It doesn’t have the romantic charm of Paris, of the Eiffel tower and moonlit walks along the Seine; it doesn’t have the nightlife of Amsterdam, the bustling red light district and calming coffee houses; and it lacks the classical charm of Vienna, but Berlin is a hidden jewel and one that is often overlooked.
The German capital is one of the youngest cities in Europe and in recent years has become one of the most popular cities for foreign creative types looking to settle down. This bohemian influx has turned Berlin into one of the best cities in Europe when it comes to nightlife, with an abundance of young people and scores of nightclubs, coffee houses and bars.
If dancing and drinking is too tame for your tastes, then you’ll be happy to know that prostitution is not only legal here but it is widely available and openly accepted.
Berlin is anything but seedy though, and unless you seek out this side of the city then you probably won’t even encounter it. Berlin is a great place for all the family, with the Berlin Zoo regularly rated one of the best zoos in the world, and Lego Land and the Sony Centre just a stone’s throw away. It is also a great place for couples of any age, as Berlin is renowned for being one of the cheapest capital cities in Europe, but one that has a vast array of fantastic restaurants. You can eat out every day here and still have enough of your travel budget left over to pay for entries into the local theaters, cinemas and clubs.
Berlin is an industrial city, but one with a hidden charm. The Brandenburg Gate, although rarely on anyone’s bucket list, is simply one of the most stunning landmarks on the continent, and in this reviewer’s opinion it is one that far eclipses the beauty of the Eiffel Tower, especially when viewed at night (as seen in the lead-in image for this article). The Reichstag is also breathtaking, a modern building with staircases that spiral to a domed top as if on a staircase to the top of the city.
Berlin is a city without many downsides and with few disappointments. This is possibly helped by the fact that few people go to Berlin expecting to be amazed or blown away, certainly not as much as they would in Paris or London — so when they enjoy themselves and discover all that this city has to offer, the memories stick with them and turn it into a memorable and magical experience.
If you’re planning a trip to this friendly, young and vibrant capital city then be sure to follow Body on Rocks’ 8 Things to Make Your Trip to Berlin Complete:
1. Sample the Food: It’s fair to say that the Germans are not well known for their cuisine, but Berlin is jam-packed with quality restaurants and fantastic food, and you’ll struggle to find such quality at such affordable prices anywhere else in Europe. Currywursts are their thing, but with so many dishes and so many cuisines, don’t limit yourself to one and get stuck in!
2. See The Brandenburg Gate at Night: This is a breathtaking experience and one that is sure to stay with you for a long time. It doesn’t get nearly as much respect as it deserves, but this landmark is awe inspiring.
3. See The Reichstag: There are queues and the bureaucracy to get in can be a tad annoying, but for an active government building this is to be expected. It is well worth the hassle and the wait, just make sure you don’t forget your camera.
4. See the History: Berlin’s history is a troubled one, and a lot of its past is still on show, including Checkpoint Charlie and segments of the Berlin wall. The holocaust memorial is also a beautiful and reflective location.
5. The TV Tower: Providing that you’re not scared of heights then this huge tower shouldn’t be missed. There is a restaurant on the top that slowly rotates, so you can take in the city from the best seat in the house. The prices here are actually more expensive than other restaurants and the food, strangely, probably isn’t as good, but it’s still an experience worth having.
6. Absorb Some Culture: Go to a club or a local coffee house and mix in with the locals. Berlin is a young and hip place, with plenty of cool and interesting people to meet.
7. See Tacheles: Tacheles is an artist’s paradise, with graffiti splashed all over the outside of the building and plenty of artwork and sculptures inside. This building was designed to be a department store before local artists took over and turned it into what is essentially a giant art project.
8.Museum Island: So called because of the collection of museums all located next to each other, this is a must-see for any visit to Berlin. You can cover all of the biggest museums in one day and you can also buy passes that get you into all of them at a reduced price.