Berlin is a city with a tough history. For almost 30 years the city was divided into East and West Berlin, the East being under communist command. From this divide came many cultural ideas that Berlin is now famous for, such as their punk scene.
But Berlin goes much beyond this political divide, all of which is equally important to explore. Berlin is currently a beautiful and thriving metropolis that satisfies every type of tourist’s needs, so visiting is essential.
What to Do
Even though there’s so much to see, there a few places everyone who goes to Berlin must-visit, especially ones that have to do with the persecution of Jews during the Holocaust. One of these places is the Holocaust memorial which pays tribute to Jews across Europe who lost their lives at the hands of the Nazis. Another site is the Jewish Museum Berlin which has exhibits also about the Holocaust as well as artworks done entirely by Jewish people.
To experience a taste of the Berlin Wall, you have to go to the East Side Gallery. This site displays a portion of the wall in the place where the East and West sides were divided, however, now the wall has been turned into a mural-covered in street art.
Getting a sense of life in Berlin during the Cold War is best done at the DDR Museum which displays all sorts of artifacts and recreations with some original pieces of furniture and other household items available at that time. It also has spy planes and other memorabilia that take you back to that time period.
Nightlife and Food
Berlin is one of the biggest electronic capitals of the world. Even if you’re not a fan of the genre, a really good Berlin DJ just might change your tune, and if not, it’s an essential Berlin experience to have anyway. One of the most famous electronic clubs in the world is called Berghain, but also super exclusive. If you want a shot getting in, show up in the wee hours of the night, wear black, and see if the bouncer deems you worthy enough to enter.
Germany is of course known for its beer, so if you want a little more of a relaxed atmosphere for your nightlife, Eschenbrau is the place to go. This bar is actually one of the oldest breweries in the city and has a huge variety of brews to try out. However, Berlin has no open container law, so you can always grab some local beers and hang out around the city with peace of mind.
Another German tradition is the currywurst, which is basically just a sausage covered in curry ketchup. However, the combination of the ingredients makes it a delicious bite, so make sure to grab one while you’re there. You can often find them from street vendors all over the city.
If you want more of a fine dining experience in the city, check out Restaurant Tim Raue. This two Michelin star restaurant was born from the ashes of boring communist food, which is a modern take on international cuisine with Asian twists.