After suffering such a turbulent history, Berlin has now transformed into one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations, mixing its rich history with a dynamic atmosphere that has made the city a magnet for young people from all over the world. It is a center for the arts, with countless museums and galleries, and strong reputation for theatre, fashion, design and music.
I have been in Berlin for five days now, and I am fascinated by it. The first drive from the airport to our hotel was stunning. It’s such a beautiful, cosy feeling city with incredibly friendly people. The least of what I was expecting from my very little knowledge of Germany. Touring around the town is so intriguing, with each and every stop offering a slew heartbreaking and inspirational stories to tell.
I’m in town for my first European Poker Tour since back in February 2010. After two years of being focused on the Southern Hemisphere, it’s an exciting change to come back to Europe, and I’m even more excited to share my guided tour around Berlin.
The German capital can be quite an inexpensive destination in comparison to its European sister cities, and with no enforced closing hours, the parties will keep you up all night long.
If you’re looking for that solid night out on the town, be warned that the nightclubs are empty before midnight; they don’t come to life until around 2am. So keep your dancing shoes tame until then, and start your night off in one of the hundreds of bars, such as a local favorite for Sunday nights Neue Odessa on Torstraße. Berghain has been voted the best nightclub in the world, so it’s probably a place worth ticking off the bucket list if you’re into electronic music. Berlin is divided into distinct neighbourhoods, each holding their own appeal, such as the chic Kürfurstendamm, historic Mitte, bohemiam Kreuzberg and artsy Prenzlauer Berg.
Shopping is a key attraction in Berlin, and avid spenders are spoiled for choice, particularly in places such as Hackesche Märkte which is great for shopping and dining. Vibrant street markets regularly pop up throughout the city, particularly Straße des 17. Juni , Berlin’s largest and best known flea market. Or if you have big money to spend (after an EPT win, perhaps?) then head to the “Champs-Elysees of Berlin”, Kurfürstendamm, for some designer shopping and luxury hotels.
Lastly, my personal recommendation on how to spend a spare chilly evening is with a fantastic bottle of red wine over a candlelight dinner in a cozy little restaurant called Lutter & Wegner, right by the Potsdamer Platz Arkaden shopping mall, making it a great place to people-watch from a table by the window. If you do, you must order the apple strudel. Yum!