The six coolest Berlin attractions you've never heard of
People come to Berlin and see the Brandenburg Gate, the TV Tower and the Wall. Whether you're a tourist or have lived here for a while, you likely won't have heard of these off-the-radar sights.
The teledisko on Berlin's RAW-Gelände. Photo: DPA.
Marketed as “the smallest disco in the world”, the teledisko is a club inside a phone booth.
Partygoers select a song, enter the tiny compartment alone or with a few friends, and the rave begins.
The cubicle plays the selected song while fog machines, strobe lights and a disco ball work their magic.
Song options are varied, ranging from Killing in the Name by Rage Against the Machine to Dancing Queen by ABBA.
There are two machines in Berlin so far - the pink machine is at Kater Blau club on the banks of the River Spree and only functions during club hours, but the gold one is open all hours and stands on the RAW Gelände on Revalerstraße in Friedrichshain.
The Aquadom at the Radisson Blu hotel. Photo: DPA.
Located in the Radisson Blu Hotel, in central Berlin, the Aquadom is the largest cylindrical aquarium in the world.
The gargantuan tank is an extension of the neighbouring Sea Life centre and contains over 1,500 fish from around 97 species swimming around in more than a million litres of water.
You can watch the 2,000-ton monster being cleaned by divers at around noon from Monday to Saturday, and if you want to get really close, there’s a glass elevator that you can ride up through the middle of the 25 metre cylinder.
A young woman bathing at the Liquidrom. Photo: DPA.
Want to combine acoustics and aquatic? You’re in luck.
The Liquidrom baths are housed in an eye-catchingly angular building with a round window at the peak, which lets in the moonlight and illuminates the pools.
But the Liquidrom’s clincher isn’t the lighting. It’s the sound.
If you want to relax in the main pool’s salt water, you’ll find yourself surrounded by soothing, throbbing classical and electronic music, described on the bath’s website as “liquid sound”.
If that’s not Berlin, then nothing is.
MUST READ: 23 things you never knew about Berlin
The 'Stand By Me' tree
One of the Stand By Me trees in Berlin's Tiergarten. Photo: Verity Middleton/The Local.
People strolling around Tiergarten, the capital's second largest park, will get a pleasant surprise when they see this tree.
An emotional stranger carved the opening lyrics to Ben E. King’s Stand By Me onto the trunk.
The spot has become more popular since the artist’s death in 2015, but it is still one of Tiergarten’s best-kept secrets.
The song’s chorus is also carved onto a nearby trunk, but nobody knows what sentimental soul did that either.
The Secret City Travel blog has given directions to help visitors find the trees: "You'll find the opening verse on a tree beside the Großer Weg pathway, close to its intersection with Großer Sternallee. The 'chorus' is beside a small, nearby pathway leading off the Großer Sternallee."
Although the River Spree is now clean enough to host swimming events it's still not altogether advisable to take a dip in Berlin's watery artery.
But you can still swim ‘on’ it.
Badeschiff is a barge on top of the Spree, which has been converted into a heated pool and where you can swim from May till September and be almost eye-level with the river.
Swimmers get a gorgeous view of the city centre and the skyline, and the area by the pool has been turned into a beach where you can relax and sunbathe or play some volleyball.
View from inside one of the unsicht-Bar restaurants. Photo: DPA.
An innovative restaurant in Berlin's Mitte district, unsicht-Bar offers a blind dining experience.
The so-called "dark restaurant" is pitch black and run by blind or visually-impaired waiting staff who, unlike customers with good eyesight, are used to manoeuvring without being able to see.
All light-emitting devices are forbidden in the restaurant, which means no looking at your phone, no lighting cigarettes and no checking the time on your light-up watch.
It's an eye-opening experience, and the restaurant's website says that "by voluntarily abandoning your visual impulses you will be able to experience what wonderful work your other senses are capable of."
This kind of eatery is really taking off, and unsicht-Bar also has branches in Cologne and Hamburg, but the website calls the Berlin restaurant "the biggest dark restaurant in the world".
By Ali Butt