Need an introduction to where to find the best graffiti in Berlin? Look no further than our man on the street and Contiki Insider Andrew Kaineder. We’re pleased to bring you the first of four instalments in Andrew’s Guide To Unveiling The Street Art of Berlin.
I moved to Berlin over a month ago for the same reason as most creative ex-pats in Berlin do: the rent is cheap, kebabs are fresh and the city is looked upon as having the most creative art scene in the world. However, the latter is the most common misconception.
Sure, the city is full of creatives and everyone is cool as shit, but no one is actually doing anything besides hanging out and enjoying themselves; it seems to be only the street artists producing any work.
As a city with so much history and dead space it seems the walls begin to talk, especially through old abandoned buildings like the Children’s Hospital and the old Ice Factory, which have now become homes for squatters and blank canvases for street artists.
There seems to be little consequence for graffiti, street art and painted walls, and more often than not the local bar is judged by how graff’d up their bathrooms are.
The city is screaming for attention, so when you’re walking the streets in the sunshine with the cold air brushing your cheeks, walk a bit slower and look around – there is literally something on every corner.
THE KREUZBURG SPACEMAN
What: The Kreuzburg Spaceman (2007)
Artist: Victor Ash
Where: Mariannenstrasse, Kreuzberg.
How to get there: Get the U1 to Kotbusser Tor, you’ll be able to see it from the train.
THE ABANDONED SOVIET MATERNITY AND CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL
What: Abandoned Maternity and Children’s Hospital
Where: Hansastraße 178-180, 13088 Berlin (Weißensee)
How to get there: Get the M4 tram from Alexanderplatz to the Buschallee/Hansastraße stop. You can see it from the tram.
When: Sunset, ASAP.
Note: The building isn’t in a great state, so it’s best to go before they close access. It’s is one of the more unsafe ones. There was a fire there a couple of years ago, so there are parts of the buildings that are collapsing – just use your judgement. ”
THE ABANDONED ICE FACTORY
What: The Abandoned Ice Factory is one of Germany’s oldest, surviving two world wars, fires and countless parties.
Where: Köpenicker Straße 40/41, 10179.
How to get there: Catch the U-Bahn to Berlin Ostbahnhof, it’s a 5 min walk away.
When: Sunset, ASAP.
Note: Most of the area around this building is being developed, so it won’t be long before this building is redeveloped into housing. As with any abandoned building, just be careful of any flooring and roofing. Bring some beers and some good friends -the view from the rooftop is amazing and easily accessible. The people who live in there will try and scab some cigarettes or money; don’t bother unless you want to be ultra nice, they’re harmless.
What: Berghain Club
Where: Am Wriezener Bahnhof, 10243 Friedrichshain
Phone: +49 30 29000597
When: Sunday morning
How to get there: It’s near the Berlin wall, part of the adventure is finding it. Use your ears.
Note: Make sure you keep an open mind, this place is notorious for some crazy shit. DON’T take a camera, it will get taken off you.
If you’re a huge fan of travel, adventure and documenting life-changing good times boy do we have a job for you. We’re looking for a sixth Contiki Insider to join the likes of Andrew, who we can send overseas on one of four incredible Latin American adventures to immerse yourself into the culture, people, sights and sounds and report back for a series of Insider posts on Pedestrian.
The categories you can choose from are:
So if you’re a dancer, a player, an eater or a music-maker, vamanos and hit up www.pedestrian.tv/contiki to enter by telling us which of these amazing Latin quests you want to go on. You could be joining our awesome crew of online travel bloggers as part of The Insider Project.