From my couchsurfing experience in Berlin at ‘Teepee Land’ to exploring Weissensee, the Abandoned Children’s Hospital in Berlin, the once romantic metropolis was not at all what I remembered it to be.
Berlin gave me a handful of memories. My first solo trip to Europe at the age of 15, was to visit a friend in this city. I lived with her for a month, attending high school mid the gloomy month of December, celebrating Christmas with her fabulous family and welcoming New Years with arrhythmic dance moves atop a metro station. I loved everything about the city.
So it was not a surprise that I decided to revisit the capital of Germany. But this time, my stay was absent from the charm of Christmas markets, bright lights, and teenage-hood of West Berlin. Instead, I decided to explore the city’s darker side, East Berlin’s hipster neighborhoods, and abandoned buildings.
Throughout my three day visit in Berlin, I fashioned a ridiculous outfit, no short of a sweater tied to my side and a ski mask turned beanie. Of course, I thought my attire perfectly suited for these unique things to do in Berlin 🙂
My friend and I decided to couchsurf with a community set along the Spree, a beautiful river that flowed through the city center.
No surprise here, “Teepee Land” was occupied by travelers, hippies, and artists of all backgrounds. All the teepees were made of recyclables from the city and used as living quarters for those who chose a vastly different lifestyle than that of city-dwelling.
Cool Things to do in Berlin: Spend a Night in Teepee Land
If you are confused with what’s happening, trust me when I say I was too. The place was awesome, don’t get me wrong. With couches and tents and newspaper for rooftops in a huge unattended space, it was hella homey for someone like me. Surfers and others appeared in and out of the tents to greet us.
We were introduced to some minor rules, such as no hard drugs, no stealing, and general things that everyone followed. It was pretty great to see people leaving their luggage and bags around the camp knowing that they were taken care of.
That night, we met a French Shaman who was about to head back to the Riviera to attend a Shaman festival.
– person regarded as having access to, and influence in, the world of good and evil spirits, especially among some peoples of northern Asia and North America. Typically such people enter a trance state during a ritual and practice divination and healing.
We were introduced a world unknown to many, a world filled with tales of tree spirits and drum playing and forest interactions. Looking for some unique and fun things to do in Berlin? This was definitely it.
Dark Side of Berlin: Explore Weissensee, Zombie Hospital Berlin
But how could our trip just end with Shamans and Teepee Land and night runs (our failed attempt at crashing Berghain-one of the hardest clubs to get into?)?? No, Berlin is so much more than that.
We had to end it with sneaking into some abandoned places in Berlin, namely Weissensee, a former children’s hospital.
It’s safe to say that Berlin is a beautiful city. There are loads of green space and wide roads, a huge contrast to say, Paris’ narrow streets and busy city space.
Nevertheless, my favorite part of the trip was the visit to the Berlin Zombie Hospital. It was a children’s hospital situated in Weißensee.
But trust me when I say this was not usually my thing. I’m the kind of person that can’t even complete a horror movie trailer on Youtube. If it weren’t for my friends being the brave souls they were, I’d never have set foot in a place like this.
Then again, it is not all dark and gloomy ;J
The Banana Room
The Heart Room
What happens when you leave two idiots in the same room? ^
The hospital itself was not hard to find. It is located at Hansastraße 178-180, 13088 Berlin (Weißensee). We got there by taxi, it was around EUR 15-20 from East Berlin. As long as you are not afraid to get down and dirty, the place is practically inviting you in!
While the gates were locked, there was a convenient hole somewhere along the fence. There are a total of 4-5 buildings to explore. From the children’s different colored’ rooms to walls of graffiti and chalk, it was a good 2 hours spent wandering around the (possible) living situation for them brave-hearted.
Beware of the manholes around the buildings! There were several hidden enough to cause some damage. Either way, I would not come here at night. It was a bit scary despite the well-lit setting.
We stayed in Berlin for 3 days. Since we couchsurfed, living expenses were eliminated. Other than a bunch of free things to do in Berlin, we spent the nights walking around the city and visiting most tourist attractions on foot.
- The hop on hop off bus that we took was around EUR 20
- Interactive theater experience was EUR 15
- Public transportation was a few Euros each way, but since we lived near the wall, it was decently easy to get around on foot.
Overall, the 3-day stay was less than US 65 (Including the Blablacar from Hamburg).
My friend and I had a lot of fun in Germany. Be it the nightlife of Hamburg or the darkside of Berlin, there was so much to discover in this entire country! If you have other questions, feel free to shoot me a message!
Thanks to my beautiful friend Camila for these beautiful photos. Check her out here.