spot on the neighborhood's main drag. Monstrous East German computers hang from the walls near the bar, and customers line up to play old-fashioned pinball machines in the back.

The Lee Harvey Oswald Bar, 68 Grünberger Strasse, (49-30) 4401-7400, is the best bar in the poorest of taste. Mod red and white strips go around the small bar while a dozen televisions play a continuous loop of Oswald's arrest and his shooting death at the hands of Jack Ruby. D.J.'s play American music from New Wave to 60's soul to rhythm and blues.

Watergate - what's next, the Monica? - 49 Falckensteinstrasse, (49-30) 6128-0394, across the Warschauer Bridge, on the Kreuzberg side of the river, is a two-story industrial club that packs them in with big-name D.J.'s from around Europe. After paying the $13.50 admission, clubgoers can stay on the main floor or check out the scene on the Water Floor, which overlooks the river and the skyline of eastern Berlin. There's even a V.I.P. lounge, which may be a portent of things to come.

Last year's hottest club, Ostgut/Panorama Bar, 70 Rüdersdorfer Strasse, (49-30) 2900-0597, is reopening in new digs. Ostgut was known for its gay/straight mix and Saturday night techno parties that drew a liberated, body-conscious crowd. The new Panorama Bar has a rotating lineup of D.J.'s on Friday and Saturday nights.

nike's picture

a must is the brandenburger tor, hackische höfe (culture and food) and the holocaust memorial.

dan_reynolds's picture

The Jewish Museum is nice, too (as much for Daniel Liebeskind's architecture as for the content).

Giovanni Jubert's picture

thanks to all for the answers.

I'll be going in a few days,
any typographical recomendations?
Any design/type specialized bookstore?

And happy new year!


Giovanni Jubert's picture

thanks to all for the answers.

I'll be going in a few days,
any typographical recomendations?
Any design/type specialized bookstore?

And happy new year!


pattyfab's picture

I was just there - I believe there is a show (art) of some sort at the Palast der Republik, on Museum Island. This is the former GDR parliament building and is slated for demolition very soon. May be your last/only chance to see it. Very cool building, don't miss it.

Museums: Hamburger Bahnhof, Martin Gropius Bau (and next door the Topography of Terror) , Gemaldegalerie, all the museums on museum island, Neuenationalgalerie. Jewish museum, holocaust memorial.

Galleries in Mitte (Scheunenberger) on Auguststrasse but not on monday.

There's a very cool venue called the Volksbuhne on Rosaluxembourgplatz that has 4 spaces with different music/theater/performance going on. Try to get a schedule of their events.

Mr. Vuong for good vietnamese food (in Mitte)

I'll let you know if I think of anything else...

You will LOVE it. What an amazing city.

lars's picture

you could try ...

they have a list of retailers in berlin right here:

also you could stop by at fontshop ( germany :)

hth, enjoy your stay: lars

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