Category Archives: Berlin Information

Christmas Markets

Alexanderplatz – three christmas markets at one spot

Alexanderplatz Christmas Market
11/21/2016 to 12/26/2016
10a.m.-10p.m. (24.12.: 10a.m.-2p.m.)
U/S: Alexanderplatz
 
Winterdream at Alexa
11/21/2016 to 12/23/2016
Mon-Fri 1p.m.-10p.m.
Sat-Sun 12(noon).-10p.m.
Alexanderstraße 1
U/S: Alexanderplatz
 
Berliner Weihnachstzeit/Christmas time by Roter Rathaus
11/21/2016 to 12/29/2016
Mon-Fri 12(noon)-10p.m.
Sat-Sun 11a.m.-10p.m.
12/24/2016: closed
25+26+29/12/2016: 11a.m.-9p.m.
Rathausstraße 15
U/S: Alexanderplatz

Here you have don’t only one but three christmas markets in one – more or less. On the actual Alexanderplatz there is the Alexanderplatz Christmas Market where you can find anything and everything between handicrafts, souvenirs, traditional german food and drinks. Right by the shopping mall Alexa you can visit the Winterdream at Alexa market where there is usually german Wurst (sausage), a singing moose and a ride or two. If you continue alongside Alexa on Alexanderstraße you will see the big ferris wheel, and this is where the Berliner Weihnachtszeit is. If you go for a ride in the wheel you have a marvellous sight of the city. This market also has a 600 square meter ice rink and you can even rent skates for 4€.

Nostalgic Christmas Market, Opernpalais

11/24/2016 to 12/29/2016
Every day: 12(noon)-9.30p.m.
12/24/2016: closed
Schlossplatz 1
S: Hackescher Markt or Alexanderplatz or Friedrichstraße
U: Märkisches Museum

The Nostalgic Christmas Market at Opernpalais consists out of 150 small wooden houses where handicrafts, food and drinks are sold. It is also the closes one from the Heart of Gold Hostel, just walk down Tucholskystraße until you hit Unter den Linden and you are there. The market also hosts a ferries wheel which is more than 100 years old. This is a very charming market that lives up to its name.

 

Christmas Market at Potsdamer Platz

11/21/2016 to 12/26/2016
daily 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
24th until 2.p.m.
Alte Potsdamer Straße 1
S/U: Potsdamer Platz

What is probably most special about this market is the Winter World. There is an ice rink and a 12 meter high, 70 meter long toboggan run – or Rodelbahn in German. You can also try the austrian cuisine in a wooden hut that seats more than 200 people and gives a genuine après-ski ambient. On the weekends you can also enjoy some live music here. There is also a handicraft part of the market where you can also watch the items being made.

Christmas Market at Gendarmenmarkt

11/21/2016 to 12/31/2016
daily 11a.m.-10p.m.
24th and 31st until 6p.m.
Gendarmenmarkt 1
U: Hausvogteiplatz
S: Brandenburger Tor
1€ admission

This christmas market walks the extra mile for you, but asks for one euro in return. Besides from the standard stands where you can find more or less anything your heart desires there is also art-exhibitions, a stage where preformances take place and of course unlimited amounts of mulled wine a.k.a. Glühwein.

Christmas Market at Charlottenburg Castle

11/21/2016 to 12/26/2016
Mo-Thu 2 a.m.-10 p.m.
Fr-Su 12-10p.m.,
Christmas holidays: 12-8p.m.
12/24/2016 closed
Spandauer Damm 10
S: Westend

In 2008 this market got chosen for the title “most beloved christmas market” and is really worthy of it’s royal location. There are about 250 international vendors here and it is truly a beautiful place to be. One of the highlights are the light installations on the castle that casts a romantic glow and feeling over the market. You can enjoy traditional german christmas food and there is a special part of the market for children.

