Month: September 2018

Negar Mohammadi, Director of Brand Marketing at Vogue

As the Head of Editorial Partnerships and Brand Marketing at Vogue, Negar oversees all aspects of the magazine’s promotion – from the September Issue to collaborations with rad brands like Nike and Comme de Garcons.  She has lived in downtown Manhattan for the past 14 years, and is grateful for her Chicago roots and Persian values in keeping her grounded and kind. Surfing, family, and friends are her top three favorite things, and she balances her busy career with regular (& sometimes rogue!) surf trips with her best friends.

Follow Negar Mohammadi on Instagram @negarmoh

Name 3 favorite hotels off the top of your head!

The Edition Hotel in Miami, Hotel Costes in Paris, and Le Sireneuse in Positano.

Where would you go to digital detox, or just generally to get off the grid?

Santa Teresa, Costa Rica. Everything you need is there (surf, delicious food) and the best friends you’ll make are in the water where there is no wi-fi.

What 3 songs are on your OOO playlist?

Gypsy by Fleet Wood Mac, Night Moves by Bob Segar, Wild Thoughts by Rihanna and DJ Khalid.

What is your most used travel emoji?    

Surfing girl emoji. 

What do you always bring with you in your carry-on?

Silk eye mask by Slip. Doesn’t matter where you’re staying, once you shut your eyes – you feel like you’re sleeping in luxury.

If you could swap suitcases with anyone in the world at baggage claim, who would you swap with?

Kim Kardashian — Wait, actually Kourtney. I’m closer to her size.

Have you or would you travel alone?

In a world where you’re always on someone else’s schedule, nothing is more luxurious than having the freedom to do what you want, when you want.

If you’re going to a new place, and your friends have not been there, what do you consult for advice?

Instagram!

What’s your favorite room service experience ever?    

French fries at the Hotel Martinez in Cannes — they arrive in the most elegant silver bucket. The presentation pretty much negates all calories.

Best Travel advise you’ve ever received, and from whom?

From Maya (Co-Founder of Safara!) – she encouraged me to travel alone with an open mind and agenda, letting the universe surprise me with its magic.

Anxiety and burnout are big topics these days. How do you combat them, and how do you use travel to do so?    

I make sure to have a trip planned every 6 weeks (hoping to make it once a month). The excitement and anticipation are enough to light me up and help push me through anything. The moment I get on a flight or arrive somewhere new, I feel an immediate wave of happiness that washes away any anxiety or feelings of burnout.

Do you have any tips or tricks for beating the dreaded jet lag?    

Instead of napping when I land, I move my body any way I can – be it a run, or even a set of jumping jacks and other 80s aerobics moves in whatever space I have. Otherwise, I drink tons of water and do anything it takes to get on the local schedule.

Travel can be about the little luxuries…like a super amazing cup of coffee. Where was the best one you’ve had?    

Double espresso from Cala di Volpe in Sardinia. Served with a perfect square of gianduja chocolate.

What’s your go-to outfit for getting through security quickly, and still looking good?    

Black skinny L’Agence jeans, black James Perse v-neck, Common Projects pink sneakers with a big black cashmere sweater – as I’m always freezing on flights. The L’agence jeans have so much stretch in them, they feel like yoga pants.

Rank the following, from most to least important to you, re: what you seek in a hotel experience: unique, comfortable, architecturally intriguing, close to things, dope minibar, has a pool, doesn’t break the bank, locals hang out there.

1. close to things since I love being able to explore on foot, 2. comfortable, 3. unique, 4. locals hang there, 5. architecturally intriguing, 6. pool, 7. minibar, 8. doesn’t break the bank

Beach or City or Mountain? Beach!

Airplane food- Y/N? Hard NO. I always bring snacks

Early check-in/ late check-out? Late check-out – insurance for whatever the night before has brought you!

