Local traditions and culture in Berlin

  • Local Customs
    by johngayton
  • Local Customs
    by johngayton
  • Maksim Gorki Theatre
    Maksim Gorki Theatre
    by croisbeauty

Most Viewed Local Customs in Berlin

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    Sparrows at Alex

    by johngayton Written Jul 7, 2013

    In the winter absence of the drunks and punks the gardens were pretty much deserted except for a large flock of sparrows. With my home Island ( Lundy ) being host to a long-running, International, Sparrow Project run by the University of Sheffield I've become a bit of a sparrow twitcher. Sparrows are very voluble songbirds and seen in silhouette here you can actually see that they are singing to each other.

    Plus it's an excuse to use the pic LOL ;-)

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Birdwatching
    • Beer Tasting

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    Bugatti studio car

    by croisbeauty Updated Jun 3, 2013

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    When I saw it exposed big WOW was the first what crossed my mind because new Bugatti project looks fantastic. I am not big fun of a cars but this project cought my attention because it looks great in every detail. Don't ask for the price, am sure it cost a fortune.

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    Oldtimer, forever young

    by croisbeauty Updated May 29, 2013

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    The good old days when manufactures didn't need to launch a new type of a car almost every minute, as they do it novadays. This beautul Bugatti captured my attention as soon as I saw it. It is a copy of a vechicle when machine had to be started with the hand crank! I am convinced that no one can be indifferent to this old cutie.

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    Erotik museum

    by croisbeauty Updated May 26, 2013

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    Beate Uhse is synonym for soft porn industry, lady who rule in that field for more then 50 years. Her museum of erotik is situated in Charlottenburg district, nearby Zoologischer Garten and the Railway Station. Museum was open in 1996 and claims to be the world's largest erotic museum that excist. I took this picture for curiosity only but might be usefull tip to some travelers who like pornography.

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    Ampelmann - the traffic light man

    by adelinemmc Written Aug 13, 2012

    The traffic light man (Ampelmann) from the East side of town is a bit of a cult figure.

    It is different from the West side man and so popular that traffic lights on the West side started using him rather than the boring normal man. It's really special to Berlin.

    If you want a bit of history check out this site: http://ampelmann.de/html/geschichte_english.html

    You can buy lots of souvenirs with this emblematic figure.http://ampelmannshop.com/epages/Ampelmann.sf/en_GB/?ViewObjectID=10073

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    Hackersher Markt

    by croisbeauty Written Feb 14, 2012

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    The square is named after Townmajor Hans Christoph Friedrich von Hacke, situated at the eastern end of Oranienburgerstrasse. Formerly it was rather neglected area, especially during GDR era, but soon after reunification the square has developed into a cultural and commercial centre. The square become famous for its nightlife centered around Hackesche Hofe courtyard ensemble.

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    funny figures

    by croisbeauty Updated Feb 12, 2012

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    I found it as a great idea placing so many bear figures all over the town. Bear is a symbol of a town but symbols could be presented in a funny way too and yet far from being profaned. There are many other funny figures all over the town making its gray structure very pitoresque and showing that Berliners got a spirit.

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    World Football Cup reconstruction works

    by croisbeauty Updated Feb 12, 2012

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    My visit to Berlin was year before Wold Football Cup has began and the city was still under the major reconstruction works. Germans hate improvisations and everything must be well organized. Such a big sport event is a perfect for the promotion of the city and its touristic potentials to the world. Berlin has lots to offer and much to show.

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    Paint your car

    by croisbeauty Updated Feb 11, 2012

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    It is more likely to see such a colourfull car in the southern Europe where people care in personlizing the own property. This picture was snaped in the Eastern part of Berlin, was it painted like this for a fun, or to be distinguished from other Polo's? Or it is just an good protection for car in order to save it from steallings?

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    Berlin Zoological Garden

    by croisbeauty Updated Jan 8, 2012

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    Berling Zoological Garden is the oldest zoo in Germany, opened since 1844. It covers 34 hectares with more then 1.500 different species and around 17.000 animals. The Berlin Zoo is considered to be the most visited zoo in Europe with approximately 3 million annual visitors.
    Almost all of the animals are housed in enclosures that are specialy designed to recreate their natural habitat.

