Berlin Neighbourhood Guide: Karlshorst

13th September 2022 in Guide
Karlshorst streets – Source:

In this new series, we’re diving into some of Berlin’s best kept secrets. Lesser known neighbourhoods that offer proximity to city centre, offering beauty, culture, nature and of course better value than the most popular districts.

If you’re brave enough to journey further East beyond the gentrified pizza eating punks of Friedrichshain, past the Rummelsburg waterfront, you will reach the green and picturesque district of Karlshorst. 

Many are catching onto it as one Berlin’s best neighbourhoods to live. Here’s why you should give Karlshorst a chance.


Karlshorst is situated on the north side of the Spree river, sandwiched between the beautiful Plänterwald and the old east German zoo, the Tierpark. Its small town charm, excellent public transport connections, and proximity to parks on all sides make it perfectly positioned for access to the city and nature, while keeping things at a slower pace than other districts. 

Transport Connections

Source: Google Maps

Karlshorst is connected with the S-Bahn (S3 Karlshorst S-Bahnhof), U-Bahn (U5 Tierpark), Tram (21, 27, 37 and M17) and various buses. Despite being situated a little out of the central districts, the S-Bahn is fast and it takes just 7 minutes to travel to Ost-Kreuz in the heart of Friedrichshain, putting Berlin’s trendiest neighbourhood on your doorstep.

This is one of the biggest draws of the neighbourhood as it’s rare in Berlin to be outside of the ring, yet getting into the center in minutes. Being on the central S3 line it’s also possible to cross the entire city, and have equal access to Northern and Southern districts.

Places of Interest

The neighbourhood is surrounded by some of Berlin’s most interesting Eastern corners. Despite the perception of it being a slower paced, family oriented district, its position is at the centre of Berlin’s arts and music scene. For musicians and artists it has a perfect balance providing access to the consumption and creation of culture, from the most inspiring venues minutes away, to extremely affordable studio or atelier space in the neighbouring districts of Marzahn and Lichtenberg.

Funkhaus Berlin

Just over the train tracks you are within walking distance to the spectacular Funkhaus. The former DDR radio station headquarters. The palatial building now hosts concerts and parties at the forefront of electronic music, including performances from Aphex Twin, Floating Points, Nils Frahm and many more.

The complex is also home to the experimental MONOM venue, Berlin’s Centre for Spatial Sound, where concerts which explore music through their multi-dimensional sound system take place.

MONOM in Funkhaus – Source:

On the slightly dilapidated upper floors of the main building you will find some of Berlin’s leading music producers in their studio spaces. With limited but affordable spaces to rent, Funkhaus has become one of Berlin’s cultural centres for electronic music.

Milchbar in Funkhaus – Source:

The garden is also a beautiful spot to visit for a coffee at the Milchbar or pizza at Zola, a branch of one of Berlin’s more popular Neapolitan pizzerias.

Parkbühne Wuhlheide

Staying on the cultural tip, Karlshorst is also home to Berlin’s leading outdoor live music venue, Parkbühne Wuhlheide. This open air concert venue invites some of the world’s biggest artists ranging from Bjork to Pearl Jam as well as regular classical music performances.

Wuhlheide – Source:

The venue is part of the larger Volkspark Wuhlheide, a green and forested park with walking and cycling trails throughout, which reaches into the district of Oberschöneweide.

Karlshorst Itself!

The neighbourhood itself is an oasis of calm to escape from the usual hustle and bustle. The small town feeling in the centre, leafy residential streets, welcoming dog and baby friendly cafes, as well as plenty of kindergartens, and a small shopping centre provide everything you need for a comfortable existence.

Karlshorst residential streets – Source:

Sure, it’s not Kreuzberg, Mitte or Friedrichshain, but with these areas accessible in a matter of minutes, you won’t feel disconnected from the city’s pulse. Also with the influx of more expats in the area, the flat whites, trendy cafes and natural wine bars are beginning to appear, so millennials needn’t fear a total drought of avocados and craft beer.

Parks & Nature

Karlshorst is one of Berlin’s greenest neighbourhoods, and is completely surrounded by parks! With the Volkspark Wuhlheide to the south, Plänterwald and Treptower park to the East and the Tierpark Zoo to the north, taking a breath of fresh air is just a few blocks away.

Plänterwald – Source:

The Plänterwald is also worth a mention because in addition to being a beautiful forest itself, it is home to the legendary, abandoned Spreepark. A former East German theme park, complete with overgrown rollercoasters and decomposing mechanical dinosaurs.

