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Nathan Ma

Nathan Ma

Contributor, Germany

Nathan Ma is a writer and critic based in Berlin who has written local guides on Berlin life and culture for Time Out, and has also written for The Guardian, The Independent, MixMag and CRACK Magazine. 

Articles (14)

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.

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.

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.

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 bars in Berlin🏛️ The best museums in Berlin🏘️ The best Airbnbs in Berlin Planning your next trip? Check out our latest travel guides, written by local experts.

Where to stay in Berlin

Where to stay in Berlin

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 16 best clubs in Berlin

The 16 best clubs in Berlin

You know it, we know it. 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. Their weekends are meticulously planned, 72 hour parties, sometimes starting (and ending) when most of us are going to work. Simply, Berliners know how to party. And they know how to party well.  So it’s likely that the German capital’s nightlife scene is high up on your list for things to do on your trip. 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 clubs for your bucket list. RECOMMENDED:🍷 The best bars in Berlin🪩 The best nightlife spots in Berlin🍴 The best restaurants in Berlin🏳️‍🌈 LGBTQ+ Berlin: The city’s best gay bars🥑 The best places to get brunch in Berlin🎨 The best art galleries 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

The 10 absolute best museums in Berlin

The 10 absolute best museums in Berlin

Berlin is a lot of things to a lot of people. Truth be told, it is often all of the things to all of the people, as curious visitors flock to the German capital in search of iconic attractions and thrilling nightlife. Berlin is every bit as infectious as its reputation suggests, maybe even more so. The German capital is a beacon for hedonists and foodies alike, and the museums of the city do the same for the curious and cultural.The best museums in Berlin do a fantastic job of capturing the intangible essence of the city. This place has a history as rich and complicated as it is occasionally harrowing, with plenty of art mixed in for good measure. Culture vultures are in for a real treat here.

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

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

The German capital has a reputation as one of the great gay cities of the world, and that reputation is very much warranted. Berlin is home to a thriving LGBTQI+ community with no shortage of bars, club nights and saunas to show, with new venues making their mark all the time. Berlin is a city that is always moving forward, and things move quickly here, but there is always time to smile and enjoy life. It is the Berlin way, after all. Check out our selection of the best gay bars, club nights and saunas in beautiful Berlin.  RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best clubs in Berlin

The 8 absolute best nightlife spots in Berlin

The 8 absolute best nightlife spots in Berlin

The best night out in Europe? Heck, try the world, buddy. Berlin’s party scene is legendary. The German capital has club nights that go on for (literally) days, excess as far as the eye can see, sex-positive policies and special nights tailored to pretty much every community. It has it all, in short. If you are a fan of dancing the night away, you are going to have an incredible time in Berlin.The best nightlife spots in Berlin tick all of the boxes. All of them. That is just the sort of place that Berlin is, a city filled with iconic attractions, elite restaurants, legendary markets and much more. The nightlife might just sit at the top of the table. RECOMMENDED: The best clubs in Berlin

Los barrios más cool del mundo de 2021

Los barrios más cool del mundo de 2021

Nueva normalidad. Probablemente hayas escuchado mucho esa frase durante los últimos 18 meses. Cuando la pandemia golpeó el año pasado, la humanidad entró en una nueva era. Y la vida cotidiana de los habitantes de la ciudad, tan acostumbrados al aspecto social de la vida urbana, cambió con ella. Pero ahora, muchos de nosotros hemos logrado deshacernos de esos grilletes. Las restricciones fronterizas se están aflojando. Se reabren bares, restaurantes e incluso clubes. Y mientras la pandemia aún continúa, todos estamos tratando de llegar tentativamente a algo que se asemeja a una mejor normalidad. Entonces, ¿qué es eso exactamente? Para averiguarlo, debes mirar lo que sucede a tu alrededor, en la calle, en el parque, en tu patio trasero. A lo largo de 2020 y 2021, nuestras ciudades han prosperado. Contra todo pronóstico, las comunidades se unieron, pasaron el rato, hicieron cosas. Mostraron la misma energía, resistencia e ingenio de base que les permitió surgir en primer lugar. Ellos sobrevivieron. Y ahora llegamos a nuestra clasificación anual de los vecindarios más geniales del mundo. Este año, no pudimos evitar cambiar nuestras prioridades. Comida, bebida, vida nocturna, cultura: importante. Espíritu de comunidad, resiliencia, sostenibilidad; igual de importante, especialmente si vamos a salir de esta pandemia con cosas de las que podemos estar orgullosos y contarle al resto del mundo. Al igual que lo hemos hecho durante los últimos tres años, llevamos los resultados de nue