Andrea Belck-Olsen from THE THIEF, Oslo

Andrea is the Director of Sales for Oslo’s coolest boutique hotel, THE THIEF, as well as the international sales coordinator for over 25 hotels (Nordic Hotels & Resorts). A life-long nomad, Andrea caught the travel bug early- she grew up in Peru (her parents were missionaries, and worked in local hospitals and schools), went to high school in both Bolivia and Norway, and then attended college in Perth, Australia as well as in Chicago. 

After a limited stint as a career DJ in a few clubs (though none of her friends believe her, she says!), she started working in the hospitality industry at The Peninsula Chicago (at the front desk- where she was first to greet all the guests). Soon after, Andrea was offered a job at THE THIEF with the pre-opening team to launch their new hotel in Oslo. Ever the global citizen, she moved to Europe to take on the role.  She now works with partners in the USA, the UK, the Middle East, and China- all of which she travels to often. In fact, she wrote her Q&A on a flight to Beijing! Read on below for her travel tips and tricks…

Follow Andrea Belck-Olsen on Instagram @andreaoslo



What is the most unique hotel amenity you’ve ever encountered?

The uber cool HOBO Hotel in Stockholm has a water gun in the bathroom. It has to be the most original amenity I have ever encountered, and definitely makes your stay more fun!

What hotel room design element can you not live without?

Proper lighting in the bathroom.

What 3 songs are on your OOO playlist?

Tunes that remind me of epic trips. At the moment: Me Enamorè by Shakira, Selva by Elionor Emù, and River by Leon Bridges.

Did you always want to work in the travel industry, and if so, what sparked that interest? How did you break into it?

I spent most of my childhood traveling with my family. We lived in Peru, Bolivia, and the United States as well as Norway. I remember spending lots of time at airports staring at the departure screens. I was so curious about where everyone was going, and tried to memorise all the different destinations. It definitely sparked my interest in the industry, and to be honest I am not sure I could handle having a job that did not involve traveling today. After studying Tourism and Hospitality in both Perth Australia and Chicago, I was hired at the prestigious Peninsula Chicago. After that, the ball just kept rolling, and here I am.

Do you have any favorite travel hacks (ways to score an upgrade, methods of getting your meal first on a flight, etc)?

I have always been that girl that jumps in my seat when the meal cart comes rolling. However, as I have gotten older I have started to skip the in-flight meals. I bring lots of water and power bars on the flight. Then I have a proper meal when I land at my destination instead. It actually helps with the jetlag, and I feel much better.

Have you, or would you ever, travel alone?

Absolutely! Everyone should do a solo trip at least once in their lives. Personally, I crave that alone time as it gives me time to reflect and find my inner creativity. Which is something that I usually don’t find much time for in my everyday life. I am doing a solo trip for Christmas this year to Peru. Ping me for hidden gems and must do’s, please!  

Travel can be about the little luxuries…like a super amazing cup of coffee. Where was the best one you’ve had?

Off the top of my head, I guess this isn’t a literal “coffee” answer, but- a trip to Kuwait is worth it for the local hummus alone! Especially the one at the old and traditional market “Souk Al-Mubarakiya.” This market is also awesome when shopping for spices. Definitely beyond re: “little luxuries.”

What’s your go-to outfit for getting through security quickly, and still looking good?

I am a “less is more” type of girl. I think a pair of jeans, nice sneakers, and a blazer gets me far. Comfortable, but still classy. I also try to avoid too many accessories when going through the airport security line- no need to set off any alarms for fashion;) 

Anxiety and burn out are big topics these days. How do you combat them, and how do you use travel to do so?

Disconnect! Because of today’s technology, we are constantly available to everyone, and I find that my work and social lives collide. It is hard to find balance when you are always “on.” I am a big fan of the “airplane mode” on my phone, and try to use it often – even if I am not traveling. The feeling of not being available all the time is quite addictive to me now.

Name three hotels off the top of your head that you love!

