Berlin is one of the coolest cities you’ll visit. With such a recent, tumultuous history, the city is vibrant in culture, street art, and realness unlike anywhere else. With the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the city began to rebuild itself, but many of the distinctions between East and West Berlin are still apparent. With the famous East Side Gallery and street art, the underground music and party scene, and the Holocaust Memorial recently opened; Berlin is rich in history and revolution.
Country | Germany
Language | German & English
Location | North East Germany
Closest Airport | TXL (9.2 km)
Currency | Euro
Days Needed | 3-4
Best Time to Visit | April-October
From Berlin Tegel Airport: Bus connections right from the airport into the city centre (every 5 minutes) and takes about 15-20 minutes.
From Schönefeld Airport: Directly connected to the regional and S-Bahn rail. You can take the S-Bahn into the city (departs every 10 minutes). The Regional Railway Airport Express (runs twice every hour) will take you directly to Berlin Hauptbahnhof (the main station) and takes about 30 minutes.
We stayed at an Airbnb in Kreuzburg, one the best-known areas in Berlin. Easily walkable to the club district and with close connection to the S or U-Bahn. There are also tons of hostels within the city if you’re looking to meet people and experience a more relaxed, backpacker vibe.
East Side Gallery
Not needing an introduction, the famous East Side Gallery is 1316 metres long, and is an international memorial for freedom.
Designed by Peter Eisenman and Buro Happold, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is not one to be missed. With an abstract design, it speaks volumes and can be interpreted in many moving ways.
I highly recommend doing a walking tour(s) when in Berlin. Beginning with the Holocaust and working your way up to present day, it’s the best way to get an overview of the city’s history, as well as see the sites. Sandeman Tours is highly recommended. Depending on the tour you choose, you’ll see sites such as the Brandenburg Gate, Holocaust Memorial, Checkpoint Charlie, The Berlin Wall, the Opera, etc. The Alternative Walking Tour gives you the background on the squatters and the art scene.
If you’d like to relax a little bit, spending some time at YAAM is ideal. A chill spot next to the river, you’ll walk into a sandy area resembling a Caribbean island. With a bar fully stocked and tables and recliners to relax on, YAAM is a great way to spend an idle afternoon.
If you’re a party person, it would be sacrilegious to come to Berlin and not check out their famous clubs. Deep house and techno are the soul of the city and you can spend all day, night or weekend in their warehouses of sound. Berghain is said to be the Church of Techno and the most exclusive club in the world to get into. Tresor is the most respected and first techno club of the city, one that gave birth to techno and Berghain. Check out this list on Berlin’s top clubs and their door policies.
Eat & Drink
A garden high in the sky, Neni is Berlin’s place to go for Mediterranean/Middle Eastern fare. A delicious meal and beautiful surroundings, you can’t ask for better.
House of Small Wonders
As cute as the name suggests, House of Small Wonders is a cozy spot, perfect for a casual brunch (and yes, definitely Instagrammable). They only take cash though, so come prepared.
Totally hipster with a raw, wooden interior, Silo is a great little cafe for a light brunch, coffee, or to just hang out.
There’s nothing quite like sitting under a rail station and having a burger. Burgermeister is a fun, casual take out spot in Kreuzburg to enjoy a burger and fries. Sit at the communal tables or take yours to go. And yes, they have a veggie option!
Kebab Shops | any in the city
Berlin is truly unlike anywhere else, and it’s best to visit when you’re young and looking for culture mixed with partying and relaxing.
Check out my travel post for more photos.