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.
Honestly, this truly embodies my traveling experience-whether it be getting lost in a Colombian jungle or biking up the Himalayas in India, I really gravitate towards the more unconventional routes.
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.
Oh wow, I’m SO jealous of your time in Berlin! So different to the usual tourist experience, but so cool! I’ve never heard of this hospital or Teepee Land but they both seem like such cool and unique experiences. I love exploring abandoned buildings (especially at night!) so I think this is something I’d really enjoy!
Oh my god you must have had the coolest experience! I would love staying in the teepees, it must be an interesting stay to say the least. Especially with a shaman in the area :p were they bathrooms with showers ? I dream to visit the zombie hospital. I have no idea if I would freak out or not but I would definitely do it!!
Hahaha, nooope did not shower for 2 days and had to sleep with my hair tugged mighty tight in my beanie cause I was worried I’d get lice :'(
Wow, this really does look like a unique experience. Saying nothing of the interesting characters you meet in this hippie hangouts, it’s great to see how people are capable of transforming derelict buildings into places that are not only likely to attract visitors but are in their own right, warm. Love the pics of the heart hospital and don’t feel too bad about Berghain, it does seem IMPOSSIBLE to get into
Uggh, Berghain still kills me haha, I was definitely way too shabby for them, oh welll :’)
whoa! That’s an experience most people won’t have in Berlin. It must have been pretty interesting hanging out with the Shaman in the teepee village. And the graffiti art in the Zombie Hospital is amazing. I wouldn’t want to be there at night, either, though.
I adore Berlin, its one of my favourite places in Europe because of its history and quirky vibe, I had never heard of this abandoned hospital though, it should incredible to visit and see all the street art and painting there. It sounds like you had a really different kind of stay in Berlin to the one when you were 15!
Wow that are some true hidden gems tht you are sharing there! I loved the Teepee Land… it seems like a different world. When traveling to Berlin, I will definitely consider these tips.
Wow this looks like so much fun! I had no idea there was something like this in Berlin. I always think of it as a very historical place, but I love finding out about other sides to places. I think I would be creeped out in an abandoned hospital though!!!
Berlin has so many hidden gems! (And honestly, the nicest people too)
Hmm, never saw the hipster side of Berlin. Travelers seeking an alternative experience will eat this up. The abandoned hospital seems a bit scary to me but at least it’s pretty now.
I visited Berlin 3 years ago … & guess for what? Christmas Markets! I had no clue about these abandoned buildings or else I would have definitely visited (not at night though). I love how colourful those rooms are … they kinda remind me of streetart. Looks like I’ve gotta head back there again.
Hahah, I do miss the Christmas Markets, they were super fun! Hopefully I will get to go again soon!
Wow, that zombie hospital looks amazing – love the walls in each room. you’re right though, I’m not sure I’d want to go there in the dark – I’d get spooked out. Nice to see a different side to Berlin!
The first time I went to Berlin it was also to see the Christmas markets and I instantly fell in love with the city! I’m dying to go back and now that I’ve read your post, a trip to the abandoned hospital sounds brill! Thanks for the travel inspo. R x
This is somewhere we didn’t visit when we were in Berlin – it looks a bit scary to be honest (though interesting) so I get why you wouldn’t want to go there at night!
Are you technically allowed to go into the Zombie Hospital? It looks super cool, and sounds even more interesting since you have to “sneak in”. Is the entire place painted like the pictures here?
Noope, not technically allowed but there really isn’t much security around the place :p, and yes! Since it used to be a children’s hospital, most rooms are painted. Don’t know whether that makes it more creepy or not
First pic seems really daunting but then the banana room and heart room?? I would imagine they repainted the rooms! Yes, i wouldnt go there at night for sure!
That feature photo is super eerie!! I love the idea of exploring abandoned buildings. I often travel and explore alone, but I would not visit these places alone!! Great post!
What a different travel experience than the usual touristy events. I love looking at a city from a different perspective, thanks for showing me another side of Berlin!
Ohhh man I’m a big wuss. Abandoned places give the heebie jeebies and I’d never dare set foot in one of these haha. Especially hospitals because they remind me of that place in Silent Hill! I applaud you for your courage and curiosity
Hahaha noo, I was definitely dragged in. I can’t even handle horror movie trailers :'(
This list is so cool! I LOVE cemeteries and graveyards because I think they are so intriguing and beautiful, contrary to popular belief, and these places seem just as interesting! The Zombie Hospital looks awesome.
Yess, can’t stand too much tourism stuff, gotta dig deeeep into the unknown 😉
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