Besides THE THIEF (obviously!) my current favorites are: Wolfe Lodge in Norway, Maderas Village in Nicaragua, and Petit Ermitage in LA. They are all unique in their own special ways.

Favorite travel app? Mapstr

Favorite subscription service you’ll never delete? Spotify

In-flight wifi- good idea? No

Fantasy minibar/fridge item? Espresso Martinis

Emma Svensson, Fashion Photographer and Mountain Climber

Emma Svensson started out as a photographer in 2002 by shooting music artists and concerts, and has since then grown to become one of the most hired fashion photographers in Sweden. Emma now runs a namesake studio, where she employs 12 other photographers to help take on all the projects that come her way.

Until a year ago, Emma knew nothing about rock climbing, but after watching a life-changing film (see below!), she decided to break the world record and climb the highest mountain in every European country within a year- that’s 49 peaks total! Ever the over-achiever, she actually ended up climbing 61 mountains in a year instead, but who’s counting…

We were utterly impressed by Emma’s bravery and travel stories, and wanted to share more on her unique (and sometimes death-defying) experiences- read on, below!

Follow Emma Svensson on Instagram @emmasvenssonphoto

Have you or would you travel alone?

Yes, I love to travel alone! I can do whatever I feel like, and never have to compromise. I also get to know so many more people than I ever would if I was with a friend all the time; I feel like traveling alone develops you as an individual. It also makes you more spontaneous- I’m never scared when I travel by myself, for whatever reason. I also feel very welcomed when I’m traveling alone, wherever I go.

What inspired you to start mountain climbing?

I was on a plane to New Zealand, and decided to randomly watch the movie “Everest.” After it was over, I had this life-changing feeling in my body. I have only felt like that one other time in my life: when I photographed my first concert. And that was why I became a photographer. I just knew I had to do this! The primal instinct was strong, and impossible to ignore.

What mountain had the largest impact on you, and why?

Monte Rosa Dufourspitze – the highest one in Switzerland. When I climbed it, I did it with a friend that had not done alpine climbing before, and it was the first time I was “the guide.” To be able to feel like I could lead a climb of that caliber only a year after I started rock climbing was amazing. Also, it was the hardest mountain in the 49 peaks!

What is the most unique hotel amenity you’ve ever encountered?

Everything at the Tree Hotel in Northern Sweden. It’s such a cool place! I love the mirror cube, it’s like art.

What beauty items can you not travel without?

I climb mountains. So I don’t really care about beauty. But I would never go up there without sunscreen. That is the only thing I take on the mountains except for toothpaste and deodorant. I must be the most careless person working in fashion in Sweden when it comes to beauty 😉

What hotel room design element can you not live without?

Power outlet next to the bed. I always work from bed at hotels. I don’t know why, but I’ve found that most desks that I’ve encountered are not really made for working (either the chair is too low/high, or it’s just not comfortable). I want to be able to charge both my laptop and phone next to the bed- I think this is a modern necessity!

Where would you go to digital detox / get off the grid?

I go to the mountains or to National Parks. I love to travel to remote places where there is no wifi connection. Patagonia, the Highlands of Iceland, New Zealand – they all fit the bill. Next on my list is Nepal, where I will go up a mountain on a one-month long expedition. Climbing mountains are like meditation.

What 3 songs are on your OOO playlist?

Elastic heart – Sia

I dare you – The XX

Life Round Here – James Blake

What do you always bring with you in your carry-on?

My phone, camera, and laptop. I always have work to do, and I don’t trust to check those things in, just in case. When I remember to, I bring Swedish candy as well. I love sweets, but think we have the best kinds in Sweden. Unfortunately, I always eat everything on the plane…so they don’t last long!

Who is your dream “co-pilot” (or ‘travel partner’- dead or alive), and why?

I would love to go on a climbing road trip with Alex Honnold (a pro climber, and the only person to have free-soloed El Capitan in Yosemite National Park!). That would be so inspiring.

