Like so many of you, we’re longing for a change of scenery: we’re fed up of taking the same old Kiez walk and seeing the same sights day in day out. Travel is wonderful for many reasons, but one of the key reasons is that it changes our viewpoint, breaks up our routine and allows us to discover new things.
While doing a puzzle of Berlin’s street map (yes we’re cool…), we realised just how much of the capital there is to explore and how we have failed to adventure in our home city properly. Travelling in the sense of taking a vacation might not be possible right now, but travelling within the city is a great way to inject some adventure energy into your life.
To help us find the best places in the city to help our minds travel, we spoke to Berta, Berlin native and creator of BertaBerlin, who has been highlighting the city’s hidden gems for more than half a decade through her walking maps. She recently published a travel book, aptly named “Berlin Travel Book”, which allows people to travel the world in the German capital.
“In the last year, like many of us, I really could not travel as much as I was used to or would have liked to. So I decided to write a travel book, which allows people to travel the world in the German capital.”
“I wanted to share my little secrets of exploring the world in the most eco-friendly way, by staying in one city! Here are some of my favourite international journeys that you can take in Berlin!”
“You don’t have to go to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower. Berlin’s district of Wedding also has a mini Eiffel Tower with the tricolour on top. This square is located in the middle of the former French-occupied zone, which the tower still reminds us of today. It stands in front of the Centre Française de Berlin, which has represented France in Berlin since the 1960s, with its wide range of cultural activities and events. You can also sip a café au lait in the restaurant at the same address and take a beautiful walk to the nearby Schillerpark.”
“One of the most impressive trips I have taken was to Japan: it is simply a different world full of adventure and discovery. I was desperate to find a piece if this great country in Berlin, and one hidden gem (and my favourite garden in Berlin) is the Japanese Garden of Merging Water, located in the “Gardens of the World”. It is designed in the style of classical Japanese garden art with a stone setting, dry waterfall, Zen garden and a pavilion (chaya), in which you can sit and relax.”
“In Berlin, you can experience China in a lot of different ways: from a Chinese Emperor’s massage or Taiji or Qigong course to a visit to a Chinese porcelain collection or a reconstructed Buddhist cave temple. I personally love Zoo Berlin! It is Germany’s oldest zoological garden and home to over 18,000 animals, including Germany’s only pandas. Meng Meng and Jiao Qing are a panda couple who come from China and live in the Chinese Panda Pavillon at Zoo Berlin. Lǚtú yúkuài (bon voyage)!”
“If you are a fan of Italian cuisine and design, you will fall in love with the Amore Store and its friendly owner Kerstin! Full of Italian delicacies and antipasti, as well as home accessories, socks and espresso makers; everything has been carefully sourced and is very high quality. Entering this ‚Tante-Emma-Laden’ with its beautiful layout and features make you feel as if you’re in Italy immediately.
“The German-Russian Museum in Berlin is dedicated to German-Soviet and German-Russian relations. The Second World War actually ended in what is now the large hall of the museum on 8 May 1945. An old Soviet T34 tank in front of the museum welcomes you from afar.”
“There’s more to Turkish food than the Döner. I love the Turkish restaurant ‘Gözleme’ in Neukolln where you have to eat its delicious Manti. Manti are dumpling filled with meat or potato and served with yoghurt sauce and paprika butter - perfect when you’re on the go adventuring. It is exciting to see into the big, open kitchen where the friendly female chefs skillfully work the dough and fill the Manti.”
Thank you so much for your tips, Berta! We can’t wait to start travelling around the world without leaving the city.
View the full guides on Berta’s website: Italy, France, Turkey, Russia, China and Japan (all in Berlin).
You can also purchase her book, the Berlin Travel Book. Where, for each country, she has tailored an enthralling journey: from breakfast to evening cocktails, with stops at historical sites, each chapter features exclusive highlights, including stores, cafes, galleries and sights for each cultural trip. Plus there’s a chapter that features Berta’s favourite restaurants for each country’s cuisine.