After a comment on a previous post requested more information about what we did and where we went and what we saw in Berlin, I decided to put together a post of my tips. Please bear in mind that I was only in Berlin for 6 days and barely touched the surface of the city. Most of the things that I discovered there were suggestions from friends who had previously visited, or were found in the Lonely Planet Encounter Guide to Berlin. The area that we spent most time in and that intrigued me the most was East Kreuzberg. Mitte is far more expensive and less eclectic and creative. Friedrichshain is a happy medium in between (where we stayed) with easy access to the whole city.
Hop on the S-bahn and spend a day exploring Grunewald Forest. Watch out for the nudist lake and try and find your way up to the old WW2 listening towers
Things to see - The obvious tourist attractions
Cycle down the East Side Gallery, check out Checkpoint Charlie, climb the spiral staircase to the top of the Berliner Dome, walk amongst the stone columns of the Holocaust Memorial, take an obligatory photograph of the Brandenberg Gate
The train network is vast and efficient in Berlin, with the S-Bahn and U-Bahn also managing to fit seamlessly into the aesthetic of the city. The train system can be quite confusing at first, but you soon get the hang of it. We preferred to hire bicycles to explore the parts of the city that would otherwise go unseen. You can hire bikes from hotels, hostels or specific rental places for around 10 euro a day.
Eating and Drinking
We found it a lot cheaper to eat and drink in Berlin than in other large cities. Some places are more pricey, but it's usually worth the little bit extra for delicious food or amazing locations. Personal favourites included Club de Visionaire (grab a spot on the rafters alongside the canal with an delicious Mai Tai cocktail), the pizza place by Neuer See in Tiergarten Park, a modest restaurant (on the corner of Simon-dach-strasse and Kopernikusstr in Friedrichshain) that served luscious tapas and tasty main courses that came with side salads, the best Thai I have ever had at Papaya (just off Simon-dach-strasse) and (not pictured) a three course meal consisting of the most mouth-wateringly good food at Cafe Nord Sud (August-strasse, hidden away in Mitte). Also recommended: sit alongside the Spree in one of the beach bars hidden behind the East Side Gallery and sip a huge tradional German tankard of beer!
Tiergarten Park is right by the major tourist attractions, adjacent to Mitte and is one of the largest city parks in the world. We enjoyed a chilled out day of riding our bikes through the park, stopping to sunbathe on the lawns and relax alongside the lakes and the canal.
Whilst it is smaller than Tiergarten, I immediately preferred Treptower Park in the south-east of the city. The river Spree widens here, creating a lake where you can hire pedalos, relax on decking alongside the water and if you are brave enough, find the hole in the fence of the old abandoned theme park and explore the ancient rides.
All photographs by myself and my boyfriend
Post requested by the ever-so-lovely lady behind the blog 'Sparrow Legs'
29 May 2011
I want to move to Berlin. I have just had the most perfect week - exploring the city by bicycle, adventuring in Grunewald forest, drinking cocktails by the side of the river and taking in the sites - both the obvious and the off-the-beaten-track.
I have returned with hundreds of photographs to show and so not to overwhelm you, I am dividing them up into separate posts. This post concentrates on film photographs of graffiti around Berlin.
All photographs were taken by myself or the photographs of myself were taken by my boyfriend.