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7 Best Attractions to Visit in Berlin

Disclaimer: This is a guest post

Germany is rarely included in romantic travel guides and this is totally unfair! Our friends from Prime Russian Dating helped us choose the top 7 must-visit locations in Berlin – which wasn’t that easy as this city is full of exciting places. Let’s have a look now!

1. Unter den Linden
Starting your trip from the most famous boulevard of Berlin, you can see numerous major attractions at once. Unter den Linden stretches from the City Palace to the Brandenburg Gate and hosts a number of embassies, the Humboldt University – one of the oldest in the city, State Opera, State Library, and many more amazing spots.

2. Museum Island
From Unter den Linden, you can also go to the Museum Island, part of the UNESCO world heritage. Here, five prominent Berlin museums are situated. The Altes Museum and the Neues Museum present ancient relics from around the world. The Bode Museum is, in fact, a museum complex featuring the Sculpture Collection, the Museum of Byzantine Art, the Coin Cabinet, and a special gallery designed for children. The top-visited Pergamon Museum exhibits classic archeological monuments. Eventually, Alte Nationalgalerie encompasses paintings from Classicism to early Modernism. Just purchase a day pass and explore on your own!

3. Berlin Cathedral
Also known by its full name (Supreme Parish and Collegiate Church), Berlin Cathedral is one of the local jewels. Its construction kicked off in the 15th century and the edifice went through many redecorations since that time. It was badly damaged in the World War II and completely restored only in 1993. Millions of tourists now can marvel at its dome, chapels, and the Hohenzollern crypt and visit the Cathedral museum.

4. Brandenburg Gate
Walking down by Unter den Linden towards the Pariser Platz, you can’t miss the Brandenburg Gate. This neoclassical masterpiece was built at the end of the 18th century and became the iconic symbol of Berlin. It has seen different times. The Gate represented the separation of Germany after the Second World War; since the Berlin Wall demolition in 1989, it stands for the country’s reunification.

5. Reichstag building
This notable monument of Neo-Baroque style is located near the Brandenburg Gate. After being in disuse for long years after World War II ended, it was reconstructed in 1999 and meetings of Bundestag (the German parliament) are conducted here nowadays. Right in front of it, you will see the Victory Column symbolizing Prussian triumphs in wars with Denmark, Austria, and France.

6. Grunewald
The most known German forest lies 10 km away from the city beside the Havel River. It covers 3/4 of the locality of Grunewald in the western part of Berlin. Local diversity of trees and wildlife, lovely lakes and ponds are truly overwhelming! Go there by foot or take a bike or horse ride. Note that some areas function as natural reserves and are closed to the public.

7. Gendarmenmarkt
You should definitely visit this fascinating square in the heart of Berlin. The Gendarmenmarkt’s history dates back to the 17 th century when it was called Linden-Markt. Later, it was used by city guards who kept their horses here. Nowadays, people come to the Gendarmenmarkt to see three glorious buildings: the German Dom, the French Dom, and the Concert House – one of the city’s main theaters, as well as the Schiller Monument. Other attractions, like St Hedwig’s Cathedral or Friedrichstraße – a luxurious shopping avenue – are found nearby.

How To/ Tourist Trips/ Uncategorized

Fall in Berlin- 5 Things to do

Fall was always a great time in Berlin for me. Being from California, I did not get to all types of weather. It was usually very warm, or slightly less warm, with the occasional bout of much needed rain. Living in a part of the world that experienced the full spectrum of weather, brought a new sense of wonder for me. The leaves were changing, the temperatures were dropping, and less and less people were out in the parks. Although there may seem like there is less to do, it is Berlin, and there is always something to get into while exploring the city.

1. A class of champagne at the KaDeWe

– Many of my expat friends resided in the former East of Berlin. When I would mention going to the KaDeWe, there would be a puzzled look on their faces, what is that? I love this place. I am not into the shopping aspect of it, as much as the people watching. Grab a glass of Moet from the bar, and enjoy watching the scores of families, shop for chocolate, cheese, and foreign food that can be found on the top floor of the mall. It can be a bit expensive for the average expat, but it is a nice little treat every now and then, especially on a Friday afternoon.

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2. The The Sony Center
movies

– The Sony Center offers the latest movies for people to check out in English and in German. I just liked the relax atmosphere, and the beer offered. The archetiture of The Sony Centeris beautiful. I always love to snap a photo while I am there.

