Tearing Down Walls in Berlin, Germany

David Bowie once referred to Berlin as the greatest cultural extravaganza that one could imagine.  Berlin is home to many historical landmarks such as the Berlin Wall and Holocaust memorial, it is a city with a dark, yet cultural past but also a strong art presence.  So, for these reasons and the fact that flights were so inexpensive that it was decided that our last trip of our “Mini Euro-Trip: May 2017” would be Berlin, Germany.  I find Berlin to be completely different than Munich, Germany – although they are the same country, the only strong similarities are the language and the delicious food – oh, and the huge steins of beer!

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Length of Stay: 2 days

Accommodation: Berlin Youth Hostel
– 16.00 Euro/a night
-– Very nice hostel, huge breakfast buffet included, cool lounges (which are perfect for charging your phone because…) no outlets near bed, so good luck charging your phone!  Really nice, clean rooms though.

Berlin is on high terror alert after so many unfortunate events, so I was a little anxious while visiting but you just need to stay alert and use your best judgement/ common-sense while visiting.  While visiting I did witness a large protest/march near Checkpoint Charlie and another odd spectacle in front of Brandenberg Gate, where a few men had set up a stand with nooses, pictures, and writing – I could not read the writing though because the minute I saw the nooses, I decided I didn’t want to further investigate.

Must-See:
Memorial of the Berlin Wall:  The Berlin wall separated Communist East Berlin from West Berlin – it is a major symbol of the Cold War.  This is a far walk from most of the other sites, but if you have the time it’s something you definitely have to see.  There is what is left of the wall, and across the street is a small museum to inform you of the history.
The Holocaust Memorial:  This is an architecturally beautiful memorial, however, it is a very emotional one as well.  There is a museum nearby dedicated to the Jewish people.
Tiergarten:  This is a beautiful garden which was located between our hostel and Brandenburg Gate, we would walk through it daily to visit any of the sites, but don’t try doing it at night – it gets way too dark inside!
Brandenburg Gate: This gate is one of the best known landmarks in Germany, it is a short walk from the Reichstag building which houses parliament and located at the opening of a huge square where you can find tourists bustling around and an occasional bike-rider selling one Euro pretzels.
Gendarmenmarkt: A beautiful square, full of architectural beauties such as the cathedrals and the concert hall.
Museum Island: UNESCO World Heritage site, one island with five museums and a beautiful landscape surrounding them.  If you’re looking for something to do on a rainy day in Berlin, worry not, all one needs to do is come to Museum Island.


Berlin Cathedral: Very beautiful!  I did not visit inside the Cathedral but went by it several times while on a boat tour.  It is located on Museum Island, the current building was finished in 1905, with much restoration taking place between the 1970’s and present time.
Checkpoint Charlie: This was a historical place which I felt I needed to visit, however, it has become quite touristy and felt very commercial.  Tourists posing with what I believe were actors and McDonald’s ads everywhere took away from this place quite a bit.
– Reichstag building:  This houses the German parliament and is located a short walk from both Tiergarten and the Brandenburg Gate. It was seized by the Nazis in 1933.  The tour is supposed to be amazing the glass dome beautiful – book in advance.
Drinking Boat Tours:  This is such a fun way to see the city, there are several different boat tours all at varying prices and some which offer alcohol.

FOOD!: German food may be one of my favorite cuisines in the world, here are a few places in Berlin where I found delicious food or enjoyed a great big stein of beer.
– Hopfingerbrau Am Brandenburger Tor: I am not even going to attempt to speak this name, but this place was located right by the Brandenburg Gate – Huge steins of beer were 11,50 Euro – my favorite is half beer half lemonade.  I didn’t try any food here but this place is definitely worth a stop when visiting the gate (sit in the back outside!)
– Buble Edelwibbier: 
Located in the Sony Center, this is another great place for a big stein of beer at an affordable price and to have some snacks while relaxing.
– Original Berliner Currywurst:
This place was located near checkpoint charlie and it was okay, I wouldn’t recommend it over other places I ate though
Brewdog: This was just a really cool place a short walk from the Berlin Wall Memorial, it was a brewery with really awesome beers and unique pizzas!  My friend Carson had a beer that was nearly 17% alcohol.


Ketels Grill: SO MUCH YES! This was a food stand that was absolutely delicious.  I had a bratwurst with fries and Carson had a currywurst with fries, the wait for food was a bit long but it was lunch time and everyone was local, there were a few construction workers eating here, and Germans on their lunch breaks.  You must stop here!!!
– Curry 61:  I did not eat here but the line was insane!  I definitely recommend visiting and seeing what the hype was about.


Ambrosius: This resturant was so delicious and the portions were huge.  It was affordable, and there were SO many choices.  I had the spaetzle which is like a egg noodle dumpling with beef goulash on top.  SO GOOD!!!! ( pictures above)

 

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