21 things you have to explain to out-of-towners about Berlin

Berlin has long been the hippest city in Europe, which means it’s also the hippest place for pretty much everyone you know to come visit you -- and when they inevitably do, there are a few things you’re going to have to explain to them about the place. Here’s a quick primer on just what those things are...

1. Yes, the rent really is that cheap
That doesn't mean people don't complain about it, of course. 

2. Everyone speaks English
And half of them speak it better than you.

Crosswalk in Berlin
Flickr user mueritz

3. Germans don’t yell at you if you jaywalk
They just glare at you and make you feel bad.

4. You MUST make eye contact when you “cheers”
It's important in ways you cannot know.

5. Yes, there are a few tricks to getting into Berghain
We're not telling you about them here, however. 

6. You really can buy weed in Görlitzer Park
It just won’t be terribly good weed.

7. Don’t take selfies at the Holocaust Memorial
And it’s actually, literally called The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. Show some dang respect.

8. You probably don’t need a ticket to ride the U-Bahn
But we’re not going to stand around and wait if the controllers catch you.

Berlin street art
Flickr user young-germany

9. Our street art is pretty excellent
Lots of pieces you’ll recognize, plus keep your eye out for new ones.

10. We don’t spend every night quaffing fancy German beers
This isn’t Bavaria. Just drink your €2 Becks and enjoy it.

11. You’re going to need cash
Restaurants, bars, markets, shops... an astonishing amount of places still don’t take credit cards.

12. The Mexican food kiiinda sucks
It only tastes decent to locals because we haven’t had real Mexican in a long time.

Rummesburg Berlin

13. We really do go clubbing Sunday morning
And even better, Sunday afternoon, and Sunday night, and maybe Monday morning...

14. Everyone still smokes here
It’s allowed, and your hair and clothes are going to stink tomorrow, so just accept it.

15. Watch out for the bike lanes
They’re the different color bricks on the sidewalk. Try not to add any red to them.

16. We really do have swanky places like Soho House
We’re not complete and total anarchist-squatter-hippie freaks. It’s quite nice, actually.

17. All shops are closed on Sundays
Leaving us no option except to go out, ugh, partying again.

Flohmarkt am Mauerpark
Flickr user Mika Stetsovski

18. Flohmarkt am Mauerpark is a sh*t show
And that nifty bag made out of old tires that you bought was produced in China, not by a local artist.

19. The crummy parts are not automatically The East
Most of The East has been fixed up nicely (Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg)! It’s the crummy Western hoods (Kreuzberg, Neukölln) that are letting the side down.

20. Veggies at the Turkish Market are over-ripe
They will only last a day, unless you buy from the nice organic (bio) stand at the far end.

21. Club-Mate will keep you awake
Seriously, that stuff is like meth. Take it easy.