A History-Rich City Transformed into a Trend-Setting Metropolis
Despite Berlin’s difficult past, it’s emerged as one of the world’s most forward-thinking and welcoming cities. A place where tech entrepreneurs and whistleblowers rub shoulders with fashion designers and musicians from all over the globe. There’s storied history to explore here, of course, but there’s also an irreverent art scene, reservation-worthy dining and nightclubs that stay open for entire weekends. Don’t forget to pack your dancing shoes and a handful of ibuprofen.
Sammlung Boros doesn’t look like any major art gallery you’ve seen before. Constructed in 1942, its original purpose was a WWII bomb shelter, hence the fortress-like design, disproportionately tiny windows, and formidable nickname: The Bunker. After briefly housing a nightclub in the 90s the building was eventually purchased by advertising mogul Christian Boros, who transformed it into a gallery showcasing international modern art. Book your spot on a 12-person guided tour of Sammlung Boros, Thursday through Sunday. Visits to view the collection are by appointment only and they fill up ahead of time.
A stark brutalist building in the district known as Wedding makes a fitting backdrop for BALDON, a community oriented restaurant and “platform for creative experiences.” Come for the natural wines and a menu that changes each month to reflect the season’s produce. Stay for the live music, life drawing classes, pop-up dinners from visiting international chefs, and the BALDON concept store featuring artisanal vendors.
The Inn Crowd
Sir Savigny fancies itself as the intellectual’s accommodation choice: a sophisticated boutique hotel situated in Berlin’s literary quarter. Rooms here come complete with Nespresso coffee machines, bespoke pillow menus, stacks of good literature, and “dial-a-burger” buttons (for when the curated mini bar just won’t cut it). The hotel also connects guests with craft brewers, writers, and yoga instructors, for themed tours of the city from a Berliner’s perspective.
The Last Call
Don’t be fooled by Bar Tausend’s unremarkable doorway; it’s one of the city’s coolest bars, with a picky entrance policy to boot. Tausend’s narrow, arched space (it’s tucked underneath a railway overpass) becomes an intimate dance floor from Tuesday until Saturday, when electronica DJs and international musicians play in front of a mesmerizing orblike light installation. If you’re only after cocktails and conversation, get ahead of Berlin’s late night revelers and arrive when the doors open at 7pm.
The Liquidrom Spa creates a welcome soft landing after a night indulging in Berlin’s famously outrageous nightlife. Circuit through the Finnish sauna and steambath, Himalayan salt room, and Japanese onsen soaking tubs before proceeding to the Cupola Hall: a thermal spa situated beneath a domed circus-inspired ceiling and circular skylight. Float weightlessly in the salt water pool, eyes closed, as melodic electronic music plays from the spa’s underwater speakers, immersing you in “liquid sound.”