One of the things we love about Berlin is its propensity for collaboration over competition. It’s in this spirit that we have listed below some of our favourite Berlin websites and blogs. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do; as ever, feel free to let us know if we missed something in the comments section below…
The author of this blog famously ignores Betreten Verboten signs to report on life from inside the security fences. Fearlessly entering the closed gates of abandoned factories, hospitals and military bases, this has long been the go-to blog for urbex types (especially as the cheekily-written and usually fascinating stories are – controversially – matched with detailed maps and access information).
This personal blog about Berlin is run by David Yates, who came to the city in 2009 and has been lovestruck ever since. David writes about his explorations and experiences, from restaurants and tourist sights to historical asides and street arts. Every Sunday he also posts a a Berlin-themed documentary – a pleasant weekly surprise.
Amazing architecture abounds in Berlin, but with so much else going on it’s sometimes easy to overlook the edificial wonders that envelop us. Architecture in Berlin’s Jim Hudson is impressively knowledgeable on the subject, and his blog is a heartwarmingly passionate source of information, inspiration and appreciation. Although Jim hasn’t been updating it much of late, we’re crossing our fingers that he’ll return to his passion asap.
In few cities is the entrepreneurial influence quite as apparent as Berlin, with its fresh exciting new creative ventures popping up everyday.
One of the best local platforms for young artists, writers, designers, digital natives and other creatives to congregate is Artconnect Berlin, an art-blog and networking community that allows young professionals to share their ideas and collaborate on new projects.
When it comes to contemporary art, in particular, how the Berlin contemporary art scene fits in with the international art world, you are hard pressed to find a better source than Berlin Art Link. From artist interviews to event listings, BAL helps you stay “art-savvy” connecting you to the inner-workings of the Berlin art world.
Berlin Design Blog (German only)
With an eye for the coolest events and exhibitions, including previews, interviews and commentary, Berlin Design Blog covers the spectrum of design-based media, from fashion and graphic design to sound production and seminars. All presented in neat, digestible morsels, it’s near impossible not to have designs on this little beauty.
Run by a self confessed “amateur foodie” (and start-up founder), this blog attempts to sort the wheat from the chaff in terms of Berlin’s restaurant scene. The criteria – visiting every place multiple times before reviewing, only covering good places – is decent and the results are balanced and honest. The photos aren’t bad either…
The blog is a rich resource of inspiration for all the parents raising a kid in Berlin as well as for the visiting families. From classic kids-friendly spots (zoos and parks) to urban oasis offering children space to play and parents time to relax (beer-gardens and cafes). One of the best features is a weekly newsletter “What’s On For Families in Berlin This Weekend”. The articles are written by Sarah, an expat mum of two small ones, hence, all the places and tips have been first verified.
Berlinica is an English-language publishing house that brings Berlin to America. Berlinica is run by Eva Claudia Schweitzer, a book author and a journalist for twenty-five years, and has offices in New York and Berlin. It publishes everything devoted to Berlin in English, mostly books, from fiction to history, photo books, guide books, biographies, books about culture and architecture, cookbooks, and also maps, movies and music. Berlinica books are available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and every bookstore in America and Germany.
Run by Berlin residents Patrick Bolk and Mark Füssel, this blog is dedicated to covering the organic food ‘scene’ in Berlin – restaurants, ingredients, shops – as well as expanding now and again into books, events and more. Two complementary (but not connected) blogs are Glutenfrei Berlin, which has a handy (and regularly updated) map for all grain-avoiding individuals, and Berlin Vegan, which provides a comprehensive lexicon (and map) of vegan shops and restaurants.
To reify is to make real, to turn from abstract to concrete. A beautiful word for a beautiful blog, and one of our original inspirations here at Slow Travel Berlin. There is something inherently cosy about the website; it’s run by just one person (long-term expat Sylee Gore) so has a personal touch with lots of insider info and yet completely accessible, the lovely photos and upbeat words coming together in a heartening homage to the city.
This sleek city guide is a one-stop resource for shops, hotels, bars, culture, art, wellness, thrills and events, each of them unique and unlike anything else – hence the name. The snappy editorial and intelligent curation combine to provide a succinct and trustworthy tool for locals and visitors alike.
A collection of inspirational stories from creatives living in Berlin, this fairly new project focuses on (mainly expat) designers, photographers, bloggers and start-up entrepreneurs and more. A great way to discover Berlin in a more personal way, especially as each interviewee usually gives insider tips.
