Berlin is the capital city of Germany. For those who like History, this place is full of it! Berlin was the center of World War II (1939 to 1945) and because of that it was split into sectors – American, British, French and Sovietic, leading to its diversity today.
Berlin welcomes everyone and people are free minded. There you can be whoever you want, even yourself, and I find that beautiful. You can wear whatever you want and nobody will look or even judge you. You will notice that a lot of people wear black clothes, and it is known as Berlin style.
Accommodation can be quite expensive. We stayed at Mercure Hotel Berlin am Alexanderplatz, which was very central to everything.
Berlin’s transportation services work very well day and night. There is the S-Bahn, which is a railway system around Berlin, the U-Bahn which is equivalent to the metro, trams and buses. If you’re arriving from Schönefeld Airport, where the low cost companies operate, you can take the train (RB14/ RE7 / S9) to the city centre and it costs 3,60€ one way.
The city is quite big to wonder around on foot, so if you are staying less than a week, like 3 days, you can buy a daily ticket which costs 8,60€, while the 7-day ticket costs 34€ so just see what it’s worth to you. If you are doing less than 4 trips a day, then it will be worth to buy the 4 trip single ticket, which costs 9€ and you can use it whenever suits you. Don’t forget to validate!
What to visit
- Brandenburg Gate – the beautiful big door you see on all postcards from Berlin
- Reichstag building – must be booked in advance online and you can book it for free here.
- Museum Island – Pergamonmuseum is by far my favourite museum in Berlin. It took 20 years to build and it contains the Pergamon Altar, the Ishtar Gate of Babylon, the Market Gate of Miletus as well as the Mshatta Facade.
- Cathedral (Dom) – magnificent building
- Holocaust Memorial – personally I don’t understand what in this monument connects to all murdered Jews of Europe. Regardless, please don’t make a photo shoot of yourself there, as it is very inadequate.
- Platform 17 Memorial – Berlin-Grunewald station. A total of 35 trains transporting 17,000 Jews departed from this platform directly to Auschwitz
- Check Point Charlie – this was the Berlin Wall crossing point between East and West Berlin during the Cold War.
- East Side Gallery – open-air art gallery with a series of murals painted in 1990 directly on a long remnant of the Berlin Wall. It consists of 105 paintings from artists from all over the world.
- Take a picture of the Oberbaum bridge with the yellow train
- Wonder around at the Tiergarten Park
- Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church – church bombed during WWII
- Mauerpark (Sunday flea market)
- Visit the beautiful Charlottenburg Palace and gardens, especially during Spring
- Visit Tempelhof Feld (abandoned airport), ideal for bbq’s and bike rides during Summer
- Teufelsberg (former US spy station built during the Cold War to listen to the Soviet-controlled Eastern Bloc)
- Watch the sunset at the TV Tower
- Walk along the Landwehr Canal
- Visit Spreepark, an abandoned amusement park
- Wonder around the Kreuzberg District for nice coffee shops
- Have a drink at Klunkerkranich Rooftop and enjoy the views
Where to eat
- Burgermeister – the one and only burger in Berlin
- Markthalle Neun – Big Stuff Smoked BBQ is the best stand in the market
- Schnitzelei – best schnitzel with potato and cucumber salad
- Spätzle Club
- Curry 36 – typical currywurst (sausage with ketchup curry sauce)
- House of Small Wonder
- Café Anna Blume – one of my top pics, amazing cakes and beautiful place
- Café Oliv
- Shibuya Berlin
- Flamingo Fresh Food Bar
- Le Bon Brunch
- Amrit – nice indian food and cheap cocktails
Where to go out
- Berghain – the temple of techno, set in a former power station, with a very strict door policy. You can read more about it here.
- KitKatClub – if you’re into kinky stuff, this is the place to go!
- Madame Claude upsidedown bar
- Bohnengold Bar
Unfortunately the weather wasn’t the best, so we missed the nice and green areas all around Berlin. I definitely have to go back during the Summer to enjoy the parks.
Berlin is the most open/ random/ disorganised city I ever been to and its atmosphere makes me feel happy and free.