Nadia Makes “Some” Art

Corporate millennial having a blast

When in Berlin

It was our first time in Berlin – and boy I loved the city!

City History: I come from Eastern Europe, so of course growing up I was learning a lot about split of Germany and wall – but mainly the Eastern European side of it. Was fun to learn the German view on the events of the XX century. Randomly seeing monuments to soviet soldiers was a crazy feeling.

Vibes: booy I loved the vibes. Berlin is so different from the doll-picture-perfect Amsterdam. I guess, city was destroyed way more, so also added to how the city developed later.

Museums: I was surprised how many museums are there in Berlin! We visited a small fraction of them, and, I guess, many museum are left for later?

It was a very beautiful trip full of learning. Seeing how desperate people were when their city was separated by wall (read about family ziplining over the wall); and seeing how much culture was still saved, and how vibrant city feels now. It was a mix of history, enjoying museums, and eating tasty sausages with beer when listening to life music!

and now some tips 🙂

Where to stay?

Highly recommend Social Hub Berlin hotel! I was surprised how big and clean the room was for the price; and we loved the vibes – such as a cocktail bar downstair!

Fun things to do and see?

>Enjoy a free walking tour! Our guide was very knowledgeable, and for example, shared, that almost all architecture of Berlin is Schinkel. You can say – “oh that is Schinkel”, and there is a high chance you will be right 😀

>Checkpoint Charlie – basically just a place to take a picture, the actual checkpoint was located a couple meters away, so the one here is a more “symbolic one”

>See how the city was divided by the wall (separation brick, symbolising where wall was standing, can be still seen everywhere). One of them you can see on the floor right next to checkpoint Charlie!

>Check out a museum “Topography of terror”, for free – to learn more about propaganda in the times of war. Museum is walking distance from checkpoint Charlie. There is also a free outside area

> Memorial to the Jews – such a historic and very known place. You can sit on the stones, but no standing on them allowed. Author of the memorial has not left explanation why all bricks are different – leaving up to us to think of the meaning. I think it symbolises hopelessness. Jews were all different, but ended up here, in these corridors, at times, with no light visible.

In the memorial you can also go downstairs, for free, and listen to the names of fallen jews being pronounced. To listed all of the names it will take you… Three and half years!

museum at the memorial to Jews

> Check out Brandenburg Gate, and very nice wurst place nearby! Called Wurst:), I was worried It will be touristy, but it was nice!

>You can also visit Bundestag for free, but make sure to sign up waaaay in advance! We had no places for weeks ahead, unfortunately. I would have loved to see a wall, where soviet soldiers were leaving their marks, when the war was ending. Something for next time!

soviet soldiers leaving their marks in Bundestag

>Huge park to chill – Tiergarten . People say it can be compared to New York park – how huge it is, and located in city center!

>East side Gallery ; a famous piece of wall, where all the art is contained on. All things I mentioned before are all contained in more or less same area of Berlin, so depending on how you walk, you can reach them all. East side galley is a place on the other side of Berlin.

I was surprised that in 2009 a lot of the works were fully whitened, and the artists were invited later to draw them again. Some of the artists did not want to do work again – so you will see just grey pieces of wall. I understand need for renovation, and maybe in 1989 no one expected the art to last that long; but I also expect that it is hard for artists to create exactly same work again. there were also some controversies about some artists not wanting to draw the works again for free.

>The wall museum, Near East Side Gallery, small museum, but really helped to understand the vibe of the time, living with the wall, and the euphoria of wall being demolished. I can only imagine the joy of being a young adult in 1989, seeing wall falling, seeing the concert of Pink Floyd.

The Wall: Live in Berlin (1990)

>Of course go to Museum Island, but there are so many museums! And all of them are HUGE. I suggest to chill on the grass in front of the museums, get a vibe, and select at least one to attend, based how much time you have.

we went to Neues Museum – since I really wanted to see the Nefertiti Bust, especially since who knows, maybe someday it will be returned to Egypt? Museum itself is a work of art, I learned so much about more asian history, that I did not know much of (such as praise to the dead back in the day). Definitely recommend – but it is a BIG MUSEUM! Drawings on the Book of the dead was so fun to look at. Sometimes it feels that we as civilisation have not changed at all in the last 5000 years.

Humbold Forum (location) – building was recently built again after demolishing an old one, so you can enjoy it for free now. There is some controversy around this one, since the renovation took way too much money.

Spy Museum – Maybe good for kids, but I liked it a lot as an adult. Learned a lot about spying, distrust, and how spies were important. Museum goes all way to modern times, I think I liked last section the least – when we talked about how Google and other corporations spy on us. I loved seeing times of Second World War, how propaganda was shared and spread out; and how inventive people were to hide their message! I got a book about Mata Hari after visiting this museum, since I learned so much about spies, and I needed more 😉

How to get around?

Metro system is very good! We usually took a metro to a certain part of the city and walked around there. Best ticket for us was “double” ticket for 10 euro. But see how much you plan to walk – maybe 24 hour drive will be something for you too.

Some food places:

Einstein Kaffee – cozy breakfast place! Walking distance from the start of the walking tour that we had

Some nice Wurst at Wurst:)

Lagom – a nice place, close to the East Side Gallery, we had a nice dinner there

Augustiner – great place for lunch, a lot of authentic food. I think it will also be good for dinner. We saw a lot of Germans in this place, so it was a good sign!

And some pictures!

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