Lucia Christmas Market in the Kulturbrauerei

11/21/2016 to 12/22/2016
Mo-Thu 3 p.m.-10 p.m.
Sa&Su 1p.m.-10p.m.
Schönhauser Allee 36
U: Eberswalder Straße

The Kulturbrauerei is an old brewery in Prenzlauer Berg. Nowadays the only thing brewed here is culture – and an authentic scandinavian christmas atmosphere. There are 60 scandi-style red and white stands. On the 13th of December Lucia is celebrated in Sweden. She is a bringer of light and so is this christmas market. An art-installation stands for heating and you will also find scandinavian delicacies to snack on.

The Green Market Christmas Edition

12/17/2016 & 12/18/2016
12(noon) – 10p.m.

Agora Rollberg (indoor & outdoor)
Am Sudhaus 2 (old Kindl Brauerei)
12053 Berlin-Neukölln

U7- Rathaus Neukölln
U8 – Boddinstraße
Bus 195 + 104 – Alfred-Scholz Platz

Berlin is truly the Vegan capital of Europe and this is good news for all animal-friendly plant-munchers in Berlin; The first vegan Christmas market in Berlin. It takes place in in the old Kindl Brewery and costs 2€. Besides stands with different stuff there will also be creative workshops for children and adults.

We Were Giants Were Here

We Were Giants HoG

Many thanks to Irish band We Were Giants for treating us to a stupendous gig in our bar!

If your band has the acoustic chops to entertain a bar full of backpackers, why not play at the Heart of Gold Hostel Berlin? Just drop us a line and we’ll set it up.

Ice Cream in Berlin

Ice cream

We barbecue almost every day during the summer at the Heart of Gold Hostel Berlin. The only thing we don’t offer is dessert. Luckily, there are many wonderful places to get ice cream in Berlin. These are just a stone’s throw from the hostel:

Eismanufaktur Berlin

Auguststr. 63, 10117 Berlin
 

Der Eisladen

 Luisenstr. 14, 10117 Berlin
 

Yoli Frozen Yogurt

Invalidenstr. 112, 10115 Berlin
 

These are a bit further away, but worth a trip:

Fräulein Frost

Friedelstr. 39, 12047 Berlin
U Schönleinstr. / U Hermannplatz

Inka Eis

Belziger Str. 44, 10823 Berlin
U Eisenacher Str.
 

Caramello

Wühlischstr. 31, 10245 Berlin
S Warschauer Str.
 

Why pick the Heart of Gold Hostel Berlin

Live Music

When making arragements for accommodation in Berlin nowadays, one is faced with nearly infinite options. A myriad of hostels, hostel-hotels and budget hotels is sprouting up all over the city, and the big chains are constantly expanding.

If all you want from a hostel is a bed or a room for little money, the choice is not so hard. If, however, you are after more than just a place to sleep, deciding on a hostel can be like trying to find the right person to spend the rest of your life with.

We at the Heart of Gold Hostel Berlin take the, perhaps slightly old-fashioned, view that a good hostel is not a place where nothing unforeseen ever happens, but rather precisely the opposite. Above all, it is a place where people from different parts of the world get to know each other. Friendships are forged and legendary nights are a common occurrence.

When you stay at a proper hostel, you are basically forced to meet new people. Or gently nudged, at least. Our Wi-Fi network doesn’t reach the rooms, so people end up hanging out in the reception/bar area. You might run into some fellow guests there and discover that you have a lot in common. A fondness for beer, for instance.

You may also suddenly find yourself at a concert. We have a little stage in our bar, several members of our staff are musicians, and there is always a guitar around. That’s the kind of thing you just don’t get at the soulless chain hostels.

Restaurants in Berlin

There are innumerable restaurants in Berlin. Just as pretty much every culture in the world is represented here, so is just about every cuisine. But you should not pass up the chance to try some of the local specialities. Here are some recommendable eateries near the Heart of Gold Hostel in Berlin-Mitte.

Restauration Tucholsky

Torstr. 189, 10115 Berlin
S Oranienburger Str.