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    Fassbender und Rausch Chocolatiers

    by croisbeauty Updated Jan 7, 2012

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    Most Berliners could be almost offended if asking them what "Pralinetheke" is and where it is situated. The old lady whom I have ask was uppset after my question telling me; "jaaaaaaaaaaaa, sie must wiessen das, Gendarmenmarkt meine junge". Well, to be honest I didn't know it because I am not chocolate crazy type, but was very happy when lady called me "meine junge".
    Fassbender und Rausch is probably one of the city landmarks or at least it must be for Germans who visiting Berlin. For the citizens of Berlin it is simply known as "Pralinetheke". This large shop, situated in Charlottenstrasse 60/Gendarmenmarkt, offers loose chocolates and handmade treats, such as truffels, pralines and sweets of the highest quality. But it is also a choco-restaurant, offering chocolate in a meal form.
    Since it is manufacture - handmade production, the shop has exsibition of the own products, scale models of Brandenburg Gate, Titanic or Bundestag building.
    My wife loves chocolate and she says is it sinfully delicious, here in this shop.

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    Where am I?

    by toonsarah Updated Jun 18, 2011

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    If you have visited Berlin in the past when it was still a divided city you may find yourself on later visits wondering at times, as we did, where you are now – that is, are you in the former East or the West? Some city maps (including the free one we picked up at our hotel) mark the line of the Wall, but another way to tell, though not infallible, is to study the pedestrian crossing lights. Those in my photo were taken in the East, and the jaunty character crossing the road (on the green light, naturally) is Ampelmann (literally “traffic light man”). This design was used for years in East Berlin (and I imagine elsewhere in East Germany) and on reunification there was talk of changing to the more conventional signs used in the West. But apparently there was public outcry as people had developed a fondness for Ampelmann, so he was spared and became something of a cult figure – indeed you will see him on souvenirs all over the city (see photos 2 & 3) and there is even an entire shop devoted to him (see my shopping tip). There’s a website too (see link below) and there you can read about his history, download an Ampelmann screensaver and meet his mate, Ampelfrau!

    I don’t actually recommend however that you really use this to help you navigate as we did come across some exceptions to the “rule” that Ampelmann is seen only in the former East Berlin. His fame has spread and he can now be found helping people to cross safely at a few points in the west too. It isn’t apparently allowed (under European law) to use anything other than the internationally recognised standard sign on main roads, but on side roads in the west he is finding his place, and many argue that he is in fact a safer option as his area of illumination is almost twice that of the “normal” version.

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    Drunks and Punks at Alex

    by johngayton Updated Oct 25, 2010

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    The modern Alexanderplatz, and its immediate surrounds, is one of the most egalitarian public spaces in Europe. No single classification dominates it - it has its tourist attractions such as the TV tower, its shopping centres, the meeting places such as the World Clock, for visitors the Hi-rise Park Inn Hotel and of course the Alexanderplatz railway station.

    However what characterised it for me were the drunks and punks hanging in the park - a sort of timeless and human aspect which hopefully the future development of the area will retain: although I doubt the city planners have factored them in ;(

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Beer Tasting
    • Photography

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    Recycling Containers - the Pfand

    by johngayton Updated Oct 11, 2010

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    I noticed quite a few people around the city checking the public litter bins and fishing out the plastic drinks bottles. This wasn't just the down-and-outs but quite respectably-dressed folk.

    Now I know why - Germany introduced a law in 2002 requiring that a deposit be charged on single-use drinks containers (with a couple of exceptions). This law is known as the Einwegpfand and the applicable bottles are stamped Pfand. Retailers are obliged to refund this deposit in cash and at the time of my visit (June 2010) this deposit was 25 Eurocents which of course makes it worthwhile for the collectors.

    Useful if you're travelling on a tight budget!

    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Budget Travel

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    Football Fever In Berlin

    by johngayton Written Oct 10, 2010

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    The timing of my visit, which took me by train through the Netherlands and back again, was during the 2010 football World Cup finals. Whilst in the Netherlands the orange flags and banners were conspicuous everywhere the Germans seemed a little more subdued.

    It wasn't until I was enjoying my last beer in Berlin, on the terrace bar at the Hauptbahnhof, that I caught my first proper experience of a patriotic supporter.

    The dog's pleasantly leggy owner did try to get it to pose properly for me but I only had beer to attempt to attract its attention - HA! If I'd known there was a potential photo-op I would have ordered a bratwurst as well -I believe that German dogs only drink beer as an accompaniement to sausage ;)

    Related to:
    • Trains
    • Beer Tasting

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