Source: Unsplash

A little further to the East is also the Kaulsdorfer Seen, a group of three small lakes with a small beach for swimming in summer. These smaller lakes are great places to take a swim in summer with a car, and avoid the crowds who overwhelm the other beaches within the city limits.

Right in the centre of Karlsdorf you can find a number of Kleingartenverein, which are allotment communities. If you are lucky enough to find a free allotment you can even grow your own vegetables and have a special patch to escape to when you feel the urge to get some dirt under your fingernails.

Tierpark Berlin

The Tierpark is the largest landscaped zoo in Europe. Spread across the grounds of the Friedrichsfelde palace. With new attractions including the rainforest house you can immerse yourself in the east asian forest, getting up close with tigers, flying foxes, and tree kangaroos.

Source: Tierpark Berlin

The zoo has been open since 1955 and is one of Berlin’s highlights for visitors, yet is often overlooked in favour of the more central Zoologische Garten in Charlottenburg, pulling in the tourists more than ever since opening the panda enclosure. 


Sure you may not associate Karlshorst with Berlin’s best nightlife, but it’s proximity and transport links to the eastern districts of the city make it one of the best positioned districts to get immersed in the rave.

In 7 minutes as Ost Kreuz, you can jump into popular venues such as ://about blank, Wilden Renate as well as outdoor venues such as Oxi or Else.

Of course another 5 minutes on the train will get you to Ostbahnhof, your jumping off point for the infamous Berghain & Panorama Bar. No further explanation needed.

Revier Sudost – Source:

Plus after a short tram ride, cycle or even walk over the spree, you will arrive at Revier Sud Ost (RSO) another of Berlin’s leading techno clubs. Not to forget events at the nearby Funkhaus and MONOM venues as mentioned above.

Restaurants & Cafes

While you may not find the latest new scandinavian cuisine, fine dining, or emerging food trends in Karlshorst, there are plenty of restaurants and cafes offering international food, from India to Italy, and of course with no shortage of German classics or Döner kebab.

For great coffee, food and a good spot to get some work done, check out the CO.ME.IN cafe, offering quality coffee and food with a clean and light design creating a nice atmosphere for freelancers.

Hungover? Why not go to KaWi Cafe for a full English breakfast and let the sausage fat melt the alcohol out of your blood.  Or grab a pastry or cake from plant based bakery Kojake.


Sure it’s not the centre of Berlin’s culinary scene, but there’s plenty of cosy cafes and interesting eateries to explore. Plus fine dining is just an S-bahn away. 

Round up

For us, Karlshorst has it all. Access to the city’s top expat areas, a beautiful and green neighbourhood, accessible housing, schools and kindergartens as well as a chilled out vibe that makes home a relief from the inner city pressure.

With residents being gradually priced out of the central districts with furnished housing developments, and rent control laws failing to make it into federal legislature, it’s worth considering areas of the city often overlooked by tourists or new residents.

Interested in Karlshorst? Let us know and when booking your flat package appointment and we’ll get in touch.

Expat Stories: Differences I noticed after moving to Germany from the U.S.A as a teenager

24th February 2022 in Uncategorised

This month we have a guest piece from Aysha Hodzic, who we helped to relocate to Berlin when she was 12 years old. Now after 3 years in Berlin, she shares her perception of how life in Germany is different for US teens.

It was just about 4 years ago, when I was 11, when my parents had told me we’d be moving to a new country, an entirely new continent even! I was excited to leave the small town in Tennessee that I’d lived in for about 10 years, although sad to leave my childhood friends. A part of me was worried and scared. Would I be able to adjust to the different culture? Would I be able to learn the language? Would I be able to make new friends?

Ultimately, I was able to become comfortable with Berlin and German culture and find an amazing group of friends (although with some trial and error..) who have helped me grow into the person I am today. I go to an amazing American-German school (John F. Kennedy Schule), too! Soon, I’ll be 15 and have lived in Berlin, Germany for almost 3 years, and each day I notice more and more how different life is here compared to America. Here’s what I’ve noticed the most to be different in Germany! 

Germany, Berlin in specific, is much more accepting than the U.S.A.

After moving to Berlin, I realized how many unique people there were. All kinds of culture, fashion, sexualities, and languages in one city. It’s such an  open-minded city, no one judges your fashion style or anything, they keep to themselves. Moving to Berlin opened my eyes to so many different styles and arts. It really helped me realize who I am and what I like.

Public Transportation

Germany’s public transport is far better than that in the U.S. Rather than needing a car to go everywhere, you can simply hop on a train and go to your desired location. Another thing is that many teenagers and even children take the transport alone and travel the cities with their friends, without their parents. 

