Berlin is a creative heart of Europe. There are 175 museums, and all of them are worth visiting. Also, there’s no end of galleries and private collections. Yet, it’s not only about them. Here’s a brief guide with recommendations on what to see and what to do in Berlin for a designer working in a visual culture sphere. Check the tips from designers.
Olena Bazu, designer, Bazuhaus brand manager
Spent a month in Berlin.
As a web designer, I always advise getting inspiration from the areas related to design: architecture, city print work, interiors, and magazines. Berlin is a wonderful place for that, and it’s not just about museums.
A conceptual cafe+studio+shop where everything is subjected to the love of typography. What’s on the menu? Posters, postcards, cards, stickers, pillows, clothes with prints, plates, beautiful lettering. You can find two Red Dot Design Awards on the shelves. Their Instagram is full of minimalistic beauty.
Apart from famous Do you read me, this is my other favorite bookstore, with a great selection of books on typography, graphic design, and art fashion as well as magazines with stunning typography.
Bikini Berlin shopping mall
Budapester Str. 38-50
An unusual shopping mall that collects boutiques of design brands, lovely local points with street food, Vitra showroom featuring Charlz and Ray Eames furniture, and incredibly cozy bar located at a huge terrace on the roof.
A non-typical public place in ascetic and minimalist style managed by a girl from Britain. She moved to Berlin and opened a cafe with tea and pastry made right there. I recommend you to set your eyes at typography on the walls and design of their granola packaging, and bring back some postcards.
An iconic multi-brand store with rare drops from Acne Studios and Gosha Rubchinskiy. There, you’ll also find a shop selling self-published magazines and a coffee shop.
The museum of photography with a huge selection of catalogs with photographs from across the globe.
Other places that worth attention as design spaces:
- the ORA restaurant and their unreal bar 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin and the lobby on the third floor
- Roamers, an American-style cafe with perfect avocado toasts
- a vegetarian cafe Daluma with a design interior and menu typography
- Commonground with a lovely courtyard.
Kira Laktionov, Interaction Designer for TomTom
Currently lives in the Netherlands
I was told Berlin is not a place to fall in love from the first sight. Yet, that’s exactly what happened to me: the city captivates you with its greatness and also with the simplicity of people, streets, locations, and places. I love when people have such an attitude toward the arrangement of their life and environment.
Former Tempelhof Airport
A parade ground for military training, a Nazi base, one of the world’s largest airports, a shelter for refugees, a movie theater, – now it is a giant public space. The territory of the former airport has been transformed into space for activities. It’s cool to go for a run, ride a bike or just have a picnic.
Hamburger Bahnhof Museum
A modern art museum located in a building of a former station.
Do you read me? Bookstore
A small shop featuring incredibly cool magazines which cover completely different subjects. Kind of a paradise for connoisseurs of high-quality typography and publishers. But keep in mind: come to this place at the end of a trip, since you’ll want to spend all your money right there (especially on children’s books).
A surrealist interactive museum of industrial objects where all the showpieces can be touched and tested.
Father Carpenter cafe
A simple cafe in a quiet courtyard offers excellent breakfasts (poached egg with salmon is always the right choice) and nice coffee.
Five Elephant coffee shops
Reichenberger Str. 101; Alte Schönhauser Str. 14
A chain of third-wave coffee shops. I’d highly recommend laying in a coffee beans stock from there.
Zhenya Zyatina, UX Architect for Luxoft
In addition to specific locations, I am attracted by engineering and designer approach to art objects as well as the cultural and emotional shock you feel walking across a Jewish memorial in the city center.
Holzmarkt – Urban Garden
What would happen if the city was allowed to rebuild the quarter not for developers and not even urbanists, but for owners of nightclubs which make the coolest parties in the city? This is how Holzmarkt was created, Berlin’s Unique Urban Oasis. There are a lot of art installations, street art, and all constructions are made of recycled brick, wood or even recycled windows. There is an open-air space for training circus acrobats; there you’ll find a children’s theater and a guest house. This is the best place for a classic Friday evening. People come to the place to sit by Spree and have a bottle of beer with friends.
The museum is worth visiting, at least because it is a wonderful example of UX design. For instance, the tiles placed on the grass set out trajectories of the underground passages made in order to get to the West Berlin.
Rheinsberger Str. 76/77
An awesome space that combines a house for startups and coworking.
Kreuzberg district and Oranienstraße
A mix of Arabic, Turkish and German cultures with urban spots from everywhere. There’s a Design Academy with a beautiful bookstore in this district, and across the road, you’ll find a Princess Garden which is an urban garden set out in the city center, where citizens and neighbors plant, do experiments and grow vegetables and fruits. This garden features a Photo Automat, a box with snapshots in sepia. Actually, it is a must to make such photos in Berlin. You’ll see those boxes everywhere.
As for galleries, I’d recommend this of all others: it has an exceptional design arrangement of the space and style in every corner. By the way, it’s located in the church.
A non-typical beer house situated in the old town. You’ll find 12 kinds of beer in a quiet remote area, rarely reached by tourists.
A quiet outdoor place in TierGarten district.
More to See
Telegraf Design editor’s office also would like to remind you of alpha and omega of a designer’s trip to Berlin, Bauhaus-archiv
Knesebeckstraße 1-2 (U Ernst-Reuter-Platz)
And they also recommend Iheartberlin, a blog in English about art life of the city including events and recommendations.
The original article was published on Telegraf Design