Berlin! Elected the Best Europe Young City!

Arena, Berlin-Kreuzberg © visitBerlin | Koschel

Arena, Berlin-Kreuzberg © visitBerlin | Koschel

This week the YouthfulCities – a global initiative to rank the world’s top cities from a youth perspective – elected Berlin the best Young city in Europe. The project has involved over 1500 youth participants from around the world, collecting data on 80 indicators, grouped into 16 categories such as Civic participation, Diversity, Transportation, Food and nightlife, Public space, sport and gaming. Toronto was elected ‘Youthful City of the Year’ and edged Berlin to take the top spot, with New York City in third place.
Cities such as Istanbul, Tokyo, Johannesburg, Buenos Aires, Lagos, London and Sao Paulo are some of the top 25 youth favourite cities.

Best Christmas Market in Berlin

It’s already cold and dark in the German capital, but it’s not all doom and gloom. The Christmas Market season arrived! It’s time to enjoy the traditional and delicious sweets Lebkuchen and to get warm and drunk with the typical Glühwein. To celebrate it Amstel House have prepared a list with the top 5 Christmas Market in Berlin.

 Spandauer Weihnachtsmarkt

Spandauer Weihnachtsmarkt in Old Town Spandau - R. Müller/PfS

Spandauer Weihnachtsmarkt in Old Town Spandau – Foto: R. Müller/PfS

Considered the largest Christmas Market in town and one of Germany’s most impressive, the Spandauer Weihnachtsmarkt is located in an old historical suburb neighbourhood. This year they have a special reason to celebrate: its 40 years Jubilee. The old pine from Wunsiedel in Fichtelgebirge will be filled with handmade ornaments and shining over thousand lamps.

Opening Hour: (25.11 – 23.12) Sun. – Thu: from 11h to 20h; Fri: 11h to 21h and Sat from 11h to 22h | Where: Breite Straße 37, Berlin-Spandau

Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt at the Kulturbrauerei

Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt - Fotograf: Joachim Loch

Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt – Fotograf: Joachim Loch

Located in the popular Kulturbrauerei – an old brewery building from the 19th century which houses today bars, clubs and theatres – the Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt is a typical Scandinavian Christmas market. The historical scenery coupled with a romantic decoration makes this market one of the cosiest in Berlin. One of the most popular attractions of it is a Nordic installation called “Open Air Jacket heating”, a weird object where frozen visitors can warm up with huge fur coats extra heated by a wood stove, typical of northern countries.

Opening Hour (25.11 – 22.12) Mon – Fri: from 15h to 22h; Sat. – Sun 12h to 22h | Where: Schönhauser Allee 36, Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg

Weihnachtsmarkt  Schloss Charlottenburg

Schloss Charlottenburg Weihnachstmarkt - Foto: Wikimedias Common; Author: Kazuyanagae

Schloss Charlottenburg Weihnachstmarkt – Foto: Wikimedias Common; Author: Kazuyanagae

The garden of Schloss Charlottenburg – a 300 years old Castle in baroque style and one of Berlin’s main attractions –hosts a magnificent Christmas Market. With an elaborated lighting concept the whole area turns into a beautiful winter Christmas landscape. During this time the location combines special tours in the castle with the Christmas spirit, attracting people from all around.

Opening Hour: (25.11 – 26.12) Mon. – Thu: from 14h to 22h; Fri – Sun 12h to 20h | Where: Spandauer Damm, Berlin-Charlottenburg

Weihnachtsmarkt at the Gendarmenmarkt

Weihnachtsmarkt at the Gendarmenmarkt  - Foto: Wikimedia Common, Author: Bgabel

Weihnachtsmarkt at the Gendarmenmarkt – Foto: Wikimedia Common, Author: Bgabel

Located in one of Berlin’s most beautiful squares the WeihnachtsZauber Market at the Gendarmenmarkt has a special atmosphere. Surrounded by the Konzerthuas, the French and the German Cathedrals and the monumental statue of Germany’s renowned poet and architecture Friedrich Schiller, it offers handcraft work and Christmas culinary delights from different regions and a daily stage program. Moreover, this Berlin Christmas Market supports projects, which promote social interaction in the city.

