3 days of summer in Berlin

 

We left Berlin with the image of two young girls dancing to their own tune in the street outside the hotel: this is a good representation of Berlin’s essence, having this anti-capital feeling, calm with wide spaces, looking scrubby, alternative, young and free.

Besides this, Berlin is a concentrate of nineteenth century history having experienced some of the most insane moments of humanity – and maybe the reason why it couldn’t be more diverse today. Nazism, Cold War, and communism all had its part here and left a massive amount of footprints.

We didn’t have a roaming plan for Berlin, but we were actually intrigued by the ‘life in the districts’, in particular in gentrified districts that are now very popular.

On our fist afternoon we started from hip and arty area of Kreuzberg. The second day we walked through Berlin’s central area, from the Zoo through Tiergarten, Brandenburg Gate, Potsdamer Platz and up to Mitte. In Alexanderplatz we went on the TV tower to enjoy the view from the top. On our last day we got confident enough about cycling and after joining an underground tour of Berlin, we spent time in Prezlauer Berg, Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg.

Here’s our favourite bits and pieces.

summer in berlin

Couldn’t be more obvious? Summer in Berlin is gorgeous. The city is green, you can spend time at a cafe, in a beer garden, or simply relaxing in the shade at a park. We left Bergamo longing for temperature below 30 degrees and that’s exactly what we found. The days were sunny, the evenings fresh and soft.

cycling

This is one of the most fun aspects. Everybody cycles, there are cycling lane almost everywhere, and traffic lights for cyclists only. Luca kept riding in the middle of the lane blissfully, while I kept screaming pointlessly ‘stay on the right!!!’. Still, it felt amazing.

berlin UNDERGROUND

This underground tour – Berliner Unterwelten was suggested by friends. It took us underground in what was converted into an atomic bunker during Cold War. The tour is incredibly informative and highly recommended.

KREUZBERG, PREZLAUER BERG, FRIEDRICHSHAIN

These are some really cool districts that have mainly been gentrified. The first, Kreuzberg, still holds a scruffy look with graffiti covering main door entrances, and people still living in caravans reminding of the eastern squats. It has many cafes and restaurant and it’s definitely enjoyable to spend time in.

Prezlauer Berg is a lovely neighborhood, and where my friend Christina lives: large and leafy roads surrounded by greenery, spotted by cafes, restaurants and all you could need. A family friendly area that’s calm and cheerful.

Lastly, Friedrichshain, is the go-to night place. Here you can find the most famous clubs in Berlin, and Europe, lots of bars, little shops and youngsters. In addition you can visit the East Side Gallery, the remaining 1 km of former wall.

EATING OUT

There’s all sort of great food in Berlin, it feels like an affordable food mecca, where you can have a meal with 10-14 euro per person. And of course you have to taste Berlin currywust once at least. On our first night we went to Turkish Hasir in Kreuzberg: it’s an institution for huge and tasty kebabs and what not – we were not disappointed. On our second night we had dinner at Vietnamese Vibes in Prezlauer Berg. We loved the food, and the drinks were simply amazing. On our last night we ate at recommended Moroccan restaurant in Kreuzberg called Baraka, and literally devoured a platter in 5 minutes, despite mentioning not being hungry at all…!

AT LAST, MEETING UP WITH A LONG TIME FRIEND

We’ve know each other for over a decade, managing to meet only once in two years of so… nonetheless, every time we happen to do so, it feels like those desperate au-pair days in Brittas Bay, Ireland! Time has definitely passed, but it’s always a joy to reunite with this lovely soul.

 

 

 

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