Forgotten Berlin: Kaugummiautomaten

Kaugummiautomat | Sascha Kohlmann / Flickr
Brienne Pierce

Like anything worth trying to describe in this world, Berlin is unable to be qualified. There are some persistent themes that weave themselves into the unspoken narrative of Berlin’s cityscape. There are though, indelible patterns of this city, like its inexorable tenacity to move forward and past adversity. It has moved through world wars and oppression. It is because of this that so much of Berlin is abandoned. Sometimes the abandoned becomes transformed and sometimes it just transcends. Here we pay homage to the curious Kaugummiautomaten, or gum-ball machines, that plague the streets of Berlin. They don’t try to hide, but due to their lack of relevance, they’ve inevitably become a part of the minutia.
Some are totally out of use while others seem to still be stocked with candy. Some eat your euros and others seem to dispense nostalgia. They are the underdogs of Berlin’s icons. They can be found all over the city, and all over Germany for that matter; approximately 500,000-800,00 exist. While they are an anomaly to foreigners, to German natives, it’s just a regular old candy machine, not a kitsch cultural leftover. Still, these machines have caught the eyes of expats and Berliners alike because they are undeniably out-of-date, puzzling, and most of all, alluring.

Kaugummiautomat; Berlin, Kreuzberg, Schlesische Straße
Kaugummiautomat; Berlin, Kreuzberg, Schlesische Straße
Kaugummiautomat; Berlin, Kreuzberg, Wrangelstraße 49
Kaugummiautomat Duisburg Marxloh
Kaugummiautomat; Nordenham
Kaugummiautomat am Landwehrkanal
Goldener Kaugummiautomat
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article