A Twenty-Something’s Guide to Berlin

Berlin is a real up-and-comer for cool young things, and it’s surprisingly non-touristy.

You know the score- see the wall, do a bus tour- here’s the less obvious tips you may find useful as a twenty-something in Berlin.

Don’t expect glorious architecture
Berlin is not a pretty city. Much of the architecture is of the 60s tower block design- yuck. But while Berlin might not have the looks or Paris or Rome, this is a very interesting city to explore. If you really are after some pretty pictures, the museums and some surprisingly old cathedrals tucked away amongst the tower block atrocities to take you by surprise.

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Buy a Museum Island Pass
Let’s get this straight- the Museum Island Pass is different from the Museum Pass. This option will only let you into the sights on Museum Island (go figure) but is about half the price (9€ for a student). If you are only in Berlin for a short while, this is definitely a good way to save a little bit of money because, really, will you actually go to more than about three museums? Plus, Museum Island is home to the main ones, including the famous Pergamon and Neues museums. And on that note…

Much of the Pergamon is closed
The museum is currently undergoing extensive renovation. While there are still some exhibitions open to see, it is debatable whether it is worth the crazy wait times. The full museum will not be open to the public until 2019.

Think you’re going clubbing? Think again
Berlin clubs are notoriously hard to get into. They don’t like foreigners clogging up the cool places, they don’t like large groups and they expect their clientele to fit a very niche look. The best way to experience a snapshot of Berlin nightlife without being brutally rejected is to join a pub crawl. These generally finish off in a nightclub and with your guide being BFFs with the bouncers, chances are you’ll be fine. Try the Alternative Pub Crawl if tourist traps aren’t your thing.

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Find the free attractions
Berlin is certainly not the cheapest place to visit, but thankfully there are some things to explore for free. The Berlin Wall Memorial and nearby information centre is free. So is the Topography of Terror and the East Side Gallery. If you schedule some free activities amongst the more expensive ones you will fill your day easily and feel like your money goes further.

Eat street food
If you’re in Germany, you’ve got to try Currywurst. As well as being delicious (though a little strange!) a portion with chips will set you back less than 3€. They are also big on doner kebabs in Berlin, and these are much better than the overly greasy, sweaty kebabs you will find after a drunken night in the UK.

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