Cash vs. Card

Unlike the U.S., Germany is a cash based country. This makes it easier for teenagers to go shopping and buy food for ourselves since we don’t get a credit or debit card until later in life. It’s not uncommon to see a store or other shopping area to take a card, however, it’s very rare to see a shopping area only taking a card.

German Friendliness

In America, it’s normal to strike up a conversation with the person at the cash register or even just a stranger you ran into. However, in Germany, it’s quite the opposite. Germans, as mentioned before, keep to themselves. Not only that, but they also are very straight forward. In America, it’s taught to kids that they must always be “polite” to whoever you’re talking to. For example, you get the wrong order at a restaurant. An American would say something along the lines of “I’m so sorry, but I think this is the wrong order. Could I please get the correct order if it isn’t too much trouble?” However, a German would not beat around the bush. They’d simply say “This is not my order. Bring me a new one.” This doesn’t mean Germans aren’t friendly, they’re just friendly in their own way!


Most stores in Germany work until 6 or 8 P.M. and don’t work on Sunday! This is very different from the 24/7 schedule in America. Be prepared to plan your grocery shopping!!

Educational System

The educational system is not quite the same as the American educational system. For example, you can leave school after 10th grade if you pass an important presentation/test called the MSA! You can also go to school to specifically learn how to work. Sports are also definitely not as big of a deal in German schools (at least not the same sports). Students also get longer breaks here!

Food Quality

The food in Germany is much higher quality. There are healthy food stores (or as they’re called in Germany, BioMarkt) on almost every corner and the food in general is much better! I actually tend to get stomach aches when I eat American  food now.

The language 

Unlike in English, the German language has many more formalities! For example, to be polite and if you’re talking to someone older than you, you use Sie/Ihren. In English, it’s just you! There’s also Der/Die/Das, which are different articles and ways to say the, and then there are even more ways to say those different forms/genders the. It gets quite confusing! 

Car Permit/Driver’s License

In America, you would begin driving around 15 or 16. However, in Germany, you’re only allowed to start driving at 18! You can drive a motorcycle or moped at 16, or you can drive with a legal guardian at 17.


The Germans, especially those from Berlin, are passionate about their views. They will protest for and against anything they believe should be argued for. There are frequent protests (although some may be.. problematic) in Berlin and have become  a norm for me and those around me.

All of these things are what made me consider Berlin my home. Germany has its differences and quirks, but that’s what makes it so beautiful and unique. Just as president John F. Kennedy said, “Ich bin ein Berliner!”

Good rubs from Joshua Snow, expat massage therapist in Berlin.

11th January 2022 in Guide, Health & Fitness

Are you old, stressed and so contorted from hovering over your laptop that you have the posture of a gargoyle? Maybe it’s time to treat yourself to a massage from the healing hands of English speaking massage therapist (and of course Expats In Wonderland client) Joshua Snow.

Just look at him. Magnificent. I feel better already.

I could try and explain what Josh does with my limited understanding of massage therapy and the human body in general, but it would be more effective just to record a series of “ooohs” “aaaaahs” and the occasional “ufffff” sound.

Instead I’ll leave it to him. Here’s what he says…

“My name is Josh, from Melbourne and I specialise in the advanced form of remedial massage called Myotherapy.

With a main focus on the musculoskeletal system and nervous system, a wide variety of massage styles and techniques are used to improve blood circulation and ultimately rehabilitate the main cause of pain;

  • Trigger-point therapy
  • Lymphatic drainage
  • Joint mobilisation techniques
  • Classic massage (Swedish)
  • Rehabilitation
  • Sports massage
  • Myofascial release

After finishing my studies in 2009 at the Kangan Institute in Melbourne, I began working in the Spa at Day Dream Island on the coast of Queensland Australia, then for 2 years as one of the first therapists in the new Isika Spa in Crown Metropol Hotel as it opened in Melbourne in 2010.

Now that I have been freelancing in Berlin for 2 years, I am building my own clientele of patients who seek more specific help to rehabilitate from various musculoskeletal pain and associated conditions. The main goal is to treat the patient first to discover the cause, and then be able to effectively and efficiently treat their pain second. I have dedicated my research and practice to assist in the discovery and recovery from pain.”

Josh’s offers a comprehensive menu of massage treatments including but not limited to the following:

He works either from his studio in Neukölln, or is happy to come to you with a mobile setup, because what’s more relaxing than being at home.

Josh comes highly recommended and you will find him to be professional and charming in equal measure.

