Staying in Berlin over Break? Here are some places to check out

You’ve made it through Exam Week! Yay!

Now it’s time to rest and enjoy 10 days in Berlin with no (or very few) responsibilities. With spring on its way in Berlin, there’s no shortage of fun things to do in the city.

Free Galleries and Exhibitions

There’s nothing I love more than a free activity! Thankfully, Berlin offers many (especially if you’re a student). With your Student ID and your museum card you have ample chances to explore all the culture that Berlin has to offer, without spending any money.

If I had a free week in Berlin, here are some exhibits that I’d visit

One Fine Day – König Galerie

This is Jorge Galindo’s first exhibit at the König Galerie. The exhibit consists of eight paintings by the Spanish artist, combining found material and large gestural brushwork. The large canvases displayed in the brutalist architecture of the Gallery are truly a sight worth seeing.

In addition to Galindo’s work, there are many other fascinating pieces to see at König Galerie.

Josephine Baker: Icon in Motion– Neue Nationalgalerie

This exhibit is dedicated to the Josephine Baker, an American-born French dancer. Baker’s artistry in a dance, music, and film, along with her important role in the civil rights movements is celebrated through this Berlin exhibition at the Neue National Galerie. Your Berlin Museum Ticket will get you in for free!

Source: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie

After you’ve enjoyed a free day at an exhibit, use your saved money to treat yourself to a yummy drink somewhere 😊

Enjoying the Outdoors

Grab something to eat and drink at the Holzmarkt!

Holzmarkt 25 is a small area located along the Spree that has a club, an event venue, restaurants, bars, small shops, and more. This is the perfect place to grab a drink with friends and enjoy the view of the Spree. The Holzmarkt project began in 2012 with just a few tents, but in past few years it has transformed into a popular Berlin destination.

Free Stock photos by Vecteezy

Hang out at Thaipark

If you’ve eaten one too many Döner Kebabs and are craving something new, then Thaipark is the perfect place to visit. Thaipark, like its name suggests, is a park with an open air Thai food market. The Thai food market is open Fridays-Sundays 10 am to 8 pm from April to October. With 60 Food stalls to choose from, there is no getting bored of the food here. You should come here with a large appetite, and also some cash, as many stalls do not take card.

Spicy Pad Thai from the Thai Park

Go to a Flea Market!

Berlin’s flea markets are world renowned, and I’m sure many of you have visited a few already, but there are always new flea market finds to be made. Personally, I will be spending my next free days scouring the flea markets for the perfect fall appropriate leather jacket. It can be hard to pick which flea market you want to visit, but I’ve written down a few that I think are worth checking out.

The Nowkoelln Fleamarket is located on the border between Neukölln and Kreuzberg, and sells everything from trendy clothes to snacks and drinks. This fleamarket is only open ever second Sunday, so be sure to check the date before you go!

Image by Freepik

The Flea Market in Boxhagener Platz is also impressive, especially if you’re looking for unique antiques. This Fleamarket takes place every Sunday, and is surrounded by small cafes and restaurant you can visit once you’re done shopping.

Image by Freepik

Other fleamarkets worth a visit include the Trödelmarkt Marheinekeplatz in Kreuzberg,  the antique and book market at the Bode Musuem, and the Flea Market at Rathaus Schöneberg

Regardless of wether you stay in Berlin or travel somewhere new, I know you will have an amazing week, full of new sights and experiences. Don’t forget to take sometime to relax and wind down – you deserve it!

Thanksgiving in Berlin

On the fourth Thursday of November, people in the United States celebrate Thanksgiving – probably the biggest national holiday. As an American living abroad, you might be missing the usual holiday festivities around this time. Thankfully, there are a lot of American expats that brought the tradition to Berlin with them. Here are a few places that offer authentic American Thanksgiving food as well as tips on where to find ingredients if you want to cook for yourself!

