28 May 2014

Berlin | InterRail Travels

Berlin was the first stop on our trip and was a great way to begin.  I'm fortunate to have been to Berlin before, albeit when I was seventeen, so I had a vague idea of what to expect.  When I visited the first time, it was November, this time we happened to arrive in a heatwave of around 22ºC.  I appreciate this may not seem like that hot to some people, but you have to bare in mind that I live in the north of England, far from anything that resembles warmth.

We stayed for three days and two nights exploring the city and trying some very delicious local food.  There wasn't enough time to fit in everything, but I will share with you some of our favourite spots.




In Mitte, the most central borough of Berlin, we enjoyed the Berliner Dom (Cathedral) and the  Lustgarten, right in front of the iconic Altes Museum.  Such beautiful architecture and a great atmosphere, with people lying out relaxing on the lawns, listening to incredibly talented buskers and enjoying the warmth from the unexpected weather.  The quality of the street music is actually something that we found really amazing whilst in Germany.



There were also deck chairs laid out along the Spree and in the garden opposite there, which made for a great pitstop.  Towards the Dom there are restaurants and bars lining the bank of the river, which reminded me a little of the South Bank in London.  A little further away from there was a whole host of different restaurants, each with rather large expanses of outdoor seating (which is something pretty rare back home) and even more live music. The first night we stopped for dinner at a restaurant called Restauration 1840, which had the most authentic German cuisine we could find (we found a lot of Italian restaurants, which wasn't so helpful as we were going to Italy later in our trip).  Kyle tried his first currywurst, entitled Die Beste Currywurst der Stadt (the best currywurst in town) which ended up looking dainty and refined compared to the beast that I ordered.  I failed to notice the weight written in small text next to the name of the dish, Sweinschaxe or pork knuckle with sauerkraut, gravy and potatoes, which was 800-850g!!  Rest assured I ended up sharing the mountain of meat and crackling with my very pleased boyfriend.




Brandenburg Gate is another iconic place to visit, although very touristy.  We popped into the Akademie der Künste to escape the crowds, to be greeted by yet more wonderful architecture, although this time of the modern variety.  We walked out the back and then went to the Holocaust Memorial.  It is made up of large concrete blocks of varying heights, some almost 8 feet.  The ordered manner in which they are laid out, creates a weave of maze-like passages where if you're not careful, you could quite easily turn a corner right into another person without even expecting it.  A part of the concept is to create a feeling of uneasiness and confusion, which it certainly does.  A must see in my opinion.



We also visited the Gemäldegalerie to get an art fix, as Kyle and I love visiting galleries both for inspiration and for their therapeutic qualities.  The Gemäldegalerie has one of the best collections of European art from the 13th century to the early 19th.  We saw the works of Dürer, Rubens, Rembrandt, Vermeer and more.  One thing to know about this gallery is that it is absolutely huge, we were there for a good few hours, plus I highly recommend getting the audio guide.  They usually irritate me, but this one was actually quite interesting and also a good break from the silence after a while!



I love visiting supermarkets when I am abroad, because there is always so much that is different and that I want to try.  We made good use of the budget option known to us as the 'picnic tea', where we bought things like cheese, fruit, salad and cooked meat (and chocolate of course) and then ate it in our room!  We even found really yummy and cheap beer and wine to go with it.  In Germany, Aldi and Lidl are the cheapest places we found to get picnic teas, plus snacks and bottled water for the days out exploring.



Another absolute must for a trip to Berlin is the Eastside Gallery.  It is a 1.3 km section of the original Berlin Wall which has some amazing art and graffiti on it created by over one hundred different artists from around the world.




If you didn't know already, I love computer games, so the next obvious stop for us and somewhere all video games lovers should go is the Computerspielemuseum (Computer Games Museum).  As we entered the museum, we were greeted by statues of Link, Lara Croft and Rayman!   There is loads on the history of computer games, old arcade games like Pong and also loads of games that you could play yourself, including an arcade.



The end of our stay in Berlin ended at the train station watching the sun set, before hopping on the night train to Munich to continue our adventure!  



If you are interested to know, we stayed in the East Seven Hostel, which I would recommend if you are travelling as a couple.  The rooms were a decent size and very comfortable and the communal bathroom was always very clean.  We absolutely loved Berlin and vowed we would return in the future.  It is a great city and so easy to get around, so you can fit loads in even in a short period of time.

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2 comments

  1. Oh wow, Berlin looks heavenly! You have some brilliant pictures :) I have a friend studying there for a month this Summer and I am absolutely gutted that I'm almost definitely going to be too busy to go! I will definitely be putting it on my travel wishlist though!

    Imogen // imogenscribbles

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    1. Thank you! You should definitely visit when you have the chance, it is such a great city.

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