Brandenburg Gate TV Tower Snowmen on a building site

Berlin: Day 1

Berlin: Day 1

Our hostel of choice was Wombats Berlin, a cool and friendly hostel on the edge of Prenzlauer Berg And barely 10 minutes walk from Alexanderplatz. The hostel was mainly full of European travelers, we met some Irish girls, an American and plenty of Australians all looking to enjoy what Berlin has to offer. After being informed in reception that the previous week had been a nippy -22 we set out towards Alexanderplatz to explore.

The first thing you notice about the city is the massive 350m TV tower. Visible from almost everywhere, this massive structure dominates the skyline after being built in East Berlin as a form of political statement. Situated in Alexanderplatz, we headed there to buy tickets for the next day. The 10€ ticket gives you a 30 minute slot to arrive and take the elevator to the observation platform with no set time to leave.

A view of Neptunes Statue.

Walking around the square there is St Mary’s Church Perched on the corner of Karl-Liebknecht-Straße and surrounded by statues and Neptune’s Fountains. For a city completely carpeted with snow and ice it was remarkably easy to get around. The roads were clear and pavements, although icy, were gritted and cleared often.

Unfortunately the thing you notice when walking around is that Berlin is not the prettiest city you will find. For reasons well known to most, a mixture of poured concrete, steel and glass can be found everywhere. The walk down to the Brandenburg gate is full of glass fronted car show rooms along wide boulevards. We stopped for lunch along a side street, tucking into bratwurst, sourkraut and fried potatoes.

After visiting and walking through the Brandenburg gate we headed towards the Reichstag. The home of the german parliament is on the north eastern edge of the Tiergarten and features a huge glass domed roof overlooking the parliament room below. Unfortunately we didn’t manage to make it inside due to the queues outside. We then headed through the deep snow of Tiergarten towards the Sony centre at Potsdammerplatz. This new glass roofed shopping and entertainment complex has a mixture of shops, cafes and a cinema.

Deciding to head back to the hostel we decided to use the Berlin U-Bahn. However through a combination of poor signposting and no maps or guards we found ourselves on a cold station platform somewhere far south of the city center. After heading back to where we started at Potsdammerplatz we chose the easier bus route to reach the hostel.