For us, Umami finds the perfect balance between traditional asian flavours and slightly more unusual creations. This is not only true for their food, but also for their homemade lemonade and tea offers (our tip for tea fans: order the ‚Herbstlaub‘ tea). Don’t be discouraged by the queue that is forming at peak times. Waiting time is usually not that long and well worth it (we can only speak for the Kreuzberg location though). Try the ‚Buddah Burger‘: a sautéed seitan patty with mango-coleslaw and sweetpotatoe fries or the ‚Dragon Barbeque‘: grilled king prawns with honey, vegetables and sweetpotatoe fries on the side. For a glimpse into Umami’s menu, visit their website here. If you come with a larger group, plan ahead and try to make a reservation for the seating area where you sit – traditional asian style – on the floor.
Lalibela is a cute little place in the heart of Neukölln that serves delicious Ethiopian food. This is the perfect place to come with a small group, not because of the place’s size (au contraire, it’s rather small, so you might want to reserve a seat, if you don’t want to wait -> reservations can be done online), but because of the fact that the typical Ethiopian dish, the injera, is the perfect meal to share. Injera is an Ethiopian flatbread (made out of teff flour) that is served flat on a big iron plate with a variety of toppings, like lentils, salads, vegetables, potatoes, stews, etc., with more injera served on the side. What might need a little getting used to at first is that you will not be served utensils, since this dish is traditionally eaten with your hands, using small pieces of injera to scoop up the toppings. This makes the injera simultaneously a food, an eating utensil and also a plate. We recommend to mix and match the combos to get the full hands on experience.
Where? Herrfurthstraße 32, 12049 Berlin Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday, 2PM – Open end. Facebook
The Museumsinsel (Museum Island) right at Hackescher Markt in Berlin Mitte is the perfect place for all museum enthusiasts visiting Berlin (or for those who simply want to cram as many museums into one day as possible, whatever floats your boat). The first addition to the island was the Altes Museum in 1830. Soon thereafter more and more museums were added to the island. Today, it encompasses six buildings (Altes Museum (Old Museum), Neues Museum (New Museum), Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery), Bode Museum, Pergamonmuseum, and the James-Simon-Galerie), with art that displays six thousand years of history, ranging from the Ancient Egyptians to European art of the 19th century. Due to its incredible number of famous collections, as well as its unique architecture, the Museumsinsel was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1999. Partially because of this, combined with the need for restoration of the museum buildings after the Second World War, the island has been in the process of being reconstructed since the turn of the century. While the Alte Nationalgalerie, the Bode Museum, and the Neues Museum have already been through the process, the Pergamonmuseum is currently being renovated, though visitors can still access parts of the museum in the meantime.
If you’re really into museums, and your legs don’t hurt yet after hours of exploring and admiring everything the island has to offer, you can find many more museums close to it such as the Deutsches Historisches Museum (German historical museum), the Designpanoptikum (small, unique museum for industrial objects), or the Hanfmuseum (Hemp museum).
Additionally, next to hosting museums, this little island and its surrounding area are a popular meeting place for people when the weather is nice . So after a long, fun, art-filled day, you can walk across the bridge leading from the island and sit in Monbijoupark right by the Spree, listen to the street musicians that frequent this popular spot, or go to one of the several bars along the river to have a drink (or just buy a Späti beer) and people-watch.
Where? Bodestr. 3, 10178 Berlin (S Hackescher Markt, U Klosterstraße) Opening Hours: Monday: closed Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday: 10AM – 6PM Thursday: 10AM – 8PM Admission: free with your Museum Pass!
Dumplings – who doesn’t love these cute little wonders of dough full of delicious sweet or savory fillings? One place that does them especially well is Momos (named after the South Asian version of dumplings) in Mitte, a small restaurant that specializes in dumplings of all kinds. Here, you can choose between six kinds of dumplings (all vegetarian or vegan), such as spinach and cream cheese, pumpkin and chickpea, or broccoli, mushroom and tofu, pick your dips, and decide if you want them steamed or fried. For the indecisive ones, mix and match plates are available, which are great for sharing (or trying them all by yourself if you’re greedy like we are and don’t like to share your dumplings). And if your plate is empty and you still have room for some dessert, try the sweet momos filled with banana, cinnamon, and maple sirup! In addition to their delicious food, Momos is a business worth supporting because they only use organic ingredients, they care about sustainability (all their to-go containers are compostable and they use green electricity), and they are active in sustainability organizations.
Where? Chausseestraße 2, 10115 Berlin (U Oranienburger Tor) Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday 12PM – 10PM Instagram
One of our favorite spots in Berlin is Tempelhofer Feld, a former airport that has been transformed into a green recreational area, where Berliners come together to do sports, have a picnic, go for a walk or enjoy amazing sunsets. Additionally, it provides space for up to 7000 migrants and has become one of Germany’s largest refugee camps.
As winter is approaching, obviously, it is too chilly to lie in the grass, but this doesn’t mean that the Feld should be ignored during the winter months. Here are some activities that are definitely winterproof.
