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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 23 best things to do in Berlin right now

The 23 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. RECOMMENDED:🪩 The best clubs in Berlin🍴 The best restaurants in Berlin🏡 The best Airbnbs in Berlin🛏 The best hotels in Berlin📍 How to spend a weekend in Berlin. This guide was recently updated by Berlin-based writer Kate Bettes. Original photos by Berlin-based photographer Astra Pentaxia. 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. 

LGBTQ+ Berlin: 13 best gay bars, clubs and saunas

LGBTQ+ Berlin: 13 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 This guide was recently updated by Berlin-based writer 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 8 absolute best nightlife spots in Berlin

The 8 absolute best nightlife spots in Berlin

There are 101 ways to party in Berlin, and we’re not just talking about clubbing. At any given time of the day (or night), there’s a party somewhere in this glorious capital – you’ve just got to know the right places to look.  So if you’re looking to hit the clubs, go and check out our list of the best clubs in Berlin (yes, there’s Berghain on there). But if you’re looking for something more alternative, you’re in the right place. For everything from queer parties and 24-hour bars to reggaeton, jazz and hip-hop, here are the best nightlife spots in Berlin. RECOMMENDED:🍷 The best bars in Berlin🍴 The best restaurants in Berlin🏳️‍🌈 LGBTQ+ Berlin: The city’s best gay bars🏘️ The best Airbnbs in Berlin Nathan Ma is a writer 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 17 best clubs in Berlin

The 17 best clubs in Berlin

There’s a reason that Berlin is oh-so notorious for its party culture. Sometimes you have to see it to believe it, and Berlin is one of those places. But the rumours are true: the parties here start late and finish early (depending which way you look at it), and sometimes go on for 72 hours at a time.  And it’s not all about Berghain, either. The clubs in Berlin range from LGBTQ+ nights to raves in industrial warehouses and floating clubs right on the water. 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. Here are the best clubs in the city.  RECOMMENDED:🍴 The best restaurants in Berlin🍷 The best bars in Berlin🪩 The best nightlife spots in Berlin🏘️ The best Airbnbs in Berlin This guide has been updated by Kate Bettes. 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 11 best museums in Berlin

The 11 best museums in Berlin

Culture vultures, listen up: Berlin is one of the best cities in Europe for culture. It’s got everything from fascinating history to immersive exhibitions – the only hard thing is choosing which ones to visit. On our list, the highest ranked museums are those that truly capture the essence of Berlin, but if you’re returning to the city or you’ve got the full week, you should simply work your way down it. 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 This guide was recently updated by Berlin-based writer Kate Bettes. 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 thought Berlin was only for German food, prepare to be amazed. Berlin has become as well known for its Italian, Japanese and Turkish joints as it is for those side-of-the-road sausages. It even holds the title of the city that created Döner kebabs.  The food scene here is second-to-none, and it’s only getting better. Our local writers have tried everything from the spots with two Michelin stars to the best currywurst in the city, to bring you this delicious list. Here are the best restaurants in Berlin right now.  RECOMMENDED:🥑 The best brunch in Berlin🍷 The best bars in Berlin📍 The best things to do in Berlin🏘️ The best Airbnbs in Berlin This guide was recently updated by Berlin-based writer Kate Bettes. 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 50 best cities in the world in 2024

The 50 best cities in the world in 2024

What makes a city great? Some would say it’s all about buzzing neighbourhoods, affordable food and drink and a mighty selection of things to do, from art galleries and museums to live music and theatre. Others might highlight things like the happiness of its locals, access to green space and strong community vibes. We factor in all that and more in our annual survey, which asks city-dwellers around the world to tell us what it’s like to live, work and play in their hometowns right now. Thanks to the opinions and insights of locals on the ground and our global network of city experts, we’re able to create a global ranking of the world’s best cities – and the 2024 results are in. As in previous years, the basis of the ranking remains our global survey of the people who know their city best: the locals. Working with research company Potentia Insight, we surveyed thousands of city-dwellers about the quality and affordability of food, culture and nightlife in their city. We also asked locals how their city makes them feel: are they happy there? Is it a beautiful place? Is it easy to make social connections? Their thousands of responses gave us a unique insight into the reality of living in the world’s greatest cities right now. Now that international travel is forecast to bounce back to the highest levels since 2019, many travellers will be planning a city break this year – so in 2024, we added a little extra weight to a city’s global appeal. Each survey respondent was asked which

The 40 coolest neighbourhoods in the world

The 40 coolest neighbourhoods in the world

It’s that time again. Every year, we ask thousands of city-dwellers to tell us the coolest spots in their cities. What are the places locals love and visitors flock to? Where are the exciting new openings across food, drink and culture? Where are people going out, hanging out and having fun? For the sixth year running, the results are in. Over 12,000 people had their say in this year’s shortlist, naming the neighbourhoods in their hometowns where everyone wants to be right now. Then, we narrowed down the selection with the insight and expertise of city editors and local experts who know their cities better than anyone else. To create and rank the final list, we considered factors including community and social ventures, access to open and green space, and thriving street life. In 2023, our neighbourhoods are more global than ever before. The rise and rise in post-pandemic digital nomadism has led to an explosion of brand-new community spaces, multi-purpose culture centres and more cafés than we can count on two hands. But while most of these neighbourhoods have experienced a transformation over recent years, they remain resolutely local at heart. Slick new developments and cool cafés might bring in new crowds, but neighbourhood stalwarts – from old pubs to family greengrocers – keep it real.  The world’s coolest neighbourhoods this year are, therefore, places with big personalities. Each area’s diversity is reflected in its food, culture and festivals. Community is key: local

The 9 best markets in Berlin right now

The 9 best markets in Berlin right now

Sure, Berlin’s known for its two-day-long parties, its smoky clubs and its ridiculously cool fashion scene, but put away your stereotypes of Germany’s capital. Berlin actually does do wholesome – you’ve just got to know where to look.  And one of the best places for it? Come Saturday and Sunday, this city is alive with all kinds of bustling markets, from fresh fruit and veg and street food to flea markets and local art lining the canal. Whatever you’re after, here are the best markets in Berlin.  RECOMMENDED:🍴 The best restaurants in Berlin🥑 The best brunch in Berlin📍 The best things to do in Berlin🏡 The best Airbnbs in Berlin Nathan Ma is a writer 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 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. 

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.

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.