Berlin citytrip

Written by Sam Van den Haute aka CheckOutSam

What a summer it's been! Probably the best one ever! It's been barely a week since I got back home after the phenomenal Gentse feesten and I'm again ready to celebrate life! You're young only once, and I'm glad I can still use it a a good excuse’. Tijl, a good friend with whom I also went to the Gentse feesten for many times, invited me to his birthday party. When I asked what he was doing next weekend, he told me that he would go to Berlin for a week. "Come too!" He said. "No! I think I've already celebrated enough. I almost haven't been home this holiday!" I said.
The next day I booked a single ticket to the German capital for just €30! And that was still the most expensive ticket... because a week later there were even tickets for five euros per person!

Sam Van den Haute CheckoutSam

Hi, I'm Sam, the blogger behind CheckOutSam!

Sam Van den Haute has been a full-time world traveler for ten years and has therefore gained a lot of travel and lifestyle inspiration on all continents. Do you still have questions after reading this blog? Ask them in the comments section or send me a message at [email protected] and I'll be happy to help you wherever I can!

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The Holocaust Mahnmal, remembering the innocent Jewish victims of the holocaust.

The Holocaust Mahnmal, remembering the innocent Jewish victims of the holocaust.

My incredibly cheap flight with Ryanair left Wednesday at 9:30 pm, and all day I was looking forward to finally leave!
By train I left for Zaventem international airport. With an hour delay the crowded jet finally took off. An hour later we eventually arrived in this very atypical European metropolis.

Tijl had come to Berlin with his car, so he was now waiting for me at the airport. Together we would go to Marcel; A Berlin friend from Tijl.
I was warmly welcomed and soon I got some German beers pushed into my hands. It was almost midnight, and I obviously could not just pass on celebrating my first night in Germany!

Less than ten minutes later we were already on the subway and I couldn’t help but noticing the Germans ‘Ganz geil! and “Scheiße” throughout the whole form of transportation. Lovely to see how open and modern Berliners are!
Marcel took us to a neighborhood which at first glance seemed a bit sketchy. Near a train station, we had to go down a lot of stairs and then suddenly we entered a cozy house which was transformed into a small club.
Left and right there were some seats, on the walls I noticed some paintings and pictures and it was really only the bar at the back that betrayed that it was indeed a bar / club.

A few beers and Jägermeisters later we were bouncing on chairs and jumping up and down the couches, while Till and several other partygoers were dancing on their bare feet.

Berlin, I look forward to the next few days!

The reichstag of Berlin. The German parliament.

The reichstag of Berlin. The German parliament.

Sights in Berlin

A few years ago I already did a city trip to Berlin with my mother. If I’m honest I hated it back then. The city is very extensive and not at all European.
Most sights and shopping streets are quite far apart and made my younger self tired and bored pretty easily.

Many years later, I find Berlin much more attractive. As Tijl said: “In Berlin there is something for everyone, but you have to know exactly where to go.”
Most places are indeed very far apart, but with the metro it’s still doable. A ticket for four days of unlimited use of public transport cost me just under thirty euros. The first day we woke up quite early and decided to go see some of the more famous monuments across Berlin.

For Tijl, Berlin has become his second home. He comes here year after year and he speaks fluent German. Thus, this time, I didn’t need to arrange trips or expensive guides because Till guided me around without problems. He showed me the best sights and gave more info (and funny facts) about all there was to see.

After Checkpoint Charlie (a former border crossing between East and West Berlin) and Potsdamer Platz, we went to the Brandenburg Gate.
Even before we reached this famous German monument we passed the Holocaust Mahnmal. A large memorial to the millions of innocent Jewish victims who fell during World War II.
The more than two thousand concrete blocks in different sizes, shapes and sizes pictures the disorientation of the Jews during this period in time.
A lot of tourists jump disrespectful on these monuments. From children I could understand this behaviour, but as an adult I believe that you’ve heard more than enough of the atrocities that took place under Hitler. If there is a commemorative monument erected I also think it should handled with a little more respect by its visitors…

Tijl told me a ‘funny’ / sinister fact about the Holocaust Mahnmal.
The concrete blocks are injected with a liquid which helps against graffiti, mosses and other issues. Several years ago it became known that this substance is produced by the same company that used to produce the Zyklon B gas where the gas chambers were filled with…
Probably not a good marketing move for that particular company!

After having walked passed the gigantic stone park, we went to the Brandenburg Tor. Perhaps Berlin’s most famous monument. Afterwards we walked to the nearby (huge!) Park and followed it all the way to the Victory Column and from there we walked back to the Reichstag (the German parliament).

With having slept only six hours, we were quite exhausted from all this dawdling and we decided to stop the sightseeing for today. We would still need some energy for tonight, since we desperately wanted to go out again in the amazing Berlin nightlife!

Definitely try a rooftop bar once you're in Berlin. There are plenty and they're all great!

Definitely try a rooftop bar once you’re in Berlin. There are plenty and they’re all great!

Losgehen in Berlin!

After my first day of exploring Berlin, not much more sightseeing was done… Logically, if you party every morning until nine or later (or even 36 hours non-stop!), you become quite tired.
Yes, Berlin is really a great party town.

The second day in Berlin Tijl, Marcel and me went out to a nice rooftop bar. The music inside was a bit alternative, and we were not very excited about that. So we decided to just sit outside and enjoy the beautiful sunset while the guys laughed with my very limited Deutsch.

“Komm! Wir going to another club jetzt. Ich find es ein little bit boring jetzt.”

And so we left this nice location to have more fun at a few other spots. The rest of the evening we spent in a giant club where both pop and electro blasted through the speakers.
In the first room a large, wrought-iron bed was displayed. Undoubtedly for the weary partyers to recover a little from all that dancing and shaking.
In the bathrooms, you could find a lot of items to refresh yourself a little. Deodorant, perfume, toothpaste and even toothbrushes. Yuck.

Till and I soon succumbed to the German alcohol and lost each other all the time.


Soon the whole club knew our name, and it did not take long for a few observant Belgians by noticing our lost souls as well.
Rutger and Nico were an amazing couple with whom we celebrated the rest of the evening, which we well continued into the morning. We got along really well, and so the next days we would celebrate our holidays pretty much always together!

Ah Berlin!

In Berlin nightclubs you can even brush your teeth! Ew!

In Berlin nightclubs you can even brush your teeth! Ew!

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