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11 tips from one city for all

Berlin knows no borders

Neukölln orientalisch
© visitBerlin, Foto: Dagmar Schwelle

All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words "Ich bin ein Berliner!" John F. Kennedy, 1963

Berlin stands for cosmopolitanism and tolerance, for freedom, diversity and sometimes colourful madness. Even if not everything always runs perfectly in the capital, Berlin is and remains a magnet for exciting ideas and new business models, for creatives, doers and connoisseurs. Young people in particular are attracted to the capital. According to the Office for Statistics, 191 different nations currently live together in Berlin's 12 districts. The mixture is particularly colourful in Wedding and Neukölln. But everywhere in the city - especially now - signs are being set for more tolerance and acceptance. A colourful mixture - have fun discovering it.

Please show responsibility, wear your masks and follow the hygiene rules of the organizers. Don't be shy, but show your love for Berlin with d i s t a n c e - in support of everyones safety.

Tip 1: Christopher Street Day andPink Pillow

Gay Pride Parade takes every July place in Berlin
Gay Pride Parade © visitBerlin, Foto: Pedro Becerra/STAGEVIEW.de

Berlin is not only open to other cultures: Every year at the end of July, up to one million participants celebrate their right to equality and self-determination in Berlin. Originally from New York, Christopher Street Day is the best-known event in the LGBTI community calling for an end to discrimination and exclusion. This year, the CSD will take place on July 24. By the way: With the pink pillow Berlin Collection, Berlin's hotels show their cosmopolitanism and tolerance. Here, every guest is allowed to be as they are.

Christopher Street Day

Tip 2: Kreuzberger Himmel - an inclusive Restaurant

Kreuzberger Himmel - ein integratives Restaurant
© Foto: Nils Hasenau

The Kreuzberg sky shows how enriching cultural diversity can be. Here you can enjoy daily freshly prepared Syrian specialities. The wine comes from Lebanon. But the special thing about this restaurant with a concept is that people who have fled here as part of the „Be an Angel“ association are offered a place where they can arrive in Berlin and develop their skills. 

Where: Yorckstraße 89, Kreuzberg
When:  Tuesday to Sunday from 2pm - 12am, Monday closed

Kreuzberger Himmel

 Tip 3: Kreuzköllner Weekly Markets

Street food: Markthalle Neun in Berlin
Street food at Markthalle Neun © visitBerlin, Foto: Dagmar Schwelle

With their multicultural diversity, the weekly markets on Neukölln's Maybachufer are reminiscent of an oriental bazaar. Here you can find vegetables, fabrics, Turkish specialties. Every Saturday the art and design market "Neuköllner Stoff" invites you to browse. Up to dealers from all over the world offer their handicraft and culinary delicacies. And in the Markthalle Neun you can eat your way around the world. Especially recommended is the "Street Food Thursday", every Thursday from 5 to 10 pm.

More Markets in Berlin

 Tip 4: Refugio

Neukölln orientalisch
© visitBerlin, Foto: Dagmar Schwelle

If you're already in Neukölln, why not stop by the Café Refugio. Here you can experience a lively diverse atmosphere - and enjoy a great view of Neukölln from the roof garden. The Refugio is a project of the Berlin City Mission. Here 35 people from nine different cultures live and work together on six floors. The basic idea of such a "share house" originally comes from Africa, but also fell on fertile ground in multicultural Neukölln. The tenants living here have been joined by a number of associations and projects, which also help to make Berlin a little more beautiful, multicultural and cosmopolitan.

Where: Lenaustraße 4, Neukölln
When: Monday through Friday 10 am to 4 pm

Refugio

Tip 5: Kantstraße

Savignyplatz
© visitBerlin, Foto: Dagmar Schwelle

Like many other big cities, Berlin also has a Chinatown. Along Kantstrasse there are so many Asian shops and restaurants that the district is also known to Berliners as "Little Asia". A classic is the Chinese restaurant Good Friends. In addition to authentic Asian cuisine, you will also find French and Far Eastern culinary delights.

International restaurants on Kantstraße

 Tip 6: Restaurant Kanaan

Kanaan
Kanaan © visitBerlin, Foto: visumate

Kanaan is the restaurant brand of Israeli entrepreneur Oz Ben David and marketing expert Jalil Debit. Debit is Palestinian with Arabic roots and comes from an established family of restaurants. Look forward to traditional family recipes, homemade baked goods, fresh salads, hummus dishes and other vegan and vegetarian specialties that bring the taste of the Middle East to Berlin - and build a culinary bridge between Israel and Palestine. Social commitment is part of the concept for the two owners. 

Where: Schliemannstraße 15, Prenzlauer Berg
When: Wednesday - Friday: 6pm - 10pm, Saturday - Sunday: 12pm - 10pm

Kanaan

Tip 7: Festivals and Markets in Berlin

Weihnachtsmarkt Rixdorf/Westafrikanische Gerichte
© visitBerlin, Foto: Thomas Kierok

The more you know about each other, the better you can understand the other. At the numerous festivals and markets in Berlin you can immerse yourself in far-away countries and cultures. One example is the Christmas market in Rixdorf. Here, numerous non-profit, multicultural associations offer food and treats, handicrafts and information from and about their homeland - and thus contribute to getting to know each other.

Festivals & Markets in Berlin

Tip 8: Gay Museum (Schwules Museum)

Schwules Museum*
Schwules Museum* © visitBerlin, Foto: Dirk Mathesius

If you would like to learn more about the origins and history of the LGBTI* community, we recommend a visit to the Gay Museum. Founded in 1985, the Gay Museum Berlin, with its library and extensive archive holdings, is the world's largest institution for the mediation and research of the cultural history of queer communities.