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3. See some live shows

– Places such as the A-trane, and the Edelweiss(Tuesday’s Jam Session) are mainstays for me. It is always warm inside, and there is great jazz being played by Berlin local talent and sometimes guest stars from abroad. The Edelweissis casual, and in Kreuzberg, while the A-traneis for the mostly grown and sexy crowd in Charlottenburg.

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4. Laufen (Walk)

– It is true that the Germans love to walk, go out and get a glimpse of the changing leaves and some exercise as well. I love to walk over to the canal with some wine in my bag and a little blanket. In my neighborhood of Kreuzberg, there were always plenty of people out and about, and there are definitely some characters you can run into.

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5. Try a new bar

– Berlin is always filled with new bars. Some of my favorites are the soon to be closing Normal bar, and Fahimi’s which are both in Kreuzberg. fahimi bar
is a little on the expensive side, but has a great selection of music. The Normal bar
is kind of a regulars bar, but do not be intimidated upon entry, these folks that go there are awesome.

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*Bonus: Typically during this time, I am saving my ass off so I can attempt a vacation when it starts to really get cold. No shame in saving and staying indoors until you reach your goals.

Fall is a gorgeous time in Berlin, and I hope you are enjoying the cool weather, and the last bits of outdoor nightlife in Berlin. What do you do in the Fall while in Berlin?

featured/ Tourist Trips/ Uncategorized

Tourist Trip: London

Getting to London from Berlin is quite simple and cheap. If you are looking for short weekend, London is close and relatively inexpensive to get there. Once your there, the prices can be high, depending on where you stay.

There are a few transportation options, but I personally prefer to take a flight. You can find cheap flights through RyanAir or GermanWings. I normally check the website, Fluege.de
for cheaper flights, since they obviously specifically cater to the German market. Flights from the Schoenefeld airport are typically cheaper than those flying out of Tegel. They also offer direct flights.

My travel companion was my boyfriend. This is our third trip together, and I was excited. We started at the W, but due to some unintended consequences, we were moved to their sister hotel, Le Meridien. That place was a bit of a mess. We were in the Picadilly area, which was located near landmarks such as the Buckingham Palace and Big Ben. To say the place was expensive, was an understatement. I wish the quality of the food coincided with the prices that we paid for it. We were close to landmarks, so we managed to walk around and see what we can while enjoying the rare gorgeous weather we were having in London.

Walking around alone. I don't do too many full body selfies anymore.

Walking around alone. I don’t do too many full body selfies anymore.

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The boyfriend has to jet off for some business meetings, so I decided to meet an old friend of mine who just happened to be in London. We met each other which in summer school at University. He was on his own world tour, and graced me with his presence. We went off to Brixton for the day, and caught up on our respective lives. To my surprise, Brixton was a short train ride away. I have been to London a few times, but it was nice to be so centrally located to things I actually wanted to see this time around.

Brixton!!

Brixton!!

Ty and I. Remember this dude, he is  hilarious

Ty and I. Remember this dude, he is hilarious

Smoking at the park across the street.

Smoking at the park across the street.

I broke down and had meat. There were not so many good veggie options available.

I broke down and had meat. There were not so many good veggie options available.

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One of the pieces we saw while walking around

One of the pieces we saw while walking around

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The last few days was back with the boyfriend. We switched hotels to the Hyatts- Andaz that was located in the financial district. We had some breakfast and made a plan to see the British Museum. I heard they had a huge Egypt collection that I just had to see before we left. We also walked over to see big ben, or at least the clock in front of the bell that is actually big ben (thanks Max for that heads up). I donned my red coat again, which I feel makes me look like Carmen Sandiego (totally my outfit for this years Halloween). We managed to find some meatless food for me, and ended our time at London’s oldest Indian Restaurant- Veeraswamy. I had a good time overall, but dang, central London is expensive for a girl on a Berlin budget like me.

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The clock in front of big ben

The clock in front of big ben

Me trying to eat an American breakfast

Me trying to eat an American breakfast

The Gherkin as the Londoners call it.

The Gherkin as the Londoners call it.

