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Berlin 
Only in Berlin


The German capital has plenty of quirks. Here are just a few of them.

Every city has its share of eccentricities and Berlin is certainly no exception. Although the capital has grown increasingly cosmopolitan over the years, it has retained much of its character and culture. Locals are justly proud of the little things that make Berlin what it is. These are just a few to look out for on your visit.

The Döner Kebab

While it may have Turkish roots, the mighty döner kebab belongs to Berlin, not Istanbul, and is still perhaps better enjoyed here than in any other part of the world. There are plenty of dodgy-looking döners, but when made correctly, this spicy, savoury, carnivorous indulgence is a thing of beauty. Steer clear of those made of Hackfleisch (ground meat, usually beef), which are more likely to be of dubious quality, and stick to stands with long lines and high turnover.

The Späti


These late-night convenience stores are ubiquitous all over Berlin and an essential part of the fabric of daily life. Whether you need to pick up a late-night beer or a snack, the Späti on the corner will have what you need. Berliners tend to be particularly loyal to their local neighbourhood spot.

The Currywurst


The Hauptstadt’s signature delicacy is, admittedly, something of an acquired taste. Still, Berliners love the currywurst so much that they made a museum dedicated to it. If you find yourself with a craving, order like a local by asking either for it scharf (spicy) or nicht scharf (mild) and either mit or ohne Darm (with or without casing).

Buletten

Buletten, or large meatballs, are a favourite food of just about every Berliner. In Cologne, these patties are often called Frikadellen, while Bavarians often use the term Fleischpflanzerl. Whatever you call them, they’re hearty, rib-sticking comfort food. Order them in a Brötchen (roll), or Schrippe, as it’s often called in Berlin, and pile on plenty of mustard.

Kiez Mentality

Ask a true Berliner where they’re from or where they live and the odds are high that they’ll answer “Kreuzberg” or even the name of their Kiez rather than “Berlin.” Although the Hauptstadt may technically be a single city, it often feels like a series of wildly diverse adjacent smaller towns. Berliners tend to be loyal not just to their larger district, but also to their specific Kiez, or neighbourhood.

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