Julia Linn is a young Swedish entrepreneur, designer and blogger, whose post about Berlin intrigued me so much, that I felt I needed to know more of how a Scandinavian sees my city. She replied immediately, so we had this pleasant conversation about Berlin’s remarkable ability to… sneak under one’s skin.
BB: Julia, the first thing we apparently have in common is the love for Berlin (the second being that I’m also a Sweden fan). You described your relationship with this city as a “love affair”, exactly like I did on my blog. Could you please briefly tell me about the things you like most about Berlin?
JL: Berlin was a surprising crush, it was actually like falling in love for real, you thought someone/something was completely different but once you get to know it you just can’t get enough of it. That is how I feel for the moment and I only got the chance to explore it during a long weekend. But the thing I like the most is the open-minded attitude, the priceworthy and delicious food, the laid back street styles, the gorgeous architecture (both old/modern), the cool bars and the street art of course!
BB: What comes to my mind when I try to describe Berlin is… freedom. You can be whoever you want and do whatever you feel like, dress like an elephant and nobody would notice. What are your thoughts on that?
JL: That was the thing I fell the most for, I felt so free. It was no judgemental looks or bad attitude. Everyone was open, nice and seemed to be curious about life!
BB: Was this your first encounter with Berlin? What drew you to this “crazy planet”?
JL: Yes it was my first time in Berlin and my partner took me to the city. He just bought an apartment there and we were there to check it out and will be back soon to decorate it, super excited!
BB: Since you’re a designer, what do you think about the Berlin fashion? A few fashion people I interviewed thought that you have to be quite innovative in order to fit in as a designer in Berlin.
JL: Berlin fashion is definitely something different and unique but I’m really into it and find a lot of inspiration from it as a designer. I love how they play around with shape, volume and textures! I guess the designs really reflect the city! I also do believe that you have to get into the vibe in Berlin to fit in as a designer but I do think that every designer has to be innovative no matter what city you are in.
BB: Was it easy for you to get on with English here?
JL: It went pretty good, but I was lucky that my partner understands German.
BB: Which was your favourite restaurant / cafe and where would you advise people to go out at night?
JL: I really liked the restaurants and cafes around Rosenthaler Platz, like Amano (love great views), Grand Cafe (cause I love sitting in big windows) and Transit (cause I love Asian food). I’m also into Soho House Berlin, just the name makes me love it! We didn’t have time to go out, which I have to do next time, because I have heard it’s amazing. I’ve been recommended to check out Berghain at the weekend!
BB: You said that “Berlin does breakfast like no other city in the world…“. I completely agree on that. Could you please elaborate? One thing I love is that in most places you can have brunch until 4pm!
JL: Yes, I love when I can have a big breakfast / brunch pretty late during a weekend and also a price worthy one, so Berlin was perfect, especially the Mitte area, I really liked our hotel breakfast at Tryp in Mitte. Barcomi`s is a place I have to try next time!
BB: They say Berlin has the most efficient public transportation in Europe. Was it easy for you to commute?
JL: It looked pretty easy to get around, but I have to admit that I haven’t tried it yet, but walking and taxi worked perfect :)!
BB: Berlin is still known for its affordable prices in comparison with other European metropolises. You don’t have to dig too deep into your pockets to spend a week here, right? It’s definitely much cheaper than Stockholm, that I know for sure!
JL: Yes much cheaper and still better quality than Stockholm and also other European metropolises, especially when it comes to food and service!
BB: You know, I have a few friends who after first visiting Berlin decided to move and live here for good. Could you imagine becoming a Berliner? After all, you even have a predestined name:-)
JL: Yes, absolutely:)
BB: Julia, thank you for this great dialogue and I can assure you that Berlin will be waiting for you with all kinds of surprises. This is what still strikes me about Berlin: regardless of how long you’ve lived here and how well you know the city, there will always be something new… just around the corner.