Describing The Atmosphere of Berlin

Every city has a history: sometimes it becomes clear through a memorial. Other times, it's a simple old house at the corner. More often than not, it's not obvious and can only be found if you really look for it.

However, Berlin is quite different in that regard. It had always been in a city that was clearly marked by its history. At the same time, I had never been seen a city handle it so well. While München is a city of opposites because the old and the new clashes, Berlin is born out of a similar concept: it had been torn into two and only recently be put together. This is an event that clearly marks the city until this day but it is not necessarily done in a bad way.

When talking about visiting a city, it sooner or later ends up in long winded discussions because there is a pretty building, and this is so "uuuh old" and "look at that museum." Aside from the Museumsinsel, Berlin does not have that ... at all. I even dare to say, that Berlin is anything but a beautiful city:

The only part that is "uuuh fancy and old" are near the Museumsinsel and the Brandenburger Tor. Sights for which the city is famous, and you are going to see it on almost any travel blog post and brochure that you can get your hands on. However, this is barely a stone throw from each other and not even half of the city.

Instead, the majority of it is filled with buildings from the 70ies, and post war time; half of the city had been bombed into oblivion - they still find bombs to date. Then whatever happens to be an empty wall, is quickly used as a canvas by a graffiti artist. So as the beauty standards for cities go, Berlin does not end up near the top.

However, it's got something that a lot of other cities don't have: character. This is not at all meant in the way that "well, she may be ugly but she has character." because Berlin truly has character and that makes it interesting and in an unconventional way even beautiful.

Almost any middle European capital - Vienna, Bratislava, Praha, - could be carbon copies of each other but someone changed it sightly to avoid a copy right claim. Beautiful: no doubt. Memorable: Probably. A feeling that sticks with you weeks later?

This is what Berlin has, and I think it is its golden ticket. Wherever you go, you can feel the life that this city has had and that it had been recent. It had been bombed into bits, then torn apart, and finally united again. There are amazing stories of people fleeing to get to the West - the most memorable for me being the brother who built a whole airplane, landed it in a park, picked up their brother and then flew back.

After being reunited, it would have been understandable that something that was the consequence of a grim war should be shoved under the carpet and never talked about again. Instead Berlin owns up to it. Everywhere you walk, you can see parts of the past. It's even as far out as the Ring Train, Tempelhof itself is a relic of the war, so is the Teufelberg, there are U-Bahn stations named after the air supply from the West to the East. Despite tearing down the wall, there is still a part left of it in the city. A reminder.

Berlin has neither denied nor celebrated their past, instead they accepted it but with no negative or positive feelings. It is accepted like a scar on a body. It is there, and it is a part of who you are.

So while the city might not be as pretty as Vienna, and as flashy as Zürich, it has something that is harder to find and still makes you think back to it days, weeks, and months later: Berlin has a real character.


  1. This was a very interesting read. I would really like to visit Berlin one day x

  2. I've never been to Berlin but I'd really like to. I love how you describe it with complete honesty. A city with character is always one I'd want to visit x


    1. Thank you! I hope you get your chance :)


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