A while ago, I participated in Blogging 201 from WordPress.com. It is a great course designed to help you think about your blog and what you want to achieve with it – no matter how small your ambitions. It is also the perfect opportunity to meet other bloggers. Hundreds of people sign up for the course and a good number use the common ‘room’ to chat and ask for advice and feedback. This is how I first encountered Bright Pigments blog.
I feel in love with her photography almost instantly. So when the staff at Blogging 201 asked us to consider offering and hosting guest posts, it felt natural to turn to Bright Pigments. Her photos are playful and inquisitive but also artful and sensitive, and always beautiful. After a series of e-mails we settled for a tour of Berlin, a city she knows well and has often photographed.
I eagerly awaited the results, impatient to see the photos and learn more about the city itself. But I wasn’t expecting the depth of what Bright Pigments sent me. What follows is a guide to Berlin, the only guide you need for a long week-end. Bright Pigments has included all the information you need from what to see to where to buy food and find toilets. Accompanied by her beautiful shots, this guide will make you want to book a trip to Berlin.
As the whole guest post is long, I have broken it down in three parts. The last part (this one) includes extra information and a link to a Google map to help you get from spot to spot. I will link back to those once everything has been published. Catch up on Day 01 here and here.
PS: Click on the photos to see them bigger.
Day 02 (or later)
If you want to see the famous KaDeWe – a premium shopping paradise which always has WONDERFUL and amazing christmas decoration (the ground floor always looks wonderful) go to the U bahn Station Wittenbergplatz. It is serviced by the U1, U12 und U3. From the KaDeWe walk away from the subway station and follow the Tauentzienstraße. You will walk past the Kaiser-Willhelm-Gedächtniskirche, next to the Bahnhof Zoo is by the way the Museum for photography. It has a special exhibition about Helmut newton and changing exhibitions from other artists. I have been in there (it’s free with a student pass or if you are below 18) and it was totally worth it. It is not that big, so plan about one hour of time, it might be more but should be less.
I would not recommend this area after dark. The KuDamm is ok, the Station is ok but this street isn’t. As it is some of the main spots for prostitution of young boys, theft, drug dealing and the mission for homeless people is near. Normally I wouldn’t say anything but as the situation in Berlin seems to be a little explosive at the moment… Well. I would not go there after dark. I would not recommend it, do what you like to. The police is quite often in this area. And anyways: I am really relaxed normally and spend time in Berlin but this was the only area I ever felt uneasy in.
When you leave the Museum through the main entrance turn left.
Walk straight ahead, cross the road and walk along the Theater. Until you get to the Kantstraße. Follow the Kantstraße on its left side. You will get to the Savignyplatz. This spot is my overall favorite in Berlin. You’ll get some of the best food in Berlin around here. The restaurant ‘Ashoka’ will give you some very cheap and tasty indian food, if you love Austrian cuisine, go to ‘Jules Verne’ (both marked on the map). It’s a little bit pricey but totally worth it. The Hackhendelsalat (backed chicken with corn crust on salad) is as good as in Vienna. I love it.
If you are searching for something to eat for lunch and want to go to a restaurant, the ‘Petrocelli’ will suit your wishes. The last time I looked it up you could get two courses for meal around 12€ which is quite good. The food is wonderful there. You will find it when you walk from the Suburban (exit savignyplatz) to the right. Cross the road and it should be on your right.
Anyways – if I list every spot to eat around this place it would take ages. So, have a look at the map, I marked some nice spots. I have eaten at all of these myself and would recommend them to anyone in Berlin.
Other spots to mention:
- East side gallery: Located in Berlin eastern part is a strip of the Berlin wall, decorated by street artists. Some quite special shots can be taken there. It is quite nice. Take the S7/5/75 to Ostbahnhof or the U12 to Warschauer Straße. Around the Warschauer Straße are many clubs and bars, the Berghain (really famous club – expect not to get in there and google for the dress code) is close to Warschauer Straße as well. If you want to celebrate go there but leave your valuables at home.
