Summer is finally here! Wanna swim?

We all know that Berlin is not the most famous city for beach holidays, but did you know that in our city there’s a lot of wonderful lakes where you can swim and enjoy the sun during the hot days? (Yes, there’s hot days in Berlin too!! )

Some of them are also inside the city, others a bit more outside, but it’s also a good occasion to stay in the nature and have a break from the chaotic city-life.

Here ‘s some of the nicest:

Schlachtensee

You can reach this beautiful lake directly with the S-Bahn train (S1 – stop “Schlachtensee”). Just in front of the station you will see it. It’s a pretty big lake, has some small beaches, really clear water. For the bravest ones, you can jump from the trees hanging on the ropes 😉 . For the lazy ones, you can rent a boat and float in the middle of the lake.

Müggelsee

This lake, situated outside of the city, is really huge. Water is also clear, and the “Strand” (sand beach) is huuuge ! Seems like to be on the sea! To get there take the S3 train till “Rahnsdorf” stop. From there it’s a 20 mins nice walk trough the wood and then you’re there!

Weißensee

This lake is in the city, located in the north east part of Prenzlauer Berg (district where’s also Mauerpark, famous for the flea market on sunday). Surrounded by a nice park, you can swim till the fountain placed in the middle. A good option to don’t go too far from the center of Berlin.

These are only three of the big amount of lakes you can visit here, for more infos, just ask at the reception!!

 

Enjoy!!

 

Your

U inn Berlin Hostel staff

Carnival of Cultures street festival 2015

Here we go! It´s time again for the Carnival of Cultures in Berlin, one of the most attractive and funny events in our wonderful city!

Like every year, this week end thousands of people will join in Kreuzberg to breathe the spirit of different cultures, listen to the variety of music and admiring all the costumes and music trucks at the street parade that takes part sunday 25th of May.

 

 

The Carnival takes place from friday 22nd to monday 25th around Blücherplatz (U1 and U6  stop “Hallesches Tor”) with over 100 bands and DJ´s performing all kind of imaginable music and over 200 street performers out of the stages!!

Now to the highlight: The Parade on Sunday 24th

It begins at Hermannplatz (U7-U8 stop) at 12.30 pm and goes all along Hasenheide, Gneisenaustraße, Yorckstraße

End: ca. 9 pm, Yorckstraße/Möckernstraße

For more infos –> http://www.karneval-berlin.de/en/english.175.html

 

Have fun and see you there!

Your U Inn Berlin Hostel Team

 

Summer in the city – best beach bars, chill out places and parks in Berlin

You planning to visit Berlin now or in the coming weeks? Surely you will visit the main touristic spots, like Brandenburg Gate, Fernsehturm, Eastside Galaery and so on. But Berliners like to chill out after a full day at the riverside, or in nice open air location with cold beer and good music. Here are some of the best places you shouldn’t miss.

Sommer in Berlin

Bearchbars, Cafes or Sitting Outside:
Klunkerkranich

At the parking level of the shopping mall Neukölln Arcaden you can find not only a chill-out-café-bar called Klunkerkranich but also one of the best views over Berlin. You should definitely go there in case you are – by chance – one of these people in Berlin that are NOT blessed with their own gigantic roof terrace. You are not alone if you are one of them. Not alone at all.

Prinzessinnengarten

The Prinzessinnengarten is a mobile garden next Moritzplatz in Kreuzberg. In the shade of the trees you can have a relaxing beer, or try a snack of the homemade organic food.

Club der Visionäre

Club der Visionäre aka CdV is a bar swimming on the water of a sidearm of the river together with the bar Freischwimmer it’s the favourite place for people from Kreuzberg and Friedrichhain to chill out on a long long Sunday afternoon. At the CdV there are always really good Dj’s playing. There are no big gigs, it’s more like they go and play in their own living room. So often you get the chance to meet some high ranking Djs.

Yaam

Yaam is one of the oldest Beach Bars in Berlin. It’s like a little island of Jamaica right in the middle of Berlin. Here you always find a little peaceful beach and chilled reggae music. At night they do some good parties too. Right now the Yaam is under threat because of a luxury condo they want to build on this location. That’s why a move is already scheduled for 2013. The new location will be the area of the former Maria/Magdalena/Josef Club and Schilling Bridge.

Badeschiff

The Badeschiff is a very unique place. Since the river Spree isn’t particularly made for swimming. They transformed to old ships into a swimming pool on the river. Pretty awesome right?! A lot of people hanging out at the Badeschiff the whole day. Swimming, chilling, sun bathing and later on dancing since they also do a lot of open air parties in the summer months.

Lichtpark

Lichtpark is one of the newer Open Air Party locations. For the weekend they provide for a small entry fee nice electronic music and a chilled location on the river. This place is often crowded by people who either just come or go to Kater Blau Club or did not get in for the Sunday after hour party but still want to make party.

