10 signs it’s your first time in Berlin

1. You’re trying to pay for everything with a credit card.

Man at ATM; Gumball Dispenser

Yeah, Berlin isn’t really the place for plastic money. We prefer the old-fashioned paper kind. So nur bargeld, please.

2. You’re expecting beautiful architecture similar to what you’ve seen in Paris or Vienna.

But then you remember that Berlin was destroyed. Destroyed over and over again, and then divided, and than reunited and all this history is “hidden” from you. It’s not easy to immediately appreciate Berlin, you have to do your homework to fully enjoy it.

Pay attention on the bullet holes all over the historical buildings. Notice how there’s several new buildings in a city with over 700 years of history. (That’s because of war, guys! War.) See all the parks we have? Those were actually extensively bombed areas. Berlin usually built parks over them because houses were too expensive. Berlin’s motto is ‘poor but pretty.’

3. You’re pleasantly surprised by the nightlife.

Yeah, it’s legendary. People dress up in fetish costumes, the loud sounds of the nightclubs, the different people from all over the world, the vibe…

Photo: fotostrasse

4. Because you were expecting to only see techno clubs.

I’ve lived here for four years and no one’s ever asked me to go to Berghain. It doesn’t matter if you’re a metalhead, punkrocker, techno lover or just want to have a good time with your friends in a bar. Berlin is big enough for all of us.

5. You’re afraid of the large words yet you’re still trying to pronounce them out loud.

Photo: fotostrasse

I confess, they are very scary at first. But after awhile, you’ll see that enormous German words are just regular words without spaces between them.

6. You’re still looking for maß bier, mustard and all the other ‘typical’ German foods.

But then you notice that Berlin is Berlin and Bavaria is Bavaria and those two don’t have a lot in common. Prepare to eat your wurst with ketchup and curry and to have Turkish food more easily available than German food. And here, the beer is 500ml because 1L beer makes no sense — it will get flat, warm(er) and it’s just not practical to carry a heavy glass through an entire night.

7. You’re shocked by the price of beer and water.

Photo: fotostrasse

Get used to it: you can buy a good beer for less than 80 cents but a bottle of water will set you back 1.60€. Consider it a sign.

8. You think all of your money has disappeared. But it’s actually just in coins now.

You could easily have 30€ in coins just clanging around in your bag.

9. You’re afraid someone’s going to force you to speak German.

But they won’t. Because everybody speaks English. If a Berliner tells you they don’t speak English very well, they’ll most likely be way more articulate than most US or UK-born citizens.

10. You assume most people will be wearing dirndls and lederhosen and will be counting down the days until the next Oktoberfest.


A post shared by Made in Berlin (@madeinberlinvintage) on

Again: Bavaria is not Berlin. And even in Bavaria, they don’t do that.


the craziest party hostels around the world

Feature photo by fortes

Jagermeister at 15,000 Feet

Photo by jongos

Everyone wants to party on the road but with a million hostels in the world, where should you go?

I’ve searched high and low, drank with the best of them, and endured sleepless nights by the toilet to find the best party hostels out there.

Here are twenty that will keep you drinking, dancing, flirting, and hugging the porcelain goddess until the sun comes up:

Surf N’ Sun

Location: Gold Coast, Australia.

With a swimming pool and open courtyard, the Surf N’ Sun packs the young, the wild, and the alcoholic.

Bar Crawls take place every night and the hostel offers punch and free club entry. Boxes of goon start flowing late afternoon when people come back from the beach.

The Clown and Bard

Location: Prague, Czech Republic

With a 36 person dorm room, this place is always hopping. There’s a bar downstairs with a two for three happy hour beginning at 7pm and a live band filling the air.

Music gets blasting and four deck games of Kings have been known to break out as people forget there’s a city outside the hostel. If you’re in the 36 bed dorm, bring earplugs as this place does not follow any of the hostel sex rules.

The Flying Pig

Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands

With its bar and pillow lounge, the Flying Pig is the spot for those looking to channel their inner Bob Marley. There’s a constant cloud of smoke seeping out into streets at all hours of the day and night. Don’t worry if you run out- there are two coffeeshops across the street!


Location: Melbourne, Australia

Base features a downstairs club that pumps out music every night. You won’t get any sleep as the music filters up the floors and entices you to come down and party until dawn.

The young and the restless fill the dance floor after drinking pitchers of beer and cheap, colorful shots. There’s usually theme and karaoke nights that let you embarrass your self all night long.


