While in Berlin, Jones and I both joined a little co-working space called co.up. All in all, we had a great experience working there, and wanted to review it for other travelers and Nomads who might find themselves looking for a co-working space in Berlin.
co.up is a co-working space in Berlin's Kreuzberg neighbourhood. With two floors to work on, the space is well-equipped with plenty of desks, comfy chairs, and couches to work on. Each of the floors is split up into a set of smaller rooms. The lower floor is decorated with silhouettes that were drawn by some of the community members, giving it an artsy feel. There are a couple of meeting rooms that can be booked, a kitchen space, and printing/scanner/fax facilities. The co-working space skews towards the more techy side, and is generally quiet as people work throughout the day. Many people in the co-working space speak English.
co.up hosts a number of Berlin-area tech meetups. We attended Front End/JS, design, and Python meetups while there. There is also an open breakfast that is open to all on Wednesdays. The breakfast is a relaxed affair, as people who are affiliated with the co-working space turn out and chat about their lives/work/projects while eating some pastries and sharing a cup of tea. We found the open breakfast to be very welcoming to newcomers, even if one's German is not good.
We felt very comfortable at co-up and enjoyed the effort that they have put into making it a queer-friendly and diversity-friendly space. They have a comprehensive code of conduct and an inclusive atmosphere. The gender neutral bathrooms foster an environment of gender inclusivity, which as a genderqueer person, I enjoyed. Our being a queer couple was a non-issue.
Additionally, they specifically offer a discount towards groups that are underrepresented in tech, including "women, B_POC, queer/trans people, & people affected by classism" according to their website. This policy is laudable and is an example of a concrete action undertaken by a group to increase its diversity within a tech space; we support other co-working spaces embracing similar policies to increase diversity.
6 words: Club Mate, Club Mate, Club Mate! :P My favourite Berlin soft drink (a fizzy blend of South American Yerba Mate, which apparently has quite a following among the European tech community) is widely available at this co-working space. There is a fridge full of Club Mate and other tasty drinks that you can purchase via an honour system. For those who can't subsist on Club Mate alone, the little kitchen makes it easy to bring your own food or whip up a quick snack in the middle of the workday.
With regards to the workspace, we found the internet to be plenty fast for development work, and enjoyed the use of the printer. We didn't try to rent any of the event rooms nor use one of the conference rooms while there. We didn't find the working space to get too crowded, there was plenty of room for projects that require more desk space. For those looking for a more ergonomic setup, there are a variety of different chair and desk configurations available. There are some tall tables that can be used as a standing desk, as well as one box that could be used to convert a single desk space into a standing desk, which worked quite well.
co.up is well situated in the midst of a busy neighbourhood. There are lots of tasty places to grab a bite to eat around the co-working space. co.up people sometimes go out to eat together, and we got several good recommendations for tasty places to eat while there. Our personal favourite was the Italian place around the corner, La Paglia, where you can get a sizeable plate of home-made pasta, as well as unlimited amounts of fresh, crusty bread. Jones and I would split a single pasta plate for lunch and nibble on bread while watching Kreutzberg-ites walk by the windows. Pasta dishes were between 8 and 12€, so we'd manage to get a tasty meal for around 5€ each.
We found the pricing to be quite reasonable. While we were there (2016), a full-time flex desk was at 210€/month, with a part-time desk at 115€/month. Of note is also the Basic membership, for folks who still want to check out the space and be a part of the community but don't want to come in all of the time. For 30€/month, you can come in once a week.
We found co.up to be a great place to get some work done, with an inclusive, tech-oriented community. This is probably not the place to take calls in open areas as the space revolves around more focused work (check out Betahaus if you want a louder space where you can take calls without worrying about disturbing others). The community is welcoming and hosts interesting tech talks on a regular basis. All in all, we liked working here, and would definitely recommend it and work here again if we were to come back to Berlin!
You can find out more about the space here.