Red Carpet – Henrik’s World of Glamour

No matter if Henrik’s wearing a shirt, a smoking or just his slippers: Red carpets unroll in front of him faster than you can say “why is he naked”. As the foremost Berlinagent, he carries a heavy burden. He has to represent a whole company, and so he parties like he was a whole company. No oyster is safe, no champagne glass escapes his sight, no party goes crazy before he turns up! Before we take off for summer vacation, we want to share some wet memories with you.

ic! Berlin Flagship Store Opening
Berlin’s favourite brand for screwless sunglasses has new headquarters! Naturally the manufactory threw a major party sure to get you screwed anyway. Finest drinks, a sneak peak at the upcoming summer collection and celebrity Friedrich Liechtenstein singing – all under one roof. Lovely! By the way, you can come check out the store even if you’re not looking for glasses. Free co-working and co-playing all week long.

The Grand – 5 Years Jubilee
The hidden gem near Alexanderplatz is well known for its excessive parties. An upper class restaurant at daytime, The Grand turns into a jungle of beats and grooves at night. Unsurprisingly, their 5 year jubilee party was more crowded than Berghain on Sunday, but no less heavy on the liver. Among the happy faces were Till Schweiger’s buddy and movie producer Tom Zickler and gastronomy baron Jesko Klatt.

COS Opening at KuDamm
Houston, the eagle has landed. H&M’s premium brand COS has re-opened and redesigned their Ku’Damm outlet. Premium brand means premium guests. It was little wonder the party was crowded by stylish fashionistas and curious onlookers, who tried to conceal their lack of style with an extra beer or two. Just the way we do it in Berlin.

Global Destination – Warsaw

Warsaw is the Phoenix among Europe’s capitals. It was conquered by Prussia, France and Russia. It regained independence in 1918 just to be almost completely destroyed by the Nazis during WWII. The following Soviet regime rebuilt the city with hammer and sickle, creating a similar contrast between communist and classical influences that you’ll also find in Berlin.

Since the fall of the iron curtain Warsaw’s reputation as a gloomy concrete jungle in social fashion has been shifting. The unique blend of Baroque palaces, concrete blocks, museums, modern architecture and green parks undermine its aspirations to become Eastern Europe’s culture capital. We discovered a diverse mix of neighbourhoods from post-industrial, edgy Praga to the restored Old Town with its rich cultural heritage.

Warsaw isn’t just about history however. You’ll find a pleasing amount of concept stores, galleries, cocktail bars and edgy clubs as you stroll through the streets. In the hotspots of Warsaw’s culture there’s a rich art scene with exhibitions, plays, performances and of course a certain amount of sophisticated snobbery. In short: These days, Warsaw is a whole lot of fun. 

Highlights

POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews – Created by the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute, work on this museum commenced in 1995 and continued until 2005, when it was officially instituted by the Polish president 

Museum of the Warsaw Uprising – Dedicated to the military uprising of the Polish army against Nazi Germany on 1st of August, 1944. 

Palace of Science and Culture – An eye-catching high-rise building built during the Soviet reign in 1955.

Old Town (Stare Miasto) – Warsaw’s historical center was beautifully restored after its destruction during WWII

Weekend Breakfast Market – Dozens of local food producers, farms and restaurants invite you to shop fresh food and spend time with your friends

Zlota 44 – Designed by internationally renowned architect Daniel Libeskind, Zlota 44 is the tallest residential tower in its class in the European Union

Keret House – An art installation in the form of an insert between two existing buildings, representing different historical periods in Warsaw’s history

Royal Lazienki Park – Warsaw’s biggest park boasts a royal palace, a theatre, a water tower and numerous landmarks

Copernicus Science Center – In the city center, neighbouring the Vistula River and the new Warsaw University Library, you’ll find one of Europe’s best science centres.

Neighbourhoods

Vistula River Boulevard 
Vistula is Warsaw’s biggest river and splits the city in two. It’s always been a life-giving vein for the city. Over the last couple of summers, it has also become an fun-giving vein for party hunters. With more than 20 clubs, it’s one of the most frequented areas during summer. Drop by at one of the food trucks, hang out at the beach or chill with the locals to store-bought beers at a camp fire. If there’s any place in Warsaw that spells cutting-edge, it’s here.

Poznanska Street
If you’re looking for great restaurants, this is the place. The lively Poznańska Street is popular with both locals and tourists. Outstanding venues like Beirut, Tel Aviv, Bez Tyulu and Nolita put it on any well-informed gourmet’s map.

Francuska (Praga)
The neighbourhood that makes you fall in love in Warsaw. While the whole city is intriguing, it’s here that the magic happens. Praga is an formerly neglected part of town that was revived by artists who moved there for the cheap rents. Now you’ll find bars, cafes and vintage shops next to towering concrete buildings. It’s a little rough and was even considered dangerous some 10 years ago. While it’s perfectly safe now, you still don’t see too many tourists. Perfect!

SoHo Factory
Located in Praga, SoHo Factory is a post-industrial zone that formerly housed weapon and motorbike factories. Following its re-development, the business complex and cultural hub is now home to artists, architects, restaurants, cafes, fashion boutiques and design stores. It boasts an unique Neon Museum and even a theatre and tattoo studio. The location where daring plans meet actual possibilities.

Plac Grzybowski / Prozna
Plac Grzybowski and Prozna Street (Empty street) were part of the Warsaw Ghetto. Prozna Street still features four tenement houses and is one of the few left-overs of “Jewish Warsaw”. During the annual Festival of Jewish Culture, the neighbourhood catches the pre-war climate and reminds of the Jewish quarter it used to be.

Art in Warsaw

As a city on the cultural rise, Warsaw boasts a flourishing scene for modern art. Here’s our Top 5 galleries and museums!

