(I) Berlin: city impressions

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Last week I was in Berlin for 5 days, for the very first time! I felt really inspired by its architecture and people, so I took a lot of pictures to share my experience with you.

The city’s history

To understand the uniqueness of Berlin, you need to understand its history. It has such a big influence on todays inhabitants that you can’t ignore it. We took a Free Tour that started at Brandenburger Tor, guided by a PHD History student. Although the tour is becoming more and more commercialized (they stop at Starbucks for a drink + they expect that you pay at least €10 at the end), I would still recommend it! You learn so much more than you would by simply reading about it, since it’s animated. The first picture (above) is of course the Wall, including a local guy with a very impressive beard.

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Memorial of the Murdered Jews of Europe
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a whole street of the same former DDR houses, it looks kind of sad

On the road

Berlin is a really big city, so you need to walk a lot. We were staying in Kreuzberg in an Airbnb apartment, very close to the metro station Schlesisches Tor. The neighborhood is rather ‘alternative’ and calm, although it’s in West Berlin. It felt very unlike Brussels, where it’s always crowded with cars and tourists. We could even walk side by side with 4 people without bothering anyone. 

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metro station – I love the colors!
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a wall standing by itself, close to the East Side Gallery
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strange blue water pipes in the city center
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waiting for the train to Oranienburg
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Ich liebe mein leben
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there are simply no traffic signs without any stickers on it

People

I saw a lot of people with piercings, tattoos and/or blue hair, especially in Kreuzberg. It’s not exceptional to see a group of people in black latex clothing leaving a private party early in the morning. Some of them are really eccentric! The majority of Berlin people is really friendly, openminded and relaxed. A lot of them were willing to speak to us in English and they didn’t see us as annoying tourists (and of course we didn’t act like that 🙂 ).

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girl with 3 dogs, teaching them how to cross the street
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exhausted after partying all night long, seems to be a common scene in Berlin
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people in latex looking like dolls & action figures – Get Human

Food culture

Like Brussels, Berlin is very multicultural in terms of food and restaurants. The big difference is the high number of vegetarian and vegan restaurants and biological supermarkets. Almost every restaurant has several vegetarian options on the menu.

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postcard found in an organic food shop
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the real Berliner, looks very tempting, but almost the size of a football! 

This was part I of my Berlin travel report. Make sure you see part II about art in Berlin & part III about the concentration camp in Sachsenhausen (coming soon).

I hope you enjoyed it! Feel free to leave a comment in English, Dutch of French.

 

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