Alternative Berlin Walking Tour & the killer Doner Kebab
As I mentioned in my post about the funky Berlin neighborhood of Friedrichshain, Berlin is an ecletic wonder. Unlike nearly everywhere else in Germany, there’s a creative, vibrant, off-beat energy. Street art, which literally covers the city, is just one of many distinguishing aspects and we wanted to get the skinny on what the sub-culuture was all about.
Enter: Alternative Berlin Walking Tours. A free daily walking tour run by educated and entertaining guides that rely solely on tips. Our guide, Matthias, was awesome and miraculously made a tour group of 25 into an intimidate affair. Throughout the 4 hour tour we made our way via trains, trams and lots of sidewalks to countless insider Berlin sights.
Matthias explained that the street art scene is influenced by a variety of reasons- the personal interests of the artist, commentary on current social issues, reference to historic events, attention to a cause or movement, and even advertising (near Mauer Park he pointed out a Nike ad in which they sneakily had a mural painted with a tiny, subliminal, swoosh check in the corner). As you would at a museum, Matthias identified numerous paintings done by popular street artists, recognizing them by their unique style and subject matter – so interesting. These artists are insanely talented and drastically changed my perspective on the value and beauty of street art.
The tour wrapped up at Templehof Airport Park, the grounds of the former airport. The tarmac has been lifted and all the buildings removed, leaving a huge green space outside the center of the city. While we were there we spotted a festival taking place which looked like a ton of fun but our feet and stomachs had other plans. Next time.
Afterwards we headed to the #1 doner kebab shop in Berlin. A doner kebab consists of juicy meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie, topped with lettuce, cabbage, onions and vegetables then wrapped in a warm flatbread. Similar to a gyro, but better and less bready. There are 4 doner kebab restaurants on the Hauptstrasse alone in Heidelberg, with endless places to get them, crushing at lease one doner in Germany is a must. Most importantly, they are D-E-licious. The story is that the doner kebab was invented in Berlin by a Turkish man so it only made sense that we try the best place according to TripAdvisor:
|(click the link to TripAdvisor)|
Mustafa’s Gemuse Kebab did not disappoint. Sure, we may have waited 30 minutes in a painfully slow line, but it was SOOO worth it. Unlike other kebab’s that I’ve had, Mustafa’s tops their kebab’s with a seriously delicious mix of fresh grilled veggies to seal the deal. When in Berlin, for the love of puppies, make the trek!
Such a funky, interesting and delicious day! What’s the best local dish you’ve ever had?