Typical food from Berlin and other parts of Germany, ’20s-style design, plenty of outside seating. Just a couple of minutes walk from the Heart of Gold Hostel.

Aufsturz

Oranienburger Str. 67, 10117 Berlin
S Oranienburger Str.

Seats about 200 inside and another 100 outside, so this is a good place to go in a big group. The food is on the simple side, but they serve over 100 different kinds of beer and more than 40 brands of whisk(e)y. Right around the corner from the Heart of Gold Hostel.

Curry Mitte

Torstr. 122, 10119 Berlin
U Rosenthaler Platz

You can’t not have a currywurst while in Berlin. We’re talking about THE Berlin fast food here: grilled sausage smothered in a curry-ketchup sauce, usually served with fries. This is just one of many places to go for a currywurst. The one at the Friedrichstr. train station is good, too.

All in One

Rosenthaler Str. 43, 10178 Berlin
S Hackescher Markt / U Weinmeisterstr.

Did we say currywurst was THE fast food in Berlin? Well, let’s amend that to say that it shares that distinction with the döner kebab. It’s Turkish, but legend has it that it was invented in Germany by one of the millions of Turkish immigrants here. You can’t walk two minutes in any direction in Berlin without seeing a rotating mound of meat on a spit.

Kopps

Linienstr. 94, 10115 Berlin
U Rosenthaler Platz

German food is all about meat, right? This vegan restaurant dispels that myth with ease.

White Trash Fast Food

Schönhauser Allee 6-7, 10119 Berlin
U Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz

Kind of an American diner with a multicultural rock ‘n roll twist. You can get a good burger here, as well as Thai BBQ shrimp, burritos, schnitzel …

Kennedy Probably Not a Doughnut

On this, the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech, we would like to pubicly express our conviction that he was most likely not admitting to being a jelly doughnut.

Swimming in Berlin

Badeschiff

Summer is now officially upon us, and it has arrived with a vengeance. If your schedule is not already jam-packed with sightseeing, or you find yourself curling up in shady corners gasping for air, you might want to find a way to cool off. Luckily, there are plenty of places to go swimming in Berlin. None of the following are very far from the Heart of Gold Hostel.

Sommerbad Humboldthain

Wiesenstr. 1, 13357 Berlin
S Humboldthain / U Gesundbrunnen
Admission: 4.50€

An outdoor swimming pool in a park just two stops by S-Bahn (local train) from the Heart of Gold Hostel.

Sommerbad Pankow

Wolfshagener Str. 91-93, 13187 Berlin
S/U Pankow – Tram Stiftsweg
Admission: 4.50€

Another outdoor swimming pool in a park. A bit further away than Humboldthain, but this one has water slides, water cannons and diving platforms.

Strandbad Plötzensee

Nordufer 26, 13351 Berlin
Bus Sylter Str.
Admission: 4€

A lake with a sand beach, including a nudist section, beach chairs, beach volleyball … beach everything.

Strandbad am Weißen See

Berliner Allee 155, 13088 Berlin
Tram/Bus Berliner Allee / Indira-Gandhi-Str.
Admission: 4€

Another lake with a sand beach. This one has palm trees, a bar and occasional parties.

Badeschiff

Eichenstr. 4, 12435 Berlin
S Treptower Park / U Schlesisches Tor
Admission: 5€

A swimming pool in the middle of the Spree river, next to a beach bar. It’s always very full and the atmosphere is ripe with hipness.

 

Fête de la Musique

FetedelaMusique-Logo-farbig-gross

Tomorrow, June 21st, is not only officially the first day of summer, but also World Music Day. This occasion has been celebrated in France since 1982 in the form of an annual free music festival called Fête de la Musique. In 1995, Berlin was one of the first non-francophone cities to get in on the act. The Fête de la Musique now takes place every year in over 400 cities in 110 countries.

