I’d heard so much about Berlin recently that I literally jumped at the opportunity to spend a long weekend in Germany’s capital city and began researching immediately.
Hipster. Cool. Trendy. Funky. Colourful. Multi-cultural. Alternative.
These are just some of the words that repeatedly came up whenever I read or heard about Berlin. It’s safe to say I was intrigued, and longing to explore the city. However I couldn’t stop myself from paying attention to this niggling feeling:
Was I cool enough for Berlin?
After reading all these descriptions I was expecting Berlin to be ice cool, and no I’m not referring to the harsh Germanic winters. I’m a pretty normal girl, I’m not particularly cool, or edgy, or hipster, or trendy. I thought I’d look severely out-of-place in what I believed to be the epitome of cool. My clothes wouldn’t be right, my hair wouldn’t be right, my attitude wouldn’t be right. I’d be surrounded my impossibly hot party people, and sticking out like a sore thumb.
But it turns out I needn’t have worried.
Berlin is indifferent, utterly accepting. From the spaced-out, dreadlocked hippies at the Turkish market in Kreuzberg, to the hipster types that seem to be everywhere. Berlin doesn’t seem to care who you are. Nobody stops to give anyone a second glance.
Experiencing the Berlin nightlife in Kreuzberg on a Friday truly opened my eyes to this, and more. Seeking shelter from the splattering raindrops that were falling relentlessly on us, we ran into the first bar we could find. It was dark, cosy, and crowded with people beginning their weekends in true Berlin style. Kreuzberg has recently evolved into the trendiest part of Berlin, it’s where the Berlin locals spend their time. And it’s where you should go to experience the real nightlife of Berlin. Forget the tourist bars that you’ll find in Mitte and around Alexanderplatz and dive straight into the gritty, almost illicit side of Berlin.
Weekends here are hedonistic 48 hour party affairs, with beer gardens and man-made beach bars opening just as the clubs are emptying. It’s not unusual to see people taking the S-Bahn or U-Bahn home from a night out at 3pm the next afternoon. And nobody seems to mind.
As we venture into the bar there’s definitely a hipster vibe, it’s unmistakable, but it’s not exclusive. It’s entirely inclusive. It’s not like other bars and clubs I’ve been in cities around the world, where you can literally feel people’s eyes looking you up and down, judging you as you step through the threshold. Nobody stopped to give us a second glance, and it felt good. It felt good not to have people analysing your every move when all you want to do is relax and have a little fun.
And Berlin is definitely the place to have fun!