“In here, life is beautiful. The girls are beautiful. Even the orchestra is beautiful!” exclaims the eccentric compere in Cabaret. Most people will be most familiar with Bob Fosse’s 1972 musical film version of the story featuring an iconic Liza Minelli, but the original material comes from Christopher’s Ischerwood’s book, The Berlin Stories. Brendan Nash’s site is dedicated to the hedonistic Weimar era Berlin, and he also runs walking tours around Ischerwood’s old stomping grounds.
Once it was only available as a weekly newsletter, but now it’s a website as well. Focusing on the stuff that the owners believe really matters, both the bilingual weekly bulletin (which we’d recommend signing up for) and site feature a considered mix of cool cafes, exciting exhibitions, special shops and unmissable miscellany.
Run by (former STB contributor) Kelly, a sociocultural anthropology student, and Sophia, an international education specialist, this is the only English-language blog dealing specifically with all things immigration, integration, and culture related.
A one man mission to discover Berlin’s abandoned spots and its more esoteric nooks and crannies, Digital Cosmonaut combines great historical texts with top photography. One for the urbex massive.
First and foremost a musically focused project, DiB also dabbles in film, art and anything else that falls outside of convention. With a passion – one that we relate to – for Berlin as Europe’s most fertile breeding ground for adventure and subculture, this is a guide covering events, locations and releases with integrity and acumen. Digital in Berlin also supports the excellent avant-garde music festival MADEIRADiG.
A voyage of discovery through photography, this site consistently produces gorgeous photo essays, throwing a generally positive spin on the city. The group of friends behind Finding Berlin say: “We want to try and stop the negativity. This is a great time to be here, a great time for young people to take part in the making of a major city in Europe. Let’s not sit at home and cry about failing politics and a harsh economy. Let’s do something.” They also run excellent cycling tours.
Run by indefatigable Italian photographer Dario Jacopo Lagana, this blog focuses on all kinds of interesting aspects of Berlin, from architecture and Cold War relicts to small oddities and unique pieces on small Brandenburg towns. The posts often explore how recent German history has influenced events and life in contemporary Europe.
An exploration of Berlin through its eateries, passionate foodie Suzy’s blog is both an inspiration and useful resource whether you’re seeking good fast food or high end Michelin stars. Stuck for somewhere to eat? Nervous about taking your visiting guests to a dodgy diner? Chances are Foodie in Berlin has been there and blogged about it, so you’ll get an honest, informed review. If it’s not looking promising, there’ll be a list of good alternatives as long as your arm.
Despite the insinuation of travel, Richard Carter has well and truly arrived. A Berlin stalwart, his blog is an in-depth exploration of buildings and relics from the city’s tumultuous history, from Third Reich and Cold War Berlin to the altogether more cheery Christmas Markets and fascinating old photos. The map of articles is particularly inspired, and useful for planning efficient tours and day trips.
Kekstester (German only)
Literally translated, Kekstester means ‘cookie tester’, but the focus of this blog is actually much wider, incorporating practically anything as long as it’s edible and sweet. There are recipes, reviews, recommendations and, of course, mouthwatering photos that give you a taste of the city without all the calories.
There are a lot of preconceived notions about Kreuzberg- dirty, loud, foreign, hipster, to name a few. So when encountering a blog written by an expatriate X-berg resident you might expect a rebuke of these accusations; but in fact the author (NotMsParker) embraces Kreuzberg’s faults and describes her love/hate relationship searing honesty. You can even take a great tour of Xberg 61 with the lady herself.
This unique podcasting series is hosted by local journalists Tam Eastley (also a STB contributor) and Jennifer Collins. Together, they strive to create informative and quirky long and short podcasts about the hidden side of Berlin. Podcast topics include love, ghosts, protests, Weimar Berlin, Club Mate (which proved to be very popular), and most recently, Spreepark. You can check out their work on SoundCloud.
Mit Vergnuegen (German only)
This German-only site is run by Matze Hielscher and Pierre Türkowsky, who like to offer their readers a slice of fun every single day. This can be a concert, a club night, a new record releases or an exhibition. Anything goes really – sign up for their newsletter for monthly highlights.
Multikulinarisch (German only)
Run by the wonderful Peggy Schatz, this Berlin-based food and people website carries information on events, books and individual recipes, as well as organising the International Gourmet Calender and a brand new bilingual, blogger-driven food map.
Cultural historian Joseph Pearson provides thoughtful, personal and often quirky takes on Berlin through his creative words and images. The “Moving to Berlin?” article, on the other hand, is thorough, realistic and informative – and has proved justifiably popular.
