Berlin is wunderbar!

Whenever you are asked “Seriously, you’ve never been to Berlin?” or “You’ve been to Berlin but you don’t know the ...?” then you know it’s high time to visit the Berlin (again). This is a city always on the go and never standing still. Even when returning Berlin after a brief absence, you will find new concept stores and restaurants that have opened up in the meantime. You will also find an imaginative young gastronomy of exquisite taste here, along with an exciting art scene and unique hotels not found anywhere else. Let us give you our 10 insider tips to make your stay in Berlin unforgettable.  

10 favourite places in Berlin:

A far cry from global hotel standards. The German branch of Soho House, a prospering private British club, occupies a listed building in late Bauhaus style in Berlin’s Mitte district. Exposed masonry and concrete uprights blend with furniture in vintage chic. Tasselled chenille sofas, heavy brass lamps, old record players, alarm clocks, and phones with receivers and rotary dials lend a nostalgic charm to the rooms. Soho House Berlin has a character very much its own, and has become the meeting point for club members from the creative set and the media industry. Guests checking into this hotel become members pro tem, and pledge to uphold the unconventional house rules, which include a ban on ties and photography. 

Tip no. 2: Orania Berlin – anything but normal

At the Orania Berlin, the most diverse cultures rub shoulders, oriental influences blending with boho chic, and punks coexisting with dandies. The rich blend creates new combinations, especially in the fields of art, music and fashion. As soon as you enter, the generously proportioned entrance area with its living room ambience and its open hearth will politely but firmly advise you: This is not an ordinary hotel, and you are not just another guest. The bar-cum-lounge is a lively gathering place for seeing and being seen, and a venue for major artists. The rooms are decidedly spacious and generate a significant feel-good factor. This hotel is definitely worth a visit.

Tip no. 3: Gorki Apartments - guaranteed to make you feel at home

If you need plenty of privacy, but want to mingle with the locals and experience the bustling metropolis first-hand, there is probably no better place to stay than the Gorki, your perfect temporary home in Berlin. The bespoke interior design of each room betrays not just a wealth of creativity but also a lavish attention to detail. For example, the rooms are not numbered as usual but bear fictional names, ensuring that guests remain anonymous and virtually undisturbed.

Tip no. 4: Faelt - a gourmet hotspot in Schöneberg

Midway through the pandemic, Björn Swanson opened the Faelt in Berlin-Schöneberg. Only a month after it opened, restaurant critics took note of the small place, and the coveted Michelin star was quick to follow. “Boiled down to the essence” is the motto of Björn Swanson, because he feels that food should be enjoyable, communicative, noisy and should be fun above all. It is a convincing down-to-earth approach. You will find no hoity-toity antics and no à-la-carte dining here but only a 9-course dinner of straightforward dishes seasoned to a bold finish, with the menu changed once a month. 

Tip no. 5: Tim Raue – a celebrated Chef and true native of Berlin

Step by step, he worked his way up to emerge as one of Germany's finest chefs. Eventually, he became a TV chef popular even outside Germany. His decidedly light fare, inspired by Asian cuisine, is entirely free of carbohydrates, and contains neither white sugar nor gluten. A classic must-try dish of Tim Raue is the wok-baked Norway lobster, served with Wasabi mayonnaise. After dinner, you might want to take a little sight-seeing stroll: The Tim Raue restaurant is located close to Checkpoint Charlie, one of the former crossing points in the historic Berlin Wall, parts of which are preserved and remain a popular tourist destination.

Tip no. 6: Lovis – modern German cuisine inside a former women’s penitentiary

Here, where bad girls used to be kept under lock and key, a dainty blonde now cooks fine food – Sophia Rudolf, who learned from some of the biggest names in the trade. The dining room of the Lovis is the roofed-over prison yard. Suspended from the black ceiling are countless Bocci lights, creating the impression of a night sky. The food served here features seasonal and regional fare in the shape of creative contemporary dishes rich in umami. It is just the way we love the new German cuisine! 

Tip no. 7: Dóttir – the city’s best seafood restaurant is back

Victoria Eliasdóttir, a native of Iceland who used to run the “dóttir” restaurant in the same place, is also the person behind the new Dóttir inside the newly opened hotel Château Royal Berlin in Berlin-Mitte. The accomplished interior design was created by Irina Kromayer. Everything is more elegant now, graced with a Nordic touch and featuring plenty of art from the collection of Stephan Landwehr, one of the three masterminds behind the legendary Grill Royal and the new Château Royal. The menu is defined by a combination of French and Nordic influences. Sitting on the velvet sofa at table no. 3 feels truly regal, as you get to watch the goings-on inside the restaurant. 

Tip no. 8: Grill Royal - the master class in steaks

It is well known that opinion is divided whether a steak should be fried or grilled for best results. Opinion is also divided on where in Berlin the best steak is served. But “The Grill” – as locals call it – has stood its ground as a posh celeb restaurant. A motley mix of film stars, politicians, local dignitaries and would-be starlets frequent the grill to celebrate life and themselves. The steaks are sensational, and the crisp sweet potato fries are a must-do. But not just the beef is excellent; we also loved the roasted prawns with Aioli, and the art collection of Stephan Landwehr at the Grill Royal

Tip no. 9: Benedict Berlin - feast your eyes

A delicious variety featuring just about anything your palate desires. In the trendy Benedict round-the-clock breakfast restaurant, the focus is firmly on eggs. The large breakfast menu lists five different Eggs Benedict variations, several types of omelettes, and pancakes with a variety of toppings. Take your pick of sweet or savoury options, and let your eyes feast on your food as well. The breakfast dishes are all prepared with loving care – making you wish you could try them all. 

Tip no. 10: Two Trick Pony - a fresh approach to breakfast

A brunch restaurant only has to get a few things right in order to please – and yet they will sometimes disappoint you when you try a new place, eager for fresh experiences. There is no danger that this will happen to you at the Two Trick Pony with its short but delightful menu. No matter whether you go for its wonderful interpretation of Bircher muesli, the warm spicy cauliflower lentil salad or the massive-but-tasty three-cheese sandwich – every dish is to die for, in a manner of speaking. All of it is complemented by great coffee and a friendly and attentive service. Considering the fair prices, it is unsurprising to find this place crowded quite often. While the restaurant takes no reservations, you will rarely have to stand in line for long. And it is always worth the wait.

Craving more? We have compiled 306 hotel and restaurant tips for you on pillowandpepper.com – each one of them tested in person, on location. 

Arriving, enjoying yourself, and hitting the road again – what could be more fun? Along these lines, please have a good time!