Im not sure what the classic tourist places really are nowadays, it is not the 70s anymore when all tourists traveled to the same remote location to get red like a tomato and occasionally went on a guided tour to the city centre. The tourist buses still exist and frankly a bit tempting. I can see myself sitting there on the top with my sunglasses with a bit to much sunblock on the noose, just going round and around all day. We didn’t go in these buses but anyway, took the tour around on foot on what I guess is some of the classics in Berlin.
(Due to the vast amount of photos an entire photo post will be dedicated to the Berlin Wall and East Side gallery.)
> Crossing the boarder at Check point Charlie
Martin and I were aiming at getting to Potzdamer platz but ended up close to checkpoint charlie so thats where we started our classics walk. We jumped of the subway by Kochstrasse and walked from there to the checkpoint, a two minutes walk. Looking around the place I saw more tourists than normal people assuring me that I was in the right place. In the middle of the road, a still existing and used road, checkpoint charlie rises its two meters over ground, ”guarded” by an american looking person in army uniform from the late sixties or something. Around the checkpoint you can buy your own military souvenirs or whatever I love Berlin garment you are interested in. We didn’t buy any or even tried on. But I shot a photo of the guy at least, giving you some tourists for free in the picture.
> Walking to Typography of Terror
from checkpoint charlie we walked down Niederkirchnerstrasse. Here you can look at a little bit of the Berlin wall and read about different aspects of the war and pre war terror acts as the prosecution of the jewish people, social outsiders and homosexuals, to give some examples but also about the people who tried to protect the different groups and people.
Going here it is important to bring at least a sun hat, martin and I felt like we stepped into a desert.
> Feeling hot at Potzdamer Platz
Poring, we managed to drag ourself up Stresemannstrasse to Potzdamer Platz, Martin cursing not choosing to wear shorts. You know when you arrived, seeing the not so modest skyscrapers with mirror facades.
> Hollowcaust memorial
A little further up the street of Eberstrasse you find the Holocaust memorial. At first not sure what I felt, sad? confused? No still not sure, but letting history sink in I must say that I am pissed, how could we ever have let this happened? Walking around the memorial Martin and I discussed this and even though we know that it is easy to brainwash people (if you doubt me, check out the movie ”the wave” and then we can discuss this) I feel pissed that we just stood beside and did nothing, same thing with Rawanda or with todays Syria. My conclusion is, traveling is important, it gives you a deeper perspective and the possibility to be informed of your choices in the future.
> Bundestag, Brandenburger Tor and Unter den Linden
Continuing up the street passing Pariser platz, you arrive at the Bundestag. With 200 tourists and one protester against the EU we soon continued towards Brandenburger Tor and east in the street Unter den Linden.
If you have not seen enough tourists on the other sites (Holocaust memorial had around 10 school classes) Brandenburger Tor is the place to stake out. From here you can do all sorts of touristy stuff as buying a wurst or taking a ride with a horse and carriage. We continued our journey towards the Berliner Dome.
> Berliner Dome
Watch out for the stairs, there are many, but the price? A 360 degree view of Berlin from a perfect hight.
The Berliner Dome holds many treasures, among these a catacomb full of old coffins. A bit morbid but interesting. For 7 euros they let me see the church and for the student boyfriend, it was 5 euros. Nowadays though, the churches feel more like a souvenir shop than a place for mindfulness and faith.
> Eating and shopping shoes at Alexander Platz
Between the Berliner Dome and Alexander Platz we found a street that held many restaurants. Martin had his second currywurst here and I had a shrimp salad. Must say though that the food never did impress me- the best food I had I had at Vapiano on the central station when arriving in Berlin. And, Vapiano is a chain/concept restaurant. But we did get luckier the same evening.
Walking over Alexander Platz Martin felt the need for a pair of shoes for the Wednesday evening plans, dinner at the Pauly Saal restaurant on August Strasse 11-13 close to Oranienburger Tor. Lucky us we managed to walk straight to a shoe store where Martin found this cute little Toms shoes for the summer guy.
> Wishing you were a street artist at the Berlin Wall – East Side Gallery
From Alexanderplatz we took the S train to the Warschauer strasse and walked the entire East Side gallery. A long stretch of the Berlin wall seen from the east covered with street art. This is the modern and hipster Berlin where you used to find the urban Berliners, the cool kids and the artists. Today most likely not here anymore, since when the tourist arrive, the ”true Berliners” find another place to be.
- Train/bus/subway tickets are bought in the train stations either at a shop or a ticket machine by the tracks. 2,70 euro costed a single ticket and took us within the zones AB which basically covers Berlin, at least the central part. We lived around 15 minutes from the city centre with subway and these tickets covered that. Keep the tickets close, they check them all the time, which costed Martin 40 euros after loosing his ticket and then being checked.
- Food is cheaper than in Sweden, an average meal costed around 30% less, at least. A one star michelin restaurant meal costed 199 euros for both of us and that is very price worthy. A pasta at Vapiano 8 euros.
Photos shot with Canon Eos M3- Canon 40 mm pancake lens – ed lightroom app