Berlin Travel Tips

May 31, 2012 8 Comments »

What should you do when you go to Berlin? Social Media knows…

I had heard it over and over – “you must go to Berlin – you’ll love it.” I had tucked it away in my ‘planning’ folder and was sad that I didn’t have time to stop there last summer as we drove through Germany for the Mongol Rally. So this year I was determined to go to Berlin and finally visit Germany and experience my ethnic background. In fact, my desire to see Berlin was the main driver in participating in the Go with Oh Blogger project.

I arrived on the train from Vienna and Karina from Oh Berlin Blog was there to greet me. There’s nothing better than pulling into a new city and having someone you already know there to help you get oriented. In addition, I had thousands of people ready to help on Twitter again providing me tons of tips for Berlin and the Go with Oh Contest.

Karina took me to my beautiful Go with Oh Berlin apartment and I got settled into my favorite apartment yet! It was small, cute, and perfect for my two-week adventure in Berlin. You can see just how much I loved it in this video!

Over some beer and Vietnamese food, Karina and I sat down and went through the Twitter tips and ideas from the Oh Berlin blog/team to plan my time in Berlin. I had a full schedule and I immediately knew my two weeks would go too fast!

The winning Berlin tip:

@BMTAdamchick visit the (wait for it) Hohenschoenhausen Prison. Many of the guides were actually held there during the Cold War! Fascinating!

The winning tip just blew me away – it was the side of Berlin that I was most interested in – the Cold War. The STASI prison tour was a great way to understand what was happening behind the wall in East Germany.

stasi prison
A sobering look at the Cold War era in East Germany

Here are my favorite Twitter tips and some of the great advice I received from Oh-Berlin.


@a6packofstories Yo oh, we want to go! Our tip for Sherry while in #Berlin is a #FatTireBicycleTour through the city!
@takeyourbigtrip recommends a bike tour around the city – cycle east and west side in this very biker-friendly city.

Fat Tire Bike tour was a great way to get acquainted with the city and learn a little history too!

bike tour
Fat Tire Bike Tour was a great intro to the city

@Oh-Berlin – tip for a lazy Sunday ambling around the city. Nowkoelln flea market. Hope you enjoy it, love to hear your thoughts if you do.

I LOVED this flea market and only wished that I had more room in my backpack to shop!  Instead, I did the things that don’t take up room in my backpack like eat and listen to live music!

berlin food
Enjoying the Sunday Flea market

@travelwAnn Otto Weidt Workshop- amazing story; bonus- get your picture taken with handlebar mustache

I went to the workshop (it was free!) and enjoyed a quick look around at this fascinating story of how one man tried to protect his neighborhood, workers, and business from the Nazi regime.   Never did find a mustache though!

Discover Hop-On Hop-Off European Train Travel!

Oh Berlin – Topography of Terror – Located on the site of the former headquarters of the three key players in the propagation of terror, control, and coercion during the Nazi reign (the SS, the Secret State Police, and the Reich Security), ‘Topography of Terror’ is one of the most popular centres in Berlin for the documentation of the Nazi regime.

This place brought me to tears…I left with a heavy heart but totally appreciated the wonderful curation of a very difficult subject.

News clippings from the Topography of Terror

Food/Drink – Berlin’s Food Culture

@jenna_harrison Don’t leave without trying Berliner Weiss!

A colorful sour/sweet wheat beer that is a must-try!

berliner weiss beer
Me…drink beer…if I must…

@Oh_Berlin Curry 66 – We think it is the best Curry Wurst in all of Berlin. Curry 66 holds the title of being Berlin’s spiciest Curry Wurst. Grünberger Straße 66 10245 Berlin

Curry 66
My very first currywurst from Curry 66…I like it spicy!

Oh Berlin – Factory Girl – Best Dessert and Home Made Limonade in Berlin. Desserts are like icings and toppings without the cake…hard to explain. See for yourself

factory girl desert
Looks strange – but yumminess!


@CrisAbcn East Side Galery, don’t miss it! If it is still there, Tacheless of course. And curry-wurst! Have a nice trip!
@olga_valentin Go to Kunsthaus Tacheles, a department store turned Nazi prison turned graffiti-covered artists collective #Berlin
@texkourgan Kunsthaus Tacheles – Facing final days. Built as a store in the Jewish quarter, a Nazi prison & now an art collective

tacheles staircase
Tacheles was like a fun house of graffiti and strangeness!

@ineedavac Check out the exhibit on Berlin’s ghost stations at the Nordbahnhof S-Bahn station

ghost stations berlin
I loved this exhibit of metro stations caught in the Cold War.

This exhibit was free, small, and simple – but it packed a punch.  It was put up in one of the old ghost stations which made it even better.  I’m not sure how long it will be up – but check it out and learn about the subways during the time of the Cold War.


Reichstag – @thetravolution You can get the best view overlooking #Berlin at Reichstag. And the best part is it’s Free!

The Reichstag building was great for photography! Plus they had a fabulous free audio tour.

Oh Berlin – Spreepark Berlin – Abandoned amusement park which hasn’t been in use for almost 10 years now. The carousels and big dinosaurs are left to nature which is conquering its territory again. Like in a fairy tale. Perfect for taking amazing pictures.

spreepark berlin
Hanging out with what’s left at Spreepark in Berlin

One of the highlights of my time in Berlin – a photographic dream to walk around this abandoned amusement park in former East Germany.  You can take tours on the weekend and get special access to walk anywhere and take photos!

Oh Berlin – C/O Berlin Internationales Forum für Fotografie – Since its inception in 2000 in the former Royal Post Office (Postfuhramt) building, C/O Berlin, International Forum For Visual Dialogues, has firmly established itself within the cultural landscape of Berlin-Mitte, near Museum Island and the government district.

I loved the C/O Berlin – they had a great exhibit on portrait photography as well as a NYC Subway exhibit.  I think the best way to improve your photography is to go study it at places like C/O Berlin.

These were only some of the things I did while in Berlin – there will be many more to come over the next few weeks!
Be sure to take a look at the complete list of Berlin Travel tips at Go with Oh – there were so many great ones that I didn’t get to do on how to visit Berlin like a local and some wonderful food/bar recommendations!

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