Berlin was unlike any city I’ve been to before. The clearest way I can think of describing it is as thought you’re stepping straight back in time. There was a real 90s era feel to the city in terms of clothing, architecture etc. and for a while I was unsure whether I loved or hated it.
I found the culture there extremely different to the UK, and it took a day or so for me to properly adjust and stop being taken aback when servers were straight to the point and just got on with the job at hand. The transport links in the city, however, are excellent – buses, trams and trains helps you navigate your way around with ease and are also extremely affordable. Luckily I was out there visiting one of my closest friends who is studying abroad for a year, so I had an excellent guide to help me settle in and show me the best spots in town.
Food and Drink
I returned to vegetarian life earlier this year and was unable to eat their traditional curry-wurst delicacy, so whilst I can’t comment on Berlin’s main attraction, but I can certainly give my opinion on the rest of the food in the city.
I’m a girl who likes a pint, so you can imagine I was absolutely in my element in Berlin. Beer in the city hit the spot for me in every way; it is cheap, it is delicious, and it is available absolutely everywhere. Corner shops in Berlin even have tables outside of an evening, ready for people to sit and have a drink as soon as they’ve bought it (be warned – it’s very cold in the winter months and you will lose all feeling in your hands having your drink outside).
Sandwich meal deals haven’t arrived in Berlin yet, so if you’re after a quick grab and go lunch you may be disappointed. Sit down meals, however, were excellent. I had an array foods whilst I was out there, including a beautiful Ramen and a halloumi burger that was absolutely to die for. My top restaurant recommendation, however, has to go to Pane E Vino just outside the city centre. Carys and I visited this beautiful Italian restaurant on my first night in the city. The decorations are some of the cosiest I’ve ever seen, the staff were so welcoming, and I paid just €7 for a large pizza and a pint. I couldn’t fault it in any way.
I will write individual posts about these over Christmas, but we squeezed as much as we could into my long weekend in Berlin. My absolute favourite was the Berliner Dom, a majestic cathedral with some of the most beautiful architecture I’ve ever seen.
Other spots we visited included Rotes Rathaus (the Berlin Town Hall), the memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe and the Jewish museum, the East Side Gallery, Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie and the Checkpoint Charlie museum, the Berlin Wall, the DDR museum, and the Neues museum. We also went on the Dark Worlds underground tour which allowed an insight into how warfare effected the population of Berlin and the opportunity to see actual WWII artefacts from the bunkers.
Berlin was an incredible city, a cultural hub with a tragic history that still effects many of the people in the city today. The residents are proud of their city, and I can safely say I never felt unsafe. I learnt a lot about the political history of the city during my time out there, which was a huge part of the reason I wanted to go, but had a cracking time and met some wonderful people too. If I were to return, however, I’d definitely make it during the summer months!
Until next time,