Snapshots of Berlin: Interrailing 2013

Brandenburger Tor - Nicole Canning
Brandenburger Tor

Berlin was the city I was most looking forward to when we started planning our interrailing trip last January. I’d never been, but heard great things about the nightlife, historic sites and bratwursts(!).

We arrived at 4am, a misty, sleepy start to our two days in the German capital, and after spending almost 10 hours on a night train we were not happy campers (or interrailers to be more accurate). The cheeriest of taxi men brought us to our hostel that was to be our base for the next 48 hours.

The Accommodation:

We stayed in St. Christopher’s Inn on Rosa-Luxemburg-Strasse which proved to be really close to Alexander Platz (if you want to do a bit of shopping)  and the TV tower (for views across the city).

St. Christopher’s has its very own bar on the ground floor of the building – Belushi’s – which made it the perfect hostel in our eyes for the party capital of Germany, and thank god they did have it because we got very cosy on their beer-scented sofas when we arrived in the hazy hours of them morning and had to wait til 2pm to check into our room. So we napped (while some very strong techno beats pumped through the empty bar) with our rain coats as ‘sofa liners’ and bags as pillows ‘til our 8am breakfast call. The best bit about sleeping in the bar was definitely having the pick of fresh fruit, bread, hams and cheeses that were all served up (for free!) at breakfast.

I would say though, that with 160 beds over four floors and its inbuilt bar does not make this a ‘quiet getaway’ but excellent if you’re in a big group looking for a fun, action-packed weekend.

Also, I had THE BEST Caesar Salad of my life in Belushi’s for dinner on our first night for a budget-friendly €6.

The sights:

What I really loved about Berlin was that there was a piece of history around every corner. I’ll admit that my WW2 history is patchy at best but I still found it incredibly interesting and at times very moving.

We picked up a map at the hostel and just followed their suggested routes around the city on our first morning in Berlin (yes, we headed straight out after our sleepless night train!) and I conquered my fear of cycling on main roads on the second day and whizzed around the East side.

Here’s the snaps from the best bits:

The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe - Nicole Canning
Getting lost in the pillars of The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
Berlin sights - Nicole Canning
A little square we stumbled across when we got lost
Museumsinsel - Nicole Canning
Museumsinsel or Museum Island along the Spree
Berlin - Nicole Canning
Surviving on barely any sleep
Making friends with the locals - Nicole Canning
Making friends with the locals…
Oberbaum Bridge - Nicole Canning
Oberbaum Bridge and floating hostel that thankfully wasn’t ours!
The Reichstag building - Nicole Canning
Chilling outside The Reichstag building
Strolling down by the Spree
Taking a stroll by the Spree…
Dinner at St. Christopher's Inn Berlin - Nicole Canning
I did say it was the best Caesar salad ever!
The Berlin Wall East Side Gallery - Nicole Canning
Art on The Berlin Wall East Side Gallery
The Berlin Wall East Side Gallery - Nicole Canning
more art…

If you’re to do only one thing in Berlin…

Walk along the Berlin Wall East Side Gallery. The 150 different art works are truly fantastic along the 1.3 km stretch of wall and seeing it up close really does drive home what a divided city it was, but also how it’s grown and adapted to include its history into a modern landscape. Don’t leave without seeing it.

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