Berlin is not just the capital of Germany – it´s like an independent “country” or better: an international place which has nothing to do with a stereotype city in Germany.
Many things have changed here since Germany, and hence Berlin, is not divided anymore. Sure, first of all you can find loads of history here – more than in any other city in Germany. And still you can realise pretty well which parts in Berlin used to belong to East or to West Berlin. There are everywhere in the city reminders of the past; loads of museums and memorials, many buildings with bullet wholes, parts of the wall (for example East Side Gallery), the Gedächtniskirche (a church which is half destroyed due to the war and still stands on Kurfürstendamm) and little cobblestones on the ground of Berlins streets in front of houses, which mark that a Jewish family used to live here.
I live in Berlin since December 2013 and every time I walk trough the streets, I see things whereby I think by myself: well, that is Berlin!
I know already, that living in Berlin has spoiled living in many other cities on this globe. Because the flair of the city is just unique and you can find everything you are looking for – for example in the café/shop “Tierra Colombia” you´ll find many specialities from Colombia, in summer time there is one big street party after another, there is a pool/bar into the river Spree, many places for long boarding, crazy street art everywhere, loads of big flee markets on the weekends, street musicians (even in the U-Bahn), abandoned factory areas which now serve as a place for hanging around or making sport, numerous greeneries, etc. Global hipsters as well as numerous innovative Start-ups find there Mecca here in Berlin and not without a reason – the whole city is just a creative place and just walking through a district of Berlin, for example Kreuzberg or Friedrichshain, inspires even the least creative person.
Fans of electronic music don´t want to party elsewhere – it´s not just Berghain or Tresor but uncountable other big, medium or small sized clubs spread all over Berlin; also called the city that never sleeps. And that´s true. Partys are often lasting not only for one night (morning) but for 2, 3, 4,…days and nights. In Berlin you can go out, make party and have fun whenever you want.
The best club for tropical music like Salsa, Reggaeton, Merengue, etc. is Havanna. Here you´ll find music, that is normally just played in Latin America or the Carribean.
Markthalle 9 is a 120-years old hall in Kreuzberg, that has been transformed into a public place with markets and cafés. Especially on a thursday evening it´s interesting here. Because there is an event called “Street Food Thursday” from 5 to 10 p.m. That means, that small market stalls with people from all around the world offer there self-made food. In one evening you can eat Tapas from Spain, Arepas from Colombia, oriental Humus or cheese from Switzerland.
Warschauer Straße (and it´s parallel streets) is a place with many facets and impressions. The first time I was walking here, I actually didn´t feel like in Germany at all – (But anyways, that happens to me still in many places in Berlin.) On the one hand, you can find so many great alternative shops, restaurants and cafés, e.g. shops where you can find all sorts of dry fruits and nuts, long board shops, vegan shops and restaurants, etc. On the other hand you´ll find many very weird people there, especially at night.
In Treptower Park you can either relax at the “Spreeufer”, make BBQ, go for running or long boarding OR rent a paddle boat and just roam around at the Spree – but be aware of the big ships, which may cross your way now and then 😉
In Kegel, for example, or many other Bouldering and Climbing Halls you can have a fling, if you like to climb. And additionally, the entrance is pretty cheap.
Coming to the word “cheap”. That´s also an amazing thing about Berlin. The most things you can do here are pretty cheap, compared to other German cities, especially cities in former “West-Germany”.
What you were reading up to here shall give you a first impression about Berlin – more posts about “Berlins specialities” and what you can do here will follow up!
Thanks for reading!