Happy Sunday, friends! I feel a bit rusty writing this, if I’m being completely honest. I haven’t been writing blog posts in over two weeks now, since I took my little break and went on a couple days’ holidays and I hope I haven’t lost my touch, or something. I don’t know if that makes any sense, but well. Bear with me.
Today and because some people asked me to in my latest post, I have decided to tell you about my latest trip to Berlin. I haven’t written blog posts in a while and it’s been even longer since I wrote a blog post about traveling, so… here’s to hoping you will all enjoy it.
If there’s something you should know about me, it’s that I hate taking the plane. Weird, right. I love traveling, travel as much as I can and yet, I just really hate taking the plane somehow. Yet, there are places you can’t go without taking a plane and the anxious in me just takes that stupid part of traveling and tries to forget about it, only to focus on the goal. The new destination and HOLIDAYS.
We arrived in Berlin late afternoon and thankfully did not get lost in or outside of the airport, easily finding the train station to get to the city center. OBVIOUSLY we were sitting next to some French people – because what’s the fun in travelling when you’re NOT surrounded by people speaking French? (that was really ironic okay).
We found our way to Alexanderplatz, only to be faced right away with a crazy-high television tower and one of the main attractions of Berlin. Surrounding Alexanderplatz is a small, bustling area filled with tramways that WILL ring at you if you’re standing in their way, popular shops, restaurants and your local Starbucks, too. After leaving at 11 a.m and only arriving at 5 p.m, we were pretty tired to explore the city already and chose to get some rest, go out for some pizza and leave all the exploring for the next morning.
Exploring Berlin’s rich, complex and sad history
After a goodnight’s sleep, we got up bright and early to take some energizing breakfast before getting on the road. The sunshine and warmth grazed us with its presence, making this day way more fun.
As you might know from your history classes, Berlin has a rich, sad and complex history and you can see reminders of it all in lots of places. We saw it on the very first day, while passing on a long exposition relating the history of the city in the 1930’s, seeing a pan of the Berlin Wall, still up and devoted of any kind of street art on it, raw and cruel. We remembered it as we went by Check Point Charlie, this place where people used to pass to go from West to East Berlin. Now, really, it’s a bit of a tourist trap, but the sign remaining is really good. Right next to a KFC. Oh, the modern world.
We tried out the subway for the first time, clean, busy and insanely hot, as any kind of subway is in any big city. To get the heavy history out of our minds a little bit, we visited the Zoo, some gigantic malls where a bearded German guy trying to speak English to us made conversation for a while.
Then, we got to one of the most powerful places I’ve seen on this trip, the Holocaust Memorial. It seems like nothing, on the pictures, but it really is something. Little rectangular stones, growing bigger and bigger as you walk, until they’re on the top of your head, making you feeling a bit claustrophobic. A place to remember some awful things, also a powerful Memorial to put on your bucket list for sure.
After a couple minutes’ walk North, away from the memorial, here it comes. The very cliché photography of Berlin, the Brandenburg Tower. Obviously we had to pass by, even if the amount of tourists taking pictures made taking a worthy picture a bit challenging. Still, a beautiful monument to see, especially as the sun goes down.
There are many places to get a beautiful view of the city – I’m very fond of beautiful views!, but if you’re looking for something free of charge, try out the Bundestag Dome. All you need to do is make a reservation online (early, like, two weeks before at least!) and then, after a security check and a very crammed elevator, you’re free to take a look at amazing, panoramic views of the city. A perfect place to end the day.
Street Art, the East Side Gallery and best Burger in Berlin
Berlin is well-known for its street art and after seeing it for myself, I can tell you that yes, it IS pretty amazing. I mean. Look at this.
Yes. This is the wall of a house.
On the next day of our holidays, we headed out to see some street art and the biggest pan of the Berlin Wall still up: The East Side Gallery, an 1.8 km-long pan of the Berlin Wall, decorated with street art by international artists. It was a kind of gray-but-not-rainy day as we walked along the entire wall, discovering gorgeous art I’ll let you see for yourself.
We tried out the best burger in Berlin, Burgermeister -well, that’s his reputation!. Located right under the subway rails, a small house with three people making burgers, uncomfortable seats and kind of next to cars passing by. The location was not the best, but the burgers were pretty amazing.
Berlin has its fair of great museums as well, but due to time, we weren’t able to visit them all. The Natural History Museum has the biggest dinosaur skeleton ever, or of Europe (like, 13 meters high), if you’re into this kind of thing. I kind of was, which is why this museum was one of our picks. There are tons of other museums to see though, about history, ancient Egypt, whatever strikes your fancy. We mostly explored them from outside, seeing the gorgeous buildings historical Berlin has to offer.
Lastly, we had to see the Berlin Cathedral for ourselves, one of the monuments I was most eager to get to. OBVIOUSLY something had to go wrong – half of it was under construction, ruining my perfect shot. It was still absolutely stunning, but WHY.
There would be much more to say about the city, but I feel like my recap is already way too long and no one will read it all the way anyway. There are gorgeous buildings, churches, monuments and streets, unsettling street art and food. There are gigantic roads and fearless bikes drivers, great malls and loads of German people I struggled to understand.
As a whole, Berlin is a gorgeous city, perfect if you’re looking for a couple days’ trip in an European city charged with history. I loved my time there and, aerm, let’s be honest, I can’t wait to get back on the road again. Soon.
I hope you enjoyed this recap – sorry if it got a bit long and rambly and thank you very much if you’ve read it all the way to the end! IF you have any question about the city, my trip or anything else, feel free to ask.
Would you like to visit Berlin? Did you already? Did you enjoy it?
Do you like taking the plane, if you already did? Why or why not? Any advice to just, get over it? I could use it haha. Feel free to let me know your thoughts in comments, would love to hear from you all!