For some, it’s a city of open-all-hours nightclubs that render New York’s supposedly non-existent bedtime null and void. Of course, there’s more to wellness in Berlin than 24 hours of techno dancing.
In fact, a rich (to say the very least) history has provided Berlin with many different faces, leaving it with everything from avant-garde fashion boutiques to the street art adorning almost every building. A stroll through Kreuzberg may have you bombarded with bratwurst, schnitzel and doner kebabs on one street and a string of vegan Vietnamese haunts and hacky sackers on the next.
As with most things in Berlin, the key to its wellness scene is knowing where to look. Fortunately, we know a thing or two about where to start.
adidas Runbase offers a holistic approach to running needs for every kind of distance runner. Comprehensive drills, nutrition, recovery and mindset coaching make up each of its 60 weekly sessions, with the opportunity to test adidas’ latest gear on home turf as you go.
The Frontline Box
WODs in a claustrophobic railway arch, this is not. A large riverfront warehouse just next to Runbase caters to all levels of CrossFitter at Frontline, which boasts attentive teachers and a friendly international crowd to cheer you on when the wall balls really start to burn. Drop-in for a taster or join coach Jess on a Sunday morning kayak down the Spree.
Magic Mountain Kletterhalle
Bouldering is huge in Berlin, and you’ll find vast, well-equipped gyms dedicated to climbing indoors and out. In the north of the city, Magic Mountain offers both at varying degrees of difficulty, plus rope climbing, gym and sauna.
Harness the energetic nightlife of Berlin as you sweat. In a city where one out of two people is an aspiring DJ on the side, boutique spin studio Becycle in Mitte is all about rhythmic rides. Check out its Soundcloud to recreate the vibes post-trip.
You haven’t really tried a green smoothie until you’ve been to Liquid Garden. Every smoothie on the menu is made with 50% leafy greens, served in compostable cups or in returnable bottles. Superfood additions include anything from bee pollen to moringa.
When it comes to eating vegan, you really are spoiled for choice in Berlin. But trendy Daluma has become a particularly popular lunch spot for its superfood-filled, organic and raw offerings, with options made fresh if you can get a table, or to take away in decomposable containers.
After doing the rounds at Berlin’s many food markets, Brammibal’s prides itself on being Europe’s first all-vegan doughnut shop. Along with six classic flavours, it’s known for rotating seasonal specialities such as pumpkin pie, maple smoked and activated charcoal.
Few urban eateries can boast quite as direct a farm to table offering as Good Bank. By growing their leafy greens and mushroom specialities in vertical farms behind the counter, they avoid the use of pesticides or genetically modified seeds and protect the environment by removing the need for long cold chains, transportation and packaging waste. Its seasonal salad bowls taste pretty great, too.
Brandenburg – the state that encircles Berlin – is home to approximately 3,000 lakes. Many of them are easily reached by Berlin’s public transport, including rowboat and paddle-board friendly Schlachtensee, serene Teufelssee and idyllic Krumme Lanke.
Be it in one of Berlin’s many famous flea markets (Mauerpark, Marheinekeplatz, Boxhagener Platz) or dedicated second-hand stores (Humana, Paul’s Boutique, Dandy Horse), thrift shopping in Berlin is inexpensive, sustainable and packed with amazing finds.
At one point in time, Tempelhof was the busiest airport in Europe. But on closing operations in 2008, Tempelhofer Feld became one of Berlin’s best-loved public parks. On a hot summers day, you’ll struggle to find a patch of green between the picnickers, while its inactive runways are popular among kite skateboarders.