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Nathan Ma

Nathan Ma

Contributor, Berlin

Nathan Ma is a writer and critic based in Berlin. He writes local guides on Berlin life and culture for Time Out, and has also written for The Guardian, The Independent, Mixmag and CRACK magazine.

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Articles (15)

The 10 best places to get brunch in Berlin

The 10 best places to get brunch in Berlin

So, you’re in Berlin for the weekend, and you’ve just experienced its nightlife scene for the very first time. Chances are you’re feeling a little worse for wear, and you’re in desperate need of some buttery eggs, some innocuous protein and of course, some avocado. Yep, you’re in need of some brunch. And lucky for you, Berlin has it in buckets.  From Insta-worthy vegan doughnuts to Lebanese spreads, there’s a million and one different places to get your fix in the city, but only a selection of them are really, really great. So we’ve picked the best brunch spots in town that are worth the trip (and your hard-earned cash). So put on those sunnies, find a spot in the sun and get that flat white down ya. You’ll feel better in no time.  RECOMMENDED: 🍴 The best restaurants in Berlin📍 The best things to do in Berlin 🎨 The best art galleries in Berlin🏘️ The best Airbnbs in Berlin Nathan Ma is a writer and critic based in Berlin. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines. 

The 25 best restaurants in Berlin right now

The 25 best restaurants in Berlin right now

If you’re ready to take on Berlin, you’re ready to take on its restaurants. And we don’t just mean eating your bodyweight in currywurst, schnitzel and salty pretzels (though they’re mighty delicious, trust us). Berlin’s diverse population lends itself to a global food scene, and it’s become as well known for its Italian, Turkish and Japanese joints as it is for those side-of-the-road sausages. And if you’re vegan, you’re in luck - Berlin is one of the cities leading the movement, with more plant-based options then you can shake a stick at. So whether you’re in Berlin to hit the clubs, indulge in its culture or browse one of its magical christmas markets, make sure you hit the best foodie spots in the capital along the way. Late night snacking n’ all. RECOMMENDED:🥑 The best places to get brunch in Berlin🍷 The best bars in Berlin📍 The best things to do in Berlin🏘️ The best Airbnbs in Berlin This piece was recently updated by Berlin-based writer and critic Nathan Ma. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines. 

The 16 best things to do in Berlin right now

The 16 best things to do in Berlin right now

Is there anything Berlin can’t do? The German capital was the city of the twentieth century and has carried that momentum into the twenty-first. What are the best things to do in Berlin? The diversity at the heart of the city makes it a ‘something for everyone’ sort of place, with museums and galleries for the culture vultures next to 72-hour parties for the buzz-chasing, erm, buzzards. Not the best analogy, clearly, but you see the point.If you want it, you’ll find it in Berlin. And that’s how we’ve curated our list the way we have: to show off each element of this fabulous city. In any case, a plan is a must, as this modern metropolis fills every inch of its territory with interest, so follow our guide to the best things to do in Berlin and get planning. You are in for one incredible trip. One can easily spend weeks (or months) in this city, but if you’re only in town for a couple of days, check out our ultimate itinerary for a weekend in Berlin. RECOMMENDED:🪩 The best clubs in Berlin🍴 The best restaurants in Berlin🏡 The best Airbnbs in Berlin🛏 The best hotels in Berlin Planning your next trip? Check out our latest travel guides, written by local experts.

Where to stay in Berlin: the city’s best areas

Where to stay in Berlin: the city’s best areas

Visitors from around the world flock to the German capital year-round to dive into its cutting-edge contemporary art, the worldly flavours of its culinary scene and its seemingly endless supply of parties of all shapes and sizes. And while neighbourhoods like Neukölln and Kreuzberg are beloved by cool-hunters and club kids visiting from abroad, there’s far more to the city. In fact Berlin is divided into twelve boroughs (or Bezirke) made up of nearly 100 neighbourhoods, each with its own distinct feel, pace and attractions. Each of these neighbourhoods offers a different perspective on the once-divided city. And if you’re on the lookout for the best place to stay in Berlin, here are the neighbourhoods you need to know about – whether you’re after old-world tranquility or a weekend hitting some of Europe’s best clubs. RECOMMENDED: 📍 The best things to do in Berlin🍽 The best restaurants in Berlin🥃 The best bars in Berlin🛏 The best Airbnbs in Berlin🖼 The best museums in Berlin Planning your next trip? Check out our latest travel guides, written by local experts.

