21. Flea Markets Are Always Packed With Weird Old Stuff
Whether it's a vintage phone, a quirky cigarette case or an old Soviet soldiers hat you'll find it all at the Berlin markets, the most popular being Mauerpark Fleamarket! If you're into finding rare oddities, find out the best flea markets in Europe here.
20. It's Full Of Crazy People... In The Good Way
Berliners are famous for their colourful and sometimes curious style, not to mention they tend to be the most open-minded people you'll ever meet. Taking the time to chat with locals in this wonderfully bizarre city is something every backpacker need to do!
19. It's Buzzing With Creative Culture
Within the bohemian culture of Berlin, you'll find the city is packed with artists, writers, actors, designers, poets. This is actually reflected on the city itself, you'll find random sculptures, art pieces and street performers scattered all over the place!
18. History's Buff Or Not, Berlin Has An Incredible Past
Even the most uninterested in history would find it hard to be captured by Berlin's past. It seems that from WW1 onwards Berlin has been the centre of international chaos. When you actually see the landmarks for yourself it gives you an enormous sense of how crazy Berlin's past was. It's hard to get your head around it. NEXT City Tours offer some pretty awesome free tours of the city.
17. The Street Art Is Pretty Badass
One of my favourite things about this insane city is the street art. It's hard to walk down most streets without your eye-catching some immaculate piece of graffiti on the wall. You'll soon find your Instagram overloading with photos of beautifully bizarre and bold pieces of street art. Totally worth checking out the 'Alternative City' tour!
16.You Could Literally Dress Like A F*cking Weirdo & It's Considered No Biggie
Spotting someone on the U-Bahn covered confetti, in a bodysuit with whiskers painted on their face is a weird experience for any first-time Berliners. You start to question why isn't anyone blinking an eye at this? Am I only the only person seeing this? Did someone drop some LSD into my Cornflakes this morning? Relax. You're not high, or insane. This is Berlin. This is the norm.
15. Picnics In Tiergarten Are Always Splendid
It's safe to say that learning about the horrendous history of Berlin that you can be left feeling a tad bit down. I always love gathering a few new friends from the hostel or tour, grabbing a few cold ones and heading down to Tiergarten to hang out. It's hard to find a great spot in this park because it's filled with pretty ponds, leafy trees and patches upon patches of lovely green grass. Not to mention it's a huge park. So it's tough to pick one spot to chill, chat and throw a frisbee around.
14. And On The Runway of Tempelhof Airport is A Pretty Great Spot Too...
Only in Berlin would there be an out of use airport to chill in. This an experience you'll only find here in Berlin. Surprisingly it's not that well known by tourists, which makes it all the better spot to meet locals, or impress your dorm mates. So head down with your hostel pals and warm up your liver for the madness of Berlin's nightlife.
13. The Nightlife Is Probably The Best In Europe
Awh the madness of Berlin's nightlife. It's one of the wildest places to party in Europe, if not the most. Berlin after dark is a city of play, intense techno and it's where you'll meet that guy with the whiskers you saw on the U-Bahn earlier. It's hard to know where to start really, that's why with most cities I travel to I check out a pub crawl for the first night. Just to find my feet. The Backpackers PubCrawl was my pub crawl of choice in Berlin, and to this day I can't get over how insane it was.
12. Not To Mention There's So Many Weird Places To Go
Berlin is all about finding ''underground'' party hubs. This is where you'll find the true Berliners. I once spent a night in some kind of shack talking with a gang of Berliners casually dressed in top hats and old fur. These places are often difficult to locate, so always ask the lovely folk working in the hostel. Keep in mind many of these places are located on the outskirts of Berlin, but they're always worth sussing out.
11. And You Can Party For Days On End
Once you've been accepted into a group of Berliners you'll suddenly find yourself in an underground rave at an ungodly hour after two days of meeting them. This is one of the ways that makes Berlin unforgettable. The hangover will certainly loom over you for a few days, but it's totally worth it.
10. The Food Is Incredible For Hangovers Too
Whether it's a full vegan brunch, a cheeky kebab or some greasy burgers you're after Berlin has it all. Do avoid hitting up a Burger Kind or McDonalds, the local food is ten times better, and usually a lot cheaper. You can find some awesome brunch spots here.
9. Everything Is Something Else
Everything is not quite as it seems in Berlin, think of it as the Wonderland of Europe. A public toilet is actually a photobooth, a van is actually an entrance to an exclusive nightclub or a subway bathroom is actually a Burger joint (pictured above). Yep, nothing is never quite what it seems, and you'll love it.
8. The East Side Gallery Is F*cking Cool
Marked across 1.3km of the old Berlin wall are 102 individual pieces of art created by international artists. What I find makes the East Side Gallery particularly beautiful is what the wall now stands for. Once the symbol of oppression and restriction, it now symbolises freedom and hope for the future. Anyone of a young generation will feel the incredible sense of fortune living in the modern world and be immensely impressed by the art of the wall.
7. Beer, Beer, Beer
How could you come to Berlin and not sample their glorious beer? As an avid beer drinker, it's tricky to decide on which beer you want to gurgle down! Beer halls are always good fun, it's also a great way to meet people, even outside of Oktober fest! But there also on the expensive side. Head to your nearest alcohol outlet and pick out a few different beers, always a great way to start the night!
6. The View From TV Tower Is Awesome
Very touristy yes, but totally worth it. Located in Alexanderplatz, formally East Berlin, it's €13 quid to check out the view at the top. But what you see is incredible. From the top you can really see how Berlin was divided by the style of architecture, and also how vast Berlin really is. Plus it's fun to feel on top of the world!
5. It's Super International
Berlin has people from over 140 nations living in it. You shouldn't be so surprised if you turn a corner and find yourself in the middle of Mardi Gras. It's one of my favourite things about Berlin. You never know who you're going to meet, and the awesome stories they have!
4. Museums, Museums Errrrwhere
I suppose I'm a bit of a nerd, but f*ck you museums are cool ok! And Berlin has tons of them! Underground bunkers, Stasi Headquarters, Checkpoint Charlie, the list goes on! Not to mention Berlin actually has a museum island, an island! Nom nom nom knowledge.
3. It's Like Three Cities In One
From the newly built Potsdamerplatz, the old Alexanderplatz and the gorgeous Charlottenburg (West Berlin) all hold different kinds of architecture, cultures and attractions. I recommend renting a bike and checking the whole city out!
2. Currywurst Is So Bad It's Good
Yep, frankfurters, ketchup and currypowder is a thing here in Berlin. Or at least I think they're the main ingredients. You'll find this dish all over Berlin, from food stalls to restaurants. It may not appeal to the eye, but to your hungover soul it's pretty great. It's a pretty cheap snack too! You can pick it up for under €5 in the majority of places!
1. Berlin Is Always Buzzing
It's impossible to run out of places to go, things to eat, people to meet in Berlin! It's literally has everything from relaxing, beautiful parks, intense history to an insane nightlife! So what are you waiting for! Start planning your escape to Germany's crazy capital right away!
By Berlin & Beer addict, Catherine Munnelly.