Consistently an amazing source of great places to check out in Berlin, we’ve been big fans of Awesome Berlin‘s website.. even before we moved to the city! Also boasting an incredible Instagram account bursting with lovely shots each perfectly capturing what makes Berlin so special, the charming man behind the site Tulio Edrera is just as interesting in person as his account suggests! We sent a few questions his way to learn a little more about him…and some tips for you fellow instagrammers to build a large audience too!
Firstly, tell us briefly about yourself and how you came to live in Berlin?
My name is Tulio. I am originally from the middle of nowhere in the heart of Brazil. A place I call the “Texas of Brazil” given its backward mentality. I have lived all over, but Northern California and São Paulo were the two places I lived the longest after I left my hometown.
I studied Law, but that obviously was not for me. So I moved to Cali where I went to grad school for Marketing and Strategy and got hired out of Business School from a giant pharma company where I worked for many years. I got bored and decided to flip my life completely!
Then Berlin happened! We (my partner Regis and I) decided to come here for an adventure and to see if this city would charm us as it does to so many free spirits. And it did! Like a week after we arrived we knew we would be spending many many years here! It has been 4 and half years now…and I am still every bit as much in love with Berlin.
So what made you decide to start the Awesome Berlin website documenting your favourite places in Berlin?
I was coerced! Just kidding.
A very good friend of mine, Shoshannah (whom I had met in California) came to visit. She was running her own successful travel website in Amsterdam (Awesome Amsterdam) and during her visit to Berlin (while showing her around and drinking a few drinks) I got inspired to show more people my favourite spots in the city. I call her Awesome Berlin’s muse. The rest is history!
There’s also an Awesome Amsterdam – how are the two connected?
We inspire each other and share experiences. I guess you could call Awesome Amsterdam a “big sister” website.
Your Instagram is hugely popular with both locals and tourists alike – any advice for fellow Instagrammers reading this on how to build such a great following?
Thank you. I am very proud of our Instagram Feed. Surprisingly, about 85% of my Instagram follower base is IN Berlin. Before “intelligence was available” I thought it was more like 50/50 (which is roughly the split on the website and other social media channels).
It’s hard to give advice…but beyond the obvious “have great images”, “create good content”, I would say consistency is probably one of the most important aspects in running an Instagram account. Pick a posting frequency you can keep up with. I generally post once a day.
And remember to post things that excite you – that excitement will show across the posts and people will want to “hang out” with you virtually.
It seems from your Instagram posts that you’re often out either exploring on your bike or jogging through Berlin, which is where you stumble across great shots. Do you feel this method (or another way) is the best way to explore a city?
I am not sure there is a specific method. Whatever works for me might not work for you. But you might be right.
The fact that I am always roaming the various Berlin neighborhoods means that I am often presented with fun “Berlin moments”. It is up to me to register them or not. I rarely leave home on a mission to get great shots. I have my cellphone and/or camera with me and I go about discovering Berlin. Sometimes I do get great shots…but sometimes I register simple, less visually appealing moments that I also consider part of Berlin life. That mix, I think, keeps the feed more interesting. Even if it means getting fewer likes on certain pictures.
How would a perfect day in Berlin look like to you?
I’ve spent so many perfect days here!!! I am a fan of random fun days!
A great one is meeting friends for brunch on sunny weekends. From there, going for a walk along the Landwehrkanal or the river, stopping here and there for drinks and laughs. All Randomly, except the starting point. Watching a most epic sunset by the water and realizing it is time for dinner. From a lively dinner spot, going for a night cap at a great bar. That “night cap” turns into “a few night caps”. Taking the subway at like 4AM and finding there is a party going on inside the train. Walking home exhausted as the sun rises and realizing I left home for an innocent brunch.
You’re also a keen traveller, spending full months away in amazing countries like Japan and Italy to really immerse yourself in the culture. So, having visited so many places for long periods of time, what is it about Berlin you love so much to call it your permanent home?
I love many places in the world.
Berlin is not the biggest, coolest, prettiest, greenest, safest, most artsy, most anything city. But Berlin has a very special combination of all those factors. It is big, cool, pretty, green, safe and artsy. A combination that is hard to beat.
But what truly inspires me about Berlin is seeing so many different people hanging out, no matter what age, walk-of-life, origin, etc. A great place to observe this aspect is going to Mauerpark on Sundays. That’s why I believe we all love it so much.
You’re also a keen art fan. What are your favourite galleries in Berlin?
I do love art. And I keep falling in love with and discovering new art spaces.
Currently I am in love with Reinbeckhallen.
Berlin is also full of wall murals. How do you feel the street-art scene and attitude towards it in Berlin differs from other capital cities?
Street Art is such an ingrained part of Berlin’s culture and it has been like that for a long time. Few cities can claim that. Berlin is part of a league of cities that have always embraced street art in all its forms. Organically. It just happens here.
In other places (with a few notable exceptions) I see a glamourization of street art. Mural after Mural and that’s it. I can obviously appreciate a great curated mural, but I love the mix of it all. Stickers, tapes, stencils, paste-ups, yarn bombing, paitings, etc…And preferably all cohabiting the same space. Berlin has been a perfect raw canvas for these forms of expression. And I love it.
We’ve seen you’re involved in some social/community projects too. Tell us about them?
I think it is important to be aware and help out as much as one can with the social issues surrounding our lives, no matter where we live.
I get involved in projects here and there and help out with causes that speak to me at particular moments of my life. I currently support a couple of LGBTQ+ organisations that support refugees to get on their feet here in Germany.
Last year I was helping out a friend with Souk Berlin, but the project is currently on hiatus as that friend is back in London until the end of the year. I wish I could help out more and maybe I will in the future.
Knowing the city so well, our readers would surely love some tips from you! What are your favourite places for cocktails, casual dining, coffee and outdoor spaces to relax in?
Beer: Mikkeller for Sour Ales
Cocktails: Bar Milano for Negroni
Casual Dining: Khwan
Outdoor Space: Around Teehaus at Tiergarten on Sundays or Allmende Kontor Community Gardens at Tempelhof.
Complete the following sentence of why this city is special to you “For me, Berlin is….”
The perfect homebase. For now 😉