The second time I went on a university society trip I went to Berlin for 4 days in January. I didn’t really know what to expect apart from the Berlin Wall and lots of historical buildings. Apart from the freezing -4 temperatures which I was not prepared for, I was really surprised at how much I loved the city and how quirky it was.
We stayed at the Meininger Hostel at Alexanderplatz which was just a few tram stops away from the centre. The trams were really cheap and efficient and we used them at least 4/5 times per day as they were the main type of transport in the city.
On the first day of the trip we saw a free three hour walking tour advertised which was operated by Sandeman’s New Europe. We went on the tour and it was great as it took us to most of the main sights, as well as giving tips and directions for the easiest and best way to see the city. On the tour we stopped at the Brandenburg Gate, the Holocaust Memorial, the University, Hitler’s Bunker location and Checkpoint Charlie and we had hot chocolate a few times because of how cold it was outside.
In the afternoon we join the tour guides ‘alternative’ tour which took us to the opposite part of the city mainly involving graffiti, hippie culture and partying. It took us to many places we would never have even known existed because they were mainly hidden for example tiny old fashioned photo booths all around the city. I was really glad we went on the tour because it involved the part of the Berlin Wall I had seen on the internet covered in hundreds of different artists work.
On the second day of the trip we went to a history museum, the Berlin Cathedral and the Salvador Dali Museum where I was expecting to see the melting clock piece but I didn’t. That day we also found a fancy shopping centre which took us 10 minutes to cross the main road outside it because of how strict the city is on road crossings.
One of the most random things we found when exploring was an eating place called Burgermeister. It was a burger bar which was an old converted public toilet with no tables or chairs just crates for seats and was underneath the train station bridge. The food was so good and it was definitely worth a visit. The same night we went back to the Brandenburg Gate as we had been told it looked amazing at night and it did!
One evening my friend picked a nice restaurant under a one of the tram stations before I met up with a friend who lived in Berlin who I had met when working at summer camp in the U.S.A. for a drink and a catch up which was really nice.
As there is so much history and so much to see and do in Berlin our trip was busy and a lot of fun! I would definitely go back again maybe when it was a bit warmer so I wouldn’t need a hat.