A Trip To Berlin
I am not one who books spontaneous trips fast – mainly because I normally book as many trips as my money can handle. So spontaneous trips often mean a huge change in my budget. However, when my boyfriend told me he was going to Germany for the weekend, to visit the Enduro European Championship I couldn’t resist checking whether the championship was close to Berlin.
It was too close to Berlin to NOT join my boyfriend for a road trip and to take the train to Berlin. It would take me 45 min to travel from that small German city to Alexander Platz – the center of Berlin. It would cost me €2,70 for a train ticket. Which traveler could resist that?
‘So are you coming or not? I need to know now.’ My boyfriend asked me this fifteen minutes after I told him I was thinking of going with him so I could take the train to Berlin.
‘Uhm.. Ok. I’ll go!’ It was all arranged in one hour. I booked one of the cheapest hostels I could find, packed my bags, found someone who could take care of our dog, and went to bed – preparing for the road trip we had to make the morning after.
This was my third visit to Berlin. The first time I went with my parents and sister and the second time I went with my high school class. Because of these trips I’d pretty much seen all the things everyone is talking about and the things you must see: museums, monuments, churches – seen them! Not all the museums of course, as Berlin has quite a lot.
However, while I’ve seen a lot of highlights and museums in Berlin I’ve never seen so much of Berlin itself. If you’ve stood in front of the Brandenburger Tor you can’t exactly say that you’ve seen Berlin. You can’t say you’ve experienced Berlin. This trip was all about experiencing Berlin and getting a good impression of what life is like while you are in Berlin. And I did it right: this visit I was surrounded by Berlinners rather than tourists.
During this trip I noticed how much I actually like Berlin. And while I’ve visited Berlin two times already, I can now say that Berlin is one of the top cities in Europe I’ve ever visited. It is rich of history, it is filled with culture, the atmosphere is wonderful and on every corner you find a local gem that needs to be discovered.
I like Berlinners as well – they seem very relaxed and when you are surrounded by them you definitely feel like you can be yourself a 100%. I always thought Amsterdam was the most relaxed and liberal city of Europe, but now I think I can’t do anything else than change my mind. I mean, Berlin literally screams ‘be yourself’.
Another thing I noticed was how quiet Berlin was. Even in the most touristic spots like at Checkpoint Charlie and the Brandenburger Tor it seemed quiet: cars did not hunk their horns (even though it was busy on the roads) and people talked quietly to each other. I am curious to see how this is when you visit Berlin during summer.
- Strolling through Kreuzberg Friedrichshein, Lichtenberg and Neukölln
- Checking out the city parks during autumn
- Discovering the hotspots of Neukölln
- Visiting the DDR Museum
- Staring at the art of the East Side Gallery
- Shopping at the Berlin Mall
- Spending an afternoon with Olga from The Russian Abroad
- Spending the nights at the bar of my hostel CityStay Mitte with the girls from my dorm room