Germany Travel Diary, Part 1

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Our next stop in Europe was a quick trip to Berlin, Germany. Which is huge guys! Huge. It was about 3-4 times bigger than we thought it was, which is even more amazing when you remember that a giant wall went through the middle of it.

Due to a delay getting into Berlin (thanks to some crazy fog in Amsterdam), we had just about 30 hours to see all of Berlin. So to make the most of our trip, we booked the most touristy thing ever: a hop-on, hop-off tour bus complete with headphones to hear the automated guide!

Check out below for more for our Berlin highlights and what quickly became a favorite traveling outfit!

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Top Nine Things to Do in Berlin (in the order we did them):

  1. Eat Currywurst – If you can’t tell, we’re all about trying different foods/staples when we visit new places. This was the first thing we did after getting our bus tickets, since we arrived in Berlin right at lunch time. Currywurst is literally a grilled sausage (similar to a bratwurst) cut up into slices with ketchup on top of it. It’s then sprinkled with curry spices and usually served with really crispy fries. It’s typical street food, but I was more into bratwursts with tons of mustard on them, but I can get on board with fries dipped into the spicy ketchup!
  2. Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus – This was honestly the best way to get around the city. Like the name suggests, you just get on and off the bus whenever it stops at the 14-16 different stops on the route. A bus comes to to each stop about every 15-20 minutes, so you normally don’t have to wait that long for it to come pick you up. It’s easier than navigating traffic on your own, and you make it to a lot of different sites in a short amount of time. If you’re ever in Rome, we used it there and highly recommend it there too!
  3. Brandenburg Gate – This is one of the most recognizable sites in Berlin, and where Ronald Reagan stood to deliver his famous speech (it’s also on one of the Euro coins). It’s kind of crazy to stand at the base of it and stare up in awe at the sheer height of the gate and the immense history that has been at its base.
  4. Walk the Tiergarten – This is basically Berlin’s Central Park…aka a super pretty park that we just walked the brink of to get back to our hotel the first day. It’s super large, so it would have been nice to explore this with bikes! This used to be the area of land that German kings hunted on, and the name translates to “animal park”
  5. Take in the Views at the Reichstag Building – This is a the government hub of Berlin, but may be best known for the great (and free) views of Berlin. We unfortunately ran out of time and didn’t have a chance to go up the elevator to the top, but we did walk by.
  6. Visit Salamas Bar for Some NFL Action – We had already missed seeing one Indianapolis Colts football game (we listened to it on a radio app while we were in Ireland)…we weren’t about to miss another one. We got to the bar about 30 minutes before our game started and a huge mob of people were there. Since I’m a naive American…I panicked and thought they were all there for the NFL games! Nope, turns out one Germany soccer team was playing another one. One that game finished, the bar completely cleared out except for about a dozen NFL fans. We made some fast friends, joked around with some locals (my limited German got me nowhere), and watched the Colts squeak out a win! It was a great way to spend a Sunday night in Berlin!
  7. Walk the Berlin Wall  – We walked to the last remaining preserved part of the Berlin Wall early on Monday morning. The grounds remain nearly as they were in the 1980s when the rest of the wall was torn down. This error is super eerie (only a few tourists were up as early as us) and the signs do a good job of describing the area and the circumstances of that time in history.
  8. See the Topography of Terror – This exhibit is set entirely outside in an open air environment on the grounds of the Nazi Germany headquarters (including the Gestapo headquarters). It documents the chronology of the rise of the Nazis and how they inflicted terror and horror in the world and how it impacted Berlin as a city and a population. Again, a really moving exhibit that makes you think.
  9. Checkpoint Charlie – Super tourist trap area (you know this because it also has one of the fanciest McDonald’s ever), but still a place that I didn’t know a lot about. This was the area of Berlin where foreigners could cross between East and West Berlin. We didn’t go into the museum here, but it apparently has tons of artifacts from people who successfully made it over the wall (including a hot air balloon)!

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So there you have the world’s quickest tour of Berlin! We just ran out of time to see the rest (there is so much more to see)!

Tomorrow is sadly my last Europe post (until we go back next time ;))! Can you guess what city in Germany we’re going to next? Spoiler alert: it was The Husband’s favorite spot!

Have you ever been to Berlin?

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  • I was in Berlin this summer. The Topography of Terror was one of my favorite things we did (along with the German Historical Museum). As much as something devoted to so much terror can be a favorite, that is.

  • CURRYWURST IS THE BEST PART ABOUT GERMANY. besides the bread, beautiful building, brick roads, kind people, and and and. but seriously, curry wurst is always on my top five things I have to eat when I’m there.

  • Berlin was also one of my favorite stops in Europe. I had a few days there and still felt like I barely scraped the surface! My favorite stop was one of the chocolate shops – they had a to-scale model of The Titanic that absolutely blew my mind.