More about the Gay Museum Berlin

Tip 9: Tours & City walks with open perspectives

Multaka: Meeting Point Museum

Blue Gate at Pergamon Museum in Berlin
Pergamon Museum in Berlin © visitBerlin, Foto: Pierre Adenis

Multaka is a term from Arabic and refers to the exchange of cultural and historical experiences. The Berlin project Multaka trains Syrian and Iraqi refugees to become museum guides, so that they in turn can guide other Arabic-speaking refugees and other guests in their mother tongue through the museum and cultural world of Berlin. The tours were so successful that all four participating museums now offer special tours in German and English on request (for example, at info@multaka.de).

When: Every Sunday at 3 pm free online sessions in Arabic on the exhibition "Report from Exile" at the German Historical Museum

Querstadtein

Stadtführung mit querstadtein
© querstadtein

During the tours of Querstadtein you will get to know the city from a completely different perspective. The tours are guided by former homeless people who talk about their life on Berlin's streets and park benches and show you places in public space where they lived. The aim is to create more tolerance and stimulate discussion.

Eat the world: Culinary and cultural city tours

Good Friends
Good Friends © visitBerlin, Foto: Julia Aurich

In Berlin you can try food from many different cultures, in fact you can eat once around the world. The "Eat the World"-tours combine Chinese, Italian or Korean dishes are accompanied and cultural insights into multicultural Berlin. The tour organizers cleverly combine the international flair of Berlin with local colour. Experience how multicultural your city is - and discover a few new corners in the process. This is what Berlin tastes like!

More guided tours

Tip 10: Literature & culture houses

Cafe Lyrik in Berlin
Cafe Lyrik in Berlin © Gerwine Sinapius

If you are interested in other cultures, you will find numerous project rooms and libraries in Berlin where you can research everything about distant worlds or even learn a foreign language.

  • Since the 1950s, the Institut Français Berlin has been a meeting place for French culture. In addition to language courses, you can also attend theatre performances and watch films here.
    • Where: Kurfürstendamm 211
    • When: Monday - Friday 9am - 6pm, Saturday 11am - 3pm
  • The Afrika Medien Zentrum comprises the editorial office of the LoNam Verlag and a very comprehensive Africa library.
    • Where: Großkopfstraße 6-7, Reinickendorf
    • When: Monday - Friday 10am - 6pm
  • The Russian House of Science and Culture (Russische Haus der Wissenschaft und Kultu) offers not only Russian film, theatre and ballet, but also language courses, and all this in impressive premises.
    • Where: Friedrichstraße 176-179, Mitte
    • When: daily 9am - 7pm 
  • The Czech Center Berlin (Tschechische Zentrum Berlinoffers a selected cultural program with a focus on contemporary art, music, documentary film, literature, design and architecture.
    • Where: Wilhelmstraße 44, Mitte
    • When: Tuesday and Thursday 14 - 18 hrs
  • The Amerika-Gedenkbibliothek is one of the largest libraries in Berlin. It is considered a symbol of freedom of education and opinion and was given to Berliners by the USA after the blockade by the Soviet Union (1948/1949) was overcome.
    • Where: Blücherplatz 1 A, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg
    • When: Monday - Friday 10am - 9pm, Saturday 10am - 7pm

Literature & Culture venues

Tip 11: Carnival of Cultures (cancelled)

Carnival of Cultures in Kreuzberg, Berlin
Carnival of Cultures © Daniela Incoronato

The biggest multicultural festival in Berlin, the Carnival of Cultures, could unfortunately not take place live in 2020. And also this years Festival of Diversity in Berlin, which was planned for August 15, had to be cancelled.

Behind the scenes: Decolonial memory culture of the city

Märkisches Museum
© Stadtmuseum Berlin, Foto: Oliver Ziebe

Behind the scenes in Berlin there is also a lot going on to raise awareness for a just and tolerant coexistence on a global level. Within the framework of the model project "Decolonial Memory Culture of the City", the three non-governmental organizations Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland, Each One Teach One, the association Berlin Postkolonial, as well as the Stadtmuseum Berlin have joined forces to map about 1000 places in Berlin by the end of 2024 that relate to German colonialism in the world. The project is also supported by the German Federal Cultural Foundation (Kulturstiftung des Bundes).

The aim is to create an awareness of the fact that our colonial past may not always be obvious, but it is always present. Interventions, exhibitions and think tanks accompany the project, which is currently in the tendering phase.

Tip: If you would like to learn more about the colonial traces in the Berlin cityscape, you should join a guided tour with the Verein Berlin Postkolonial. In city tours, for example through the African Quarter, the experts will explain the origins of various street names and thus make global history locally tangible. At the same time, you will get an impression of the effects of German colonialism on today's structures of thought and society.

Stadtmuseum Berlin

If you want to know what's going on in Berlin right now, take a look at our calendar of events.

Josefine Köhn-Haskins

Josefine

ist in München aufgewachsen, hat dort studiert und bei der SZ volontiert. Auf der Suche nach neuen Abenteuern entdeckte sie erst New York, dann Miami und berichtete als Trendscout und Korrespondentin für verschiedene Publikationen. Ihr Zuhause fand sie dann aber in Berlin. Fasziniert von den vielen Facetten der Stadt ist sie kreuz und quer in den Kiezen unterwegs und beschäftigt sich gerne mit Zukunftsideen und Smart City Konzepten für ein innovatives Berlin.

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