Articles by Paul

Originally from Lancashire in the north of England, Paul Scraton is responsible for Company Communications at The Circus. If you would like to get in contact with him, you can reach him by email at paul.scraton [at]

Style Guide Blog 1

We were extremely pleased to discover that along with some of our own favourite places to eat, shop and have fun in Berlin, the Circus Hostel and Hotel were featured in the newly published National Geographic Styleguide. The selections were made by a pair of Berliners, and as you can imagine we have a couple of copies in our libraries at Fabisch and the Kitchen so you can take a look for yourself. If you are interested in getting a copy, you should know that it is in German, and you can order it from the National Geographic shop online.

Style Guide Blog 2

Sunday Social

This Sunday at Katz & Maus in The Circus Hostel we will be launching a regular new event… Sunday Social! Every week we will head down to the basement lounge and unwind at the end of the weekend, with a changing programme of events that will include trivia nights, history talks, live music events and open mic sessions. This week we will having a film screening, with a special surprise screening of a Berlin classic.

We are really looking forward to hosting these Sunday evening events, and we hope to see you down in Katz & Maus to tell us about your weekend and to join in the fun.

lufthansa plane

The German airline Lufthansa have cancelled nearly four thousand flights due to a pilot’s strike which began today (Wednesday 2nd April) and will last until Friday (4th April). This will of course have an effect on Circus guests – both those who are coming to Berlin and those who are already with us, so we have gathered together the following information:

For domestic German flights Lufthansa passengers can transfer their tickets to the Deutsche Bahn and take the train.

For international flights you can get up to date information and help from Lufthansa directly through their website or on the following info number: 0800 850 60 70

To find out if your flight has been cancelled, follow this link and adjust the filter to show the flights in and out of Berlin.

Please note – the strike is of Lufthansa pilots and all other airlines are flying in and out of Berlin as normal. As always, if you need any help then get in contact with us via email, telephone (+49 30 2000 3939) or if you are in Berlin, come and speak to us at reception.

Photo: Lasse Fuss via Wikimedia Commons

Unter den Linden
So we all made it… the Circus runners of Jim, Paul, Ivi and Johann all crossed the finish line. Unfortunately we don’t have a picture of Johann out on the course, but a quick check of the results shows that he does take the prize for the quickest Circus half marathon. Not that time matters, as everyone agrees – even Jimbo – that it was a lot of fun to run 21 kilometres through the streets of our city, and past many of the famous landmarks of Berlin. Afterwards we stopped by the hostel for a few beers, and there were a number of guests nursing sore legs but with the finishers medal around their necks… we spoke to a few of them, but we also wanted to take the opportunity to congratulate everyone who took part… same time and place next year? Jared has already promised to start training, so hopefully the Circus team will be even bigger next time around…

(Go on Jim… you know you want to)

Jimmy on the move…


Ivi is all smiles at 17 km


Paul is imagining the beer at the finish line


How a country presents itself is always interesting, especially when you are talking about a regime such as the one that ruled the German Democratic Republic (GDR – East Germany) until the fall of the Berlin Wall. The German Historical Museum in Berlin has just launched a special exhibition that for the first time showcases the officially commissioned photography of the GDR, which were taken by two photojournalists – Martin Schmidt and Kurt Schwarzer – who were commissioned by various organizations such as trade unions, agricultural collectives, kindergartens and more, to present positive aspects of life in the country for both domestic and international consumption.

Also important was the fact that these images were in colour:

“It was supposed to exude – especially in the 1960s – a spirit of optimism and new beginning and to present the GDR as a modern state. Up-to-date factories, efficiently organised agricultural production, new construction projects and the great variety of social achievements propagated by the state were advantageously depicted in colour, and thus colour photography became the expression of modernity in Socialism. At the same time it illustrated the promise of a socialist future.”

The exhibition runs until 31st August, and admission to the German Historical Museum is €8 (€4 reduced). Beyond this special exhibition, the permanent exhibition on the history of Germany is well worth a look, although if you are a history buff then be warned… you can spend a lot of time in there!

Colour for the Republic

Allys tour
The message is in the picture… yep, once again our intrepid Ally is taking Circus guests out into the city for a free tour of Berlin’s street art scene. Not only that, but you will discover some of Ally’s favourite corners of the city… this is most definitely a tour that you will not find in a guidebook! Ally studied Fine Art at the Australian National University, is a highly entertaining guide, and is looking forward to getting out there – to see some impressions from the tour and and to get a sense of what to expect, check out Ally’s facebook page.

Ally’s tour is running tomorrow (27th March) and every Thursday from now on – check at reception for the pickup times and be aware that as the tour is exclusive for Circus guests and places are limited, you will need to sign up at reception.


This coming Sunday is the Berlin Half Marathon… a 21km run or skate through the heart of Berlin, starting on the iconic Karl Marx Allee with a route that passes by some of the most famous sights of the city, including the Brandenburg Gate, Tiergarten, Schloss Charlottenburg, Ku-damm and Potsdamer Platz. We know that there are a good number of our guests bringing their running shoes and race registrations with them, and there will also be a Circus presence, as Johann, Paul, Jim and Ivi attempt to complete the course before the time limit expires…

For those who are running, you will have been sent your race registration details and you will need to head to Tempelhof for the Berlin Vital fair where you can pick up your race number. It is possible to do this at Karl Marx Allee on the day of the race, but we would highly recommend you head to Tempelhof on Thursday, Friday or Saturday to save yourself the stress, to enjoy the different things going on at the fair, and also to see the legendary Tempelhof airport building where it is being held and which is worth a visit in its own right.

For those who are here to cheer, or would like to head down and see what the fuss is about, the skaters will set off at 9.30am on Sunday 30th March whilst the runners head out at 10.05am. You can see the route map above (click on it to make it bigger), and if you need any advice about how to get to the best spots to watch then come and talk to us at reception.

For everyone: we will be meeting at Katz & Maus in the Circus Hostel after the run (so, from roughly 1pm onwards) for a few drinks, to share our stories, and for those who have a medal around the neck, a small surprise!

See you then… The Circus Runners


Cinema fans might be interested to know that Berlin is currently hosting ALFILM – the Arab Film Festival Berlin – and many of the filmmakers, journalists and interested cinema-goers are staying with us at The Circus right now. ALFILM is the largest festival that provides a platform to the diverse Arabic cinema. The festival focuses on artistically and thematically outstanding films from the Arab World. ALFILM is a non-commercial film festival that has been organised yearly since 2009 by the non-profit organisation Friends of the Arabic Cinematheque, Berlin.

ALFILM presents feature films, documentaries and short movies coming from or produced in Arab countries at different venues in Berlin – many of which are German or European premieres. The OFFICIAL SELECTION gather a selection of new releases (fiction, documentary and short movies) from the last three years.

The SPOTLIGHT section includes contemporary and historical Arabic films which are curated thematically, and the festival devotes extensive retrospectives to the work of eminent filmmakers and artists from the Arabic cinema, panel discussions, performances, lectures as well as children screenings.

The Festival is on right now and runs until the 26th March, and you can find more details of what is on where and when on the website.

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