Enjoying Thanksgiving with the help of a restaurant…

P.S. If you plan on visiting one of these restaurants during thanksgiving, make sure to make a reservation ahead of time – spots can fill up quick!

1. Estelle

If you’re willing to splurge on a Thanksgiving meal, check out Estelle in Prenzlauer Berg. While Estelle usually serves up pizza and small plates, on Thursday the 23rd and Friday the 24th they will be serving up a delicious multi-course meal for 58 € per person.

2. Masha’s Bagels and Delicatessen

Every year, Masha’s Bagels hosts a traditional U.S. Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 23rd. They have seatings at 5 PM and 8 PM, and their feast is hosted family-style on long tables to make you feel at home. For dine-in, the three course meal costs 42€ per person, and for takeaway, the cost is 34€ per person.

3. Hard Rock Café

For a more affordable thanksgiving meal, check out Hard Rock Café, which serves a 2 course meal on the 23rd, the 24th, and the 25th. For 29.95€ , you can get an entrée with all the thanksgiving staples (turkey, stuffing, etc) and a slice of classic pumpkin pie.

4. Barcomi’s

Barcomi’s are famous for their American-style cakes and pies which you can order for pick-up or delivery in their online shop. Special Thanksgiving menu items are available!

Thanksgiving – for all who prefer to cook themselves

The turkey…

Germans eat turkey for Christmas, if at all, so it’s good to organize your bird in advance. Most Fleischereien will be able to sort a bird out if you give them a week’s notice. Plan on 500 grams per person when ordering, more if you’re fond of leftovers.

… and where to get it:

  • Kaufland, several locations across Berlin: In this huge grocery store you can often find frozen turkeys in the meat section. Expect to pay between 8-10 Euros per kg of turkey.
  • Rogacki, Wilmersdorfer Str.145/46, Charlottenburg: At this traditional delicatessen in Charlottenburg, you should be able to find a turkey. Rogacki may have turkeys in stock, but it is recommended to place an order ahead. Open: Tue-Th 10am-6pm, Fr 9am-6pm, Sat 8am-2pm, Tel. 030 3438250
  • Kaufhauf des Westens (KaDeWe), Tauentzienstraße 21, Schöneberg: This famed department store also has a delicatessen, along with plenty of other international food options that make it the perfect place to pick up your thanksgiving essentials. Open: Wed-Sat 10am-8pm, Mon-Tue 10am-8pm, Tel. 030 21210 (poultry counter)
  • Fleischerei Domke, Warschauer Str. 64, Friedrichshain: They say it’s best to come by in person to place an order, but Domke always has a few turkeys (presumably frozen) on hand. Open: Mon-Fr 6:30am-10pm, Sat 8am-9pm, Su 11am-9pm Tel. 030 2917635.

Make your own vegan loaf:

This hearty vegan lentil loaf is packed with healthy ingredients and holiday flavors. It’s even gluten-free too!

German guide to the Thanksgiving classics:

The stuffing/dressing

Since you can’t turn to admittedly-terrifying bags of stuffing mix, you’ll want a sturdy white bread that won’t fall to bits nor stay too stodgy. We suggest cubing Soluna’s La Boule or else what’s called französisches Landbrot, which is sold at many organic bakeries. Vacuum-packed chestnuts are easy to find in Berlin grocery stores and often more affordable than in the States, so they’re suited well as an addition to your stuffing.

The mashed potatoes

Look out for potatoes described as mehlig or mehligkochend (i.e. floury potatoes): they’re the best substitute for russets.

The pumpkin pie

You can find canned pumpkin at KaDeWe and Broken English. As a cheaper alternative, fresh pumpkins are available at most general supermarkets at this time of the year.

The sweet potatoes

If you want to make a sweet potato casserole, Süßkartoffel and marshmallows are sold in most grocery stores in the city.

The cranberry sauce

Cranberries can be found at most large grocery stores like Edeka and Kaufland, as well as most organic shops.