Galeria v9 – urban art and in-depth looks at the graffiti and street art scene http://v9gallery.com/

Raster Gallery – Contemporary art gallery established in 2001, exhibiting and representing emerging artists from Poland and abroad 

Museum of Modern Art – Contemporary art from around the world and especially young Polish artists working across media, video, installation, performance, and sculpture.

Neon Museum – Dedicated to the documentation and the preservation of Cold War era neon signs 

David Bowie Mural – A tribute to David Bowie’s time in Warsaw, which inspired him write his 1977 song Warszawa 

Restaurants

Warsaw is packed with culinary delights, but just like in Berlin, it took a while until the culinary scene really had found its flavour. The trend of small food trucks is complimented by the first Michelin stars rising over the city’s horizon, promising more to come over the next years. Warsaw is an exciting place to be for foodies. If it’s international flavors you’re after or traditional pierogi and bigos, you’ll definitely not go home hungry. Here are our favourites:

L’enfant Terrible  (top pick)
Chef Brys is among the most innovative chefs in Warsaw, having worked in outstanding restaurants in London, Zwolle and Copenhagen. In a venue boasting dark, sober colors and minimalistic design he serves mouth-watering gourmet cuisine.

Senses
Italian-French chef Andreas Camastra, whose restaurant Senses (sensesrestaurant.pl) recently snagged Warsaw’s second Michelin-star, brings a global sensibility to bear on Poland’s classic cuisines and generous natural larder

Atelier Amano
Atelier Amaro only uses seasonal Polish products and is considered one of Poland’s most modern venues. Their slogan is “where nature meets science” and obviously, they’re doing their laboratory work. It’s the first restaurant in Poland to land a Michelin-star.

Chef’s Table
This four-seat, one-table restaurant is a hidden gem and undoubtedly the most exclusive restaurant in Warsaw. As the name suggests, those lucky enough to indulge do so at the exclusive invitation of the Chef. Legend has it, that Vladimir Putin and Steven Segal are among the select few to have enjoyed this honor. True to its exclusivity, the exact cuisine of the restaurant remains a mystery.

Warszawski Sznyt – Steak & Art Kitchen

Restauracja Warszawa Wschodnia by Mateusz Gessler – Mix of Polish and French cuisine

Boat House - Boasts a glass wall through which you can see the Vistula

Tel Aviv - Vegetarian restaurant with Middle Eastern kitchen

Koszyki – Delicacies from around the world under one roof

Strefa - composition of food from many corners of the world with many Polish accents

Cafes

Milk bars, or bar mleczny in Polish, are remnants of days past, when fresh food was rare and state-run venues served affordable food – mostly vegetables and dairy. They now serve a wider variety of dishes, but the concept is unchanged: inexpensive comfort foods like soups, pirogi, meat and potatoes.

Milk Bar Prasowy – Instead of the usual basic seating and tables of most milk bars, Prasowy offers modern, sleek design and traditional dishes sure to please eyes and tongues alike.

Milk Bar Maslanka – The communist era exterior is complimented by coca cola umbrellas. The interior’s light blue colours remind more of a frozen yogurt bar.

Bistro Charlotte – Rough and rustical charm with great breakfast. A hipster’s favourite. 

Pozegnanie z Afryka – The first coffee-specialised shop in the country with grains from South America, Africa and even Asia. 

Telimena – One of the oldest cafes in Warsaw, boasting an art gallery and a small concert hall

Party

In Warsaw there’s plenty of ways to roast your liver. During the summer you’re best off with the beach clubs on the banks of Vistula river. Can’t find them? Just follow the river until you hear basslines. Warsaw’s bars range from rough and shabby to sophisticated, but all of them will close around 02:00am, clubs at about 06:00am. Many clubs take residency in empty warehouses, so be prepared for big stages, massive sound systems and anything from techno to Balearic house.

Bars

Na Lato (top pick!) – Na Lato serves superb Mediterranean cuisine at night and turns into Warsaw’s hottest bar at night. With a picturesque setting in an urban park’s pathways, innovative cocktails and DJs on the weekend, Na Lato is Warsaw definite number one.

Warszawa Powisle – A formet ticket hall that’s now home to clubbers and night owls

Plan B - The true heart of Hipster’s Zbawiciela square

Panorama Sky Bar – Amazing views over the city

Charlie Bar – Cocktails with attitude

Pies Czy Suka - High-end design boutique with cocktail bar and part time club

Dom Wodi – Modern looking bar specialized in Vodka

Clubs

Luzztro (top pick!)
Dark, intimate atmosphere, pumping tunes, cheap but good drinks and a chilled-out crowd. Luzztros an unlisted underground electronic club that attracts both locals and tourists looking to party until daylight.

The View - Hyperposh rooftop nightspot. The #1 place to see and be seen in Warsaw.

Level27 - An amazing rooftop space with breathtaking vies over Warsaw. Top notch cocktails and A-List DJs guaranteed!

Smolna 38 - Rough, shadowy and simplistic design, three dance floors, two outdoor areas, a chill-out room, an indoor air-conditioned smoking room and three bars

Pomost 511 - One of Vistula’s best beach clubs

Hotels

H15 Boutique Apartments (top pick!)
Located in the heart of Warsaw, H15 is a renovated 19th-century building combining history with contemporary luxury.

Autor Rooms - A small four-bedroom boutique hotel. Very private and personal atmosphere for guests who want to experience a unique hotel

Marriott Hotel - Major hotel with 523 rooms and a bar on the 40th floor offering spectacular views over the city

Bristol Warsaw - Founded by the famous pianist Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Bristol is one of Warsaw’s most remarkable landmarks blending history and contemporary luxury

Hotel Bellotto - Located in the heart of Warsaw’s Old Town, within the walls of a sixteenth-century Primate’s Palace, Bellotto offers classic luxury

For more information about Warsaw, check WarsawTour and inyourpocket guide!

