You need a good reason to visit Berlin? How about 8?
Berlin and Germany, in general, have never been seen as a touristic attraction by many tourists, from Europe or other continents. In comparison to Paris, Venice, Barcelona or Prague, Berlin never caught the attention of people, until recently. This once divided city has started to attract the attention of party goers, due to the reputation of being a party capital of the world. But is that only that Berlin has to offer? Absolutely not! I have to say that I fell in love in Berlin four years ago when I visited the city for the first time. Since then I revisited it twice, and I am making plans to do it again. And why do I get so excited about this city? It’s simple, it’s spirit is captivating. If you are willing to escape your mundane reality for few days, Berlin is a right choice. It is called ‘Disneyland for adults’ for a good reason. I will tell you about eight things that make Berlin great. So let’s see what makes this city so special.
It is incredible to realize that a city in the middle of Europe was split, and each of the two parts belonged to different countries. I am born after the fall of the Berlin, and to be in Berlin in the 21st century and witness and experience all of its history written in the ruins of the once existing wall is just breath taking! I recommend taking a tour when it comes to this because seeing all the historical sights without knowing the context will not mean much.
Culture – Museums in Dahlem and Topography of Terror
Yes, Berlin has a Museum island in the city center, where you can take a look at five different museums there! If you are interested in arts, history, cultures, Berlin has it all. I recommend the Topography of Terror, the museum dedicated to the events related to the World War II. Also, I recommend going a bit to the suburbs and visiting Ethnology museum and Museum of Asian art.
Food – German cuisine at Gasthaus Krombach and Italian at 12 Apostel
If you are looking for a typical German dish, I recommend a Curry-wurst – a German sausage covered in curry-flavored ketchup. It may sound like a fast food meal, but you can actually eat it in legit restaurants, and I absolutely love it! I like the one they serve in Gasthaus Krombach, but you cannot go wrong with any German restaurant or pub. Another personal recommendation is a restaurant called 12 Apostel, where you can eat different types of unusual pizzas, each named by a different apostle. My favorite one is Petrus, but you can try any, since the choice is big. Another thing, the portions in Berlin are really big, so sometimes sharing a portion with a friend could be enough for both of you.
Shopping – Let them eat cake and Bikini Berlin
Do you like to stand out with your style? Be different from the masses? Well, save a day for shopping if you’re in Berlin. You can visit the hipsterish neighborhood Neukolln, where you can find old bookstores, but also vintage shops and second-hand stores (for example, Let them eat cake). If you are into something more pricey, then I recommend Bikini Berlin, a shopping mall where you’ll find a lot of independent stores, and boutiques with urban and edgier clothing, but for a very higher price. This mall has a lot of small pop-up shops, and it will inspire you, most definitely.
If you are willing to spend few days in a multicultural paradise, you are welcomed here. In terms of nations, religions and sexualities, Berlin has it all. It’s very inspiring seeing this place, and getting your faith restored, believing that all places could be like Berlin. If you go out on Saturday night you can see many different profiles of people in Ubahn (German subway system). Club kids from the 80’s New York are apparently now populating Berlin.
When I visited Berlin for the first time 4 years ago, it was one of the cheapest cities in Western Europe. From food, until the drinks and cover for a club. Unfortunately, the situation changed a bit. Due to the reputation that Berlin started getting worldwide, people fled to Berlin to find their new home. Now, Berlin is home to many start-ups and many companies have their headquarters in Berlin. As a result, the prices in the city went up. For comparison, I paid 6 Euros to enter one club in November 2012 – I entered the same in October 2016 for 15 Euros. Even after this change in the cost of living, Berlin is cheaper than other capital cities in Europe, and it will definitely save you some money.
Although, Berlin is a big city, with 4 million people and spreading on a huge surface, you will never feel any stress. Unlike when visiting other big cities, Berlin will never drain your energy. Even in the peak time, you can find a place on a train or a bus, the city is not centralized, so you will never see a lot of people in one place, and you will always get everywhere on time. Just enjoy German punctuality.
Let’s just say that Berlin is a home to the world’s most famous nightclub, Berghain. There are many stories about this controversial club – a very strict door policy (letting people in who could easily fit in the spirit of openness and freakiness that club is trying to preserve, and denying the entrance to others), sex, drugs and complete ban of cell phones and cameras (all cameras will be covered with a sticker by personnel of the club). Berlin is a city that lives during the night, so even you get denied at the entrance of Berghain, you will easily find the next best place.
Berlin is a place that you can fell in love with at the first sight, so you can know from the beginning what to expect and what you can get. If you decide to go there be open minded and let your spirit be punk and rebellious. This city will always have a special place in my heart, and I am always excited when giving the recommendation to visit it. So, get into the Berlin state of mind, and see you there.