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Top 10 Hidden Gems in Berlin

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Savannah Sher
If you want to travel like a local in this edgy city, then this video is for you. Welcome to MojoTravels and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Hidden Gems in Berlin. For this list, we’re looking at some of the most underrated attractions that wouldn’t appear on your typical tourist itinerary.
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Top 10 Hidden Gems in Berlin

If you want to travel like a local in this edgy city, then this video is for you. Welcome to MojoTravels and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Hidden Gems in Berlin.

For this list, we’re looking at some of the most underrated attractions that wouldn’t appear on your typical tourist itinerary.

#10: OSTEL Hostel Berlin

Before heading to Berlin, you’ll definitely want to brush up on your German history a bit so you can contextualize some of the sights you’re going to see. Everyone makes a trip to the Berlin Wall, but did you know you can even base your stay in a communist-themed hostel? This budget-friendly accommodation option will let you feel what it was like to live in East Berlin before the wall fell. All the furniture and decor features GDR design and will make you feel immersed in another era.

#9: Badeschiff

Hanging out on the banks of the Spree river is a popular pastime for Berlin locals, but until very recently, you wouldn’t want to have taken a dip into the polluted waters. That’s where this cool creation comes in handy: a barge on the river that features a pool at water level. Open from May to September, you can sun yourself in its beach area or enjoy the views of the city from the pool itself. The best part is, a ticket for the day will only set you back about 5 and a half Euros.

#8: Spreepark

Many people go to Berlin in the hopes of doing some urban exploration, because of the wealth of abandoned buildings that are still scattered throughout the city. Even better than going through an old apartment block or office building though, is making a trip to an abandoned amusement park. Talk about creepy cool. This former East German dinosaur-statue-riddled crazytown has been closed since 2002, but guided tours are often offered of the derelict fun park. Just don’t tell anyone we sent you!

#7: Berlin Weinerei

There are many experiences you can have in Berlin that you just wouldn’t find in too many other places. Located in the up and coming southern Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood, you’ll find three bars run by Jürgen Stumpf, all of which ask you to pay a Euro or two to rent a glass which then lets you drink as much as you want! When you’re done, you then decide how much more to pay. Do people take advantage of this concept? Absolutely. One of the co-owners said, "No, sometimes there are BLEEP who spend the entire night here and pay €5. But no, it's OK. Most people are very generous.”


#6: Stadtbad Neukölln

One thing that might surprise you on your first visit to Berlin is that public nudity is still kind of a thing. Part of the proud German culture is FKK or Freikörperkultur, a concept that roughly translates to “free body culture”. There are numerous places around the city that you can get your nude on: one is at the pool and sauna complex of Stadtbad Neukölln, which has been around since the early 20th century. Naked time is now only offered at certain specific times these days, but this is an awesome place to swim and relax regardless.


#5: Teufelsberg

Interested in visiting a former secret intelligence facility? This one’s for you. Teufelsberg, which translates to Devil's Mountain, is a man-made hill that was created after World War II, and during the Cold War was used as an American National Security Agency listening station. The site can be found in the Grunewald forest, and both locals and travellers have made the trek out there to see a piece of history and enjoy the views from the tower. In winter, people use the hill for tobogganing, and in the warmer months it has become a picnic destination.


#4: Park Inn by Radisson

Any daredevils out there? One of the most well-known buildings in Berlin is the Park Inn Hotel at Alexanderplatz because of its height and presence on the city’s skyline. While you can certainly enjoy the landmark by renting a room there, you can also base fly from the hotel’s roof, which is a whopping 400 feet or so above the ground. You’ll feel like you’re really flying when you make the leap; and if you have the presence of mind you’ll also be able to enjoy some of the best views of the city.


#3: Mauerpark

If you’re in Berlin on a Sunday, you can’t miss out on a visit to Mauerpark. In the Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood, you’ll find this long linear park where locals come together each weekend to enjoy the fine weather. Many come for the flea market, where anyone can sign up to sell their wares. But a must see is the “bearpit karaoke”, which takes place in the outdoor amphitheatre. If you’ve got the nerves for it, you can perform your favorite songs in front of a crowd of hundreds. But be prepared because the audience can be brutal if they don’t think you’re good!


#2: Freiluftkino Kreuzberg at the Kunstquartier Bethanien

Kunstquartier Bethanien was originally a hospital, but since its closure in the ‘70s, it has been converted to an alternative art hub, a multi-use cultural space that hosts several galleries, studios and various events. In the summertime, the building’s courtyard is used for a mightily popular open-air cinema, Freiluftkino Kreuzberg, which screens a selection of great films. Even if you haven’t brushed up on your German, many of the movies do come with English subtitles.

#1: Berliner Unterwelten

Knowing the history of Berlin, you’ve got to assume there is a bunch of cool stuff going on (literally) underground; and hooking up with this organization is the best way to see these oft-forgotten sights. Berliner Unterwelten (which translates, awesomely, to Berlin Underworlds Association) researches the intricacies of the underground portions of the city and offers tours of various sites like the Gesundbrunnen bunker. They’ve tried to make as much available as possible, offering a variety of tours for both the general public. Get down!


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