1) As long as the Feld is not fully covered in snow, you can still do sports: go for a run (there are special markings on the ground for runners and skaters to train), play basketball, soccer or table tennis.
2) Fly a kite (winds can get quite strong).
3) Speaking of wind: be adventurous and book a kiteboarding lesson.
4) Put on a warm hat, rent a longboard and head down the former airport’s runway (straight into the sunset).
5) …whilst on the topic: dress warmly and watch the sunset.
6) Enjoy wildlife: Tempelhofer Feld is quite the bird sanctuary and 2 nature reservation areas have been created to help wildlife.
6) Book a guided tour and explore the area’s rich history: Tempelhof Airport is one of only two Nazi-built buildings to survive in Berlin (the second is Olympiastadion).
7) Get informed about the Feld’s refugee camp.
Where? Main entrance Tempelhofer Damm/S,U-Bahn Tempelhof, side entrance Tempelhofer Damm/U-Bahn Paradestraße; main entrance Clumbiadamm/Lilienthalstraße, side entrance Columbiadamm/Golßenstraße; main entrance Oderstraße/Herrfurthstraße, 5 more side entrances at Oderstraße Opening Hours: January and December: 7:30am - 5pm February and November: 7am - 6pm March: 6am - 7pm April and September: 6am - 8:30pm May and August: 6am - 9:30pm June and July: 6am - 10:30pm October: 7am - 7pm [After closing hours the park can be exited via revolving doors at the main entrances].
For all poetry enthusiasts, Berlin offers a number of different poetry slams that take place regularly in different locations throughout the city. If you want to attend Germany’s oldest slam, Bastard Poetry Slam, taking place since 1993, you can do so every third Friday of the month at Ritter Butzke in Kreuzberg. Other fun poetry slams include Bubble Slam in Oberschöneweide, Kreuzberg Slam or Inselslam at Insel Berlin. Most slams take place monthly and admission is between 3 and 7 Euro.
Have you heard of the longest-running German TV drama series Tatort (“crime scene”) yet? On the air continuously almost every Sunday since the 70s, Tatort is a crime series shown on Das Erste which features a different team of inspectors in a different city for each 90 minute long episode and has become a cultural phenomenon. Due to its popularity, there is a large number of Bars in the city where you can meet fellow Tatort enthusiasts to watch the newest episode every week. What better way to spend your Sunday evening now that it’s getting colder and the days are getting shorter?
When? Every Sunday at 8:15pm Where? Different bars throughout the city. You can find a list of bars that show Tatort here. Admission: Free
Alaska is a plant-based Spanish tapas bar that serves a number of delicious small plates of food that are perfect for sharing, as well as Spanish wine and beer. The Spanish/Catalan owners are incredibly welcoming, and make you feel like you’re visiting friends, which is underlined by the relaxed atmosphere, cozy couches and fun art on the walls. While the name does not immediately make one think of a Spanish tapas bar, the owners picked it to pay homage to Spanish singer and animal rights activist Alaska, combining two of Alaska’s central elements. The small size of the dishes makes is easy to try many different things, and our personal favorites are the Spanish tortilla and the croquetas, as well as the patatas bravas and of course, the Spanish beer. While some of the dishes are always available, you can be sure to find something new and exciting with every new visit, and prices are reasonable, starting at 3,50€ for a dish.
Every once in a while, Alaska hosts one of their legendary pintxos parades, were you can get one tapa for 1€ and eat yourself into a tapas induced food coma. While it’s their most popular event and always incredibly crowded (so wear comfy shoes because you might have to stand), it’s a great way to get into a conversation with people (and practice your terribly rusty Spanish with all the Spaniards who frequent the bar), plus having to stand at the bar just means easier access to all the food. Overall, Alaska is the perfect place to spend a nice evening with friends, share some delicious food, have a few drinks, and you’ll likely meet some incredibly friendly faces there as well.
We do not fall in love easily, but we did fall in love with Velvet, a small cocktail bar in the heart of Neukölln. This bar is located a little bit off the bar packed streets, but we would still suggest coming here early, as it gets crowded quickly. The menu changes on a regular basis, so we cannot recommend a specific drink, but are sure that whatever you will end up getting, will certainly challenge your taste buds in a very positive way (maybe you will never have a better cocktail in Berlin). Velvet believes in regionality, so instead of the standard pineapple, you’ll find local herbs, fruit and vegetables in your drink. Examples for some special ingredients are: mushrooms, black walnuts, plums, sorrel,… . Waiters are happy to help you with your choice and are eager to explain flavors and ingredients. The cocktails are quite pricy (around 10€+), but definitely worth it!
Where? Ganghoferstraße 1, 12043 Berlin Neukölln Opening hours: Wednesday - Sunday, 8pm - Close
Welcome to our official FU-BEST blog! Here we share everything exciting in and around Berlin with our current FU-BESTers. Of course, everyone else who is interested in getting a glimpse into the perks of being a student in Berlin is cordially invited to join us along the ride.
You’ll find tips for interesting lectures on and off campus, free time activities, event information, our favorite eating spots, and many other things that make Berlin unique.