Illegal Date Ideas in Berlin That We Would Never, Ever Condone
You’d be surprised how hard it is to break the law in Berlin -- drinking alcohol, possession up to 15 grams of marijuana, and being naked in public are all A-OK by regulation. It keeps things interesting. And it means that being truly naughty is just that little bit harder. So while we would never, ever say that you should go out and get your kicks by doing criminal things on date night, if you were going to do it (which you won’t, right?) these are a few ways how:
Do some urban exploring at Spreepark
How to pull it off despite our explicit disapproval: Sneaking into Berlin’s infamous abandoned amusement park has become tougher than ever, thanks to ramped-up security and added fences. But there are still a few spots where it’s possible to get in (mostly by the river) and -- providing you keep a low-profile --you may just get to ogle former relics like broken-down dinosaurs and that freaky cat rollercoaster.
Laws you’d be breaking: Trespassing, breaking and entering, and crimes against pop culture if you can’t help but re-enact scenes from Hanna and Jurassic Park.
Have a craft beer drink-off
How to pull it off despite us shaking our heads: Go to one of the city’s upstanding beer bars and ask specifically for whatever has been brewed not according to the country’s proud, respected Reinheitsgebot. Surrounding Germans will find you and your loved one absolutely perverse.
Laws you’d be breaking: The German Beer Purity Law of 1516 and cultural blasphemy.
Attend an illegal open-air rave
How to pull it off despite repeated threats to report you to authorities: Bring a boom box to the next OpenAir To Go, because the cops can’t do squat when everyone’s listening to the DJ on a radio and not a sound system, so you miiiight get away with it. But it’s a fine line. Pay attention to Facebook pages like Zurück zu den Wurzeln and Rave Hänger for locations, which are usually revealed at last minute.
Laws you’d be breaking: Trespassing (usually), attending an illegal rave.
Stage a pillow fight
How to pull it off despite us very clearly advising against it: Pillows are considered by German law to be “passive” weapons. So call yourselves performance artists, and whack each other senseless on Warschauer Bridge or something. You’ll make a lot of people laugh.
Laws you’d be breaking: Assault and probably some sort of man-law that says pillow fights are emasculating.
Ride anywhere on the metro without a ticket
How to pull it off despite the fact that we’ve said we’ll call your parents if you actually do it: Hardship brings people closer, such as getting caught by a ticket controller and trying to Houdini outta there. Devise a plan, involving distraction, making a break for it, or whatever. If unsuccessful, be prepared for €60 fines and general loss of dignity.
Laws you’d be breaking: Riding without a ticket and evading the authorities.
Get busy in the park
How to pull it off despite us desperately wishing you’d stop all illegal behavior this minute: German law actually makes this one a little difficult to break. Having sex in public, surprisingly, is legal -- as long as it’s covered up. So get on out to Treptower Park or Tiergarten, which are both known as popular Berliner mating grounds, and get openly freaky.
Laws you’d be breaking: Indecent exposure, lewd conduct, and the karmic backlash of potentially scarring an innocent passerby for life.
Host a private party in an abandoned space
How to pull it off despite our repeated pleas not to do it due to legal issues: Suss out an empty building, perhaps an old factory or hospital (there’s actually a lot more than you think), pack a few beers, and try not to get too spooked out by the probable poltergeists hanging out there. Easy as that, right?
Laws you’d be breaking: Trespassing, breaking and entering (possibly), and paranormal laws about annoying the undead.
Eat at the illegal street food market Thai Park
How to pull it off (we don’t care, you can do this one): Order as much unregulated, anti-health code grilled pork, squid, and papaya salad as you can muster. If you want to play things real hard and fast, go later in the day after it’s all been lingering around in the sun for awhile. And if the cops show up? You’ll have to indulge in the shared lie that you’re simply all having a huge picnic (and no money has changed hands).
Laws you’d be breaking: Trading without a license. The venial sin of gluttony. And some of nature’s laws, depending on how well your tummy handles spicy.
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Barbara Woolsey is a Berlin writer who likes to think she helps fight crime with articles like this. Follow her at @BarbaraWoolsey.