Visiting Berlin- Europe’s coolest city- The Complete Travel Guide

It’s undoubtedly Europe’s coolest city. With 24-hour nightlife, a growing culinary scene and affordable living, Berlin has attracted people from all over the world and it did attract me too. After hearing a lot about Berlin I was looking forward to this and I was not disappointed. Berlin is the largest city Germany’s capital. With one of the most turbulent recent history it has has emerged as one of Europe’s most popular and vibrant travel destinations. There is a lot of history and art here, and Berlin has become very popular with students and young artists, writers, and travellers.  It’s one of the most hip city I have seen after Tokyo.12191198_10153778391706584_4954977441046592099_o 12065645_10153753600006584_5332964009019785180_n

Berlin is so different still and an amazing place to learn about the past. Berlin’s got a bit of something for everyone. There’s the fascinating history, then there’s the modern vibrant, multicultural culture of street art and music that mixes in influences from around the world. And there’s also the great nightlife. It’s also one of Europe’s cheaper capital cities.12189714_10153753599136584_5898600349438126726_n

Things to See & Do

Brandenberg Gate – 10404189_10153753597526584_2138719058111723880_n10472870_10153778399756584_817522212263236666_oOne of  Berlin’s best-known landmarks, the Brandenberg Gate was located in no man’s land behind the Berlin Wall and was made famous when it was reopened on 22 December 1989 after the fall of the Wall.

Checkpoint Charlie – 12187800_10153753597331584_3938993806020692037_n 12189378_10153778398181584_6568948223390472682_oThe original border post on Friedrichstrabe between former East and West Berlin remains, complete with a soldier’s post and border crossing sign. Although this area of town is exceptionally touristy, it is worth a visit. It not only tells the history of the Berlin Wall, but also shares the stories of those who escaped, those who tried but failed, and the families caught in between on both sides of the wall.

Visit East Side Gallery – 12189674_10153753602196584_3837242273757931220_n 12190048_10153753600131584_5600246351111305750_nThe area of Berlin wall is now an open air art gallery features graffiti artwork. Artists from all over the world have left their mark on this 1.3 km remaining section of the Wall.

Potsdamer Platz –12183695_10153778399601584_8701231496253572729_o One of the busiest square in Europe in 1920’s was destroyed in World War II and divided by the Berlin Wall. But after German reunification it became the largest building site in Europe and now is a bustling area full of showrooms, shopping, offices and all

Reichstag –12118787_10153753597706584_1243482500602978852_n 12141619_10153753598491584_2915869561149991017_n The German Parliament is one of Berlin’s most historic landmarks. It has a rich history that reflects the stories of Germany since the 19th century. It’s free and the rooftop dome offers great views of the city. It is worth it. Also carry your passport

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Holocaust Memorial – 12194631_10153778399716584_357088292067320632_oThe memorial is made up of 2,711 large rectangular stones as a tribute to the Jews that died during the war as a result of Hitler’s “Final Solution.” Below the stones, is a museum that focuses on the lives of individual families and can be depressing for people

Britzer Garten – No matter what time of the year, this is a beautiful garden. The Rose Garden is particularly stunning.

Enjoy the music – Berlin is one of the musical centers of Europe and features some of the best DJs, musicians, singers, and bands on the continent. No matter your musical tastes, you’ll find something here

Tempelhof Park (Neukölln)- Closed in 2008, Tempelhof is an old airport site identified with the Berlin Airlift when American and British forces delivered food, fuel and other supplies to West Berlin during the Soviet blockade.  Now it is open to the public and offers the possibility of riding your bicycle down one of the airport runways.

Museum and art lovers should head to Berlin’s Museum Island-a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is home to five museums with artifacts from 6000 years of history. One of the world’s major archaeological museums, the Pergamon should not be missed It is cheaper to get a combined Museum Island area ticket for €18 (€17 online).12191151_10153778395381584_3042711402752752747_o 12182576_10153778391346584_1101248276146157516_o

Travelling Around

While the public transportation system is phenomenal, the city is best experienced on a bicycle or walking. One can also invest in  Berlin Welcome Card which gives  a discount of up to 50% at over 200 attractions, tours, shows and restaurants as well as free city transport. There are three different versions covering 48 hours for €19,50, 72 hours for €26,70 or five days for €34,50. one can also take a Day Ticket for €6,90 that’s valid until 3am the next morning12189342_10153778391866584_4319977366712716712_o

Eating & Drinking

The recommendation here was given by my Twitter friend Deepali Gupta(@the_epicurious) and I must say she has good choices.

Monsieur Vuong’s – fantastic, quick Vietnamese, you’ll need to visit twice!
The Bird – best burgers, reservations a must as it’s super popular.
Sarah Wiener’at the Hamburger Bahnof museum – great modern German cuisine + modern art.
Bar Raval and Atame – the best tapas in Berlin.
Dos Palillos – upscale Japanese-Spanish fusion small plates. It’s many courses long so you need 2-3 hours. Expensive, totally worth it though.
Nord Sud – quaint & quirky French home-style spot
Sasaya and Dudu – both for excellent Japanese + sushi
Transit – yummy Asian-style small plates, charming outdoor courtyard.
Cô-Cô– I still dream of their Vietnamese Banh-Mi sandwiches.
Kaffeemitte – Casual coffee shop with excellent croissant & coffee.
CARAS gourmet coffee – Honestly some of the best coffee I’ve had.
When eating bratwurst on the streets, get it from the men with the mobile grills – cheapest and best! 1-1.5EUR with crispy skin. There are some REALLY nice fancy joints on Friedrichstrasse with lobsters and what not as well.12118819_10153753599736584_3724610380152206959_n
Must visit: Alexander Platz on the market days. There’s a pretty nice grill there. 3-4 EUR for wurst.
There’s this awesome club called “Subland” you can check. Great drum n bass/dubstep scene there. Otherwise, Berghain obviously. Wear something funky, don’t go all dressed up they wont let you in.

Also since Berlin has the largest Turkish population, so it’s easy to find a cheap meal of a döner and pitta for a couple of euros. One must try a currywurst– a pork sausage that’s fried and coated with curry sauce and curry powder.

What to drink? That should never be the question in Germany because the answer will always be Beer. there are number of biergartens, or beer gardens, to cool down with a drink

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Whether for happening nightlife, new tech start-ups, fashion, art, or food, it’s difficult to not fall in love with Berlin. It has that unique vibe, which will prompt you to visit again as it prompts me. If you love art, architecture and history, you’re in for an amazing experience in Berlin. Without much effort it has become one of my favourite cities.12185389_10153778399211584_785275819623468063_o

Amount Spent: Approximately 50 Euros for 1 day including stay, food and drinks.

Next Stop– Amsterdam

PS– This is a part of our 9 city road trip across Belgium, Netherlands & Germany visiting Brussels,Freiburg, Munich, Rothenberg ob der Tauber, Dresden, Berlin, Amsterdam, Bruges & Ghent.

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