Berlin — the It City for Startups, Hipsters and Foodies
Anyone who’s ever been to Berlin can’t stop raving about this city. Startups love it, hipsters love it, foodies love it, heck — even John F. Kennedy loved it! Jobbatical’s Berlin guide — to dating, yummy food, the best bars, partying hard, plus getting that snazzy haircut — has been compiled by the in-the-know folk at Home24, the German online furniture store that has grown into Europe’s largest.
Actually, Home24 employees have a very endearing nickname — homies. And who wouldn’t want tips and tricks about what to see and do in Berlin from a homie?
Berlin tends to have a similar effect on people who visit that vibrant city — they all wanna stay there. Guess what — if you happen to be a software engineer, Home24 is also hiring!
The company striving to revolutionize the home and living market is currently active in eight countries in Europe and Latin America. They employ more than 1,000 people worldwide.
“We’re small enough to really know each other well, and be quite flexible, but big enough to do work that has an impact,” comments Selina McCarthy, who is responsible for Employer Branding & Technology.
To inspire and develop their tech talent, the company focuses on knowledge sharing through lightning talks, their tech blog and platform guild. Home24 is also famous for its beautiful office (with free drinks and snacks!) in the heart of Berlin, parties, tech meet-ups, yoga and language courses. They do offer relocation support *wink-wink* all of you wanting to move to Berlin.
Without further ado, let’s get to know Berlin…
Our special list of to-do’s in Berlin
What to see or do first?
The Eastside Gallery used to be the Berlin Wall; now it is 1.3 kilometres of amazement that enables you to rediscover art and the history of the Berlin Wall.
If you’re in Berlin for 24 hours only, what are all the things you HAVE to do?
Do a boat tour along the river to see all the sights. Berlin has two large rivers, the Spree and the Havel, as well as lots of lakes and canals where ships and riverboats cruise — just pick yours.
History buffs should go to the Topography of Terror. Between 1933 and 1945, this was the location of the central institutions of Nazi persecution and terror — the Secret State Police Office with its own “house prison,” the leadership of the SS and, during the Second World War, the Reich Security Main Office.
Another historic experience is to sneak into the abandoned theme-park Spreepark that was formerly part of the GDR-controlled East Berlin and closed down in 2001.
Going to Berlin and not trying a kebab at the famous Mustafa’s is unthinkable. Mustafa’s is a cult favorite since it started selling a twist on the traditional kebab made with chicken and roasted vegetables. The place has appeared in numerous Berlin guide books and newspaper articles that guarantee it a steady stream of tourist trade to add to the local interest. It’s not unusual to queue for 30 minutes or more.
In the evening, go to Wilde Renate to feast your eyes and get your groove on at this multi-floor, multi-room club that seems a little different every time you go. There are three main dance floors and the main room changes from night to night. The atmosphere is that of a theatrical house party. Music is usually house and tech house, most often by Berlin-based artists. A large outdoor courtyard with a dance floor is open during the summer.
What are some of the hipster-approved places to get the best haircut, street food, beer…?
Get that snazzy haircut at ESHK, have a bit of curry sausage at Curry 36, try the street food at Streetfood — BiteClub, mix it up with Mexican food in Santa Cantina and wash it down with some craft beer at Herman.
What’s the best ex-pat bar in your city?
Badfish is a New York style neighborhood bar. The kind where the bartenders are chatty and you get free popcorn with your beer. Added bonus — they’re open until really late every night.
What are some of the favorite lunch spots close to the Home24 office?
Muse is open seven days a week and serves a menu of simple, delicious food made with passion and attention to the smallest detail. Practically everything is made there from scratch: the pickles, the hand-cut fries, the spiced rye bread, the sauces; another favorite.
Spreegold is famous for its reasonably priced breakfast and brunches.
Where to go on a date night?
According to a visitor review, Fabelhaft Bar is a place where “between candle lights, shadows, cigarette smoke and delicious cocktails, you can be whoever you want.” Well, we’re intrigued now — aren’t you? This, in general, seems to be the winning concept — go on a speakeasy bar hopping tour. Here’s a whole list to choose from, also packed with tips on how to get into these little hidden gems.
One from that list that was underlined in particular — Schwarze Traube (the Black Grape in English) situated in the trendy Kreuzberg area, hidden behind a door with a doorbell and headed by an award-winning mixologist. Schwarze Traube boasts all the classic speakeasy traits: well-designed drinks, cozy quarters, and the lack of any menu whatsoever — they craft only four very special and artsy cocktails specially per night.
What are must-have foods and where can you get them?
Besides the already mentioned Mustafa’s for kebab, get your Vietnamese food fix at Hamy, and choose your brunch joint. There are three favorites to choose from. Le Bon has a pretty straightforward slogan in our opinion: Brunch, Lunch & Booze.
Dots Cafe is a cute brekkie place that really flies the sustainability flag ’cause they source their products carefully, for example — the coconut oil they use is obtained from the Lauvitino factory in Lusatia and the zapatista coffee they serve comes Café Libertad Kollektiv eG in Hamburg. CabSlam, named Neukölln’s premier brunch spot, serves American style breakfast & brunch, with a side of California love. ❤️
The best locals bar?
Hirsch guarantees the original German experience — hearty meals, large selection of beers and affordable prices; Bei Schlaweinschen — according to a reviewer on Facebook: “Best bar we found in Berlin. Popped in for a pint, left 10 hours later.”
A few of the hottest nightlife things to do?
The iconic, worshipped Berghain is set in an industrial space with an exceptional sound system and unparalleled acoustics and is also known for being incredibly hard to get into, according to this article: “the hopeful can queue for up to three hours and still be turned away from what is likely Europe’s most hallowed dancefloor, thanks to a notoriously strict door policy. /…/There are hundreds of forum posts online with advice ranging from the bizarre “look more gay” to the much more reasonable “don’t be too drunk in the line”, as well as an equal number of negative reviews from disappointed punters who claim that the mysterious door policy is xenophobic, sexist, racist and discriminatory in every way imaginable.”
Don’t want the hassle and hours of wait? Try the abovementioned Wilde Renate or Sisyphos instead. The latter is a lesser-known member of Berlin’s club scene, and throws some of the city’s most unhinged parties, often running from Friday to Monday with no break. It has a warehouse-style main room, usually with techno or tech house DJs playing and an events venue with festival vibe housed in a former factory with large open-air area.
Also, any of the bars on Weserstraße are a good choice — this area between Kreuzberg and Neukölln has established itself as one of the trendiest districts in Berlin. Long-time Berliners and creative types live here alongside students and designers newly moved to the city. In short: the most diverse people from all over the world come together here.
Best events in Berlin?
Berliners celebrate the beginning of summer with an open air music festival, the Fête de la Musique. Every year on the 21st of June, musicians and bands play live music in the streets of Berlin for free.
Also epic — the Festival of Lights in October that turns Berlin’s world-famous sights and monuments into a canvas for spectacular light and video projections.
To wrap up, what is something unexpected about Berlin, according to the berliner-homies?
“Despite all the things going on in Berlin, you’d be surprised how weirdly relaxed it is for a capital city, plus it is very non-judgmental, and cheap.”
We have twelve (12!) job openings currently available in Berlin, in companies like Home24, Babbel, VAI, Researchgate and Wooga. Mostly tech jobs, but also one Sales Account Executive position, so hurry up and apply:
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