Berlin. I was told that it’s the New York of Europe, although I have never been to New York so I can’t say whether I agree with that or not. What I do know of Berlin from my experience is that it is a busy and lively city and it’s great for artists. Berlin has a lot of history but it has a modern feel to it. It isn’t too expensive and it is very rich in history so you can really hit a lot of different areas and get a well-rounded trip.
Berlin is cool. People have their own sense of style and they don’t really care what anyone thinks of it. I have been also told that people aren’t the most friendly there to which I can say I have experienced friendly Berliners and also not so friendly, as it is in a lot of major cities. When a person lives in a big city they don’t really have the time to be friendly with everyone but when you get to know people individually it is much different.
When I first moved to Germany with my work visa I found that my massive suitcase I took with me had a broken wheel so I had to literally drag it on the ground to the hostel where it made an ear piercing sound like nails on chalkboard. People looked in my direction to see where the offensive noise was coming from then quickly looked away to avoid making me even more uncomfortable (I think).
While job and apartment hunting I got to see a lot of the city on foot. I ate every kind of new food I could get my hands on a sampled my fair share of delicious German beers!
One night when I was out with some people I met in my hostel we passed by an art studio party and then just decided we would go inside to see what it was all about. We walked in and everyone looks super…you know hip, I don’t mean hipster I mean actually really cool. Nobody seemed to notice us so we just grabbed some free beer and look at art then moved along to another bar with a metal dragon that breathed fire. I don’t think that would pass fire regulations in Canada. Sadly, I don’t have any photos of it but maybe I will go back someday and get some!
I remember dubstep was pretty big there at the time and there were a ton of really crazy discos (big dance clubs). You can experience this side of it and also do cultural things such as go on a walking tour. I went to the wall and Checkpoint Charlie and there they showed old photos of people trying to throw things over the wall that separated them for their loved ones. I had a great tour guide that brought us to the place above the underground bunker where Hitler committed suicide. When we arrived there he said “the area beneath your feet is where history took place and Hitler ended his life but today it is where locals take their dogs to shit.”
Berlin is a must-see if you are in Germany. A lot was destroyed in the war but it is somewhere you can go and learn about history right where it happened.