Like many European cities, Berlin is shrouded in history yet buzzing with hipsters, beer halls and all-night raves. So what makes this city different to all the others reachable by EasyJet? Earlier this month, my boyfriend and I headed to Germany’s capital to find out. With a third of the city comprising of parks, forest, gardens and lakes, you certainly feel a sense of openness despite being in Germany’s second-largest city. We had no trouble filling our time – whether you spend a day walking the winding River Spree to Museum Island for your culture-dose, or visiting the vibrant East Side Gallery where the walls and buildings are a montage of history, art and energy, there’s certainly something for everyone. After meeting the friendly residents and experiencing the wonderland that is the nightlife, I’m hardly surprised everyone’s raving about Berlin…
Things to do:
No trip to Germany would be complete without a visit to an authentic German market – my favourite was the Flohmarkt am Mauerpark in Bernauer Strasse. Reserve a lazy Sunday morning to peruse the vibrant stalls overflowing with jewellery, trinkets and art, and purchase a mulled wine and buttery corn on the cob as you hunt for bargains. Once you’ve finished shopping, an insight into Berlin’s history is a must – despite the Berlin Wall falling in 1989, it’s still one of the city’s most visited attractions. Head to Checkpoint Charlie, the infamous ex-crossover point between East and West Berlin, and learn how this fascinating European city has transformed over the last two decades. For a lighter-hearted excursion, walk around the corner for an unforgettable trip to the Deutsches Currywurst Museum – what better way to prepare your appetite for a traditional German dinner? Finally, we booked a slot to climb the Reichstag, home to the best views the city has to offer. Visit at night to see Berlin lit up in all its glory!
Food and drink:
When hungry in Berlin, the options are endless – with international cuisine (think sushi, mezze and more) at every turn, you might be tempted to indulge in what you know, but no trip to Berlin would be complete without sampling at least one of Germany’s staple dishes. Frequent any beer hall – a wintry alternative to the popular summer beer gardens – and you’ll be presented with a stein of finest German beer and a plate overflowing with meaty delicacies. I tried a currywurst: a pork sausage coated in thick tomato sauce and scattered with curry powder, usually served with chips or cabbage sauerkraut. With generous portions and reasonable prices, you won’t regret doing as the Germans do!
If, after a day of culture and hearty cuisine, you can resist the urge to crawl into bed, Berlin’s nightlife awaits. Catch the U–Bahn to Kreuzberg to find restaurants and bars that sprawl the streets of the former East Berlin neighbourhood. You can expect DJs spinning house, electro and indie tunes ’til the early hours and, if you visit in the summer season, cocktails alongside the river and kitsch drinking holes in converted canal boats. Can’t wait that long? Then make your way with courtesy of this fab Wowcher deal – just don’t forget your woollies!