a few places to go in berlin...

...for people who don't like sightseeing.

Clarchens Ballhaus on Auguststrasse in the Mitte area. A fabulous old building full of faded glamour and quirky touches which has been hosting dances since 1913. If you're brave you could try out a tango or swing lesson in the evening, alternatively laze around in the rose filled gardens and lunch on amazing pizza and salads accompanied with a bottle of Berliner beer, or turn up on Sunday for a sumptuous brunch in the sun. You might get adopted by a portly old waiter with a sparkle in his eye and marvellously waxed handlebar moustache.....just saying.

Have a poke about in Design Panoptikum on Torstrasse in Mitte. It's as much a curiosities shop as a vintage design paradise. Full of amazing modernist furniture, chandeliers and lamps, old signs, typewriters, candelabras, old fashioned telephones, rare east and west German designed products. Really the list's endless, and the place is mind blowing.
Although some parts of Berlin are becoming much more gentrified there is still some amazing murals and graffiti around the city. The main picture above was taken in the Kreuzberg area in the west of the city, keep your eyes open and you'll see some fantastic stuff. But if that's not your kind of thing than there are several hundred museums and galleries to visit in the city. Whilst you're in Kreuzberg, pop in to Yorckschlosschen Berlin's home of jazz and blues. We accidentally stumbled upon it, popped out heads round the door through curiosity, and ended up spending the whole evening listening to an incredible band playing soul and good ole fashioned rock n roll with the entire crowd dancing the night away (on the bar a la coyote ugly in some cases!).
In terms of night life, things don't really get going till very very late, so if you have the stamina for a night of partying, chances are you'll need a big strong coffee in the morning. There are squillions of good quality cafes and bakeries around so you'll never be far, but I really liked a cafe called Fleury in Mitte, it's actually French, so you'll get a bowl of cafe au lait rather than a milchkaffee, but it's such a darling place it's hard to pass up.

OK so I said I wasn't into sightseeing. but the Fernsehturm TV tower dominates Berlin in all its sci fi glory, its the tallest structure in Germany and worth a visit to on a clear day for an incredible view across the city. They have a rotating restaurant if you're that way inclined, personally I prefer not to deal with that constant lurching feeling whilst I eat. 


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