07 Jun Berlin – The Time Travel
Another visit to Germany and this time to Berlin. A city which is so rich with history and is now considered by many as a modern and ‘trendy’ 21st Century city.
I stayed in Tempelhof-Schöneberg which is just on the outskirts (south) of Central Berlin. Staying here was a much cheaper option compared to staying in the city centre. Specifically, I stayed in Jugendhotel berlincity, which to me seemed to be perfect for young travellers. Or even for school students visiting Berlin. It had a hostel style to it, with you being able to book multiple person rooms, a shared common room, lounge area with a bar etc. I was able to use my Interrail Global Pass to travel from the hotel to Central Berlin on the S-Bahn – just look for a green S sign.
Again I had nothing planned for my time in Berlin, but certainly had places that I wished on visiting. On the first day in the city I simply just strolled around the streets aiming for the famous attractions: The Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag building, Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe and many more.
Once I had briefly visited many landmarks and taken my photos: I hopped back onto the S-Bahn and headed for the Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer – The central memorial site for the The Berlin Wall. However it was closed so I ensured that I jotted down the opening times and headed back the following day.
In the meanwhile, the first day of my time in Berlin was coming to a close so I headed back to the Brandenburg Tor Station in order to see the Brandenburg Gate and Reichstag building lit up at night. Which made both pieces of architecture even more amazing. Quite often buildings do look more beautiful lit up at night, or so I thought throughout my trip.
The following day I was up and out earlier and headed straight for the Berlin Wall Memorial that I have mentioned above. Such a perfect place to learn about the Berlin Wall – the reasons for it, what it meant for citizens, security, deaths and much much more. If you head to the top of the museum there is an observation deck that focuses on a preserved section of the wall and how it was laid out during its time up. The whole experience of the memorial is life changing. However, the bit that really got to me were the profiles on those who died trying to cross over the wall. Also the video showing the moment when the wall was finally torn down and seeing how citizens of Berlin, Germany and in fact the world reacted to this.
The next attraction for me to visit was the Fernsehturm, otherwise known as the Berlin TV Tower. If you want the opportunity to see all that Berlin has to offer then head to the very top and see for yourself. The view is just perfect! Being the 18-year-old me I was when on my Interrail trip I certainly couldn’t help myself from grabbing a seat at Bar 203 at the top of the tower and trying out some cocktails. For me, this really made the experience of the tower perfect.
Again I headed back to Brandenburg Tor Station (trust me, if you’re planing on visiting Berlin you will use this stop A LOT). I went to visit the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe again. Such a strange monument; it is simply 2,711 concrete slabs arranged in a grid pattern on a sloping field. It doesn’t really seem like a lot but it really speaks to you when you are there. There is also an accompanying underground ‘place of information’. (Which was closed when i visited) Again, I strongly suggest visiting this memorial. But please treat it with respect and don’t stand, jump, sit on the slabs – remember that it is a memorial. And unfortunately far too many people treat it as a picturesque sight rather than a Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.
For my last night in Berlin I ate at a restaurant next to the memorial. I also ate here the night before, so trust me its really good. A chilled restaurant serving not particularly fancy but extremely tasty food, cocktails, beer and free shots (if you’re lucky). The best part about this restaurant for me was being able to enjoy my meal and drinks whilst watching the Euro’s England VS Iceland game. (Despite the outcome)
I begrudgingly headed back to my hotel after the result of the came, slightly on the tipsy side from all the alcohol. Before I walked down the steps of the Brandenburg Tor Station, I turned around for one last look of the Brandenburg Gate. The shade of the sky contrasting with it being lit up made for the most perfect shot that I had taken of the gate. And with that I turned back around and headed down the stairs.
The next stop is my final stop of my Interrail trip – Halle (Saale), Germany,
No.1 Piece of Advice:
- If you want to see more that a city has to offer it might be best to plan your days efficiency
- I didn’t do this very well in Berlin which meant that I missed out on some popular attractions – for example, Checkpoint Charlie
No.1 Place for coffee:
- The Starbucks located on Pariser Platz
- If you sit outside then you will have a great view of the Brandenburg Gate
Collection of my pictures from Berlin, Germany: