Potsdamer Platz attracts thousands of visitors every day – inhabitants, tourists, employees and citizens of Berlin fill the neighborhood with life. Each of them has a special connection to Potsdamer Platz. We met these people and tell their stories:
“At Potsdamer Platz you can breathe history.”
This is my fourth Berlinale year. In the past, I often only went for the events that I managed to get tickets for, however, my enthusiasm for the Berlinale is unbroken. I am happy that the city, which I identify with personally, stages such a grand and international cultural spectacle. Of course, I want to be part of it! It appeals to me to be one of the first who see a film, which might later make a big splash. That is why it is no problem for me to queue up for that little bit longer. It is not so easy to get hold of tickets, but I just hope that I will be able to watch my favourite films this year.
I look forward to coming to Potsdamer Platz for the screening again. I love to be here. The whole place is not only a real cultural highlight; you can actually breathe history here in the truest sense of the word. In case the film I watch is somewhat more challenging fare, I might just go shopping and have an ice cream beforehand.
“The Berlinale is something extraordinary!”
I have been visiting the Berlinale for six or seven years now. The world première of the unabridged version of “Nymphomaniac” of Lars von Trier in the year 2014 is my absolute highlight to the present day. Still, I will give every film a chance to become my new favourite, of course. The great variety of films, and in part of unknown directors, is what makes this film festival so special for me. You just have to imagine that the Berlinale screens films every day for two weeks that you might otherwise not see, even in Berlin. That is something extraordinary.
I get most of my tickets in the evening after work when the line is not quite as long anymore. I don’t know yet what I will watch this year, I will go with the flow. As I work at Potsdamer Platz, I can pop by the ticket counter often without any problems. Also outside the Berlinale, I go to the Shopping Arcades quite frequently – for eating, for shopping or for buying tickets for other events around the year. Potsdamer Platz is a very exciting place. On the one hand, it has a chequered history and on the other hand, it stands for rapid development and change. I like the mix of modern buildings, monuments and open spaces.
I believe that is exactly what makes Potsdamer Platz the very heart of the Berlinale: you can do such a lot of things here or just go for a nice meal before the screening and afterwards enjoy a drink.
“Christmas time is family time!”
Salome and Nino have only lived in Berlin for eighteen months, but have already locked Potsdamer Platz into their hearts. Both of them love especially the Winter World. In their home country Georgia, there are Christmas markets but they are not as lavishly decorated by far as ours in Potsdamer Platz, for instance.
At Christmas time, the family comes together traditionally and people feast a lot. There are especially hearty dishes that are served up in the homes of Salome und Nino. Today, the two only go for a Glühwein (mulled wine). This is perfect to warm up if you don’t go in for pulse-raising activities on the sled run and the ice-rink. They are rather taking it easy and will visit the Shopping Arkaden at Potsdamer Platz after the Winter World in order to buy the last presents for their loved ones.
“Something magical about Christmas time at Potsdamer Platz”
Actually, Georg only wanted to go to the cinema: “I’m studying close to Potsdamer Platz and drop by spontaneously quite often. Cinema, shopping, bars, there is always something going on in the evening.” Today, the Christmas fair and its delicacies have kept him from his original plan. “Actually, it is too early for the Christmas spirit for me. I need the snow.
Still – the Winter World at Potsdamer Platz has something magical for me – and puts me into a festive mood a little more.” Christmas for Georg means, above all, celebrating within the fold of the family. The happy get-together and the exuberance always turn this season into something special. It’s not so much about the presents for him. This year again, he will do some last minute shopping for the family and his friends.
Today, he has something different in mind anyway. He has been circling the stall with the deliciously smelling “Quarkbällchen” (deep fried dough balls). “Honestly, I would have probably made it to the cinema in time, if I weren’t so crazy about the Quarkbällchen!” Well, enjoy them at your leisure!
“We love to celebrate special events at Potsdamer Platz!“
It’s Benjamin’s birthday! On this very special occasion he treats himself and his girlfriend Natascha to a visit to their favourite restaurant “Tony Roma’s”: “The steak is just fantastic here and we love to use such an event to go out for a really great meal.”
However, it’s not all over after the visit to the restaurant for the two. “Now we’ll do a little tour of the Christmas market before our film starts at the cinema and after that, we’ll have a nightcap at one of the many bars here.” For the couple it is a logical choice to celebrate their birthday at Potsdamer Platz. They find everything here that makes them happy.
However, they only have little time for the Winter World today. They tried out its attractions already in the previous years. Today, they want to take it easy. Still, they agree: “A visit to Potsdamer Platz is just part and parcel of winter time for us. With its lights and the festive atmosphere, we really get into the Christmas mood.”
“Here is everything I need!”
Carola has been living at Potsdamer Platz for three and a half years now. When the native Berliner talks about her home in the middle of the metropolis, her eyes shine. Ten years ago she did not think that the neighbourhood was especially attractive, but today, the new heart of Berlin is her personal feel-good oasis. This is where she finds everything she needs. “The infrastructure and public transport at the Platz don’t only make my everyday life easier but also make my home the starting point for all kinds of activities. The many highlights and events convince my friends every time to meet at Potsdamer Platz. I never really need to leave my neighbourhood,” she says laughing.
I’m never bored. Be it winter or summer, Carola discovers new things for herself all the time: “I can do a thousand different things here!” The many tourists that admire Potsdamer Platz every day are no bother whatsoever. “I love this nice and romantic bustle at the Platz. Especially around Christmas time”, she says. “Generally speaking, the atmosphere is very intimate here. People know one another in this neighbourhood.” Carola is on first-name terms with the staff at the restaurants, bars and cafes.
Her insider’s tip for the best food at Potsdamer Platz is the cosy little restaurant “Lutter & Wegner” in the Weinhaus Huth. But this is not the only place that Carola enjoys the relaxed atmosphere at. “Potsdamer Platz is clean, safe and peaceful. I am able to move about freely here at any time.” Carola obviously feels at home in this neighbourhood. Especially now at Christmas time. The lights and the happy people turn the Winter World into a special experience every year for her.
Thus, she has made up her mind: “I’m not going to leave here anymore!”