Hostel Loki

Photo by obvio171

Location: Cusco, Peru

Located in a 450 year old building, Loki is known throughout South America for its parties. With regular events, an open lounge, and theme nights, I wouldn’t expect any sleep here either. The bar is regularly packed so tight, you’ll be practically grinding against your neighbor.

#11 Happy Guesthouse

Location: Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Why: Located by the lake in Phnom Penh, #11 Happy Guesthouse features a huge patio, two big screen TVs, a pool table, and one dollar beers. Always packed, this hostel is filled with the party seekers who spend their days sightseeing and night drinking beer before heading to the infamous Heart of Darkness.

St. Christopher’s Inn

Location: London, England

A bar, karaoke, cheap drinks, and a license to go until 4am all means that this hostel is bursting with partygoers and one the busiest in London. After you drink it down, you can take it off at the rooftop hot tub. People here know where the action is and if you play your cards right, it just might be your room.



Photo by foraggio

Location: Barcelona, Spain

Located in the center of Las Ramblas, Kabul has a very open second floor where all parties happen. Happy hour officially begins at 7, which is usually a few hours after everyone wakes up.

With a reputation for partying, this place keeps drawing those who start partying at 2 a.m. and sleep until 2 p.m. This place gives new meaning to the term “late night.” I was called a quitter for sleeping at 5 a.m.

The Rising Cock

Location: Lagos, Portugal

The Rising Cock is infamous for its parties and it’s well deserved. Two things happen at the Rising Cock: drinking and drinking.

Start your day with the hostel’s booze cruise on which the majority of people get naked, and then keep the partying going with drinking games at the hostel. If you can’t handle 24 hour partying, this hostel is not for you.

The Pink Palace

Location: Corfu, Greece

The Pink Palace is one of the world’s most famous party hostels in the world and with good reason: toga parties, cheap shots of ouzo, happy hours, and theme nights. After a day at the beach (which is just minutes away) or their booze cruise, you’ll be spending the night dancing at their club, Palladium, until the sun comes up.

The hostel has over 300 beds- there’s a good chance, you might not end up in yours!

The Treehouse


Photo by prufrock27

Location: Ko Chang, Thailand

Every night is a bucket night at the Treehouse, and it’s the perfect blend of a relaxed hippy vibe and partying with a very active dance floor and a lot drinking. This place has all the ambiance you need and you don’t have to stay there to party there. People trickle in from all over to have fun, making this a hotspot on Lonely Beach.

The Yellow

Location: Rome, Italy

With a bar downstairs and semi-nightly pub crawls, it’s pretty easy to meet people at the Yellow. It’s not a huge hostel either making the close quarters also convenient for meeting fellow travelers.

Ostello Archi Rossi

Location: Florence, Italy

This place has been popular for a long time as evident by the walls covered by the names of past guests. A big courtyard and common dining area keep people mingling and drinking vino rossi.

There are some clubs down the street and, when they close, you can move back to the courtyard to keep the party going. The rooms are a little away from the action so you can actually get some sleep if you want.


thought tower in the niht

Photo by gpwarlow

Location: Berlin, Germany

Known for its partying, Wombats rarely sees anyone over 25. With an ultra-chic bar, everyone breaks out their best attire and pickup skills here. Cheap drinks keep travelers mingling all night long. If you can’t meet anyone here, you can’t meet anyone anywhere.

The Jazz on South Beach

Location: Miami, Florida USA

Located right near the beach, The Jazz on South Beach has an excellent bar that hosts the bold and beautiful of South Beach. This is the place to stay if you’re looking to be seen in South Beach.

Carnival Court

Location: Capetown, South Africa

There’s no chance of a good night’s sleep at Carnival Court. Located near a lot of bars (there’s also a bar in the hostel), this place is a hangover waiting to happen.

It’s wild here and everyone is looking to break a new drinking record. The staff will point you in the direction of the parties but you just might have trouble walking there as the fun here starts well before the sun goes down.

Millhouse Hostel

Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina

The music is on 24-hours a day at the Millhouse and the atmosphere is extremely social! Each night has a different activity such as dance party, karaoke night, and tango lessons.

Definitely a hostel for those that want non-stop fun and excitement right at home! Most commonly heard line: “Were those moans from the porno shop next store or did you get lucky last night?”

Auckland Central Backpackers

Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Located right down town, this hostel draws upon the fact its part of the Base chain. That means all the craziness of Melbourne spills over with people getting down and dirty all night long. It will give you another reason to keep staying longer in Auckland. !

India House

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

A funky converted house that was nearly destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, the India House features eccentric local characters and travelers who just can’t leave. Maybe it’s Bourbon St. Maybe it’s the jazz. Maybe it’s the beer vending machine in the kitchen. Whatever it is, people here know how to have a good time.

