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Tiny’s Pizza
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Balera Weinhandlung
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Kumru Kuruyemis
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Hopscotch Reading Room
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SAVVY Contemporary
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Bernsteinsee (outskirts of Berlin)
Berlin

Octa's Favourite Spots in Berlin

Brought to you in partnership with On Running and The Cloudaway Agency. We partnered to offer our community an alternative way to feed that need for new horizons with a series of guides and getaways inside their own city limits.


Writer, editor and photographer Octavia Bürgel has been a New Yorker for much of her life but “moved to Berlin on whim” in October 2019. Drawn to the city’s vibrant culture and her personal link to it, she quickly found her feet within Berlin’s creative scene and has become an important part of it. Now an associate editor at the influential 032c Magazine, Octa is able to use her work and writings to investigate all the cultural happenings within the city.


Over the time she has spent in Berlin, Octa has found her favourite spots to eat, shop and chill with friends and has learnt the ins-and-outs of Germany’s capital, somewhere she now considers a second home. As a person of dual German-African American heritage, her experience of the country has not always been easy, but over time, she has been able to cultivate a community of friends that understand her identity and have helped her settle in. From offbeat reading-rooms and pizza places to small wine bars and out-of-city lake getaways, Octa takes us Trippin across the city in the Cloudaway.

Brought to you in partnership with On Running and The Cloudaway Agency. We partnered to offer our community an alternative way to feed that need for new horizons with a series of guides and getaways inside their own city limits.


Writer, editor and photographer Octavia Bürgel has been a New Yorker for much of her life but “moved to Berlin on whim” in October 2019. Drawn to the city’s vibrant culture and her personal link to it, she quickly found her feet within Berlin’s creative scene and has become an important part of it. Now an associate editor at the influential 032c Magazine, Octa is able to use her work and writings to investigate all the cultural happenings within the city.


Over the time she has spent in Berlin, Octa has found her favourite spots to eat, shop and chill with friends and has learnt the ins-and-outs of Germany’s capital, somewhere she now considers a second home. As a person of dual German-African American heritage, her experience of the country has not always been easy, but over time, she has been able to cultivate a community of friends that understand her identity and have helped her settle in. From offbeat reading-rooms and pizza places to small wine bars and out-of-city lake getaways, Octa takes us Trippin across the city in the Cloudaway.

Tiny’s Pizza

This restaurant is run by my good friend Tim Ligtenberg and they make a fantastic Neapolitan. It's also my go-to spot on Friday evenings, as Tim always has a DJ or two spinning in their outdoor space in Mitte's Hackescher Hof, where I can be sure I'll run into at least a few friends before heading to the next event.

Balera Weinhandlung

A small, quiet wine bar in Neukölln – the perfect stop for a chilled glass of orange wine on my way home from the office. They also offer a limited selection of authentic Italian goods, such as my very favorite Nocellara olives and bread sticks.

Kumru Kuruyemis

This local nut and dried goods store has a couple of locations around Berlin, but I like to frequent their shop on Karl Marx Straße for familiarity. In addition to their wide selection of traditional Lokum (aka "Turkish Delight") they also offer a huge selection of roasted nuts and dried fruits – I recommend their candied hibiscus, or the sesame roasted almonds – my go-to snacks since the first time I entered their store.

Hopscotch Reading Room

Probably the best way to describe Hopscotch is as an oasis. In addition to a sprawling selection of non-western English-language literature, emphasizing diaspora narratives and marginalized experiences, Hopscotch hosts workshops and events for a general audience.

SAVVY Contemporary

To be frank, I haven't had a chance to visit the SAVVY Contemporary space, but that is only because of lockdowns hindering the accessibility of cultural institutions. SAVVY's focus, as an arts center, classroom, and communal space, is on interrogating notions of the "West" and "non-West" to attempt to deconstruct some of the firmly held social constructions surrounding such notions. SAVVY founder Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung was recently appointed as the new director of the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin to take effect in 2023, which is a huge deal – especially in Germany, where visible examples of Black cultural architects are very limited.

Bernsteinsee (outskirts of Berlin)

Berlin is home to a huge selection of swimming lakes and ponds. Sadly I have a deep connection to the Ocean, but since Germany is largely landlocked, lakes will have to do. Bernsteinsee is one of my favorite places to go swimming, but at around an hour's drive outside the city, it is a rare visit for me. The vibe there is just very clean, very quiet, and SANDY – which is not the case for all of the lakes in Greater Berlin.