A Long Weekend in Berlin

Traveler: Katia Hakko – Art Director

What is your latest escape? My latest escape was to Berlin, Germany.

What was the purpose of your travel? Purely vacation.

With how many people did you travel? My boyfriend.

Where did you stay? At the Soho House Berlin in Mitte, which I recommend to anyone who visits Berlin. The building was designed by architects Georg Bauer and Siegfried Friedlander in the late 1920s as Jonass & Co. a seven-storey department store with a rooftop restaurant. It then became the Hitler Youth headquarters in 1937 and later housed the archives of the Communist Party. Now it’s a beautiful hotel with a charming rooftop, restaurant and bar.

berlin soho rooftop

What did you most like about the trip? Definitely walking around for hours along with the kindness and positivity of everyone you encounter. 

Could you share an unforgettable memory about the trip? Seeing the Neue Nationalgalerie designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Although it was closed for renovation, just walking around the building and observing it was fascinating. You could really sense the force emerging from such simplicity. The feeling and experience was an unforgettable one. A proof that less is always more. 

Your most surprising find during the trip? How genuine the people are! And the Record finds. We had the pleasure of digging into boxes and boxes of records and had great joy each time we found one that we had been looking for!

Favorite restaurant(s) or food you have tried during your trip?

The old classic Café Einstein Stammhaus was a favorite. More that 300 air raids transform the metropolis into a sea of debris, but the villa where Einstein opened in 1978 with the aim of creating a true Viennese-style coffee house in Berlin, is one of the few buildings in the Kurfürstenstraße to survive. I would recommend anyone to go there and enjoy their Brunch composed of delicious breads, jams, eggs and to read the news in a hidden little spot inside the beautiful space. 

Another is the Soho House restaurant. Sundays are great to enjoy their delicious open buffet. 

For organic and local food, the MichelBerger hotel’s restaurant. 

Whether before or after an exhibition visit the C/O Berlin Café for a light lunch, snack or a coffee. We enjoyed some delicious regional delicacies.

What are the must tries of the city?

The Coffee culture is to be experienced in this city and anyone who visits Berlin should stop by The Barn which is almost like a taste lab and Five Elephant. 

You would go crazy over the newest magazines, design & art books at the “Do You Read Me?!” store in Mitte. 

If you want to find rarities, spend an early Sunday morning at the Flea market of Mauer Park. You can find anything from records to Vintage Clothing to local artworks.

Walk by the Landwehr canal side and just contemplate; you will surely find many hidden places during your route. 

Make sure to stop by Il Casolare at Grimmstr for a Pizza. The restaurant has a great open beer garden where you can enjoy a lively atmosphere. 

For great exhibitions and architecture treasury visit the Bauhaus Archive housed in a building drafted by Walter Gropius, the Checkpoint Charlie, the Berlin Wall, the Amerika Haus that is now C/O Berlin, the Museum of photography that houses the collection of the Helmut Newton Foundation, the Hamburger Bahnhof,  the berlin holocaust memorial, certainly the Neue Nationalgalerie, the Tchoban Foundation designed by the architects Sergei Tchoban and Sergei Kuznetsov and so much more.

Any hidden gems you could whisper to us?

Before dinner you can stop by Buck and Breck for a cocktail. The place can be found hidden behind a secret door between a police station and Doris Bistro. 

For a late night burger & fries craving stop by Burgermeister located under the bridge in Kreuzberg. 

Not really hidden but the Shell-haus building designed by Emil Fahrenkamp in 1929, an architectural masterpiece. 

burgermeister kreuzberg berlin

Would you go back? Absolutely, 4 days are not enough. 

Could you list a few of your favorite finds you came back with? Magazines, books and records. 

Any tips that might be useful to know before going there? Make your plans wisely, the city is vast and spread. Check out what current exhibitions there are as well as concerts before you head there!

Next stop you would like to visit? Vietnam, Vienna and I would really like to revisit Japan!