The wonderful thing about Berlin is you can actually visit most of the historical sites for free! You don’t even have to pay for a tour because they have a Berlin Free walking tour which brings you to the highlights of the city. We didn’t get the chance to Join the tour though because we only knew about it when we got there, haha! Will definitely try it the next time I visit. Berlin is also cheap compared to London and Paris (Thank the Lord! I only had little money left from Tromso so it was a breather when I saw the food prices.)
We came to Berlin with no exact itinerary. We booked a plane ticket and accommodation through airbnb and that was it. What to do? We didn’t know. How and where to buy train tickets? We didn’t know. Where to start? We didn’t know. What food to eat? Sausages! But where? We didn’t know.
I know I sound stupid not knowing anything but there’s always thrill and adventure with just being spontaneous and getting lost in the middle of train disruptions and untranslated train announcements and signs.
Yeaaaah, too much thrill. We spent two hours finding a different route and train from the Berlin Cathedral to East Side Gallery because there was a train disruption and we didn’t know why. There were too many police flooding the area. Bomb threat? No, the people were too calm for it to be a bomb threat. It was a good thing Berlin has City Mapper! and that JP was with me. I’d probably cry without him haha! I think I need to be braver when traveling.
Take note! Unlike in London where even the small shops accept cards, Berlin depends mostly on cash. Sucks for us we didn’t change currencies beforehand so we had to withdraw cash in euros. No contactless! Train tickets are bought through a ticket machine using coins and need to be validated. It was weird though because no one checks the tickets in the train stations or even on the train. Honesty is the best policy?
Since we were only staying in Berlin for two days, we skipped the museums and prioritized the important landmarks. So here are the places we went to in Berlin!
The Famous Brandenburg Gate
The Brandenburg Gate is one of Berlin’s most important monuments – a landmark and symbol all in one with over two hundred years of history. A former symbol of the divided city, it drew visitors who used to climb an observation platform in order to get a glimpse of the world behind the Iron Curtain, on the other side of the barren “death-strip” which separated East from West Berlin, geographically and politically. – (Berlin.de)
18th of March Square (Commemorates the events of 1848 revolution and the first free and democratic parliamentary elections)
I honestly underestimated the cold in Berlin. Spending three days in the Arctic Circle before going down to Germany made me think that I could manage to brave 1 degree with only longsleeves and a thick jacket. I was wrong. I was screaming inside the entire day and constantly going inside souvenir shops for warmth!
Reading the memorial walls was heart breaking. It’s scary to comprehend how humans can be so monstrous.
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
I hope there was more solemnity around this place. There were children running around and even adults trying to skate on the ice covered ground.
The Berlin Cathedral
The Altes Museum. This is one out of the five museums in Museum Island.
The Berlin Wall
Touching remnants of History
East side Gallery
“My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love”
The Kiss depicts Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev giving the East Germany President Erich Honecker what appears to be a passionate kiss on the lips. At first glance, you might think it’s a complete joke, with no bearing on reality. But the image was based on an actual photograph taken in 1979 in honor of the thirtieth anniversary of the German Democratic Republic–East Germany. – (http://www.disappearingman.com/berlin-wall/the-kiss/)
The East side Gallery
There were a lot of Graffiti about freedom and unity drawn on the wall.
(I had to pay 3 euros to have a picture taken with the Guards)
and of course, Currywust at Curry 36!