Monbijou-Theater

You’ve probably been to open-air festivals at  ://about blank or  Sisyphos already. But it does not always have to be all electronic beats for crazy dance moves. At Monbijoutheater for example, you can learn to dance mambo, tango or swing. Feels like Dirty Dancing!

Admiralsbrücke

During the summer the bridge and its grassy shores are alive with droves of Berliners, relaxing and chilling with some cheap späti beers. All whilst taking in the vibes from the buskers, acoustic groups, And any other manner of movers and shakers that swings by. Free entertainment at its best! Setting the groove all the way into the night.

Tempelhofer FeldWe also recommend the big and green parks in Berlin like:

Preußenpark
Tempelhofer Feld
Insel der Jugend Treptower Park
Volkspark Friedrichshain

 

 

Images © Sabine Alex

Looking for a room in Berlin? First take a bed in our Hostel!

Just for the first few weeks…

…a bed in our hostel is a good alternative after a busy house hunting to relax and to get insider tips from our hostel team about available rooms and the most amazing parts of the city. Compared with the room rents in Berlin depending on bed category to book a bed at our hostel is often cheaper or equal. Our door is open to all home seekers. We want to make your start in Berlin as pleasant as possible.

Roughly 3.5 million people currently live in Berlin. Many of them are students who just stay for one or two semester in Berlin. And some just stay for the summer. Since the revolutionary student protests in the 70s it is common to live together in a big shared flats. It is the easiest way to settle down in Berlin and you will find many shared flats (WG) available. Since the wall came down and Berlin has grown up to be a busy metropolis the situation with the rent market has changed and the prices have gone up. Finding a proper room in a WG (German for shared flat) isn’t that easy any more. The location is very important. Among the Berlin Hipsters Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg and Neukölln are the best districts in Berlin. But finding a room there is a troublesome adventure. Standing in a long line with about 20 other Students can be a normal situation now days. But maybe we can help you. We as Berliners got plenty of experience in finding a WG since we used to live in shared flats for a long time.

 Your room at the In-district

 Which area is the best to live in? This is the first and most important question. In Berlin the answer usually is Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg. There you will find a lot of old buildings and old buildings mean large rooms and plenty of space. A must if you’re looking for a shared flat. No one wants to live in the broom closet. Friedrichshain and especially the neighbourhood around Boxhagener Platz is crowded and popular among students. It offers many pubs and cafés and of course the Revaler Straße, also known as “Technostrich” where one club chases the other. This gives you a good diversion from a stressful study. Neukölln has gotten very popular during the last few years but think about the everyday transportation. The FU Berlin is located at Dahlem. For us locals here in Friedrichshain it is in the middle of nowhere. Every day pilgrimage thousands of students to the campus in Dahlem. From Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg area the transportation could easily take you 45 minutes. The HU Berlin and TU Berlin are located straight in the middle of Berlin and are easier to reach. The technology and science headquarters are in Adlershof and it is relatively easy to reach from Friedrichshain using the S Bahn.

 How much is a shared apartment

Find your flat in BerlinThe times when you could get a cheap apartment in Berlin are long gone. But shared apartments in Berlin are still a good option for those making their first steps in the city. Around semester breaks and in the beginning of spring the renting price rises and it gets harder to find a place. There are however companies who make a lot of money with shared apartments with high rents, so when you are in Berlin take your time for your search for suitable apartment.

 Intern ship in Berlin

 It can be really hard to find a room if you are a trainee looking to stay only for few months in Berlin. For those people we got the magic word they need to look for: “Zwischenmiete” (interim tenant). Many locals are leasing their apartments/rooms out for short time period and you will find them online as well.

 Resources

For Berlin and surroundings the websites wg-gesucht.dewg-welt.dewww.studenten-wg.de and also www.kleinanzeigen.ebay.de are the most important flat- search websites on the Internet If you are staying for a short period of time look at “Mietwohnzentrale“. Of course we at the U inn Berlin Hostel can help you out ones you are here and give you a hand searching for an apartment or maybe we already know a residential community that is searching for a new member.

 Photos by: Libertinus _timl and offshore @ Flickr

Ein Bett für Snowden – A bed for Snowden

Dear Edward

ein bett für snowdenIt has now been one year since the Washington Post and Guardian broke news about surveillance practices by the US Agency called the NSA. Before this, almost nobody here knew what the National Security Agency was. Now we know, thanks to you Edward. Unfortunately, not everybody liked what you did so you had to flee; first to Hong Kong later to Moscow. Right now it seems you are kind of stuck in Russia. There is  great interest by the citizens of Germany to convince you to visit our lovely country. You revealed a great deal of information about what the NSA was doing here in Germany. Even our Chancellor Angela Merkel had to buy a new mobile phone coz her best buddy Barack was spying on her. Did she thank you for that? … No? We are sorry about that. We hope she invites you soon. If you ever find your way to Germany — maybe visiting Angela — you’ll have a place to stay.

