Berlin may look a little rough and tumble, but it is one of the most accessible and exciting destinations for solo travelers who are willing to jump into the deep end. And while it may be tempting to take a crew with you when you set off to travel the world, the real magic often happens when you’re alone. As the captain of your own ship, you won’t be dragged down by any group decision-making stress, or miss out on special and spontaneous opportunities. You’ll also be more inclined to put yourself out there and meet new people. Here’s how to nail Berlin, solo-style.
The city embraces individuality, so those going solo will feel right at home. Berlin is also the city of experimentation, and you’ll find people to connect with here, just by going your own way and being yourself. Berlin is the fourth most active Tinder city in Europe, and even if you’re not looking for love, the Tinder Passport app is still a great way to connect with locals. The city is generally very safe, making it a winning choice for solo travelers, and especially enticing for women traveling alone. You still need to be street smart and have your wits about you, but the beauty of Berlin is that you can push the boundaries of your own experience a lot more freely than in some other cities.
Practically speaking, Berlin is affordable. You can eat, sleep and play in Berlin at a fraction of the price it would cost you in other major European cities.
Berlin is wildly creative, boasting some of the finest museums in the world. It also has a reputation for being a party city. Travelling alone gives you the freedom of choice to discover the parts of the city you want to explore. Whether it’s the history, museums, nightlife, art scene, fetish clubs, restaurants, shopping or all of the above, going at it alone means you’ll simply be able to do more.
While it’s always advisable to learn a few key phrases of the German language as a matter of respect, English is widely spoken, especially among the city’s younger population. In fact, the city is a melting pot of languages and culture, with large communities from all over the world carving out their own influences in the city. With conversations in Hebrew, Spanish, Arabic and French going on all around you, you’ll never feel like you don’t fit in. People are friendly, so don’t be afraid to say hello.
Parks are a major hangout in Berlin and a good way to meet new friends. Head to Templehof or Görlitzer Park in summer, pitch your blanket and have a few beers on you so that you can share them with the people who will be there, playing music, doing handstands and having picnics around you. Meeting someone there is easy, and will probably lead you on to your next activity, in the form of an invitation to a club, bar or house party. Buying a lighter might seem strange if you don’t smoke, but a lot of people in Berlin do smoke something, and having a lighter on you when someone needs it might be your ticket into a magical night out.
Berlin is bursting with cheap and social hostels, perfect for meeting other travelers. Try the East Seven Hostel in Prenzlauer Berg, which has lots of common room spaces and beer in the fridge. Joining one of their nightly bar crawls is also a good way to introduce yourself to Berlin’s nightlife if you’re alone. The Generator Hostel in Mitte also offers regular social events and is a great place to hook up with other visitors.
Most hostels in Berlin either offer free walking tours of the city, or know which way to point you to find one. This is a great option, allowing you to see most of the city’s famous landmarks and get to know a bit about its history, and at the same time providing you with a platform to meet new people.