Bicycle Coffe Co. from San Francisco brewing fresh coffee on Torstraße. Photo: Berlinow

Fresh Brew on Torstraße

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”.

Photo: Berlinow

You’re used to hostels being the cheapest way (apart from coach surfing) to stay when you’re abroad. In Berlin there’s a much cozier alternative for the same price, at least if you’re traveling together with someone.

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If you’re planning to stay in Berlin for a longer period, you might be looking for more permanent living situation – take a look here. If you’re just hanging out here for a shorter period, keep reading.

There are countless vacation apartments in Berlin. You’re renting a normal apartment, furnished and completely equipped, for roughly the same price as a hostel bed. An apartment is from around 40 euros per night and up. Yes, that’s for the whole apartment, not per person. You got all the amenities for your self – kitchen, bathroom and sometimes tv and wifi. You definitely get a much more relaxed stay compared to a hostel, or even a hotel. Just like home, but in Berlin.

The apartments are often let by people that owns a single apartment, but there are also companies that operates several apartments. Usually the owners are linked to an agency that arranges the bookings online, but there are also those who book their own apartments, via mail or phone. If you’re dealing directly with the landlord it pays off to bargain a bit about the rent, when you’re staying for a longer period (a week or more). Sometimes the rent can be as low as half the advertised.

If you’re traveling alone, and want to keep the price at a low level, there are also many home owners that offer rooms in their own apartments to travelers. Prices are from 15 euros per night.

Big agencies

Airbnb is one of the largest marketplaces for apartments and rooms in the world. They have a wide variety of accommodation facilities in Berlin on their website. The German “clones” 9flats and Wimdu are definitely worth a visit as well.

Maybe not the nicest looking site, but you’ll find a large selection of apartments all over Berlin.
Berlin’s official site, which also let you search for vacation apartments.

Apartment hotels

Central Berlin Apartments
Two small but nice apartments in the trendy area between Hackescher Markt and Prenzlauer Berg. Overlooking Weinbergpark, with several cozy cafés and pubs in the area. Wifi, elevator.

Ima lofts
Loft apartments in a former Kreuzberg factory building. The immediate surroundings might not be the most interesting in Berlin, but you’re only a five minute walk from the hip Oranienstraße with several cafés, restaurants and shops. Wifi, elevator.

Other sites

Berliners that are going on holiday often sublets their own apartment while they are away. You’ll find a lot of these ads on Craigslist, but there’s also quite a few “professional” landlords here. You can really make a bargain on Craigslist, but look out for scammers! Never pay for the apartment before arrival. If the landlord demands that you pay in advance, go for another place.

You’ll find more apartments than on Craigslist, but this site is in German only. Many ads are for longer periods, but there are also weekly or daily rentals. Once again, look out for scammers.

To find out if you’re dealing with a scammer, have a look at this frequently updated blog. Also google the mail address or phone number. If you end up finding ads from different cities all over Europe, you’re most certainly in contact with a scammer.

Don’t have a flag? A passport will do (file). Photo: jpvargas/flickr[source]CC BY-SA 2.0

The German bureaucracy likes to keep an eye on you. And it might be something in it for you as well.

German law demands that you register with the authorities, which is called Anmeldung, if you’re planning to stay in the country for a longer period (more than three months).

You should register within two weeks of your arrival in Berlin. If you don’t comply with these rules you might get slapped with a fine.

What’s in for you then? Aside from not having to pay a fine, you’ll get a piece of paper called Anmeldebestätigung from the registration office. Without this paper, which confirms your address in Germany, you’ll have a hard time applying for gym membership, opening a bank account, or renting a car at Robben & Wientjes.

Where you register depends on where in Berlin you live (although you should be fine picking the one closest to where you work or go to school as well). Here’s a list of registration offices throughout the city. You should be aware that there’s often a lot of people at these offices, so be prepared to spend two hours or more waiting for your turn. If you don’t speak a word of German it might be a good idea to bring a German speaking friend with you. While some of the clerks do speak English, it’s not to be taken for granted.

And don’t forget your passport.


Flea Markets

How do I get there?

A map with the addresses can be found further down the page you get to by clicking here

Flea market at Boxhagener Platz. Photo: Berlinow

“Berliner trödelmarkt” is a concept. And there’s quite a few of them.

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Which one’s the original flea market is debatable, some people will say “Straße des 17. Juni” in Tiergarten, but that’s not necessary where you should waste your time and money on a Sunday.

Mauerpark is located where the Berlin Wall made a sharp bend in Prenzlauer Berg. Every Sunday there’s a big market with a great variety of things being sold, from cheap to quite expensive. You’ll find people clearing out their garage alongside regular merchants selling everything from furniture, old vhs tapes, clothes, vintage eyewear, china and sticky tape in different colors. Take your time, there’s a lot to see. And when you’re hungry, there’s also a lot to eat and drink. Try the famous (vegan) Sun Day burger, for example. When? Every Sunday. See map below for directions to all markets.

Rathaus Schöneberg is a typical community market with basically everything. A lot of books and clothes but also electronics, an occasional handgun, and toys. Mostly private sellers, but also some “professionals”. Not much to eat here, apart from the mandatory Wurst stand. When? Every Saturday and Sunday.

Boxhagener Platz in Friedrichshain is also a venue for a weekly flea market. This is one’s featuring the same mix as in Mauerpark, but is slightly less expensive. If you’re looking for GDR memorabilia you might have some luck here. There are a lot of cafés and small restaurants around Boxhagener Platz, so you don’t need leave this place when you get hungry. When? Every Sunday.