From countless graffiti scrawls to the ostentatious protest signs carted around by the anarchists and public love letters, Berlin seems to be a city defined by the written word. Notes of Berlin is a photo blog devoted to documenting the profound, heartfelt, and sometimes hysterically ironic notes pasted up around our fair city.
Ever wonder about the life of the person sitting next to you on the U-Bahn? Pieces of Berlin is a photo journal of encounters with random Berliners in public places who let readers catch a glimpse into their private lives. It gives you an intimate look into a sometimes overlooked aspect of what makes Berlin so unique and beautiful, it’s residents.
The Berlin arm of this internationally popular electronic music site is no less ubiquitous than its foreign counterparts. Most, if not all, of Berlin’s main music events get posted on RA, and it’s also a good tool for those hosting events because you can set up a ticket sale directly from the site, as well as see the number of people planning to attend.
We don’t cover much fashion here at STB (only the sustainable stuff now and again). We leave that to the cool kids – folk like Mary Scherpe who runs Stil in Berlin. One of the city’s first ever blogs, it began life as an online fashion photography project but these days covers film, music, food and reviews and previews of events.
This blog has a theme close to our own hearts: it’s about strolling through Berlin, collecting impressions of the city while moving around from A to B, as well as ‘strolling’ the internet in search of historical curiosities and images. The authors, Anna Sprang (who runs a fantastic Neukoelln tour) and Lars Roth, are particularly good at digging up the stories behind places and re-discovering Berlin’s many overlooked corners.
This bilingual newsletter and website can be relied upon for a glib heads-up on Berlin’s hippest and quirkiest goings-on. Sign up to get a daily tip delivered to your inbox as well as a weekend round-up every Friday. The same team also run similarly stylish art and fashion journals.
A real cabinet of curiosities for architecture fans, this intriguingly named blog (the name is taken from the lyrics of an old soul song and refer to its author, Yorkshireman Matt Tempest) features photographs and short texts of everything from GDR and war-era buildings to wig shops and the corridors of the Berliner Zeitung.
Run by Hilda Hoy, former editor of Sugarhigh (see above) and a newspaper journalist with life and work experience gained on travels through Asia, Canada and Europe, this relatively new blog aims to explore “every nook and cranny of the city”. Expect posts on everything from Taiwanese food to 19th century iron toilets.
A new project by STB Contributor Paul Scraton, Traces of a Border is an exploration along the Berlin Wall Trail, the stories of the past and a portrait of the present. The Berlin Wall existed between 1961 and 1989, encircling West Berlin. Since its fall, the route of the Wall has been turned into the “Mauerweg”, a 160km cycling and hiking trail that passes through the city centre, the countryside and the edgelands in between. Paul also runs a Hike the Berlin Wall tour for STB.
English expats Zoe and James share their experience of a new life in Berlin, charting the ups and downs with friendly stories and beautiful photos. A great place to find a down-to-earth review, discover something new, or just generally feel the love that these two clearly have for life and their adopted hometown.
Run by STB contributor Paul Scraton, UAGS aims to encourage people to get out of the house and explore their vicinity – whatever the weather. Paul covers Berlin’s lesser-trodden spots regularly but its scope is international with previous posts including everything from urban rambles through Belfast to poetry, book reviews and photo essays. Paul also runs a great cultural-historical tour through Wedding and, weather permitting, a hike along the former route of the Berlin Wall.
Urban sketching is a global phenomenon, but Berlin’s own community has been coming on leaps and bounds of late, with a growing membership and increasingly regular posts on their website. United under the motto “Show The World, One Drawing At A Time” they capture the city’s vibe via direct observation; professionals and amateurs can join anytime for a sketching jam or submit your pieces via the website.
Portuguese ex-pat Lucia Vicente’s blog gives first-hand tips on how to live the ultimate vintage lifestyle in Berlin. You can learn to eat like a Kaiser, discover where to buy an original 50s dress, where to swing the night away or how to find the best burlesque show in town.
A Berliner born and internationally bred, Luisa Weiss draws on her Italian-American heritage, passion for food and wealth of experience to create The Wednesday Chef. A canny culinary chronicle of attempts at newspaper recipes with honest write-ups and mouthwatering photos. Luisa also blogs about local restaurants at Berlin on a Platter and has a book forthcoming.
More a humble photo Tumblr than a blog, but the curation is excellent and offers a lot of great (and often unexpected) insights into the continuous historical entity that is West Berlin. Viewers can expect everything from wall-era Berlin to modern graffiti art, and submissions are accepted.