We got always a free bed for you. See you soon!!!

Ein Bett für Snowden

Support Campact”Ein Bett für Snowden” visit Campact and offer Edward Snowden a bed.

Unbrace yourselves spring is coming

This weekend spring finally kicks off! So it’s about time to give you a little update on what is going on in Berlin this spring. But first a little check-up to let you know the basics in 2014. The Berghain is still not letting you in, even after you waited for about 2 hours in the line. Sorry! The Eastside Gallery is still under threat by some greedy real estate investors. And on 25th of May the Berliners can vote on the future of the Tempelhofer Park, formally the U.S. Air Base Tempelhof.

Punk and Disorderly Festival BerlinHere are some concerts of the next weeks

First off we have the Punk & Disorderly Festival at Astra Kulturhaus from 11th – 13th of April. Punk/Ska and Oi Music for 3 days. You still can get a ticket at www.punk-disorderly.de. Same weekend different music style. Marteria a local hero plays at Max-Schmeling Halle in Prenzlauer Berg near the famous Mauerpark. Not to forget, Justin Timberlake at the O2 World and the Kaiser Chiefs @ Kesselhaus.

 

What’s up in May in Berlin

Berlin is very famous for its Airports. Tempelhof was one of the oldest Airports and became famous during the Berlin Airlift. Tegel Airport … well ok, nothing much to say about it. But our new Airport BER – Berlin Brandenburg International was covered in almost every major newspaper. How to put it the right way…? Well the airport is not finished yet. But soon, very soon, at least “they” say so. But still, in May the ILA 2014 will take place in Berlin. ILA is the leading Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition. This year’s keynote will be held by “Bob the Builder” on how to build an airport “in time”.

Bob the builderIf Robbie Williams flies in via EasyJet or if he use the train is still in the open. The Train station on Warschauer Strasse where the O2 World is located is under heavy construction right now and the most reliable way to get to the O2 World will be by boot. One thing for sure, fans of Tangerine Dream who will be playing at Admiralspalast in Mitte will fly in on their very own LSD Trip. And of course the big highlight in May will be the DFB Pokalfinale. Btw: WE DON’T CALL IT SOCCER!!!

What’s up in June in Berlin

June will almost be summer in Berlin. Definitely something we have to celebrate. How about some Arctic Monkeys @ Zitadelle or Black Sabbath at Wuhlheide, seasoned with a little bit of Aerosmith @ O2 World Berlin. For dessert we offer a colourful Christopher Street Day and the Fête de la Musique

Berlin Tour Guide

Berlin is a big city and it is not easy to discover everything on your own. To make things easier we have put together a small list of guided tours. Some cover well known locations that are listed in every guide book, others to less known spots known mostly by the Berliners themselves. We´d like to present a few of them to you.

Vive Berlin

This tour weaves through Berlin’s history by visiting landmarks such as the impressive Brandenburg Gate, the notorious Berlin Wall and the beautiful Gendarmenmarkt….
The tours take place every day, 365 days a year. The meeting point is at
Potsdamer Platz #10 in front of the Balzac Coffee.Vive Berlin Tour
Definitely check out the Essential Berlin Tour
10 am Monday, 04pm Friday Duration: 3.5 hours
€ 12.00 Adults / € 10.00 Students
S-Bahn: S1, S2, S25; U-Bahn: U2 → Potsdamer Platz
www.viveberlintours.de

Finding Berlin Tours

Biking through Berlin! A great way to discover Berlin is to bike through it. Everyone can do it for the city is more or less flat. The Finding Berlin tours take you to see the real Berlin and shows you why so many people fall in love with this city and ending up to move to Berlin. Join Martin the tour guide, who loves his Classic–Vintage bikes, on a four hour long tour to Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain and Neukölln.Finding Berlin Bike Tours
Schlesische Straße 29/30 @ Velosalon
Finding Berlin Tour from 25€ 4H
www.findingberlin-tours.com

Scooter Rent

Berlin and hinterland offer a lot! Make sure to have the right vehicle. By scooter you can explore the city relaxed and on your own, go shopping or simply drive to beautiful lakes and enjoying nature. It is ideal for sightseeing in pairs or groups. Just call them if you are interested, they are open daily!Rent a Scooter Berlin
Rotherstr. 16 (U-Bahn Station Warschauer Strasse)
www.rollerverleih-berlin.de/

Alternative Berlin

While most organized free tours merely offer the known to most tourist attractions, the Alternative Berlin tours offer you a great view into Berlin street life and subculture. They take you to see street art, old war bunkers, graffiti, reggae beach bar and might inform you about today’s not so legal open air party. These four hour tours takes you far away from the mainstream tourism.Alternative Berlin Underground Tour
Meeting point is under the TW-Tover in front of Starbucks
Cost: Free, but you are welcome to tip the guide.
Daily at 11am and 1 pm and each tour takes 3,5h
www.alternativeberlin.com

New Years Eve 2012 in Berlin

On the 31st of December the biggest party in Berlin will take place again at the Brandenburg Gate. Be one in million and welcome in the New Year together!

