Episode 5 – a weekend in Berlin
Spring has arrived and, with all those bank holidays in May, we’ll have some spare time to take some weekend excursions and mini breaks. There’s no better way to delve into European cultural heritage than with a beautiful city break. It’s easy to forget about your fitness routine on holiday but, as an Urban Sports Club member, you don’t need to worry. Now you can check in to sports with 5,000 partners in four European countries in addition to Germany – including Italy, France, Portugal and Spain. To get the most out of your trip, look for cheap flights or trains to plan your USC City Trip and discover the beauty of Europe.
In our USC City Trips series we offer you a city guide so you have the lowdown on which cool sports you can try and where to get the best (healthy) food. And, of course, all the best sights to see and unmissable hotspots.
Now we’ve arrived at the final stop on our trip through Europe: Berlin! The capital of Germany attracts millions of tourists every year with its diverse cultural heritage and culinary offerings. And of course we can’t forget the world-famous club scene. But in addition to the formative history and the many different activities Berlin has to offer, the capital city has an impressive sports and fitness culture, too.
This week we’ve collated the best workouts, tastiest food spots and top sights to see in Berlin. Make sure you check out our map!
Get your heart rate up:
If you like a HIIT workout then look no further than BEAT81. The coaches here are as good at motivating you as they are at challenging you and they’ll make sure you get the most out of your 45-minute workout. The unique aspect of BEAT81 is they measure your heart rate and display it on a screen so you will know whether you’re training at your optimal frequency range. Afterwards you can even view the results online.
Delicious Mexican-Californian cuisine:
Visit Chupenga for a taste explosion in the form of burritos, tacos and salads. The best thing about this place is that you can customise your order and enjoy their fresh ingredients any way you like. It’s the perfect place to refuel and relax after your vigorous workout.
Experience the border crossing up close:
Checkpoint Charlie was a former border crossing that allowed Berliner to pass to and from East and West Berlin. Although it is now a replica, the checkpoint used to connect the eastern district of Mitte with the western district of Kreuzberg and it’s just a few minutes’ walk from Chupenga. Afterwards you can stroll over to Friedrichstraße and treat yourself in one of the many shops.
While you’re here, make sure you stop by Gendarmenmarkt which is considered to be one of Berlin’s most beautiful squares. Here you will find the Schausspielhaus as well as a German and a French Cathedral.
Get ready to experience the workout of your life at John’s Bootcamp, Berlin’s most effective training session. In this 60-minute HIIT workout you burn up to 1,000 calories. The best bit: the incredible post-workout feeling of euphoria.
Urban Culture Space:
After your sweaty workout you can head downstairs to The Reed, a stylishly furnished cultural space that doubles up as a restaurant. These guys take sustainability and regional produce very seriously and will make sure you get the necessary nutrients to refuel from your workout.
View of the television tower:
The TV tower is Berlin’s most recognisable landmark. The 250m high tower sticks out over every building in the city, which makes it the perfect place to view the breathtaking cityscape of Berlin.
Only a stone’s throw away is the listed Nikolaiviertel. Berlin’s oldest residential quarter was almost completely destroyed in the Second World War but was rebuilt in the 80s. With its small cafés and cute shops it’s a beautiful way to wile away your afternoon.
The Bouldergarten is a bouldering gym that spans over 2,300sqm across three levels. The climbing walls reach heights of around 12m meaning you can climb to your heart’s content on a variety of different routes that are suitable for all levels. The space itself is a brilliant chill-out spot with a cool cafe, urban decor and comfortable sofas.
Who can resist burgers?
Naturally you’ll be exhausted and hungry after your bouldering session so what could be better than a juicy burger at Berlinburger International? There’s always a lot going on in this tiny burger shop because their tasty creations are totally irresistible. But trust us, it’ll be worth the wait!
Enjoy a stroll:
A stroll is always good for digestion so after your burger why not walk over to the Dreiländer-Eck? This is the spot where Kreuzberg, Neukölln and Treptow meet and it’s well-known for being the perfect place to soak up the sun (when it’s out).
Yoga – but not as you know it
Have you ever tried yoga in a pop-up inflatable tent? It may sound strange but it’s one of Berlin’s most popular fitness phenomenons. the Hot Pod Yoga tent heats up to 37 degrees – room temperature – so you can sweat it out in an invigorating and relaxing session. Trust us, after an hour in here you’ll feel relaxed for the rest of the day.
Feast with a view:
Klunkerkranich is a rooftop bar you have to visit. It’s difficult to find, hidden away on the roof of a shopping mall, but once you get there you’ll be rewarded with a breathtaking view over Berlin. There’s nothing better than enjoying a cocktail on a warm spring evening while the sun sets over the city.
You can also order food from their in-house canteen which serves fresh, seasonal dishes all day long. So you can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner with a side of sunshine.
The ultimate meeting spot:
As soon as the sun comes out many Berliners will flock to Tempelhofer Feld for barbecues, sunbathing and sports. This green space used to be used as Berlin’s military air base but now serves as one of the cities most-loved outdoor areas. There’s no limit to the ways you can enjoy Tempelhof: whether it’s feasting on a BBQ, roller-blading down a runway, cycling across the tarmac or learning to fly a kite. With its association with summer, Tempelhof is a true hotspot for locals.
Tire yourself out:
Black Sheep Athletics is a CrossFit box in the heart of Kreuzberg. This place is a known favourite of athletes all over the city and is a pioneer in promoting physical health and mental wellbeing. Here you can train under the supervision of CrossFit experts and enjoy healthy smoothies and snacks once your workout is over. You can even try one of their Yoga for Athletes classes or a Krav Maga lesson. Whatever you’re interests, there’s something here for everyone.
Discover Indonesian cuisine:
Umami is one of the most popular and well-loved affordable food spots in Berlin. Everything is prepared from fresh organic ingredients and it’s served in a cosy atmosphere with dozens of lanterns which creates a soft ambience. Here creativity meets tradition and the result is delicious and seductive creations that will make you fall in love with Indonesian cuisine.
Visit the highest point of Berlin
Viktoriapark is a short walk away from the bustling district of Bergmannkiez and is home to the highest point in Berlin. With its beautiful rushing waterfall and colourful flower displays, this is one of Berlin’s best kept secrets and is the perfect place to round off your stay in Germany’s capital.
We hope our sporty, culinary and cultural tips will give you a glimpse into the lifestyle of Berliners and ignite your curiosity to go and see the city for yourself.
Do you have any interesting tips? We’d love to hear them. Send us your suggestions in the comments below! And if you’re not yet a member, sign up with USC here.