Guten Tag! I’m Adam, a twenty-one-year-old history student from Newcastle (UK) currently living and studying in Berlin, with a greater emphasis on the living.
When Berlin’s former mayor Klaus Wowereit famously assessed Berlin as ‘Poor but Sexy’ back in 2004, personally I think he nailed it and it’s a term I now live my life by! Please join me as I navigate every corner of a city that is currently the undisputed King of Cool, exploring all the fascinating, enlightening and totally insane aspects on offer in this hipster capital. As well as exploring the best food, art, museums, parks and of course jaw-dropping parties on offer here, I’ll also be documenting many of my everyday experiences in order to hopefully convey the essence of this crazy place.
Regrettably, I haven’t done very much travelling during my time abroad so far, largely thanks to the endless number of distractions available here which have kept me firmly within the so-called ‘Berlin Bubble’. However I made some steps towards rectifying this sorry situation a few weeks ago by meeting my sister (currently on her own year abroad in Rotterdam), in Hamburg. This is Germany’s somewhat overlooked second-city which is oft-referred to as Berlin’s trashier and grimier (albeit slightly prettier) cousin. For those considering a Deutsch-trip beyond the sometimes-overwhelming capital city, Hamburg is an obvious choice! This easy-going ‘Venice of The North’ is home to 1.7 million people and unsurprisingly is host to a large number globally-renowned galleries, museums, restaurants and nightlife venues. It is also noted for having a much more distinctly ‘German’ flavour than Berlin (in the traditional sense anyway).
Among the first things people will mention as being one of the best aspects of studying on the continent, is the ludicrously cheap train travel (in comparison to the prohibitively and depressingly expensive rail prices in the UK). Germany is no exception, with the almost 200-mile journey from Berlin to Hamburg costing around 29 euros for a return trip with Deutsche Bahn. To my amazement, the entire journey takes less than two hours thanks to that famously efficient German engineering. Once your train has glided into the monstrously large Hamburg Bahnhof you may feel at a loss as to what to do next in this sprawling metropolis-by-the-sea. At this point you should direct yourself to the following list of activities and attractions which I believe encapsulates the best that the city has to offer, in order to make your time in the Tor zur Welt (Gateway to The World), as fun as possible.