The Scene – 10 New Hotspots in Berlin

Spring descends upon Germany’s capital of cool. Berlin’s hipsters, foodies, lovers, bar hoppers, clubbers and lunatics curiously stick their heads out of the holes they have been hiding in during the freezing winter. Time to discover what’s new and trendy in Berlin city! We’ve compiled a list with the best new hotspots, from bars and clubs to restaurants and breweries.

Cafés

Mario Kaiser Patisserie
When Mario Kaiser left Berlin to work in kitchens around the world 8 years ago, Berlin’s trendy food scene was still a long way coming. With Mario having refined his skills in Paris, London, Zurich and the USA, he now offers delicious pastries in his brand new Prenzlauer Berg patisserie. Berlin is finally ready for upscale confectioners and Mario is planning to expand his menu soon. Just like trendsetting Coda Dessert Bar in Neukölln, he’s planning to add alcoholic beverages to pair with the delicacies soon – a promising concept.

The Visit Roastery
A bar-raising new addition to Berlin’s flourishing specialty coffee scene. Located in a Kreuzberg backyard near Kottbusser Tor, the coffee bar creates a strong contrast to its somewhat shabby surroundings. The stylishly decorated space inside is both welcoming and inviting, its openness allowing you to relax at either a regular table or in the MacBook-loaded sitting corner. The place feels very clean  – and a little sterile. As soon as you take the first sip on your specialty coffee, that’s easily forgotten.

Restaurants

Mine Restaurant
Mine’s Owner Aram Mnatsakanov is often considered the Russian Jamie Oliver. His Italian restaurants in Moscow and St. Petersburg rank among the best in their category and he’s been a prominent host for TV shows like “Hell’s Kitchen Russia” and “Hell’s Kitchen Ukraine”. With his intriguing modern interpretation of classic Italian cuisine and a premium selection of ingredients from all over Europe, you’ll find Mine’s dishes to taste familiar and yet refreshingly different.

Izakaya at Sra Bua
Renowned fine-dining restaurant Sra Bua by Tim Raue located on Hotel Adlon’s ground floor is surprising gourmets with a new concept this year! While the main room is still dedicated to classic menu service, the Izakaya section pays hommage to Japan’s dining culture, essentially creating two restaurants under one roof. The concept is to sit back, enjoy drinks (sake anyone?) and socialise as light dishes are shared family style. The delicacies range from spring rolls with green applesauce to delicious beef tartar “japan style”.

Bars

Mampe’s neue Heimat
Strictly speaking, Mampe isn’t a bar. It’s Berlin oldest existing liquor brand, on its way back to world domination. Their new location “Mampe’s neue Heimat” is an all-in-one museum, exclusive liquor store and event location housing its own distillery. With distilling workshops, liquor tastings and a strict Berlin-only delivery policy, Mampe is setting sail to once again become Berlin’s most prestigious and exclusive liquor brand.

Wine Bar
Mine restaurant’s bar is located in the neighbouring building and one word sums up the space perfectly: small. In fact, it’s better known as Berlin’s smallest bar and invites guests to sip on tasty aperetifs before dinner or tol roll over for a nightcap after a long meal. Don’t forget to check out the space at the back as you’ll find some hidden corners ideal for mingling.

Clubs

Beate Uwe
A small and intimate club hidden right under the noses of most tourists. Despite its close proximity to Alexanderplatz it remains a refuge for a very leaned back crowd. It’s the perfect start into a wild night out, but it’s just as perfect if you’re looking for an electronic club night without stomping on people’s feet. Probably the only club in Berlin where you can dance barefoot.

Haubentaucher
When Haubentaucher opened its doors two summers ago, it immediately drew a huge mixed crowd of sun-hungry Berliners, hipsters and tourists. Within weeks, it became the “in” location of the summer 2015, and 2016 was no less busy! What most people don’t know – they boast a small but high quality club with great lineups and even better party. Check it out!

Breweries

BRLO
The slavic word “BRLO” is the origin of “Berlin”. While they have strong roots to our beloved capital, BRLO is a creative brewery also inspired by international influences. With their German IPA, Pale Ale, Weisse, Helles and Porter they offer a solid selection of high quality beers. Brewmaster Michael Lembke secrets range from ecological malt to brewing water energized with gemstones. Added value: a fabulous food concept with shared vegetarian dishes (meat comes as sides) and a huge terrace for sunny days. They stick to the motto “Save the planet, it’s the only one with beer“.

BrewDog
Us Germans, we love beer. We absolutely worship it. Hence we’re thrilled to welcome Scottish brewery BrewDog to Berlin, where they opened their first craft beer bar in Germany. With its typical Berlin industrial charm, brick walls, vintage lamps and pinball machines, it’s the perfect location for thirsty beer lovers.

The Scene meets Nithan Thai

Paris, Amsterdam, New York, Mumbai, Prague, Tel Aviv and now Berlin. Chef Shahaf Shabtay’s impressive resume sounds like a rockstar’s tour schedule. Though he may never become a guitar hero, his restaurant series Nithan Thai is sure to strike a chord with foodies all over the world.

Shahaf learned his handicraft in Paris, the undisputed Capitol of gourmets. His talent landed him jobs in world class kitchens, but his inspiration stems from more exotic environments.

Every now and then he packs his bag and travels small villages all over Southeast Asia, returning home with unheard-of cooking techniques and culinary wisdom beyond his years. His aim is to promote a food language that is relatable, down-to-earth and yet innovative. Why not focus solely on French cuisine, though?

“French food takes too long to cook. I prefer the fast-paced Asian cuisine” Shahaf tells us with a grin. While his French teachers doubted his vision for a long time, the exceptional blend of Asian and French cuisine that Shahaf has brought to perfection is now held in high regard even by his old masters.

