Referendum to keep Tegel Airport open successful first step

Berlin Airport Tegel referendum

Airport Tegel - Photo: T.Bortels/

The Referendum “Berlin braucht Tegel” that aims at keeping the Airport Tegel open for operation obviously just managed to collect the necessary number of signatures. Almost 200.000 Berliners singed the petition that would make such a referendum possible.

Originally a law would force Airport Tegel to close once the new Berlin Airport BER would be fully functional. But it becomes more and more obvious that the new Airport will probably be already too small, when it’s finally opened. And currently nobody really knows anyways, when the Airport will actually be opened. It should have first opened in June 2012 – currently it is unclear if the Airport will open in 2018 or not.

Based on the article “Initiative Berlin braucht Tegel – Volksbegehren für Flughafen Tegel hat genug Unterschriften” (

Berlin Mattress says Make Love Great Again!

Berlin Love Mattress: Make Love Great Again

Make Love Great Again - Photo: T.Bortels/

Walking around Berlin you will often find TV sets, chairs, fridges, sofas etc. on the sidewalks. Some people seem to have no clue what they should do with these objects that they obviously don’t want any more. Sometimes these objects have a note “for free” attached to the object that will soon turn into trash, if nobody actually takes it away. Probably needless to say: usually I don’t really like all these objects and things lying around.

And then there are these used mattresses. Often huge, often dirty, if not filthy – not a nice sight. I guess mattresses are among the most disliked trash objects lying around in Berlin streets.

But sometimes somebody writes a message on such a mattress – and then it becomes a whole different thing. This one at least made me smile – and I guess I’m not the only one who took a picture of that message: Make Love Great Again!

Average age of Berliners (map)

Berlin average age (map)

Average age of Berliners by borough

Berlin is a young city – that seems to be at least the common opinion. And if you look at the sidewalks and streets of Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg, Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain this seems to be so true. Especially in those ‘party districts’ there seem to be more young people on the streets, as in other districts. But are all those young people really Berliners – or ‘just’ tourists? How old is the average Berliner? A look at the official statistics provides some insight: the average age of an average Berliner is currently  42.7 years.

As you may have guessed already – and as the map above indicates – the youngest neighborhoods can be found around MItte. Only a few years ago the map looked different – Mitte really was the youngest Berlin district. However in the recent years that group of ‘young Berliners’ has obviously moved away from the very center of the city to a bit more distant neighborhoods.

While only a couple of years ago the average age in Mitte was around 36 years, now it has risen to between 40 and 42.7 – still slightly less than the average. If you are roaming the streets of Berlin from time to time this may not come as a surprise: Wedding, Neuköln and Friedrichshain are currently hosting the youngest folks.

Download a large version of the above map: ‘Average age of Berliners

Zionskirche against Blue Sky in March

Berlin Public Holidays - Zionskirche in Berlin MItte

Bell Tower of Zionskirche - Photo:T.Bortels/

Another photo of the church Zionskirche in Berlin Mitte near Prenzlauer Berg / Kastanienallee. In March the weather is finally a bit more friendly again – blue skies can be enjoyed over a period of a couple of days and the temperatures are currently between 2°C (~35°F) by night and 10°C (~50°F) by day. Spring is almost here. Yay!

Berlin & Brandenburg Airports: again more passengers, more traffic

In 2016 both airports Berlin Tegel and Schönefeld saw more a rise in passenger numbers and goods shipped to and from those airports. The gross numbers for both airports are like this:

32.873.386 in 2016
compared to 29.507.852 in 2015 that’s a 11.4% rise.

Planes taking off and landing:
269.870 in 2016
compared to 247.570 in 2015 that’s a 9% rise.

51.523 tons
in 2016
compared to 47.715 tons in 2015 that’s a 8% rise.

numbers & data CC BY Amt für Statistik Berlin-Brandenburg

Berlin TV Tower and friends

Berlin TV Tower, Sneakers, Street Lamp

Berlin TV Tower, Sneakers, Street Lamp - Photo: T.Bortels/

The Berlin TV Tower on an almost sunny day – in the foreground a typical East Berlin street lamp and a pair of sneakers hanging from a wire that holds the power cables of the Tram line 12 near Zionskirchplatz.

Pickpockets on the rise on Berlin Public Transport

pickpockets in Berlin Public Transport: U-Bahn

Berlin Public Transport: U-Bahn - Photo: T.Bortels/

The problem isn’t really new – pickpockets have always been targeting commuters in Berlin, as in probably every other city. But an increase of 50% in 2015 compared to 2014 is an alarming figure. In 2015 over 12.000 cases were reported to the police – on Berlin Public Transport (BVG) alone.

That makes it almost every third of all cases of pocket-picking reported in Berlin. The year before *only* some 8.000 case of pocket-picking on Berlin Public Transport were reported. In 2012 the number was as low as 4.000 cases.

The rising numbers seem to be a sign of Berlin’s rising popularity. More and more people are either moving to Berlin or spending a holiday. And more and more people are using the Berlin public transport. Over 3 Million passengers are currently using the BVG on a daily basis.

Pickpockets seems to target mostly tourists – but of course also the regular Berliner can become a victim rather easily. Basically everybody knows at least someone who has been robbed while using Berlin’s public transport. So in case you are planning to use Berlin’s public transport in the near future: please be aware, that although Berlin seems to be such a nice and relaxed place to be, sometimes it’s not.

See also: