This weekend has been refreshingly warm so don't mind my emphasis on lazy outdoor activities where lounging on the grass and soaking in the sun is finally do-able without the addition of a heavy down jacket.
The translation is literally wall-park. The large grassy area is overlooked by a graffiti-filled wall that stands at the top of a hill. Every Sunday, rain or shine, regardless of holidays, a large flee market opens and holds everything you could possibly desire. From bags to jewelry to furniture or bratwurst, you can easily spend your entire day here. Now that the weather is finally getting warmer, the grass lawn and hill just outside the market come to life on Sunday's as well. There are large ampiltheaters built into the side of the hill where karaoke takes place with an enthusiastic crowd. Musicians, artists and singers set up all around, performing mini concerts and competing for audiences. There is definitely a 90s music festival feel to this place and you'll never leave feeling like you've wasted your Sunday.
2. A Drink by the Spree
The Spree is the river that runs through Berlin and creates a small island filled with impressive buildings - both due to their external architecture and their inner contents. This area is revered to as "Museum Isel". On the other side of the Spree, overlooking one of the most notable museums, the Bode, a casual and relaxing area for pedestrians has been created. There are a few restaraunts and bars along the back that all put out folding chairs and provide blankets incase the weather turns. If you don't want to perchase anything there is plenty of green and wall space to sit, lounge and make a day or afternoon of hanging with friends. With all of Berlins alternative and more edgy space, this is an unusual spot where you can momentarily remember Berlin's old anddefinitely European history.
This is another space that has a bit of a retro feel to it. Built as an airport in 1923, the original layout of Tempelhof, including tar mats, transport roads and terminal structures still remain. When the site was shut down in 2008, Berliners protested for the area to be open to the public rather than sold to private investers and they succeeded. Today Tempelhof is a public park, but there have been no structural changes to the property. With so much free space - both green and black - the activities that go on here are endless. Walking from one end to the other (a poor decision on my part as I was trying to meet up with people and did it factor in the massive size of an airport landing strip) I passed people riding bikes, skateboards, wind boards and segways, rolling on skates, jogging, lounging, barbecuing and picnicking. Kites were flying and everywhere you looked there were large amounts of people, yet you never felt like you were running out of room. Absolutely a wonderful place to spend a beautiful day.
4. People Watch
Personally, I think coffee shops are the best place to people watch. There's a continuous flow of people and on top of being entertained there is a constant supply of food and coffee. There are such eclectic people to be found in Berlin. Sometimes it's just absolutely necessary to sit back and observe the awesomely individual spirit of Berlin. You see people's personalities through heir demeanor, clothes and hairstyle. Middle aged women with colorful (and by that I mean colors of the rainbow) hair and innovative fashion grabbing their coffee with a briefcase in their hand that you later realize is for their job as a lawyer or teacher is a very cool dichotomy we don't have the pleasure of seeing very often in the U.S.
5. Museum Hunt
On top of Museum Isel, mentioned above, almost every street has some kind of museum - whether that's one room or an extensive exhibit it to be determined, but my point is museums are everywhere. For the classics Museum Isel has the ancient and impressive collections. Nephertiti's famous bust, for example, is on perminant display at the Neues Museum. Additinally, there are museums for all aspects of Berlin's history - some bring you through the entirety of Berlin's history since the 13th century while others are specifically highlighting the histories of East and West Berlin before German reunification in 1990. Moreover, apart from historical and archeological museums there are more contemporary hideaways and art galleries sprinkled all around the city. The Smithsonian museums in D.C. Have definitely spoiled me with free admission, but it's worth the small bill to experience the museums Berlin has to offer. But if you don't feel like spending a few bucks, just walking around Berlin is an art galery in itself.