Travel Blog: Berlin

Ah Berlin. A beautiful city rich with culture and history, from the fantastic Reichstag building to the bullet holed buildings around Check-Point Charlie. But Berlin also has a lot going on for those of you who wouldn’t necessarily call themselves history geeks (I am actually a self-confessed geek when it comes to the war!). Berlin is probably the, excuse the term, edgiest city I think I’ve ever been too - and yes Leeds hipsters, that means Berlin’s ahead of you!

This week I’m taking an alternative route from just naming all the great places to check out, and throwing out a rather personal experience of Berlin’s ‘trendier’ side. To start with, graffiti becomes the city’s décor, with cool and unusual images on the sides of buildings and walls. The Berlin Wall is actually the epitome of what to expect, with its cool, political art.

And of course, not far off lives unique and colourful bars filled with the scrunchies, double denim, ear stretches and long haired men. In fact, there are some places that are so ‘edgy’ you’ve got to be a certain person with a certain look to get through the door. On one of our bar-hopping adventures, we stumbled across a few bars where we were faced with rejection. But one of the most unusual places we attempted to enter was a world famous abandoned power plant which has been turned into a club, Berghain.  This place sounded ‘very Berlin’: cool, unique and edgy.

Of course, what we didn’t realise was that there are certain ‘rules’ that must be followed if you’re hoping to get access indoors. The big man at the door Sven is known to turn you down for anything and everything he deems not ‘suitable’ for the club. We were told to ‘wear black’, ‘don’t try too hard’ and ‘not speak in the line’ so he didn’t realise we weren’t actually German’. Weird - but we went with it and the advice was spot on. No one was speaking, everyone was in black, and everyone maintained a cool, calm and collective persona.

And yet people were still getting turned down for god only knows what! From gorgeous girls to random individuals, we couldn’t quite work out the system as he seemed to be saying no to well, everyone! There were only a small handful of a lucky few who managed to sway Sven’s heart and not surprisingly then, we got rejected. It probably didn’t help that the closer we got the more I found it so ridiculous I couldn’t help but laugh….but I think we would have got turned away anyway. So the night ended with a few beers, a kebab and a long journey back to our hostel.

So if you want to go to one of Berlin’s coolest clubs, my advice to you is, well, just hope for the best because I honestly have no idea what was going on (and maybe keep a straight face in the line!).

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