Berlin is a great city and unlike any other city I’ve been to. The actual city doesn’t really have a centre, as it was previously effectively two cities, therefore everything is very spread out. Unlike London you wouldn’t be able to walk to and from all the tourist attractions. Therefore the vast public transport system becomes your best friend and worst enemy. There are so many different types of public transport in Berlin, it can become quite overwhelming and bewildering. Thankfully google maps is generally pretty good at telling you what train/bus/tram to catch.
Food in Berlin is hugely diverse and different districts of the city have different cuisines, for example the area I was in, in Neukoelln, was Turkish. Now having CF means that I’m weird with food and only eat a limited variety of food, such as pizza. So, as promised/requested, my run down of the pizzerias in Berlin! Generally I have to say they’re very good! I didn’t have one bad pizza whilst out here. When getting takeaway pizza I avoided the typical fast food looking places, as there are some really good ‘proper’ pizza takeaways. These are generally cheaper, taste better and give you more! In Kreuzberg the Canadian Pizza restaurant do amazing pizza and when you ask for two slices to take away, they basically give you a whole pizza. The other place in Kreuzberg I went to was with Rose, called Il Casolare. They’re Italian run and do very good pizza, which has amazing dough/pizza base. The pizza restaurants in Potsdamer Platz and Alexanderplatz were all also very good. My top tip for microwaving pizza would be, after you’ve microwaved it the bottom is usually very soggy. Therefore grab a dry, clean frying pan and put your pizza and the frying pan on the hob for a minute or so, until the base is crispy!
One of the problems I did find with Berlin was that there are a lot of homeless people and beggars. I’m never sure what to do in these situations and whether to give them money or not. It’s a problem all cities have, however, in my opinion, seems particularly apparent in Berlin. I never experienced them causing any issues, but some can be quite persistent, making me feel awkward, uneasy and unsure what to do.
I can’t comment on the nightlife in Berlin, other than the fact that buskers at restaurants were actually pretty good! One of the most lively squares with restaurants, in my experience, was Hackescher Markt. There is also an amazing breakfast place called Barcomis about 5 minutes (if that) walk from that square.
My internship was great, but did have some not so exciting moments. It was amazing to be able to go out with the camera crews and film protests, press conferences, statements and interviews. Most of which is impossible to see in person unless you’re with the press. The highlight of my internship has to be getting to tag along to a one-to-one interview and meet Pussy Riot member Pyotr Versilov. However I don’t think journalism is the career for me.
If I had been in Berlin for longer, say two or three months, I would have made more of an effort to meet people and make Berlin feel more like home. However one month was simply too short to do this and once I’d figured out how I would do this I only had a couple weeks left. If I was living in Berlin for longer, I would have joined an evening German class and met people from the Facebook groups.
I am now on my way to Amsterdam, then Brussels and Paris, before arriving back in the UK and visiting my friends at university. I’m excited to be heading back and inter-railing, but am particularly excited to visit my friends in a week or so’s time. Plus to get back out to the countryside, as the pollution and city air irritates my lungs and makes me cough. I can’t say I’ll miss Berlin, but that’s no to say I didn’t enjoyed my time there.