Opening Hour: (25.11 – 31.12) Daily: from 11h to 22 h | Where: Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin-Mitte

Weihnachtsmarkt Alexander Platz

Weihnachtsmarkt Alexander Platz, Foto: Wikimedia Common, Author: Marcin Szala

Weihnachtsmarkt Alexander Platz, Foto: Wikimedia Common, Author: Marcin Szala

The Christmas market in front of the Rothaus has a lot to offer: the Berliner Old Town as background, city’s largest ice-skating rink around the Neptune Fountain, street performers as puppeteers and storytellers and of course a variety of gastronomic offers. For children there’re every afternoon Santa Claus sleigh ride with a Christmas story, pony riding arena, historic carousel with wooden horses and much more.

Opening Hour: (25.11 – 29.12) Daily: from 12h to 22 h | Where: Alexander Platz, Berlin-Mitte

Kapitel 21 – a Moabit’s cultural agitator

The Kapitel 21 is a bar, art platform and gallery as well as a great active cultural agitator in our neighborhood Moabit. As a meeting place for cultural producers and consumers, party-goers and tourists, they present changing exhibitions of local and worldwide artists, book readings, live music, DJ nights, video screen and Karaoke.
Moabit meets balkan
More than a neighbor the Kapitel 21 Team became to us in 2013 great partners. They were part of our 100 Years Amstel House Building Jubilee Party in the 15th of June closing the evening with style and a wonderful DJ set. In September 2013 they organized an incredible event, the MOABIT MEETS BALKAN, in a partnership with the also neighbors Kulturfabrik and Zaffke and with a vast program that lasted all they and with entry free. The Amstel House was also happy to support it, offering hospitality for some of the invited artists. In this video you get to have an idea of what the Event was like. And much more is still to come. Stay tuned and do not miss the next.

BerMuDa – A Week with Fine Electronic Music in Berlin’s Best Clubs

BerMuDa_WebFlyer_800Starts tomorrow the Berlin Music Days, BerMuDa, one of the main events of the renowned Berliner electronic music industry and the largest city’s “music trade fair” for clubbers, ravers, musicians, labels and music biz pros from around the world. With the purpose of taking the electronic music business back to the dance floor, the event brings together approximately 40 clubs and venues, as well as professionals from the world of art, fashion and industry related to the universe of the beloved musical style.

With a broader programming in its fifth edition the festival will feature between the 6th and 11th of November (Wednesday to Sunday) club nights as well as various events throughout the day, such as exhibitions, labs  and conferences in search of a comprehensive dialogue on all facets of the increasingly wanted electronic music.

Looking for a place to stay in Berlin during the BerMuDa Festival? Take a look in our special offers!

Hey, good looking. What you got cooking

2013 Amstel Küche (12)“How’s about cooking something up with me? /  Hey, sweet baby / don’t you think maybe / we could find us / a brand new recipe?” Rocked by Ray Charles the Amstel House Hostel Berlin has the pleasure to present its newest baby: a brand new super modern kitchen!!!  Fully equipped with two complete sets it is a mouth-watering space.2013 Amstel Küche

Not only practical but also really charming, even those who don’t cook will feel like trying. Now our guests can enjoy two stoves, two sinks, microwave, refrigerator, toaster and all kitchenware needed to make a great banquet! We are expecting you for dinner. And please, don’t forget to make yourself at home.

Berghain – The Best Club in the World!

The greatest legend of the current Berliner night, Berghain is considered by many – experts on the subject – the best club in the world and the temple of techno. Named after its location – between Krezberg and Friedrichshain - and housed in a former power plant, it has a fascinating industrial atmosphere with a huge 18 meter high main dancing floor and a smaller upstairs space called Panorama Bar.

Berghain is a descendant of Ostgut, a nocturnal myth born from a men-only-fetish-night called “Snax”. Open to all genders it turned into the nest of the techno-subculture in Berlin. In 2003 Ostgut was closed down to give space to the ugly O2 Arena. A year later Berhghain was born. Much of the spirit of the first house remains. There are several dark rooms and “Snax” still happens once a year. The famous and selective door control is also a way to keep the standards of the house and make sure that the people getting in match with the environment. Pictures are also strictly forbidden. With one of the greatest sound systems and the best DJs in the world, Berghain held long events that less sometimes more than a day. A place for those into real party!

