Following on from my previous post, I dedicated the next day to exploring the eastern side of Berlin. Occupied by the soviets following the end of WWII, I’d heard of the contrast between the other half and couldn’t wait to explore it for myself.
Structuring the path of my day taking tactical cafe visits into account, something I recommend any coffee enthusiast do in this city, I followed up a visit to Ben Rahim coffee and Father Carpenter’s with a gander at the DDR Museum. Although not a huge fan of museums myself, I’d read that this one was a must-do for anyone wanting to understand what life in GDR Berlin was like.
The DDR Museum costs about €10 to get into, but it’s worth it. Everything is very interactive and they have rooms set up to represent what the communist lifestyle back then used to be like.
They had a pretty good condition Trabant there, with loads of information on what they were like (they were cool, but built terribly), examples of parts and you can sit inside it and have a ‘drive.’
After spending a couple hours in the museum and following another cuppa, I took the metro a little further south and just walked around, trying to get a feel for the area. There’s definitely a different vibe on this side of town. I can’t really put it into words. It doesn’t feel like a different city or anything and it probably has a lot to do with the different architecture and design.
Another must-see was the East Side Gallery, a section of remaining inner wall over a kilometre long. All along the wall are paintings and art depicting both previous life and the changes after the reunification. It’s practically a museum in itself, and definitely worth a visit.
On recommendation from my good pal Shannon, I also trekked over to Treptower park, in which is constructed an enormous memorial to the soviet soldiers who were killed in the battle of Berlin at the close of WWII. When I visited it, the day was drawing to a close and the weather created an atmosphere that makes you can’t help but think back to what it must have been like.
The next day I set about heading back to The Netherlands, my time in Berlin having come to a close. I want to come back in the summer, rent a bicycle, keep the agenda clear and just explore the city and see what I can find. There’s so much to see and do here, that a few days just can’t account for.
Coffee shops to check out on the east side of Berlin:
- Ben Rahim
- Father Carpenter Coffee
- Companion Coffee
- Happy Baristas
- 19 Grams
- Silo Coffee
Thanks for reading!