Travel Tuesday

Five things I learned about: Berlin

Holocaust Memorial, Berlin - travel diary
Words: @oliverinstead • Photo: Myself & David

As you may have noticed from my Instagram (follow me), I spent my last Bank Holiday weekend in Berlin and as with all my previous Euro trips, I’ve returned with five tips (?) I’d like to share with those of you who may be planning on a trip there or have always been curious about what the city is really like…

 

one It’s huuuuuge!

The size of Berlin is no joke. If you’re going there soon, make sure you prepare yourself and your feet (bring comfy shoes) for lots and lots of walking and transferring between S- and U-Bahn. Be sure to allow ample travelling time between one tourist spot and another, especially if you’re only there for a short period of time and aiming to hit all the major attractions in one trip.

 

Tempelhof Berlin - travel diary

 

two Vegetarianism is not a thing

Maybe I’m asking for too much here because the Germans are known for their carnivorism, or maybe I just didn’t know where to look… but honestly, I struggled to find many restaurants that served decent vegetarian options.
However, I did stumble upon a ‘vegetarian butcher’ on my first day in Bergmannkiez called Der Vegetarische Metzger (check out their website) They serve a selection of very tasty, very convincing cruelty-free ‘burgers’ and currywurst (!) – something I really wanted to try but wasn’t sure if I’d be able to find a veggie version but I did.

 

three The Sunday flea market at Mauerpark is a must

I love checking out local markets when I’m travelling, and this particular flea market is possibly the best one I’ve ever visited in all of Europe – it’s a good mix of indie makers and food vendors, and vintage clothing and antique furniture. Again, it takes at least a good hour or two to see it properly so remember not to make other plans for the day.

 

Universität Potsdam - travel diary

 

four …so is Potsdam

Potsdam is a city bordering Berlin about an hour train-ride away from Alexanderplatz… providing that the train runs smoothly. The area is famous for its complex of palaces and parks, which is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site so you can be assured that it’s as magnificent and beautifully quaint in the flesh as it is in photos. It’s also completely free to have a wander around the parks and the Sanssouci Garden, so if the weather permits, it makes for a great day out away from the city. Yes, it is outside Berlin so if you have a day to spare, you should deffo consider the option of visiting Potsdam – it’s worth it.

 

five You can do Berlin on the cheap

There are so many free things that you can do in and around Berlin – including all the attractions I’ve mentioned, and more… such as the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (aka the Holocaust Memorial), the Reichstag dome, the historic Tempelhof Airport, etc. etc. etc.

Transport-wise, we paid for a 72-hour Berlin Welcome Card (for Zone AB and C, so we could visit Potsdam), but I was under the impression that many people didn’t bother with tickets… which was shocking to me considering Germany’s reputations. What’s even more surprising was that we did not see an ticket inspector throughout the entire trip. So if you’re ever in Berlin, it’s up to you whether you want to risk getting caught on the off-chance for travelling without a valid ticket or you want to be a good tourist… I’m not saying it’s right, I’m just saying that a lot of people do and successfully get away with it.

 

Reichstag Berlin skies - travel diary Weinbergterrassen, Potsdam - travel diary

 

If I must be honest, Berlin is not my fave European city ever – I mean the weather treated us well and all but would I rush to return? Probably not, at least not by choice. I know many people who’ve been who’d happily go back at the drop of a hat, so I’m glad I went and made up my own mind and I’d recommend anyone to do the same!

 

What about you? Have you ever been to Berlin? If you say “Ja!“, what did you think of it? If you say “Nein…“, would you like to go? Let me know!!

 

Oliver ❤

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    katya willems
    September 5, 2017 at 9:04 am

    I’m super keen to go to Berlin! So thanks for the write up! And LOVELY photos x

    • Reply
      Oliver
      September 5, 2017 at 9:19 am

      As I said in the post, Berlin is not my type of city (but that’s just me) but I’d still recommend it because I know a lot of people love it!

      Oliver x

  • Reply
    MissPond
    September 5, 2017 at 9:04 am

    Shame about the food! I did really enjoy Berlin, definitely agree – like most cities walking is best and you’ll do lots of it so comfy shoes are a must :)

    • Reply
      Oliver
      September 5, 2017 at 9:18 am

      Food was a disappointment but a lot of other things made up for it, the weather for example… it was scorching!

      Oliver x

  • Reply
    Matt Thompson
    September 5, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    It’s a shame you didn’t have the best time over there, I’m one of those people who could happily go back over and over again! Annoying that you didn’t have much luck with the veggie food either – I seemed to come across loads of places offering up veggie options, but maybe I was just lucky! Great post, anyway! Love the photos!

    • Reply
      Oliver
      September 5, 2017 at 12:50 pm

      Thanks Matt! Yeah, maybe I was just really unlucky… but I had such a hard time finding ‘decent’ veggie options! That said, I’d go back for the flea market and maybe Potsdam though!!

      Oliver x

      • Reply
        Matt Thompson
        September 5, 2017 at 1:19 pm

        Oh yeah, the flea markets are a must for any trip! If you ever do go back, check out some of the food spots I covered on my blog – http://itsmattthompson.com/2017/05/36-hours-in-berlin/ – the falafels with peanut sauce at Sahara Imbiss are a great late night snack, and the brunch options at Chipps are impressive too!

        • Reply
          Oliver
          September 5, 2017 at 4:35 pm

          Ugh I wish I had seen your post before going there!!

          Oliver x

  • Reply
    Patrick
    September 5, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    There is a part of me that would want to see Berlin strictly from the historical point of view….but knowing that same history would make for a depressing trip in places. But overall,I would like to visit it

  • Reply
    Jenny
    September 5, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    Berlin has such an interesting history that it’s definitely worth visiting at least once.

  • Reply
    Laura
    September 5, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    I’ve travelled through Berlin a few times but never had long enough to stop and have a proper explore but keep wanting to go back. I know it’s huge! It has so much to offer and good to know about the veggie thing – will have to do some research before going on where to eat

    Laura x

    • Reply
      Oliver
      September 6, 2017 at 12:50 pm

      Hi Laura, it’s deffo worth a visit! And yes, definitely do your research before going because the city is absolutely ginormous!

      Oliver x

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