Tasting his Thong Kum, a roll filled with Bangkok style beef, calamandi orange, smoked sesame and Tia-To Nanami, we can’t quite believe our tongues. A slowly unfolding taste explosion. It’s meaty, fruity, sweet, bitter, salty and even a little crunchy. While chewing, the rest of the world seems to fade away as our brains try to process the firework of sensations. What many chefs struggle to accomplish in a whole menu, the Thong Kum does in one bite. Amazing!

The exceptional menu is complimented by an elegant and laid back interior design, held in a discreet mix of grey, green and yellow, topped off by dark wood elements. The Asian touch shows on the decor. A golden elephant here, a few white flowers there and golden vases around the room remind you where Shahaf finds inspiration.

Now, for the best part. Main courses are around 20€. That’s 20€ for dishes that easily compete with michelin-star kitchens. Nithan Thai’s pricing fills the gap between high class cuisine and your usual neighbourhood restaurant, while the taste is nothing short of spectacular. 10/10 from Berlinagenten!

Insiders – Marcello

He’s celebrities’ secret bogeyman. His words can set reputations on fire, or catapult them to the top of olymp. He’s Berlin’s cheecky whirlwind and possibly the coolest gossip columnist EVER. We present: Marcello!

We’re glad you could make time for us, Marcello. How does one become a gossip columnist?

Berlin’s nightlife always played a major role in my life. I started going out at 16. Two years later, I became a gogo dancer. I met lots of people during that time. From David Bowie to Blondie, everyone was thriving on the hedonistic Berlin nightlife. When I took up a job as make-up artist and worked with the likes of Marlon Brando, I had to cut down the partying. In the early 90s a friend of mine founded the 030 magazine and said “Hey, you know everyone! You should write about it!” So that’s what I did. I was sick of actors anyway. They’re all crazy. I work as a Berliner now (laughs).

So… how do you learn people’s secrets? Surely they don’t just tell you everything because you ask nicely.

My former column was called “Marcella’s heiße Spalte”. I was living as a transsexual back then – not a trash tranny, always with style. It was the perfect image for my column. I went to the parties looking totally normal, so no one expected that I was Marcella. People told me their secrets and soon Marcella would pick them up in her column. They never figured out it was all one person. These days I’m not Marcella anymore. My column is now published in somewhat bigger newspapers. Look for “Partyspionin Rita Bond” in the B.Z.!

Secrets… what kind of secrets?

Oh, this and that. Who’s opening a new club, who is fighting whom, the small-scale wars between different scenes… sometimes I spilled a few secrets I probably shouldn’t have. I admit I enjoyed that a little bit.

Don’t people get pissed off when you write about them?

Oh, they do. Tough luck! But I don’t just write to expose little stories. My column has always depicted trends, too, like the nightlife scene moving from “one love, one family” to the separatism that clubs like Berghain and Kater Blau celebrate so much. Some people do get pissed, though. Once author Benjamin von Stuckrad Barre wanted 18.000€ for the use of ONE word. It ended in court with the payment of 150€. Then there was this girl. She climbed Kingsize’s bar counter on the closing night, got her boobs out and splashed champagne all over them. A person who does that obviously wants to be at the center of attention. I took a lovely picture and sent it to the 24h B.Z. live ticker. A year later she sued us for 4.000€. We took the picture offline of course. But we don’t pay for stupidity.

How do you know where the celebrities hang out?

From my spies in the gastronomy scene! Often I’m simply invited to celebrity events though, after all they need gossip to remain the talk of the town. I approach them, tell them I work for a newspaper, do a little small talk and that’s usually all it takes. The trick is to be as tipsy as they are, otherwise they think you’re plotting something.

What’s your craziest story?

Some time ago Kate Moss was in Berlin to present a new perfume series. I was invited too, so when she was finally done getting drunk and we were allowed in, I asked her for a picture. She became very rude and insulted me, so I thought to myself “Allllright baby. I will not be treated this way!” She was so drunk, I knew it would just be a matter of time until she’d do cocaine on the toilet. So I waited. It paid off. I took a lovely picture of her, coming out of the cabin, white crumbs still dripping from her nose. She snapped and punched me in the face. I have a great picture of that too. 

Do celebs NEED gossip?

Oh yes! Celebs below B-list will do anything for a bit of press coverage. What people don’t realise is most celebrities aren’t rich. They live on fame and attention.

What do you think about famous “underground” club Berghain being talked about on US Television?

No point complaining. Berghain is a tourist club. If Bill Kaulitz from Tokio Hotel is telling everyone how great Berghain is, there’s no need to be surprised. What’s still cool about the scene – celebrities don’t automatically get into clubs just because they’re famous. They have to wait in line like everybody else. 

In 3 words, what does Berlin mean to you?

Freedom. Innovation. Hedonism.

Can you recommend a good restaurant?

I don’t eat anymore, I drink supervised! (laughs) My favourite bars are local pubs like Victoria Bar and Erna P.

Thanks for taking the time, Marcello! 

Red Carpet – Henrik’s World of Glamour

It’s been a while since we last reported about our sinful little weekends maneuvers, but that’s just because we’re always working or drinking. Or both. It is our self proclaimed noble duty to visit the city’s flashiest red carpets and help empty the champagne stocks where we can. And all just for you! Promise. Here’s the hottest openings of the past months.

Bricole
Prenzlauerberg’s buggy-pushing-vegan-moms, rejoice! The district of soy milk frappucinos and sky-high rents now boasts its own distinctive gourmet temple. With Bricole, former Borchardt restaurant manager Fabian Fischer sets sail for new culinary horizons. The opening night revealed an atmospheric Hors ­d’œu­v­re-Bar with a tasty stronghold: wonderful bite-sized portions inspired Paris’ culinary delights, just without the stiffness. The only thing you won’t find at Bricole are main courses.

Interview Magazine Party
Ever since Andy Warhol founded INTERVIEW magazine in 1969, their parties put people’s livers to the test. Naturally our livers weren’t exactly thrilled when we received an invitation to the German spin off’s 5 year jubilee. But it’s hard to say no when the party takes place at Provocateur, Berlin’s brand new burlesque hotel. Red plush, international top DJs and a Russian oligarch as sponsor attracted celebs from Dr. Döpfner (CEO Springer) to TV icon Palina Rojinski.

