Swimming in Berlin’s Spree River is not something most people will want to do†. But swimming in a pool that is in the Spree River—now that’s cool!
And that’s exactly the experience the Badeschiff offers.
The German word translates to “bathing ship,” which is as good a short description as any. The Badeschiff was fashioned from an old river barge cargo container filled with 400,000 liters (about 100,00 gallons) of chlorinated fresh water. The whole thing literally floats in the river, tied to a dock in the same way one might moor a houseboat.
When you visit Berlin will you stay in an artsy boutique hotel? In a low cost hostel? In a trailer park?
The wonderfully cool thing about The Hüttenpalast is that the accommodations are all three of those—at once!
At Spot Cool Stuff we’ve reviewed more than our share of unusual hotels. But rarely have we found one that offers such an unconventional experience with such a relatively high level of comfort at such a relatively low price†.
There’s no other bicycle shop in the world where you have to give serious thought to your wardrobe before visiting.
The best bike shops in the world do more than sell and fix bicycles. They fill you with a sort of enthusiastic energy that makes you want to get out there and pedal.
There are lots of great community bicycle stores out there, too many for us to declare the six we feature below to be the absolute best. But each one is superlative in its own way:
One day you’re in. The next day you’re out.
Heidi Klum’s golden rule of Project Runway fashion is also the reality for the characters that comprise signs. One day you are an L or an R proudly pointing the way towards an attraction along with your fellow letters. The next day you are discarded.
Usually old signs end up in landfills or incinerators. But an especially lucky, and especially artistic, few have their letters go on display in museums. There people look at them not for any direction they can provide but for the works of art that they are.
Here’s a review of Spot Cool Stuff’s favorite unusual typography museums:
Room #26, The Jail Cell Room, has a toilet in the middle of it and a “door” that’s literally a hole in a wall.
Berlin is one of the greatest cities in the world for high design and artsy hotels. And king among the German capital’s artsy accommodations is the Propeller Island City Lodge. Its name is a misnomer. This hotel does not feel like a lodge, is not on an island and has no propellers. But it is in a city.
Berlin a city of many layers—a cosmopolitan melting point beyond the division by The Wall, where the booming arts scene and numerous unconventional accommodations create crisp originality and guaranteed surprise effects. Experience the city that keeps on reinventing itself and never stops its fascinating metamorphosis by sleeping in one of its funky boutique hotels.
There's a hand-carved (!) carousel, 18-hole mini golf course, Kool-Aid waterfall, gourmet fudge shop, vintage toy museum, huge children's book selection, llama petting zoo, puppet shows and, oh yeah, you can also buy toys.
It’s a tough job but someone has to take on the task of finding the world’s best toy stores. So Spot Cool Stuff assigned ourselves.
Here’s a look at our favorite shops for indulging your kids—and your inner child:
Here’s a restaurant theme you didn’t see coming: darkness.
The concept of purposefully eating in complete pitch-black dark originated with Jorge Spielmann, a blind clergyman from Zurich. When guests ate dinner at the Spielmann house some would wear blindfolds during their meal to show solidarity with their host and to better understand his world. What Spielmann’s sighted guests found was that the blindfolds heightened their sense of taste and smell and made their dining experience more enjoyable. That gave Spielmann the idea to open a dark restaurant, which he did in 1999.
Today you can stumble into dozens restaurants around the world where that question made famous in an American commercial in the 80s — Where’s the beef? — takes on a whole new meaning. Most dark restaurants employ blind waiters, offer a single set menu, and ban anything that could give off light (like cigarettes, cell phones and cameras) from the dinning area. All of them also have normally lit bathrooms though you’ll need to ask your waiter for help in finding it.
Here’s our illuminating look at some of the world’s dark restaurants: