The best of Berlin in November

Exberliner, the German capital's leading English-language magazine, this month picks the best places to buy hard-to-find mags, have a nice cup of tea to fight the cold German winter, or get your hair cut in style.

The best of Berlin in November
Photo: DPA

Deluxe mag dealer

You walk into this slick little store, browse the extraordinary array of international magazines on politics, fashion, art, design, film, music etc., try not to step on the feet of the 10 other magazine addicts doing the same while you nibble at a juicy apple that was offered to you at the counter. It’s Saturday afternoon, you’re having a wonderful time, but dammit you can’t find that underground Hong Kong skateboarding ‘zine you’re looking for. Now what? Instinct tells you to forget about it, to walk away without bothering to ask the probably unhelpful, apathetic grump behind the counter. Wrong, these guys ain’t your average Berlin newsagents (no Lotto!). They’re friendly, speak English and are even open to suggestions! They’ll order anything you wish, will look it up on the Internet and might even add it to their regular selection. And yes, this store is in Berlin!

VC Do You Read Me? Auguststr. 28, Mitte, U-Bhf Rosenthaler Platz, Mitte, Tel 6954 9695, Mon-Fri 10-20:30, Sat 10-19:30,

Russki tea lounge

Ahhh Gemütlichkeit, cosiness – a holy state of being for the Germans. Especially in the sometimes inhumanely cruel atmosphere of Berlin in winter. One haven of tranquillity can be found in Prenzlberg’s Bötzowviertel. Here, you can comfortably rest your trendy bordeaux-colored faux-leather-vintage boots under granny’s Spitzendecke, while listening to contemporary chamber songs (in Russian, English or German), field recordings from India, or Lithuanian fairy tales. ‘Have a cup of Tschai-kowsky’ (tschai = tea in Russian) – offers Egor Sviridenko, who can’t get enough of a joke that dates back to his childhood days in Belarus. The shop opened last year – the result of a happy encounter between Sviridenko, who dreamt of importing the tea culture he saw in Southern France’s Arabic tearooms, and Russian Arseny Zinogradov, who was looking to open an art gallery. Tschaikowsky offers140 teas, which are served at precisely the right temperature, with the exact amount of necessary tea leaves and in an appropriately-styled tea pot (€3.50). You can also become a ‘bookcrosser’ here, part of a free online book club with 655,000 members and over 4,600,000 registered books, that sort of works like an international freebie-library. If you’re more into stimulating your visual intellect, the tiny tea lounge also features art exhibitions, and will be hosting a ‘deep tea house’ party in November. Watch the rain through the window, sip your Golden Puerh, enjoy.

GL Tee- und Kunsthaus Tschaikowsky, Käthe-Niederkirchner-Str. 15, Prenzlauer Berg, Tel 7469 7972, Tue-Sun, 14-22:00,, Deep Tea House Party – minimal & deep sound, Nov 1, 20:00


Entrusting your precious locks to a new hair-dresser is no laughing matter – let’s face it, underneath the awkward cape you’re helpless to prevent hair disaster. Remember last time you spit out your latte (like head massages, these days they’re on the house, unless you go to the cheapos) and demanded a refund, face flushed, eyes moist with repressed anger? Ban hair-don’ts from your life: put your looks in Tanja’s hands. The digs are chic and Tanja Petereit, senior stylist, has worked and lived in enough fashionable places, including Vogue in London, to regale you with glamorous stories in your own selected language. If small talk’s not your style, there’s a plethora of international fashion mags to peruse. Tanja and her partner Tanja will devise the perfect style for you after careful analysis of bone structure, hair type, and all sorts of details you and your previous hairdresser never knew existed. They can also provide tons of hair care and make-up tips (plus make-up lessons) so you can look non-stop gorgeous. All in all, this salon’s the real deal: we know, we scoped it out on a recon-mission! Even if you arrive late, all sweaty, breathless and apologetic, you’ll be treated like a queen.

VC ANTABerlin Stylisten, Regensburger Str. 4, Schöneberg, Tel 217 0378,

Tue-Wed 10-19, Thur-Fri 11-20, Sat from 10,; €48 (cut) and up

Electronic music evolution

An electronic music radio station makes sense in Berlin. A few years ago, TwenFM was broadcasting quality tracks but couldn’t get its funding together. Since September, electronic beats have again been streaming from Cuvrystraße in Kreuzberg. Sonett77 broadcasts free tunes all-day, everyday to whomever wants to listen. “The whole world looks to Berlin for the evolution of electronic music,” says station chief Tim Thaler. “That’s why it’s important to be here.” The station’s more than 20 musicians and DJs are uncompromising and passionate about the house, techno, and electro they play. So passionate, in fact, that most of them create, present, or contribute to Sonett77’s shows for free. The site’s slick, virtual turntable-style interface also lets you replay sets on demand. Sets are moulded to fit the hour, whether you’re getting up to go to work or pre-gaming with friends on a Friday night. “You need different kinds of music for different times of day,” Thaler says. “And it’s the quality that counts; we only play music we like.”