Ready to book? Just get in touch with him via his website, or write to him on WhatsApp at +49 160 92038642.

Christmas Eve Korean Cooking Workshop With Yurim (@eatme_berlin)

21st December 2020 in Food & Drink

Well 2020 is coming to a close (phew) and Berlin is full of expats for a change, as many are opting to stay home rather than risk getting stuck with their families for more than 4 days. If you’re holed up in your apartment for the holidays and want some alternative entertainment from creating some kind of terrible night club in your living room (fetishwear zoom party with bluetooth speaker – say no more), then why not make a Christmas Eve 4 Course Korean Dinner joining chef Yurim from @eatme_berlin catering.

After landing flat on her face in Berlin in 2012, Yurim started her catering business taking her from financial broke to just physically broken. After the years of blood, sweat and kimchi pancakes, she’s has grown into one of Berlin’s top Korean caterers, servicing events for designer studios, weddings, and private events.

During lockdown she launched her Youtube channel “Have A Cook Day” on which she shares home cooking tutorials making classic dishes, streetfood and general mukbang madness.

When’s the workshop?

Errrrm…. Christmas Eve. That’s the 24th December at 15:00.

What’s the plan?

Yurim will guide you step by step through the preparation of 4 courses of Korean food via a video live stream. You will have the chance to ask questions as you go. You’ll get a list of ingredients before and Yurim can help you find everything near your home.

What’s on the menu?

The menu is based on the @eatme_berlin Christmas catering menu which she normally delivers to holiday clients. It’s a four course Korean inspired festive menu. Here’s what you will be preparing.

Course 1: Parsnip and celeriac cream miso soup 

Course 2: Rocket, spinach and apple salad with candied walnut and apple sesame dressing

Course 3: Sweet gochujang glazed roasted chicken leg with burnt spring onion

Course 4: Matcha tiramisu with red bean paste

Wow, noms! Where do I sign up?

To register to a limited spot on the class, just write a DM to Yurim via the @eatme_berlin Instagram page, or send an email to

Also followers of our blog get a 20% discount on the workshop price if they use the super secret discount code: WONDERLAND when you sign up.

Meet the expats: Writer, speaker & empowerment coach Jenn Choi

9th November 2020 in Interviews
Writing, coaching and public speaking, Jenn inspires others by sharing her personal journey through life and work.

Jenn M Choi is a happy Berlin expat who is passionate about creating impact at scale. As a Writer, Speaker, and Content Creator she tells inspirational personal stories and shares practical life + work lessons to empower people. As an Empowerment Coach, she empowers real humans to make BIG ASS changes and design the life + work they dream of.

She’s also the Founder of a marketing communications consultancy. Her big dream is to finish writing a memoir on her journey of self-love through the grief of losing both parents. Originally from San Francisco, she’s now cozily settled in Berlin. You can find her online at and connect on social media @jennmchoi.

What made you uproot yourself and move to Berlin?

I totally fell head over heels in love with Berlin the first time I visited in 2014. The creativity, the freedom of authentic expression, the f*cking incredible music, the slower pace of life in Europe. It became one of my dreams to live here, even if for a short while. I loved it so much I visited six times before finally moving here. 

When my mom died from cancer in 2017, I was heartbroken. I also lost my dad in 2010, so life in my hometown of San Francisco without my parents didn’t feel the same. I was ready to start a new chapter of my life in Berlin. Now I’m almost three years in and hope to stay for much longer.

How did you find the relocation process?

I moved here alone on a cold November day with only two suitcases and nothing else. I had to build everything from the ground up all over again. Thankfully I had a few good friends here who were a huge help, but the first few months were very difficult. 

I had no flat, no visa, and no real plan. I first lived with a friend for a few weeks, and then moved to a temporary flat for another few months. In the meanwhile, I had to figure out how to stay here legally. Getting a visa was incredibly stressful, which is why I was so happy to find Expats in Wonderland. Ina totally saved me! Getting my visa approved for two years was one of the best feelings in the world! Later on, Ina and team also helped me get my next two flats, including the dream home we are currently living in now.

Which neighbourhood have you chosen to live in and why? Did you consider other areas?

Beautiful historic Prenzlauer Berg. I love it here because I’m a bit obsessed with the green tree-lined streets flanked with Altbaus. Also, we have a lot of friends and nice neighbors around us. Community and human connection are vital to me. The neighborhood is very chill, yet has enough going on in terms of restaurants, cafes, and bars. 

Some people make fun of Pberg because it’s less “cool” than it used to be and full of baby strollers. But after a life of crazy partying since I was 15 years old, I think I’m ok with slowing down now and hopefully building a family soon. I still plan to have loads of fun of course, but in a different way. 

