Berlin is a city booming with culture and history. It has become a modern day mecca for creatives and startups because of its inexpensive cost of living. This has given the city a unique dynamic of alternative culture and innovative forward thinking living side by side. Whether you are interested in under covering the history of Berlin’s past, trying to get into some of the worlds most exclusive clubs or checking out the art scene there is something for everyone in Berlin.
1. The East Side Gallery
No trip to Berlin is complete without seeing the Berlin Wall. While you can see remnants of the wall throughout the city, reminding you of the split past between east and west Berlin, the east side gallery is the longest standing section of the wall still intact today. This section of the wall has been transformed into a gallery of politically charged murals that cover the east side of the wall (which is why it’s called the “East Side Gallery.”) Strolling beside the wall you will get a feeling for what the political climate was like after the wall fell, while Berlin was a united city again, people were not quick to forget what had happened.
2. Try to get into Berghian
One of the most infamous clubs in the world, Berghain is located on the border of two of Berlins most alternative neighborhoods: Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain. The club is notorious for its long queues (up to 4 hours) and extremely difficult door policy. There are entire blogs about how to maximize your chances to get in. Why is everyone so crazy about this club? Well, it boasts a lineup some of the worlds most famous techno DJ’s and is something like the holy grail of underground techno venues. Even if you don’t get in, the whole experience of the queue is like a party in and of itself.
3. The Boro’s Collection
If you like contemporary art, then the Boro’s collection needs to be a must see on your list of things to do in Berlin. The collection is privately owned, and you need to view it by appointment. The appointment includes a guided tour (in German or English) that explains each of the pieces, giving you a more in-depth experience than just wandering around aimlessly. The Boro’s collection is located in what was once built for the purpose of being an air raid bunker in 1941. Since then it has had an array of other uses like a cell for prisoners of war, a warehouse for tropical fruit from Cuba, and an underground techno club. The Collection is extremely hard to get appointments for, so book yours as soon as you know you are going to be in Berlin.
Teufelsberg, or in German “Devils Hill” is known for the spying station that the Americans and British used to listen in on the Soviets. After the war, and they deemed it no longer necessary to spy the 1,000 plus spy’s that were working at the post left, and it became somewhat of a forgotten place. Today it is one of the highlights of Berlin’s “off the beaten path” of things to do. Filled with graffiti, you can still feel the energy of the time when it was in use to spy.