Berta is full of energy, keen and cheerful. She is truly a Berliner, though never hesitant to get out.
This is what friends have said when asked to describe me, and I cannot argue. I was born in Berlin just 33 years ago and grew up moving several times around Germany. Even after living in South Africa, Canada and Peru, I was drawn back to my birthplace. Having lived in many neighbourhoods of Berlin, I decided five years ago that Neukölln is my jam, and just a few years later, my dream of owning a flat here became a reality. The cherry on top: I have the freedom to work professionally from home.
I have always enjoyed sharing my home with guests, so Airbnb was made for hosts like me. It brings people, cultures, and experiences from all over the world right to my doorstep and into my life without hitting the road, catching a train, or boarding a plane. Welcoming guests from near and far and introducing them to Berlin brings an element of inspiration into my day-to-day life that would otherwise be missing. Guests can be a 1-up for in-house cooking sessions and outings with friends!
When I began hosting, I provided written tips and tricks for my guests so that they could find the restaurants and bars of Berlin beloved by locals. Last year, a trip to Milan, for which I rummaged through seemingly endless guides in an attempt to plan the perfect weekend, sparked an idea, and perhaps a solution to this dizzying process for guests back home: a minimalist guide, like a folding map, for Neukölln and Berlin. Just a few months later, my first travel guide, BertaBerlin, was born. And this year I released BertaBerlin for Kreuzberg too.
BertaBerlin are folding maps with travel recommendations for Berlin and also more specifically, Neukölln and Kreuzberg. The front side features exclusive highlights in the much-loved district of Neukölln and of Kreuzberg, along with detailed maps and photos to help you find your own way.
Alternatively, the opposite side of the travel guide offers three curated walks through the city, so that you can also get to know greater Berlin. The tours start with breakfast, and direct guests to monuments, museums, shopping, other restaurants and hidden gems, and end with cocktails in some of my favourite bars.
My friend Katrin has helped me with graphic and product design of BertaBerlin, in particular with custom street maps. Her previous experience designing the travel guide "Ansichtssache. Freiburg ist schön" was invaluable to the project. Amusingly, my very first Airbnb guest, Audrey, edited BertaBerlin; because after Audrey left my home, we became neighbours and remain good friends.
Looking forward, I hope to find time to issue another travel guide for Berlin (or possibly elsewhere). Meanwhile, I continue to write the walk this way blog to present Berlin visitors with some hints about the local lifestyle. Thanks to BertaBerlin, I no longer only dream about this life, but instead I can live it. In return, I am delighted to welcome new guests into my home to share my story, in exchange for those they bring with them in their own pockets, of course.
Me explaining my travel guide BertaBerlin.