Exploring Berlin – 2-day city guide

After my quick visit to Hamburg, I finally headed to the incredible Berlin. I’ve always felt like I needed to visit Berlin as soon as possible, as it is such an important city filled with history and culture!

Here’s a little sum up of what I’ve done in 2 days and feel like it was enough to make me fall in love with the city:

 

Berliner Fernsehturm – TV Tower

View from Hostel Wombats

This huge TV tower (368 meters), located in Alexanderplatz , was built by GDR and it’s one of the symbols of the city. This is not, by far, the most important thing in the city but you can see it from literally anywhere!

 

Reichstag and the Dom

The Reichtag (parliament) is already a pretty impressive building by itself but the dome on top adds something else to it.

You can (and should!) visit the dome for free, however, do book it online it advance (here). It has this incredible 360º view over the city and the architecture is brilliant!

 

Bradenburg Gate

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Bradenburg Gate

This is probably the most famous touristic site of Berlin, the one that appears on post cards and it has “seen” lots of history. It was once the main entrance of Berlin, and it was rebuilt by the reunited Germany , after being destroyed during WWII.

 

Memorial to the Murdered Jews in Europe

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Memorial to the Murdered Jews in Europe

This place was built to honor the memory of the murdered jews during the holocaust. Besides the memorial statues, this venue has a museum below, where you can learn about the reality of the Holocaust and see some true stories about the victims  .

Emotion wise, the museum has pretty strong content and it’s a huge reality slap, however I think it’s worth to see what happened back then.

 

Tiergaten

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Tiergaten

Visiting parks is always something that I like to do, so obviously I had to take a look to the Berlin’s green”lung”. It is the biggest and most famous in the city and it goes along a big avenue that ends in the huge Victory Column.

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It was originally a hunting area and now it’s a park is huge re creative area where you can run, have a pick-nick or just relax.

 

Checkpoint Charlie

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Checkpoint Charlie used to be the crossing point in Berlin Wall between east and west Berlin during the cold war. It’s was often the place where people tried to escape from the east side. This place stands literally on the middle of the street, with some actors pretending to be the guards, so it kind of looks like you traveled back in time.

 

Terror topography

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Outdoors area of Topography of Terrors

Located in the former GESTAPO headquarters area, this museum shows everything there is to know about the horrible Nazi regime, the timeline of the happenings, people involved and photos of what happened.

It also used to be in the border between the soviet and american sector, and here, you can still see a bit of Berlin wall and an exhibit outdoors.

 

Gendarmenmarket

Opera house at Gendarmenmarkt

This square is composed by beautiful buildings of incredible architecture and it usually has a typical market – specially on Christmas. Sadly for me, there wasn’t a market on the day and it was empty with locals passing around, however is always nice to take a sit and check out the buildings.

 

Museum island

This place is mandatory visit! It has some incredible museums and the well known Berlin’s cathedral.

Berlin cathedral
Berlin Cathedral
Berlin Dome

This probably one of the most popular sights you’ll see in Berlin – truly postcard material!  I didn’t get in because I didn’t had a lot of time and I’m not a church fan, but the view from outside is definitely worthy.

 

Pergamon Museum
Altar Pergamon
Altar Pergamon by turistando.in

This amazing museum is filled with archaeological pieces of art. The most impressive things to see at this museums are (undoubtedly) the Pergamon Altar, the Ishtar Gate and the Market gate of Miletus.

Unfortunately, Pergamon was under construction (almost cried when I saw it) so I didn’t get in, but I promise: I will be back and step on this historical treasure!

 

East Side Gallery

 

East side gallery is the longest piece of Berlin wall standing and is basically an open air street art museum. It has tons of urban art pieces criticizing important political and cultural matters that keep changing – which is kind of the “magic” of urban art.

The most known piece would be the “the kiss”.

As long as you walk around this area you’ll see that is pretty trendy, lots of concept coffee shops and nice places to chill.

 

Where and what to eat in Berlin?

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When you visit Berlin, keep in mind that they love the concept of street food, so usually what you find on the streets is good!

