And we did. Last week, in the middle of the night, when earthlings are sleeping, we took the Polski bus to Berlin. This city will offer you everything, either you want it or not. Its free spirited people, grey buildings and colorful walls create a vibrant energy that you have to try.
So, how to get to Berlin? We recommend you Polski bus for several reasons: it’s cheap and has free WiFi. Usually it’s not very crowded and sometimes they even offer you free cookies and drinks.
Tip: If you book at least two months in advance and don’t mind to travel during week, Polski bus offers you crazy deals: 40 zl for round trip. Play a bit with the website to find the dates that suit you the best.
Till Berlin ZOB (the main station) the bus stops in Poznan and Berlin SXF (airport) and. It takes approximately seven hours to get there, but trust us, it worth every minute.
Once you got in Berlin you can take the subway, the bus or rent a bike. As the transport is pretty expensive (around 3 euros per trip), if you know how to ride, we recommend you to take a bike (10 euros per day). If not, just put your feet at work.
Due to the weather and excessive party, we didn’t rent a bike, but if you plan your trip for spring, you definitely have to try this. Instead, we took the subway which is super-well connected with all the corners of the city. Berlin subway system is based on trust. There are no barriers to stop you to enter, but you still have to buy a ticket and validate it (the fine is pretty big and German controllers are not too funny). The ticket machine accepts only coins, notes lower than 10 euros and Master cards. For a strange reason, we couldn’t buy tickets with Visa. Actually Visa cards don’t work in some shops either.
We stayed at 36 Rooms hostel in Kreuzberg (the most eclectic neighborhood with uber cool parties) for 10 euros per night. The beds are pretty comfortable and the common space it’s cozy and relaxed. But don’t be surprised if one of your room mates will smoke weed like a locomotive while you are sleeping or if you’ll have a castle of empty bottles of beer close to your bed.
Complementary or as an alternative to hostels, be welcome to couchsurf. Those two platforms will help you to find a local host so you will have part of a more authentic experience. We were couchsurfing for two nights and I can tell that it was one of my best CS experiences. During the two days with our host, we tried slack lining for the first time, had the best local beer, tasted delicious Vietnamese food, found out about this wonder of nature, discovered new Polish sounds and nonetheless we had the best breakfast ever, prepared by a chef. Thanks a million, Karol!
Tempelhof airport – first slack line attempt (photo credit S.M)
Ok, now you have solved the logistic part. What’s next? Get out and discover the city! Check here Berlin’s most touristic sights and attractions. The visits depend on your staying and budget, but you should NOT miss: the Bundestag, Holocaust Memorial and its museum, East Side gallery and Topography of Terror. Those are free of charge spots and according to us, the bestattractions in the city.
Sun set at Bundestag (photo credit S.M)
East Side Gallery (photo credit S.M.)
Tip: check the not-so-common Sticker Museum, the only of its kind in the world.
Sticker museum (photo credit S.M)
Because all the mainstream attractions are always a click away, we recommend you a free walking alternative tour.
We took the New Berlin FREE walking tour, as we found their advertising at the hostel’s reception. It was pretty interesting and we got some tips for the next days. At the end of the tour our guide was emphasizing his voluntary work and reminded us that usually a tour like this costs 10 euros. It’s up you though if and how much you should reward him/her.
Here is another interesting and less mainstream tour.
Alternative Spots we saw and enjoyed:
RAW – a bombed out train depot, a symbol of Berlin’s sub-culture. Here you can see one of the largest Europe’s indoor skate park. And each Sunday there is a flea market, concerts and fresh food.
RAW market entrance (photo credit S.M.)
Bethanienhaus, a symbol of Occupy movement in Berlin.
Tempelhof former airport it is nowadays an alternative space dedicated to everyone.
Tempelhof airport (photo credit S.M.)
Photoautomat. Take your friends and get an authentic memory from Berlin. In exchange of 2 euros you will get four small pictures in about 4 minutes. Just put the funniest smiles on your face.
Photoautomat (photo credit http://blog.esl.se/)
We didn’t reveal you all in this article, but we are happy to tell you more over a beer.
Until next time, stay as awesome as you can!