Things to do in Berlin
For those that haven’t heard of it, base flying (tel: +49 89 708 090 10; www.base-flying.com) lets brave participants fall from a 125m-high (410ft) building without meeting a gruesome death. The controlled fall (using a winch rappel) is a safe, stomach-in-your-throat experience that’s not for the fainthearted.
Catch a film in a squat
Berlin is home to a roving squatter population, and some of them regularly open their doors for move screenings. How you fare at them will depend largely on your attitude, but this is a great way to see some underground cinema at backstreet prices. For information and listings, try Stressfaktor (www.stressfaktor.squat.net).
Go to the world’s greatest nightclub
Berghain (tel: +49 30 29 36 02 10; berghain.de) sits on a dusty industrial lot between Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain and has the uncontested position as the world’s greatest purveyor of techno music. It’s opening hours aren’t for the weak - the Saturday night parties often wrap up Monday morning - and it has a legendarily selective door policy, with hundreds of people are turned away every weekend. Our tip for the queue: don’t act drunk, and speak English as quietly as possible.
See what’s going on underground
One of the most fascinating tours available in Berlin is run by Berliner Unterwelten E.V. (tel: +49 30 499 105 17; berliner-unterwelten.de/) and seeks to show the architecture of the city from below. The company’s headquarters are located in an air raid shelter in the Gesundbrunnen station, and from here you can get an insight into the psychologically-testing life underground for Berliners during WW2.
Berliners love to get into the water as often as possible. In the city itself, don’t miss the Badeschiff (tel: +49 30 533 203, www.arena.berlin/veranstaltungsort/badeschiff): a boat moored to the Spree bank with a swimming pool and hipster-packed beach and bar. More adventurous swimming is found at any one of the hundreds of lakes that surround Berlin – Wannsee, Weissensee, Müggelsee and Havelsee are easily reachable by public transport or bike.