Sometimes, my favourite trips are the ones where I revisit cities. First trips usually mean doing a slew of overly touristy things, but revisiting cities means that you can do fun local things, like trying out new restaurants and cafes, and partying and staying out until dawn, and not carrying the burden of having a huge list of things-to-do for the next day.
I was in Berlin this weekend visiting my friend Martin, and having already seen all the major attractions such as the Brandenburger Tor, Reichstag, Fernsehturm, the Berlin Wall, and East Side Gallery last year, I think I had even more fun this year, being able to do everything from clubbing to even visiting a concentration camp.
Unlike most major cities, Berlin is not only artsy and hip, but also refreshingly cheap. I also decided to try Mitfahrgelegenheit, after several friends recommended it to me. It’s a really popular German car pooling website, and a really cheap way of traveling around the country. Other than having to overcome my fear of speaking German on the phone (in person, I can make hand gestures if I’m lost for words), the site itself really is safe and easy to use. If you’d like to save money on your transportation costs, I would definitely recommend it!
For those looking to check out some interesting things in Berlin, here’s a few of my recommendations!
Typography of Terror (Typographie des Terrors)
This is a really interesting free museum, in which the site of the building used to be where the old headquarters of the Gestapo and the SS were located. Located on Prinz Albrecht Strasse, it used to be one of the most feared places in Berlin. Presently, the building is a modern-looking steel and glass rectangle, and focuses on showing photos, the history of the headquarters, and short biographies on the Nazis involved during WWII.
Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp
While I definitley do not “like” this, it is worth a visit if you’re a history buff. Located in Oranienburg, just outside Berlin, this concentration camp/museum lets you take a glimpse into the horrors that happened during the Holocaust. While Sachsenhausen wasn’t intended as an extermination camp (large numbers of Jews were sent to Auschwitz from here), there were gas chambers and execution trenches set up, and walking through them was definitely a chilling experience. I’m going to make another post about my trip there, so check back for more photos!
Corroboree Australian Bar
This bar and restaurant is located in the Sony Centre, and is pretty expensive and probably catered toward tourists. Regardless, it was kind of fun going, since me and Martin met in Australia two years ago, and their Aussie themed restaurant with boomerangs, kangaroos, and didgeridoos definitely brought back some good memories of the trip! You can even order kangaroo and crocodile meat, as well as Australian wines and my favourite….Bundaberg rum!
I love Indian food, and while a good Indian restaurant is hard to find in Mannheim, Indian restaurants are plentiful in Berlin. After some trial and error, we found this place called Goa II, a cute, trendy little place, filled with a young crowd. Their dishes aren’t too expensive, and the portions are huge! I ordered something off the grill, which I definitely recommend. After you finish your meal, they also give you a complimentary mango shot, which I find really cool (children get a small pack of gummy bears).
So I’m thinking of heading back to Berlin for my birthday weekend. Until April, Berlin! You’ll be missed! What are some of your favourite things to do in Berlin?