10 things Berlin is not
- A traditional German city. If you have visited Germany before, you won’t find anything alike in Berlin. Everything here is unconventional. A concoction of the most unexpected experiences: alternative and glamorous, loud and quiet, small cute corners in the middle of a metropolis,completely different districts next to each other.
- Beautiful at first sight. Berlin is not like Rome or Prague, where you get that “wow effect” instantly. Berlin needs to be conquered, you have to feel that “special something” in the air, in the atmosphere. The city is stubborn, but once hooked, you’ll never want to leave again.
- A city to be seen by car. Because it’s 100 times better to walk, rent a bike or take the public transport. There are too many parks and lakes you’ll miss otherwise. And of course the river Spree. Should you come to Berlin by car, park it somewhere and forget about it until your departure.
- A place filled with chain stores only (like most of the other German towns). You’ll find those as well, but Berlin is booming with small designer boutiques, hand-made stuff and art objects. Berlin is well-known as the city of artists.
- An expensive city. Yes, the prices are going up constantly, but the amount of money you’ll spend here for going out is still comparatively low if you think of other European cities like London or Paris. Coffee for under 3 Euro, train or bus ticket from the airport 3.30 Euro.
- Small! If you have to travel from A to B, take into account that Berlin is huge. It might have a population of (only) 3.5 million inhabitants, but the city is far bigger than Paris for instance. It has an area of 890 square kilometers, which means you want to plan at least 30 to 40 minutes to get somewhere by public transport.
- Dangerous. I’ve been living here for 10 years and I can say that Berlin is safe. You don’t have to worry about going out at night. Berlin is that kind of city that never sleeps and you’ll find young multicultural people on the streets at any hour. Avoid maybe districts like Neukölln (some parts of it), Hellersdorf, or Marzahn late at night. But you won’t have anything to do there anyway. And the good thing is that the public transport operates 24 hours. In what concerns pickpockets during daytime, I would say behave like you normally would: keep your belongings where you can see them.
- A city where you won’t find your favourite food. In such a multicultural place, there is a restaurant for every taste. Go for different Asian cuisines, European, American, Australian, African, you name it. And of course German. Don’t forget to taste the Berlin Currywurst.
- A place where you have to speak German. Don’t worry about having to learn those impossible words you’ve heard about. You’ll be fine with English everywhere in Berlin. In fact, in many restaurants or cafes, the employees don’t even speak German, because they’re expats.
- BORING. No matter how many days you’ll be spending here, I bet they won’t be enough. Because once you leave the house, you’ll be amazed by everything Berlin has to offer. Just let yourself guided by… the city.
Categories: life in Berlin