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© Martijn van Exel/Flickr
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Berlin Ohne Tourists And How To Celebrate

Picture of Lily Cichanowicz
Updated: 21 December 2016
While no one appreciates the summertime quite like Berliners, we all breathe a silent sigh in rejoice when days grow shorter and the leaves begin to change. Why? Because we finally have the city to ourselves again. Indeed, with over 10 million tourists coming to enjoy our city each year, it’s always a relief when high season is over. Now that the city is rid of its tourists, here are the ways we can celebrate in true Berliner fashion.

Resume your clubbing activities in peace

Some may theorize that the queue at clubs is longer in the summer because the weather is warm, but seasoned party veterans can snipe out the tourists as if it were a sixth sense. While the weather may be chillier and the queuing still less pleasant than it was during the balmy nights of the Berlin summer, at least the wait will be significantly shorter. On the downside, Berghainers will no longer have the shield of contrast between themselves and the rowdy selfie-snapping tourists in front of them. Still, for the agoraphobes among you, most of the city’s clubs will be better for a bit of extra breathing room.

No more having to swerve on the bike path

One of the most pervasive aspects of the tourist-saturated summer city is that the bike paths are utterly clogged with them. Whether a bewildered individual is standing with his luggage right in the way as you’re speeding down Warschauer Strasse, or you get stuck behind a horde of clumsy bicycle tourists making their way through Mitte, this can really be enough to cramp our style. Not only is it difficult to keep that trademark Berliner cool when people are completely oblivious to our efforts to cruise through the city with the wind flowing through out hair, it can actually make us late for our ultra-casual ‘meet and greets’ where we compete for the attention of the CTO at that exciting new start up in hopes of landing a freelance position.

We no longer have to compete for space at Berlin’s best events

As per the long lines at the clubs, tourists don’t only come out at night. In fact, they are also known to augment the crowds at some of the city’s best markets and events, like Markthalle Neun’s Street Food Thursday, or add to the volume of people dawdling around our very own neighborhood weekend markets. Now that these venues won’t be so super crowded and chaotic, it’ll be a lot easier to linger a bit longer, ultimately getting the most out of the outing. This is the case until study abroad students start to take the place of tourists in this realm once they get their bearings and their Monatskarten.

Sobotna tržnica #berlin #tinkapotepinka

A photo posted by @trihtar on

We can finally spread out at parks

During the final precious days of warm weather, it’s prime time for picnicking, playing pick-up games, or otherwise chilling at one of Berlin’s many green spaces. It won’t take long to notice that these areas are much more vast than they had seemed during the summer months when every good host brought their visiting friends to the nearest park for a true Berlin experience. The same goes for the Landwehr Canal and the city’s many Spree-side venues. It’s finally possible to lay claim to a large patch of space fit for stretching out, napping, frolfing, or simply frolicking around.

You can actually sleep in

Ever wonder what that awful clatter was outside the window at 6am? Turns out that racket is the sound of tourists’ rolling luggage on their way to their AirBnBs, hostels, and friends’ couches after a cheap early-hours Easy Jet flight, which arrived during the wee hours of the morning. Along with the construction work that begins – legally at least – at 7am sharp throughout the city, the number of rolling suitcases clinking across the sidewalk will decrease steeply as summer comes to a close.

You no longer have to hear your own language… Maybe

The ‘maybe’ is key on this one. While one of the biggest signs that someone isn’t from around here is that they don’t speak the Deutsch with that classic Berliner schnauze. Of course, this rule of thumb actually gets pretty muddled considering that many Berliners — particularly the younger ones — hail from elsewhere in the world. Still, there is certainly an even larger proportion of non-German speakers during tourist season, and not all of them realize that most people speak English quite well until they candidly discuss things in German and earn glares from those around them.