My Berlin: ‘Do not leave without a good döner’
Soho Friends Membership Manager and true Berliner, Rina Ceitlina, shares the best insider tips on where to eat, what to do, and where to party
Wednesday 25 May 2022 By Anastasiia Fedorova
Being a local in Berlin is something truly special. The multicultural German capital is a home, a work base, a regular getaway, and a much-needed escape for thousands of creatives from all over the world. This city makes everyone feel welcome, yet we all yearn to get to know it a little bit better; to delve beneath the surface and get up close and personal with its best-kept secrets.
For our local’s guide to the city, we asked Rina Ceitlina, Soho Friends Membership Manager for Europe and a true Berliner, to give us a tour of the hidden gems and simple pleasures of the German capital.
What’s your favourite thing about living in Berlin?
‘It’s a perfect balance of calm and crazy.’
Best way to explore the city?
‘Taking the S-Bahn – the local rail system – is easy. From June, you can get a ticket for €9 for three months, and explore the city and its surroundings. And hopping on the tram is the quickest way to see the sights.’
Describe Soho House Berlin in three words.
‘Fun. Panoramic. Unspoiled.’
Tell us a place only locals know.
‘Gaststätte Zum Hecht. It’s an old-school, 24-hour hangout with a pub feel. You must have a shot and try the Schmalzbrot. It’s very Berlin and no tourists.’
Best restaurants right now?
‘At the moment, my favourite place to go is Merold. I also love to go to Fish Klub for the best seafood.’
The ideal evening itinerary?
‘Having a pre-drink at home – my go-to is always an Espresso Martini. Then, going to my friends’ place for a barbecue and afterwards having a dance either at home or going out spontaneously.’
Long, lazy alfresco lunch spots?
‘Café Frida or GAIA.’
Favourite spot within walking distance of the House?
‘PAPPA E CICCIA, my Italian neighbourhood gem, and a Japanese place called SAN, Berlin.’
Best venue for good party vibes?
‘Bar Brutal 54 is a great cocktail bar. Of course, there is Berghain, which is quite legendary – but you can never guarantee you’ll get in. Heidegluhen is fun for a dance during the day.
Beuster bar is great for drinks and dinner, and Fuchsbau in Kreuzberg for after.
‘I also love Möbel Olfe, a gay bar frequented by artists, including the likes of Wolfgang Tillmans. Diener Tattersall is the best German place for dinner and drinks, and afterwards I like to go to Galander for a nice cocktail.’
Most romantic place to visit?
‘I love the Museum Island – just the right amount of cheesiness and grandeur.’
An independent store everyone has to visit:
‘Paul’s boutique vintage shop, Andreas Murkudis for furniture ¬and clothes, Do You Read Me for magazines, and Dussmann for books. Also, Kino International, an independent film theatre.’
Three places to go for breakfast?
‘Frühstück 3000, Two Trick Pony, and Annelies. And, of course, Soho House.’
Essentials to pack for a Berlin city break?
‘I don’t travel without a sweater, as I’m always getting sick from AC. Plus, sunglasses and AirPods for listening to music.’
Do not leave Berlin without...
‘A good döner.’