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Park am Gleisdreieck A flurry of modern parklife featured

Berlin parks tend to be an unruly bunch; be it the natural wilderness of Tiergarten or the rambunctiousness of Görlitzer. Now however, there’s a new breed of landscaped open air goodness in town. With extensive reconstruction work completed half a year ahead of schedule (a miraculous achievement by Berlin’s standards – here’s looking at you Brandenburg Flughafen), the western and eastern expanses of Park am Gleisdreieck now stand united. And it’s one hell of a bountiful union. On the formerly inaccessible Schöneberg side there’s wide cycleways, manicured lawns, a beach area, trampolines and some great views out to Potsdamer Platz as the U-bahn swoops overhead. While in the Kreuzberg end there’s smaller meadows for chilling, an intercultural garden for planting and a skate-bowl for, well, skating. The urban planners must be seriously chuffed with themselves ‘cos it has been chock-full of activity since the grand opening in spring 2013.

Schwarzlicht Minigolf Subterranean psychedelia

Imagine if Tiger Woods—tripping balls on psilocybin—got abducted into Tron, escaped with the help of Kevin Flynn and was then let loose in the blackened basement of a café with a truck-load of U.V paint and 3D glasses. The result would probably look a little something like Schwarzlicht Minigolf…

Hidden beneath the Isa Mitz café in Görlitzer Park and realised with the help of local blacklight collective Sinneswandeln, Schwarzlicht consists of 18 illuminated holes spread across five rooms and decorated with mind-bending visuals inspired by cyperpunk, sci-fi cover art and psychedelic deep-sea depths. The place fills up quickly in the evenings so it’s worth sticking your head in for a cheeky reccy before you play—no one wants to get stuck behind the space-cadet giggling at the glow in the dark volcano.

Markt am Winterfeldtplatz Grade A groceries

Stretching past the shadow of the St. Matthias Kirche, this beloved Schöneberg mainstay is a magnet for food-fanatics and locals alike, as well as enamouring all chancers who happen upon the twice-weekly hustle and bustle. With a nigh on endless bounty of cheeses, jams, honeys, meats and an abundance of other colorful produce, the joy here is to be had in wondering—indulging in a little (though more likely a lot of) try before you buy.

Aside from a little high-grade grocery shopping, Markt am Winterfeldtplatz is a great spot to grab some lunchtime eats, with Thai soup stalls vying with Pelmeni, fresh smoked fish and gourmet sausage stands for the chance to make their mark on your taste buds. Proceed with caution though—there’s little to stop you going overboard at this Berlin smorgasbord.

Görlitzer Park Terminus Kreuzberg

Every Berliner’s favourite stop for a little greenery. If Görli were a person it’d be the scruffy hungover stoner who was struggling to roll his cigarette through half open, bloodshot eyes. He’d have bushy hair, style that was so wrong it was somehow right and be far friendlier than you’d think at first glance.

Once an old railway station and then home to British anarchist art communes, Görlitzer is now a full-time, run-down, graffiti-garnished park space and first port of call for Kreuzbergers of all kinds when the sun decides to shine—ensuring that there’s always a bit of a reckless buzz about the place. So don’t be surprised to see the occasional rave pop up out of nowhere—especially in amongst the Mayday chaos. And for those too lazy, or too yuppie, to get themselves to the Späti for some Sternburgs, the café-come-club Edelweiss is there to lubricate proceedings.

Admiralbrücke Kreuzberg nights

The Admiralbrücke is a petite Art Noveau style wrought-iron bridge that joins the Graefe Kiez with Kotti across a particularly picturesque stretch of the Landwehrkanal.

In the summer, the bridge and its adjacent shores come alive with plagues of Kreuzbergians populating every spare cobblestone, all chilling and chatting over some cheap beers from the Spätkauf across the road. An ever changing sideshow of happy-go-lucky buskers—including anything from a Jazz quartet to crazed out maraca shakers—provide an entertaining background scene long into the night.

Over recent years the popularity of the bridge as a gathering spot has caused some hangovers for nearby residents, notably the aftermath of broken glass and the inevitable noise pollution. So forgive us for getting all parentish, but if you do take the chance to enjoy a meeting with friends in one of the city’s most atmospheric spots, be sure to take your mess home with you.

Hamam Ladies of leisure

Located in Berlin’s only women’s centre, Schokoladenfabrik, Hamam has been providing ladies with an all-round lap of Turkish luxury since 1988—and you know what they say about experienced women…

Divided into several spaces, each with a different focus, you can indulge in a few traditional Turkish eats (feta is better) before you make the trip downstairs to the actual Hamam where granite sinks are tucked away in tiled recesses for you to bathe yourself and, if you’re feeling intimate enough, your spa-going sisters as well. Elsewhere, Hamam also offers massages, full-body peelings and various other cosmetic services and also boasts both a sauna and infrared cabin to set temperatures on the rise. And if all this gets you a little too hot under the collar that you’re not wearing you can escape to landscaped yard for some fresh air.

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