The biggest party in Germany

Whether at Brandenburg Gate or in one of countless clubs, Berlin offers – as always – Partygoers or those with quieter tastes the right ambience. Since the fall of the wall in 1989, the unarguable main event has traditionally been held at the Brandenburg Gate. Every year around 1 million people from all over Germany and the globe turn out to celebrate the New Year at one of the biggest parties in the world.

YouTube Preview Image

Performing this year, among others:
Andreas Bourani, Cassandra Steen, Culture Beat, DJ BoBo, DJ Ötzi, Frida Gold, Glasperlenspiel, Hermes House Band, Hot Chocolate, Jimi Jamison, Johnny Logan, Kim Wilde, Marianne Rosenberg, Musical Rocks, Scorpions, The Boss Hoss, Udo Jürgens

So get your warmest socks out, get your coat on and get up to Berlin.

Berlin Survival Guide part two – Validate your ticket

You see it on your metro ticket, you see it on the screen when you buy it, and occasionally you will see it on the train, but what does it mean?

We trust You

validate your ticket by genista @ flickr.com

flickr.com/photos/genista

Well this may sound strange to some people, it definitely did to me when I first heard it, but Berlin’s metro system is on the HONOR SYSTEM!!! Can you believe it?? Such a populous and modern city such as Berlin cannot possibly have smoothly running public transportation by trusting in its citizens and visitors… Can it? Apparently it can, and does. Here is how it works. Instead of buying your ticket, inserting it in the machine and entering through the gates one at a time, Berlin has a more efficient system. Just buy your ticket, validate it at any of the strategically placed machines and that’s it! No waiting for the guy in front of you to feed his ticket through the slot 12 times because it got too crumpled in his pocket… or huge lines during rush hour, just get on the metro!

Don’t bet against the house

So, why does anyone do it?? Why not just get on the train and not even mess with getting a ticket?? Well, I suppose it’s not 100% honor system. They have a few people whose entire job is going from train to train in normal clothes asking you to show them your ticket, and if you do not have one, or even if you have one and it is not VALIDATED it is a 40 Euro fine… Uh oh, that just became an expensive train ride… So if you are a gambling man, technically you can risk it and not pay. But remember: in the end, the house ALWAYS wins!

See also the Berlin Survival Guide part one – Make money out of empty bottles and part three More Bang for your Buck

Berlin Survival Guide part one – Make money out of empty bottles

For all of you planing your backpacking trip through Europe on a very small budget, we put together a few tips on how you can save a buck or more. Although Berlin is a quite cheap city you might enjoy a little inside story. So here we go with part one of our “Berlin Survival Guide”.

Bottles = Money

U inn Berlin Hostel Survival Guide PfandgebenIf you have been to Berlin, you have seen them. The people going from trash can to trash can looking for something… But what is it? Surprisingly it is not food, it is much better than food, it is MONEY!! Well, not exactly. They are actually bottles, but here in Berlin bottles = money! One typical beer bottle is 0,08 Euro. This may not sound like much, but you know that six pack of plastic beer bottles you threw away in the park trash can and everyone looked at you like you were insane? That was because you just put 1,50 Euro in the trash. “WHAT?? 1,50?? I thought it was only 0,08 Euro???” Nope, plastic ones are 0,25 Euro “Pfand”. Which is what we call a deposit. So next time you are enjoying your delicious beer in the street (yes it is legal to drink in public in Berlin) don’t forget to collect your PFAND!!!

For those of you who are not so good at math, here is a simple break down for you:

  • 60 plastic bottles = 1 night in a dorm at U Inn Berlin Hostel
  • 188 glass bottles = 1 night in a dorm at U Inn Berlin Hostel
  • 26 plastic bottles = 1 Day Pass for the local transport
  • 8 plastic bottles = 1 Berliner Curry Wurst

Collecting bottles = good Karma

But seriously, in Berlin everybody is collecting bottles. It saves the environment. And saving the environment gives you a good Karma. You like to achieve some extra Karma Points? Checkout Pfandgeben.de if you have some spare bottles you can give them to people in need. Just call a number and your bottles get picked up by someone in a few minutes. Extra Karma Point guaranteed.

Check out part two of our Berlin Survival Guide – Validate your ticket and part three More Bang for your Buck