Shopping in Friedrichshain

Guest post by  Euan McTear from Oh-Berlin

There are some who leave Berlin with the impression of a dull and grey industrial city, with little to offer those who don’t love museums. Those people just didn’t do Berlin properly!

Source: La Citta Vita

There is always plenty to see and do in Berlin that you won’t ever read about in a guidebook. From coffee shops in Kreuzberg to music in Mitte, you must be walking blindfolded if you leave the city bored.

One popular way to spend an afternoon – that doesn’t appear in every guide book – is shopping in Berlin ’s Friedrichshain area in the east of the city. Locals will, of course, view this as nothing unusual or out of the ordinary – in fact browsing the little boutiques that line the area’s streets might even be seen as a cliché by some Berliners. Continue reading


Food and water fight at Oberbaumbrücke Berlin

Remember those fights with water guns or water balloons you used to love having when you were young? Many of us probably still enjoy them now and seek any relatively sane occasion to feel like a kid again. Exactly for this reason, in major cities around the world there are similar events organized. However, in several instances there isn’t only water involved, making the urban fights more unexpected and entertaining.

One of the biggest events of this sort is the fight which takes place at the end of summer near the Oberbaumbrücke in Berlin. Continue reading

The nice people of Berlin

There are diverging opinions on this topic. Most Berliners or Germans I have talked to so far have declared themselves quite appalled by the behavior of Berlin’s inhabitants. They found them either rude, paranoid or careless. Similar to the stories going round about the Paris underground system,I have even been advised not to make eye contact with people on the S-or-U-bahn, because they might go crazy on me thinking I have something against them. Others have said they felt that people here rarely smile or are polite.

On the other hand, most other people from outside of Germany –myself included – have discovered the exact opposite. Continue reading

Siegessäule Berlin

The Siegessäule, meaning the Victory Column, is one of Berlin’s best known landmarks. Alongside the Fernsehturm at Alexanderplatz and the Bundestag Kuppel or Dome, this is one of the places which offers a spectacular view over the city centre.

Since these two landmarks are usually packed with tourists that queue for hours in order to get inside, the Siegessäule at the Großer Stern intersection is much quicker to access. This may also be due to the 285 steps on a steep spiral staircase which need to climbed for a chance to view the panorama. Nevertheless, once you manage to get to the top, the effort is certainly worth it. From here you will be able to admire Berlin in all its symetric marvelousness with the wide Straße des 17. Juni crossing the vast Tiergarten and uniting what were formely the Eastern and Western sides of the divided city. Continue reading

Berlinisch: the Berlin dialect

How could I best describe my relationship to the German language? Long, difficult, frustrating, but occasionally rewarding, although when these moments occur, they are quickly followed by a series of others meant to bring my spirits down again. Maybe this is the way it should be, after all, it is one of those languages renowned for its traps.

During the first years of my study of German, I had only remotely heard of the existence of several dialects across Germany; actually, besides some cartoons I watched on RTL around the year 2000, I don’t remember hearing the language spoken by natives. So, I had a major language shock when I arrived here and I was baffled by the fact that whereas I could understand what some people were telling me, in other cases I couldn’t get more than the frequent simple words. The reason I discovered soon enough. Continue reading

Hipster Olympiade in Berlin 2012

The hipster trend has gathered a lot of followers in the past years and it will probabIy continue in this rhythm for a while still until it is replaced by either something complementary or something completely different. I have been aware of it and even interested in it when it was not yet very mainstream: I used to love listening to rather unknown indie bands, go to the first vintage fairs organised in Bucharest and, in terms of fashion, I also picked some elements from the movement, although after reading an article on how to dress and behave like a true hipster, I realised I was very far from the concept.

However, for me it lost momentum quickly and, thus, I didn’t keep me with the developments. That’s is why I have only recently heard of such a thing as sports for hipsters, not to mention an event where all these different “sports” are brought together under the title of olympiad . Continue reading

Der Himmel über Berlin

This post will probably make anyone living in Romania at the moment, thus having to endure an extremely hot summer, quite envious. I would trade places with them, for a while at least.

This already is my second summer in Berlin and I can honestly say that the weather here goes crazy during this time of year. Continue reading