Bulgari’s Night of the Legend Party
Befitting their reputation as an extravagant fashion label, guests of Bulgari’s Berlinale party were chauffeured in sleek brand-new Porsches. The party’s motto? “See and be seen”. The same as every fashion party’s. Ever. What most people don’t know: The A-list celebs just come for the red carpet. After that, they take off to the next paparazzi-loaded event and leave the party to the C-&D-list. Spotted on the carpet: Lottie Moss (Kate’s sister), Toni Garrn, Armie Hammer and Daniel Brühl.

GALA magazine Berlinale Party
Gala magazine loves gossip, but for celebrities it’s a love-hate relationship. On one hand they want privacy, on the other they crave attention. Gala’s grand Berlinale party definitely was a hotspot for attention seekers – the who-is-who of the film scene assembled to kick off this year’s Berlinale. Crowds of celebs shuffled down the red carpet, foremost Jean Paul Gaultier, who loves Berlin parties. In Paris, everyone’s too snobbish. Couldn’t agree more, Jean Paul. Now give us back our champagne glass.

RBB Xmas Special
It seems the word has gotten around that we’re a real door opener for nightlife reports. This time it was TV station RBB who asked us to show them how Berlin ticks when the sun goes down. We present: Berlin from 9pm to midnight.

Berlinagenten Luxury Award Party
We’re easily among the coolest lifestyle agencies in the milky way, so naturally we had to throw a big fat party to celebrate our award as “best culinary experience of the year” at Luxury Travel Guide. As true hedonists, we invited our partners to celebrate at sinful Sodom&Gomorra bar in Berlin-Mitte, where the nights are known to be just as long as dirty. The atmosphere was delightful until Henrik held his thank-you speech fuelled by no less than three moscow mules. After his speech, things went off the hook. Sword-swallowing Beautiful Jewels, pumping party classics and an everlasting supply of Berlin’s finest beverages assured the No. 1 Berlinagenten rule was enforced: no one goes home sober.

Eat BerlinMampes neue Heimat
According to lifestyle magazine Traveller’s World, Eat Berlin ranks among the 10 best gourmet festivals in the world. Tickets to their selected events are in high demand, so we were lucky to be invited to one of the coolest events to date – Skykitchen’s away game at MAMPE’s neue Heimat. Star cook Alexander Koppe’s 5-course menu was the perfect match for three distinctive Mampe drinks – a revived Schnapps label that can only be bought at the manufactory in Berlin.

The Scene – 5 Cool Hotels in 2017

Hotels love Berlin. With close to 30 million stays every year, there’s about 150.000 hotel beds to house guests from all over the world, coming to taste the bitter sweet nectar of our beloved capital. In a race for the title of best hotel in Berlin, owners come up with exciting new concepts as they go. We compiled a list of 5 new thrilling hotels to look out for in 2017.

Provocateur
The name’s resemblance with the popular lingerie designer is no coincidence. Newly opened Provocateur is Berlin’s first burlesque hotel. It’s a refuge for prosperous travellers who like to stay in a sexy atmosphere. When you hit the “Provocateur mode” button in your room, the light is dimmed and erotic pictures are projected on the walls. Unfortunately we weren’t asked to be models, but it’s still quite enjoyable. Another highlight is the 1912 elevator, transporting guests not only upwards but also into a different time and space.

Orania.Berlin
Located in the dodgy center of trendy Kreuzberg, Orania embodies the melting pot of influences of the district it resides in – but with glamour & fuzz. Timeless elegance meets oriental influences to create an oasis with 41 spacious rooms, complimented by classic concerts, poetry slams and electronic nights. The creative cuisine transforms the surrounding influences into a mouth-watering menu. The huge loft-style space on the top floor will be Orania’s true jewel. Wait and see.

Schloss Fleesensee
Berlin is a great place to be, but sometimes it’s nice to get some distance between you and the city. Schloss Fleesensee is just a 1 1/2 hour drive and has been named “Newcomer of the Year” by travel magazine Hideaways at Berlin international tourism fair. The investors just completed a restoration for no less than 10 million Euro, so expect all the luxury you can think of with all the facilities your heart and soul needs to relax.If you still need convincing, check out their lovely image video here:

Sir Savigny
Yet another star in West Berlin’s meteoric rise to glory, Sir Savigny is part of the Design Hotels collection and resides just a 10min walk from bustling Ku’Damm. The highlights are their Art Deco inspired interior, which blends in perfectly with modern influences, as well as their in-house burger bar “The Butcher”, which serves prime beef and spare ribs at reasonable prices. It’s the perfect getaway if you prefer a cozy design hotel over a pompous money burner like nearby Waldorf Astoria.

Max Brown Ku’damm
The ideal hotel for young creatives, globetrotters and night owls. Brown Hotel is an oasis for urban living, their rooms feeling like your own living room rather than an overstylized space ship. The perfect blend of discreet comfort and high quality furnishing is only topped by the social space on the ground floor. Its black marble floor and jungle wallpapers create the feeling of an urban jungle, rounded off by the amazing Benedict breakfast – a 24h breakfast restaurant.

On Tour – Carving Ice in Paradise

When we hear “ice”, our thoughts naturally drift towards delicious cocktails and crushed ice – maybe ice cubes – with a tiny rainbow colored umbrella in it, saying “Drink me! Drink me now and love me later!”. Since we understand not all our guests share our well-known passion for cocktails and party hats, we presented them a form of ice anyone can get behind. We proudly present: Our first ice-carving workshop, fuelled entirely by the raw artistic skill of our guests (and just a little bit of mulled wine).

