Classroom (file). Photo: Tulane Public Relations/flickr

How to: Learn German

How to: Berlin

How do I get an apartment? Where can I find great coffee? What if I get sick? Dive into our collection on “How to: Berlin”.

How to: Find Great Coffee

 

Top 10 Coffee Bars in Berlin

The Best Coffee in Town

Our criteria for this list are as follows: Quality of coffee, Price, Service and Atmosphere. Several of the establishments on this list are pure coffee bars, but among them are also some cafés that are eager to serve the best coffee possible.

Have you found a coffee bar or café that deserves to be on our list? Tell us, or share in the comments.

Do you consider yourself a coffee connoisseur? Join our panel, and help us in our quest to find The Best Coffee in Berlin. Apply here

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A cappuccino from Double Eye in Schöneberg. Photo: Esbjörn Guwallius/Berlinow

Berlin is not synonymous with great coffee. Is it impossible to get a perfect espresso or cappuccino then? No, but the best places are hard to find – that’s why you need this list.

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Double Eye

Akazienstraße 22, 10823 BerlinFacebookFoursquare

1.Just a hole-in-the-wall with, almost always, a crowd of fans gathering on the sidewalk, queuing for coffee or already sipping on one. You’ll get a perfect cappuccino, milchkaffee, espresso, or one of Double Eye’s special creations for a fraction of what it would cost you to get some awful coffee at Starbucks (the American chain’s branch on Akazienstraße actually had to close due to the competition from this small coffee shop). A cappuccino, served with a complimentary biscuit, is 1,80 euro.

Coffee 5 stars Snacks 4 stars Overall 5 stars

(stay)Last tasted 10/2012

Godshot

Immanuelkirchstraße 32, 10405 BerlinFacebookFoursquare

2.At Godshot you’ll meet a barista who’s prepared to discuss coffee with you. That way you’ll always get exactly what you want in your cup. Three or four kinds of coffee beans to choose from. If you’re really into coffee, you can join one of Godshot’s barista courses.

Coffee 4.5 stars Overall 5 stars

(stay)Last tasted 10/2012

No Fire No Glory

Rykestraße 45, 10405 BerlinFacebookFoursquare

3.The coffee, the atmosphere and the staff – everything feels just right at this café (even the trees have the right height). Choose between coffee beans from Copenhagen’s Coffee Collective, or Berlin’s Bonanza Coffee Heroes. No Fire No Glory moved from Friedrichshain to Prenzlauer Berg last spring. Significantly more seats than before makes the new location even better. No Fire No Glory features a good selection of home made cakes and sandwiches.

Coffee 4 stars Snacks 4 stars Overall 5 stars

(up)Last tasted 10/2012

The Barn

Auguststraße 58, 10119 BerlinFacebookFoursquare

4.Organic and locally produced are the keywords in this small café/coffee shop, which could be taken right out of “Portlandia”. The coffee is top notch, with perfect temperature and just the right strength (Well, almost always). If you’re feeling hungry, The Barn has a good selection of sweets and sandwiches to choose among.

Coffee 4 stars Snacks 4 stars Overall 4.5 stars

(down)Last tasted 08/2012

Five Elephant Coffee

Reichenberger Straße 101, 10999 BerlinFacebookFoursquare

5.On a leafy street, deep down in Kreuzberg, you’ll find this relaxed café and with an in-store coffee roaster. The coffee is superb, and you’ll kill for the cheese cake. If you like their coffee as much as we do, you can buy a bag of beans when you leave.

Coffee 4 stars Snacks 4 stars Overall 4 stars

(new)Last tasted 09/2012

Bonanza Coffee Heroes

Oderberger Straße 35, 10435 BerlinFacebookFoursquare

6.Prenzlauer Berg’s most popular coffee bar. Bonanza has, well deserved, a good reputation among urban tourist and locals. Their coffee drinks are always of high quality, even if they, like us all, can have a bad day. The enthusiasts that run Bonanza roast their own beans to perfection, and also supplies them to a few of the other coffee bars on our list.

Coffee 4 stars Snacks 2.5 stars Overall 3.5 stars

(stay)Last tasted 09/2012

Antipodes

Fehrbelliner Straße 5, 10119 BerlinFacebookFoursquare

7.Excellent Kiwi coffee, with organic beans from Kings & Queens coffee roasters in Berlin. Their flat white is strong enough to keep you going all day.

Coffee 4 stars Snacks 4 stars Overall 4 stars

(new)Last tasted 10/2012

Röststätte

Ackerstraße 173, 10115 BerlinFacebookFoursquare

8.When you’re done drooling over all the shiny, new espresso machines in the store, head for the café counter and order an espresso. Röststätte serves some of Mitte’s best coffee, roasted by hand in the combined store/café.

