"the trusted voice of teens who travel"
September 11th, 2014
Ich liebe Berlin! The German capital is so steeped in history and culture that it’s hard to walk around without stopping every minute or two to take a closer look – at the stunning architecture, the amazing art pieces, and even the thought-provoking graffiti on the walls all over the city. To my great misfortune we only spent three days there, and I for one am planning to return – until then, here are the three best things we did while we were in Berlin!
1. The Berlin Wall – East Side Gallery
This is an obvious must-see. It’s both immediately sobering and surprisingly uplifting to see and touch the bricks that separated East and West Berlin throughout the second World War – in a single, breath-taking moment, the monument we’ve all read so much about is truly brought to life. It’s bizarre – and in many ways unsettling – for our everyday, contemporary existence to collide with the past and the history lessons, especially during a period as all-consumingly dark as WWII. You can literally still feel the energy of despair, and sense the deep cultural scars left by its overnight construction on every person in every family in the whole of Berlin, all those years ago. But the diverse variety of bright and beautiful art that covers those same bricks today is a true reminder of hope – guaranteed to have you walking away, smiling, as you glance back for one more look.
2. Five Elephants
One of the city’s better-kept secrets, Five Elephants is something of a hidden gem! A specialty coffee shop located in the hidden nook of a quiet neighbourhood, this marks one of my favourite memories of last summer. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you “The Best Cheesecake In The World”!
Believe me when I say I have experienced my fair share of cheesecakes. I’ve eaten cheesecake in Bali, in London, in New York – I love cheesecake. But this – this fluffy cloud of happiness! This gustatory masterpiece! This edible conceptualisation of all that is right in the world! It’s more than just a cheesecake; it is an experience in itself, to say the least, to be rendered so incandescently happy by a single slice of desert food. If you eat one thing in Berlin, let it be this. (And the coffee’s not bad, either!)
3. Pub Crawl
Easily one of the funniest, most spontaneous ideas we had while we were in Berlin! The drinking age in most of Europe is 18, so unfortunately any younger readers will have to skip this one out – but for all those of legal age, I can’t emphasise enough how entertaining it is to go on a good old-fashioned pub crawl. If you’ve never been on one before, the idea is to meet in a fairly central spot with a bunch of like-minded strangers (also tourists), then go on a walking tour of some of the coolest bars and clubs in the city. For around 12 euros, you get free drinks, some snacks every now and again, and – best of all – a free t-shirt! It is hands down the best way to meet other travellers and make new friends while exploring the city and experiencing its vibrant nightlife. Plus there’s a lot of walking (and dancing) involved, so I’d count it as exercise, too! Don’t forget to drink responsibly, and to keep your wits about you – be safe, and you’ll have one of the best nights of the entire trip!
There is so much more to beautiful Berlin, and I hope you’ll get to experience it all somewhere along your journey – and that you’ll keep these Top 3 tips in mind when you do! Safe travels! Bianca x