Break out of your daily (office) routine for Berliners

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Dear Berliners,

maybe some of you know the feeling of being kinda stuck in the daily routine. Another ugly one, is the feeling of a limited perspective on things, due the limited and blocked visual view caused by high city buildings. Sometimes, a (re)arrangement of your location might help in those situations.

I puttered around with my working locations and found some strategies for the Berlin area. Here is my list of recommendations to take one day off the office space.

Coconat – Workation – Retreat

It is very properly that you, as a worker within the Berlin digital industries, might have already heart about this coworking place Coconat. I have stayed for 3 days at Coconat in the Hohe Fläming region to plan my movement to Frankfurt. As far as I know, I can highly recommend this place for groups, workshops, and other several day stays. Their wifi works pretty solid on the whole area (also in their garden). More than enough cozy working places and the food is pretty good. If you want spent as less money as possible you can stay in a tent or in a shared apartment.

Furthermore it is very easy to get there via public transport from Berlin. If you miss the bus, don’t worry, the train station in Bad Belzig is pretty comfy for relaxing and waiting for the next bus. Alternatively, if you need only the housing infrastructure and food, I can recommend the Taubenblau Seminarhaus, too.

  • Good for staying several days, not good for one day stays
  • Pretty good infrastructure, also for group work(shop)s
  • Good pricing models
  • Good public transport (1hour from Berlin for 8,50 Eur)
  • Good amount of leisure opportunities
  • Typical Hipster Digital Nomades atmosphere
Coconat - Work and Retreat - Hof
Coconat Hof
Coconat - Work and Retreat - Garden
Coconat Garden

Park Südgelände (Priesterweg)

At the moment, I am living in South-West part of Berlin. The Südgelände Park is the one close by my home. The park holds only a few places to rest, but all with perfect views. Consider, I can only recommend to visit the park during the week on morning til (after)noon. Later, the park will be more crowded and the distraction level might rise up. Alternatively, you can find a nice calm place nearby the Insulaner or beside the park along the bike lane. East Berliner can checkout the Mellow Park nearby the Alte Fösterei (Köpenick) directly beside the Spree-Dahme. It has very good shadowed places and you can have perfect little skate session as breaks…

  • Good place for being alone surrounded by plants and nature
  • Perfect for focused 2-6 hour sessions
  • Nice and relaxing environment
  • No tables available, it’s picknick style
  • Doesn’t work when it is raining
  • Recommended under the week, best during morning to (after)noon
  • Clean toilet is around (10-15min by walk)
  • The Cafe is rarely opened. Bring your own food and drinks
  • Of course no electricity and no wifi. I use my Tethering/Hotspot feature of my phone to share internet
  • Costs: 1 Euro entrance fee

Public Library

My master thesis was mostly written in the public library Amerika Gedenkbibliothek in Kreuzberg. It was difficult the get a desk and in the afternoon some teenager went there to make out. A short while ago, I got the FU University Library recommended, which worked much better for me. Unfortunately, the internet was not available for guests and sometimes the chatting noise from outside sucked. However, my noise cancelling headphones rescued me during these circumstances.

Beyond that, libraries provide me somehow a mystical mood. I kinda feel surrounded by human knowledge, which motivates me to take an active part into that knowledge sharing. During my breaks, I really enjoying stumbling around the books and I get a new motivation boost. For long (lunch) breaks, I recommend to visit the Domäne Dahlem. A perfect place for a relaxing and let the eyes travelling around the landscape.

  • Several good places with comfy table and chairs
  • Might also work for small groups
  • Perfect for focused 4-8 hour sessions
  • Quite and calm environment, with a highly focused attitude
  • Works also when it is raining.
  • Clean toilets are around
  • Snacks and drinks are available
  • Unfortunately, no wifi! Electricity exists for notebooks. I used my phone’s Tethering/Hotspot feature for sharing internet. For groups, I recommend a portable wifi router
  • It is free!

Botanical Garden in Berlin

My village and countryside roots forces me to take frequent forest baths, or at least enjoy other artificial natural environments. The Botanical Garden in Berlin is such a beautiful place for my special need. Beyond the awesome plant displays and plant houses, the outdoor park offers some nice calm place with perfect views. During the week, the outdoor park is not very crowded. You can find surely a lonely calm place on a bench. Your mind can find relaxing moments, while visiting the plant houses. During those breaks, the Kiosk is very close and offers some small (expensive) snacks.

  • Several good places for being alone surrounded by plants and nature
  • Perfect for focused 4-8hour sessions
  • Nice and relaxing environment with long opening hours
  • Perfect for taking breaks in between surrounded by nature
  • Usually no tables are available, mostly working in a sitting position
  • Usually doesn’t work good when it is raining, the houses are sometimes too crowded for working
  • Clean toilets are around
  • Snacks and drinks are available
  • Of course no electricity and no wifi. I use my phone’s Tethering/Hotspot feature for an internet connection
  • Costs: Around 6 Euro entrance fee
Outdoor Park of the Botanical Park
Outdoor Park of the Botanical Park

Boat trips on Havel or Spree

For a few years, I became a fan of slow travelling. My wife and me usually travel by train. We enjoy reading books and listening to podcast during those times. Programming on the train used to work for me, lately the train holds too much distraction for me… However, I discovered boat trips as replacement. During the week, there exist a few hours (4-8 hours) long trips on the Havel and Spree by Stern und Kreis (I prefer the Havel area). Food and drinks are served (in a typical Berlin unfriendly way) and toilets are also available. I highly recommend to try this out, when the weather is not so good. Probably, the boat will not be so crowded. At all my trips, I was able to find a good place with a table directly beside the window.

One important advice: Don’t choose the City boat trips! Those trips are usually totally packed with tourists and a constantly speaking tourist guide. For sure, you won’t be able to concentrate. In such cases of a noisy environment, I use my noise cancelling headphones, which enable me an almost 100% distraction free working experience. The 5-8 hours trips might be the best choice. Another obstacle could be the often missing electricity, and even the price for the boat rides could be too high. Alternatively strategy, you can rent a “Floß” (luxus version) and place it at your favourite place of choice.

  • Several good places with comfy table and chairs
  • Works also with small groups or friends
  • Perfect for focused 4-8 hour sessions (depends on the round trip)
  • Good trips are “Rund um Potsdam” und” Havel Süd-Nord” round trips
  • Nice and relaxing environment with wonderful views
  • Works also when it is raining. Please check the schedule before
  • Clean toilets are around
  • Snacks and drinks are available, own food is usually not allowed
  • Unfortunately, mostly no electricity and no wifi. I use my Tethering/Hotspot feature of my phone to share internet, plus a notebook with a (decent) battery. For groups, I recommend this portable wifi router
  • Cost 15-30 Euro entrance fee
Working on the boat
Working on the boat
Indoor Room of the Boat with many tables
Indoor Place of the boat with big tables

Conclusion

On my last days in Berlin, I figured out it is actually pretty easy to get a relaxed “Tapetenwechsel”. To get a break from the Berlin city life is much easier than I expected. 😉

What are your strategies to breaking out of the daily routine?

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