Coffee 4 stars Snacks 3.5 stars Overall 4 stars

(new)Last tasted 10/2012

Oslo Kaffebar

Eichendorfstrasse 13, 10115 BerlinFacebookFoursquare

9.Are you missing your Norwegian coffee? Do not despair. Kristiania Espresso might be gone, but Kristian is still making excellent espressos and cappuccinos at his new place, Oslo Kaffebar, just steps away from Nordbahnhof. In co-operation with Bonanza coffee roasters, the coffee bar has created a special roast – the Oslo Blend.

Coffee 4 stars Snacks 3 stars Overall 4 stars

(new)Last tasted 10/2012

Cafe CK

Marienburger Straße 49, 10405 BerlinFacebookFoursquare

10.Prepare yourself for a very strong cup of coffee. Cafe CK uses 20 grams of coffee (or more, if you want it even stronger) in every drink. You’ll probably need something on the side, we recommend the carrot cake. CK also has a branch in Voo Store in Kreuzberg’s Oranienstraße, but this review is for the café in Prenzlauer Berg. CK uses coffee beans from Bonanza.

Coffee 3.5 stars Snacks 4 stars Overall 3.5 stars

(down)Last tasted 07/2012

Up and Coming Coffee Bars

The following coffee bars serve quite good coffee, but doesn't make the cut for our list just yet.

Chapter One Mittenwalder Straße 30, 10961 Berlin

Passenger Espresso Oppelner Straße 45, 10997 Berlin

Goodies Warschauer Straße 69, 10243 Berlin

Giro d'Espresso Knobelsdorffstraße 47, 14059 Berlin

St Gaudy Café Gaudystraße 1, 10437 Berlin


The original version of this article was first published on 2010-10-18.

 

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Hokey Pokey in Prenzlauer Berg. Photo: Berlinow

Don’t settle for less: These are the top five ice cream parlors in Berlin. Follow this list, and you’re set for a great summer.

Rosa Canina

Pasteurstraße 32, 10407 BerlinFacebookFoursquare

1.This is the best ice cream we’ve tasted in ages, and it’s all organic. You can actually see the ice cream being made in front of your eyes, since Rosa Canina’s “factory” is in-store behind a big glass wall. There’s a variety of changing flavors (some of them vegan). Among the more odd options are raspberry-basil, chocolate-nutmeg-cardamom and black sesame, which all tastes surprisingly good.

Ice cream 5 stars Overall rating 5 stars
Berlin Homemade Icecream

Elßholzstraße 10, 10781 BerlinFacebookFoursquare

2.Right next to Kleistpark lies this popular ice cream parlor. Artificial flavors are banned, all ice cream are made out of milk, cream, sugar, real fruit and home-made nut pastes. If you head here on the weekend, be prepared to queue.

Ice cream 4.5 stars Overall rating 4.5 stars
Hokey Pokey

Stargarder Straße 73, 10437 BerlinFacebookFoursquare

3.Peanut butter and banana makes a very tasty ice cream. Do we need to say that it’s real peanut butter and pieces of banana? This flavor, and other surprises for your tastebuds (such as Belgian chocolate and fig-walnut) are awaiting you at Hokey Pokey in Prenzlauer Berg.

Ice cream 4.5 stars Overall rating 4 stars
Naschkatze

Raumerstraße 8, 10437 BerlinFacebookFoursquare

4.One of our favorites from this all organic Helmholtzplatz hotspot is the fresh mint ice cream. Simply delicious, and a perfect cooler on a hot summer day. Combine it with strawberry, and you got the perfect mix. A nice touch from Naschkatze is the the small sample from another flavor they put on top of the scoop of ice cream you order.

Ice cream 4 stars Overall rating 4 stars
Tanne B

Eisenbahnstraße 48, 10997 BerlinFoursquare

5.Tanne B has made ice cream since 2004, and gotten quite creative with their flavors. How about some asparagus ice, or perhaps lychee-ginger? Vegans can choose from a variety of soy ice cream and sorbets. Tanne B also has a small branch in the corner of Bergmannstraße and Zossener Straße.

Ice cream 3.5 stars Overall rating 4 stars
 

How to: Shop Organic

 

A Guide to Organic Food Shopping in Berlin

Berlin is the organic food capital of Europe. Photo: Esbjörn Guwallius/Berlinow

Berlin is the perfect city for an organic lifestyle. The range of organic foods and other everyday products is enormous.

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In Germany and especially in Berlin, there are numerous shops that specialize in organic products. Everything sold in these supermarkets are organically grown or produced.

Alnatura is one of the German organic chains, and our favorite. Everything in the Alnatura stores looks and feels very fresh, manual cheese and bread counters as well as fruit and vegetables. The chain has many products under its own brand, these are often less expensive than products from other producers and usually of high quality. Alnatura has seven stores in Berlin. The largest is on Greifswalder Straße 89 in the outskirts of Prenzlauer Berg.

Bio Company has 22 stores in Berlin. Maybe not always as fresh as Alnatura, but they has a very wide selection in their larger stores. In the entrance to all supermarkets is a small Imbiss, which also sells bread and coffee, organic of course.

Viv Biofrischemarkt is the second largest chain in Berlin with its eight stores. Here you’ll find everything you need for your weekly shopping. Not the most exciting store, but if you live nearby a Viv, it’ll do just fine. A bakery shop with a good selection is available in all stores.

