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Student City Guide: Berlin

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Armed with a 30 day Eurolines pass, I travelled to Berlin this summer as part of my backpacking trip around Europe. Although Berlin’s rich history is an obvious reason to visit, there are plenty of other, history-free, places to call at which are unique to students. One thing is for sure; there is never a lack of things to do in Berlin.

Culture

Even if you are only spending a short time in Berlin, you must make sure that you go the East Side Gallery, a remaining portion of the Berlin wall which has been decorated by over 100 different artists. The wall now serves as a freedom memorial, and is incredibly moving to walk alongside. Although the gallery stretches for 1.3km and is of course a tiny proportion of the original wall, to me it appeared vast, with the variety of paintings reflecting the struggle of everyday people and each having its own individual message.

To see the main sights of Berlin’s historic centre I would recommend a boat trip along the Spree, which winds past the Reichstag building, parliament and Museum Island to name but a few. Many of the boat companies offer student prices (we got a trip which lasted an hour for €10) and have English audioguides, as well as including the added bonus of saving on walking long distances.

The Reichstag Building is thriving with history, and if you decide to go on a guided tour of Berlin you are sure to hear all about it. The glass Reichstag Dome, which is located in the centre of the building, offers a 360 degree view over the city, and can be accessed underneath the building. Beware though, booking online in advance is advised, otherwise you might be faced with seemingly never-ending queues.

Within walking distance of the Reichstag Dome is the Brandenburg gate, another of the most well known tourist attractions in Berlin. A two minute walk from the Brandenburg Gate is the Holocaust Memorial, which consists of hundreds of blocks spanning across a wide area, representative of the numerous people who died during the holocaust. One final historical calling point is Checkpoint Charlie, which now has a free museum to enter next to it, detailing the history of the Berlin wall.

Food and drink

In the evening, try out the candlelit bars and restaurants next to the River Spree. Although slightly expensive, these bars are atmospheric and filled with locals. In the daytime many of these bars offer sun loungers, meaning that you can be transported temporarily from the business of Berlin to a quiet haven next to the river within minutes.

Of course, Berlin’s famous nightlife is not to be missed, with you pretty much being guaranteed to have a wild time at any of the city’s main clubs. And with the Metro running late into the night, guaranteeing you an easy ride back to your hostel, there is no excuse as to why you can’t go out and party!

Alexanderplatz, one of the largest squares in Berlin, is also filled with bars and restaurants, as well as being a shopper’s paradise. Unfortunately we just missed out on being in Berlin for the World Cup final, but the atmosphere in Alexanderplatz was still brilliant when we arrived a few days later, with many fans walking around sporting German flags and fancy dress.

To buy your Eurolines pass online or to find out which cities a Eurolines pass allows you to travel to, go to http://www.eurolines.com/en/eurolines-pass

 




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