Berlin – A Mixture Of Ugly, Pretty & Everything In Between

(Our trip to Berlin was in part sponsored by the VisitBerlin tourism board.)

Berlin is the city everyone is talking about, and has grown in popularity to become the third most visited city in Europe.

My friends keep returning over and over, and when I ask what they love so much about Berlin that makes them return again they say – ”well…it’s Berlin!”.

Last time we were in Berlin we only spent two days there, and while we managed to see a lot of things despite the rainy weather we still felt like we had not given the city a chance and wanted to return to see what all the fuss was about.

Now, after having spent two weeks exploring the many streets and corners of Berlin at a slow pace, I can see what they’re talking about.

Berlin is a city which is alive, and ever changing – while many European cities’ main attraction is its history and past, Berlin is the past, the present and the future – all mixed into one.

It’s a cocktail of ugly, beautiful, sad, quirky, and the charm and fascination about the city is nothing specific, but everything in a confusing mixture.

I have never been to a city where everything seems to change as often as in Berlin.

In Berlin, there is no specific ”party street” or ”shopping street”, but more like ”party street of the month”.

Berlin is very much like Asia in the way that you never know what’s around the corner, and the best thing to do is to get lost and see what odd places you will find next.

It’s a city full of randomness, where things seem to ”just happen”, almost by mistake.

There are hidden treasures around every corner, from small cinemas and shops to galleries and bars that will pop-up and close down before you know it.

Despite the tourism boom, Berlin is a rather poor city, which is one of the reasons why it has become one of the most popular graffiti-hubs – the government simply can’t afford to take it all away.

Artists from all over the world come to leave their mark, and you can see some pretty amazing work by just walking down the street.

It’s an interesting city, with no real center – it’s neighborhoods, Kiez, actually feel more like small cities in themselves, and are treated as such by locals as well.

Talking to the locals, they say they rarely even leave their district, and are just as lost as any other tourist in the rest of Berlin.

Living in Schönhausallee I could really see why – you have everything you need right by your doorstep; there are shopping malls, boutiques, supermarkets, cafes, restaurants, bars, theaters, cinemas in abundance.

On the same street where we lived there were restaurants serving food from all over the world, you would almost be silly to go through the hassle of finding a nice restaurant in another neighborhood when there were so many right across the street.

When we told people that we would travel down to Bavaria in southern Germany, they kept saying that Bavaria was ”different”, or that it would be very different from Berlin.

I would agree, but from another angle, down south it really is different from Berlin, but so is everywhere else as well.

In fact, I don’t think that there is any place like Berlin, I think Berlin is the place which is ”different” … and that’s what makes it such a wonderful city.

Have you been to Berlin? What were your impressions of the city?

(Our trip to Berlin was in part sponsored by the VisitBerlin tourism board.)

17 Responses to Berlin – A Mixture Of Ugly, Pretty & Everything In Between

  1. tunimaal January 15, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

    So you became a Berliner? Seems to be an interesting city. I have to go there to see all the streets arts. It must be a great opportunity to make great photos

    • Sofia - As We Travel January 17, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

      Yhaha yeah we did, we indulged in every part of Berlin. It was a very interesting city, something around every corner. 

  2. dvsdreams January 15, 2012 at 6:08 pm #

    Berlin is one of my favorite cities in Europe for sure. The amount of street art on display is unbelievable! We spent a day walking around the city with a free walking tour and found it was a great way to take in the history and have someone knowledgeable with us.

    • Sofia - As We Travel January 17, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

      Yeah the amount of street art is pretty crazy, not a clear spot anywhere, and it definitely contributed to the atmosphere of the city.

  3. Debbie @ European Travelista January 16, 2012 at 12:13 am #

    I have spent a far amount of time in Bavaria and love it.  I’ve decided I need to venture out and explore more of Germany and this will include Berlin.  I’ve been drawn to Berlin for its history and now I’m looking forward to seeing all its quirky sides too! 

    • Sofia - As We Travel January 17, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

      We’ll be spending a few months in Bavaria so if you have any tips of places to check out I’d love to hear them!

  4. Ana January 16, 2012 at 8:17 pm #

    Berlin is one of those cities I want to visit every year. It’s something in the atmosphere, why I want to visit so much.

    • Sofia - As We Travel January 17, 2012 at 3:04 pm #

      Berlin is definitely a place you can visit every year, it’s always changing so every time there are new things to see and places to explore.

  5. Anonymous January 17, 2012 at 11:12 am #

    i like to visit in berlin …i like it atmosphere & its culture ..

  6. Yvonne Zagermann January 17, 2012 at 11:44 pm #

    It was so great to meet you here and happy you liked it! and you’re right, it’s Berlin which is different. No place likethis. :D

  7. Khairah321 January 31, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

    yepp its definatly a grate place

  8. New York Hotel February 7, 2012 at 7:16 am #

    I also love Berlin because we spent two days there. It is definitely a position you can check out every season, it’s always modifying so each time there are new elements to see and locations to discover.

  9. andyhiggs1969 March 26, 2012 at 10:54 am #

    Berlin has so much to see and do – if you are looking for some more unusual tips try these: 
    http://grownuptravelguide.com/been-there-havent-done-that-5-things-you-shouldnt-miss-in-berlin

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