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A Proustian Travel Guide: Adam Groffman on Berlin

Travels of Adam

The Berlin travel blogger helps us prepare for Oktoberfest.

Adam Groffman is a travel writer and blogger – originally from Texas and Boston, but since 2012 has lived in Berlin. In 2010, he quit his job as a graphic designer to travel around the world where he spent nearly two years in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

He started his travel blog, Travels of Adam, back in 2010 when he started traveling full-time, and it’s since grown to be one of the most popular gay travel blogs. He's published a series of award-winning Hipster City Guides (from Berlin to Bangkok) and recently launched a print map of queer Berlin hotspots. As his blog (and Instagram) have become more popular, it’s become his full-time job, working in travel/tourism, sharing his tips and experiences.

What are three things you wish people knew about you? 

I’ve always worked in publishing. I started out as a bookseller at my local Barnes & Noble, worked as a writer through college, interned with a book publisher and typographer, worked my first job as a book designer, and then ultimately started my own publications.

I’ve been blogging since I was about 14 – and hopefully no one will ever find those original blogs with my embarrassingly emo teenage poetry!

I’m terrible at travel planning. I hate packing; it’s always done within an hour of leaving on a trip. I rarely book hotels or activities in advance – usually I find what to do or where to go once I’m where I want to be.



What are you most proud of?

Maybe silly, but my Twitter. I’ve always used it as a tool to connect with others and I’ve met thousands of strangers around the world because of Twitter—with mixed experiences, but largely positive. For me, Twitter is just a great way of connecting with others and so I’ve always enjoyed it.

What is your favorite thing to splurge on?

I always manage to find money to spend on a good cocktail.

When traveling, what do you never leave home without?

I always carry a pen and a notebook with me—whether I’m going out for a coffee or traveling to India. I find writing in a notebook to be one of the most cathartic ways to digest new experiences. I also always travel with a watch—just a habit and sometimes the battery doesn’t even work, but I’ll still wear the watch!


    Stay free, stay queer

    A post shared by Adam Top 25 Travel Blogger (@travelsofadam) on

  • Describe the perfect weekend in Berlin.
    Berlin is a city that’s meant to be experienced, rather than explored. You have to wander around, find those hidden spots, get lost. There are the warehouse parties and the secret open-airs, the abandoned buildings, the parks and the lakes. With just a weekend in Berlin, it’s a matter of embracing that Berlin lifestyle of long nights and cozy days. A typical Berlin weekend starts Friday night, with a bar and a club, a stroll through Kreuzberg along the canals on Saturday, food from a market hall or street food market, maybe a nap in the park. Saturday night, it all starts up again with more bars, more clubs, more parties and inevitably it ends Sunday at some point with a döner kebab or a greasy pizza. Read my guide to Berlin for Beginners here.

    What is your favorite neighborhood (district, street or area)? And why? 
    I love Kreuzberg – it’s never boring there and there’s always an activity or a party or a festival going on. The walls are covered in graffiti and street art, the food is international (and cheap!), and the Maybuchufer and surrounding canals are perfect for romantic strolls or an impromptu picnic with friends.


    Yep, I never get tired of this view #berlin

    A post shared by Adam Top 25 Travel Blogger (@travelsofadam) on

    What makes someone a local in Berlin? 

    It probably starts with a love of Club Mate – the caffeinated mate cola that fuels the all-weekend parties and the hacker/start up culture. A true local can also open their beer bottles with a lighter, and of course, they’ll be wearing black.

    Where is the most unique shopping experience? 

    I’m a sucker for the Berlin flea markets. There are hundreds of them open each weekend, on small streets or in parks and plazas. The Mauerpark flea market each Sunday is a bit of a tourist institution in the city (famous for their outdoor bearpit karaoke), but other smaller ones offer more vintage clothes and more unique products. The Boxhagener Platz flea market on Sundays as well as the ones behind Tiergarten S-bahn station and Ostbahnhof don’t attract as many tourists but have equally good finds.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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