A eurotrip is not complete without Berlin. Affordable food and transport, a vast array of hostels, some of the best nightlife on the planet, and swathe of cheap (or free!) activities makes Berlin perfectly suited to any budget. I absolutely loved my time in Berlin and would go back in a heartbeat!
Where To Go
- Berlin Wall Eastside gallery – A section of the Wall that’s been painted with urban art, many of the murals portraying the challenges of the cold war faced by local residences. This is a free sight to enjoy.
- Checkpoint Charlie – A preserved checkpoint crossing when the city was divided into East and West Berlin. There is also some information nearby to gain further insight into the strictness of this border crossing during the cold war. Both are free to have a look at.
- Reichstag dome – An architectural sight to behold built on top of the German parliament, which can be seen through this glass structure. This is free to visit but must be booked in advance. We suggest booking a couple of weeks ahead to ensure a place.
- Mauerpark – Every Sunday the Mauerpark comes alive with buskers, entertainers, second hand goods vendors, food and drink stalls as well as many locals and tourists enjoying the atmosphere and green open parkland. This is a perfect place for backpackers to find some bargains and take part in a popular local weekend event.
- The Holocaust Memorial – This chilling memorial provokes many thoughts when walking through it and should be a must see for anyone visiting the city. It is also free to visit.
- Kreuzberg – This suburb of Berlin has emerged as quite an alternative trendy area of the city, filled with many bars and cafes. A great place if you feel like a walk around to soak up some of the cities vibe.
These are just a few of the many places worth visiting in Berlin. Alexanderplatz, the Stasi museum, The Topography of Terror museum, Tiergarten (where victory column is situated) and Teufelsberg, a former U.S spy station, are also all worthwhile visits when in the city.
The East Side Gallery has really cool artworks
Where To Stay
I stayed at Check In Hostel, which was cheap and basic in a decent location near checkpoint Charlie. However there is vast range of hostels/hotels in Berlin to suit every taste and budget, so have a quick search to find one that suits you.
What to Eat and Drink
Currywurst, a steamed then fried pork sausage seasoned with curry ketchup nearly gives you a heart attack after one serve, but is a worthy local cuisine to sample.
There is a thriving Turkish community in Berlin, so there are plenty of delicious Döner Kebabs to enjoy! Kebabs are now one of the most popular fast food dishes a great cheap and option for lunch or dinner or an end of night refuel. Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebap is a tiny kebab shop in Kreuzberg which supposedly sells the best kebabs in Berlin – people have actually waited for hours to get their hands on one!
A big pretzel is also a must try when in Berlin or Germany and a great snack to have along with a coffee or other break-time drink.
There are many tasty yet cheap beers on offer and drinking in public places like parks is an accepted practice in Berlin and Germany.
How To Get Around
Berlin has a well-developed, clean, efficient and cheap metro system. It gets you to within walking distance anywhere within the city and only costs a couple of euros. The metro can also get you to any of Berlin’s Airports, Train or Bus stations when arriving or departing from the city.
Berlin’s underground nightlife is simply incredible, with some of the most unique and extraordinary nightlife hotspots out there. Clubs such as Tresor (located in an abandoned power plant), Berghein (within an old railway warehouse) Watergate and Sisyphos are all worthy nightlife scenes. However it can be difficult to get into clubs as they have very strict and specific entry requirements (we found this out the hard way).
There are many tips and tricks out there on getting in. These include, sticking with a small group (4 people or less), not looking at your phone whilst queuing, speaking some German, doing some research into the DJ’s or bands playing on the night and checking what the dress code is. Getting some inside knowledge and going along with a local friend would certainly help!
A final piece of advice would be to avoid the organised bar crawls advertised in many of the hostels. In some cities, these can be good if you can’t find much information on nightlife, but Berlin is thriving and you can definitely organise it yourself.