Thursday, 20 October 2016

Berlin 2016

Brandenburg Gate
Have you ever wanted to go visit somewhere so much that when you get there it's not quite how you imaged? That's how I feel about Berlin. In my head I romanticised the german city so much that when I went to visit in February 2016 I was left a little disappointed. It definitely wasn't a wasted journey, because I had fun, saw some famous landmarks and went to the best Libertines gigs EVER! I'm not even that big a fan of the band.
Brandenburg Gate
A total of 9 people went to Berlin, 3 boys and 6 girls, with the main aim of seeing the Libertines. As we had such a large group we decided to get an Airbnb which would fit all 9 of us, we found a 6 room apartment in the Tempelhofer area of Berlin. Tempelhofer is only a short U-Bahn (Underground) ride away from the centre. We flew out with RyanAir on Friday night, with the price of the flight and the Airbnb, it came to less than £100 each, bargain!

Holocaust Memorial
We didn't really explore the area on the first night because we arrived quite late on Friday. On Saturday morning a few of us adventured to the nearest supermarket (Aldi) and brought loads of breakfast supplies, we thought it would be good to utilise the kitchen in the Airbnb. After our humungous breakfast, we hopped on the U-Bahn and headed to the centre of Berlin. Our first stop was the Brandenburg Gate, it's a definite must on any Berlin sightseeing list but I was slightly underwhelmed. The actual Brandenburg Gate is stunning and beautifully designed but it was so busy and I just wasn't as mesmerised as I thought I would be. The second sight we visited was the Holocaust Memorial, located near the Brandenburg Gate. We spent some time at the Holocaust Memorial, there is a certain energy at the memorial and it was nice just to walk around and soak it all in. I was slightly annoyed by all the teens jumping on and off the blocks, I found it quite disrespectful.

Hansa Studio
In January my musical Hero David Bowie passed away. I knew he spent some time in Berlin and I wanted to see the studio in which he recorded "Heroes". After a quick google we found out that the studio wasn't far from the Brandenberg Gate. Sadly you are not allowed to go into the Studio without having an appointment so we had a little photo session outside the Hansa Studio. After our little tourist excursion, we fancied a drink or two and came across the cutest hipster pub called "Zur Fetten Ecke" which translates "to the fat corner". LOVE IT! We sampled a lot of different German beers, my favourite was the Weiss Bier. We were all feeling a little peckish after all the beer and found a Mexican restaurant that fitted our whole group.

Graffiti
All the girls wanted to see some of Berlins nightlife but sadly after the meal, I was feeling quite unwell and decided to stay in. From what I heard the girls had a great time out, they went to the Salon  - Zur Wilden Renate. Most of the group were hungover on Sunday morning, so the non-hungover ones went to the East Side Gallery, famously known as the Berlin Wall. When you first get to the Wall it's a tad underwhelming but once you walk along and take in the enormity of what it represents it's hard not to become mesmerised. I was 4 when the Berlin Wall came down and it means a lot to me, a lot of the writing, graffiti and paintings stand true today.

East Side Gallery
We also went to the Fernsehturm (TV Tower), which is a massive building with a restaurant and bar located at the top. You do have to buy tickets to go up the Fernsehturm but it's worth it just for the views. Before we knew it, it was time to go see the Libertines at the Columbiahalle. The hungover guys and girls were already at the venue so we rushed back to the Airbnb and quickly got changed. I have to say that the Columbiahalle is hard to find but the venue is fantastic. We got in just before the Libertines started, they were so good. I'd seen them a few times before and they never really impressed me too much but this time, they blew my mind!

View from the Fernsehturm
After the gig we went back to the Airbnb and chilled out, most of our gang went back to London on Monday morning but I and three of the girls took a bus to Prague. I'll be posting a separate blog post on that trip.

The Libertines at the Columbiahalle
I hope this helps if your planning a trip to Berlin.

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