Why did you choose your particular apartment?  What features/factors were most important to you when choosing a place to live?

My partner and I are blessed to call this light-filled Altbau our home. There are windows on both sides of the flat so we get tons of light in the morning and in the afternoon. This was a huge requirement for me since I work from home and light fills my soul.

We also love the high ceilings with intricate stucco patterns. It feels like we’ve traveled back in time to the early 1900s, yet it’s been renovated so it’s still modern. We also have the shiniest floors in Berlin haha. A friend once told us, “Wow, your floors are so shiny I could eat off them!” Other than that, the location, proximity to parks and public transportation, and spacious size were important to us.

What approach have you taken to making your living space your own? 

My mom loved antiques and second hand items so I definitely wanted to carry her legacy on.

We combed flea markets all over Berlin in order to find vintage chandeliers and other pieces to mix in with our modern furniture. I also have two of her art sketches by our bed.

My partner’s Danish and has excellent taste in design (seriously it’s in their Scandinavian genes) so some rooms have mid-century vibes full of hygge. He got some great furniture from Exil Wohnen. 

The kitchen is very special to me because creating it was a true adventure. It was completely empty when we moved in, which as a foreigner is a shock. There was no sink, no stove, no drawers, no fridge, no lights. Nothing. Though it was incredibly stressful to design and build a kitchen, it was an exciting challenge with many trips to IKEA. Now I get to say that we did it! And as my dad did, I love to cook. For me, the kitchen is the heart of the home. 

Have you relocated your business to Berlin along with yourselves?

Yes, I feel fortunate that I was already working online prior to moving to Berlin. I already had corporate, startup, and private clients from different parts of the world, so the business relocation was fairly smooth. For years I had already built a global network as a digital nomad, so Berlin is a great base. I find it to be a really international city and as I’ve integrated more into the German culture and system I’ve also gained German clients as well. 

My life here is much more balanced. Back in the US I felt like I was in a rat race hustle culture, especially in Silicon Valley. It was always go go go and more more more! Now I’m taking the time to slow down and focus on my health and overall well-being. 

Do you ever get homesick for your home country?  What things do you miss the most? Are there things you do or places you go when you need a taste of home?

In some ways I do because I miss my brother and friends. I also miss the excellent customer service, authentic Asian and Mexican food, and Spicy Hot Flamin’ Cheetos (my favorite snack!) However, I do not miss the political climate in the US and the heartbreaking homelessness in SF. 

When I need a taste of home, I either find the ingredients to cook meals I miss myself, or hunt for restaurants that remind me of home. Food= comfort for me. I’m a huge foodie and eat more than people twice my weight.

What do you think are the best things about living in Berlin?

Ah, so many things! I enjoy the pace of life and endless exploration. Each neighborhood is like its own town. Mostly quiet but when you want to go out the whole night and dance til dawn there are plenty of options. Seriously the nightlife is delightfully insane. (Well, except for during the pandemic.) I also feel like there’s something for everyone, and it’s multi cultural. There’s history, there’s culture, there’s art, there are tons of parks. And there’s beauty in the breakdown…of old abandoned buildings adorned with street art. 

I savor the quality of life here. Though living costs are rising quickly, you still get a good deal when compared to other major cities. I also feel much safer here in terms of less crime. And overall, my spirit feels more free here. Like I can finally be myself. Without judgment.

How have you integrated into the city? Have you learnt German? Did you make local friends or mostly expats?

When I first moved to Berlin, I didn’t speak German, which was frustrating. After I learned some German at a language school, life became ten times better. For me, learning enough of the language to speak to people was critical. Now I feel more integrated and appreciative of Germany as a whole. This country has accepted me as an immigrant. The least I can do is respect and honor that by learning the language and hopefully contributing in some way to the community.

I’m grateful that I have both local German and expat friends, which are like an extension of my family. In one close friends circle, we have a Whatsapp group with over 30 people, majority of which are Germans. And then of course I have pockets of expat friends from the US and many other different countries. Diversity in culture and thought are both important to me. 

Do you have any specific plans which you would like to accomplish while living here, or just enjoy the lifestyle and spoils of the city?

Hell yeah I have plans! 🙂 I’d like to publish my memoir. It’s a slow painful process to go through the trauma of grief again and again through writing it, but I hope it will help lots of readers one day when it’s out on bookshelves. We’d also like to start a family here and hopefully by that time I will have learned even more German to navigate through daily life.