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

Hmm Pancakes

Hmm Pancakes

Lion Goddess - Sekhmet

Lion Goddess – Sekhmet

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Me eating lunch

Me eating lunch

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Where in the world is Kimmy Sandiego

Where in the world is Kimmy Sandiego

This is the actual Carmen San Diego

This is the actual Carmen San Diego

featured/ Tourist Trips

Sista in Paris

Hey Folks

On the second leg of my very short trip out of Germany, while I wait for my visa to come. Right after the gorgeous trip to Barcelona, we skated off to Paris. This trip was only for two nights. I had always been nervous about visiting Paris, due to the stories my French friends would tell me about no one speaking English to you while you are there. I was also excited to see the Black community of Francophiles. Breaking news: there are not a lot of Black people in Germany. While, I am in the most densely populated, I find in Berlin, there still seems to be a lack of Black folks doing things here. I could not wait to see the fashionable folks walking around from all walks of life.

We arrived early, and went directly to our hotel Le Meridian near the Arch of Triumph. Luckily, my company spoke some French to at least get to our hotel in one piece. We immediately changed, and went to get some authentic French cuisine.

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Kimmy habe hi gesagt. I said hi

A video posted by KonciousKim (@kimnberlin) on

We took a walk over to the Arch of Triumph, and people watched a bit before relaxing for the afternoon, and preparing for dinner that night at a very trendy place called Kong. I was enjoying the people watching. Some of the outfits that the people were wearing were very fashion forward. I liked seeing the diversity in style, and the people who were there.

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I tried my best to dress it up a bit more. After a few years of dressing down to fit with the style of my crew in Berlin, it was nice to put on some heels and make up and not be stared at mercilessly.. well I got the stares, but it was definitely more about my body type. It was nice to just blend it even if I was not French. We got ourselves together and made it to Kong, where we had the best seat in the house, and yet another steak.

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The next day was going to be a whirlwind tourist attraction visit. I tried to see as much as I could, because I absolutely hate walking. I think I need orthopedic shoes or something, because after 20 minutes, I am so done. I did get to see the Tower, as well as a few other places that I have always wanted to see. I loved this city. I cannot wait to go back.

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featured/ Tourist Trips

Black Girl in Barcelona

A few months ago, I was graciously asked to come to Barcelona. I jumped at the chance to finally visit Spain. I had heard that it was beautiful, and warmer than Germany at most times of the year, if not always. I am still waiting for my visa, and getting over a flu, but I managed to make it there in one piece.

I flew with Lufthansa, and it was nice, despite the layover in Munich. I did not take the trip alone, but I figured me gushing over a new love interest is not what people want to read about. Besides, I am trying something new with keeping things to myself. I digress, we arrived to a dreary day in Barcelona. I was not surprised, I had checked the weather. One day of “Berlin weather” but the rest should be sunny and bright. We found our way to the hotel. The traffic reminded me of Los Angeles. It was full of cars. There was a mobile technology convention that brought 90,000 extra visitors.

We stayed at the Hotel Des Arts, right on the boardwalk near a German consulate, and a Casino. The hotel was gorgeous. You are pulled into a driveway with a waterfall. It reminded me of the Hotels on Sunset in LA. After a longer front desk wait, we were shown to our suite, that had this gorgeous view of the Mediterranean sea.

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I loved the layout, and the fact that I could finally get a nice bath, which I had been without for some time, living in my shower only apartment. This is crazy to me that there are apartments that do no have bathtubs.

I had only three nights in Barcelona, but I tried to do my best in terms of getting around the city, and eating what I could. The latter was difficult, because we just kept having great food. I had trouble remembering all the places we went to. First place served a drink that was so great. An Old Fashioned. This one was out of this world.

Chocolate infused tobacco makes this old fashioned unique. ..#barcelona #travel

A video posted by KonciousKim (@kimnberlin) on

We then had so many types of food. Of course I tried the paella, as well as some steak, and pretty much anything I could find with seafood knowing that upon my return to Germany, I would not have access to such delicacies. I also took park in quite a bit of red wine and gin and tonics (my favorite hard drink).

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I really liked the look of the city, and how central everything was located. It was nice to dress up and relax for a few days, the only care was finding the correct shoes for all the walking. We managed to make it to Parc Guell, and the Sagrada Familia between meals, and long walks on the boardwalk.

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I loved the city, but I was ready to get going to my next trip, which was a short one to Paris. Plus, it was nice to see the sun again. My company could not be beat, and I had such a great time at the hotel. I managed to get a massage, and a mani/pedi that changed the way I want to get manicures from this point forward. Loved that hotel.