- Markthalle Neun: Located in the eastern part of Berlin as well is one huge market for street food and other amazing stuff. Every Thursday they celebrate the street food Thursday with amazing food and a wonderful atmosphere. Take the U12 to Görlitzer Bahnhof. I marked it on the map. The area is nice with some bars BUT consider that the Görlitzer Park is still one of the main spots for drug dealing in Berlin. Please don’t go there. you don’t want to get into trouble. If you don’t know the way towards the Markthalle ask any of the officials around there. There are always a few VBB officials around (crime prevention) and are happy to help you out. Even if all of this sounds somehow strange: go there, it’s worth it. I have been there with Amelie from Thiswildnature (she is like a little sister to me) and can recommend this place even if you take children with you.
- Jüdisches Museum: The jewish museum is one of the most impressive in Berlin. Take the underground to Hallesches Tor U6/U1 or the U6 to Kochstraße. You will have to enter through the city hall located next to the museum (there ought to be a sign telling you) because the museum itself has no separate entrance.
- Eberswalder Straße: Another spot for amazing food. It is serviced by the U2 and I would recommend a visit. Some quite alternative shops, little bars, restaurants its very nice.
As I mentioned before: Potsdam is also included on the map. The city of Potsdam is serviced by the VBB via the Suburban line S7 towards Potsdam Hauptbahnhof. It departs every 10 minutes.
When you buy a VBB ticket for the fare Zones ABC the public transport in the city of Potsdam is included.
In Potsdam there are many possibilities for photography. You will get to most of them by tram (as this is the best possibility to get around the city). I marked a few spots, if you are still willing you could make your way around by foot, using the map as orientation, or, as the tram stations ought to be marked in the map as well take the tram… Anyways, I won’t do a special tour for Potsdam as its quite limited in it’s space and should be explored without any kind of ‘plan’ you won’t get lost, I promise.
Ask at the information in the train station for a city map – they mostly hand it out for free. The marked spots are just suggestions, giving you some mayor sights. Enjoy your time, the city is beautiful.
- Keep an eye on your belongings. Theft is as common in Berlin as anywhere else. Also leave no luggage unattended at no time during your trip.
- Keep your national ID card with you. It is federal law in Germany that any citizen should carry an ID card with him at any time. If you want to stay on the safe side keep yours with you as well.
- The legal age in Germany is 18. Unless otherwise stated it is ok to drink alcoholic beverages in public (parks, streets, etc.) but I think they prohibited alcohol from the VBB so keep your eyes open for signs. Please don’t be totally drunk, the police isn’t happy if they find you lying around somewhere and you might get fined in this case. It’s ok to drink, but not to be drunk enough that you can’t take responsibility for your actions.
- If you want to buy alcohol there are two restrictions: No ‘hard’ alcoholic beverages beyond 18 – you may buy beer, wine, sparkling beverages and light alcoholic drinks from 16 on. From 18 on there are no further restrictions. The cashiers are forced to see your ID card to prevent getting in trouble themselves so keep it with you.
- Keep your VBB ticket with you when traveling with the public transport. Controls may occur at any time, but are quite seldom. There are automated selling points at any station, a bunch of them at bigger ones. Note: If the vending machine is not working due to any issues take a picture, get off at the next stop and try again. 60€ fine otherwise.
- Photography is somehow regulated: street photography is fairly legal but you might be fined anyways. Don’t take pictures of beggars, homeless or dunk people. It is illegal. Don’t take pictures of children without a parental permission.
- Festival of illuminations: 30.09.2016 – 16.10.2016.
- Night of the museums: 27.08.2016.
- Tourist information depending the VBB/Public transport issues and other: Hauptbahnhof/Central station on the second floor.
- Emergency calling: 110 for police, 112 for an ambulance or the firefighters. You might have to call several times due to personnel cuts especially in the area of Berlin but you’ll definitely get serviced. Call anyone for help on the street, German federal law forces citizen to help if they are called directly and most will do it anyways.
- Shop opening hours are usually between 10am and 8pm on weekdays, some shops close around noon on Saturdays, shops are closed generally on Sundays.
- If you are in need of something to drink, to eat or a newspaper on Sundays or beyond the normal opening hours due to any reason, head to a Spätkauf or ask anyone around where to find the next ‘Späti’, they will help you out for reasonable prices. If possible don’t go to a gas station, they are more expensive. shops in the central stations are mostly open 24/7, there is a kaisers supermarket in the Berlin central station (Level -1).
- Please find my google map enclosed here.
This is it. The tour is over. So now you really have no excuse not to head over Bright Pigments and check her blog out. You won’t regret it.