Stefanie Reinsperger: "Vienna is definitely cooler than Berlin"

Berlin has around 3.7 million inhabitants, they are as diverse as the city itself. So what makes Berlin special, why do people live here – and do they like doing it at all? In our “Questionnaire Berlin” section, we ask well-known residents of the capital about their favorite places and their personal no-go areas. They reveal their insider gastro tips, shopping favorites and neighborhood secrets, but also what annoys them about Berlin and what you should definitely not do here.

This time the actress Stefanie Reinsperger answered our questions. The 34-year-old has been a member of the Berliner Ensemble for five years and during this time has already adopted a characteristic trait of a resident of the capital: she actually never leaves her neighborhood. In the case of Reinsperger, it is the Kollwitzkiez in Prenzlauer Berg, with which the native Austrian is very happy: “The neighborhood is full of cafés, which is very helpful with my caffeine addiction, and great restaurants and small, lovely shops, what for my wallet is not helpful.”

1. Ms. Reinsperger, how long have you been in the city?

I moved to Berlin in August 2017 when Oliver Reese took over as artistic director at the Berliner Ensemble.

2. What is your favorite place in Berlin?

It always changes for me, depending on my mood. One of my favorite places is our courtyard at the Berliner Ensemble in spring and summer, because that’s when all the departments finally come together, we talk before and after rehearsals and performances, drink wine together and the evenings just don’t want to end. And the fairy tale fountain in the Volkspark Friedrichshain is also a little oasis for my thoughts and me, I really like being there.

Volkmar Otto

A small oasis in the middle of the city: the fairy tale fountain in Friedrichshain.

3. Where do you go when you want to relax?

If I want to be completely with myself and for myself, I go out a bit. I have taken the Liepnitzsee very close to my heart. In summer you can swim so beautifully, but in autumn and winter it is also fantastic and peaceful for walks.

4. Which corners of the city do you avoid?

I don’t consciously avoid any corner. But I’ve noticed that I never actually leave my neighborhood in Berlin. That is the big difference to my hometown of Vienna, where everything is so close and together. In Berlin I have the feeling that you tend to stay in your own corner, which is why I still don’t know some parts at all, but not because I consciously avoid them, but because nobody lives there that I know.

5. Your ultimate insider gastro tip?

Phew, I don’t even know the secret tip. As a stranger here, I’m always dependent on the tips of others. I’m very happy with our new canteen at the Berliner Ensemble, the kitchen is fantastic and the employees put their heart and soul into it, that’s really nice. So feel free to stop by! And then there’s my favorite place, Ryong in Prenzlauer Berg, a vegetarian/vegan restaurant with amazing Japanese and Vietnamese dishes.

Elliott Kreyenberg/WDR/unafilm GmbH/dpa

To person

Stefanie Reinsperger was born in Baden near Vienna in 1988. She grew up partly in London, where her father works for the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 2011 she completed her acting training at the Max Reinhardt Seminar in Vienna.

Reinsperger plays at the Burgtheater and the Volkstheater in Vienna as well as at the Schauspielhaus Düsseldorf before joining the Berliner Ensemble in 2017. TV viewers know her as chief inspector Rosa Herzog from the Dortmund “crime scene” (photo). In 2022 she published the book “Pretty Angry”, in which she addressed discrimination and assaults on herself and her body.

Reinsperger can be seen here soon: “Phaidra’s Love” at the Berliner Ensemble: 14./15.6. and July 2nd/3rd, cinema film “Guglhupfgeschwader” from August 4th, crime scene “Love me” in the ARD media library.

6. Your ultimate insider tip for shopping?

I think it’s always worth walking through Prenzlauer Berg. There are so many small, local shops here that offer great quality and things that you can only get there. I personally like that a lot.

7. The best part of Berlin is…

I’m already very happy in Prenzlauer Berg. The wide streets, the many cafés, the parks, that’s really good for me here. And, quite pragmatically speaking, the proximity to the Berliner Ensemble. It only takes me 14 minutes by bike to get there, which is great.

8. What annoys me the most about the city:

The non-binding. I often have the feeling that Berlin is a transit city where many people spend a certain amount of time and then leave, which sometimes makes lasting encounters more difficult. Berlin is so big and saturated, everything is always possible, but nothing is mandatory. That can be a curse and a blessing at the same time.

9. What urgently needs to change so that Berlin remains liveable?

Car traffic! I think that applies to almost every big city. There are just too many cars, these cities are not built for that.

10. Your tip for undecided people: move to Berlin or rather leave it there?

Definitely move to Berlin! I’m so glad to really experience this city and not just visit. Berlin has so much to offer, you can never get enough of it and there is always something new and surprising. And I really appreciate the cosmopolitanism here.

11. Cooler than Berlin is only…

As an Austrian I have to say: VIENNA!!!! Definitely Vienna.

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