Berlin is undoubtedly Germany’s coolest and one of Europe’s most happening cities. Berlin is an old, historic metropolis that has been flourishing ever since the fall of the wall. Whether for world-class nightlife, new tech start-ups, unique fashion, cutting-edge art, or the growing culinary scene: There is so much to explore in Berlin. And thanks to the city’s sprawling size and relative diversity Berlin has attracted people and young, trendsetting individuals from all over the world. It’s a mecca for bohemians, Europe’s creative class and artists that want to show their work in one of the hundreds of independent galleries.
The stars love Berlin, and Berlin loves the stars. While the Berlin International Film Festival‘s on, chances of running into celebrities are good, especially if you try one or more of these 10 spots.
Berlinale Palace, Potsdamer Platz
Chances of meeting a celebrity are best, of course, right where the action is. The Berlinale Palace on Potsdamer Platz hosts one premiere after the other. Big stars and little stars walk the red carpet. Festival motion pictures are also shown and premiered in the Zoo Palast in western Berlin and the Kino International in eastern Berlin.
There are some spots in Berlin where the stars come out any time of the year. VIPs and celebrities tend to be concentrated in the downtown Mitte district. Among the finer restaurants here is the Borchardt. When they’ve had their fill of lobster and caviar, movie stars like Jennifer Lawrence and Tom Cruise dine on its Wiener schnitzel and potato salad.
Bocca di Bacco, Friedrichstraße
Just around the corner from the Borchardt is the Bocca di Bacco. Celebs of every caliber drop in here for the finest of Italian cuisine. It’s said to be a favorite with Matt Damon, Demi Moore and Tom Hanks. George Clooney celebrated the Berlinale premiere of his film “The Monuments Men” in the Bocca di Bacco and served up autographs to fans.
Grill Royal, Schiffbauerdamm
The Grill Royal is another favorite with show business types out to see and be seen. It’s even been called the “Look-at-me-Temple.” Among the famous faces seen here have been Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson and Scarlett Johansson. The restaurant offers a view of the River Spree and a splendid selection of fish and meat dishes. Movie stars and artists from all over come here for culinary inspiration.
Bar Tausend, Schiffbauerdamm
Another celebrity hot spot in the Mitte district is the Bar Tausend, tucked in an arch beneath the city rail line off Friedrichstrasse. During the film festival, it’s jam-packed. Leonardo DiCaprio is said to have partied with top model Bar Refaeli in the adjoining restaurant Backroom Cantina. The menu spans Japanese, Iberian and South American cuisine, all prepared in full view of the guests.
Pauly Saal, Auguststrasse
Celebs, artists and hipsters frequent the Pauly Saal, a restaurant in a former Jewish girls’ school building. It’s even earned a Michelin star. The menu includes dishes from German and Austrian cuisine, such as Tafelspitz (boiled beef served with minced apples or horseradish), turbot and entrecôte. Actor Brad Pitt, model Naomi Campbell and singer Herbert Grönemeyer number among its past patrons.
Al Contadino sotto le Stelle, Auguststraße
It used to be Brad Pitt‘s and Angelina Jolie‘s favorite restaurant in Berlin, a little Italian place called “Al Contadino sotto le Stelle” – At the Farmer’s under the Stars. The big-name endorsement has made it a magnet for VIPs. Among its illustrious guests have been Quentin Tarantino, Til Schweiger and Diane Kruger, who dined here during shooting for “Inglourious Basterds.”
Paris Bar, Kantstraße
The legendary Paris Bar is an institution from the days of West Berlin. During the 1990s, it was a watering hole for the rich and famous – and for festival stars down through the decades. The likes of Robert de Niro, Jack Nicholson and Bernd Eichinger have come to partake of its traditional French cuisine. The odd celebrity can still be spotted among the guests today.
Soho House Berlin, Torstraße
The only spot on the list that’s not a public restaurant or bar is the Soho House, a private club. When in Berlin, stars like Madonna and Hugh Grant head there to eat, party and relax out of the public eye. It’s one of several branches around the world, with others in New York and Miami. Soho House is an exclusive club for people from cinema and the media. There’s a steep cover charge to get in.
Hotel Adlon, Pariser Platz
It’s a quick taxi ride from the Paris Bar to the Pariser Platz and the high-class Hotel Adlon, one of Germany’s most famous hotels and traditional home away from home to the stars – especially during the film festival. The likes of Edward Norton and Angelina Jolie have slept here. This is where presidential candidate Barack Obama came after wowing a Berlin crowd and where Michael Jackson infamously dangled his 9-month-old Blanket from a fourth-floor balcony in 2002.
Happy autograph hunting!
Author: Elisabeth Yorck von Wartenburg