The 9 absolute best markets in Berlin

The 9 absolute best markets in Berlin

Berlin oozes cool. Bars looking out over a river. Clubs you might never get into no matter how hard you try. A dress sense that visitors desperately try to replicate (sometimes successfully). But if you fancy taking a break from all that intense coolness in favour of a wholesome Sunday, fear not. Berlin does wholesome too.  That’s right. Berlin’s markets are top-notch wholesomeness for locals and tourists alike. Looking to up your Berlin style? There’s a flea market for you. Desperate to taste bite-size chunks of Berlin’s diverse food scene? There’s food markets a-plenty. Spend your Sunday strolling through farmer’s markets or nab some local art by the canal. Berlin is market heaven, and we’ve rounded up the very best, right here. Here are the best markets in Berlin, for all your needs.  RECOMMENDED:🥙 The best street food in Berlin🥑 The best places to get brunch in Berlin🍴 The best restaurants in Berlin📍 The best things to do in Berlin🪩 The best nightlife spots in Berlin Planning your next trip? Check out our latest travel guides, written by local experts.

The 16 best clubs in Berlin

The 16 best clubs in Berlin

Let’s kick this off by stating the obvious: Berlin has a serious reputation for partying. These guys don’t say they’re heading out for a few beers and wind up going home at 2am. Weekends here are often meticulously planned, 72-hour parties, sometimes starting (and ending) when most of us are going to work.  So it’s likely that the German capital’s nightlife scene is high up on your list of things to do on your trip to Berlin. And if that’s the case, you won’t be disappointed. It’s home to some of the best clubs in the world, and if you get it right, chances are you won’t stop talking about your night out in Berlin for a very long time. From industrial warehouses to floating clubs on the water, here are the best Berlin clubs for your bucket list. RECOMMENDED:🍷 The best bars in Berlin🪩 The best nightlife spots in Berlin🏳️‍🌈 LGBTQ+ Berlin: The city’s best gay bars🏘️ The best Airbnbs in Berlin Planning your next trip? Check out our latest travel guides, written by local experts. 

The 8 absolute best nightlife spots in Berlin

The 8 absolute best nightlife spots in Berlin

They say Berlin is the party capital of Europe, but if you’ve been there, you’ll know it’s actually the party capital of the world. The party scene here is second to none. It might scare you at times, and it’ll definitely shock you, but you’ll likely be talking about your night out in Berlin for years to come. And the best part? The party spots just keep coming. New clubs, bars and shows pop up in the capital all the time, and we’ve rounded up the very best of them to get your boogie on, right now. Just be wary of one important thing: the nightlife here doesn’t start at normal times, oh no. Partying starts after midnight, and often carries on until the early hours. The best day for it? Weirdly, Sunday. But don’t worry, the party scene isn’t just the likes of the famous Berghain. Instead, on our nightlife list, we’ve included reggaeton, hip-hop, 24-hour clubs, queer parties and more. Here is the very best of Berlin’s nightlife.  RECOMMENDED:🪩 The best clubs in Berlin🍷 The best bars in Berlin🏳️‍🌈 LGBTQ+ Berlin: The city’s best gay bars🏘️ The best Airbnbs in Berlin Planning your next trip? Check out our latest travel guides, written by local experts. 

LGBTQ+ Berlin – the city’s best gay bars, clubs and saunas

LGBTQ+ Berlin – the city’s best gay bars, clubs and saunas

Berlin has earned its stripes as one of the great gay capitals of the world, with a huge LGBTQ+ community, one-of-a-kind queer bars and an attitude to life that encourages inhabitants to be whoever they please. Over time, this has lent itself to a ton of fantastic club nights, bars and saunas, and new venues are popping up all the time.  Berlin is a city that is always moving forward, often at a lightning pace. Things move so quickly, it can be hard to keep up with. But we’ve got you covered. Our Berlin writer Nathan Ma knows this city like the back of his hand, and has handpicked the best LGBTQ+ spots all over the city for cocktails, dancing and a lot of queer joy. Here’s our picks of the best.  RECOMMENDED:🍷 The best bars in Berlin🪩 The best clubs in Berlin💃 The best nightlife spots in Berlin🏘️ The best Airbnbs in Berlin Planning your next trip? Check out our latest travel guides, written by local experts.

