how does social » A PHOTO ESSAY: BERLIN, GERMANY

A PHOTO ESSAY: BERLIN, GERMANY

Berlin, Germany, is a city that has always intrigued me. There really is no place quite like it. The history from the past combined with the culture of today has created a contrasting mix full of surprises. During our five days exploring the city, we dove headfirst into some fascinating experiences. We learned about the evolution of Berlin's coffee culture, dug into the street art scene, learned about WWII history on a Berlin Bunker Tour and at the Topography of Terror Museum, and visited iconic sights such as the Reichstag dome, The Holocaust Memorial, Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, and the Berlin Wall, to name a few. And of course, we found some great spots to eat, as well. Our visit also coincided with the holiday season, so we just had to make our way through plenty of fantastic Christmas Markets, too.
Even though our days were filled with all of the above sights, we left Berlin with an even bigger list of things we still want to do and places we want to see. I guess that is what makes a destination great-when you feel the need to return before you've even left, you know you found a match. We didn't go up the Fernsehturm, aka the Berlin TV Tower, but we admired it from the base and whenever we spotted it towering high above the city. It sure looks pretty against a bright blue sky, doesn't it?! I'd love to go to the top someday, but it just didn't make the cut this time around.
One of my favorite cafes we visited in Berlin was Distrikt Coffee. I ordered the buttermilk pancakes with bananas, maple berry preserve, citrus butter, and basil, and wow, was it good! I'm not sure if this exact item is still on the menu, but everything we ordered was delicious and the coffee was fantastic. It's worth a stop either way! One of our adventures in Berlin was joining in on a street art tour. We learned all about the different types of street art, the legalities of street art in Berlin and around the world, how it gets up on the walls, and about various artists and their different styles of art. I never realized how in depth of a topic this could be, but it was fascinating to dig in, especially in a city where street art has such a deep history. We spent over an hour walking around town discussing street art and looking at different pieces, and then it was time to try out some painting of our own. We went back to a working artist garage and learned how to create our own piece of art with spray paint, stencils, and a variety of other tools. Micah and I had so much fun testing out our skills, and we were able to take a handmade souvenir home with us! We spent over an hour walking around town discussing street art and looking at different pieces, and then it was time to try out some painting of our own. We went back to a working artist garage and learned how to create our own piece of art with spray paint, stencils, and a variety of other tools. Micah and I had so much fun testing out our skills, and we were able to take a handmade souvenir home with us! Markthalle Neun is a food hall located in the Kreuzberg neighborhood. It was the starting point of our coffee tour, which was perfect since we had it on our list to visit anyways. We enjoyed browsing all the offerings at the market and settled on lunch at the BBQ stand. It was tasty and a fun atmosphere to boot! When I was researching restaurants in Berlin, I kept coming across Burgermeister, so we decided we had to give it a try. We loved the small location under the U-Bahn tracks, and the burgers and fries were delicious, too. They definitely lived up to the hype! One of the Christmas markets that we went to was located on the roof of the Neukölln Arkaden shopping mall. It actually happened to be closed due to wind when we arrived, but thankfully they were still selling gluhwein for those of us who made the trip. Even though it was closed, we were still glad we took the time to find this special spot. The views from the roof were pretty and there was a lot of neat art there, as well. The area is normally a rooftop bar, so even if it’s not the holiday season, it’s still worth a visit!