70′s design stuff

Arkonaplatz is the place if you’re looking for 60’s and 70’s design stuff. The flea market has a long history, there have been markets at this square since 1912. Located in hip Mitte, needless to say, the prices aren’t exactly cheap. When? Every Sunday.

Friedrichshagen is quite a S-Bahn ride from the city, but if you’re a collector of East German design and other GDR stuff such as army hats or books and magazines, this is the market for you. There’s a grand flea market during the street fest “Bölschefest” every year in May, and every Sunday in December there’s a Xmas market. When? Almost every Sunday, check before you go (quite a ride there, you know).

Nachtflohmarkt Early mornings not your style? Still would like to make a bargain? Then SO36’s Nachtflohmarkt is the place for you. Once in the middle of every month (on a Wednesday) you can get your hands on clothes, accessories and crafts from Kreuzberg, whilst sipping on a beer and listening to some tunes. And don’t worry about the rain, this market is indoors. When? Once a month. Check this link for dates.

Straße des 17. Juni Well, we must at least tell you about this market. It’s quite big, has been there for over 30 years, and there’s a lot of old stuff for sale. We’re not that impressed, but if you’ve got the time, by all means, check it out. When? (almost) Every Saturday and Sunday.


How to: Shop Vintage


Second Hand Shopping Guide for Berlin

The GDR department at Humana Second Hand. Photo: Esbjörn Guwallius/Berlinow

London, Paris or New York seems like the most obvious choices for the hunting fashionista. But be aware, Berlin has several hidden secrets when it comes to this Gebiet.

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Berlin is maybe not the first city that pops into mind when you think about shopping vintage or second hand apparel. But seek, and ye shall find. From thrift stores in Friedrichshain to high fashion in Charlottenburg, Berlin can serve all needs and budgets when it comes to old, smelly, used clothes.

Dress lovers beware, this might be your heaven in Berlin. Kleidermarkt is a chain of several second hand and vintage shops in Berlin and other German cities. In Berlin there are four branches, two of which are gigantic. In some of their stores you can even buy clothes by the kilo… 17,99 euros for one kilogram of t-shirts or jeans, and even cheaper during happy hours once a week.

This is one of the largest second hand stores we’ve ever been to. Humana at Frankfurter Tor, with it’s five floors, it’s more like a department store. If you are looking for vintage fashion, and got a limited budget, this is the place to go. From lederhosen over H&M and seventies glam to old DDR fashion, you’ll find it all here. One floor is dedicated to “stuff” – board games, old records players, china and furniture. If you’re really lucky, you’re at Humana during one of their biannual sales, where the price drops to as low a 1,50 euro – for each and every single garment. Besides the flagship store in Friedrichshain, Humana Second Hand has branches all over Berlin. The second largest is located at Alexanderplatz, and there’s also a quite well-stocked branch at Schönhauser Allee. The others are quite small in comparison, but you’ll nevertheless find interesting stuff there.

Designer clothes

Momsenstraße is a parallel street to the famous Kurfürstendamm shopping avenue in the western district of Charlottenburg. On this street, and some surrounding side streets, quite a large number of second hand and vintage shops have gathered. Several of them are investing in well-known designer clothes, with slightly higher price tags than their colleagues above. A Geheimtipp is Madonna on Mommsenstrasse 57. Here you you’ll find designer clothes for a fraction of what they were like new, although, they’re not exactly giving them away.

Checkpoint smells like it should. Old army clothes, heavy overcoats and some new stuff crammed in and old theater in Kreuzberg. Maybe not the top choice among Berlin’s second hand stores, but there is still something for everyone and often moderate prices.

Stiefelkombinat has two stores, both of them located at one of Berlin’s hottest intersections, Eberswalder Straße/Schönhauser Allee, right next to the metro Eberswalder Straße. The selection consists of clothes, shoes, strange old gadgets and furniture. The price level is slightly too high, but here’s at least a lot of fun stuff to browse and if you’re lucky, you might make a deal. Open late, until 10 pm.


How to: Get Some Turkish


The Turkish Street Market in Neukölln

Oriental Wochenmarkt

Maybachufer 1, 12047 Berlin

Business Hours Tuesday and Friday: 11 am – 6.30 pm.

U8 Schönleinstraße

How do I get there?

A map with the addresses can be found further down the page you get to by clicking here

The Turkish street market in Neukölln. Photo: Esbjörn Guwallius/Berlinow

This is not your usual hipster style street market. The Maybachufer market is The Real Turkish Deal.

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Tomatoes, watermelons, steaming hot gözleme and börek, all kinds of cheese, freshly made quark, clothes, and fabric. This sizzling market has it all, and it’s dead cheap. A kilogram of bananas or three avocados for 1 euro, one meter of fabric 1,50 euro or a mouth watering, freshly baked gözleme for just over a euro.

Even if you’re not that into shopping, this place is worth a trip to Neukölln. You’ll hear a constant buzzing of merchants shouting out their offers, and every other meter you’re introduced to a new (mostly pleasant) smell. Be prepared push and squeeze a bit, this place is almost always crowded.

The Maybachufer market is open every Tuesday and Friday from noon to 6.30 pm. There’s also a smaller “sister” to this market in Schöneberg, at the end of Crellestraße. Open every Wednesday and Saturday. See map below.