I haven’t tried many restaurants in Berlin but, if you like burgers, do not miss BURGERMEISTER! It’s a super small place – literally a balcony with a tent (only in the winter I guess) below a bridge, in which you eat standing the yummiest, juiciest, most delicious burger EVER! And it’s super cheap.

Talking about traditional food, obviously you have to try the curry wurst – a sausage with ketchup and curry. Pretty simple, pretty german, pretty good! It’s sold all over the city.

Another interesting place that might be worth to check out (and that I ran in by coincidence!) is Ramones Museum and Coffeeshop , a true altar to the band and where you can visit the museum or just have a beer at the coffee place.

 

Where to stay in Berlin?

I’ve stayed at Wombats Berlin Hostel which was amazing! Perfectly located, really comfortable bed and spacious room and amazing breakfast for a cheap price!

 

Other places that might interest you:

Tempelholf – an abandoned airport turned into a huge park where people can hang out.

Charlottenburg – The biggest palace in Berlin and one of the main atractions.

Berlin brought me mixed feeling, because it’s a confusing city: it’s not pretty and it has so much going on, but it makes up for its culture and all the history that it bares. It’s a crucial city to visit for any traveler!

 

Don’t forget to follow me on my Instagram and Facebook to see what I’m up to! Either for Portugal related content or all about my travels !

Happy travels, always! 

Catarina

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24h in Munich: 8 things to do

Hi guys!

I visited Munich with a few friends while I was doing exchange,  in literally 24h – I know it seems impossible, but it was the amount of time we had, so we decided do take a chance. Despite it was a very short stay, I feel like it was plenty of  time to get the essence of the city and I actually really enjoyed the trip!  Better safe than sorry, am I right? 🙂

So here’s my advice of 10 things to do while staying in Munich for 24 hours! 

  1. Start out in Marienplatz

This is the main square of the city, so it only makes sense you start your visit by seeing it. Its amazing architecture, people walking around and its life are what makes it so special. In my opinion, it just makes you stop and stare into this magical square. I was lucky enough to visit while there was a festival due to a public holiday, so I was able to have a beer and a wurst there and see the typical bavarian costumes! How cool is that? 🙂

 

 

2. Have a beer at the Biergarten

This one is so obvious right?! German beer is famous for a reason –  because it’s freaking delicious! And having it on its “natural habitat” is a great experience! I loved the taste and thickness, but I found specially funny the way  they throw the beer from one side of the table to another, so naturally… I wouldn’t try this at home ! 😀

 

3. Eat a wurst

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Another obvious thing to do! The germans are specialists in what it comes to sausages, so what else would you eat in Germany?

They have a lot of types of wurst, but the best one (the one they advise you to eat) is the currywurst. It was quite spicy, which is not really my thing, so I had the normal one, and it was delishhhh!

 

 

 

4. Walk under the Kalstor Gate

It used to serve to defend the city, they were remodelled and now it divides the city center from the suburbs. It is definetly a really interesting thing to see and to pass by.

 

5. Walk around Hofgarten

This is a beautiful garden to spend a few hours during spring. It is very well treated, full of flowers and with a beautiful fountain and you can also see a few people, wether couples walking around or people passing by. Either way, it’s definetly worth the look. I don’t know if it happens often, but I got lucky again and saw a few people dancing tango inside the bandstand,  which was truly wonderful.

 

 

6. Odeonplatz

Another amazing square in the city that sometimes has held a small market.

 

7. Visit Dachau Concentration Camp

This was the first Nazi concentration camp, and it was the most impressive thing I ever saw in my life. The camp just brings you back to all the brutal things that used to happen there – it shows perfectly what a terrible time it was and how horribly people were treated. Since the “beds” that used to be packed with people, the bathrooms that had horrible conditions and the gas chambers… Just terribly sad, there are no other words to describe it. It is sad to see this didn’t happen that long ago, and that people were actually treated so horribly. Despite this was a horrible part of history, I advise anyone to go, as it makes you think and understand what happened.

 

 

8. Viktuallienmarkt 

Of course, I would have to name a market in the city, which is probably my favorite thing to visit. This one is a typical farmer’s market, it has nothing different but is quite european and interesting, so if you have time check it out.

What about you? Have you ever visited Munich? Tell me all about it ! 

 

Lots of Love, 

Catarina