Do you have any tips or tricks for beating the dreaded jet lag?

I notice that the more you travel, the better it gets somehow. I just sleep everywhere, all the time. On the flight, in the taxi… trying to get into the new time zone as soon as possible.

Beach or City or Mountain? This one is obvious!: Mountain

Early check-in/ late check-out? Late check out!!

Window or Aisle? Window

Maria Maleh, Art Director and Blogger

Maria is one those talented creatives that do lots of things (otherwise known as a “multi-hyphenate”), but most of the time she is a professional photographer, blogger, and Art Director. Also known as @MariaPizzeria, she has lived in London since 2011, but was born and raised in Sweden. She loves cooking (she even has a separate Instagram account for food & recipe ‘grams), as well as showcasing her predilections for skincare & beauty. She also loves chilling with cats.

Maria is the Co-Founder of Palmetto Studios, an art direction and graphic design studio that she runs together with her favorite person, Justin Moore.

One of her largest sources of inspiration is traveling – read on to learn more specifics re: her travel tips and tricks…

Follow Maria Maleh on Instagram @MariaPizzeria

Being an avid social media user, how much are you on your phone while traveling?

Unfortunately a lot. I use it to navigate, take photos, and keep up with my emails and social channels.

What does your activity on Instagram look like while traveling?

I usually take a lot of pictures, but I don’t feel that I have to post them… I love when I can take time off from social media while traveling. You can always post later!

Do you plan your outfits before traveling?

I don’t plan whole outfits in detail, but I always plan what shoes to bring. That’s the most important for me. After that, my skincare products get the most attention. It’s very important to me that I bring all the products I need with me…unfortunately this can make carry-on tricky at times!

What beauty items can you not travel without?

I can’t travel without my The Ordinary – Squalene oil, Glossier – Invisible shield, Glossier – Stretch concealer and Laneige – Lip sleeping mask, they’re lifesavers.

What hotel room design element can you not live without?

It has to have an iron!

What 3 songs are on your OOO playlist?

The sweetest taboo – Sade

Hold tight – Change

Candy – Cameo

What do you always bring with you in your carry-on?

My cameras, beauty products, and a power bank.

If you could swap suitcases with anyone in the world at baggage claim, who would you swap with?

It would be with Reese Blutstein, the influencer and stylist from @double3xposure 

Best Travel advise you’ve ever received, and from whom?

Be prepared. Make lists, do your research and look things up, and pack in advance. There is nothing worse than leaving for a trip and feeling stressed. Not sure who this came from, but as a Virgo it makes sense that it’s my advice to myself.

If you could quit your job and follow the “Mamma Mia” dream (ie open a small hotel in a foreign land or on a remote island), where would you do it?

THAILAND! <3

What do you ultimately get out of traveling?

Relaxation, good food, and gathering as much inspiration as I can to bring with me home. A good tan is always a plus!

Beach or City or Mountain? BEACH

Lost luggage, or lost phone? Lost luggage

Airplane food? NOOOOOO

Fantasy minibar/fridge item? Ice cream!

Tel Aviv

Though New York City may own the motto “The City that Never Sleeps,” Tel Aviv may be its long lost sister. Teeming with energy day and night, this condense urban metropolis also boasts 9 miles of Mediterranean beaches that are right there for you to enjoy. Traveling to Tel Aviv, you will probably find that you need less hours of sleep a night to happily function – the omnipresent energy of the city and its inhabitants is like a constant espresso shot to the head. It’s no coincidence that Tel Aviv is Israel’s technology center- startups here are thriving off the local energy. Work hard, play hard is definitely a mantra here- people are bustling about day and night, and you will, too.

Music and food are shared between friends everywhere from the beaches to the many outdoor patios, and even as a fish out of water (or off a long-haul economy flight), you’ll find Tel Aviv to be super welcoming- you’ll instantly feel right at home here. It’s like your favorite Instagram account has curated goodies just for you: the food will never stop to amaze, the markets are a treat to all 5 senses, amazing architecture and art galleries are everywhere, the many boutique hotels are super vibe-y, and the city is constantly buzzing.