The 10 absolute best museums in Berlin

The 10 absolute best museums in Berlin

If we know anything about Berlin, it’s that it’s certainly not short of culture. And sure, Berlin does a lot of things very well. Clubbing, to name one. Street food, to name another. But whatever you’re doing with your evenings, you’ve got to spend some days seeing its museums. Ready? Good. Our local writer Nathan Ma has rounded up the best museums the city has to offer. Ranked highest are those museums that truly capture the essence of Berlin, but you’ll find plenty of beautiful art and lots of history. Some of it will be harrowing, much of it inspiring, but we’ve made sure to look behind the most famous museums and monuments, to include those that are the most interesting and unique. Our top tip? Get your culture fix on a Sunday, when most of Berlin's museums are completely free to enter. Here are the best museums in Berlin right now.  RECOMMENDED:🎨 More of an art person? Here’s the best galleries in Berlin📍 The best things to do in Berlin🍴 The best restaurants in Berlin🏡 The best Airbnbs in Berlin Planning your next trip? Check out our latest travel guides, written by local experts. 

A weekend in Berlin: the ultimate itinerary

A weekend in Berlin: the ultimate itinerary

Keen to visit Berlin for a whirlwind weekend? You’re not alone. The German capital is one of Europe’s most popular city break destinations, pulling in visitors from around the world eager to enjoy its world-class art scene, weekend-long parties, tasty bites and even tastier beverages.  The key to enjoying Berlin is in understanding its recent past as a cultural and clubbing hotspot while also understanding its pace, which is far slower than you might think. So if you want to get to know the real Berlin – while still exploring all its best bits – we’ve got the weekend itinerary for you. From first-time visitor essentials to real hidden gems and insider recommendations (including the city’s more low-key nightlife spots), this is how to spend 48 hours in Europe’s coolest capital – according to Berlin local Nathan Ma.RECOMMENDED: 📍 The best things to do in Berlin🍳 The best Berlin brunches🍲 The best restaurants in Berlin🏊🏼‍♀️ Berlin’s best lakes for wild swimming🖼 The best museums in Berlin🛏 The best Airbnbs in Berlin Planning your next trip? Check out our latest travel guides, written by local experts.

What to do in Wedding, Berlin’s coolest neighbourhood

What to do in Wedding, Berlin’s coolest neighbourhood

What’s the deal with Wedding? Berlin is a city that’s expanding quickly and forever changing: recent influxes of venture funding and start-up money have given the once-grubby capital a cosmopolitan facelift, complete with cookie-cutter housing complexes and urban excess. In Wedding, however, old habits die hard – stroll up Müllerstrasse and down Seestrasse and you can see the city’s history spelled out in cheap rent, cheaper eats, and local hotspots all too often overlooked in favour of the bright lights and tourist traps of Kreuzberg or Neukölln. This neighbourhood in north-west Berlin feels warm and inviting, with street markets and sprawling public parks frequented by young families and long-time residents alike. Striking Weimar-era architecture contrasts with the harsh lines of former factories – a hangover from Wedding’s history as a working-class district in West Berlin. The area remains largely residential, far removed from the fast-paced developments of Silicon Allee, and therein lies its charm: real and rustic, Wedding is a reminder of why so many have flocked to Berlin since the fall of the Wall. RECOMMENDED: 😎 Full guide to the 50 coolest neighbourhoods in the world If you only do one thing... Photograph: Doris Antony Head to the Berlin Modernism Housing Estates for a first-hand look at Bauhaus buildings designed by some of the movement’s top architects. Built between 1919 and 1934, these social housing complexes survived the Second World War and were listed as a

The 51 coolest neighbourhoods in the world

The 51 coolest neighbourhoods in the world

It’s been a rough few years for the world at large – but in many ways, a fantastic one for neighbourhoods. Although we haven’t been able to travel the world as freely as we once did, billions of us have been spending more time than ever closer to home. And in many of the world’s greatest cities, the result has been a full-blown neighbourhood renaissance. It’s true that much-loved local shops, restaurants, bars and creative spaces have, sadly, shuttered for good. But there’s also been a whole wave of new businesses opening, driven not just by increased footfall outside city centres, but also by the ‘great resignation’. City-dwellers have quit their corporate jobs to finally follow their joy, whether it’s opening that corner café or much-needed local LGBTQ+ bar, or just spending more time living slowly and spending more time (and money) in their local area. At the same time, local officials the world over have been re-establishing their neighbourhoods as places for people. In some cases that’s meant overhauling street space: less driving, more walking, cycling and hanging out. In others, it’s meant tackling problems like overtourism, inequality and air pollution. All of this has led to districts looking very different than they did just a few years ago – and becoming better places for locals and travellers alike. RECOMMENDED: The 33 coolest streets in the world Every year, we canvas thousands of city-dwellers around the world in our Time Out Index survey. As always, this year