I love Berlin. Love it . It’s a city that draws me back time and again. There is something about the place that calls me. I love the sense of creativity, history and optimism there. If ever there was a city to make you feel that whatever  happens a new path can be forged,  Berlin is it. I’m currently planning my next trip to the German capital, but in the meantime I am indulging my love of the place by sharing  five reasons, in no particular order, to love Berlin.

Things Helen Loves, Museum Island, Berlin

First thing to know and love about Berlin- its massive. And, to keep it interesting, has no one centre.  It is a glorious patchwork quilt of a city made up by many neighbourhoods, each with its own feel and draw. Thanks to this, Berlin is a city of endless possibilities. However, you should expect to spend some time getting from A to B. Book a hop on – hop off tour, or better yet, get to grips with the inexpensive public transport system. And enjoy discovering the city…after all, it’s about the journey, right?

TV Tower viewed through the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin
TV Tower viewed through the Brandenburg Gate.

Berlin is super affordable. Particularly for a European capital. Not only will you find a range of places to stay and eat that suit all budgets, but you’ll also find a lot of things to do in Berlin that are either free or low-cost. Many of Berlins most famous sights are completely free …the Brandenburg Gate, remnants of the Wall,  the Topography of Terror exhibition, most of the parks. Even some museums are free, or free on certain days. Don’t get me wrong, you can do Luxe Berlin and spend a lot of money if you want to…but you absolutely don’t have to in order to have an amazing time here.

Hand in hand with this, comes my third point. Berlin is really three cities in one. hows that for value for money. At Alexanderplatz and you’ll find a glimpse of the East . Head over to Ku-dam to see the decadence of the West. Finish up at Potsdamer Platz to see where Berlin  was reborn. Time and progress are softening the dividing lines but the three faces of Berlin are still to be seen.

Things Helen Loves Buddy Bears in Berlin


The Buddy Bears. The cheerful Berlin Mascots will capture your heart. Originally part of an 2001 street art event, the bears are now part of the cities identity and global ambassadors for Berlin. If your travelling with little people, the Buddy bears make an excellent distraction. Let them be chief Bear Spotter and while they are taking in the city looking for bears, you can take in the sights that hold limited interest to a child. Worked for us. NB using this tactic will involve stopping at almost every bear. And possibly being asked to join in hugging them.

Things Helen Loves, Courtyard in the Hackesche Hof
One of many courtyards and alleys to be found in and around the Hackesche Hof.

And when your all explored out and ready for a break? Berlin is full of places to pause. Green spaces large and small, courtyards, fountains…places to rest your feet, catch your breath and watch the world go by. I love the courtyards of the Hackesche Hof  and the gardens set amongst the stunning backdrop that is Museum Island. There is also a lovely shady courtyard behind Nivea Haus that makes a welcome break from the bustle of Unter den Linden. And of course Berlin is abundant in parks and gardens… the Tier garden is probably one of the best known but there are many more to discover. Too many to cover in a blog post, but find a good selection here for browsing.

Is there a city or destination that you feel drawn back to?

Helen x






6 thoughts

  1. I’m planning on going to Berlin. Can you recommend some not to be missed places to grab traditional food?

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Hi Jamie. Traditional German food in Berlin can be tricky to find, it is not a very German city! The upside of that, of course, being that you will find a great mix of cuisines on offer. I would check out Max Und Moritz on Oranienstr though, a bit of a Berlin institution. I believe they are currently closed for a refurb but reopen in mid to late July.

      Don’t be afraid to check out the snack shacks around town known as Imbiss. They often look a bit grotty but can’t be judged by appearance, many serve up surprisingly good food. Usually based on traditional street foods or kebabs etc . Just listen to the people waiting for the food or eating…if it’s mainly Germans it is likely worth a go. If mainly tourists, keep walking.

      Last but not least, my personal favourite place to browse, eat and drink is the Hackesche Hof and surrounding neighbourhood. Great atmosphere, reasonable prices, huge variety and lots of independent shops and cafes.

      Your hotel or the tourist office should be able to provide an up to date copy of Where Berlin too, an info and listings magazine published monthly. That will list any new openings, places to try, events etc. Always worth a browse. I wish you a wonderful trip.

  2. I saw an article about Berlin in a flight magazine recently. I really want to visit! There was a section about all the nice summer bars and restaurants on the river that I never would have guessed were in Berlin, but I’d also love to explore Museum island and Alexanderplatz 🙂

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