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featured/ Tourist Trips/ Uncategorized

Carnival of Culture

Thanks Hanna , for this collaboration. She is a freelance writer, traveller, mom and Culture lover.

If you’re planning a trip to Berlin, try to get there in the end of May for the Carnival of Cultures. The Carnival of Cultures has been celebrated in Berlin every year on the weekend of Pentecost (Whitsun) since 1966. It is an internationally famous festival of music, dance, masks, makeup, culture and diversity. Because it is so popular, you should find your accommodation early, check it out online, for example at Venere.com . Berlin is a big city and in special occasions like this, it fills up quick! In fact, 1.5 million visitors are expected this year.

The 2015 Carnival of Cultures is being held from May 22nd to 25th. The highlight is the street parade held on Pentecost Sunday, which falls on the 24th this year. Over 4,700 representatives from 80 different countries join in the procession to celebrate the cultural diversity of the capital of Germany. They perform ritual dances in gorgeous traditional costumes. The caravans usually leave at around noon from Hermannplatz and continue all day long and into the evening across Hasenheide, Yorckstraße and Möckernstraße. The most original, creative, and interesting performances and awarded by a panel of judges.

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And don’t forget about the wide variety of food available at the Carnival of Cultures! Cultural diversity also includes great diversity in menus and culinary delicacies. Food from all over the world, from sweet potatoes to fresh coconuts, is available on the streets. The hub of the festival is Blücherplatz, and you will find the most hustle and bustle here. There is something for everyone at one of the 400 stands in and around the Blücherplatz square. Hand-made crafts, traditional clothing, and of course eccentric jewelry and accessories are also available for admiration and purchase.

There are many stages around the Blücherplatz as well, and there is a kind of music for everyone! You are sure to be entertained with genres of music you’ve never heard before, and also traditional classic. Into the night there are wonderful organized evening parties where you can meet people from all around the globe.

Want to take the kids? No problem! There are special music events, parties, and cultural activities catered just for children. It is an event that is fun for the whole family, with a genre of music, type of food, art exhibit and dance for every taste out there. Some of my favorite performers are the acrobats, stiltwalkers and magicians that wander the streets, inviting young and old alike to join in the fun. They invite people to try out their toys, and let me tell you from personal experience that walking on stilts is much harder than it looks!

So get yourself to Berlin for what has become a landmark festival in celebration of the cultural diversities that bring us all together.

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featured/ Tourist Trips/ Uncategorized

The Video Game Museum: Berlin

Hey Folks,

In between scrambling for another job due to some visa issues (being Non-EU is a pain in my behind). I have been trying to find some cheap or free fun in Berlin, that does not involve a massive hangover. This has made me notice that I think that is what most of the people in my life here do: drink. Thankfully, I have at least a few acquaintances that do not drink. I used to avoid these people for fun, but I have now realized that I enjoy waking up with a clear head, (and a clean conscious). Since I used to work for a gaming company, I decided that I would like to finally visit the video game museum. The museum is located in the neighborhood of Friedrichshain (formerly east Berlin).

The cost was only 8 euros, and it was rather easy to see, being that it was on the major street of Karl Marx- Alle. One should be able to get there by several means: u-bahn, s-bahn, and tram. We went on a Saturday, which I had some reservations about because I hate kids. I was sure it would be crammed full of little Germans. I can imagine being pushed around, but most were well behaved, and we seemed to miss the larger group that was coming in as we were leaving.

The museum was rather small, and seemed to be more about the history of gaming, than being an arcade. I guess I was expected to be able to play every game available. They did have a small section to play some of the older games, and my friend and I really got into some old car game. I lost. They did have a working pacmac game, as well as the Dance Dance Revolution game. We even figured out how to play what was apparently the oldest video game. I walked around and took pictures of all of the older systems. I remember having some of these (being the sister of a video game addict). Truth be told, I was never much of a gamer, I really just wanted to do something fun in the day time. I succeeded. I would say it is a great place to visit. I really wish they had an adult gaming place like Dave and Busters in America.

