This s my own little travel blog giving my opinions on the places I’ve visited around the world. This time we have Berlin – By far the best place I’ve been to!
Germany was a country I had always wanted to visit, albeit to Düsseldorf but I was surprised at how good Berlin was. It certainly wasn’t a typical capital city, different to London.
Schoenefeld airport is a great little airport (haven’t been since they have built the Brandenburg extension). Outside it appears to be with the main terminal building and a second terminal building to the right. However, when you go past security and into the waiting area, you think you’re in Liverpool airport due to it being one straight walkway – but there’s still shops, cafes, a Burger King (Always a plus) and a few pubs – There’s a hidden (Irish) pub behind Burger King – across two floors. The beer price is still pretty much €4-€5 a pint.
Outside the airport you have the standard airport taxi rank or the pathway to the train station (2 min walk) with a nice little pub/restaurant on the way. Depending on what train you catch depends whether you reach the city centre in 20 mins or 40 mins (a taxi is not much different, maybe 30-40 mins, but €45 in price – compared to €4 for the train).
I stay around the Kreuzburg/Friedrichshain area (I’ve stayed on both sides of the river), with the Kreuzburg being the better due to more pubs being open – Friedrichshain has got some great bars too, but Kreuzberg seems more lively in the early hours. Speaking about early hours, New York is supposedly the city that never sleeps, but I’d say Berlin is! Whether you walk around the city at 9am or 3am it’s seems to be always busy! And the pubs don’t seem to have last orders – Visit the Oberbaumeck and ask “what time you close” and they just say “Whenever”.
Going to a gig in Berlin is something else too! The Bi Nuu is considered the smallest venue in Berlin (But there’s venues in the UK much smaller!). The stage is in a great position, the staff are friendly, the beer prices are only €5 a pint (standard pint price is €4.50) and when the fans start a mosh pit, they apologise if they bump into you! You don’t get that in the UK, just the opposite – In the UK it’s your fault for being close to them!
As for sight-seeing you just have the standard sights – the wall, Olympic Stadium, the tower, the palace and the Brandenburg Gate amongst others. However, I’d say Berlin is best suited for a pub crawl – a weekend piss-up if you will. Apart from the sights, there’s not much to do, but you do have to travel on the underground – some of the stations are great to look at (The trains are from the 60’s, but work just as good as modern ones).
Speaking about the trains. You can easily travel on them for free [just like other European countrie]. At the stations there are no ticket barriers and as for the underground you simply walk down the steps from street level and your on the platform – I’ve done a few times, only because I didn’t plan on using them, but most of the time I do get a ticket (Being from Liverpool you’re allowed to get on things without paying – it’s a rule! I’ve got on for free on Sydney bus, Dublin trams and Berlin (And of course Liverpool trains). If you do get on without paying (Not saying you should, just you can) be aware of undercover inspectors. I’ve been on tram, train and bus in Berlin without paying (The bus I did try and pay, but the driver probably couldn’t speak English – It was the day after my first night [more on this later].
Berliners are very friendly, accepting and helpful. However, trying to speak German (In this GERMAN city) is quite hard due to the many foreigners. English is the easiest to speak. You will find Argentian’s, Colombian’s, [Loads] Australian’s, Turkish, Canadian’s, Briton’s and other nationalities. Do try and pick up some German as it will help and locals will appreciate it.
The one thing you may have trouble finding is free public WiFi – You can get WiFi or ask for the password (like in hotels) but because I only go for a weekend, I don’t really bother – Just use my phone date instead, mostly because I’m hardly in the hotel. Hotels are there for showers and sleeping! What’s the point in going away just to sit in the hotel?
Don’t let the graffiti and drug dealers (There are a few around, just coming up to you asking if you want drugs. I find having a laugh with them works well… Or the most sensible advice would be to just say no and keep on walking, but where’s the fun in that) fool you, Berlin is friendly and safe city.
I have been 5 times since 2018 (Twice in August 2018) and I have had no problems. I have spoken to a lot of people, got on well, sung karaoke with them, been to great gigs and getting too pissed on my first night waking up on a doorstep to paramedics! [Luckily it was August!]. They were great and I ended up getting lost and didn’t get back to my hotel until 10am – the longest night I’ve had! Just be vigilant and you’ll have a great time! And by the way, I don’t get pissed like that all the time – that was a one-off! Yes I may have been lucky and fortunate not to be robbed or worse, but those paramedics were not going to leave me until they were happy I was okay (I did have to reassure them constantly, though).
I have never had any problems in Berlin and I would recommend it to anybody. When I talk to people, a few times the war has been brought up and I’ve talked about it – not my fault they started it! [And brought it up :)] But they don’t care. To them, WW2 is exactly what it is – in the past! It’s only the British who like to keep it alive (But why? If you look at Britain and Germany today, who would think won WW2? Because Germany is by far the better country!)
Never judge a place through someone else’s eyes. Don’t let other people’s reviews, experience’s put you off. By all means seek advice, read up on a place, but if you’ve always wanted to go to a certain place then just go there. I’ve enjoyed most places I’ve been to (Except Hull and Birmingham… I was rather surprised by Milton Keynes – quite enjoyed it! [No one’s ever said that about Milton Keynes before… Am I right!])
I really do recommend Berlin. Summer, Winter, Autumn or Spring; Berlin is definitely a must on your places to visit list! (I’d say visit in the Summer is the best because of the sights you can see – German girls are gorgeous!)
Check out Travellers Cure Berlin guide.
If you need any advice or recommendations contact me.
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