What are your favourite places in and around Berlin to…


Cat Tuong (delicious vegan Vietnamese), Genazvale (Georgian), Aroma (for dim sum that reminds of home), Seaside or Fishklub (both have super fresh seafood), Night Kitchen (modern Israeli), Tinman (brunch), the KaDeWe food court.


Wohnzimmer (one of the few smoke-free bars), Ora (gorgeous interior), taking a bottle of Riesling or Grauburgunder to any park and sitting in the sun with friends


DSTM (stylish bodywear), Broke + Schön, Mauerpark Flea Market (lots of independent sellers), &Other Stories, handmade earrings by Berlin designers: Maskarades, or Zoe Tan Studio


Walking along the Spree from Berliner Dom to Tiergarten (such a pretty walk!), Vabali spa, running in Volkspark Friedrichshain


Pick any neighborhood and simply wander around to find the extraordinary in the ordinary. You can find a lot of hidden gems and corners that way. Not enough people get out of their kiez to explore and Berlin has tons to offer. I’m also a huge fan of hiking around the lakes in and around the city. Bernsteinsee is magical.

What advice would you give to other expats thinking to move to the city?

Just do it! If you have a calling to move here try it out and come with an open mind and heart. Mindset matters a lot. Don’t let the complainers get to you. For every negative person you can find many positive people.  What you experience in Berlin will be a reflection of how you are deep inside and your attitude. Your identity might even change, but that’s the beauty of Berlin. It can change you, and hopefully be a playground for you to find out who you really are. Want more tips? I wrote an entire article with “10 Lessons I Learned Moving to Berlin” here.

Supporting your local businesses in COVID-19

11th May 2020 in Food & Drink, Guide, Health & Fitness
Small businesses in your neighbourhood are struggling to survive.

As the lockdown laws slowly are relaxed, the aftershocks are still being felt by independent businesses across Berlin.  To stoke some of the entrepreneurial spirit normally keeping our local kiez buzzing (and our bellies and livers hard at work), we decided to treat our relocation manager Emi to a day of delights using COVID-19 replacement services.

Here’s her diary of the day.

Start your day with a fresh pressed juice from BTTR (8:45am)

As I was still laying in bed sipping on my morning coffee the doorbell rang. My first delivery was here! I was delighted it was fresh juices, shots and “Mylk” from Kreuzberg based store BTTR.

Fresh pressed juices and shots from BTTR

BTTR has become a bit of an obsession of mine during this lockdown. Their cold pressed juices and various Mylk’s are created with a biohacking mentality, drawing as much from the latest science from Californian nutritionists as ancient Eastern medicine.

But could the whole day be just about fitness and health?

Cruelty free haircare products from wallacewallace (9:30am)

Cleansed and alert from juices, I sprang to action like a lightning bolt as the doorbell rang again. I opened the door dazzling the bike courier with a glittering smile that he was obviously unprepared for at this time in the morning.  He responded by solemnly handing me an old rolled up paper Edeka bag.

Cruelty free hair products from wallacewallace

I was pleasantly surprised when I opened up the bag to find amazing cruelty free Kevin Murphy hair products. There is only one hairdresser that sells these products and that is wallacewallace.

Seconds later my phone rang and it was a facetime call from the salon’s founder Justin, who declared that he was going to guide me on a home hair treatment journey. After a brief exchange of affirmations on each other’s inner and outer beauty, he guided me on how to treat my hair at home and gave me a few tips and tricks I could do at home.

Justin gives me a tutorial on properly treating my hair.

I am not sure if it was Justin who felt my desperation or if Ina had seen the need for some tender loving care for my hair but this came like a gift from heaven.  Of course I finished up looking like Princess Angel, and proceeded to vogue around my apartment.  The dog looked somewhat concerned.

Stay safe with a locally made facemask from Katies Blue Cat Cafe (11:00)

I was given the task of sourcing a face mask which during this pandemic is not easy as they seem to sell out everywhere. I was already thinking about making one myself, and had seen someone ensemble one from an old bra and figured this may be my last resource.

While I was panicking about the thought of wearing a bra on my face, I popped out to grab a coffee, and there it was, a face mask!

Katies Blue Cat cafe is selling waterproof face masks.

Katies Blue Cat cafe does not only sell delicious cakes and coffee but also cotton face masks. Plus they are running a delivery service for their wonderful cookies and shortbreads. Suddenly this task involved coffee and cookies and became much more appealing.

DIY boozy brunch from Geist im Glass (13:00)

All that looking and feeling good was making me hungry.  Time for another delivery! It was brunch time from Lenaustraße based bar/restaurant Geist im Glass.

