Travel post — Berlin (ist Kultur)

Berlin is a strange place. It’s not an especially beautiful city. A space needle tower sticks above the horizon, like a crude Eiffel Tower. The buildings are jumbled and confused — a strange coexistence of high-tech glass corporate buildings rubbing up against old-style baroque architecture. And then most iconic of all, the downright harsh edges of “abandoned” steel warehouses littered throughout the city, remnants of an industrial past. But despite that, there’s something about Berlin that excites the imagination. Maybe it’s the preceding fame of the city’s underground decadent culture, or it’s polarized history of glory and pain. Regardless, Berlin is one twisted trip, and I think to truly embrace it’s “charm,” we must welcome it with an open-mind.


The Hbf train station, situated in the heart of the city, nearby Brandenburg Gates and the City Hall. The train station itself captures the excitement and energy.

Some cool modernist architecture by the waterways.

I ended up visiting Berlin twice (and hopefully many more times in the future). The second time was coincidentally on the day of the final CHAMPIONS LEAGUE, FC Barcelona vs Juventus FC.

On Berliners. I’d say at first glance Berliners come off as stand-offish and hard-edged (Copenhagen anyone?) but I personally have a warm impression. Of the people living in Berlin I’ve approached, all have been open and friendly. Afterall, it’s quite an international city and people seem willing to make conversation.

So what makes Berlin so freaking awesome? The arts scene.

A lot of Europeans listen to American music. But Berliners don’t depend on that. They have their own microculture with multiple subcultures flourishing, from visual arts, music, design to start-ups, restaurants, crafts and on and on. And best of all — the street art. Some of the best, most sophisticated pieces of street art I’ve ever seen, are mapped all across the buildings, from little men to giant elk falling from the sky. You don’t need to pay to appreciate the art. Just walking around the East Side Gallery (remaining section of Berlin Wall decked out in murals) and Mitte is rewarding enough.

Amazing.

Yeah. And if you follow this blog, you know I like food.

Well the food here is undeniable and sensational. Not even over-the-top fancy, but somehow I had an extremely consistent YUM reaction to the breads and cheeses we consumed. Also, please do not forget the durum and falafel in town. The best falafel sandwich I’ve ever had was at Mustafa’s Kebap street cart, hands down.

More. From Factory Girl, located in Mitte. Breakfast platters and spongy, home-made bread.

Restaurant Bastard in edge of Kreuzberg. Brunch platter, the bougiest brunch platter I’ve ever met. Sprinkled with pollen. WOW. and it’s not just a facade. The flavors make me want to belt northern lights.

Definitely take advantage to check out the Turkish Market!

Ahh. And the rest is history. There’s still so much I haven’t seen/ experienced in the city. Like the craft beer. And Bergain. A proper rooftop dinner/bar. Are you inspired yet? Maybe this well help..

“Eating is a necessity. Enjoying is an art.”

The Barn cafe in Mitte.

Danke-schun Berlin.


Originally published at cphforecast.tumblr.com.