72 Hours in Berlin, Germany Part I
Last month, I rather spontaneously went to Berlin. The main reason was that I wanted to watch the recording of one of my favourite TV-shows, and as it was just the weekend of Mother’s Day, I was not able to find anyone who would go there with me. But I decided not to let me be stopped by this and went alone. So now let me start right away with everything I’ve done during my three days in the German capital.
Berlin is easily reached by plane or train, of course, depending on where you’re starting from. I‘ve been to Berlin before, about 5 years ago on a school trip, and back then we went there by bus, which lasted about 13 hours, which is why I opted for the plane. There are direct flights to Berlin from Innsbruck about twice a week, and I assume even more often from other cities.
So, after not even 2 hours, I arrived at Berlin Tegel, and from there I took the bus and subway into the city centre. If you go to Berlin, I highly recommend you buy the Berlin Welcome Card, or something similar, as it included all busses, trains and subways and therefore made exploring the city very easy and affordable.
My hotel was located just in between Checkpoint Charlie and the Gendarmenmarkt. Checkpoint Charlie is a world-famous former checkpoint where you got into the American sector and left the Soviet one. Right next to it, there is even a museum. Do you think it is irony or destiny that there is a McDonald’s located just next to the beginning of the American sector? Gendarmenmarkt is one of the main squares in Berlin, surrounded by the Berlin concert hall and the German and French Churches. Just beware, there’s always something going on at the square, for example, when I was there, there was an event because of the European elections.
My most favourite tourist attraction and historical monument is for sure the East Side Gallery. It’s an open-air gallery that stretches on about 1,400 m of the former Berlin Wall. It is full of graffiti and art and most of all – important messages. I’ve loved the wall when I visited Berlin for the first time, and I loved it now even more. I could spend hours and hours wandering around, taking pictures, watching people philosophizing about the meaning of the phrases and just enjoy the artwork.
Also, I noticed that some graffiti has changed over the past years. One I admired was previously written in English and is now written in Italian, another one got replaced, and some just got re-done. There’s always something new to discover. I’d say you haven’t really been to Berlin if you haven’t visited the East Side Gallery.
I just love how Berlin is full of art, memorials and history and another significant monument I visited for the first time. It’s the Berlin Tempelhof Airport. As the name suggests, Tempelhof has been used as an airport for various years, even during the war, and nowadays it is just a runway and a building that belongs to it. You can tour through the building to see the former airport from the inside, but I decided to just stroll along the runway. It felt amazing and honestly it was just like pure freedom. Also, it’s pretty awesome to take pictures on a runway, right?
I might have to add, that despite Berlin never being top on my list of places I wanted to go this was one of the best solo trips I have ever done. I enjoyed my time so much and had so much fun, I’m pretty sure that’s mostly because of the high number of places I’ve visited and things I’ve done. One of the highlights was definitely visiting the recording of Late Night Berlin. Getting a look behind the scenes, seeing famous people up close and being recorded while watching the show is definitely something special, and I can only recommend doing so if you know there’s a recording of a show or series you like in a place you’re going to visit.
A place you surely have to have on your list is the Alexanderplatz, or also called Alex. It is located just in the heart of the city and named after a Russian Tsar. The main highlight of the square is undoubtedly the Fernsehturm, the TV tower that thrones above it. If you’re not afraid of heights, you can head to the top of the tower and enjoy an impressive view over the city, if you instead spend your day on the ground, there are numerous restaurants, shops and shopping centres located around the square.
One of the most famous monuments that is still in use is undoubtedly the Reichstag. This is where German politicians are at work, and it is a stunning building with a glass dome. Usually, there's a huge garden in front of the building so you can take stunning pictures with it in the background, but during my stay, some constructions were going on on the square so sadly taking photos was pretty tricky for me.
Honestly, I first planned to put the full Berlin guide on the blog today, but it has already gotten so long, that I decided to split it up, as otherwise you would get bombarded with tips and suggestions. I really hope you liked this start and if you’ve ever been to Berlin, I’d love to hear about that