JM Tune in at

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EXPLAINED: Berlin’s latest Covid rules

In response to rapidly rising Covid-19 infection rates, the Berlin Senate has introduced stricter rules, which came into force on Saturday, November 27th. Here's what you need to know.

A sign in front of a waxing studio in Berlin indicates the rule of the 2G system
A sign in front of a waxing studio indicates the rule of the 2G system with access only for fully vaccinated people and those who can show proof of recovery from Covid-19 as restrictions tighten in Berlin. STEFANIE LOOS / AFP

The Senate agreed on the tougher restrictions on Tuesday, November 23rd with the goal of reducing contacts and mobility, according to State Secretary of Health Martin Matz (SPD).

He explained after the meeting that these measures should slow the increase in Covid-19 infection rates, which was important as “the situation had, unfortunately, deteriorated over the past weeks”, according to media reports.

READ ALSO: Tougher Covid measures needed to stop 100,000 more deaths, warns top German virologist

Essentially, the new rules exclude from much of public life anyone who cannot show proof of vaccination or recovery from Covid-19. You’ll find more details of how different sectors are affected below.

If you haven’t been vaccinated or recovered (2G – geimpft (vaccinated) or genesen (recovered)) from Covid-19, then you can only go into shops for essential supplies, i.e. food shopping in supermarkets or to drugstores and pharmacies.

Many – but not all – of the rules for shopping are the same as those passed in the neighbouring state of Brandenburg in order to avoid promoting ‘shopping tourism’ with different restrictions in different states.

2G applies here, too, as well as the requirement to wear a mask with most places now no longer accepting a negative test for entry. Only minors are exempt from this requirement.

Sport, culture, clubs
Indoor sports halls will off-limits to anyone who hasn’t  been vaccinated or can’t show proof of recovery from Covid-19. 2G is also in force for cultural events, such as plays and concerts, where there’s also a requirement to wear a mask. 

In places where mask-wearing isn’t possible, such as dance clubs, then a negative test and social distancing are required (capacity is capped at 50 percent of the maximum).

Restaurants, bars, pubs (indoors)
You have to wear a mask in all of these places when you come in, leave or move around. You can only take your mask off while you’re sat down. 2G rules also apply here.

Hotels and other types of accommodation 
Restrictions are tougher here, too, with 2G now in force. This means that unvaccinated people can no longer get a room, even if they have a negative test.

For close-contact services, such as hairdressers and beauticians, it’s up to the service providers themselves to decide whether they require customers to wear masks or a negative test.

Football matches and other large-scale events
Rules have changed here, too. From December 1st, capacity will be limited to 5,000 people plus 50 percent of the total potential stadium or arena capacity. And only those who’ve been vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19 will be allowed in. Masks are also compulsory.

For the Olympic Stadium, this means capacity will be capped at 42,000 spectators and 16,000 for the Alte Försterei stadium. 

3G rules – ie vaccinated, recovered or a negative test – still apply on the U-Bahn, S-Bahn, trams and buses in Berlin. It was not possible to tighten restrictions, Matz said, as the regulations were issued at national level.

According to the German Act on the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases, people have to wear a surgical mask or an FFP2 mask  on public transport.

Christmas markets
The Senate currently has no plans to cancel the capital’s Christmas markets, some of which have been open since Monday. 

According to Matz, 2G rules apply and wearing a mask is compulsory.

Schools and day-care
Pupils will still have to take Covid tests three times a week and, in classes where there are at least two children who test positive in the rapid antigen tests, then tests should be carried out daily for a week.  

Unlike in Brandenburg, there are currently no plans to move away from face-to-face teaching. The child-friendly ‘lollipop’ Covid tests will be made compulsory in day-care centres and parents will be required to confirm that the tests have been carried out. Day-care staff have to document the results.

What about vaccination centres?
Berlin wants to expand these and set up new ones, according to Matz. A new vaccination centre should open in the Ring centre at the end of the week and 50 soldiers from the German army have been helping at the vaccination centre at the Exhibition Centre each day since last week.

The capacity in the new vaccination centre in the Lindencenter in Lichtenberg is expected to be doubled. There are also additional vaccination appointments so that people can get their jabs more quickly. Currently, all appointments are fully booked well into the new year.