Some time off means time for a new city steak out. Last week’s stop was Berlin; a flying visit with 32 hours to explore…
With such little time, I sat down with one of the hostel locals and asked them to highlight the real must do obvious tourist spots..
Photo 1: Holocaust memorial – 2711 slabs arranged in a grid pattern in remembrance of the murdered Jews of Europe. The site also has an underground ‘place of information’, holding the names of approximately 3 million victims.
Photo 2: Topography of Terror – Only a few blocks away from the memorial, next to part of the Berlin wall remains, runs an outdoor and indoor history museum. Much quieter than the larger pieces of wall around the city, and a great lesson in the rise of the Nazi’s.
Photo 1: Graffiti at Haubentaucher – All around this city centre bathing pool are old buildings/walls just covered in graffiti, from cool tags to some really detailed pieces. An inst dream!
Photo 2: Photoautomats – These things are everywhere! Photo booths on street corners, worn out bridges, shopping streets – half the fun of them is the sheer randomness of their locations. For 2 Euros a photo strip, it’d be rude not to have a go (or four)
Everyone I spoke with always went on about how great Berlin was for vegans/veggies, but I don’t think I was prepared for how big it actually is there. Almost every place we passed advertised their ‘don’t eat meat? we’ll replace it with tofu’ attitude. My mind was blown… as was my stomach… I get way to excited when there’s that much choice. I ate my way through a shed load of vegan food.. but these were my highlights.
Photo 1: Rawtasic – I haven’t done many ‘raw’ restaurants (its hard to get non veggie friends on board), but this was pretty special. We opted for the lasagna (left) and the pizza (right). I’m going to be honest, when they came out, I was sceptical…it was a really step away from the usual carb filled veggie pizza’s and pastas I’m used to. BUT.. stick with it. The flavours!!! Ohmygod the flavours! Vegans are so much more creative with their food. If you’re going to try raw vegan for the first time, this place is a pretty good shout.
Photo 2: Yoyo foodworld – At the total opposite end of the spectrum (and city), Yoyo’s was the best vegan burger joint I’ve ever seen. Have you ever seen a Hawaiian vegan burger – complete with ‘bacon’ and pineapple? No…neither have I! The burger list was huge, the prices were low low low… cheap as..well… chips! Think hipster chic burger bar.
Put down your playlist full of mainstream house tunes, you’re in Berlin; the world capital of cool underground music and experimental artists. Dive in! Like waaaaay in. My pick; Lacika and The Hookers (admit it, you’re already intrigued by the name?).
Lacika explains the overall album themes: “Rotten Hearts is a heavy trip to my dark side…exploring territories I haven’t touched before. I was experimenting with different raw and distorted sounds in the past couple of years, and the album contains a selection of these tracks. The songs and lyrics are very honest and intimate, they tell a story, and complete the album with a fully enraged rock experience.”
Encompassing elements of electronica and alternative rock, under moody melodies and killer hooks, this really isn’t one to be playing to your granny during Sunday tea – but good god does it make you feel cool cruising the streets of Berlin.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, solo travellers…stay in hostels! Here I chose EastSeven hostel, located just two stops away from one of the central undergrounds (u-bahns). If you’re looking for a party, its probably not the place for you (if that’s your bag then head to ‘Wombats’ hostel). Instead, benefits focus around location and cleanliness (I reckon I can probably put it up there as the cleanest hostel I’ve ever stayed in!). Staff were happy to talk you through locations/directions and there were a good load of guests mulling around (although I found a lot of them a bit nervous to start conversations – you’re going to have to gear yourself up to make the first move). Big gardens, 3 Euro breakfasts and activities board were also on their list of pro’s.
Thanks Berlin! I had a blast.