#MyGermany: ‘Living outside the Berlin Ringbahn means less competition’

Every month, a reader takes over The Local's Instagram to show us their Germany. Floraidh Clement from Scotland recently showed us her part of Berlin.

#MyGermany: 'Living outside the Berlin Ringbahn means less competition'
Floraidh Clement. Photo courtesy of Floraidh Clement
How old are you and what do you normally spend your days doing?
I'm 24 years old. When I'm not working as a social media specialist, I love exploring the city's museums, rollerblading around the nearest park and trying to find the best pizza in Berlin. 





Hello and Guten Tag! ? I’m Floraidh. I’ll be taking over The Local Germany’s IG this week. That’s me in my all time favourite Berlin spot, Tempelhof. If only it was t-shirt weather today…? . I’ve lived and worked in Berlin for almost 18 months, having moved from Glasgow, Scotland for a job at a travel blog ???????? . I just started a new role at a European digital bank and am super excited to get started. Being new is always daunting but I’m beginning to find my feet. ? . Right now I live in a quiet Kiez called Lichtenberg just outside of “the Ring” (the train line circling around the Haupstadt). People are always a little taken aback when I tell them where I live – there’s no large international scene, trendy restaurants or vibrant nightlife here. But there’s plenty more which has made me come to appreciate the slower, less flashy pace of life? . So if you fancy seeing more insights into a quieter corner of East Berlin, I’ll be posting snippets throughout this week! ? . Today though…I’m not feeling so great and am working from home. Waiting it out to see if I feel better and can crack on with my weekend plans? . I always feel like I’m not “making the most” of Berlin when I have a quiet weekend, though…it’s a unique kind of FOMO. Do you ever feel pressure to make the most out of your adopted home in Germany and soak up every second? Or can you give yourself room to breathe? Tell me your thoughts below!❤️ . #thelocalgermany #mygermany #berlin #berlinstagram #deutschland #berlincity #igersberlin #igberlin #travel #expatlife #unlimitedberlin #iloveberlin #tempelhof #tempelhoferfeld #berlingram #berliner #berlinlove #diestadtberlin #visitberlin

A post shared by The Local Germany (@thelocalgermany) on Mar 15, 2019 at 5:32am PDT

When and why did you move to your city/neighbourhood?

I moved to my neighbourhood in January 2018. At the time, it was more of a practical decision. The Berlin rental market is notoriously tricky and living slightly outside the Ring meant less competition while keeping our commutes to Alexanderplatz reasonably short. 

What do you love the most about your city/neighbourhood?

My neighbourhood is peaceful, quiet and safe. That said, when we do want to head out and enjoy more lively neighbourhoods, we're only a few U-Bahn stops from Friedrichshain, or we can hop on the Ringbahn and be in Prenzlauerberg or Neukölln in 20 minutes.

As for my city…where to start with Berlin? It's diverse, it's fun, it's a city which doesn't take itself too seriously. There's always somewhere new to explore, it never takes that long to get anywhere, and it's still relatively cheap to enjoy. If you love history (I'm personally a bit of a Cold War nerd) you're basically surrounded by it every day. I do wish museums were free like they are in the UK, but I've not found one I haven't enjoyed yet. 

What annoys you the most about your neighbourhood?

Sometimes it's a bit TOO quiet and peaceful, if you get what I mean! It would be great to have a bar or restaurant nearby we can stroll to when we're feeling lazy, but it really is just residential area. Overall, we're happy with where we are. 


How should I spend a day in your neighbourhood?

Definitely by escaping to the less tourist green spots of Berlin. From Landschaftspark Herzberge to Stadtpark Lichtenberg and the banks of Rummelsburger See, my neighbourhood is spoiled for peaceful places to “get away” from the city.

It's a little further east and not technically my neighbourhood anymore, but Schlosspark Biesdorf is also idyllic and lovely. I'd also really recommend heading to the Stasi Museum. 





The #DDRMuseum in Mitte gets a lot of love, but the Stasi Museum in Lichtenberg is one of my personal favourites in #Berlin. It’s located right next to Magdalenenstrasse U-bahn. It took me a long time to go visit considering I live a short walk away, but it’s a fascinating insight into the everyday surveillance people endured in East Germany. The museum itself is the former Stasi HQ, with much of its original furnishings still retained. The building and the ones which surround it are imposing socialist structures and it feels like a step back into not-so-distant history. Inside, you can read more about the surveillance methods used by the Stasi, as well as how they recruited both workers and informants. There’s so much history in Berlin, some good, but most incredibly dark. What’s your favourite museum to visit? #thelocalgermany #mygermany #berlin #history #stasimuseum #myberlin #berlinlove #diestadtberlin

A post shared by The Local Germany (@thelocalgermany) on Mar 16, 2019 at 3:37am PDT

What's a fun fact not everyone knows about your neighbourhood?

The Bahnhof Edeka in Lichtenberg is open on a Sunday. Sounds like an unimportant detail, but when you wake up on a Sunday with a hangover and no fry up ingredients…

Follow Floraidh Clement on Instagram here. To find out how you can become The Local's next #MyGermany host, click HERE.