Sampler brunch from Geist Im Glas

I got a nice sampler brunch of all their favourites and what seemed to be a bottomless bloody mary.  The preparation really couldn’t have been better.  As the hard work is all done for you and neatly packaged, so that your feast just needs to be heated up and decanted, giving both the satisfaction of eating and false pride of having prepared the meal.

Their bloody mary bladder is generous to say the least.

I took my sweet time scoffing all the samplers and squeezed the final drops from the bottom of the bloody mary bucket.

Oh gosh I’m still drunk and it’s time for Hotpod Yoga (18:20)

As I was still trying to recover from my afternoon bloody mary buzz, my email notification went off and it was time for a yoga class from the lovely ladies from Hotpod. Before the lockdown, I would attend hotpod once or twice a week, as I found it a good way not only to sweat out my weekends sins of over indulging, but the soothing beats in a warm sweaty pod somehow gave me a shot of nostalgia for my raving days. 

Yoga a la Zoom.

The class was conducted over zoom and they sent you a playlist to listen to during the class. I did catch myself a few times moving along to the music more than the class. This may have still been the bloody mary’s in my system, and I definitely did doze off for a while during the savasana.

Yoga is more fun with a friend.

Wine for dinner? (19:45)

I had not even had time to peel myself off my yoga mat until it was time for the next task ! Here I was thinking it must be food but it was the next best thing – Wine. And not just any wine, but some of my favourite wines from Palsta, my favourite little Scandinavian hideout in Schillerkiez. 

Update: Very sadly since writing this article Palsta has decided to close its doors permanently.. Viivi and her team had built a beautiful concept of scandinavian food and some of the best natural wines. Despite being one of the most loved small restaurants in Berlin, it goes to show how serious the struggles faced particularly by bricks and mortar businesses are right now. This again shows the importance of us supporting small local businesses during this crisis in any way possible.

I had to obviously ‘taste’ the wines, it would only have been rude not to. But for this I needed some entertainment. I knew my friends Kenneth Scott & Noah Pred were doing a live stream dj set from home, so there was my entertainment sorted.

Wines from Palsta and living room DJ set live with Kenneth Scott and Noah Pred

There was no shame in dancing around in my yoga pants with a glass of wine, this is what quarantining is really about it in the end.

Hot Yoga at the Hotpod Yoga studio in Neukölln

31st January 2020 in Guide, Health & Fitness

What’s sweaty, inflatable, and leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy inside?  Of course we’re talking about Hotpod Yoga, which you can find in Neukölln on Karl-Marx-Strasse 75.

Hotpod Yoga specialises in hot yoga, taking place in an inflatable pod which is heated to 37 degrees, and filled with therapeutic aromas and sounds to create a unique environment to practice their signature “Hotpod Flow”.

In comparison to other hot yoga studios, the pod is equipped with humidifiers to help you ‘break the sweat’ as well as the pod itself is made from the parachute material which improves airflow.

Classes are for all levels – The signature Hotpod Flow class, is designed for Level 1-2, Dynamic Flow for 2-3 and Nurturing Flow, a more restorative class, is for all Levels.  You can check the level by reading the teacher bios online.

The team have been kind enough to offer Expats In Wonderland 50% off your first class with the voucher code WONDERLAND when booking online.

Offer is valid for a single use for new customers and valid until 1st May 2020.

Instructors Aleks, Hülya, Francesca & Sebastian always teaches in English, while most other instructors teach in both English and German.  Non-German speakers are welcome at any class, and even if the instruction is in German, your teacher will be able to answer any questions in English if needed. Contact the team online to check the language of your class.

Sünne set up the studio in 2015 close to her home in Neukoelln after falling out of love with her daily 1.5 hour commute.  Stumbling into a Hotpod Yoga class in London, she felt like the yoga scene in Berlin was a little behind the times, and so took the opportunity to transplant the concept over here.

The atmosphere created in the pod, combined with the superb standard of instructors at the studio make Hotpod Yoga one of Berlin’s best and most welcoming studios.  With so many options to choose from, the offering here is truly unique so whether you are a seasoned sweater or first timer it’s a good place to experience hot yoga at its best.

If you’re new to the neighbourhood, the team recommend taking a warm up walk or run in the nearby Hasenheide Park or Tempelhofer Feld before your stretch.  For healthy drinks and snacks after, pop into OAK cafe around the corner for a golden milk and delicious vegan/vegetarian food.  A great place to bond with your new yoga friends!

For businesses and groups, the Hotpod Yoga studio can also be rented for private functions.  Get in contact via the website to find out more.

