I’ve spent the past couple of years talking about how I should travel more – see the world a little bit (other than my annual trip to Cyprus with my parents). The problem has always been who to travel with – I’ve always been slightly nervous of travelling alone. Travelling with friends always creates it’s own problems too – diaries and budgets don’t always coordinate, and it can be hard to agree on what you want to get out of a holiday. I have the added complication of having lots of friends scattered around the country, rather than one core group.
However, earlier this year I was lucky enough to go to Berlin for a couple of days with work – I spent the first couple of days at VideoDays Berlin – a huge concert featuring some of Germany’s biggest YouTube stars, and I was quite impressed with how much I could understand, proving to myself that my work bushing up on my A Level German had paid off! (even if I didn’t manage to speak as much as I had hoped. Still, baby steps!)
After my two days at VideoDays, I switched hotels to somewhere slightly more central and cheaper (the Aletto Ku’Damm Hotel & Hostel – would definitely recommend!) and gave myself two and a half days to do a bit of exploring. And so, armed with my Lonely Planet guide book, I did a bit of exploring.
With relatively little time, I wanted to cover as much ground as quickly as I could – and there is far too much to fit into one blog post without boring anyone reading to tears! But it has to be said, I did enjoy the freedom of being on my own whilst exploring and walking round museums. I could whizz through things I wasn’t so interested in and linger a bit more elsewhere.
My favourite outing was to the DDR Museum. It was tiny and very busy which made it a little tricky to see everything, but it was jam packed with informtion about life in East Germany after World War 2. I am fascinated by that “real life” side of history, so it was amazing to see how people actually lived and what life was really like for people living there, and the interactive nature of the museum definitely kept my inner child happy!
My other top recommendation, abeit for very different reasons, is the Holocaust Memorial. On paper the concrete design sounds unappealing, but in reality it provides a very moving experience indeed. The bleak concrete blocks that get increasingly higher as you walk through are eerily claustrophobic, and the underground Holouocaust museum is a harrowing experience, but one I felt I couldn’t miss. I definitely shed quite a few tears walking around.
For a first time solo traveller, I found Berlin to be perfect. Public transport was easy to understand, everything was very reasonably priced and there was plenty to do without getting bored. The free wifi in my hotel helpled too – Netflix kept me amused in the evenings once I was back in my room after a long day of exploring!
I’ve posted a couple of pictures of my trip below, and there are a few more over on my instagram. I would love to hear your tips for the best solo travel cities – so please leave your recommendations.