This Sunday will mark our first month abroad since we departed from Toronto back in August. How crazy is that? While we have been busy getting settled in and checking out the city, we have had the opportunity to experience some pretty cool touristy things already, some of which I’ve already mentioned on the blog and some I have not! So, for today’s post I thought that, I would share some pictures and thoughts on all the different things we tried out this month. From spending lazy afternoons by The Spree day-drinking to spending hours wandering Museum Island soaking up the history and culture, we have had the opportunity to see, taste and experience a variety of attractions already!
1) East Side Gallery - The Berlin Wall
The Easy Side Gallery; once it was the Berlin Wall, and now it is the largest open-air gallery in the whole world. Spanning for more than a kilometre beside The Spree, the East Side Gallery is the only standing piece of the Berlin Wall left in existence. For over 30 years, the Berlin Wall represented the Cold War and now it stands as an art installation that represents freedom.
The East Side Gallery was the first attraction we had set out to see after we had settled in here; it’s a must for any history buff or art aficionado. We spent a couple hours walking up and down the gallery, taking photos and appreciating the paintings. It is a huge tourist attraction though, so be warned you’ll potentially be rubbing elbows with a thousand people as you try to make your way around the gallery.
2) The Spree
The Spree is a river that runs through Germany and we are lucky enough to live right around the corner from it! Nick isn’t a fan of boats, so we haven't been able to test out some of the tourist attractions that the Spree offers. It has boat tours that run up and down the length of the river that take you by different sight seeing opportunities from the water. There are also restaurants that run up and down the length of the river; one we checked out actually had the dining area built so that is was hanging over the edge of the river; the food there was great! Another attraction is the cargo-container pool. We didn’t have a chance to check this out while the weather was still nice, but there is literally a bar/restaurant situation with a dock, and then a cargo-container IN the Spree that they’ve turned into a pool.
I love living by the water; my favourite thing to do is sit by the riverside and just relax with a drink (or two).
3) Treptower Park
Being such a big city, Berlin actually has a lot of greenery and parks. We are very lucky to not only live super close to the Spree, but also to Treptower Park. Treptower Park is the epitome of summertime in Berlin; you can spend an afternoon here sunbathing in the park, renting paddle boats or walking through the various gardens. There are also plenty of opportunities to up your historical game and check out the Soviet War memorials.
Nick and I spent the afternoon here one day to have a picnic and explore the park; we packed ourselves a light lunch, a blanket and a bottle of wine and made our way down to the park. After sitting, eating and people watching we decided to walk around the park to take some photographs and check out the memorials.
4) MarktHalle Neun
I’ve already dedicated a whole post to MarktHalle Neun already because it’s great, delicious and I love going there. In case you haven’t read that post yet, I thought I would include it here! MarktHalle Neun is a food market that occurs every Thursday; they have rotating food vendors that bring all the flavours of the world into one place. Nick and I have literally gone to this market every Thursday since we’ve moved here because we love what is has to offer. There are a few vendors that we always go to, otherwise we have the opportunity to switch it up and try new foods.
5) Museum Island
The Museum Island consists of five world-renowned museums: Pergamonmuseum (Pergamon Museum), Bode-Museum, Neues Museum (New Museum), Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery) and the Altes Museum (Old Museum). Museum Island is the perfect attraction to check out on a rainy day; it’s easily accessible, and with one ticket you have access to all five of the museums! This is a full day experience, so make sure you give yourself enough time and wear comfortable shoes to properly wander through all the exhibits that the island has to offer.
Compared to North American museums, the museums on Museum Island are smaller, but you can get more up close and personal with the exhibits and the artifacts. The staff also seemed more knowledgeable!
6) Brandenburg Gate
The Brandenburg Gate is a must-see for any tourist visiting Berlin. Similarly to the East Side gallery, this attraction also represents a reunified Germany. When the gate was first built, it stood in an inaccessible sector of the city where both tourists and locals were unable to visit. After the Wall fell 100,000 people gathered at The Brandenburg Gate to celebrate the gate’s official opening. Afterwards, it became tradition for locals to visit the Gate for New Years Eve celebrations.
I’m a sucker for architecture and old buildings, so I really enjoyed visiting here. I definitely want to go back and try to photograph it better. My original attempt did not do the Gate justice and there were way too many tourists around to finagle it into something better.
I debated on including Alexanderplatz in this post because I don’t really consider it an “experience”. It is the largest city centre in Berlin; because of this, it is a main hub for transportation around the city, and within walking distance to many other tourist attractions in Berlin! Alexanderplatz is constantly changing, currently it offers a large shopping centre, movie theatre, hotels and more.
Alexanderplatz is similar to Dundas Square, but without the hot-mess of it all. Nick and I have gone here a few times to shop and explore; my favourite experience here though was when we stumbled across a Vegan Food Festival in the square after we had left the mall.
There you have it! A tourist attraction for every day of the week that you can check out on your next visit to Berlin! Share this post with your friends for travel-inspo when you plan your next getaway!