The gallery is below:

featured/ random thoughts/ Tourist Trips/ Uncategorized

Berlin Festival of Lights: 10th Anniversary

Hey Folks,

This past week I was lucky to find out about the Berlin Festival of Lights. Apparently, it has been around for 10 years. This shows how much I know about the city I have been living in for the past 3 years. This is a bit special this year, because it is also the 25th year since the Berlin wall fell. I genuinely never heard a word about this. Normally, I am going to Venus show, which commemorates my very first trip to Berlin.

I was made aware of lights from a friend of mine, who was gracious enough to give me some pictures to show you here. The light festival is all around the city’s landmarks. I got to see a few myself up close. I went to the US embassy, the Brandenburger Gate, and Potsdamer Platz. Before I show you my crappy cell phone pictures, I wanted to share my pictures from my friend.

Thank you Boris Mayer
Twitter: @BorisMayer
http://about.me/BorisMayer

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These are the ones below of me on the day that I went.

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Tourist Trips/ Uncategorized

Trip to the UK

Hey Folks

I needed to get away for a few days. Things have been rather stressful here in Berlin with trying to find a place, save money, and working, so a short trip was in order. While I would love to visit the United States, the next best thing was a trip to the United Kingdom, England to be exact.

I normally stay in London when I go, but this time, I wanted to visit another city. I have a friend in Birmingham, so I asked to crash there for a few days of some peace and quiet. For four days, I relaxed, ate some nice food, and got my dreadlocks done professionally for the first time. I was excited about that. I have been doing my locs all by myself for the last year, and I thought it would be nice to have a professional keep me on track, and let me know if I am doing things right.

I flew directly to Birmingham from Berlin (who knew they had direct flights?). The airport was small and quiet. I was picked up by my friend and taken to their place to shower and relax. My friend is Italian, so apparently that makes him a great cook. He quickly whipped up some of my favorite meals.

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I spent most of my time driving through the country side, eating food, and watching a whole lot of TV. I never get to watch so much in Germany, because frankly, I do not understand what passes for entertainment here. They say that Americans will watch anything, but I have the same thoughts about TV in Germany.

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The next day I went to get my hair done. We found a Jamaican national who had an open appointment for me just in time. I decided to dye my blonde locs red. I thought the color would suit me better. I was happy with the result.

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Overall, I am happy that I went. Sometimes Berlin can be hard for me. While I am figuring out my next move, right now I have a lot of pressure to move out on my own.. so I am dealing with that. Hope all is well with you wherever you are!

Food/ music/ random thoughts/ Tourist Trips/ Uncategorized

Trip To London

Goodness I am tired, I will say this first. I have had a long 5 days. By from the title of this blog, as you can see, I made a visit to London. This trip was many reasons. I love to travel, and if I don‘t take a plane for a few months, I start to get antsy and restless. Also, I needed to get some meetings out of the way for the book, and some stuff concerned as far as music. Goodness, singing in a studio is hard, and my throat still hurts from the little I had to do. I am a little concerned, because the song was sexy. This is the image I would like to stay away from. I am so much more than my body and my past.

Anyways, the trip overall was busy, and there was not much time for personal trips, sitting and having a nice dinner, or much else. I spent most of my days hustling from one place to the next, and singing. Yes, you read that right. I created a track with a Dj by the name of DJ Sticky. I really do not want to mention this book, documentary, and singing.. because things are just getting started. I am not a bragger. If things are happening, then they will be mentioned. Until then, I figured I would just write about my trip from my perspective.

I had so much to do that I even missed my plane towards the end of the trip, and broke my ipad screen. I think the city is bad luck.

I did meet one interesting person among the others. He was tasked to keep up with me during my trip so that I did not get into trouble, although I feel we got into much of our own on the trip. He was hilarious, and from an island called Dominica. My ignorant ass asked if he could speak Spanish. I later looked up this island and realized how stupid that question was. He took me around the hood, and I ate some fantastic jerk chicken, mexican food, and even some indian food. All was fantastic. I did not realize how much I missed flavor.

Overall, the trip was ok. I was pretty popular it seemed, and my accent really worked for me. Who knew that an American accent could be so sexy. It was nice to speak and hear English, and even though they were saying Londoners were rude, they are much more polite than any Berliner, on their best day. I know, I had to get my Germany slight in there some how. LOL. I kid, but I did miss Berlin. I missed the cheap prices of food. That was about it. Now, I am back, looking at ways to emigrate to London. I am half serious, but if I could afford it, and do it as seamlessly as possible, I think this could be the future for me.

Below are the pictures..

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