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Connor Howieson's Berlin
Ohm // Sommerbad Kreuzberg // Mäusebunker
words – connor howieson
At boom saloon, we’re incredibly privileged to collaborate with a community of hundreds of talented creatives all around the world, stretching from Ecuador to Egypt, China to Canada, Austria to Angola. Our strong relations have afforded us a wealth of insider insights into the best places to visit, eat and stay, all around the world. Now, we want to share this information with you as we work with our community to map the world and share their best recommendations of how to enjoy destinations both near and far. Our version of a city guide, delivered interactively and in real time – curated for all to enjoy and presented as a savable Google Map for our members to save and bookmark a wealth of future adventures.
A long standing friend of boom saloon, photographer and coffee aficionado Connor Howieson is a master of capturing the everyday and elevating it to the extraordinary. Having made the move from Edinburgh to Berlin, here he shares his take on the best coffee spots, cultural happenings, natural wonders and architectural must-sees across the city.
01_Da Jia Le
Goebenstraße 23, 10783 Berlin
There’s no shortage of Chinese food in Berlin, but this place is really at the top of the list. It’s located in the West of the city, amongst hundreds of other Chinese restaurants – which can make it difficult to pick which to try first. Da Jia Le specialises in sharing plates, so it’s best to go as a group of 4+. With Lazy Susans on all the tables, you can order a feast and share everything. Incredible flavours and a big beer list; you won’t leave this place hungry!
Rosenthaler Str. 36, 10178 Berlin
Tinys Pizza is in the heart of Berlin, just a 10 minute walk from AlexanderPlatz. Tucked away in a cute Hof at hackescher markt, it’s a good little spot to pop into to get away from the busy shopping district. The quality of the dough and ingredients is top standard in Berlin, and it’s a great little spot for a date or a quick dinner. I’d recommend trying their Montenegro Spritz alongside a pizza.
Alexandrinenstraße 118-121, 10969 Berlin
The König Gallery is a favourite amongst locals and tourists. It’s a pretty small gallery, with just two rooms. It’s also free, which is a rarity in Berlin, so it’s always worth popping in if you’re close by. They tend to show German artists, which is cool, and the building itself is a classic example of brutalist architecture.
Triftstraße 67, 13353 Berlin
For the beer lovers out there, you can’t do much better than Eschenbräu. It’s popular with the locals in Wedding as it has a super nice beer garden and very affordable beers. It’s one of the lesser known/ talked about breweries in Berlin, so I feel it’s a bit of a hidden gem. Alongside the beer garden they also have a cosy pub underneath the brewery. Super cheap and high quality beers in Wedding; what’s not to love?
Köpenicker Str. 70, 10179 Berlin
Located next to the iconic and world renowned club Tresor, Ohm is an example of little independent clubs doing it better than the big names in Berlin. To enter Ohm, you walk past the frequently hours long Tresor queue and wander straight in, which is always a satisfying experience. Who doesn’t like passing by a massive queue to have a far better time right next door?! Ohm hosts a very large variety of DJs, so it’s possible to hear lots of different kinds of music – everything from house to garage/ jungle. A super small, intimate club, great for a few hours of hot and sweaty dancing.
Oranienstraße 19, 10999 Berlin
If you find yourself in Kreuzberg looking for a quick beer, be sure to stop by here. It’s a simple Späti where you can grab a cheap beer and sit on the famous Oranienstraße to enjoy some people watching. What sets it apart from being a regular Späti, however, is its extensive beer selection – the fridges are stocked full of some of the best breweries in Europe. Everything from Feurst Wiacek to Omnipolo beers can be found here for good prices. You can find it right across the street from the famous club/ bar, SO36.
Prinzenstraße 113-119, 10969 Berlin
If you’re in Berlin during the summer, you’ll want somewhere to cool off. Instead of taking the train out to one of the lakes, why not check out one of the great outdoor pools? This one, located in Kreuzberg, is my personal favourite. They have specific pools for kids, serious swimmers and one for slower swimmers [me]. They also have a cafe where you can get currywurst, pommes and, of course, beer! Chilling here with a beer on the hot summer days is essential to staying sane in Berlin when it’s crazy hot.
Graefestraße 66/67, 10967 Berlin
Albatross is a bakery/ coffee shop located on Graefestraße, next to Hasenheide Park. They are first and foremost a bakery, so their pastry selection is fantastic. A personal favourite for me here is the creme brulee pastry; it’s really something special! They have a rotating coffee menu so there’s always a different roastery on offer – a great place to try coffee from all over Europe.
Teufelsee is simply the nicest lake in the Berlin area. This kind of water cannot be found at any other lake near Berlin. It’s a strong aqua blue colour and looks incredible. The lake is lined with forest so you can find a nice private spot somewhere and enjoy the blue waters. It’s harder to access than other lakes, which is why it tends to also be a bit quieter than the closer spots, but it’s totally worth the extra travelling if you want to enjoy the German lakes at their finest.
Hindenburgdamm 26, 12203 Berlin (Mouse Bunker) Hindenburgdamm 27, 12203 Berlin
This is one for the architecture lovers – the Mouse Bunker! Originally named so as it was a science research centre testing on, you guessed it, mice. The centre itself is no longer in use but the building still stands. Often described as looking like a spaceship from a dystopian reality [think Clockwork Orange] it’s definitely worth a visit to see its impressive design whilst it still stands. A few minutes down the road you can also stop to see the Institut für Hygiene & Umweltmedizin – another incredible display of brutalist architecture. These two buildings are definitely worth the trip to see!
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