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Capital Colours

Rummelsburger Bucht in Berlin
Boats in the Rummselburger Bucht © (c) visumate

Colourful Berlin: Whether the Blue Man Group, the red of the Rotes Rathaus, or the green of the Grunewald, the German capital shines in all imaginable colours every day. A selection.

Berlin’s Favourites: Green...

Berlin is full of colour: The district of Grünau is in the city’s east, while the Grunewald forest is in the west. The origin of both names? The German word for “green” – grün – of course! Immigrants from the Palatinate in the mid-18th century named their colony in Köpenick “Grüne Aue” or “green meadow”. And Elector Joachim II called the hunting lodge he built in 1542 “Haus zum gruenen Walde” (“house in the green forest”), which soon became Grunewald. Whether the Tiergarten, a park café, or a lakeside lawn, the best place to sip a green beer (Berliner Weisse with woodruff syrup) is in one of the city’s many green areas. There’s also a large selection of cocktails at Schöneberg’s Green Door bar, perfect for drinks with friends. And put on your green and celebrate St Patrick’s Day in one of the many pubs in Berlin. Still thirsty? Traditional drinks and foods can also be tasted every January at the International Green Week on the Fair Grounds.

Internationale Grüne Woche Berlin
© Getty Images, Foto: Sean Gallup/Staff

...and Blue

Blau-weiße Hertha” (“Blue and white Hertha”) is the song fans of the football club sing every other weekend at Olympiastadion Berlin, which, by the way, has had a blue track in honour of the club’s colours since it reopened in 2004. Meanwhile, there’s plenty of blue water to be enjoyed when you take a dip in the pool right next to the stadium or any other of the dozens lakes and pools that dot the city. Our Berlin Swimming Map lists the most beautiful spots.     

Subway U7 runs for nearly 32 kilometres, making it the city’s longest line. Its colour on the public transport maps: blue. With just one transfer, you can choose to go to Potsdamer Platz, where you can spend an extra fun night with the Blue Man Group. Andyou can head to Jannowitzbrücke and go clubbing at Kater Blau (Blue Tomcat) with some of the finest techno music. And for a more classic cultural pleasure: The gallery Blaue Stunde (blue hour) in Prenzlauer Berg presents works by international artists and Der blaue Montag (The Blue Monday) at the Wühlmäuse cabaret stages some biting Berlin satire.

01.10.2017 Fussball Hertha vs Bayern
Hertha BSC im Olympiastadion © Camera4

Rarer: Black, Red, and Yellow/Gold

Berlin singer Peter Fox wandered through the city’s streets and saw black turn into blue at dawn. I wonder whether he ever walked the Schwarzer Weg (Black Path) near the Natural History Museum in Mitte? Or maybe he’s been to Schwarzes Café (Black Café) on Kantstraße, which is, after all, open 24 hours... And another special tip: Try playing Black Light Mini Golf, either in Kreuzberg or Reinickendorf. Berlin’s mayor, meanwhile, has his offices in the Rotes Rathaus (Red Town Hall) on Alexanderplatz, so-called because of its red brick construction. There are also countless cafés and restaurants where you can try a red Berliner Weisse with raspberry syrup. And the nearby Volksbühne at Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz likes to stage pieces in its Roter Salon (Red Parlour).

The U-Bahn and trams of the city’s public transport company BVG make their way on more than 440 kilometres of tracks across the city: all in yellow. Well served by public transport is the Gemäldegalerie where the Golden Age of Spanish painting is on show in the exhibition “El Siglo de Oro” this summer. Also impressive is the Golden Gallery in the New Wing of Charlottenburg Palace. And to add to the mix: The pedestrian underpass at Messedamm shines in orange and has attracted celebrities in the past: Jennifer Lawrence shot the last part of the Hunger Games saga there. And the trendy restaurant Katz Orange (Orange Cat) serves homemade sodas and dishes with South American flair.

Every Colour of the Rainbow

Each October, the Festival of Lights transforms the city into a bright, glittering metropolis with every colour of the rainbow. Meanwhile, the East Side Gallery is colourful year-round with pieces by 118 artists on the longest outdoor gallery in the world.            

And the first street art museum in Germany, the Museum for Urban Contemporary Art, will be opening its doors on Bülowstraße in 2017. Ceiling high murals by Urban Nation already adorn the neighbouring buildings, all in bright technicolour. And the high-rise buildings on Roederplatz in Lichtenberg even have a proper rainbow! Rainbow flags are hoisted in time for the annual Lesbian-Gay City Festival in the colourful neighbourhood around Nollendorfplatz. And we are already looking forward to your own colourful suggestions in the comments section below! Written by Kathrin Hoffmann