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In stark contrast to the rest of Germany, Berlin is colorful, rebellious, and even a little dirty (but in the best way possible). Whereas other parts of the country can be a bit sterile and unnaturally clean, Berlin is real, it’s alive. It’s a city that has an energy that draws you in and makes you want to stay. You can cover all the city’s highlights in just three days, but you may also just want to stay forever.

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Day 1: Berlin Wall and city history

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Admire the several city blocks of artwork on the still standing portion of the Berlin Wall – Photo by Author

It’s impossible to talk about Berlin without the mention of the Wall. There are still segments of the once 91-mile long reinforced concrete wall that divided the city for nearly 30 years. Check out the most colorful, still standing piece at the East Side Gallery. Here you will find graffitied slabs of concrete filled with rebellious messages that go on for several city blocks. To read about its history, head over to the Allied Forces Museumto seehow it looked during the Cold War. The Berlin Wall was more than just a wall, it was actually a double wall with guard posts and patrolmen. If someone was quick enough to get over the first 12-foot barbwire topped wall, their job wasn’t done. They would have to make it through the gap between the walls which was engineered to be just the right size for a shooting lane, and then, finally, another giant wall.

For those who want to venture further back into history and outside the city limits, visit the Sachsenhausen concentration camp located 35-miles outside the city. The camp is a glimpse back into Germany’s dark past and a remembrance for those who were victims there. In addition to the concentration camp, there are several other WWII and Holocaust sites to visit in and around the city. Some of the most popular are the Jewish Museum and the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.

Enjoy a local favorite currywurst after a day exploring the vibrant capital - Photo by Author

Enjoy a local favorite currywurst after a day exploring the vibrant capital – Photo by Author

To finish your day of exploring Berlin’s troubled history, sink your teeth into one of the city’s classic dishes, the currywurst. Born out of necessity during war times, the currywurst was a way of making lower end cuts of meat into a good and tasty meal. This wurst is a finely ground German pork sausage that is served with ketchup and a generous topping of curry powder with a hard roll and french fries on the side. The curry powder brought exotic spices from India and mixed them with traditional sausages for a flavorful and hearty meal during tough times. Try one at the local favorite Curry 7 eatery, just a short walk from the East Side Gallery.

Day 2: Berlin’s quirky gems

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The futuristically awesome TV Tower of Berlin – Photo by socialBediaCC

There are not too many places in the world where you can ride your bike or roller skate on the tarmac of an abandoned airport, but Berlin is one of those places. Since the reunification there was an excess of airports and the Tempelhof Airport was turned into a recreational area rather than torn down. You can tour the inside of the abandoned terminal or visit the old runways that are filled with families riding bikes. It’s just one of the many surreal quirky things you can only find in Berlin.

Feeling even more adventurous? In the center of the city there is even nude sunbathing at the city’s largest public park the Tiergarten. Although not a tourist attraction, it gives an insight on what a forward and outside the norm city Berlin really is. When visiting Berlin’s iconic Victory Column, you may walk right by without even knowing it.

In addition to the unique attractions you can find all over the city, Berlin has some stunning classic landmarks as well. One that is both famous and a little quirky is the Fernsehturm TV tower located in the heart of the city at Alexanderplatz. This 1960s futuristic tower looks ready for a world that’s not yet built. The daring can swing across this busy square right in front of the TV tower on what they call base flying from the nearby Park Inn.

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Make sure to stop at one of Germany’s most iconic landmarks, the Brandenburg Gate – photo by: Scott CawleyCC

Possibly the most quintessential Berlinmonument is the Brandenberg gate. This former city gate built in neo-classical style was the background of several famous post-WWII pictures. The black and white images show the gate is still standing and a wake of destruction all around it. The gate was damaged heavily during the war, but has been restored and is still one Germany’s most famous landmarks.

Finish your day exploring the quirky side of Berlin with one of Germany’s quirkiest beers, the Berliner Weisse. In true rebellious Berlin spirit, this beer completely violates the German purity laws by adding berry juice to a locally brewed wheat beer. The beer pairs well with another local favorite, bockwurst, or even a sweet Berliner donut.

Day 3: Kreuzberg

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Admire the larger than life murals painted on the sides of buildings in Kreuzberg – Photo by Author

The Kreuzberg district is Berlin’s version of Brooklyn. This part of town has been the long time home of a large Turkish population since the time after WWII when many people from Turkey immigrated to help rebuild the country. Over the past decade, Kreuzberg has become the trendiest part of town. It has a very artistic vibe that can literally be seen everywhere in the form of large-scale murals covering the sides of many buildings. Additionally, there is a strong culinary renaissance sweeping through where you can enjoy great Turkish foods and twists on German classics.

This neighborhood is a great place to get a taste of Turkey while in Germany. You can find Turkish candy shops to get your fill of soft gummy Turkish delights. If you happen to visit on a Tuesday or Friday make sure to find your way to the Turkish market located on Maybachufer Strasse.

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Try Turkish food right in Berlin’s Kreuzberg – Photo by Author

Kreuzberg is a great place to just wander around and get lost in tiny retro shops or one of a kind restaurants. Soak in the counter-culture vibe and enjoy the colorful street art exhibits. A blend of cultures this unique only happens in Berlin.

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Tagged: Europe, Germany

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Hannah & Adam | Getting Stamped Bloggers
Hannah & Adam are travel writers & photographers who have called the road home since 2013. Their passion for adventurous travel has brought them to 60 countries and counting. They blog about their adventures on their travel blog GettingStamped.com.

One thought on “3 perfect days in Berlin”

  1. I visited Berlin in 1972, when I was 17. Would LOVE to see Berlin as a whole city, without that horrible eyesore of a wall. At that time, it had NO graffiti or art of any kind on it. I found out why when I nearly got shot for just going up and touching the wall. A guard poi ten his rifle at my head. I just smiled up at him, and turned and calmly walked away. Scared? Yeah, but didn’t want to alarm him. Found my Grandparents and brother and said “we need to leave now!” We moved on down the line to the Bombed Out Church. Spent the next day in East Berlin. That was facinating, but I kept thinking I hope that guy doesn’t know I’m here, or I might disappear to Siberia forever. Fortunately, that didn’t happen. I am alive and very well in America, living a very typical American life. Alls good.

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