Lesbian Berlin: How to experience Berlin as a Berliner!
When Place2be.Berlin author Lena Braun travels, she definitely doesn't want to be stranded. Her goal is a weekend where everything is chilled and fluid - full of fun, romance, good food and great drinks. Here she reveals what she would do if she had two days to discover Berlin, always focusing on the lesbian lifestle. Discover the sapphic aspects of the city, always staying close to the water, because whether it's a river, a canal, or a lake, being near water makes for magical times!
Day 1, morning on the water
On the first day, we explore Berlin from the water, jetting around the city on a boat. Berlin has two major rivers, the Spree - which meanders through the centre - and then the Havel in the West. In addition, there are many canals, such as the Landwehrkanal, and enchanting lakes on which excursion boats and passenger vessels ply the waterways. While the wind ruffles our hair on deck, we listen to anecdotes about the city. We don't need our mobile phones, but stay hands-free for the Beloved. For me, it's a wonderfully chilled-out way to approach Berlin. In my opinion, the sixty-minute boat trip by the shipping company 'BWSG' is of precisely the right duration. We can choose between the open-top boat, the BärLiner, or the double-decker vessel, the Belvedere. The trip takes us to Berlin's picture postcard highlights: the Berlin Dom (Cathedral) and the Nikolai Quarter, the TV Tower, the Federal Chancellery, Museum Island, and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (House of World Cultures). Afterwards, I always feel like I've been reborn. I sometimes get the urge to sign on to a ship and sail around the world!
Landing stage: Alte Börse/Hackescher Markt
Burgstraße 27, 10178 Berlin-Mitte
S Hackescher Markt
Website of the BWSG
Day 1, late afternoon: in the air
After the boat tour, we go one better and head upwards for a bird's eye view of Berlin, because that's the ultimate kick! We dine high above the city on our first day in Berlin, in a very special place, the revolving restaurant ‘Sphere’, on top of the TV tower at Alexanderplatz. Only here, at a height of 207 metres, can you find this unique and breathtaking panoramic view of the entire city. Seated on our bright red leather armchairs, we feel as if we're in a James Bond film - but happily, this is reality! There are numerous inspiring vegetarian dishes to choose from. As the restaurant rotates on its axis, we constantly see something new whilst dining. If we feel like a drink after the meal, we can head off to Bar 203 on the 360-degree viewing floor.
In the TV tower, Panoramastraße 1A, 10178 Berlin-Mitte
Website of the Sphere restaurant
Day 1, evening: into the heart of the city
Back on terra firma, we stroll along the waterfront to discover the heart of the city in Mitte. Barrie Kosky, the artistic director of the 'Komische Oper', has prepared a treat for us at the 'Berliner Ensemble'. Tonight, having cunningly pre-ordered tickets, we enjoy the new, incredible, queer version of the Threepenny Opera! Starting in 2021, Brecht's play has been restaged at the original venue, exactly 93 years after its premiere. As the moon slowly rises, we cross a few bridges and there we are, at the water's edge, as the 'Berliner Ensemble' is right on the waterfront. A trousered Kathrin Wehlisch plays the notorious Tiger-Brown; the whores of Turnbridge are clearly boys, and the beggars are also undeniably queer. We want to sing along and applaud until our hands hurt, but the full moon’s radiance entices us to drinks afterwards.
Bertolt-Brecht-Platz 1, 10117 Berlin-Mitte
Website of the Berliner Ensemble
Day 1, at night: drinks at the Rosi
After the play, we need a chic bar, big and spacious, with drinks that are perfectly prepared from high-quality ingredients. So it is that we make a pilgrimage to the 'Sharlie Cheen Bar', located directly on Rosenthaler Platz. We reserved a table in advance to get the best seats. Sharlie Cheen, after whom the bar is named, is a fictional playboy whose diary is the menu. You'll see shakers flying above the bar and you'll enjoy a real buzz.
Sharlie Cheen Bar
Brunnenstraße 196, 10119 Berlin-Mitte
U Rosenthaler Platz
Website of the Sharlie Cheen Bar
Day 2, late morning: off to Neukölln
After yesterday in Mitte, today we're off to the hipster district of Neukölln. We walk along the waterfront to a temptingly good breakfast venue, right on the Neuköllner Schifffahrtskanal. I'll be honest, there are actually two places there and both are cool. You just have to get a seat! The 'Nah am Wasser' is a modern café with an urban ambience. It offers in-house organically roasted coffee, all-day breakfasts, and a superb, sumptuous lunch menu. However, I also love the fresh rolls, pastries, and the superb cheese breakfast at 'Zimt und Mehl'. This charming café has been around forever and a day, has a large terrace right on the waterfront, and serves everything from Mediterranean to Oriental breakfasts, as well as fabulously fresh bistro cuisine.
Nah am Wasser
Kiehlufer 55, 12059 Berlin-Neukölln
Bus stop Wildenbruchplatz
Website of Nah am Wasser
Zimt & Mehl
Weigandufer 16, 12045 Berlin-Neukölln
Bus stop Wildenbruchplatz
Website of Zimt & Mehl
Day 2, in the evening: off to Weserstraße.
When evening comes, we head off to the best queer cocktail bar in town. It's tiny and it’s located on Weserstraße in Neukölln. It's not a crowded tourist spot, and Thelonius is a stylish, charming bar. The owner is one of us - and she can make you precisely the kind of drink that suits you and your mood. You have to try it out - it's reminiscent of the classic film, 'Chocolat', in which a beautiful woman spins a Mexican plate to determine what her customers' favourite Dolce is. In 'Thelonious Bar' this works just as well: tell us how you feel and what you like and you'll be served just the right thing! If you still haven't had enough, hop off the bar stool and walk down the street to 'Silver Future', a ‘happening’ meeting place with a wonderfully colourful ambience for kings, queens, and queers. The trick is to let go and you’ll feel right at home!
Weserstraße 202, 12047 Berlin-Neukölln
Instagram channel of Thelonious Bar
Weserstraße 206, 12047 Berlin-Neukölln
Instagram channel of Silver Future
And this is how you get there: The Queer City Pass gives you a ticket for public transport - and on top of that a great discount with lots of partner companies!
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