For a city, Berlin is particularly chilled and really quiet, there seemed to be no one about when I visited – no crowds and no queuing (a big plus).
Sometimes, touristy stuff gets a bit repetitive and you feel like you’re not experiencing the ‘real’ vibe of the city. So, whether you’re looking for a lazy afternoon lounging in a local park drinking beer or would much rather be on your feet taking in some more of the unusual sites and eating at some secret gems, then carry on reading…here is my non touristy guide to Berlin.
Where is it?
Berlin is the capital city of Germany.
Why should I visit?
Dating back to its chaotic past and wartime involvement, the city has so much history. It is such a warm city with plenty to do and see, plus there are loads of green areas and parks to break up the day and go and chill out in.
Take home a piece of Berlin and get your photo taken in one of the many vintage photo booths dotted around the city.
They’re a great opportunity to create a sentimental memory of your trip; much better than buying an overpriced key ring.
TOP TIP: There is an app (linked here) that pinpoints the location of each booth, they’re only £3 a go and so much fun!
A swimming pool in the heart of the city…yup! Take a dip and enjoy the panoramic views of the Berlin skyline.
The pool is open seasonally, so double check before you go annnnnd it is only €6! You can also hire towels, locker usage and even swimwear!?
Sat just between Mitte and Kreuzberg, you’ll come across this beautiful lake, surrounded by greenery and adorable pastel coloured houses.
It is the perfect place to hang out at sun set.
TOP TIP: Cafe am Engelbecken (located in the park) serves up amazing pizzas and salads – make sure you try the caprese salad, it’s one of the best things I’ve ever tasted.
Kreuzburg is a pretty cool, hip end of town, said to be home to students and artists – so you can imagine the vibe.
This is a great place to head in the evening as there are a load of places to eat – the area has a large Turkish population, so why not go and try some local cuisine – when in Germany!
What I like to think of as my secret hidden gem…but, I guess I can share it’s top secret location with you guys – you’re welcome. You’ll find the bridge just south of Mitte (near the centre) – pop the name in to maps and it’ll show you exactly where to head.
What’s so special about this bridge then? Well, you can soak in the sights of the TV tower whilst enjoying a bakery treat…who needs to pay €20 to go up the tower (which I have heard is really tacky anyway) when you can get the perfect view of it from the ground!?
TOP TIP: There is a little cafe called Cafe Re right next to the bridge where you can grab yourself a coffee and a bakery snack.
Freidrichshain is an area in Berlin just over the river from the East Side Gallery.
It is again, a pretty cool area, very hipster and alternative.
If you are in the area, make sure to grab a bite to eat at Burgermeister (it is a little food stall in what used to be a public toilet)– my friend from Berlin dubbed it ‘the best burger in Berlin’ and…it was pretty great if I’m honest.
Berlin is one of my fave cities, so I’d love to go again soon and explore everything else it has to offer.