This week my boyfriend Ben flew over to visit during the week break between the end of my language course and the start of university. We managed to cram so much exploring in to 5 days and had our fair share of beer/cocktails and food! I’m going to summarise some of the fab things we got up to into suggestions of things to do in a short trip to Berlin.
On Thursday evening I took Ben to see the Eis Bären’s play at the Mercedes-Benz arena. It was my first time watching an ice hockey match and it did not disappoint; the support for the team playing a home game was incredible, with people screaming chants, waving flags and fireworks being set off for the entrance of the players onto the ice. Luckily we were there when the Berlin home team won the match, although there were some tense moments where goals were disputed and disallowed! In the final 2 minutes the crowd were told that we could win a free milkshake if the home team scored again…needless to say that we went crazy. The worst part was that the Berlin team did score, but a fight broke out at the same time and the goal was disallowed, so no milkshakes for us. Regardless, I’d definitely recommend going to watch a match, the tickets are relatively well priced and its an evening of entertainment!
On Friday we went on a night out to Badehaus (in the RAW complex, Friedrichshain). The great thing about Badehaus is that it offers an alternative to Berlin’s famous techno nights…don’t get me wrong, I like techno but after being here 6 weeks I need to mix it up! We went for the Soul & Funk night and it was so much fun! For Berlin clubs it wasn’t too expensive (8€ entry), and Badehaus offer different themed nights often; the night after was a 90s night! It’s a small venue but that makes it more enjoyable compared to larger warehouse like clubs. If you can find a good themed night at Badehaus then 100% make a night out of it!
We also spent 4 hours on an ‘Alternative’ walking tour, which was ‘free’ with voluntary tipping at the end. I’d say go on one of these if you have the time, and even on a rainy day it was still interesting and worth it. The guide took us around Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain, showing us the street art and telling us anecdotes about artists, historical figures and tips on other places to visit. We learnt that the RAW complex, which houses a variety of clubs, food stalls, a lido, climbing center and a skate park, might not exist in 2 years time when the lease is up due to complicated politics in the area. Other stories included an old man fighting against West German, East German and re-unified German governments over a little shed house and it’s location by the Berlin wall, and the story of street artist JUST being followed and arrested for constant vandalism. After the tour we walked over to the East Side Gallery and looked at the new pasted on photographs and information about life/restrictions in East Berlin during the cold war. Stories of the Stasi arresting people and their experiences being interrogated were different from those in other museums like the DDR Museum, so if the display is still there then take a look at it!
We took full advantage of the fact that Potsdam is included in the Berlin ABC travel ticket and got the train to Potsdam! Luckily it was a super sunny day when we visited and Potsdam really is the place for beautiful nature pictures, with a variety of castles, a huge park with gorgeous gardens and fountains, plus a load of museums, we weren’t stuck for things to do here! Just make sure you’ve got some comfy shoes on because we ended up walking about 5 miles through the park and back to the station…
To be honest, the main thing we did during Ben’s visit was go to nice places to eat and drink…our faves were: curry at Dehli 6 (Kreuzberg), pancakes at Vanilla Grey (Friedrichshain) and burgers at Windburger (Kreuzberg), which I personally think challenges Burgermeister in price and quality…I had the halloumi and grilled veggies burger, coleslaw and cheese fries!
We had a lovely time together in the short time that Ben was here, and hopefully these suggestions are of use to anyone looking for different things to do on a trip to Berlin!