Overlooking the area from Amano’s roof terrace, 11 teams hacked and slashed away with sharp axes to create what we believe is some of the finest ice-carving art in history (see pictures). Of course handling the axes was a little dangerous – but then, we don’t specialise in creating day trips for pensioners but in forging unforgettable Berlin experiences!

To prove that point, our following Gastro Rallye kidnapped our guests’ taste buds and took them on a road trip of culinary delights. A journey from Paris to Tel-Aviv with Mani restaurant’s luxurious cuisine, on to Asia in Tim Raue’s Sra Bua in Adlon Hotel. The last stop was Berlin’s pioneer members’ club – Münzstudio. Münz’s Belle Etage has seen prominent guests ranging from Take That to Quentin Tarantino – just enough for our demanding customers.

With our extensive selection of award-winning tours, we’re happy to please every taste coming our way. However, we’re even more eager to create unique experiences, hand-tailored for our customers’ desires. Whatever your poison is, we’ll add a spoon of awesomeness and make sure you never forget Berlin. And us.

Lisbon – Europe’s New Creative Hub

Our never ending hunt for the trendiest places in the world is a tough duty, but we’re happy to oblige! We scouted the streets of Western Europe’s oldest city, predating even cultural hotspots like Paris and Rome by centuries. Lisbon was at the heart of the Portuguese empire, once stretching from Asia to South Africa. The hilly metropolis was hit bad by the 2010 financial crises, leading to fiscal woes and massive unemployment.

With things looking up today, the city is undergoing a dramatic make over. Neglected districts are being reborn, neighbourhood markets spruce up and investors rediscover Lisbon’s many beauties. The city is so popular these days that Asian-style tuk-tuks roam the streets, offering guided tours with almost the same obtrusiveness as their Asian counterparts.

Perfect weather, easy-going inhabitants, great food and reasonable prices for real estate is a recipe for a thriving metropolis. Lisbon was included in the WIRED’s list of hottest start up destinations in 2016, creating buzz in the tech- and co-working scene. With major enterprises committing permanently and digital nomads coming from all over the world, it is now considered the California of Europe.

Start Ups

Until now Lisbon’s start up scene has been flying under the radar. With hubs like Berlin, London and Barcelona, competition is fierce. But Lisbon has unique conditions: 75% cheaper rents than London, 25% cheaper groceries than Berlin, relatively low wages and beach weather year-round. Its strong infrastructure and affordable IT talent create a hype amongst investors all over Europe, leading to the relocation of legendary Web Summit from Dublin to Lisbon in 2016. With start ups like Uniplaces, Codacy and TalkDesk rocking international markets, Lisbon’s start up scene is set to help empower the economical situation of the whole nation. 

→ Learn more about Lisbon’s incubatorsWeb Summit and Lis Summit.
→ 5 cool co-working hubs – Villa Underground, Second Home,  Cowork Lisboa, Todos and Now.

Highlights

Lisbon is a city that begs to be explored. Locals tell us even they still discover new things, so don’t be fooled into thinking these highlights are all there is to see. In Lisbon you find highlights as you go. Our handpicked favourites:

Castelo de São Jorge 
6th century castle with an amazing view over Lisbon. Bring bread crumbs – it comes with free roaming peacocks!

Praça do Comércio
A lively U-shaped square on the banks of river Tagus, boasting a triumph arc and a selection of galleries, cafés and stylish shops

Assembleia da República (parliament)
Seat of the Portuguese government since 1833. A monk order was evicted from the building to make place for politics.

Mosteiro dos Jerónimos
A Manueline masterpiece. With it’s finely sculpted maritime motifs and dramatic cloisters, it’s considered Portugal’s greatest national monument

Belém Tower
Some consider it the most beautiful tower on Earth. Completely surrounded by water, it was the starting point for the vessels that discovered the world in the name of the Portuguese empire

Parque das Nações
A futuristic glass and steel district designed for the Expo 98 – an unexpected contrast to Lisbon’s historical charm

Convento da Madre de Deus
The Tile Museum presents history and evolution of the art of the ceramic tile which originated in ancient Egypt and eventually spread of Europe

MUDE
Libon’s design museum with a focus on international fashion and a mix of temporary exhibitions.

Águas Livres Aqueduct
An ingenius piece of hydraulic engineering. It could only be financed through a tax on olive oil, wine and meat in the 18th century.

Parque Eduardo VII
Named after England’s King Edward VII, this is where you’ll find spectacular views of Lisbon, inspiring gardens and a surprisingly big Portuguese flag.

5 coolest hoods

Chiado (our top pick!)
Enjoying the breathtaking view from Bairro Alto Hotel’s terrace bar, it’s easy to see why Chiado is considered Lisbon’s trendiest and most elegant neighbourhood. From the 14th centuries remnants of Convento do Carmo to the Old Elevator connecting Baixa district with the ruins of Igreja do Carmo, Chiado’s cultural heritage ranks among the most beautiful in the world.

When you’re done exploring the national museum of contemporary art and archeological museum, be sure to recharge your batteries with a Bica (SUPER strong espresso) at Cafe Brasileira and the world’s best natas at Manteigaria. While the caffeine and sugar do their magic, check out the amazing A Vida Portuguesa for unique souvenirs before letting the day come to an end at Europe’s largest opera house – Teatro Nacionale de Sao Carlos.

Alfama
Alfama is a quaint medieval district and the true soul of Lisbon. You can overlook one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Europe from Portas Do Sol, a rooftop terrace with dazzling views over the colourful fishermen’s houses below and Tagus river.

If that’s not enough to stop your breath, head to Casa dos Bicos, the famous house of spikes. It’s one of the few buildings that survived the devastating 1755 earthquake. Thanks to the reconstruction following the earthquake, the neighbourhood boasts a beautiful Roman-inspired cobblestone pavement of fado singer Amalia Rodrigues. Fado is Lisbon’s traditional music and you’ll find the fado museum in Alfama. Just around the corner, Memmo Alfama brings a modern influence. It’s the first boutique hotel in the narrow streets crowded by traditional shops and famous fado restaurants. Speaking of which – be sure to check out Chapitô, a circus school better known for its amazing terrace and tasty food.

