Berlin: A Perfect Warm Up for Oktoberfest

Our good friend Lana over at Nomaden Berlin has come up with some pretty good tips and tricks for visiting Berlin either before of after Oktoberfest, or Springfest (April 18th-May 7th). 

Oktoberfest in Munich is on millions of bucket lists around the world. Every year, approximately 6 million people descend on the Bavarian capital and merrily work their way through 7.7 million litres of Oktoberfest Beer. People come from far and wide, often travelling thousands of kilometres to attend the legendary 16-day festival. But why stop just at Munich? Especially when its edgy sister Berlin is just a cheap bus ride away. With its pulsating nightlife and one-of-a-kind culture, we can think of few better places than Berlin to hold your Oktoberfest pre-party.

Berlin nightlife

Since its inception over 200 years ago, Oktoberfest has revolved around celebrating and drinking beer. But before you don your Lederhosen and grab your beer stein, Berlin’s world-renowned nightclubs are sure to put you in the partying mood. The city really has something for everyone, from hardcore techno to chilled out reggae vibes. Being the epicentre of European nightlife, it can be difficult to know where to start, so here are a few of our favourites:

 

  • Berghain – the Godfather of nightclubs. With an ultra-strict door policy, Berghain is perhaps the world’s most hallowed dancefloor. If you do get in, you’re guaranteed a night you’ll never forget.
  • Wilde Renate & Kater Blau – these two venues are safe bets for a top-notch night. Playing primarily techno and house music, world-class DJs will keep you partying hour after hour.
  • About Blank & OHM – these clubs are perfect for revellers who are looking for a slightly more hardcore techno scene.
  • Yaam – the Young and African Arts Market is a beach club oasis serving up a perfect blend of street culture, music, food and arts.
  • Club de Visionaere – riverside bar with a tremendous sun terrace. Be sure to check out their Sunday afternoon parties.
  • Lido – a personal favourite of many live music lovers, Lido showcases some of the best bands the city has to offer. If you prefer live music to club nights, then Privatclub, Astra Kulturhaus and Festsaal Kreuzberg will also be right up your street.

 

Before arriving in Berlin, we recommend you check out Resident Advisor to see some of the events that are on during your stay.

Berlin by day

While Berlin is a nocturnal city for many party lovers, the city is a cultural haven by day. While the main tourist guides and blogs cover most of the obvious must-see sites (the Reichstag, the Brandburg Gate, the Holocaust Memorial, the Victory Column, etc.), there are a number of alternative activities that can get you off the beaten tourist track:

    • The abandoned Spy Station in Gruenwald Forest. This place has got to be seen to be believed. While it may feel like you’ve entered a post-apocalyptic dystopia on arrival, you’ll soon be blown away by the incredible street art on display. Walk to the very top of the famous radomes and see spectacular views of Berlin and the surrounding area.

 

  • Cycle around Tempelhofer Feld. Tempelhof is a former airport turned recreational nirvana in south-central Berlin. This vast public park is a popular meeting point for football players, kite flyers, BBQ’ing Berliners and everyone in between. Hire a bike (or anything else with wheels) and spend an afternoon flying down the main runway!
  • The Soviet War Memorial in Treptow Park. Located in East Berlin, the Soviet War Memorial is often overlooked by tourists visiting Berlin. As well as a memorial for 80,000 Russian soldiers who died in WWII fighting to capture Berlin, it is also a cemetery for 7000 Russian soldiers. The immense statues are some of the finest you will see in Europe.
  • Visit Mauerpark. On Sundays, Mauerpark is a hive of activity. Many of Berlin’s local bands showcase their music throughout the afternoon and there is a huge flea market if you fancy picking up a bargain during your stay. You can also give the mic a whirl yourself and belt out your favourite tune at the popular Bearpit Karaoke, an open-air karaoke party that draws in crowds of up to 2000 people.

 

The practical stuff

Whether you choose to visit Berlin before or after Oktoberfest, you can travel between the cities for as little as EUR 10. Flixbus put on approximately 50 buses between the two cities every single day and this is a much cheaper option than taking the Deutsche Bahn (train). You can also fly between Berlin’s Tegel Airport and Munich airport, with Easyjet, Lufthansa and Eurowings running a large number of daily flights.

Berlin is home to a wide-range of fantastic and sociable hostels. We recommend EastSeven Hostel or Heart of Gold hostel, both of which will guarantee you have a superb stay in Berlin. But finding accommodation at Oktoberfest can be much much trickier. With Munich hotels hiking their prices and an influx of people arriving in the city, Stoke Travel’s all-inclusive camping accommodation is by far the best value for money and most fun accommodation out there. For just EUR 60 a night, you get a pre-erected tent, sleeping bag and mattress as well as a hearty cooked breakfast and dinner. On top of this, you get access to some of the most raucous parties at the festival and an all-you-can-drink beer and sangria bar. Not bad if you ask me!

Fallen in love with Germany?

Fortunately, your German adventure doesn’t necessarily have to finish after Oktoberfest. Citizens of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and Israel can apply for a Working Holiday Visa, which allows them to live and work in Germany for up to one year.

If you do fancy a longer-term stay in Germany, Nomaden Berlin can take care of all your relocation needs – the company is a Working Holiday package provider in Berlin, offering one-month city centre accommodation, German language courses, visa and admin support, job placement advice and event, tours and meetups throughout the year. With new opportunities for English speakers springing up in Berlin every day, now is the perfect time to spend a year in Europe’s coolest capital.

 

 




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