What all this means is that, if you are in Berlin tomorrow evening, you won’t be able to walk five minutes in any direction without coming across some live music. There are more than a hundred stages all over the city, as well as hundreds of buskers on the streets. And it’s all free!

Because it is conveniently located in the heart of Berlin Mitte, no matter which bands you want to go see, you won’t have to go far if you are staying at the Heart of Gold Hostel.

Live Music in Berlin

There is no arguing the fact that, in terms of sheer quantity, Berlin’s music scene is dominated by electronic fare. But that doesn’t mean that there is no room for those of us who like our tunes the old-fashioned way: played on real instruments by real people. Several members of our staff here at the Heart of Gold Hostel are musicians, and occasionally they will get up on the little stage in our bar and treat our guests to some rock ‘n roll. There are, of course, many other great venues for live music in Berlin. Here are a few of them:

Quasimodo

www.quasimodo.de
Kantstr. 12A, 10623 Berlin
S & U Zoologischer Garten

Berlin’s oldest and most venerable jazz club. Dizzy Gilespie, Art Blakey and Chet Baker, among others, have played here. Not purely a jazz affair nowadays; funk, soul, blues, bossa nova etc. are also on the menu.

SO36

www.so36.de
Oranienstr. 190, 10999 Berlin
U Görlitzer Bahnhof

A punk rock institution right in the thick of things in Kreuzberg, though other genres are also represented, sometimes by big-name bands.

White Trash Fast Food

www.whitetrashfastfood.com
Schönhauser Allee 6-7, 10119 Berlin
U Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz

Not just a burger joint, tattoo parlor and club, but also frequent host to rock ‘n roll bands of all kinds. There is a “Diamond Lounge” downstairs for concerts, but many of the shows take place in the restaurant.

Yaam

www.yaam.de
Stralauer Platz 35, 10243 Berlin
S Ostbahnhof

The home of Berlin’s reggae scene. Kind of a little commune, with African and Caribbean food, a beach bar, a half-pipe, a basketball court, workshops for kids… Will probably have to move soon to make way for the construction of office buildings.

Wild at Heart

www.wildatheartberlin.de
Wiener Str. 20, 10999 Berlin
U Görlitzer Bahnhof

Several concerts per week, mostly punk, mostly lesser-known bands.

Parks in Berlin

Tempelhof

Summer has arrived in Berlin, and that means one thing: the masses are grabbing their towels (always a good idea), disposable barbecues, frisbees (or hipster equivalent) etc. and taking to the parks to soak up as much sun as possible. There are tons of parks in Berlin, as well as a variety of pleasant places to sit along the Spree river and the canal. So where to go to hang out on a hot, sunny day in Berlin? Here are a few suggestions:

Tempelhof

S Tempelhof / U Platz der Luftbrücke

The airfield of now defunct Tempelhof Airport, known for being one of the sites of the Berlin Airlift as well as its enormously long terminal, is now a gigantic park. It closes at 10:30 pm, which probably explains its unusual cleanliness. No trees means no shade, so don’t forget your sunscreen.

Monbijoupark

S Oranienburger Str. / S Hackescher Markt

A very pretty little park around the corner from the hostel and right next to the river.

Görlitzer Park

U Görlitzer Bahnhof

This place is anything but pretty, but it is a popular hangout for a wide array of different people. A good place to observe the weirdness that is Kreuzberg. Oh, and there’s black-light minigolf.

Tiergarten

S Tiergarten

Almost more of a forest than a park. So big the entire borough is named after it.

Treptower Park

S Treptower Park

Known primarily for the Soviet War Memorial, this is a nice, sprawling park in its own right, nestled along the river between the hip boroughs Neukölln and Friedrichshain.

 

These are by no means the only parks in or around the center of Berlin. The following are also worth a visit: Mauerpark, Viktoriapark, Volkspark Friedrichshain and Hasenheide. Not to mention all the nice spots along Landwehrkanal, as well as the lakes just outside the city.