Europe’s largest

LPG Biomarkt has six stores in Berlin, one of them Europe’s largest organic supermarket. On two stories, covering more than 1 600 square meters, you’ll find Berlin’s widest range of organic products. In addition to food it features a large department with cosmetic and hygiene products. There’s also a bistro, and a bakery with a coffee shop. The address is Kollwitzstraße 17 in Prenzlauer Berg. Some of the other five LPG branches are also relatively large, compared to other chains.

Kiepert & Kutzner has only one store, but a really good one. Personal style, fresh and well-stocked fruit and vegetable department, manual cheese and deli counters, cool music in the speakers and free tea and mineral water make this institution in Prenzlauer Berg a winner.

Veganz is not 100 percent organic, but almost everything in the supermarket is grown and produced organically. The special thing with Veganz? Every single product is vegan. There’s vegan pizza, sausage, cheese, fake chicken … and the list can easily get very, very long. They also have a coffee shop with bakery, which features and vegan cakes and cookies among other goodies. Veganz is open on Sundays (which is uncommon in Germany), when they also serves a vegan brunch.

“Bio” is short for biologisch, the German word for organic.

 

How to: Get around

 

Metro, Train, Bus, Tram and Taxi in Berlin

Links

BVG, the public transport company’s homepage in English. Plan your journey and find other useful information.

This map covers the entire U-bahn and S-bahn network.

A tourist flyer for visitors. Find your way to that museum.

The tram network is covering the old East Berlin. On this map you’ll find all lines.

You’ll find all lines, regardless of means of transport, on this map.

The iPhone app Fahrinfo is a perfect travel companion. You can easily check when the next train or bus arrives, find the closest stop, or plan a journey.

The Adenauerplatz metro station in Berlin. Photo: Esbjörn Guwallius/Berlinow

The best way to get to know Berlin is by using it’s public transportation. Learn the metro system by heart, and you’re on your way to mastering the German capital.

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Berlin has an extensive subway system, known as the U-bahn, as well as the suburban train network S-bahn, along with buses and tram lines. If you know your way around the system, you will get to your destination much faster than by taxi or driving your own car.

A single ride is 2,30 euros. The ticket allows unlimited travel within two hours. You can make as many connections as you need, though return and round trips are not allowed. If you’re just going a few stops you can travel even cheaper. The short distance journey ticket (Kurzstrecke), which is 1,40 euro, takes you three stops with U-bahn or S-bahn or six stops by bus or tram. Connections are allowed between U-bahn and S-bahn. If you’re traveling a lot during one day you might want to go for the day ticket (6,30 euros), and if you’re staying for a whole week you can travel unlimited for 27,20 euros with the seven day ticket. All ticket prices are for Berlin zone A+B.

Ticket controls

If you’re used to the metro system in other large cities around the world you might get surprised when you find out that there’s no turnstiles at the stations. Berlin relies on the honor system, and frequent ticket controls on board. There are both plain clothes and uniformed inspectors that can demand to see your ticket: “Fahrausweis, bitte!”. If you can’t present a valid ticket you’ll have to pay a fine of 40 euros.

And don’t forget to validate your ticket in the small yellow or red boxes on the platform before you board the train, otherwise it’s not valid for travel. You only have to do this once for each ticket.

Get a cab?

If you prefer to ride by yourself, it’s relatively cheap to go by taxi in Berlin. For example, a ride from Rosenthaler Platz to Tegel Airport will cost you around 19 euros, or around 8,50 euros to Berlin’s Hauptbahnhof. A great app is myTaxi, where you can order a cab or get an estimate on how much the fare will be.

 
Ambulance in Berlin (file). Photo: Till Krech/flickr[source]CC BY 2.0

Maybe you don’t want to, but sometimes it might be necessary to see a physician. Wouldn’t it be great if he or she spoke your language?

We won’t give recommendations for specific physicians (that’s what the comments section are for), but we will point you in the right direction. Aerzte-Berlin.de might not look that appealing, but is a great source. Decide what kind of physician (Fachrichtung) you need to see, and in which district (Stadtbezirk) of Berlin. Then decide which language (Sprache) you want them to speak.

Another website where you can find physicians is the Kassenärztlichen Vereinigung Berlin. You cannot search for a language here, but you can be more specific in your search query. Arzt-Auskunft provides yet another way to find the right treatment for you. When you’ve found a physician at one of these sites, you can check on Aerzte-Berlin if they speak your language.

Hospitals in Berlin

If you’re searching for a hospital, the Berlin Hospital Directory is the place to go. Their website is available in English.

If you have public health insurance in one of the European Union’s 27 member states (or Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) you’ll have the same access to the public sector health care as German nationals. This means a visit to a physician will cost you 10 euros. If you need the see a physician again during the current quarter you just have to show the receipt from your last visit, and it won’t cost you a dime more. You should be able to show your European Health Insurance Card and your passport at the physician’s office.