Principe Real
Lisbon’s Principe Real is Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg – just cooler. Gentrification is slowly turning it into a sought after residential area, with trendy Rua dom Pedro street as main drag. Independent boutiques spruce up everywhere, led by the 560m2 Nuno Gama flagship store. A young crowd is reviving the area and amazing venues like Indian-style restaurant Lost In or tasty bakeries  like Paradia Italian and Padaria Portuguesa follow on their footsteps. A highlight for tea lovers: Charcutaria Moy, the best gourmet tea shop in Lisbon.

Bairro Alto
At daytime bohemian Bairro Alta’s romantic Miradouro de São Pedro terrace offers a spectacular view over the downtown area. Below the view point resides the most expensive chapel in the world, mixing ivory, agate, lapis lazuli and gold. Eye candy at its best. If you’re craving real candy, head to candy-pharmacy Dream Pills. They sell sweets that help with “involuntary sexual abstinence” and “social media addiction”. You prefer it healthy? No problem. The small juice bar YAO Pressed Juicery has an amazing menu, as well as the hipster café The Mill next door, serving fresh and contemporary food paired with wine (yay!).

It’s at night when Bairro Alto’s true spirit shows.The sleepy neighbourhood turns into bar hopping mecca for artsy hipsters and old ladies alike. A perfect way to start the night is at Solar do Vinho do Porto where you can sample a tasty array of wines, before heading on to Park restaurant’s terrace offering eclectic music line ups and a perfect 180° view over Lisbon at night. Once you survived a night of crowded bars and inhibited street parties, take a ride on the famous funiculars to the historic and picturesque neighbourhood of Bica

Campo de Ourique
A mix of beautiful 19th-century buildings and Art Noveau determine the face of Campo de Ourique. It’s best known for its newly renovated market hall Mercado de Campo de Ourique, housing traditonal market stands as well at 17 distinctive food shops. The neighbourhoods biggest treats are pastry shop Casa dos Moles and O Melhor Bolo De Chocolate, who offer the undisputed best chocholate cake in the world! If you’re looking for more hearty pleasures, try Pimenta Rosa or Tasca da Esquina, avant-garde cuisines with traditional roots and an impressive range of flavours.

5 Best View Points

A city built on seven hills right by the waterfront, Lisbon is a haven for panorama hunters. There is a sheer endless array of amazing rooftops, garden terraces and hilltop views, allowing you to overlook the city from almost every angle. If you plan to seduce someone, simply take her (or him) to one of the panoramas at night and Lisbon and you’ll never need Tinder again. The best thing: wherever you may roam, the next viewpoint is around the corner.

Torel – Take the Lavra lift up the hill and enjoy dreamy ponds in a public garden as you look over the Western part of Lisbon

Miradouro  de Santa Catarina – Sitting between the district of Bairro Alto and Santa Catarina, this view point offers an unrivalled dawn view over Tagus river

Miradouro Portas do Sol – “The gateway of the sun” boasts postcard-perfect views over Alfama, Lisbon’s heart and soul

Miradouro Senhora do Monte – Rediscovered by tour guide and young couples only recently, Senhora do Monte (“Our Lady of the Mount”) is one of the highest view points in the city. It’s especially wort the visit at sunset.

Miradouro Cristo Rei - Built as a symbol of thankfulness for being spared the torments of WW II, a 28m statue of Christ towers on a 75m pedestal. You can take the elevator to stand at Christ’s feet and enjoy an unique view over entire Lisbon and its distinct “Golden Gate Bridge”.

Restaurants 

Portugal’s cuisine has always been rooted in simple cooking techniques with high quality ingredients. Lisbon’s new high-end gourmet restaurants fuse the beloved simple comforts with more exotic flavours. It’s not just the reinvention and modernisation of Portugal’s classic cuisine that makes Lisbon’s culinary scene stand out. There’s also a number of highly-acclaimed new Japanese restaurants that use local ingredients and regional fish to roll sushi, Lisbon’s new trendy food. 

No one has accomplished more for Lisbon’s culinary scene than genius chef José Avillez, who runs no less than 7 restaurants in Lisbon, one of them being the only 2-michelin star restaurant in town. We whole heartedly recommend visiting any of his restaurants, they create unforgettable culinary experiences in a city that’s hard to forget anyway.

Bairro de Avillez (our top pick!)
A very tasty chapter in José Avillez’ culinary story, this multi-space venue features a small gourmet grocery store, a traditional taverna, and a lush patio. José describes it as an entire universe dedicated to creativity, with the best of Portugal’s flavours under one roof.

Timeout Market
A place that previously housed the city’s best vendors now houses some of its best restaurants. While the wares on offer may differ, the principle is the same: bringing the best of the city together.

Palacio Chiado – 6 extravagant gastronomic concepts by renowned brands under one roof

Bica do Sapato – Portuguese kitchen meets avant-garde in a stylish environment by the waterfront

Sea Me Peixaria moderna – Trendy vibe, stylish decor, excellent fish and tasty sushi with original flavors

The Cevicheria – A giant octopus hanging from the ceiling reveals what’s served here – delicious ceviche

100 Maneiras – Bosnic Ljubomir Stanisic has been chef since 2009. His specialty: The nine course-tasting menu.

1300 Tavern – Industrial style with outstanding decor, serving traditional Portuguese cuisine with an international touch

Aura Lounge – Cafe-lounge-restaurant serving contemporary Portuguese dishes as well as cocktails on their terrace

Can The Can – Rooftop terrace with fado music as well as a unique interior with a huge chandelier and gourmet level tapas

Find more restaurants.

