02 June 2016 City in the spotlight
There’s something raw about this city, and the music that soundtracks it. Berlin is a city that struggles with its own past.. And you can still see the scars of it today. Head to the Siegessäule in the Tiergarten and see the pockmarked walls from the Battle of Berlin. Look into the eyes of older Berliners and see the lines that divided this city etched into their faces.
Modern Berlin is decidedly subterranean. In the cavernous clubs you’ll see the locals with a beer in hand, sucking on a hand-rolled smoke and staring blindly into the strobe.
Techno music and its acolytes have made this city their own. The most famus is the Berghain. This notorious club inhabits an old power station and the party inside is as notorious as the bouncer that prowls its door. Opening at midnight on a Friday, the party extends well into Monday morning. That’s a lot of time to worship at the altar, and worship you will. The sound on entering and walking up the stairs enters through your feet, churns your stomach, rumbles through your chest cavity and assaults your unsuspecting eardrums. The feeling is spiritual, ecstatic.
That’s if you get in. The head bouncer – covered in face tattoos and thick metal piercings – judges your aura and lets you in or, more likely, turns you away with the slightest tilt of his head. Hundreds are turned away every weekend, the crowd streaming away is almost as thick as those queuing to get in. Improve your chances by dressing in black, keeping quiet and going in a small, mixed group.
Entering on a Friday night, leading the worship will likely be one of the Ostgut Ton lot. Who name amongst their numbers Ben Klock, Steffi, Marcel Detman and Tama Sumo. Each a trend setter in the mid 00s techno explosion that overtook Berlin. Ostgut Ton is the achingly cool label that runs out of the Berghain and which all its resident acts are associated with.
Summer in Berlin wasn’t made for just cave dwelling. Take to the parks, the forests, the lakes and the rivers. Open airs in Berlin are a rite of passage.
Sound systems pop up in the woods that circle the city and parties last for days. The crowds coming and going, as the sun sets and rises.
Berlin won’t signpost your way to the nearest all weekend party, , there are few cities like it. Beers at 9am on a Monday? Sure. Who cares. Days spent lost in the woods or those dark Berghain corners. It’s part and parcel, lap it up. Enjoy it.
Find a taste of the Berlin life from the easyHotel Berlin Hackescher Markt. The perfect place to stay.
We knew Birmingham was on the cusp of big change when we finally arrived at its new train station. Yes, when Grand Central opened in 2015 and transformed an embarrassing old New Street station into somewhere visitors wouldn't mind spending more than ten minutes in, we knew things were getting better for the UK’s second city. I also wanted to take the family to the Balti capital of the UK… but more of that later.
Manchester has a rep within the UK for being an incredibly cool, and dare I say it, ‘hip’ city. With a buzzing night life, a huge number of amazing restaurants and bars, and a thriving arts scene, Manchester is the ideal place to spend a weekend away.
May 2017 | City in the spotlight
While Glasgow’s festivals often get overshadowed by the hype around the massive and iconic Edinburgh Fringe Festival, there are absolutely loads of incredible festivals held throughout the city across the summer months. From the huge community Went End Festival covering theatre, dance, art and everything in between, to the techno extravaganza that is Riverside Festival, there is an event guaranteed to tempt all away from the beaten Edinburgh track…