The backpacker’s Web Guide to Berlin – essential apps and sites to get it right2012-08-03 13
Gone are the days where rough and rugged backpackers survived with merely a tin of tuna, a faded T-shirt, and a crumpled map. In the era of “flashpackers” – any culture vulture with a smartphone can open up whole new worlds of discovery. So, if you’re on a budget and heading to Berlin let VentureVillage help you make the most of it.
In the spirit of seeking out exotic Berlin locales, we put together a list of websites and apps to help you get by cheaply while connecting with the city’s unique cultural brew – enjoy!
A place to sleep (while schmoozing with the locals)
Want to get to know a local and stay at their place for free? CouchSurfing.org, connects travellers with people who have a couch or room to spare. The community has grown to more than 2.5 million members worldwide with Berlin as one of its hotspots.
Like Couchsurfing, but more of an official paid-for exchange of culture and language, Berlin-based Roomsurfer is still in its early days with an official launch day just around the corner. Baring the slogan “cool cities, great people, low prices,” it’ll be one to look out for when it goes online..
Getting around town
The biggest ride-sharing network in Europe is a great site for finding a passenger/driver to share costs and do a green deed. If you get really stuck, carpooling.com also provides users with some transport alternatives, including bus, rail and airline tickets.
Call a bike
Officially run by Deutsche Bahn, the distinctive silver and red bike stations allow you to hop on for a two-wheeled trip of the city whenever the fancy takes you. Simply register online or from your phone and you’ll be charged a flat rate for hire – with the first 30minutes for free. There are over 80 stations throughout the city to pick up and drop off your wheels.
Out and about – tours, workshops, and parties
The Berlin-based peer-to-peer marketplace of experiences has a massive, eclectic mix of activities on offer – all organised and run by locals: from street-art tours and graffiti workshops, to learning how to knit and making sock-monkeys. It’s all at Gidsy and won’t break the budget. Check out our Gidsy video report.
Here for a little longer and want to drink in some of the city’s creative juice? Then keep your eye out for upcoming workshops from Etsy Labs. Make lamps out of drink-cans to creating new wares out of old denim jeans.
A booking platform for tours, GetYourGuide’s more official than Gidsy’s community-run activities. Prices are reasonable, and with more than 250 tours on offer – there’s something to please the fussiest traveller.
This New York creation has spread into Berlin with around 100 groups taking place across the capital. From “kitchensurfing” to the “Berlin Travel Group,” Meetup‘s great for mingling with locals and like-minded travellers!
Out to party and savour the tastes of Berlin nightlife? Then check out Resident Advisor for upcoming gigs, music festivals and who’ll be playing techno all night at the infamous Berghain.
On the hunt for the best currywurst in Berlin? Or maybe you’re up for a spot of black-light mini-golf? Then Amen – a site to air opinions, has a location-aware Explore function that allows users to browse views according to location-based information.
Photo-editing and sharing app EyeEm, lets you visually discover the world around you by giving you access to what’s being photographed in your area. So, if there’s an open-air party, or a naked protest against gentrification nearby – you’ll be sure to know!
A great little visual guide to good food and where to find it. Foodspotting lets you find great local dishes in your area by sifting through photos and reviews. It’s a bit like carrying around a personalised menu according to what tickles your taste buds.
Reading up on Berlin
Our list of online favourites to get you up-to-scratch with all the latest reviews, events, hang-outs and more…