Tina’s Backpackers

Location: Caye Caulker, Belize

Located right on the beach, Tina’s Backpackers keeps people in close quarters. Everyone here is into island living – sun by day, drink by night.

Though the crowd tends to be a bit older (30ish), you wouldn’t know it by the way people party here. It is way off the beaten path but it’s worth it.

source: http://matadornights.com/20-craziest-party-hostels-around-the-world/


how to travel for free

You can travel the world for less money than you spend each month to fill up your gas tank.
Photo by Gina

World travel is cheap and easy. In fact, with a little practice and effort, you can travel the world for free.

The idea that travel is expensive and difficult is bullshit peddled by tour companies, hotel chains and corporate media.

The tourism industry wants you to buy cruise packages and stay at all-inclusive resorts.

They want you to choose a travel experience the same way you would choose a new jacket at the mall. They want your Credit Card number.

The tourism industry doesn’t want me to reveal the simple secrets of free travel, but I’m going to share them with you anyway.

It can be scary to venture into the world with nothing more than optimism and good-will, but personal freedom begins with a leap of faith.

1. Embrace the Simple Joy of Travel
The joy of new experience is the most wonderful thing about travel – and new experiences are free.

Travel frees you from the grind of daily routine. You will explore new places, meet new people, try new foods and learn things about the world – and yourself – that you never imagined were possible.

The joy of new experience is the most wonderful thing about travel – and new experiences are free. Walk the streets of a city. Stop and chat with a local. People watch in a public park. Climb to the top of a hill and watch the sun set over the ocean.

The simple joy of being in a new place is just a matter of…wait for it…going someplace new. No tour package required.

2. Keep Your Needs To A Minimum

The modern American economy is built on the false premise that people need to buy new goods and services all the time. Again, I call bullshit.

People need fresh air, healthy food, clean water, exercise, creative stimulation, companionship, self-esteem and a safe place to sleep.

All of these things are simple to obtain. Most of them are free.

For fresh air, go outside. For exercise, take a walk. For creative stimulation, go somewhere new. For companionship, make a friend. For self esteem, turn off your TV, breathe deep and open your spirit to the basic goodness of the world.

Things like food and shelter are much cheaper once you get outside the United States. See # 5 below for ways to obtain food and shelter for free.

3. Go Slow
Cambodian Coast . photo by Ryan Libre

If you live in New York and want to take a 2 week vacation to Africa, it will be very difficult (though not impossible, see number eight) to travel for free.

Indeed, as long as you believe that time is money, you will spend money all the time.

Time is not money. Time is free. You have all the time in the world.

Instead of buying a plane ticket, catch a ride out West, or remodel an old sailboat, or just hop on your bike and ride away from town. The slower you travel, the less money you will spend.

4. Leave Your Possessions and Obsessions Behind

When you travel, you don’t need to pay rent. You don’t need a car. You don’t need an oven, a washer-dryer, electricity, Cable TV, a gym membership, a sofa and loveseat or a closet full of clothes.

You don’t need a suit and tie to wear to your job because you don’t need a job. You don’t need to worry about paying the bills, because there are no bills to pay.

You are free.

5. Trust People and you will Receive Free Food and Lodging

Many people are willing to open their homes to travelers. Chip in with a few chores, and they will give you a free meal, too.

CouchSurfing and WWOOF are two phenomenal online networks that help travelers connect with local hosts. CouchSurfing members are willing to give travelers a place to sleep for a night or two. WWOOF connects travelers with organic farmers who want to trade room and board for an extra hand.

Many members of both CouchSurfing and WWOOF are seeking an alternative to high-impact consumer culture.

6. Learn a Useful Craft or Skill

If you have a skill, such as cooking, animal husbandry, massage, musical ability or basic carpentry, you can barter for free food and accommodation as you travel.

The slower you travel, the easier it will be to work out a mutually beneficial arrangement with a local community or host.

Universally appreciated skills like cooking are best, though niche skills that are in high demand, like website design, are also useful. Native English speakers can often travel the world for free by teaching language classes in each destination they visit.

The slower you travel, the easier it will be to work out a mutually beneficial arrangement with a local community or host.

7. Get Out of the City

Although it’s possible to travel for free in a big city, it’s damn difficult. Cities are built on money, and necessities like fresh air, clean water and a safe place to sleep are difficult to come by in cities.

Go to the country, where people are more relaxed, food is plentiful and there’s ample room for one traveler to lay out her sleeping bag under the stars.