Ostkreuz. To the West. A new perspevtive on Charlottenburg

The Zoo station together with the well known shopping street Kurfürstendamm – kindly called Ku’ damm by locals – formed at the time of the Wall the trendy center of West Berlin. Theaters, cinemas, nightclubs, cabarets, restaurants, fashionable stores and local designer made of the area the biggest buzz of that Berlin. Today a mix of many universes it gathers luxury with poverty, newcomers students with longtime residents, train stations, tourist attractions and a lot of coming and going.

Amazing C / O Berlin, the International Forum for Visual Dialogues, moved this year to the Amerika Haus, located in the area. Still being renovated the institution offers until spring 2014 open air photo exhibitions 24h/7 and gratis for all to see. The current theme is by the way the area where the exhibition takes place, nothing less than the boulevard Zoo & Ku’damm. Here 13 Photographers from the renowned Ostkreuz Agency were invited to explore Charlottenburg and its residents and to reveal the diverse stories and social strata behind the hectic activity and facades. Myths and truths, secrets and clichés, the different histories and social differences that stirred this usual urban scene were all portrayed. Going on until the 24th of November the Ostkreuz. To the West. A new perspevtive on Charlottenburg is located only 3 metro stations from the Amstel House, right in front of the Amerika Haus.

Moabit’s Story part I – the boiling new suburb!

Berlin is many! This diversity can also be noticed between its neighborhoods, all with very strong personalities and at the same time really distinct from each other. Moabit in particular has a story a part, full of social fights, engaged arts and cultural diversity.

The very first ones to undergo the area – in the early times just a swamp surrounded by water – were Slavic tribes who crossed the river Spree in order to connect trade routes. In the 13th century its grounds were used by Brandenburg nobles as a hunting area until finally in 1715 French refugees settled around becoming the pioneer inhabitants of the island.

The map of Moabit in 1861

The map of Moabit in 1861

Life was calm and slow until Moabit was merged into Berlin in 1861. Over all, after the expansion of Germany’s Industrial Revolution, which had its burning heart right here, the new suburb began to boil. Numerous factories of big companies, such as AEG, Borsig and Siemens, were constructed in the neighborhood.

Bosig in 1900

Bosig in 1900

The AEG-Turbinfabric made by Peter Behrens in 1907

The AEG-Turbinfabric made by Peter Behrens in 1907


Inside the AEG Turbinfabrik

Inside the AEG Turbinfabrik

The enormous job offer attracted families from all around Europe generating an impressive population growth of more than 3000% between 1861 and 1910. Soon the ports of Moabit became agitated centers of import and export and its streets a vibrant and bohemia scene of the proletarian class. The industry ran in frenetic rhythm, as well as the labor mass in its long, exhausting and badly paid daily working journeys. Against the deafening machines, Moabit working class proved to be a loud crowed always engaged in the fight for its social and labor rights. Clandestine meetings, strikes, demonstrations, arrestments and deaths marked the district in the first decades of the XX century.

Moabit in 1905

Moabit in 1905

To be continued….

A cool abandoned place

One of the most interesting consequences of the hectic history of Berlin are – or at least were – the many empty and abandoned spaces throughout the city: vacant land never rebuilt after the war, abandoned factories, hospitals taken by the bushes, former department stores, NSA spying bases during the Cold War are today in an interesting disrepair. After the Wall Fall in 1989 this places turned into squats or stages for clandestine Parties, where the electronic scene was born. Full with an intriguing atmosphere and surreal scenery they are definitely fun to explore.
One of these places still existing is the famous Spreepark. Inaugurated in 1969 in the former GDR as Kulturpark Plänterwald, it was the only amusement park of the former East Germany and worked quite well during decades until the Wall Fall. In 1991 it became a domain of Norbert Witte turning into the Spreepark GmbH. Despite its success at first, the park broke down in 2001 due bad administration falling into ruin. Untouched until today the place has a great captivating and bizarre look of a fantastic movie. The entrance is forbidden, but many still manage to seep in.