Berlin had been on my list of places to see for the last few years and rightly so. I would listen in envy as friend after friend returned from the city with tales that probably shouldn’t be told at the kitchen table. Riddled in history (both old and new), rx famous for its nightlife and with cuisine that could satisfy even the fussiest of eaters, viagra there’s something in Berlin for everyone.
Berlin has so much to offer it’d be hard to fit it in in all one trip, check so plan ahead to make the most of your stay.
When it comes to nightlife, Berlin is famous for its clubs that stay open until the morning hours. Head to down to Tresor to experience something you’d never could imagine in Dublin. It boasts a reputation for being one of the best Techno clubs in the world, and although it looks like a warehouse from the outside, it’s really a mix of something of a rave downstairs (in what can only be described as the dungeons) met with a nice bar, seats, and cool music playing upstairs with more of a chilled vibe.
Unknown to me before I travelled there, Berlin has a huge Turkish influence, being home to the largest Turkish settlement outside of Turkey. This means that you can see evidence of the Turkish culture all over the city, especially when it comes to food. So, if the clubbing scene isn’t your thing, there’s loads of cool bars and nice restaurants to take your pick from. My recommendations would be to get a kebab (even if you’re not a fan), the Turks in Berlin know what they are doing, and it’ll probably be some of the freshest food you eat during your stay there.
Once you’re fed and watered get out and see the things Berlin is famous for. There’s daily free walking tours that cover all the major points of Berlin, just look them up at www.newberlintours.com and book a place in advance. However, if you want to go it alone and explore the city by foot, here are a few things I experienced, with some with great photo opportunities, that you can not miss.
The Brandenburg Gate. Located in the centre it hovers along the line where the Berlin wall once stood. It’s vast size is overwhelming and breathtaking at the same time.
The Reichstag. The German government building is just a stones through away from the Brandenburg gate and you can book in advance for tours inside. Whether you take a tour or not make sure to stop by for another well known photo opportunity.
The Holocaust Memorial. The Holocaust memorial was one of the more humbling things I experienced in Berlin. The free museum talks you through the history of the Jewish population in Germany, introducing you to letters and survivor stories. It finishes by bringing you out into the large, outdoor architectural tribute that represents the mass of graves of the unforgotten victims.
The Gestapo headquarters and The Berlin Wall. The Gestapo headquarters, home to many a meeting of the SS, and now a museum, resides next to an old section of the Wall. Here you can learn the cruel past and history of Hitler and Goebbels, and see the many layers and sheer height of the wall that once divided east and west Berlin.
Checkpoint Charlie. Located in a museum, Checkpoint Charlie was a point of transfer for many civilians travelling from one side of Berlin to another. If you don’t get the chance to go inside and see the real deal, there is a small replica of the checkpoint outside the museum itself (great for another photo!).
But when in Berlin why not do something unconventional? Try a cycling tour of Berlin. Guided cycling tours are a quick and easy way to see the big parts of the city. Friends I travelled with, took up on this opportunity and for just €10 they received an hours cycling tour of the city and a complimentary beer to end. Much to my jealousy they reviewed it as the best thing they did all weekend!
One of my own highlights for Berlin was the street art. Berlin and in particular the Berlin wall is covered in a vast amount of commissioned street art and graffiti including pieces by the infamous Banksy. Some pieces more breathtaking than others, but the collection of works together makes the city a pool of colour and art.
This is just a quick summary of my experience and recommondations from my 3 days in Germanys capital. I experienced and saw so much without even ticking off the famous Berlin Zoo, the Tv tower (with the best view of Berlin) or heading out to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp just 35km north of Berlin. It’s a city that oozes culture and history and has more to offer than time to see. If you’re travelling to Berlin be sure to ask the hostel/hotel/friends you’re staying with what is on there, they might be able to recommend something you’d never dreamed of experiencing.
On a final note, If you don’t speak german – don’t worry. The people are friendly and in general are very helpful. Here are a few keywords to help you along in your next visit there.
Please – Bitte
Thank you – Danke
Beer – Bier
Where is the party? – Wo ist die Partei?