I’ve been to Berlin before, although only for a one day trip and was really excited to finally go and visit it again last month. My memory didn’t do it justice and spending 4 days there with my fiance we both agreed that it was one of the best trips we’d had together.
Our trip didn’t start in the best way. The Schoenefeld airport is changing its name to Brandenburgh, which made us very confused when we arrived at the airport. We had to set location on, on our phones to check whether we were in the right airport! Then we hadn’t got the exact address for our Airbnb and our host wasn’t answering her phone which made things a bit more difficult. We scared few of her neighbours but eventually found the adorably quirky flat in a great location with a little cat to keep us company. We were absolutely enchanted with the cat who obviously liked company and being pet and were sad to leave him when we left the flat. I was inspired by the collection of art books that our host had in her flat and odd but interesting decor.
We had the pleasure of having the best tourist guide ever, as my friend lives in Berlin and was happy to escort us into places where we wouldn’t have found by ourselves, such as rooftop bar, a Turkish market or where to find what in Friedrichshain, she pointed out all the sustainable and eco shops, which there were many! On our four day trip, we only spend one day going through the different tourist spots from Holocaust memorial to Brandenburg gate and spend the rest getting to know Friedrichshain and visiting odd places here and there. Luckily, Berlin has a great metro network, which is easy to use and get’s you almost anywhere, and which I would recommend! Berlin is a very big city with wide and slightly eerie streets, which makes all the distances longer than you might imagine from the map.
It does have a sense of freedom though. We didn’t feel overcrowded anywhere except for the airport. In addition, the whole culture is so different with openness about sexuality, drinking on the streets but not being drunk and the very international vibe. For example, on the first day, I saw a massive advert for a dildo in the middle of the day on a busy street next to a small shopping centre which was filled with children. At first, I felt a bit weird about it, but I realised it was only because I wasn’t used to it.
Berlin is great for food offering dishes from German to Italian, Asian and even African cuisines. It was my first time trying Korean buns, which were absolutely delicious and one of our favourite meals was having African style Halloumi pitas on the last day for lunch.
Berlin was interesting culturally and historically, and it has lots to do. We managed to squeeze in a fashion show, watching an ice hockey game and even go clubbing which we never do, but in Berlin, it definitely was an experience.
What I would recommend:
- Go to Friedrichshain for food and shopping from small independent brands.
- Turkish market is great for buying souvenirs that are locally made (there is a lot of crap and foreign stuff as well, but you can find gems in the midst of it all).
- There is a big selection of Airbnb places where you can stay for a reasonable price.
- Berlin is great for just going for a walk in the Mitte or Kreuzberg (Friedrichshain as well).
- Don’t spend all your money on the tourist spots, there are many free places as well such as Reichstag building.
- Use the public transport and if you are going to travel a lot take a day card, which can be used on any public transport around Berlin.
- Restaurants and cafe’s I would recommend: Neue Bahnhof st. and Sonntag st. are great for good in general, Marafina on Wüchlisch st., 1990 vegan living on Krossener st. and Aunt Benny on Jessner st.
We loved Berlin and I am already planning my trip back there again to walk along the beautifully colourful streets and seeing the crazy buildings with all the greenery, or having coffee at a local cafe!
Have you been to Berlin? Do you have any additional recommendations?