As I let myself lose about Berlin, part one was becoming too long and hard to follow. So here is part two:
- Berlin is too much now about Nazis and Jews, cold war and communism. Yes it is a big part of the recent history but there is much more about this city that goes centuries ago.
- also sometimes it gets too much weed in this town, too many dealers in some neighborhoods. I think, this along with the beer, turns them into creative people and very laid back.
- when sober they don’t seem very friendly but not mean. Just correct and quite cold people. Some of them blase….but it is Berlin. They work a lot and love to go out after that.
- thankfully English is the second language otherwise there will be no tourists in Germany.
- so pay attention on where you book your hotel – google street view is a good tool. Use it!
- in winter they love to drink beer in the streets, in the metro,…. everywhere. even in this environment I didn’t saw night fights in the street.
- police is very effective though.
- as I said they love to go out because they work so much. So you have in Berlin all the cuisines of the world – and I really mean when I say all. I had the best Vietnamese food in ages in not a fancy restaurant, Sao Mai.
- souvenirs are expensive and not impressive to say the least about. Really…a piece of wall? Why would you take home a bit of the suffering of a country? Try something else, enter bookshops for albums or just send real postcards. For something more authentic try this innovation shop.
- it is better if you can miss Checkpoint Charlie in your visit – too touristic, little to say about, occupied by so called soldiers to have pictures with. Also East Side Gallery is to be missed, unfortunately – most of it is not art.
- for a real feeling of the city take a walk from Checkpoint Charlie towards Markthalle Neun, a public market. See the small shops of Kreuzberg, the flower shops which are amazing in Berlin, and discover small repair shops for shoes or tailors. Discover the flea markets and vintage shops by yourself. What is in the guides is most of the time either too touristic or an advertorial. I usually trust LikeALokal app, never been disappointed about the experiences described there.
- Unfortunately if you visit in the winter you miss all the public places with events like those taking place in Flughafen Tempelhof, a formal airport runway now a park, Gorlitzer Park, Bowling alley on the Landwehr canal, and the market just beside, Mauerpark and it’s flea market and karaoke events. There are really a lot to do from this point of view in Berlin.
- so check the events and also the agenda for concerts, opera or just attend the free Tuesday afternoon at Berlin Philharmonic. There are so much events – from fashion weeks in January, to Berlinale the film festival.
- The emblematic food for Berlin, the wurst, either curry or brat, is not between top 5 of Europe. It’s a good sausage with sauce and bread, but nothing to be thrilled about it. I think the best is the beer that comes with it, or the different kind of burgers you might find – the best is Burgermeister Schlesisches Tor
- wanna see a different Berlin? then try Alternative Berlin Tours, Danziger Str. 61, 10435 Berlin, Germany. It’s a MUST!
I found Berlin to be more about the hidden spots, the cultural life, the night life and the food, the street art and the fashion sense of Kreuzberg. Not too much about specific point of interest listed in Museum Island. Anyway there are too much museums. It is to be visited also but try a different Berlin, the real one.