How was living in Berlin Jen? – I get this question frequently. How are the people over there? are they friendly or not? Could you find a job easily? and how is the housing market? What are your favorite places in Berlin and what are the must sees?
Well let me start by saying that Berlin is one of the most friendly cities I have ever encountered. From the moment I arrived I felt welcome and more importantly at home. Like any big move, whether it’s moving to a new house in your area or moving to a new country, it always takes a day or two to get used to it. Luckily Berlin made that very easy for me. Initially it was my intention to stay for just six months. But I loved my life in Berlin so much that I stayed for two years. In this blog post, where I will share my fondest memories. Know that I can hardly cover all the places that I like, so don’t be surprised if I write a part 2 or even a part 3 of all the must see’s and my favorite places. Yes, Berlin has that much to offer!
When I arrived in Berlin I moved to the area Prenzlauer Berg. Where I stayed for, round and about, 6 months. I ended up living in the neighborhood called Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg which is still my favorite place to live in Berlin. I lived on the most known street in Berlin, Revaler Straße. This neighborhood is known for it’s raw touch, Biergarten and jazz cafe. Kreuzberg is within walking distance when you walk over the famous Oberbaumbrücke – Which I think is one off Berlin’s most beautiful bridges.
The East Side Gallery
Friedrichshain is not much known for it’s many sightseeing. But there are a couple must see places that are well worth the visit.
The East Side Gallery also know as the Berlin Wall is a place you don’t want to miss due to it’s history. The Berlin Wall spans over 1,3 kilometer. You will find pieces from different artists from all over the world. They created graffiti paintings on the Berlin Wall. It’s a quite unique display! In summer time it’s a great place to have a picknick and look out at the Spree.
Burgers in Berlin
Boxhagener Platz is a square in Friedrichshain. Where during the weekends is a flea market. This flea market beholds all sorts of wonderful treasures. This market has never failed to disappoint me. Neither did it my roommate who on a regular basis came home with the most stylish jackets and/or sunglasses. Friedrichshain has many restaurants but one of my favorites is Burgers Berlin. They simply have the most epic Burgers!
The Flea Market at Mauerpark
An absolute must see is Mauerpark! This Flea market on sunday is always a treat to visit. Next to the Flea Market you will find the Bearpit Karaoke. Every sunday during summer time there is a karaoke, which is organized by Joe Hatchiban. It’s very common to see 1.500 visitors sitting there enjoying the music, sun, food and beer! In case you want to join the karaoke and get your minutes of fame on you can register by contacting Joe. This karaoke is not the normal karaoke you are used to doing in a karaoke bar with friends. There are artists coming from all over the world who participate in this wonderful event.
The Holocaustmonument is one of the most impressive monuments i’ve seen so far. It’s a monument built out of 2.700 concrete blocks. Each block represents the Jews that died during the Second World War.
Besides The Holocaust monument en Brandenburger Tor – Berlin is known for it’s art galleries and many museum. There are two museums that I used to visit on a regular basis. The first one is the Museum für Fotografie. It’s right next to the station Zoologischer Garten and a must see if your into photography. Many famous fashion photographers have had their collection at the Museum für Fotografie. And it’s home to Helmut Newton’s collection. Speaking of which did you know – M·A·C Limited Edition celebrates the erotically charged and elegant work of legendary photographer Helmut Newton. Take a look on their website!
“The desire to discover, the desire to move, to capture the flavor, three concepts that describes the art of photograpy” – Helmut Newton
My second absolute favorite museum – well I say favorite but I should say in my top 10, is the Martin-Gropius-Bau. It was originally built as a museum of arts and crafts in 1881. Since then it has grown into one of the most known locations for contemporary art.
Long Night Of Museums
Every year Berlin has it’s famous event called ‘Long Night Of Museums’. There are about eighty museums that are opening their doors until past midnight. You can join into many activities or just look around! I was amazed when I joined my first Long Night of Museums. I wanted to visit them all! And was overwhelmed with the many choices. In my second year I learned from my mistake and took a “playground” to make a schedule. It helped to focus on the museums I had to see instead of running in and out every possible museum that was opening without knowing their program for that night.
More food & drinks…
One of the restaurant’s/bar’s in Berlin I absolutely love is Neni Berlin / Monkey Bar.
Go there for lunch or dinner you will not be disappointed. Their food is sublime and the kitchen has Mediterranean, Persian and Austrian influences. The restaurant also has a panoramic view so you can see over the city and the zoo (It’s free). The Monkey Bar is an absolute must to go to. They have one of the best cocktails I’ve tasted. And every week a new DJ performances to make you wanna dance your ass off!
If you visit Berlin you have to go to a Biergarten: It’s literally a huge garden where big groups of people come to drink beer at long wooden tables. The Biergarten I loved to go too is the Biergarten called Biergarten Prater in Prenzlauer Berg. This place has existed since 1837! After that they built an outdoor cinema, theater, restaurant and nightclub. This place really stands for culture and allot fun! I have made many great memories there.
Saved the best for last. DUDU! This restaurant is always super busy so a reservation is recommended. Their kitchen is Vietnamese – Asian, and situated at the heart of Berlin. Their cocktails always look like a party in a glass! Hence the reason why you could find me at least once a week sitting outside. They serve lunch, dinner, coffee and drinks.
Berlin has so much more to offer you. It’s worth the visit! If you’re thinking about moving to Berlin – stay tuned as I will give you the ins and outs about living in Berlin in my next blog posts.