Travel Diary: Berlin

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What more could you want when traveling than to explore cities with a rich history, amazing nightlife, and delicious food!? Berlin very much checked off all three categories. It has been a city on my list for quite some time and I had to see first hand what the hype was all about. To be honest I had little to no expectations except that the nightlife is some of the best! After experiencing all Berlin has to offer, I can say I have never seen a city quite like it. If you don’t know, the Berlin Wall was knocked down in 1991 which means many buildings are fairly new and the way of life is very fresh!  After suffering so many years of turmoil and angst the vibe is now the complete opposite; a relaxed and open vibe, super friendly, and accepting of all different types of people! After spending 3 days consisting of sightseeing, partying, and 10 hours total of sleep, it is somewhere I would definitely go back and revisit! Here is how I spent 3 days in Berlin!

Transportation

  • Fly from CDG to TXL
  • Train/Bus around the city
  • Uber
  • Walk

Lodging

Food

  • YoSoy
  • A Never Ever Ending Love Story
  • Weihenstephaner
  • Kreuzburger
  • Belushi's

Sights

  • TV Tower
  • Brandenburg Gate
  • Memorial to the Murdered Jews
  • Berlin Wall
  • East Side Gallery
  • Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp
  • Reichstag Building
  • Checkpoint Charlie
  • Neue Wache

Nightlife

  • Cosmic Comedy
  • Same Heads
  • 8mm
  • Berghain
  • Ohm
  • Hotel Bar
  • Neue Odessa Bar
  • The Grand Bar
  • The Grand Club
  • KitKat

Travel Tips

  • The native language of Berlin is German but many people speak English
  • The currency used is Euros
  • Clubs are open all day and night long on the weekends. If you want to be like a local then you should show up to the club at 5am!
  • The style is grungy and dark colors! Going out you will definitely wear flats. Comfort is key.
  • Make sure when you go to bars and clubs you have cash!
  • Many clubs/bars have an entrance fee.
  • If you want to go to the Reichstag Building Dome, make sure to book it in advance. I wasn't able to make it there and I wish I could have.

Arrival Night

HOSTEL

We arrived in Berlin later in the evening so we went straight from the airport to the hostel. It was super easy to navigate how to get there! Once we got to St. Christopher's Berlin, it was clear we were going to have a good time! The main floor has a full bar/restaurant and is the place to go! It was packed and everyone was having so much fun! As we made our way to the room, it was very clean and spacious!

DINNER

Obviously starving! Since it was later at night there weren't too many restaurants open so the hostel recommended YoSoya tapas restaurant. For a moment I forgot if I was in Berlin or back in Barcelona because our food and Sangria was delicious! Ate my weight in food and it was worth it!

NIGHTLIFE

After dinner, we were ready to go! My friend Alice knew a friend through a friend who lives in Berlin so we met up with him. We told him to take us somewhere to go out but not too crazy because we wanted to function and see Berlin the next day. We ended up at a funky place called SameHeads. From the outside, it looked like a strange little shop in the middle of nowhere but once we stepped inside we were transported to another world. We headed downstairs into what seemed like someone's basement and just danced to music being played by a devil-horned DJ. Honestly no idea what was happening but when in Berlin.... After dancing all night we finally made it back to the hostel around 3pm! An early night for Berliners!

Day 1

BRUNCH

I love brunch and after the previous night, A Never Ever Ending Love Story was exactly what we needed! This brunch was so delicious! Also, the restaurant itself was so cute! Definitely gram worthy! Side note: When I travel I love to find places locals love and this particular spot was recommended by @berlingualfoodie! It is great to be able to use Instagram as a source to connect and better explore the planet!

 

WALKING TOUR

When I travel I really never go on walking tours. To be honest, I don't enjoy exploring in a big group, I don't like to be on someone else's time table, and I don't want to have to go back to somewhere to see it again! This particular FREE walking tour put on by Sandemans New Europe was actually worth it! The tour lasted about 3 hours, the guide was entertaining, and we covered so many sights including Brandenburg Gate, Site of Hitler's Bunker, Memorial to the Murdered Jews, Checkpoint Charlie, Gendarmenmarkt, The Berlin Wall, Praiser Platz, Book Burning Memorial, TV Tower, Neue Wache, and more! One of the reasons this particular tour was so great is a lot of these historical sights are just the sight. There is not a museum or audioguide so the tour guide was able to give us all the info and then we could move on! We actually enjoyed it so much we booked two more tours for the next day! Highly recommend! BOOK HERE

EAST SIDE GALLERY

By the time the walking tour ended we had some extra free time so we decided to explore the East Side Galley. This is the part of the Berlin wall that has now been turned into a work of art!

DINNER

When in Germany you should probably eat German food but maybe not in Berlin. It felt right to eat at Weihenstephaner, a traditional German cuisine restaurant but to be honest, I was not into it. German food is very heavy and I just was not feeling it. Also, I did get a vegetarian dish which probably was not the best choice because I tried my friend's meat dish and hers was better! Not the highlight of my trip but the Apple Streudel dessert was pretty good!

