BERLIN'S BEST OF 2016
A dedicated nostalgic, Hilda Hoy wanted to look back on the best things to happen in her city over the last year.
As the year winds down to a close, it’s something of a tradition to cast a look back at some of the best (or worst) things that happened over the last 12 months. In the spirit of reminiscing, here’s our Top 8 list of the most exciting and noteworthy Berlin occurrences of the past year.
8. Back And Better Than Ever
After decades of disuse, the beautiful Stadtbad Oderberger Straße swimming pool – built in 1902 in grand Neo-Renaissance style – reopened after extensive renovations. It’s part of a hotel and event space, but open to swimmers. The Zeiss Planetarium in Prenzlauer Berg also reopened in August, and now hosts spiffy new exhibits as well as a gourmet bistro with Tim Raue on board as a consultant.
7. Rest In Peace, David Bowie
The death of David Bowie in January started the year off on a terrible note, but the outpouring of local tributes was some small consolation. In August, a memorial plaque was unveiled at Hauptstr. 155, the Schöneberg building where Bowie lived in the late 1970s. Normally the bureaucracy to put up such a plaque takes five years, Berlin’s mayor said, but in this case an exception was made.
6. More Culinary Stars
This year, the renowned Michelin Guide awarded its much-coveted stars to more Berlin restaurants than ever, with a total of 26 stars bequeathed to 20 eateries (two have since closed, taking the current total down to 18). Horváth in Kreuzberg was thrilled to achieve two-star status for the first time, while recent upstart Nobelhart & Schmutzig was the most exciting Michelin star winner of the year.
5. World Renown for Tim Raue
Tim Raue, a longtime holder of a Michelin star for his self-named Berlin restaurant (and cover model for our July issue), won another major distinction this summer: a place (#34) on the celebrated World's 50 Best Restaurants list.
4. Markthalle neun, Bigger & Better
Kreuzberg’s hotspot of food culture, the 19th-century Markthalle Neun market hall (www.markthalleneun.de), renovated and expanded and is now better than ever. There’s now a bigger café space, a new chef whipping up lunches in the Kantine, and even more enticing market vendors.
As a city that loves to drink, Berlin is always on top of booze trends. Two exciting new bars focused on natural wines opened in Neukölln this year: Wild Things (Weserstr. 172) and Jaja (Weichselstr. 7). Meanwhile, California’s Stone Brewing company opened a huge complex down south in Mariendorf that’s brewery, bistro, and craft beer garden in one (www.stonebrewing.eu).
2. Club Culture
In September, legendary techno club Berghain won a longstanding legal appeal. In short, Berghain is now recognized as an institution of cultural significance, meaning it pays the same lower tax rate enjoyed by museums and theaters. A victory for the many club-goers for whom Berghain is a part of the city’s unique cultural fabric.
1. Tourism Boom
With 12.4 million tourists visiting Berlin, 2015 was the best year ever for the city’s tourism industry, and 2016 kept that upward trend going strong. The official numbers won’t be tabulated until next year, but figures show that the total number of tourists to Berlin has more than doubled in the last decade. Thanks for coming to visit us!