What is “typical Berlin” for you?

Berlin wall and trabi car | Typical berlin


I’m collecting things that are “typisch Berlin” (typical Berlin) to explain them to foreigners. Can be small or big, but interesting for an audience of foreigners.


  • Döner Box with Bacon Bits.
  • That young students in driving schools have no clue about car parking rules. In Berlin practice, nobody cares.
  • Vinyls and plants.
  • Dog shit every 2 meters.
  • The background of techno in every park with families around.
  • Putting a bottle on the floor next to a bin, not inside the bin, so if someone wants to deposit the bottle they don’t have to get their hands dirty.
  • A FRITZ!Box router.
  • Playgrounds, which I love, but from an American perspective in particular seem to have been designed with the express purpose of posing a mortal danger to children.
  • Seeing small children playing in parks where people are drinking, smoking weed and listening to techno. That still blows my mind.
  • Berliner beer.
  • Passive-aggressive notes at entrance doors.
  • Freedom to live. Walk down with torn clothes and purple hairs, no one would judge you or look back.
  • Well, there was that time the neighbours were enjoying a Saturday morning orgy on our shared roof terrace, and my dog went over to say hello.
  • Oh, and the naked woman posing for photographs in a tree at 10 AM opposite a play park.
  • S-Bahn seat upholstery.
  • Kebab and currywurst.
  • The Berlin annoying sirens from the ambulance doesn’t matter which year or movie shot in Berlin, this siren is always passing in the background from the streets until nowadays.
  • Späti culture.
  • Kleingarten colonies. Letters for everything. The postman leaving notifications or giving your package to neighbours even though you were at home all the time. Opening windows at freezing temperature to get fresh air. “Arts of the Working Class” newspaper. Junkies everywhere. Pfand collectors. People gathering like lizards when they find a spot of sunlight. The “Alles gut?” street drug dealers. All black clothes and a ridiculously short beanie hat. The aggressive U-Bahn ticket controllers. Not giving out your seat to children, elderly or disabled citizens on public transport. Nobody offering or accepting help (even when clearly overpowered).
  • Berliner Schnauze!
  • Witty BVG and BSR ads.
  • Never apologising even when giving wrong change, instead, you get a glare for being a troublemaker.
  • Any sign with the word VERBOTEN on it.
  • “Ist mir legal” video from BVG. “Das ist Berlin” video from Berliner Morgenpost.

Other fun questions

Berlin wall and trabi car | Typical berlin
Image by Peter Dargatz from Pixabay


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *