So we recently went to Berlin and I just wanted to write a quick post on what to do and see in Berlin, with a bit of advice now I’ve been there!
- Buy your Berlin Welcome Card in the airport – it covers your travel on any form of public transport as well as giving you a guidebook with discounts of loads of restaurants, theatres, tours and museums.
- Know the difference between S-Bahn with Strassenbahn – I didn’t when I first moved to Austria. S-Bahns are faster trains that go through the city (as opposed to U-Bahns that go underground) and Strassenbahns are trams – easy to hop on and off with your Berlin Card.
- Visit Brandenburg Gate. Yes, it’s touristy but it’s so iconic you just have to get a picture there! It’s right in the middle of the city and close to lots of other sites so you will end up there at some point anyway!
- Check out Checkpoint Charlie. Who doesn’t want to a take a picture with an American soldier? Aside from the historical aspect, there are some pretty cool things around there; a few museums and exhibitions, ‘Charlie’s Beach’ and just a great atmosphere in the area.
- Spend some time reflecting at the WW2 memorials.
- Postdam is a must-see. Give yourself at least half a day, if not a whole day there.
- East Side Gallery – a short walk from Ostbahnhof, the East Side gallery is the largest part of the wall still standing, covered in artwork and graffiti. It’s really powerful and emotive, really worth seeing and spending some time reflecting on what life must have been like not so long ago.
- When it comes to food, Berlin has everything you could ever want. But personally, I think you’ve got to go traditional – visit Löwenbräu am Gendarmenmarkt for traditional Schnitzel, sausage and beer. You even get a 25% discount on Schnitzel with the Berlin Welcome Card.
Alternatively, if you want to get a taste of what it’s like for the locals you could head further east and check out White Trash Fast Food, where you can simultaneously get a tattoo and eat your dinner, all the while listening to live music. *Warning* you have to be pretty down with the kids to enter this establishment*
- Eat street food – a trip to Germany just wouldn’t be complete without a currywurst or durum kebab. Ask for East Berlin style if you prefer your sausages without the skin.
- Alexanderplatz > Potsdamer Platz. Potsdamer Platz was a massive let down for me, I expected to see some really cool stuff but I didn’t. In Alexanderplatz, however, I got an amazing ice cream (visiting an ice cafe is something I HAVE to do whenever I’m in Germany) and the shops seemed a lot better and upmarket in Alexanderplatz. However – I didn’t want to spend my time shopping when there is so nuch more to see!!
If you’re planning a trip to Berlin I would recommend at least 3 days to see quite a few things while still enjoying yourself. Have fun!