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.


Ich bin ein Berliner

Exactly 50 years ago the then President of the United States John F. Kennedy made one of his best and one of XX century’s most famous speeches. In a crucial and tense period of the Cold War the first American president to step in Berlin after the construction of the Wall talked with enthusiasms to an audience of more than 450.000 people in the West neighborhood of Schöneberg.  Emphasizing the U.S support for the West Germany JFK pronounced in this speech the legendary words “Ich bin eine Berliner”, which became his best known and Berlins most repeated quote until today.

Ever since then the Kennedy family won the affection of the citizens of Berlin. In honor to this special relationship Berlin opened in 2008 a museum dedicated to one of the most unique families of the recent history. The Kennedys Museum offers this year special events doe the 50th years anniversary of JFK visit. Definitely worth a look.

Jazzfest Berlin 2013

jazz13_introseite_motivConsidered one of the most important jazz festivals in the world, the JazzFest Berlin plays in several directions. Having the rhythm as the starting point and connection the festival investigates and presents different cultures, styles and forms of expression and emotion, which find in jazz the common means of expression. The concept of the event is the documentation, support and recognition of trends in the jazz world, becoming a mirror of the diversity of the musical creative activity.

During four days – from October the 31st to December 3rd – the event will feature a varied program and many major representatives of jazz around world. There will be plenty good music, free style, improvisation, the best African percussion and drums, hallucinating pianos and wind instruments.

Click here for more information.

For the ones planning to join the festival, the Amstel House Hostel Berlin has the best stay options. Take a look in our Offers.

Berlin + NY – Tomorrow It’s Time for the Future

hostel_berlinArtists from New York and Berlin are gathered in the exhibition Tomorrow It’s Time for the Future. The focus is to strengthen the artistic exchange between the two poles and stimulate the growth of cooperative projects and collective artistic between them.
The flirtation between the two cities, however, is been going on already for a long tine. For many Berlin is just like New York in the 80s. Freedom of expression, creativity and urban lifestyle, as well as innovative and fluent artistic production are common characteristics between them. With the exorbitant rents the American metropolis, many artists New Yorker artists immigrated to Berlin searching for a cheaper life more time to artistic creation.
Mixing established artists with others emerging, Berliners with New Yorkers, the exhibition shows some of this affinity between two of the most important art scenes of the world. At the same time a retrospective of generations and an outlook in the future of the arts , the exhibition stays only until October the 20th and is a must go for everyone in this city.

Berlin Oktoberfest 2013

An important part of the Bavarian Culture, the Oktoberfest has a tradition of more than 200 years. First held as a horse race in honor to a royal wedding, the festival is currently a big party with a lot of traditional music, regional food and surly a huge consuming of beer. It is estimated that over seven million litters of beer are consumed annually during the festival.

But you don’t have to be in Munich to enjoy the party. The Oktoberfest is celebrated all around the world and, of course, in Berlin too. The German capital offers different addresses for the ones in the mood to celebrate the beginning of autumn in a really Bavarian way.  Decoration in blue and white; in the menu Hendl (grilled chicken), Shweinshaxe (pork knukles) and huge Brezels; to drink the official Oktoberfest beer, Paulaner.

For those willing to get really in the mood, we give some tips on how to dress up typically. For the men the Bavarian lederhosen (leather breeches) with a white shirt. For the ladies the traditional dirndl dress over a white blouse. But there is an important detail with it: the position of the bow. If you are single, the bow should stay at your left side , if you are committed on the right and if you are a virgin – do they still exist? – in the front.

It is time to celebrate in the German way. Gather your friends, pack your bags, come to Berlin. And do not forget, if you need a cheap and central place stay, the Amstel House Hostel would be happy to host you. Take a look at our Special Offers.

Berlin Festival of Lights 2013

From 9th to 20th of October the nights of Berlin will have a special touch. It is time for the Festival of Lights, one of the biggest illumination events in the world! During the festival more than 70 of Berlin’s most famous sightseeing, landmarks, historical buildings and memorials are illuminated by light installations and projections made by local and international artists. The TV tower, Brandenburg Gate, Berliner Dom, Olympic Stadium, Hotel Adlon and Oberbaumbrücke, between many other city buildings, become projection screens of different textures, colors and lazer illustrations, gaining an incredible and unique look.

