I had been in Berlin only for a couple of hours before I came back to visit the city the last summer. That time I was there to decide whether or not moving to the city for a job opportunity.
That chance already belongs to my past now, but Berlin has completely won over my heart.
7 Am in the morning, just landed in Fiumicino – “What to do for the last week of summer holidays?” and the answer was on the departure board. It was just some minutes before the flight to Tegel take off.
Few hours later we were in Berlin in a hotel room overlooking the Mitte neighborhood, our bags stockpiled near the door.
Nothing planned, nothing booked we started wandering around like we had always known that undefined – till then- city.
Maybe the restaurants with outdoor tables lined up on the sidewalk, or the pubs and bars lightening the mood in the public parks: something made me feel comfortable immediately, welcomed in my own world.
Some of those bars are located all along the river: take your shoes off, sit on a beach chair perfectly arranged in rows and ask for a beer. That’s summer in Berlin and Berliners enjoy meeting up and chilling out making the best use of any open space available in the city.
And I was really impressed by the countless ways in which every single square meter is exploited here. The stylistic and technological aspects, as well as the mood you can smell in the air, bring harmony and positiveness to these spaces and contribute to making a truly remarkable experience.
One of my favourite parks during that day was James-Simon park but, no matter how mainstream is, don’t miss the floating pool Badeschiff and its beach area, not far from East side Gallery.
Don’t worry if you haven’t your flip-flops and towel with you: they have everything you need to enjoy the poolside and a useful (fair enough) rent-deposit system. You’ll get also a unique panoramic view of the Spree.
I would be crazy not to recognize a feeling I had -most of the time- during this journey: a strong, deep connection with Williamsburg, NY. Berlin is probably the only European city reminiscent of the New York’s hipster neighborhood.
This city is a melting pot of cultures, people and food from all over the world. Unsurprisingly there are an endless number of suggestions about food and where to eat, how to get to most iconic murals on the Berlin wall or how to avoid getting rejected by Berghain so that it is quite stupid to keep giving advice like “what to do in Berlin in 3 days”..
I suggest you to take my approach: enjoy the city and experience it without having to plan every single moment of the day. It’s summer in Berlin, let yourself be guided by your wisdom, trust your instinct. Follow your sense of smell, stop for a pint and don’t ask yourself what’s gonna happen just after.
This way I got to know an incredible city that is, in my opinion, the city to live in nowadays. That’s probably the reason why I’m still wondering “Did I take the right decision?”
GOOD THINGS TO KNOW
Auguststraße 29c, Mitte
Rosa Luxemburg-Straße 7, Mitte
District Mot – Saigon
Rosenthaler Str. 62, Mitte
Markt Halle Neun
Eisenbahnstraße 42/43, Kreuzberg
Köpenicker Str. 20, Kreuzberg
Spreebogen Park, Mitte
Berlin Wall Memorial
Bernauer Str. 111