Where to stay

There are plenty of great boutique hotels in this city. Hotel Montefiore is our favorite. If you’re not able to book one of the 12 rooms, make sure to at least stop by for an afternoon drink. Newly opened boutique The Vera Hotel is another option that we like.

Where to eat & drink

The beauty of this city is that the best food is usually served in the most understated settings (aka: street food is amazing here). Port Said is an iconic restaurant behind the Great Synagogue that serves hip locals seated at tables spilling out onto the sidewalk and courtyard. Even though it doesn’t sound very impressive, the eggplant and sweet potato were our favorite dishes. Sometimes simplicity is bliss- and when the ingredients are so good, you don’t need a lot of extras (in fact, the whole “farm to table” trend has been here for centuries- because of all of the amazing markets, access to super fresh produce is a way of life). Bicicletta is a great spot for a romantic evening- tucked away under the treetops and hanging lamps, this place is a must for dinner.

The best hummus is found in the Jaffa area at Abu Hassan. Judging by looks alone, this is a very casual place- but we can assure you that they are very serious about their hummus. Hummus is made here in the morning, and then put in the bin by 2 pm when it’s not fresh anymore. Though in the west we eat hummus whenever, here it’s a dish best served for breakfast or lunch (at breakfast, they put an egg on it). For the best of all worlds in this area, we recommend that you go around noon for a hummus-laden lunch, and for breakfast, you should try the Shakshouka at Benedict instead.

Where to get a coffee

Cafelix

This place is widely touted as the best coffee place in Tel Aviv by locals, and even though we haven’t been to them all of them and cannot, therefore, confirm that…we can definitely say that this one is worth a visit when in need of that kick.

Where to shop

Neve Tzedek

This area, close to Rothschild Street, is filled with cute shops. The best shopping is done on Shabazi Street, especially at the end towards the seaside, where our favorite store Boutique 77 is. Finish off your retail therapy with the best ice cream in Tel Aviv at Anita.

Where to see some hits of culture

Bauhaus center

The best way to enjoy some culture in this city is by walking. Not only do you get some free cardio, but you get to enjoy the Bauhaus-architecture that Tel Aviv is known for. In this area you’ll find several stores with coffee table books to bring home with you, and also guided tours if you don’t feel like doing the research on your own.

What to do

Go to Jerusalem for a day and visit the wailing wall (maybe even continue to the Dead Sea, if you get moving early in the morning). Dress for the occasion (read: cover yourself! This is not a place for “jorts” or bare arms). Make sure to book a table in advance at Machneyuda for either lunch or dinner.

Where to party

You won’t be disappointed with the party scene here. There is something for everyone. We would start with a drink at Denim Drinks First, and then head over to Kuli Alma. Come here and listen to the music (sometimes there are live performances), and sip on their famous Mojito slushie (Tel Aviv’s “Froze”), and do some drunken shopping at the vintage store that’s tucked away in the back of the venue. If the night goes according to plan, you should end it by dancing at 4am to loud electronic music at either Bootleg or The Breakfast Club.

Best place to buy gifts

There are so many markets in Tel Aviv where you can find great gifts. Walk to Jaffa by the coast in around 30 min from the city center (& if you’re feeling lazy, just grab a taxi via the Gett App), and visit the market in the old area of the city. The area is really run down and feels like the 3rd world compared to other neighborhoods, but that’s the whole charm- you feel transported to another time when looking over the fort.

Where to work out

Go for a walk or a run on the beach, its 13 km long so you won’t need to do more than that! In case you need some extras, you can always take one of the yoga classes on the roof of The Vera Hotel, or rent kayaks or other sporty equipment on the beach from one of the many vendors. You can even join in on a volleyball sesh, if you’re feeling bold and sociable.

