As I backpacked through Europe this last summer, I knew I wanted to make a stop in Berlin, Germany. I have always been intrigued by the German’s mannerisms, cleanliness, punctuality, organization, fairytale-like castles, and their beer. Duh! Of course, some of these are just stereotypes. And I was aware of that, but I still wanted to see for myself. When I arrived to Berlin, it wasn’t really what I expected. Berlin is more of an urban and metropolitan city. Although, I loved Berlin, it’s not what I was hoping to see. I feel the need to put this information out there because when I did my research, I didn’t come across anything that implied that Berlin didn’t embody the authenticity of the German culture. Not until after my trip, I kept coming across people or friends that would say, “oh, you should’ve gone to Munich,” or something around those lines. Nevertheless, Berlin was incredible and I created some great memories there. Here are nine things that I did in Berlin and nine things you could do if you plan on visiting this eccentric city.
1. Pay your respects at the Holocaust Memorial
The Holocaust Memorial in Berlin is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. There are tons of concrete blocks rising to different heights and located on a sloping field, making them tilt toward different directions. It’s very cemetery-like and the cement blocks can easily be interpreted as tomb stones. The memorial is absolutely free of charge and it’s definitely worth a visit.
2. Have brunch at House of Small Wonders
I learned of this restaurant from the magical pictures of @gypsea_lust and @doyoutravel. Both travel bloggers had published a picture of the interior of the restaurant and I knew I had to go, and I’m glad I did. It’s so aesthetically pleasing. As soon as I arrived, the vibes were so welcoming and friendly. The service was outstanding and the food was delicious. I seriously didn’t want to leave. I felt so relaxed and serene.
3. Go up the TV Tower
This tower is the tallest building in all of Germany. You can ride an elevator to the top and enjoy the lovely views. I went just in time to catch the sunset up there. Side note: maybe I’m biased, but I still think there are no sunsets like those in California. 🙂 At the top, you will also find a bar and a restaurant. You can have a luxurious dining experience if you’d like. I only went for the views. Besides, you have to make reservations for the restaurant and I wasn’t aware. Other than that, you can purchase your ticket at a kiosk located right outside the tower’s entrance for thirteen euros. But, if you’re a student, you get 20% off. And if you’re like me, a college graduate that still carries their student ID around, then that will work in your favor. 😉
4. Ride a Pedicab
Most cities have pedicabs, but, for some reason, they seemed so much more fun in Berlin. Not to mention, affordable. What I considered to be a long ride only cost ten euros. That’s the same amount our Uber charged us for a shorter distance. Our bicyclist was great and he even dropped us off one step outside of the building we were going to, literally. It’s also a great way to get around the city quickly and avoid some traffic.
5. Walk around the Brandenburg Gate
One of our Uber drivers told us that if we didn’t visit the Brandenburg Gate, then it was like if we didn’t visit Berlin at all. So we made this face 😐 and then headed towards the gate. Haha! It wasn’t on our itinerary but you must obey your Uber driver! 😀 Once I arrived I was like, “ohhhhh, yeah, I’ve seen this on Instagram.” Hahaha! Anyway, an event was being hosted right behind the gate so I couldn’t explore too much of it, but, I made it to the gate! 🙂
6. Visit the Berlin Cathedral
Oh my gosh! One of the best cathedrals I’ve been to. Not because of its size or architecture, but because it was so well taken care of. Plus, there were interactive kiosks with headphones that provided information in the form of animated storytelling, which made it so much more interesting and fun to learn. The cathedral also contains a dome, (like most do) and you can reach the top after 400+ steps for a great view of the TV tower. 😀
Oh, I almost forgot, the cathedral also has an underground crypt full of coffins and tombs. Cool, right? :0
7. Shop at a flea market full of antiques
We randomly came across an antiques flea market. My sister and I wanted to touch everything and play with everything. We were like two six year olds. Some antiques were very odd and peculiar. But, I did find some fabulous sunglasses. I call them “my butterflies.” 🙂
8. Stroll through the canals or take a ferry
Taking a ferry is a very quick way to see most of the attractions and learn some fun facts about Berlin’s history. I decided to simply walk through them. I didn’t want to miss anything. Besides, I love to walk!
9. Explore Altes Museum
Okay, I’m not going to lie. I didn’t actually go inside the museum. But, I did explore the outside of the building and that in itself was amazing. You’ll find huge stone pillars with large statues guarding the entrance. It’s amazing what people create.