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#MyGermany: ‘Nordend has been my love since I moved to Frankfurt’

We regularly ask readers to take over The Local Germany's Instagram. Recently, Vishal Shah from Mumbai, India, showed us his Frankfurt.

#MyGermany: 'Nordend has been my love since I moved to Frankfurt'
Vishal Shah. Photo courtesy of Vishal Shah.

Where are you from?

I am from the city of Mumbai. It might be the most populated city, but that is what makes it the best Indian city to live in – its people. The warmth in its people is sometimes even stronger than its tropical weather. This is where you also find the best street food (which is what, sometimes, I miss more than my family).

How old are you and what do you normally spend your days doing?

I'm now 32. In the year 2017, when turning 30, there were a lot of things I was contemplating in my career until this opportunity worked out. In the past two years, I have been in Frankfurt, I have done many things that I never imagined back then. 





Hallo! This is Vishal here from Frankfurt (@shahvis ) and this week I’ll be taking over @thelocalgermany Instagram handle, to show you the city from my lens? I like to think of Frankfurt as a city of contrasts, amidst the skyscrapers lies the peace; but it is much more than the busiest airport city of Germany?? I have been working here for the past 2 years as a Marketing Manager for (you guessed it) a financial company? having moved from Mumbai, India and have been exploring the city and its neighbourhood?? If I had to explain this in my profession’s language: Frankfurt’s charm is in the hidden gems that it does not market. These are the places where you see the true Hessen culture, experience the local delicacy Grüne sauce?, sip the Apfel wine ?, spend your day by the Main river or explore the forest in Taunus region ? I am hoping by the end of this week, I can surprise you with a few pictures, snippets and stories from this diversely populated city ?#frankfurt #frankfurtgermany #mygermany #thelocalgermany #germany?? #hessen #apfelwein #citybeachfrankfurt??☀️? #thelocaleurope #frankfurtliebe #expatlife #meinfrankfurt #deutschland

A post shared by The Local Germany (@thelocalgermany) on Sep 13, 2019 at 2:08am PDT

When I am not being Digital Marketing Manager-EMEA for my company, I like to spend time going to meetups; interacting with people from different cultures (and explaining that not all Indians in Germany are into IT business).

I also enjoy walking by the Main river sipping the heavenly beer, visiting the fitness studio (might seem a norm here, but I never did that back in Mumbai after renewing the membership for 5 years), watching a lot of thriller TV shows and exploring restaurants in and around the city while trying to find vegetarian options. 

When and why did you move to your city/neighbourhood?

First few days when I was in Frankfurt, I ended up seeing a lot of great apartments in different residential areas. A lot of apartments caught my fancy, but my criterion was mind boggling for the agents and the landlords in this part of the world.

A simple statement was far beyond the understanding of many, and I quote myself – ‘I love the apartment, but the surrounding area seems very quiet’. I could see their eyes twirling and the expression on their face of seeing a dumb-natured person standing in front of them. Of course, those who have never been to Mumbai don’t realize the importance of noise to get a sound sleep.

What do you love the most about your city/neighbourhood?

Nordend-west has been my love ever since I moved for all the right reasons. I found an apartment right opposite the ‘U-Bahn’ station (some call it a tram station, don’t know why).

I love how there are a lot of great restaurants and wine bars, a stone’s throw away (a stone would literally hit the restaurant owner, if I aimed it from the apartment balcony). It took me more time to get out of my office building in Mumbai than it takes to reach my workplace from home in Frankfurt.

Nordend has the right mix of green and grey. A lot of buildings that have retained the Gothic architecture and are an absolute delight to look at or walk by and a lot of green areas.

Supermarkets are so close that one can reach them even in a tipsy state. The bar right below my apartment serves more beer than I could count with my fingers and toes combined. Bonus – two shops are open seven days of the week (I know, it still surprises me whenever I pass by these shops on a Sunday).

What annoys you the most about your neighbourhood?

Really difficult to point fingers but I would go out on a limb to say, it is the rent (landlord, are you listening?). Other than that, I really cannot think of anything that annoys me in Nordend. 

How should I spend a day in your neighbourhood?

It is an area which no one will tell you to visit when in Frankfurt because it is not touristy. However, if I was your tourist guide, I would tell you the following – start your day with some delightful breakfast at Glauburg Café or Milch und Zucker, then take a walk by a street that gives you the feel of old-town charm yet modern architecture.

Experience some of the best falafel in town at Aromas, visit the Holzhausen park, don’t forget to try the lip smacking ice-cream at Eis Christina and end your day at one of the many bars in the area.

What's a fun fact not everyone knows about your neighbourhood?

Seven minutes is all it takes to reach the Nordend area of Frankfurt. Why do I mention this here, you ask? Internet search engines usually succeed in showing you the right route to reach you destination, but they have something personal towards my neighbourhood and they fail to show the shortest route.

It does not take 26 minutes to reach Nordend from the centre – only seven minutes.