Marlys Klossner is a Canadian journalist and writer currently living and working in Berlin. The creative shares some of the best things to do and see in the free-spirited heart of Germany she now calls home.

Marlys Klossner

Style on the Spree

If Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons collaborated on a 1960s-style sci-fi movie, this hotel would be the set. The nhow Hotel, which is right on the bank of the Spree river, is a truly unique place to stay. Every room is like living in a futuristic pop-art installation. And because of its proximity to Universal Music and MTV Berlin, nhow is also considered a “music hotel,” meaning it regularly hosts performances and has DJ sets on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings.

Ein Eis…Cream

Wander around Mauerpark for more than a few moments and you’ll notice that nearly everybody has an ice cream cone in hand. That’s because just a few blocks away is Eispatisserie Hokey Pokey, a local favourite popular dessert. Along with a few regular flavours, they also offer some unique creations like Butter Fudge Tahiti Vanilla Popcorn.

Focus on film

The 68th annual Berlin International Film Festival takes place next year,
February 15–23.

Mega Shopping

Berlin’s KaDeWe department store is the second largest in Europe, outsized only by Harrods in London. With 60,000 square feet of luxury shopping and a food floor worth the red-eye flight in itself, KaDeWe is by far the best place to shop, both with your eyes and your wallet.

A Breath of Fresh Art

While there are many great indoor galleries in Berlin, the real attraction is free and outdoors. The East Side Gallery spans over one kilometre of the Berlin Wall, which has been repurposed by artists as a giant canvas. Also, keep an eye out for graffiti around the city—it’s considered more like a love letter to Berlin than vandalism.

Modern Speakeasy

Berlin has around 900 bars and 190 clubs, so narrowing it down to one must-see is tricky. Becketts Kopf, however, is one of the best in the world, but you have to be in the know to go. The only sign that it even exists is a lit-up portrait of Samuel Beckett, the famed Irish playwright, in the window of a residential building. Ring the doorbell, and one of the staff will let you into the lush and cozy bar.