8. Find A Job You Love That Entails Travel

If you need an income in order to pay off loans or support a child, find a job that calls for extensive travel. There are millions of jobs available in the global economy that demand travel.

Of course, some jobs are easier to love than others, and much work that involves travel also involves the destruction of local ecosystems and traditional ways of life. Avoid unethical work if at all possible – it is bad for your health and worse for your soul.

For job ideas, check out the Travel and Adventure jobs section here at the Traveler’s Notebook.

9. Embrace Serendipity

Traveling the world for free requires a blend of advance planning and the willingness to seize opportunities and go with the flow.

Does your new CouchSurfing friend want company for a drive across the country? Grab your pack and ride along! Does an organic farm in Thailand need a farm sitter for the rainy season? Get in touch with Christian Shearer!

As Kurt Vonnegut wrote, “Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.”

Go Dancing.

What are your tips for cheap or free round the world travel? Share in the comments!



Fotoausstellung von Martin Roemers

Im Berliner Willy Brandt Haus ist zurzeit die Ausstellung ‚Relikte des Kalten Kriegs‘ von Martin Roemers zu sehen:

Fotoausstellung: 11.11.2009 – 15.01.2010

Martin Roemers „Relikte des Kalten Krieges“

Der Freundeskreis Willy-Brandt-Haus e.V. präsentiert die Fotoausstellung „Relikte des Kalten Krieges“ des Fotografen Martin Roemers. Der Kalte Krieg ist vorbei – doch seine Zeichen gibt es noch. Vierzig Jahre lang teilte der Eiserne Vorhang die Länder Europas in Ost und West, wurden Atombunker errichtet, Waffenarsenale angelegt, probte man den Ernstfall.

Ganzer Artikel


Locations bei Berlin

Wer gerne Industrieruinen fotografiert, ist in Rüdersdorf gut aufgehoben.
Gleiches gilt für die Heilstätten Beelitz. Hier ist am Wochenende immer etwas los. Da es mehrere Komplexe gibt, verteilt es sich meistens; wobei einige Gebäude sehr beliebt sind. Im Sommer kann es schon inspirierend sein, einfach nur zu schauen, da werden ohne Ende Fotos geschossen und Filme gedreht – meist freizügiger bis skuriler Art


Photographieren im Museum

Museen sind für Wissbegierige und Photographen ein Eldorado mit unendlich vielem, was es zu entdecken gibt. Über viele Museen ist schon vor einem Besuch einiges bekannt, wie von Nofretete, die zu den bekanntesten Gesichtern Berlins gehört. Geduldig schaut sie hinter Glas die Besucher an, die vor ihr stehen bleiben, sie anschauen, photographieren und dann an ihr vorbeiziehen. Jeder kann die Büste der Hauptgemahlin des ägyptischen Pharaos Echnaton in Augenschein nehmen und mit der Kamera für sich festhalten. In Museen gelten allerdings verschärfte Bedingungen für Photographen, nicht alles ist zugelassen.


8 Tools to Help You Travel Forever and Live Rent Free

Quelle: http://www.vagabondish.com/8-tools-travel-long-term-live-rent-free/

Caretaker’s Gazette


By joining this service (annual membership is approximately US$30), you will gain access to a classified system of people looking for caretakers in exchange for rent-free living. The opportunities vary widely in scope from ranch hands, to organic farm workers, campground hosting, motel management, nursing for the elderly, to just plain house sitting. Locales for your next potential gig could be anywhere in the world, from numerous U.S. locations, to Australia, to Europe and even Micronesia.

Some are paying opportunities, while others are simply work-trade arrangements for accommodation. Others yet will supply an additional stipend depending on your experience and the work entailed.

This is what TIME Magazine had to say about the Caretaker’s Gazette.



WWOOF is an acronym for a number of different phrases, the most apt of which in my mind is “World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms”. It is an international organization (located in over 70 countries) of organic farms, gardens, businesses, ranches, (you name it) where you can exchange your services for accommodations, food, and training.

Required services include basic garden and farm maintenance, as well as cooking, teaching, caring for children, and handy work. There is usually some work suitable for anybody willing to adopt this lifestyle.

Whilst surfing Wwoofing opportunities, you will likely also find links to volunteer organizations, and other similar work exchange opportunities. It’s a great way to gain valuable experience, friendships, and to cover your living expenses in a constructive manner.

Most countries require a subscription to gain access to their full listings and contact information of the hosts, and the subscription prices vary from area to area but are not over-priced for the value received.

