To be honest, I didn’t have any expectations about Berlin before going there myself. Yes sure, I’ve heard from everyone who’s been there that it’s such a great city, it’s so vibrant and so on. Somehow I thought that, yeah it is probably like any other big city in the world. But damn, how wrong I was! Berlin is nothing like the other big cities out there. It is unique.
I mean, everything there is so uber cool. It’s indescribable in a way I have to say. There are cool little shops and hip cafes basically around every corner – filled with cool and hip people drinking some newly invented flavored beer. It is a place that makes you think: “I want to live like that; I want to be one of those cool kids too.” But besides all the social events and hip bars, there are also wonderful historic spots and places to visit in the city. Whether you are a party monster, museum lover or obsessed with art, you’ll find great places to suit your flavor.
Things to know:
Getting around: Using the public transportation is the best option when getting around in Berlin. You don’t really need to use any other transports unless you want to, of course. The system works very well and is on time. If you come by plane to Berlin Tegel airport, you will have to take the bus to the city center and it takes approximately 25 minutes depending on which side of the city you’re going to stay at. If you are planning to use the public transports, then you can already buy the Berlin Welcome card at the airport. It works on buses, trains and tunnelbana and you can purchase it for several days. We took it for 3 days and it cost 35 euros.
Branderburg Gate: Branderburg gate is one the most important monuments and symbols in Berlin. It use to represent Berlin as the divided city but now has turned into a symbol of unity. It’s not only a historical site but also a wonderful attraction with beautiful architecture and in fact, is has influences from Greek design. Nearby Branderburg gate you can find a lot of restaurants and cafes to enjoy.
Museum Island: Berlin’s Museumsinsel is a unique complex of five museums, including the Pergamon Museum that is built on a small island in Berlin’s Spree River. It is located the opposite side of the DDR museum and you’ll get amazing views of the Museum by the bridge located nearby.
DDR Museum: I’m not that much of a museum goer but I have to say that this was such a cool experience! The DDR museum is located right in the center of the city. You can have a glimpse the communist German Democratic Republic and what the life use to be some decades ago. You can even jump into one the old cars and have a simulated drive with it! Due to being Berlin’s most popular museum, I’d recommend going there early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the crowds.
Holocaust Memorial: Jewish holocaust memorial is located nearby the Branderburg gate so it’s a great way to combine these too since you can walk from one to another. This memorial site is truly unique – and even though it is made from 2711 different sized of concrete blocks, the simplicity of it makes it intriguing. It is a memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe and everyday reminder and recognition. Keep in mind that it’s not respectful to climb or walk on top of the blocks, and is not even allowed.
Nightlife: Okay so I think this is one of the main reasons young tourists go to Berlin.The city has such a vibrant nightlife and party culture. Berlin has deep techno and party culture and is known for its liberate and lively atmosphere. One of the best places to have a guaranteed fun is Watergate, Kitkat, Tresor and Berghain. Note that if you are a first time goer; enter these places with an open mind and a positive mood. Some of these places have a strict door policy to get in so it’s always a good idea act respectfully and preferably go in with a local if possible.
Food and drinks: Berlin has great food culture! You should definitely go for the local treats such as the sausage bratwurst, and the special Curry-wurst with amazing flavor! Try this with fries and you’ll get awesome late night snack. Also they have some of the best döner kebabs, definitely something I haven’t tried before. And if you are a beer lover, go for the local brews or even the adventurous flavored beers which you’ll find plenty of.
Have you been to Berlin? What was your favorite place to visit there? 🙂