Berlin is one of my favorite cities (my playlist here). I am in awe by the amount of development and progression the city has had since the fall of the Berlin wall. For almost thirty years, Berlin was a city divided that had a wall dividing the east and the west. Today, Berlin is the epitome of cool and it is known for having a laidback/ underground vibe. If you want to explore Berlin, stay east of the wall and be prepared to have your mind blown by everything from the food cuisine to the contemporary art to the after dark music and club scene. Berlin boasts some pretty legendary bars, meaning you can live in Berlin for years and never go to the same bar twice, it’s that good. There is really no bad time to visit Berlin, as all seasons have their own charm. Almost everyone speaks English, but a little German is appreciated. The U-Bahn is the metro, and the S-Bahn are trains. All are safe, clean, and exemplify good German efficiency. Tipping like most of EU is not mandatory, but if you want to be nice add 10% to the bill.
The river Spree penetrates the city, but Berliners still orient themselves using the former Wall. On the east is happening Mitte (lively, colorful, and the heart of Berlin where old meets new. It’s full of galleries, cafes, restaurants and shops, so it’s a great area to walk around and happens to be the city's most expensive real estate), northeast is trendy family ’hood Prenzlauer Berg (filled with a young and hip crowd, designer shops, beautiful old homes that have been modernized, sophisticated bars and restaurants), southeast is grungy Friedrichshain (known as the old worker’s quarter, but happens to be great for nightlife. You can easily find a venue by the old train yards featuring live alternative music or an international bar with electronic music), and cool Kreuzberg (a gentrifying neighborhood on communities and residents that is a post-war immigrant enclave, you can find great underground clubs here, the center of ‘60s counterculture and a huge art scene with a lot of urban cafes, restaurants, and designer shops… personally think this is Berlin’s hippest hood as it’s) and Neukölln down south (known as "Little Istanbul", this is particularly evident in the northern section of the district where there are many bars, funky clubs, uber cool bars, and international crowds… currently the neighbourhood of the moment). West are gleaming Potsdamer Platz, central park Tiergarten and posh Charlottenburg (Berlin's royal past with palaces, parks, and shopping. You'll find some of the oldest homes in the city: upper-class apartment buildings with ornate facades and marble-floored foyers line the cobblestone streets. Stroll by sophisticated restaurants, through little parks, or around Lake Lietzensee. Kurfürstendamm is the most renowned high-end shopping street in Berlin, where you can find all the luxury brands).
When the wall came down and many people from the east went west, the creative community quickly claimed this long Mitte strip as their own, setting up studios and collectives in the many abandoned warehouses. A few years on, and the district had developed such a reputation for cutting-edge contemporary works that the most influential international galleries were hankering to get into the hood. Berlin’s architectural landscape includes some of the most influential styles. You have Deco standing beside Brutalism, and Bauhaus sharing the same street with Modernism and Soviet Architecture. If I could suggest a few things that any art lover absolutely must do before leaving Berlin it is: booking a visit to the Boros Bunker collection, housed in an old Nazi-era concrete bunker and take a walk alongside the remaining section of the Berlin wall at Eastside Gallery in Friedrichshain and check out all the murals on the wall where you can take photos at the iconic mural by Brezhnev and Honecker. And obviously, the impossible-to-get-into Berghain (club), which is located in a former power plan in Friedrichstain. It’s home to Berlin’s best electronic and dance music where parties never end. It’s literally the place of all places for hardcore music lovers that want to boogie, groove, and get down.