Party

Lisbon’s undisputed nightlife center is Bairro Alto. Hundreds of small bars are squished together in the narrow cobblestone streets, parties moving onto the streets as soon as the bars get crowded. On a typical night you’ll socialise to the sound of fado music with locals and travellers alike, but the clubbing scene has been catching up lately. Especially in Intendente, an area north of the city center, many faded facades now house edgy clubs. More venues are popping up monthly, their beautifully decayed locations reminding of the charm Berlin’s clubbing scene is well-loved for. The best way to explore the nightlife is to just walk from location to location, although we admit after the 5th venue “walking” wasn’t the easiest task anymore.

Bars

Pensão Amor (our top pick!)
Located in a former brothel,  “Love House” reminds us of the 19th-century burlesque scene. The decadent mood is complimented by velvet furnishing, framed mirrors and a pub-style piano in different rooms. We came for the great selection of drinks. We stayed for the live band acts and jumped up to rock the dancing pole.

Cinco Lounge – A smart nightspot with over a 100 original drinks to choose from (and also a 235€ cocktail)

The Good The Bad And The Ugly Bar – An ambitious multi-faced project featuring a bar, restaurant, film club and dancefloor

Casa Independente – “Tiger Room” is a major concert venue, the associated bar sells a quality range of cocktails

Mini Bar – Gourmet bar by José Avillez serving special cocktails, wines and craft beers

Clubs

Lux Club (our top pick!)
Portugal’s most prestigious night club is a former warehouse by the waterside. A labyrinth of connected rooms, the theatrical space is always packed with party-hungry night owls. The two funky floors are complimented by an amazing upstairs bar and a terrace on the roof with oversized wing chairs. Absolute must-visit for club lovers! PS: Prince and Cameron Diaz were here!

Europa Club (top afterhour pick!)
Just like Pigalle restaurant in Berlin, Europa club is located in a former brothel. And it gets wild, too. It’s the hottest afterhour club in Lisbon and the parties go on till after noon. As Berliners, we thought we found heaven. Lisbon knows how to party.

Kremlin – Lisbon’s top club in the 90s, ranking in “DJ” magazine. Reopened in 2016. Pumping beats and new decor have keep the partying going on Fridays and Saturdays

Ministerium – cool techno-electronica music in a building formerly used by the Ministry of Finance

Silk – One of the trendiest clubs around, you’ll often need to be on the guest list to get in

For dinner and party venues we recommend you any of Group K’s venues.

Hotels

The Late Birds (our top pick – gay only)
An Urban luxury resort for the gay male community Lisbon, located in the heart of Lisbon’s historical center. From here you can easily access the nearby shops and many bars that open up at night. The best: all the gay bars are no further than few minutes walk. Watch our for their future expansion plans, Porto is up next.

Memmo Principe Real
Tucked away in a narrow street, this five-start boutique hotel was home to ancient royalty. It mixes contemporary and classic styles in a cosmopolitan ambience of tranquility and impeccable service that provides the visitor with a Lisbon experience that feels both timeless and authentically local.

Four Seasons Hotel – To prove Lisbon could do luxury too, dictator Salazar built this hotel in 1959. A huge marble lobby and grand decor put in under the bar setting hotels. 

Palacio Belmonto – Built on the surrounding walls of Lisbon’s Castle São Jorge, breathtaking views over the city and Tagus River

Martinhal Chiado – Hidden in yet another narrow street with direct access to the flourishing party scene

If you’re looking for the best boutique hotels in Lisbon, check out this top10 list.

Excursions

For a grand tour experience in Lisbon we recommend to book a day tour with the charming good looking guide Joel Moedas-Miguel. He offers private city tours and excursions to Lisbon’s beautiful surrounding. 

There’s plenty to be discovered on your own, too. For a fantastic view, check out the national palace of Pena. Also located in the Sintra hills, its 19th-century romanticism is only rivaled by the thousand year history of its neighbour, the national palace of Sintra. While you’re there, don’t miss visiting Cabo da Roca, Europe’s westernmost point. 

From central Lisbon it’s only a 30min ride by car to get to Costa Caparica, worth the visit for its stunning coastline and vast sandy beaches. More cool visits include Cascais, one of the most cosmopolitan and riviera-like places in Portugal ever since King Luís I chose the bay for his summer residence. Best places to stay in Cascais: Palacio Estoril and Farol Hotel.

For more info, check out these helpful sites: → Visit Lisboa, → Lisboa Cool and → Portugal Confidential

The Scene – Benedict’s Beautiful Breakfast

If a good breakfast is anything like a lover’s kiss in the morning, recently opened Benedict is the new culinary Casanova in town. The difference is – Benedict kisses you good morning at any time of the day.

The concept restaurant from Tel-Aviv has a recipe for seduction that is simple but striking – offer a menu with the best breakfasts from around the world 24/7 in a stylish yet leaned back atmosphere – what could possibly go wrong?

Not much, really. Our visit to Benedict revealed a warm-hearted space divided into three interconnected rooms, each radiating a slightly different mood. With its white tiles, dark wood furniture, ceiling fans and shade lamps, Benedict blends Tel-Aviv serenity and Berlin coolness to a truly unique around-the-clock breakfast experience.

Berliners will have to be re-educated about having breakfast at any time of the day. But knowing Berliners and their habits of turning days into nights and night into days, we’re sure Benedict will win both foodies’ hearts as well as demanding night life hedonists, who don’t believe in segmented meal times anyway.

Flavours range from light to hearty and sweet, from Israel Shakshuka to English breakfast, from Steak and Egg to Cottage Pancakes, all based on the same common ground – a remarkable richness in taste. Usually we don’t have trouble recommending dishes, but everything we’ve had at Benedict was spectacular.

Things you definitely shouldn’t miss out on: The eggcelent Eggs Benedict and the incredible Banana pancakes. A customer from New York sitting close to us happily exclaimed he just had the best pancakes of his life. Coming from an American, that counts for something.