Visit Europe’s biggest Jewish cemetery

The Jewish Cemetery in Berlin-Weißensee was set up in 1880 by Berlin’s Jewish community. It covers around 42 hectars and thereby is the biggest Jewish cemetery in Europe that is still in good condition. Since the 1970’s it is under preservation orders.

If you have a sunny afternoon to spare this is a nice place for taking a walk (it can also be very pretty during the winter months, provided that there is snow). Although you obvisouly will be wandering a graveyard, I wouldn’t classify this as a very sad place; you are rather hit by a mystical and even kind of joyful (if you can call a graveyard joyful) tranquility. Big trees portrude from the grounds and create an enchanted atmosphere for the cemetery’s visitors.

Where? Herbert-Baum-Straße 45, 13088 Berlin Weißensee
Opening Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:30am - 5pm, Friday 7:30am - 2:30pm, Sunday 8am-4pm, closed on Saturdays and Jewish public holidays.

Watch the trailer for the documentary about the cemetery here.

Living room feels at Frollein Langner

As is the case for so many of Berlin’s bar establishments – when you enter Frollein Langner for the first time, you don’t quite know if you have just stepped into your Grandma’s living room or have found a cool bar in Berlin Neukölln. Here, the latter is the case. Fun fact: next to the many cosy sofas and sofa chairs, a bath tub also belongs to the bar’s interior. However, due to the numerous comfortable seating options, we think it should be neglected. They have a good selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and even small food options (which are cooked at the place next door).

They sometimes do special events, like pub quizzes and music events. For this keep up to date on their Instagram.

Where? Weisestr. 34, 12049 Berlin, Neukölln
Opening Hours:  Monday-Friday 4pm-2am, Saturday-Sunday Noon-4am, Public Holidays 4pm-Midnight.

Explore Berlin’s version of the Southern Swamps

You feel like recharging your batteries and are longing for some peaceful scenery outside the city? The good thing about Berlin is that you can leave it any time and nature is just around the corner. For a day trip, we suggest the Briesetal, a landscape conservation area in the north of Berlin. The Briese is the left tributary of the Havel and, how we came to call it, Berlin’s answer to the Southern swamps.

How to get there: Take the S-Bahn (S1 or S8) to Birkenweder. From there follow the signs to the city district Briese. The hiking trail follows the river. You can walk to the end, then cross it and return on the other side. If you like to shorten your hiking tour, bridges allow you to return earlier.

Start early for the 13km long hiking trail between Birkenwerder and Zühlsdorf. For all late risers the trail to the Hubertusbrücke (or Schlagbrücke) is half the distance.



Suggestion for humus lovers: Yafo Berlin

There are, obviously, tons of places in Berlin where you can get yourself some real‘ good Humus (bad as well, I might add, but to find those places we leave up to you).  This being said, at Yafo Berlin you can enjoy delicious Humus AND a very cozy environment. This certainly invites for a long and extensive humus feast. Prices lie above the usual Berlin humus price, but in return you get some top-notch quality for your money. One humus plate is probably enough for two people, if each has another main course to go with it (we learned this the hard way, struggeling to finish our own). As far as the humus dish is concerned, we highly (!) recommend their „Yafo über alles“: Humus garnished with slow roasted cauliflower, matbucha, zchug and tahini.

Where? Gormannstraße 17B,10119 Berlin.
Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday Noon - 3am.

How to handle reverse culture shock

Wether you are reading this as a future or current FU-BESTer – in your preparations for your stay abroad, you have probably thought about culture shock in one way or another. This being said, have you also heard of reverse culture shock? Similar to culture shock, it is the feeling of not belonging – only this time, once you return home. Whilst you have gained new knowledge and new experiences abroad, your home has remained the same, which can lead to you feeling bored, helpless, secluded, lonely, etc. We have searched the internet for some useful information and tips on how to prevent or combat reverse culture shock. We have also asked previous FU-BESTers on how they handle reverse culture shock, so that we can share some first hand experience with you.

When we asked former FU-BESTers for their experience with reverse culture shock, what we noticed is that many tips revolve around activities that encourage you to dive back into the culture you fell in love with. For instance, watching movies in German, seizing every opportunity to speak German, eating all the foods you enjoyed whilst staying abroad and so on and so forth. Based on these voices, we have put together the following compilation of online articles that we consider most useful:

The Abroad Guide: How to deal with reverse culture shock after studying abroad

College Tourist: 7 Ways to Cope with Re-Entry Shock

Intentional Expat: 5 Tips from an Expat Therapist for Coping with Reverse Culture Shock

GoOverseas: Dealing with Post Study Abroad Depression

We also recommend Episode 51 of “The Thoughtful Travelpodcast”. Listen to host Amanda Kendle talk about her own experience and share her thoughts with her three guests Cait Flanders, who was hit by reverse culture shock after taking a two months road trip, Mike Campell, who considers his reverse culture shock experience to be life changing and Matt Treglia, who, after life abroad, has found it difficult to readjust to his life back home. Also available on Spotify.