Berlin Surprised Me!
During my trip through Europe, I stopped in Berlin. I arrived at nighttime and had reservations at the City Stay Hostel, which is located in a very famous neighborhood of Berlin, the Mitte district. Since I arrived at night, I was very anxious to get to know Berlin. I had a lot of days to spend in the city and I always studied its history in school. I also spent time researching Berlin’s cultural diversity, which made me even more curious to visit. I was a bit disappointed during my visit because it rained SO much everyday I was in Berlin. I knew the city was still worth exploring so off I went!
On my first day in the city, it was raining so much and it was so cold that I had to set aside a few hours of the day for shopping. I shopped for gloves, rain shoes and so on. As I was staying in a very centralized area (very close to the TV tower), I was able to walk around all day discovering every corner of Mitte. Initially, I went to Alexanderplatz, one of the most famous squares in Berlin that has many shops around it. Later, I visited the beautiful Berlin Cathedral which is more famous than the Berliner Dom. The River Spree and all its surroundings deserves attention; its great dome catches the attention of all who pass around it. It was a Protestant cathedral that was bombed in World War II and rebuilt afterwards. I was fortunate to be in the city during the Berlin Festival of Lights, in which historical buildings gain special illumination, which makes them more beautiful. Finding places and events as cool as this made me realize that the thin rain and the cold were minor details and much less important than exploring the city.
The next day, I was well prepared for the cold and rain. I went to the place I most wanted to see; the Berlin Wall in the East Side Gallery! It was a long walk in fine rain to get to the wall. I confused the paths and ended up taking a longer route, but the whole trip was worth it! It was as if I was touching the story, seeing in person everything I studied for many years at school! It was such an exciting feeling that I can not even define. Everything the wall represents made me want to stay there all day. The Berlin Wall has paintings from both sides and I did not want to miss any. Next to the East Side, there is a train station where I had lunch in an Asian restaurant and because of the rain, I took a taxi to the famous Brandenburg Gate. In this region of the city, it is possible to do many walks and see many things. You will be very close Tiergarten Park and Building of the German Reichstag. This is one of the most striking buildings in Berlin but, unfortunately I did not visit this place because it is necessary to buy tickets at least 1 month in advance. You will also be able to walk to the Holocaust Memorial.
I also had the opportunity to visit the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, which is near Berlin. A guided tour leaves the Alexanderplatz in the morning. This was another place I was also looking forward to seeing due to so many books and movies I’ve seen about this sad part of German history. I also believe there are things that must be remembered to never be repeated. It was a truly a moment of reflection visiting a concentration camp.
Germany has many memorials and museums that tell the story of World War II. The Jewish Museum of Berlin was designed by the architect Daniel Libeskind. It is the largest Jewish museum in Europe and its exhibition takes you through Jewish-German history. The architecture of the museum is an attraction in itself and it draws much attention from the outside. You will read and learn about Jewish history through many documents and photos. I advise that this is a visit that must be done calmly, as it is somewhat emotional at times. I suggest reserving one morning for this museum. On this same day, I was also able to visit the Bauhaus Archiv, which is a famous school of architecture founded by Walter Gropius in 1919. It continues to influences the world architecture today.
Another special place in Berlin is the TV Tower. As I said earlier, the hostel I stayed in was very close to it. So I figured why not go see the city view and have a drink at its highest point? Surely the TV Tower is worth a visit: it’s an icon of Berlin. I feel that because of the cold and rain of October weather, I was not able to enjoy everything I wanted to . It is certainly in my plans to visit Berlin again during the summer months so I can get to know its much-buzzed about nightlife! There are also other museums and parks that I did not have time to visit. I also want to visit restaurants like The Pearl Bar, which is supposed to be absolutely amazing. Berlin is one of my favorite cities because it is very culturally rich, full of movement and diversity. It is worth a visit and I advise going in the summertime!