Best bar for a secret rendezvous

They happen to love Speakeasy bars in this city, and are experts at hiding great rooftop bars behind secret entrances, so this really is the city for a secret rendezvous, if there ever was one! One of our favorites is the Speakeasy Rooftop Bar on Rothschild. Perfect before or after dinner!

Best spot for your new Bumble profile photo

Floating in the dead sea (if you go, that is- you have to get up super early for that!). If not, then perhaps at the old fort at Jaffa, or at the rooftop bar listed above!

Berlin

This is a city in constant transformation, driven by the young people that come here to explore their creativity and lust for life. Berlin has always been a magnetic melting pot of edgy and progressive music, design, fashion, art, and architecture. Never afraid to push the limits of reality, this is a city you personify in order to enjoy it best. Get out of your comfort zone- this the place to try new things and go a bit wild. It’s normal to do so here.

The rumors are true: “dark rooms” at 24-hour dance clubs where anything goes exist, though as do amazing parks and galleries. It’s very grey, but the rainbow graffiti and street art make up for that in spades. The food isn’t that great – you will be so sick of potatoes and sausages after this trip. We remember missing vegetables so much it hurt sometimes. But do try Borchardt’s- it’s the one place in the world to eat Steak Tartar, where they make it in front of you on a brass trolly, and the waiters are in white tie and hand you a Kir Royale as you walk in….Berlin really is a place filled with love and good vibes- and it’s cheap. This is a place where you can enjoy yourself and have fun.

Where to stay

SO/ Berlin Das Stue

One of our favorite hotels in this city- Das Stue means “living room” in Danish. Fun fact: it was also the Danish Embassy prior to being a forwardly-designed boutique hotel. This very reasonably priced five-star ‘design hotel’ is the perfect mix of sophisticated, new-age interiors and old-school historic bones. The contrast works well, and Das Stue naturally attracts a fashionable crowd because of it.

If you are more of a hipster (or want to be one), the Michelberger Hotel is the place for you. Young, hip and relaxed, the Michelberger is a) fun to say, and b) happens to have one of the best restaurants in its area. It’s also known for its music vibe-

Hipster or not, the 4-star Hotel Zoo Berlin in the central and convenient area of Mitte is a sure spot for someone wanting to be both price and design conscious. Book a room facing the Tiergarten Park’s Zoo, and you’ll likely spot some real monkeys from your bed. Spend an evening on the rooftop in the Monkey bar (yes, there’s a theme), or at least have a drink before or after dinner one of your nights. Yes, it’s weird. And can’t be missed.

Soho House Berlin – so this is the fancier option. The Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) architecture makes this unique building a Grade II classified historic building; you’re basically sleeping in a weird time capsule of politics in Berlin from pre-WWII through the fall of the wall in 1989. This beauty was passed between parties and then left dormant for 10 years before the international members club scooped it up. Both Socialist and Communist party heads were based here at different times before and after WWII. We’re surprised that Wes Anderson hasn’t made a film here yet- there’s lots of symmetrical stuff, and the building’s history is certainly odd. One of the slickest, most people-watchy private rooftops of the city, the terrace will open its doors to hotel guests, as well as members- otherwise, you can’t go in. Many rooms have DJ turntables, too.

Where to eat & drink

Paris Bar

Your only mandatory visit is to the famous restaurant located in West Berlin. Enjoy watching the people that come here or just the great art hanging on the walls while having your dinner and drinks. If you want to try something else that is a German essential, try a döner kebab. You can find it everywhere in this city, but Mustafas is the most well-known one.

Other than that, Katz Orange is a safe bet for a great dinner in Berlin. Borchardt is another one. This one is especially worth a visit on a Friday night when they host parties upstairs. If you choose a different day of the week, you can always go to the Neue Odessa Bar instead for a drink afterward. Make sure to get their Moscow Mule.

