The city of Berlin really surprised me in the best possible way. I want to go everywhere and see everything, so naturally I was excited to visit Berlin, but I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did. I pictured it as being sort of a grungy/industrial/hipster mecca. There certainly is that side to the city, but Berlin has so much more to offer. Really, whats not to love?
Berlin has a notorious and very dark history, but it helps shape the city you see today. I love Berlin’s willingness to confront the more upsetting parts of their history rather than sweep them under the rug. From WWII to the Berlin Wall, you will find reminders of Berlin’s history everywhere in the city. Not only is this important for educational purposes (those who don’t learn from history and whatnot), but it’s also fascinating. Those with firsthand knowledge of WWII Berlin are getting fewer and fewer, but the fall of the wall was recent enough that you can still find plenty of locals to chat with about life in East and West Germany. Buy a local a beer and prepare some eye opening tales.
You can find all of the German classics in Berlin; pretzels, bratwurst, sauerkraut, but Berlin has so many immigrants and transplants that world cuisine is really where this city shines. Perhaps the most notorious Berlin food is a blend of traditional German cuisine and international flavors; the currywurst, a food so famous it has it’s own museum! Of course no trip to Berlin would be complete without a late night doner kebab! My personal favorite though, was Fes Turkish BBQ. I had never experienced a Turkish BBQ, or even heard of one before (thanks to Per from Berlin Food Stories for the introduction). The experience at Fes is to enjoy some amazing starters and sides, while you heat up your table and cook your own perfectly marinated meat!
Out of such a dark history, Berlin has emerged as a fun and fanciful city. There are touches of whimsy hidden all over the city to be discovered. From the gardens, to the street art, to the beach clubs, you’ll find fun little touches designed for the sole purpose of making passersby smile.
4- Dance Halls
You read that right. Dance hall culture is alive and well in Berlin. Tango, foxtrot, swing, whatever your fancy may be, there’s a place for you to learn and practice your steps in Berlin. This is a big deal! Believe me, it’s hard to find a place to tango in 2016!
5- Real Estate Prices
This is perhaps the best thing about Berlin. Central Europe at an affordable price? Who knew that was still possible? The market is still recovering after the reunification which is great news for investors and those looking to expat in Europe on the cheap. Unfortunately, the rest of the world has caught wind of this and prices have been steadily increasing over the past few years, so act fast! While it may not be quite as cheap as it was a few years ago, it’s definitely an affordable option to keep in mind should the worst happen with the upcoming U.S. election 😉
Many thanks to Visit Berlin for inviting me to explore this incredible city, as always opinions are my own.