The official center of the festival takes place in Potsdamer Platz, where visitors can find the Info Point of the event. With the mild autumn temperatures, the entire town becomes a night light colorful performance that can be seen in pleasant walks or even by guided buses. Special art and cultural events also take place during this period, such as the already traditional Music Festival Jazz in den Ministergärteb.Since its debut in 2005, the festival of lights has become one of the most popular events of the German capital, annually attracting thousands of spectators from around the world.

Cheap and central the Amstel House Hostel Berlin has special offers for the ones planning to check out the Festival of Lights. We have the perfect stay for every type of visitor. Check our options for friends, couples or families and book now.

Berlin Marathon

Held annually on the last weekend of September – coming NOW!!! – the Berlin Marathon is one of worlds favorite. Last year there were more than 40 thousand  participants from 107 different countries and more the one million spectators. Along with Tokyo, Boston, London, Chicago and New York, it forms the World Marathon, which rewards with $1 million the top female and male marathoners.

strecke-laeufer-2013An interesting curiosity about the course – which begins and ends by one of  Berlin’s biggest symbols, the Brandenburg Gate – is that most marathon world records have been set here due to the super flat geography of the city, the mild temperatures the of the beginning of the German autumn and the super cheering spectators crowd. The course is also a class of history, since it passes through the major tourist sites of the German capital and almost all the central districts of the city, as our neighborhood Moabit.

The event is split over two days. About 8,000 additional inline skaters compete at the marathon course the Saturday before the running event. Power walkers, handbikers, wheelchair riders, and a children’s marathon are also part of the program.
If you are looking for a place to stay in the center of Berlin for this weekend – as a runner or as spectator – the Amstel House Hostel Berlin has a perfect and cheap special offer for you.

basic2-157Our Marathon special includes:
-    2 nights from Friday to Sunday in bed of a four-bedded mixed dormitory
w/ washing facilities and shared bath/ WC
- 48h Berlin Welcome Card (AB) Metro Tickets
- 2 x breakfast
- 1 x All-You-Can-Eat Pasta Buffet
Reservations through our Website

The Ramones Museum in Berlin

The first’s and only museum in the world dedicated to the acclaimed American punk rock band Ramones is located in Berlin. Made in chronological order the museum is divided in two basement rooms: the first show pieces of from 1975 to 1985 and is dedicated to the beginning of the punk movement. The second room is presents the second phase of the group, between 1985 and 1996. Among the objects to be seen the exhibition shows previously unpublished photos, autographed posters, clothing of the musicians, signed first editions of various publications and much more.

Where does Berlin come from – Part II

The glittery times of the Berlin cabaret! As promised, the continuation of post Where does Berlin come from – Part I, about the history of Berlin…

German Revolution

German Revolution 1918

After the WWI and the German Revolution in 1918 the Emperor Wilhelm II abdicated and the German Monarchy was abolished, giving place to the Weimar Republic. After almost a decade of struggle with high unemployment and hyperinflation, came in 1924 a period of relative stability: the so called Golden Twenties. Literature, cinema, and music entered a phase of great creativity. Street theatre, the cabaret scene and jazz bands became very popular. The Bauhaus and its traces and curves reflected not only a new form of architecture, but also a new way of thinking. Berlin was considered the continent’s gay capital. The art scene was just fabulous and extremely vanguard. Potsdamer Platz became the busiest traffic center in all Europe and the heart of Berlin’s night life.

Brandenburg Gate in the 1920s

Brandenburg Gate in the 1920s

Berlin in the 1920s

Berlin in the 1920s

The Blue Angel, a film starring the legendary chanteuse and movie star, Marlene Dietrich, based on nightlife at the Wintergarten, Berlin's famous cabaret in the 1920s

The Blue Angel, a film
starring the legendary chanteuse and movie star,
Marlene Dietrich, based on nightlife at
the Wintergarten, Berlin’s famous cabaret in the 1920s

To be continued…