It was a last minute decision to visit this city. I have always wanted to see Berlin whenever I was in Paris, but it never worked out until this time. I thought it would be just as cold as New York, but turns out it’s slightly warmer than our polar vortex. I had only 2 days so I hit the ground running.
I started with the Reichstag building. It’s a parliament building that’s open to the public and it was an amazing spot to see the cityscape and Berlin’s architecture. The city has amazing modern buildings mixed with old. Note that you need to make an appointment with your passport in order to go up, and this needs to be done a couple of hours prior. I was lucky I had my passport in my bag, otherwise it would have been a painful process. I wonder how many tourists have to do this trip twice or miss it because of this requirement.
After making the appointment I had a couple of hours to kill, so I walked to the close by Jewish Memorial. It looks like far away gravestones, and people get hidden in the grid. It’s serene, sad and amazing at the same time. A lot of Berliners told me they never have visited it even though they live here. Maybe it’s too painful a memory. Or maybe it’s more like New Yorkers never going to see the Stature of Liberty? In any case it’s a memorial created so we would never forget and for me it was must visit.
Art is everywhere in Berlin. The East Berlin Wall Gallery is a stretch of what is left of the Berlin Wall after people tore it down. Various posters of peace interpreted by different artists were truly amazing to see. I love that what once divided the country has become an art exhibition. I also visited small galleries including Kickin’ Berlin, the Jewish Museum, and the Berlin Gallery. I missed the Museum island which I was told you need the whole day to see. Next time!
Berlin is New York in the 80’s. It’s a mecca for young creatives. So much art is happening here that it’s overwhelming. People are chill and real. The city is a bit spread out so it seems so quiet but it’s like ducks in the pond. A LOT is happening underneath.
Locals hang at the hidden bars without names and I was lucky to have a local as a tour guide to take me around to these hidden gems. You don’t need to dress up since everywhere is pretty casual. They will laugh if you order champagne at the bar… stick to hard liquor or beer.
I loved the Berlin Soho House. It used to be a communist party building—I love that juxtaposition. The building is beautiful and the service was amazing. I think by far it’s the best SOHO house—I’ve been to the ones in New York and Miami. And Germans are actually really nice. The top of SOHO house offers the most amazing view of Berlin including the television tower.
I feel like two days were stretched to the max, but it was only scratching the surface. I would love to come back here when it’s bit warmer to explore more. The food was also amazing; you really couldn’t get bad food. Check out Mama Eats for more on food in Berlin.