The best of Berlin in January

Exberliner, Berlin's leading English-language magazine, this month picks the best places to strip burlesque style, get your very own personal shopping guide or speak your mind before an audience.

The best of Berlin in January
Photo: DPA

Strip in style

Shed those inhibitions – along with everything else: burlesque is back in town. Just pull out that sexy lingerie, slip on those dainty high heels and head down to the Schönheitstanz Berlin Studio of erotic dance. Here, the fabulous and fabulously sexy Lady Lou will help you channel your inner Gypsy Rose Lee. Trained in classic burlesque dancing, the New Zealander has been performing for over seven years. Now she shares her knowledge and passion with punters here in Berlin – a casual crowd that mainly consists of 30 and 40-something German professionals. Schönheitstanz Berlin is the only studio in the country that specializes in all forms of exotic dancing including pole, lap and strip tease. Its girly pink interior provides a safe and comforting environment in which to release any remaining prudishness. No matter what the incentive – trying something new, getting fit, feeling sexy or sprucing up your love life – one thing is for sure: you’ll leave the class seductive as never before.

Schönheitstanz Berlin Studio, Charitéstr. 4, Mitte, S-Bhf Friedrichstr., Tel 889 44 835, Mon 16:30-18:30 and Wed 4:30-16:30, courses are held only once a month, twice for two hours on Sat and Sun,

Deluxe fashion tour

If you don’t have a stylish, cultured friend to take you shopping in Berlin’s most avant-garde designer boutiques and you are too lazy, inexperienced or new in town to know where to start, then your worries are over. GoArt!, a local agency founded by the art critics and curators Miriam Bers and Stefano Gualdi, offers just the expert advice you’re looking for. Their diverse services include customized guided fashion tours (you can choose the language, the number of hours etc) through the fascinating world of Berlin designers. A young specialist (often a fashion student) will lead you through Mitte’s trendiest streets, mostly around Weinmeisterstr. underground station, to those up-and-coming Berlin labels everyone talks about – from Starstyling and Bo Van Melskens, to Bless, Van Reimersdahl and many more. In the course of your travels, you will get to hear some pretty interesting stories about their previous lives and present achievements. You can either choose to have your own private tour, specially tailored to your taste (from €79 an hour), or share the experience with a couple strangers in the public tour on Saturday afternoons for a more affordable €15 an hour.

Go!Art, Tel 3087 3626,

E-fashion victims

Speaking of cool, fashionable friends, if you are not yet a member of the exclusive shopping community Brands4Friends, here’s your chance to hop on board with the coolest, most fashionable friend of them all: EXBERLINER. Since its September 2007 launch, Brands4Friends has grown amazingly fast from a limited network of friends and corporate partners to the current 1,300,000 members in Germany and Austria – its numbers peaked at 10,000 sign-ups in just one day. The largest shopping community in Germany now employs about 80 people at its Berlin headquarters, a number expected to swell to 200 with the company’s imminent European expansion. You can access Brands4Friends through invitation only – but once in, please feel free to invite your own friends. You will get 40 to 70 percent off of clothes and accessories by popular high fashion and street wear brands for men, women or kids: Calvin Klein, Converse, Missoni, Laguna Beach etc. Every day a new brand is offered for three days at a discount price – but as the stock is pretty much ausverkauft after 24 hours, you better jump out of bed at 7am on the first day if you want to snap up the best bargains. Can’t wait to join? Just go to and register by the end of January to access this discount shopping paradise!


New word order

The cosy setting provided by Kreuzberg’s Mano Café suits Berlin’s newest – and most cleverly named – open mic series perfectly. In answer to the prayers of eager but underexposed entertainers, Mike Haelinger and Lissy Romanow decided to provide a random assortment of mostly English-speaking poets, storytellers, actors, monologists, musicians, comedians, clowns and so on with five minutes of stage time in which to flex their performing muscles. Held on the second Thursday of the month and attended by an enthusiastic audience, New Word Order also thoughtfully includes one or two featured acts to help relax nervy first-time performers. The next open mic night will be on January 8: doors open at 9pm, but if you’re hoping to perform, be sure you get there early as only a limited number of spots are available. All languages are welcome.

New Word Order poetry/music/performance open mic, Mano Café, Skalitzer Str. 46a, Kreuzberg, U-Bhf Görlitzer Bahnhof, 2nd Thursday of each month, 21:00

Click here for more from Berlin’s leading monthly magazine in English.

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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.