Where to get a coffee

The perfect place to stop for coffee and something sweet is the Distrikt Coffee (the bread pudding is legendary).

If you’re more serious about your coffee than that, The Barn will be right up your alley. A coffee shop and roastery in the Mitte district that roasts all its own beans on-site, this is a rarity in Berlin. They don’t offer any WIFI, so don’t come here with your computer. They do however offer free coffee tasting sessions every Saturday and will love for you to stay all day and chat about coffee if that’s your thing.

Where to shop

Voo store

For a fairly large store, Voo manages to feel very exclusive, as if every single piece is hand-picked. You feel very cool and almost untouchable just by walking in here, so it’s going to be difficult to leave without buying something.

The Store is another great one, part of Soho House. There are even a coffee bar and a lot of seating in sofas placed around the store, which makes it the perfect place to just come and have a coffee while enjoying that smell of fresh clothes. Or while sitting around bored but luxuriously comfy while your Instagram wife/husband shops- either/or.

Where to see some hits of culture

Berlin is a place that lives and breathes art. Even the buildings are often full of graffiti and most locals see it not as a nuisance, but rather as an art form. Try to download the Street Art Cities app and take yourself on a tour with your headphones. If you are here during the Gallery Weekend or Berlin Art Week, there’s even more art coming to life in the city than normal. All this street art is sharply in contrast to the sights and monuments that remind you of a very different time, such as the Holocaust Memorial and Berlin Wall Memorial, or Checkpoint Charlie, for example. We think it’s best to take it all in- the modern, and the historic. The saddening, and the beautiful.

If you prefer to stay indoors, go to the Helmut Newton Foundation. Not only is it Berlin-born Helmut Newton’s own work that is featured here, but there are also exhibitions of some of the most influential photographers of our time. This will be an experience to remember for anyone enthusiastic about art, and photography in particular. And the gift shop has the best postcards ever- especially if you enjoy a little nudity every once in a while (which is a big thing that Newton was known for).

Where to work out

Badeschiff

Go swimming in this outdoor swimming pool situated in the river. You’re swimming in chlorinated water, but it still feels like you’re out on the Berlin river with your strokes.

Where to work- ie creative remote “offices”

Go to Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin for the world’s best cheesecake in the lobby! This place is also great to sit down in the lobby with your computer, but there’s no need to stay. Too pricey.

Where to party

Berghain is a club people have heard of, and is often referred to as “The Best Club in the World.” Yes, it’s kind of a big deal- and by ‘kind of,’ we’re messing with you. There is this small detail of course of actually getting in (pro time: NEVER wear nice shoes! No dress shoes, no stilettos), and the long queue and the finicky bouncer won’t make it easier for you to plan your night. That said, it’s probably the best club since Studio 54- so it’s probably worth trying regardless of the annoyances. We suggest calling that German exchange student from high school- no, it’s not that weird. If you’re not lucky enough to get in, there are plenty more fish in the sea, though. CDV is a great option, especially in the summer when you party outside. Birgit und Bier has several dance floors and is also for people who aren’t hardcore techno lovers.

What to do

Enjoy the outdoors with drinks! Bring a blanket, go to Weinerei and buy a good bottle of wine and sit in Weinbergspark. Or buy something bubbly, and take your loved one (there are a lot of lovey-dovey couples here) and sit at Modersohnbrücke in Friedrichshain and watch the sunset on the skyline.

And, just because it’s so Berlin to turn something as harmless as mini golfing into an artsy ‘underground event,’ go to Blacklight Minigolf.

Best bar for a secret rendezvous

Go to one of the many hidden bar/speakeasy’s that are in Berlin. Buck & Bread is our top pick.

Best place for IG stories

Inside the lobby of the Radisson Blu Hotel (we know, but trust us) is the DomAquarée fishtank elevator. A ride in this elevator will make you feel like The Little Mermaid for a second and is definitely worthy of an Instagram “Highlight” reel.

Thank you for visiting Safara!

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