House Carers


If you are happy to spend your vacation house-sitting for somebody else, you may find the right opportunity here. You will find lists upon lists of people requesting house sitters for periods of time from a few days to a few months, anywhere in the world. In many cases there are a few hoops to jump through in order to gain the opportunity with liability and bonding issues, and already living or traveling in the same country carries an added advantage.

You can choose from the limited free membership options or the full US$45 one year membership, depending on your needs.

Organic Volunteers


Much like Caretaker’s Gazette and woofing, you will find many worldwide opportunities to proverbially “pick blueberries for a living”. The prospects aren’t limited to organic farms though; you will find hostel management jobs, artist retreat internships, in addition to various agricultural and permaculture settings.

For US$20/year, membership will help you gain access to many great listings and a user-friendly system of contacting hosts and searching for opportunities.

Couch Surfing


Couch Surfers are a network of people who are willing to open up their homes and hearts to frugal travelers, as well as be those travelers when they are not hosting guests. The site prides itself on referrals and having only high quality members, and has a comprehensive program in place to ensure the safety of both traveler and host. But as with any chance to stay at a stranger’s place for free, a prudent amount of caution should be exercised.

A Few Travel Guests
© Hamed Saber

Global Freeloaders


Similar to Couch Surfing, Global Freeloaders is a cultural exchange program for hosts and travelers. Registration is free, but members are required to be able to host as well as travel, so unless you expect to be able to offer up your digs as a host within six months of signing up, you are politely requested to wait.



This is the original Couch Surfers and Global Freeloaders. Servas (meaning “serve” in Esperanto), is a non-profit non-denominational non-ethnic organization of good-will and cultural exchanges. It’s been around for at least 50 years, and is recognized by the United Nations. In addition to being a network to connect people and places, volunteers around the world work in relief camps and advocate for peace through various projects.

Hosts offer their homes and dinner tables for two nights (or more, at the discretion of the host) to travelers who contact them and who meet with their approval. Travelers must go through an exhaustive process which includes an in-person interview before being accepted to the program, as a way of screening for quality candidates.

Once travelers are interviewed and accepted into the program, they are given printed lists or booklets of the hosts in their destination country (Servas is moving towards an online platform, but is not there yet). There are also membership fees which vary from country to country.

Hospitality Club


Free to join and internet-based, it appears to be the Servas of the online world. It is kept “safe” through a series of passport checks and online feedback systems with checks and balances.

These are just a few opportunities in the world of long-term travel, as you will discover with a little research. I don’t vouch for any of the services or programs, and a healthy amount of caution should always be exercised when accepting hospitality from strangers. However I think Servas says it best when they say: We are all friends. We just haven’t met yet!

Nora Dunn is a Professional Hobo and Freelance Writer, having given up the daily grind to search the world for the greatest adventures and best stories. She can be reached through her blog, Life Happens.



Der Workshop beginnt mit einem Highlight: Urwälder, wilde Strände im Westen und Ruhe bestimmen den Tag. Die Entfernungen zwischen den Motiven müssen mit dem Fahrrad bewältigt werden, denn der Nationalpark ist für den Autoverkehr gesperrt (Fahrradverleih).

Der Darßer WeststrandDie Tour führt durch den Darßer Urwald, eine Bruchlandschaft mit jahrhundertealten Bäumen, Farnwäldern und botanischen Schönheiten. Umgefallene, mit Moos bewachsene Baumriesen und Brüche, die durch das Frühjahrswasser noch kleine Seen bilden, geben der Gegend ihren speziellen Reiz. Makrophotographie steht hier im Vordergrund der Arbeit. Das Licht bricht als Spot durch die Baumkronen und liefert so eine pointierte, reizvolle Lichtstimmung.

Der Darßer Ort mit seinem historische Backsteinleuchtturm, der gusseisernen Innentreppe und den Panoramablick vom Turm auf den Darß und die Nährungsgebiete im Norden sind das nächste Ziel. Hier können wir das Mittagessen genießen und zur Entspannung ein Bad am Strand nehmen.


Umgestürtzte Buche an der StubbenkammerDer Darßer Weststrand ist das Spätnachmittagsziel. Diese ist einer der schönsten, wildesten und sinnlichsten Strände von Deutschland. Weißer Sand, klares Wasser, freier Blick nach Westen, Buchenwälder direkt am Strand mit ins Meer gefallenen Bäumen und sonnenweiß gegerbtes Strandgut, bilden vielfältige Motive. Hier wird photographiert, gebadet, relaxt bis zur goldenen Stunde und dem Sonnenuntergang bei Wein, Käse und Brot.