Arriving in Berlin, my first impressions of it were cold, grey and, as many people agree, the language is not particularly attractive. However, what it does have to offer is culture. On my recent trip to the German capital, I discovered a city steeped in history that also offered impressive street art and a party scene that would put most British cities to shame. In the daytime we visited historical sites, including the East Side Gallery, where the largest part of the Berlin wall still stands, and the Holocaust memorial.
Both were intensely emotional experiences that put German and English history into perspective. Though we missed the “alternative tour” due to misreading the slightly confusing underground map, we did manage to find The Kunsthaus Tacheles. Formerly a Jewish department store and a Nazi prison, this art house is, if you can ignore the intense smell of urine, definitely worth a look.
Our favourite area, Kreuzberg, was where I had my most memorable night in Berlin. Memorable because I wasn’t ridiculously drunk, but more importantly, because the place we stumbled upon was like nowhere I had ever been before. I felt like we had been transported back into the 1970s, something I’ve always wished was possible! Outside, it looked like abandoned housing, covered in graffiti. The stairway stank of urine and at the top we were greeted by a sign that warned us strictly no photos, a common rule in many of the clubs in the city.
On the other side of the curtain, our noses were filled with the aroma of marijuana, beer and sweat. The club wasn’t particularly big and was heaving with locals. There were people dancing all along the window sill, in front of the steamed up glass, to soul music that glided into hip-hop as the night progressed. Beer in hand, we jumped straight into the party and onto the dancefloor. I have no idea what the club was called, or if it even had a name, but I will definitely make it my mission to visit Berlin again and return to this place.
Berlin should be on everyone’s travel to-do list this year as it provides the perfect mix of culture and nightlife. The only thing I didn’t encounter, was sunshine!