Oliver Spencer x Secret Trips: What To Wear, See, And Do In Berlin

Oliver Spencer x Secret Trips: What To Wear, See, And Do In Berlin

Berlin is a city made for eight million people that has three million inhabitants. When I’m there I always have this incredible feeling of spaciousness: the great big wide boulevards, the expansiveness of the canals, the way they give their prestige buildings room to breathe. I love just walking around the place; it’s a city with an amazing diversity of architecture, from the Neo-Baroque of Museum Island to the shiny modernity of Potsdamer Platz. But what you really go to Berlin for is its atmosphere. The whole city has a great youthful energy to it. I often feel like the oldest person there. 

And it’s big, with loads of interesting neighbourhoods, so the best way to really get under its skin is to go on a bike tour. The man you need is a super-interesting guy called Alex. He takes you out on electric bikes to see all of Berlin’s alternative sights. My tour was supposed to last three hours, but it ended up taking seven. It was one of the most fascinating things I’ve ever done. 


When I’m in Berlin, I like to stay at the Château Royal hotel in Mitte, a 10-minute walk from the Pergamon. Mitte is a great neighbourhood. It’s full of contemporary galleries and the hotel fits right into that as it is full of beautiful artworks. The interiors have a mid-century vibe to them without overdoing it, and there’s a lovely courtyard, so you can eat outside in the summer. 

One of the other great selling points of the Château Royal is that it’s also a 10-minute walk away from Borchardt, which is a restaurant that kind of flies under the radar with tourists, but is a real scene-y sort of place for locals. By Berlin standards it’s not cheap, but it has a grandeur to it, all high ceilings and columns and mosaics. The menu is French/German and when you’re there you’ve got to have the schnitzel.

What To Pack


Norton Jacket Penpol Stone

Norton Jacket Penpol Stone

Water Repellent
Made in England

If you're going for a long weekend in Berlin, then you want to pack a pretty versatile wardrobe, because the weather can be changeable. The tribes of Berlin are all very different in their style: the west side feels more sartorial, more conventional; Mitte is more fashion-led, whereas Prenzlauerberg and Kreuzberg are young and edgy. Then of course there's the techno scene, which has now been designated UNESCO cultural status! 

My shout would be a mixture of relaxed tailored and classic menswear silhouettes - the kind of stuff you can dress up in for a nice restaurant, but equally can wear in a more casual way for exploring the city by day. Think lightweight fabrics such as linen that you can layer easily, and maybe take a technical jacket such as a bomber for a bit of protection from any showers. The Berlin vibe is definitely not try-hard - the more natural and easy your look, the better. As for shoes, a city break almost always means a tonne of walking so comfort is paramount. Mizuno's Wave Riders are super comfortable and are a great way to bookend a pair of our judo trousers, while I would also pack some casual loafers for when you want a slightly more elevated look.


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