We can’t promise gorgeous blonde super spies, but this 'Atomic Blonde' guide to Berlin has all the adventure that you can get out of Berlin.
Your mission: there’s vodka fueled, high-speed adventure waiting for you in Germany. Visit these locations to unlock it. If you are apprehended by travel companions who want eat currywurst in front of Berlin Cathedral (again), burn this message. We never had this conversation.
0800 Hours: Vodka for Breakfast
WHERE: Cafe-Bar Gorki Park
If James Bond and Atomic Blonde have taught us anything it’s that super spy powers are fueled by vodka and you have a lot to do today.
At Russian Cafe-Bar Gorki Park, they serve 100g portions of vodka with breakfast. We never saw Atomic Blonde eat actual food, but unless you’re an experienced agent, we recommend having your vodka portion with Russian pancakes. You’ll love them enough to make everyone wonder where your allegiances really lie.
0900 Hours: Get Dressed
WHERE: Babelsberg Studio; Berlin Museum of Photography
Lovers of couture and ass-kicking agree: Atomic Blonde’s wardrobe was sickening, and the film’s costume designer Cindy Evans got several of the vintage couture pieces from the vintage costume shop at Babelsberg Studio. This movie studio also serves private customers, but bring your wallet (the red patent leather high heels that did in the Russians are Dior).
Couture cosplay as an M16 agent not in your vacation budget? Head to Berlin’s Museum of Photography. The inspiration for the clothing in the film was drawn largely from the photos of German-Austrian photographer Helmut Newton circa 1989. The bottom two floors are dedicated to his work, so pack a lunch (of vodka) and wish not being a secret agent paid a little better.
1100 Hours: Pick Up Your Car
WHERE: The Autobahn
Atomic Blonde sped around Germany in a Trabi: the compact Cold War hooptie that still has a special place in German hearts. You can drive a modern version, tricked out with leopard print or a convertible top to take around the city (and even pick up a souvenir Trabi license for extra street cred). But unless your handlers are picking up the tab for your speeding tickets, you’ll still have to mind local traffic laws.
If speed is what you need, head to the famous Autobahn where speed limits go up to 130 km/h (81 mph).
1200 Hours: Target Practice
WHERE: Jagdtrainingszentrum Schloss & Gut Liebenberg
In Berlin, heading to the shooting range is a fun pastime for stag parties and possibly secret agents who need to brush up on their skills. And because gun laws in Germany are more lax than they are in the UK, you can get your hands on some pretty serious fire power and take out paper target “bad guys” (under the guidance of an instructor of course) to your heart’s content.
1400 Hours: Reconnaissance in the GDR
WHERE: The DDR Museum
Life behind the wall in East Berlin wasn’t always great, but the DDR museum is pretty amazing. This fully-interactive museum re-creates every aspect of life in the German Democratic Republic. You can enter an entire East German apartment where each of the drawers in the room contains personal effects and facts from the period, watch a propaganda film in a Cold War theater, cast your vote in a rigged election, or even check out black market goods behind the counter of an East German shop.
1500 Hours: Sneak Into to East Germany
WHERE: Checkpoint Charlie Museum
The cold war is over, but you can still see what it’s like to cross over into East Berlin. Checkpoint Charlie is the last remaining guard stand in Berlin. While no one will ask for your papers, you could throw on a brown wig and hand over a forged passport just for fun.
Then head to the Checkpoint Charlie Museum to learn about the Berlin Wall and the daring escapes made by Atomic Blonde brave East Germans determined to get to the West for a better life.
1600 Hours: Fight
While there are fairly few opportunities to open righteous cans of whoop ass on the Stasi in post-Cold War Germany, you can test out your Atomic Blonde fighting skills in Berlin’s Female Fight Club.
This secret underground club lets in women of all ages, skill levels and fighting styles. You’re matched not by your height or weight but determination to throw down (in categories that include jiu-jitsu and catfight).
But you may have to put some of your spy skills to work and plan ahead. You have to contact the owner to find out the secret meeting place and ask permission to join.
Want something a little tamer? Try a boxing gym like Golden Glory Germany where you can train for a few rounds with a great soundtrack playing in the background.
1900 Hours: Party
WHERE: Icky Sundays @ Ficken 3000
Where you have the best chance of falling in love at first sight with a sexy French agent while listening to the sexy version of 99 Luft Balloons. On Sunday nights at the Icky Dance Party at Ficken 3000, anything goes with anyone while DJ’s spin retro 80’s tunes all night long. Things here can get wild and unpredictable and everyone is dressed like it. So throw on your best super spy camp and get ready to have an adrenaline-ride of a night.
The Next Day: Pick Up A Souvenir
WHERE: Modern Graphics
While you’ll likely have to destroy all evidence of this mission, you can head to Berlin’s famous comic book shop, Modern Graphics. Atomic Blonde was based on the 2012 graphic novel The Coldest City, and you can pick up an English-language copy to read on the way home from your mission.