Absurd / Acid Test / Avenue 66 label founder Oliver Bristow & fashion professional Jeff Steiger

13th January 2020 in Interviews

Swapping the glamour of LA for the shabbier charm of Berlin, Oliver Bristow and Jeff Steiger relocated themselves, their business and two dogs Aujus and Winston.

Oliver runs record labels Absurd / Acid Test, and Avenue 66, and has released music from Tin Man, Donato Dozzy, John Frusciante, Joey Anderson and more.

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After moving to Berlin, Jeff landed a German speaking job in the fashion industry after just 6 months of lessons.  With a bit of hard work it can be done! So proud.

We catch up with them a year after their move to see how they are settling in.

You guys had stable jobs in the USA, a house, and various music projects rooted in the local scene. Why move to Berlin?

Oliver: I had been working at Amoeba (the world’s largest independent record store) for almost 20 years, and while I loved my job and the people I worked with, it became very comfortable.  

We were both searching for something new. Between the political climate in the US and the ridiculous amount of time we spent in traffic in LA everyday, we decided to sell our house and make the move.  Sometimes it’s good to make yourself vulnerable and this move has certainly done that.

We just wanted a change, and we’ve always loved Berlin.

How did you find the relocation process? What was the toughest part for you? Finding a flat, getting a visa, finding work?

Thankfully due to Expats In Wonderland we rented our flat within 2 weeks of landing in Berlin and sorted our visas out within a month.  We took 6 months off to take an intensive Deutsch course, before looking for work. I suppose that was the hardest part. I found work quickly after finishing up the course and Oliver is now working in Music Copyright aside from his label work.

Which neighbourhood have you chosen to live in and why? Did you consider other areas?

We were open to a few different areas, but landed in Kreuzberg.  We love it here, the Kiez is much more mellow than in years past and we’re central to everything.

Why did you choose your particular apartment?  What features/factors were most important to you when choosing a place to live?

We chose our place because we fell in love with the exposed brick, the proximity to the parks and the canal, and how close we are to friends, our gym and more.

Oliver & Jeff’s living room with furniture from LA.

What approach have you taken to making your living space your own?

When we first arrived we got some basics for our flat, but not much.

Their ever expanding record collection.

We shipped our furniture along with 2000+ records in a shipping container over from LA, so it was around 6 weeks before everything arrived.

Their shipping container from LA arrives in Berlin!

How did you find the process of relocating your labels over here?

(O) My record labels were already manufactured and distributed here in Germany through Wordandsound in Hamburg, so we already had a network here.  We’d been coming here for many years and doing label nights at places like Berghain/Panorama Bar. Most of the artists on the label are based either in Berlin or Europe, so from that perspective it’s been a real advantage to be closer to everyone.

Do you ever get homesick for your home country?  What things do you miss the most? Are there things you do or places you go when you need a taste of your roots?

I wouldn’t say homesick so much as missing family and friends. That’s the hardest part. That and tacos.  Definitely miss tacos.

What do you think Berlin has to offer that is different to your previous home town?  What are the best things about living in Berlin?

Berlin has such a strong artist community and such freedom.  There’s just something magical about it. I love that fact that I don’t have to own a car anymore and that I can get anywhere I need to via bike within 10 – 20 mins. Summers at the lakes are amazing and our dogs absolutely love all the parks.

How have you integrated into the city? Have you learnt German? Did you make local friends or mostly expats?

We’ve made a lot of new friends.  Some though the music community and others through our German courses. 

Do you have any specific plans for what you would like to accomplish while living here, or just enjoy the lifestyle and spoils of the city?

We’ve just finalized our GmbH for a future project, can’t really say much about that yet, but other than that just soaking up the culture and enjoying everyday life in a new city.

What are you favourite places in and around Berlin to…


We mostly cook at home, but there’s an Israeli spot ‘Cafe Mugrabi‘ here in Kreuzberg that’s fantastic.  Lon Men’s Noodle House in Charlottenburg (best Tawainese)  And Ammazza Pizza in Kreuzberg is a go to spot for us as well.


Amazing coffee at Bonanza in Kreuzberg / we love to take out of town friends to Tier Bar for cocktails


Always fun to check out the flea markets.  Hard Wax, OYE, and Sound Metaphors are close to our place so those we frequent regularly.


Biking in Grunewald, and discovering all the parks and lakes!

What advice would you give to other expats thinking to move to the city?

Biggest advice would be to take some German lessons, not only will you learn the language, but loads of history & culture and meet new people from around the world.