NIGHTLIFE

Buckle up because this was a night I will never forget. Berlin's nightlife is supposed to be some of the best! It is pretty famous for the bars and especially the techno clubs. We were not going to miss out on a single moment. We made it back to the hostel after the walking tour and dinner and figured a nap would probably be a good idea but when in Berlin you don’t need to nap! Why take a nap when you can go right downstairs from the hostel to Cosmic Comedy! The comedy club was so much fun and they had free shots! It was a definite win. After the comedy show, we decided to go out. We met some people in the hostel and they recommended to go to the bar 8mm. This was their recommendation because the friend I was traveling with is from New Zealand and the guy who owns 8mm is also from New Zealand. Beyond the New Zealand connection, the bar was actually pretty cool and we had a good time! Our main goal for the night, however, was to try to get into the infamous club Berghain. It has been called the world capital of techno and is also known as being very hard to get into. Basically, the bouncers look at you and decide whether or you have "the look" to get in. We did our research found out when you arrive shouldn’t be on your phone,  you shouldn’t be too smiley, you shouldn't talk to your friends, and you should definitely look grungy. It is also super important to know what DJ is playing! To get as edgy as possible we dressed in all black and put on dark eyeshadow and dark lipstick. We showed up at the door and the bouncer asked us if we were on the list. Obviously, I made up some story about someone putting us on the list blah blah blah. Long story short the guy said you’re not on the list and turned us away. I was not going to take it so we tried to get in one more time and as we watched other people successfully going into the club we took a look at ourselves and realized no matter how much dark eyeshadow or black we were wearing, we would probably never look edgy enough to actually get into this place, but we tried anyway to convince the bouncer that the DJ definitely put us on the list! Once again he wasn’t buying it so it was a definite no to Berghain. I highly recommend you try just for the experience.

From there we went onto the next club, OHM. This was a legit techno club and also the first legit techno club I personally had ever been in. Honestly one of the weirdest and most fun times I’ve ever experienced. I was probably the only person there not on some type of drug but the gin and tonics were enough for me. For FIVE HOURS we bobbed around to techno music. The reason I say bobbed around is because no one dances together. Everyone was just moving to their own beat. It honestly looked like a contemporary dance class. The music that was playing was not the music that everyone was hearing. It was honestly so incredible. We literally did this for FIVE hours. I think I fell asleep standing up at one point. Honestly, it was such a good time. Our biggest struggle of the night was the fact we didn’t leave the club until 5:30 AM and we had booked a 9 AM tour of the concentration camp site. Our only choice was to go back to the hostel, change our clothes, and head out to watch the sunrise before the tour. (Update: While at Ohm, we did talk to someone about how to get into Berghain and we learned 1. There is no list lol and 2. The best time to get in is 5am.)

 

 

Day 2 or Day 1 continued.....

CONCENTRATION CAMP

After loving the walking tour from the previous day so much we signed up for two more tours for today: The Sachsenhausen Tour and The Alternative City Tour. BOOK NOW I am not 100% sure why we booked at 9am tour but YOLO! So after changing, we headed out to the Brandenburg Gate which is also where the tour met. We were a little late for the sunrise but we were able to take photos of the Brandenburg Gate with no one else there! This in itself was worth it! We also took advantage of our extra time in the morning and went back to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews to walk through the memorial. Finally, we fueled up at Starbucks. (Nothing else was open but as a rule, I try not to go to Starbucks when I am traveling. Support local!) Finally, it was time for the tour! We met the guide and took the train to Sachsenhausen. Going to see a concentration camp is very heavy and emotionally draining but it is very important in my opinion to do. I am very glad we went. This particular concentration camp is set up museum style and even has audio guides. Had I known this I would have skipped the tour and just done it myself. I would have preferred to walk around with the audio guide than with a group and tour guide.

ALTERNATIVE WALKING TOUR

This tour I really enjoyed! 3 hours of looking at unique places around Berlin with a focus on ART! We did have to leave the4 Concentration Camp tour a little early to make this tour and we might have gotten a little lost on the trains coming back but I am sure that just had to do with our lack of sleep... but we made it! Our tour guide was awesome and we saw some pretty cool sights including Haus SchwarzenbergYAAMEast Side Gallery, Baumhaus an der Mauer, and Kruzeberg. If you are into street art and unique quirks, this is a great tour!

NIGHTLIFE/DINNER

The tour ended in Kruzeberg which is full of restaurants and unique bars! We made our way to Das Hotel Bar which had a really great Gin and Tonic menu! I would have loved to have more time to bar hop around Kruzeberg but we were hungry and needed to go to the hostel! We made it back and ended up eating at Belushi's which is located inside the hostel. Now we were ready to go! Our next stop was a craft cocktail spot called Neue Odessa Bar. You basically tell them what you like and they whip up something delicious! This place also had a less grungy vibe. We asked the bartender where our next stop should be and he told us to go to The Grand Bar. Absolutely not what I was expecting. We were the youngest people in there by 30 years! We had one drink and then the bartender told us they open the club later and he would put us on the list! This place actually had a LIST! As weird as the vibe was we said yes but we were going to leave and come back. Since we weren't too far from our hostel we went back and took a power nap and went back out around 11pm. Finally some sleep! After a rejuvenating power nap we went back to The Grand but this time to the club. It was worth it for the laughs but I don't really recommend it unless you are over the age of 50. We decided to just go back to Neue Odessa Bar because it was super close. We had another drink there and around 3am had to call it a night. The no sleep and 9 hours of walking tours finally caught up to us!

 

Day 3

GOOD MORNING BERLIN

The party never ends in Berlin. We woke up at 10 am and went to the club at 11 am. Yes, you read that right. WE WENT TO THE CLUB AT 11 AM! The club was actually busy and it was totally worth it for the experience!

For our final meal in Berlin, we ate some delicious burgers and fries at Kreuzburger. From there we picked up our suitcases and went to the airport! I will never forget this weekend in Berlin!

If you have any Berin suggestions or funny memories please leave a comment below! 

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