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Soundtrack of the City: Bowie’s Berlin Odyssey

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Today, I’m taking you through David Bowie’s Berlin. Buckle up as we dive into Bowie’s world – his house, studio, favorite bars, and everything you need to soak up the Bowie vibes.

And guess what? We did our homework and got addresses, maps, and even some excellent photos to guide you through what used to be West Berlin!

This is what we do here, and we hope you enjoy it and use it for your private Bowie Berlin Tour.

Many cities claim fame for their art scenes, but only a few come with their killer soundtrack, right? Berlin has its own rhythm, from Lou Reed to Iggy Pop, Atari Teenage Riot to Depeche Mode. And for those lucky ones who lived here in the late ’70s, the spirit of David Bowie still hangs in the Berlin air like glitter in a rockstar’s hair.

Many cities claim fame for their art scenes, but only a few come with their killer soundtrack, right? Berlin has its own rhythm, from Lou Reed to Iggy Pop, Nick Cave to Depeche Mode. And for those lucky ones who lived here in the late ’70s, the spirit of David Bowie still hangs in the Berlin air like glitter in a rockstar’s hair.

So, why David Bowie in Berlin, you ask? Well, picture this: In the ’70s, Bowie, the musical wizard, lived in Berlin for three years, cooking up what we now call the “Berlin Trilogy” – Low (1977), Heroes (1977), and Lodger (1979). His goal was to escape the drug culture that he found in Los Angeles, and Berlin came to his mind.

We believe it has something to do with Christopher Isherwood. They even met in 1976, before Bowie decided to move to Germany.

Navigating from Hansa Studios to Neuköln

Alright, enough warm-up. Let’s get down to business. Here’s your guide to Bowie’s Berlin:

The first stop is the legendary Hansa Studios. David Bowie is putting together Heroes, one of his most iconic songs, with the Berlin Wall as his muse. The studio is near Potsdamer Platz, so imagine the Berlin Wall and the Death Strip instead of today’s glass skyscrapers.

1. Hansa Studios:
The first stop is the legendary Hansa Studios. David Bowie is putting together Heroes, one of his most iconic songs, with the Berlin Wall as his muse. The studio is near Potsdamer Platz, so imagine the Berlin Wall and the Death Strip instead of today’s glass skyscrapers.

Bowie’s apartment during his Berlin days was at Haupstrasse 155 in Schöneberg, shared with his partner in crime, Iggy Pop. Nearby, there’s an excellent gay-friendly café, Neues Ufer, where you can chill, drink, and soak in the Bowie vibes with a wall of his pics.

2. David Bowie’s Apartment in Berlin:
Bowie’s apartment during his Berlin days was at Haupstrasse 155 in Schöneberg, shared with his partner in crime, Iggy Pop. Nearby, there’s an excellent gay-friendly café, Neues Ufer, where you can chill, drink, and soak in the Bowie vibes with a wall of his pics.

Nearby, there’s an excellent gay-friendly café, Neues Ufer, where you can chill, drink, and soak in the Bowie vibes with a wall of his pics.
For a taste of Bowie’s nightlife, head to SO36 in Kreuzberg, where Bowie and Iggy were regulars. It’s like a time warp to the punk rock days. And, of course, Neues Ufer, which we just mentioned above.

3. Where Bowie Used to Hang Out:
For a taste of Bowie’s nightlife, head to SO36 in Kreuzberg, where Bowie and Iggy were regulars. It’s like a time warp to the punk rock days. And, of course, Neues Ufer, which we just mentioned above.

Feeling fancy? Hit up Paris Bar in Charlottenburg – Bowie’s go-to spot for splurging on the best steak frites in town. This is where the wild Rolling Stone interview went down, and Iggy Pop famously rolled around outside.

4. Paris Bar:
Feeling fancy? Hit up Paris Bar in Charlottenburg – Bowie’s go-to spot for splurging on the best steak frites in town. This is where the wild Rolling Stone interview went down, and Iggy Pop famously rolled around outside.

5. Where Are We Now?:
Ever wondered about the places mentioned in Bowie’s “Where Are We Now?” from 2013? Listen up, and you will get references to influential landmarks. One is the Bösebrücke, the inaugural border crossing that opened on November 9, 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell.

Ever wondered about the places mentioned in Bowie’s “Where Are We Now?” from 2013? Listen up, and you will get references to influential landmarks. One is the Bösebrücke, the inaugural border crossing that opened on November 9, 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell.

The lyrical narrative also encompasses iconic locations like the Brandenburg Gate, the Dschungel nightclub that used to be on Nürnberger Straße, the KaDeWe department store, and the Potsdamer Platz railway station.

If you listened to the album Heroes, from 1977, you know that there is a song in there called Neukoln. There David Bowie plays saxophone and explores an ambient piece of music to show how he saw West-Berlin.

6. Neuköln:
Neukölln, now considered by many as the coolest neighborhood in Berlin, was Bowie’s mysterious wanderlust territory. He even wrote an instrumental track named Neuköln.

Dive into our article for the full story on this Berlin neighborhood.

7. Memorial Plaque in Schöneberg:
Stop by Haupstrasse 155 to pay your respects at the memorial plaque. David Bowie poured his soul into the Berlin Trilogy here, and it’s officially the best address in town.

Below, you can see how the area became a living memorial to David Bowie in January 2016.

via GIPHY

So there you have it, your passport to Bowie’s Berlin adventure. From studio vibes to café hangs, Bowie’s spirit lives on. I also wrote about David Bowie’s time in Warsaw and his 1987 concert in front of the Reichstag in Berlin.

Soundtrack of the City: Bowie’s Berlin Odyssey – Navigating from Hansa Studios to Neuköln

Let’s keep the Bowie magic alive, and who knows, you might even catch a glimpse of Ziggy Stardust in the Berlin breeze.

Felipe Tofani

Felipe Tofani

Felipe Tofani is a passionate designer with a penchant for crafting unique experiences and a mixed taste in music. As the curator behind this blog's explorations, he takes pride in discovering fascinating destinations. Whether unearthing hidden gems or sharing captivating historical narratives, Felipe is the creative force driving the stories you find here. Join him on a journey of design, discovery, and the delightful rhythm of unconventional tunes.View Author posts