WANDERLUST; Berlin by foot

I visited Berlin in 2008 and fell in love. The purpose of my visit to Berlin this time was to pretend I am a local, and to have a few weeks experiencing what it’s like to live there…but I did sneak in a few walking tours too.

The tour that I really enjoyed is the newBerlin alternative tour, which discusses Berlin since 1989. After the wall fell there were a lot of vacant buildings that people squatted in. The low cost of living in Berlin attracted many artists, musicians and creatives, which has resulted in the eclectic city that you can experieence today.

The tour begins at Tacheles, which is a five story building in Mitte. It was a former squat which has now turned into an artists colony. You can wander through the levels and see the artists creating pieces and also purchase unique items.

Sadly a bank has purchased the Tacheles building so the artists will have to vacate soon, hence the protest signs;

My favourite street art piece in Berlin, which is on the side of Tacheles;

In the backyard there is a courtyard of metal work.

You then walk around Berlin and the guide points out pieces from different street artists along the way…

…as well as very Berlin bars, such as the African themed Yaam bar that backs onto the Spree River.

It ends at the East Side Gallery, which has paintings from many worldwide artists ….

I also did the newBerlin ‘free’ walking tour, which is focused on Berlin’s history prior to 1989 when the Berlin Wall came down. In three and a half hours you have a walking history lesson with a lively and captivating guide, which includes visits to the Jewish Memorial and (the reconstructed) Checkpoint Charlie. Even though I studied German for six years in high school, and spoke of the fall of the Berlin Wall in my final year oral exam, I still learnt a lot from the tour.

I stayed at BackpackerBerlin hostel in the Friedrichshain area. It is in an old German apartment building, it’s quite cheap  and the staff are really helpful.

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