Usually when I travel I just make a quick stop in major cities. I tend to get bored in cities, which doesn’t make much sense, I know. There’s so much to do but I’m more of an outdoorsy person. I like to explore mountains, beaches, lakes, etc. So it’s rare for me to love a city and really want to spend time there. But Berlin really captured my heart, my mind, my soul. I. Love. Berlin. So much so that I am considering moving there for a few months. Here’s why…
Berlin is the BEST place in the WORLD to be vegan. I do not say this lightly. Of all the places in the world I have visited, this one really takes the medal. Not only are there fully vegan restaurants all over the city, but most non-vegan ones are vegan friendly too and will label items that are. You do not need to search far or wide for an amazing vegan meal, just turn the corner.
Not only does Berlin have great vegan restaurants but the vegan culture is everywhere. In August they held an animal rights march, asking I was walking down a main road there was writing in chalk all over the sidewalk discussing animal rights, Veganz (located in ) is a fully vegan grocery store with a vegan shoe store and bistro attached…need I go on? Oh yeah, let me add one more selling point: Brammibal’s Donuts. Check them out. Seriously. Not just for a donut but their BLT is a winner!
There are so many vegan places it can almost be overwhelming. But don’t worry, read on and I will give a guide to the best ones!
It wasn’t just the limitless vegan options in Berlin that captured my attention though. This city has so much character! From Tempelhofer Feld (an old airport turned park with a community garden, beer garden, dog park and more…), to RAW Görlitzer Cultural Center (abandoned-looking buildings made hipster central with street art, bars, music, an indoor skate park, rock climbing and of course much more…), to Mauer Park (street food, flea market, street music, and its famous Sunday afternoon karaoke…) this city is filled with life, inspiration, art…my dream as a yogi vegan backpacker!
I know, I’ve mentioned a lot of things already and it may be hard to get them straight, let alone see all of them on a quick trip to this incredible city. But don’t worry, I did my best to make it easy for everyone. Here’s a weekend guide to the BEST (in my opinion) of Berlin. I generally don’t do the “touristy” things…but I slipped a few in there for those who may be interested. So without further ado, here is my Hipsters Guide To A Weekend In Berlin *drum roll*
Note: Since there is so much around every corner in those city, I have made this guide a little more open ended than I usually do. I will guide you to different areas in an order that will make you get the most out of your weekend and highlight my personal favorite spots.
Another note: It can be pretty cheap to travel around Berlin. One option is to rent a bike for 10-12 euros a day. If biking is not your thing, don’t worry, you can get a day transportation ticket (works for buses, trains, subways, trams) for 7,70 euros.
Start off your Saturday morning in Berlin by making your way over to Mitte to for a morning yoga class at Jivamukti followed by a delicious (plant-based) breakfast downstairs in their Canteen Cafe. You probably won’t understand a word spoken in the class if you don’t know any German, but it will be an amazing experience..I promise.
Next, let’s get some of the “touristy” stuff out of the way. Make your way to the Brandenburger Tor. This is a gate, which originally a symbol of the division of Berlin from the rest of Germany, is now a symbol of unity. Snap some picture here before making your way down to the Altes Museum and Berlin Cathedral. These two buildings are located right next to each other and on a nice weekend day, the lawn will be covered with people soaking up the sun. You may even hear some music from someone busking on the lawn. The Cathedral has amazing European architecture and there is a fountain in front of the museum.
Now, make your way towards Alexanderplatz. This is were many people do some shopping so you may want to give yourself a little time to look around. This was not of much interest to me but its worth a look. By this time you’re probably getting hungry so hop on any form of transportation from Alexanderplatz and head over to House of Small Wonder for lunch. This is one of the cutest cafes I have ever seen. The details are beautiful, even down to the menus. There are vegan options so look through the menu to find those. I also suggest getting the mint lemonade. It is delicious.
After lunch, head over to Templehof Park to spend an afternoon exploring the public garden, beer garden and more. Templehof is an old airport turned public park. People come here to walk, run, skate, play soccer, and so much more. Depending on the time of year that you go, you may want to stick around to check out the sunset and maybe have a picnic dinner.
Find your way over to Friedrichshain. Start by checking out the East Side Gallery. The East Gallery is a section of the Berlin Wall painted with murals. Next, take a short walk over to Veganz. This is a vegan grocery store and above it is a vegan shoe store! After you explore Veganz, walk across the street to check Urban Spree and flea market just outside. You can take your time to explore here, and stick around to check out the night life! After checking out Urban Spree, walk over to RAW-Gelände. Its right next to Urban Spree so you don’t have to go far. (RAW-Gelände has events going on so you may want to check out their facebook ahead of time to see if there are any you are interested.)
Sunday morning, head over to Neukolln Flea Market. Make sure you bring some cash with you because you may fall in love with a pair of vintage jeans. Seriously, if your the second hand shop type of person, this flea market is for you. Stop at every table and check everything out in detail. There are so many hidden gems here! BUT save some money cause you’re going to be checking out another flea market next at Mauer Park. Mauer Park is famous for its karaoke every Sunday afternoon. To perform karaoke you have to sign up months in advance..and if you want a good seat you better get there really early. But don’t worry, you’ll be able to enjoy the karaoke whether your in the from row or sitting on the hill beside it. You could spend your whole day at Mauer Park and I wouldn’t blame you if you do. Check out the huge flea market and enjoy some of the street food. Theres vegan option almost everywhere. I especially enjoyed some fresh juice.
Some other things you may want to check out in Berlin:
- Try falafel döner. Döner is the number street food in Berlin. Its traditionally made with meat, but you’re not missing out with the falafel version (and of course you’re saving hundreds of animals lives!)
- Check out Klunkerkranich. Klunkernkranich is a cool rooftop bar. Its supposed to get busy at night but I checked it out during the day when it was calm. Maybe try stopping by after Mauer Park!
- Get brunch at Geh Veg before you catch your afternoon flight on Monday! Try a smoothie and their Sweet Breakfast platter.
- Try Brammibal’s Donuts. Vegan donuts and the best BLT I’ve ever had. Their coconut bacon is to die for. There are multiple locations which is why I didn’t add this above. See which one you are near when you have some extra time.