I simply love Berlin. It has little of what I usually find enchanting in a city- the architecture, a romantic old town, the sea and, last but not least, dark and beautiful people. 😉 But it does a great job compensating the lack of European grandeur (due to the fact that it was bombed under WW II) with a down to earth buzz, which is why I prefer it to both Barcelona and Rome. Berlin has the river Spree and knows how to use it, it has incredibly creative people, lots of galleries and cultural happenings everywhere, yummy restaurants, world class museums, not to mention the “not so bad” Bauhaus buildings. 😉 I´ve been there quite a lot in the last 6 years and I like to think I know the city a little bit, so I invite you to read about my top 5 things to do when in Berlin.
This year we haven´t travelled as much as we use to, but there´s one short trip I won´t deny myself: a conference in Berlin- “Mapping the Field of Community Interpreting”. It´s in November and the city might not show itself from its best angle, but nothing will ever stop me from loving Berlin. You´ll probably think it´s a cliché, but that city is alive! We´ve been there twice already, once for Easter in April 2010 and the second time in September 2011 and both times we fell in love with Berlin. I have to admit I had my doubts. I´m all about old and sumptuous and I knew much of old Berlin had been bombed during the war. But boy was I wrong to be doubting! The city is a gem! Incredibly big and lots of fun. There are Sunday markets to be visited, long walks along the river where it´s mandatory to stop for a beer in one of the lounge chairs with a pretty view, as you´ll see me doing below. Vietnamese and Korean dinner is a must and so is the Jewish Museum. Start your day in Hackescher markt with some shopping, head to Prezlauer Berg to see and be seen by the cool, have a bite at a falafel joint, find the river and take a stroll along its banks where you can admire the Government building and all the modern museums´ architecture. For dinner, try Monsieur Vuong in Hackescher markt, the food is fabulous and the prices are wallet-friendly. We´re restless people, so museums are not always the recipe for a fun day. However we try to go to at least one museum per holiday and make it worthwhile. If I had to settle for one experience from Berlin, I´d choose the Jewish museum. It was really something. The light, the solemnity, the architecture, the exhibits. I cried for three hours non-stop and had to take a break for lunch to pull myself together. It´s our history though, we don´t have to embrace it, but we should at least know about it. I hope you enjoy my gallery and book your tickets now. I hear Berlin is magnificent for Christmas, too!