First impressions on Berlin where really nice! I loved the way the city is built with large unhindered streets and not very tall buildings. On every street there is a bicycle pathway and the city is flat so you can ride your bike almost everywhere (and they do).
From what I could see they took special care when rebuilding the city making use of contemporary architecture and always having a special care in everything they make. This can be seen in things like a street that has neon illuminated seats along the way or another street with big signs saying “We Love Berlin”.
Since my hotel was locate in Potsdamer Platz right in the centre of town, most of the time I walked around the city like a vagabond just enjoying the moment and trying to absorb the general mood of the people and it’s vibe. Security was never a issue and I felt safe everywhere I go.
The first day I arrived I had trouble understanding the trains and subway system because i was given a map that relied on color for understanding which lines go where and I’m colorblind. I also had trouble finding the place to validate your tickets cause it’s not explicit and I managed to find it only by watching other people do it (and a friend had told me I had to validate the ticket or else I’d never get it!). I got over this by using two iPhone apps that really helped. One was the Berlin Subway app from Mxdata and the other one was Ulmon Berlin Map. The last one is really helpful if like me you like to wander around on foot because it gives your exact location and it’s really easy to navigate the city this way.
Prices for for food and accommodation are on par with Portugal which is something I wasn’t expecting since everyone told me that it was much more expensive in Germany so that was a welcome plus!
On the last day I took my tour to the museums but I had bad luck cause the technical museum was closed on Monday so I only got to do the DDR (a must!) and the Topography of Terror (another must). I also got to see the Berlin Wall and the East Side Gallery which contains graffiti work done on the wall after it went down in 1990.
Overal all it was a great trip and I plan on coming back, not only to see friends against but also to enjoy a city that made it to my “Places to Live” list!