You Know You Are in Berlin When…. - Wimdu base64Hash You Know You Are in Berlin When…. - Wimdu

You Know You Are in Berlin When….

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Most people travelling to the German capital will already have heard about its unique and trendy reputation. But what are the most unusual aspects of the city that will really let you know you are in Berlin?

….you don’t need to go to a club to hear some of the city’s finest music.

Keep your eyes peeled as you walk around by Berlin by night as there is a very high chance that you might end up in the middle of an impromptu rave. Probably the best outdoor dance floor can be found most Friday nights at the Schlesisches Tor U-Bahn Station. Various DJs set their equipment up next to a shop selling cheap beer and passers-by stop and block walkways while they dance like nobody’s watching. A similar experience can be enjoyed on Oberbaumbrücke Bridge and Warschauerbrücke Bridge. It is also often the case that people will board the U-Bahn with an 80s style music system banging out beats which are sure to keep you awake on your journey home.

Schlesisches Tor U-Bahn Station

Weekend party at Schlesisches Tor U-Bahn Station. Photo by Lindsay Eyink via FlickrCC.

You know you are in Berlin when….
….you are spoiled for choice when it comes to a night out the opera.

Berlin is much more than a techno city. So much so that it is the only city in the world with three active opera houses. Forget Berghain and bag yourself guaranteed entry by purchasing a ticket for the Deutsche Oper, the Staatsoper or the Komische Oper. Equipped to play to a total of 4,411 audience members, these venues have welcomed many of the world’s best singers, conductors and musicians.

Deutsche Oper

The Deutscher Oper. Photo by Francisco Anzola via FlickrCC.

You know you are in Berlin when….
….you can spend hours wandering around the world’s largest universal museum.

Museum Island has been an UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1999. It consists of the Altes Museum, the Neues Museum, the Alte Nationalgalerie, the Bode Museum and the Pergamon Museum. A €1.5 billion master plan was constructed to connect the buildings via a giant underground complex, while keeping their individual entrances above ground. It is worth a visit here if only to see the Pergamon Museum. The world’s first archaeological museum, it is home to a 2,000-year-old Pergamon Altar.

Pergamon Museum

Pergamon Collection at the Pergamon Museum. Photo by SpirosK Photography via FlickrCC.

You know you are in Berlin when….
….you have plenty of places to hide from the rain.

Rainy days need never be a bore in Berlin. The city boasts approximately 180 museums and has to endure on average 106.3 rainy days per year. That is literally a museum for every day it rains. Besides taking a visit to popular Museum Island, visitors can also revisit Germany history at the Topography of Terror, enjoy the special shows at the Jewish Museum, or take a step back in time at the DDR Museum. Berlin also has its fair share of unusual museums. The Museum of Things showcases 25,000 objects of design-historic importance from Barbie dolls to a Mercedes typewriter. There is also the Museum of Letters which offers no real facts, but a pretty collection of letters of particular typographical beauty.

Topography of Terror

The Topography of Terror and the Berlin Wall. Photo by John Carkeet via FlickrCC.

You know you are in Berlin when….
….a leisurely stroll can be combined with a gallery visit.

Standing at 1,316 metres, the East Side Gallery is the longest open-air gallery in the world, as well as the longest stretch of the Berlin Wall still standing. An international memorial for freedom, it showcases the paintings of 118 artists from 21 countries, including Dimitri Vrubel, Siegfrid Santoni and Bodo Sperling. Although two-thirds of the paintings are badly damaged by erosion, graffiti, and vandalism, visitors can still appreciate the East Side Gallery for what it is, a symbol of hope and a representation of a need for a better future.

East Side Gallery

East Side Gallery, Berlin. Photo by Jean-Pierre Dalbera via FlickrCC.

You know you are in Berlin when….
….you can find the highest species diversity in the world in one corner.

More than 17,000 animals representing about 1,500 species call Tiergarten their home. Berlin Zoologischer Garten is located right in the heart of the city and is a wonderful day out for animal lovers. One of the world’s largest zoos, it was left nearly demolished following World War II when less than one hundred animals survived. Following massive reconstruction, visitors can now find one of the most modern bird houses in Europe where many rare birds live, an aquarium with 250 tanks holding fish, insects, amphibians and reptiles. There are also pandas, giraffes, elephants, monkeys and more. The zoo’s most famous inhabitant, and probably one of Berlin’s most famous citizens, is Knut. Knut was rejected by his mother at birth and was instead raised by zookeeper Thomas Dörflein who slept at the zoo to provide 24-hour care and feed Knut every two hours. Sadly, Knut died aged four in 2011. Knut is now on display in the Natural History Museum in Berlin which has won world championship prizes for taxidermy.

Knut

Knut and Thomas Dörflein. Photo by Andrea & Stefan via FlickrCC.

You know you are in Berlin when….
….when currywurst seems like you only food option.

No matter where you stay in Berlin, currywurst can be found at every corner. Literally. It is not just considered fast food either as the dish is served in imbisses and higher class restaurants alike. The currywurst sauce, which is the staple of this dish, was invented in in 1959 by Herta Heuwer, and was combined with sausage to create the overall experience not long after. Currywurst is quite simply steamed, then fried pork sausage cut into pieces and topped with the famous curry ketchup, a sauce made from spiced ketchup or tomato paste, and then topped with curry powder. Often a ready-made ketchup is used but many Berliners turn up their nose at this. This dish is uniquely German, but is very much a Berlin staple. The city even has a Currywurst Museum!

Currywurst

Currywurst served with fries. Photo by Anna via FlickrCC.

You know when you are in Berlin when….
….a night out doesn’t necessarily happen in a bar and nightclub.

Like the currywurst imbiss, there is a späti (convenience store) on almost every street in Berlin. As is the case with many convenience stores, the späti sells alcohol. Except Berliners haven’t grasped the ‘take away’ concept. If you are wondering why your friends haven’t turned up to the club yet, they are probably having a beer at the späti. Wondering why your housemates haven’t returned home two hours after the club has finished? They are probably having a beer at the späti. Wondering where anyone is at any time? Quite possibly they are having a beer at the späti. These cozy corner shops have evolved into the place to stop for a drink, so much so that many even have chairs and tables outside.

Those who don’t drink alcohol can down another city favorite, Club Mate – Berlin’s most famous soft drink. Its distinctive taste and extremely high caffeine content is certainly something which needs getting used to, but health conscious visitors may learn to love the drink if only for its relatively low sugar content and low calories.

Späti

Späti. Photo by Martjin van Exel via FlickrCC.

Want to make the most out of your time in Berlin and fit all these unique experiences in? Check out our guide to the most essential Berlin apps.

(Header by Jean-Pierre Dalbera via FlickrCC.)

Berlin: Top Offers

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