The Hidden Side of Berlin

Where locals really go to hang out in the German capital.

May 28, 2024
sunset pic of berlin skylinesunset pic of berlin skyline

In every city, there’s the typical tourist spots that everyone flocks to when visiting. Seeing these famous parts are fun and generally important to the history or culture of the area, but if you’re planning on staying for an extended period of time, it might interest you to move away from these cliche tourist areas and begin to get a taste of the local way of life.

Where do locals eat, hang out, and spend their free time in Berlin? Finding this hidden side of Berlin can sound daunting, but we’ve got the inside scoop from some Berliners themselves of some places off the beaten path to explore.

Market Alle Neuen

Market Alle Neuen is a food point in Kreuzberg that works to prove that alternative eating and food shopping methods are very possible within a bustling city. They have their basic offer available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, as well as their full weekly market on Fridays and Saturdays. One fun thing that cannot be missed with this market is the street food Thursdays, where it transforms into the perfect place to taste a melting pot of street food, sure to satisfy any foodie.

outdoor market in berlin

West Germany Artspace

This hidden art gallery and music club is impossible to find unless you’re in the know. West Germany is located in a converted doctor’s office, and local artists, musicians, and creatives flock there by word of mouth for underground indie shows, edgy performance art pieces, parties, and more. There’s no official social media page to find events happening there, but they will post flyers on sites like RA Events and other such places.

The entrance to this art space is located off the Kottbusser Tor U-Bahn stop. Just look for the door among the buildings that’s covered in stickers with a sign reading “Schatz EV Schulaufgabenzirkel”. From there, take the stairs up to the second floor for a typical underground Berlin night.


lake with people on the shore

If you’re in Berlin in the summer, then you’ll for sure have to check out Müggelsee in the eastern suburbs of the city. Müggelsee is the biggest of the natural lakes surrounding Berlin, and it provides the perfect backdrop for hiking, swimming, sunbathing, stand up paddle boarding, and other water activities.

Mustafa Gemüse Kebap

kebab shop

Did you know that the modern döner kebab we all know and love was invented in Berlin? This beloved street food remains popular throughout the city, but none come close to the ones served at Mustafa Gemüse Kebap. This local gem has become quite popular over the years, as people will line up for hours just to get a taste of this little bundle of joy nestled between two pieces of bread. These kebabs can be enjoyed as a meal or as a late night snack on Fridays and Saturdays after exploring the Berlin nightlife.

Tempelhofer Feld

At the crossroad of history and nature lies Tempelhofer Feld. This airway turned park was once the site of Nazi rallies and the Berlin Airlift, but was gradually shut down following World War II and created into a public park to promote sustainability. Today, it offers an abundance of parks, fields, and community gardens, where old war relics from Nazi Germany and the Cold War are scattered around to transport you back in time. There are 10 entrances spanning three neighborhoods in southern Berlin, making the space very accessible for a casual bike ride, picnic, or Sunday stroll.

Panke Culture

outside nightclub

Everything down the the location of Panke Culture screams classic Berlin. Within a labyrinth of ancient courtyards is a space for all artistic endeavors in support of creativity away from mainstream culture. This space offers a bar, gallery, garden, and cafe that host events ranging from art workshops to local film releases to all night parties with DJs spinning local records. Tickets for events can be found on RA here. Panke can be hard to find if you’re not in the know, but the riverside walkway besides Gerichtstrasse 17 leads right past the back door.

Du Beast Bar

Even though Du Beast Bar is a bit out of the center, it’s definitely worth a visit. Located in Neukölln, this hip bar with a very homey feel is more than meets the eye. Not only do they serve both creative and classic cocktails, but they also host events each week. Their basement comes to life with poetry readings, spoken word events, live music, comedy shows and more. Check their social media pages for event announcements.



Pfaueninsel, or Peacock Island, is an island in the middle of the River Havel that is perfect for a day trip to the countryside or romantic getaway. It’s complete with nature, a Prussian-style white castle, and, of course, free roaming peacocks. This gem is packed with history dating back to the Iron Age and in more modern times Friedrich Wilhelm II’s reign. Today, this island is a UNESCO Heritage Site for both its surviving architecture and array of exotic birds in its nature reserve.

What’s your favorite Berlin gem?

Berlin is full of hidden spots that you’ll only come across once you’ve been living there for a while. Whether you want to find in-the-know food spots, outdoor experiences, or underground parties, Berlin has it all, you just have to know where to look.

Give yourself enough time in the German capital to start living like a true local by making the move and booking your month-long stay with Ukio in Berlin. That way, you’ll have enough time to check out the city’s famed tourist attractions while also starting to uncover the layers to the hidden side of Berlin.