Often people ask me why we love Berlin so much. In a chit chat conversation I usually don’t have the opportunity to explain why we love it here so much and then I feel the need to share some of my reasons… There are so many reasons to love Berlin!
WHEN DID YOU START LOVING BERLIN SO MUCH?
Back in 2010 my then boyfriend (now my husband) and I did an Interrail across Europe. We visited Paris, Brussels, Bruges, Gent, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague and Munich in 15 days. The city we loved the most was Berlin. It was there the first time we said to each other that some day we would move and live in this great city. Then, one year later, we spent 10 days here with a couple of friends and once again we convinced ourselves that some day, some day this would be our city.
We moved here the first time in 2013 and stayed only for 5 months (read the full story here). It was such a short yet intense time! We loved it and it was super hard to leave the city. We felt we were not done with it yet… Now we are here since January 2016 and as the days go by we feel more and more like this is our home. This past move was not easy at all and took us a while to get used to the new situation — moving and living in Berlin with a toddler. But now we are super happy we made the decision to come back and although we still have many other plans, we are not thinking of leaving any time soon 😉
MY PERSONAL REASONS TO LOVE BERLIN
Well, now that an introduction was made, let me explain, one by one, 11 of most important reasons that make me love Berlin so very much. There are many others and some are still yet to be discovered as I feel I still have so much to experience here. These are simply the ones that come to my mind immediately when somebody asks me why we love to live here. And of course no city is perfect and Berlin is no exception. The city has many defects as well, but we’ll leave that for another post 🙂
1. THE DIVERSITY AND MULTICULTURAL ENVIRONMENT
One of the main reasons that make me love Berlin is the variety of people living here. I feel I’m home because I don’t feel too different from anybody else, I belong here like anyone else. There are so many nationalities, so many different people with different backgrounds, yet everyone belongs here.
2. ITS QUIRKINESS
Ok… This is a very personal reason, this is only my point of view that is surely influenced by my life, my education and my country of origin. For me Berlin is fun, Berlin is weird, awkward and there are many crazy Berliners wandering around (or am I the crazy one that doesn’t live completely free?). Anyways, one of the things I really like about Berlin is its ability of surprising me every time I leave my house. Like I said above, people here feel completely free to be whoever they want to be and express themselves how they think they should. So it’s no surprise you can see a bike hanging from a light pole or a pony (someone’s pet) ridding the subway.
3. STREET ART
Berlin is an awesome city to make art and if you are not an artist yourself you can still just enjoy it. There’s art everywhere! Murals, installations, live performances, open galleries, you name it! This city is always evolving and changing and you can find new and different art everywhere and every time you go out. It’s amazing and exciting! I simply enjoy seeing an ugly building transformed into something beautiful with a mural, for example. Or listen to some great live music on my way to the subway.
4. GREEN SPACES
Like I’ve already told you here, Berlin is the greenest city in all Germany. It’s so nice to enter a big green park and stop hearing the city’s noise and even forget you live in this huge metropole. The parks are wild, beautiful and peaceful and Berliners sure know how to take advantage of them! When Summer comes the parks are flooded with picnics, people practicing sports, children playing, people trying to replace the lack of a real beach, bikes, parties, markets, festivals… Oh it’s so awesome!
5. STREET LIFE
Put together the first 4 reasons of this post and you have number 5 explained 🙂 There’s always something happening on the streets of Berlin. You don’t need to make big plans to enjoy the city, just go out and wander. Ride your bike, stop and observe. Enjoy! You won’t have to wait long to witness something amazing (or weird) happening.
6. THINGS TO DO AND DISCOVER
Apart from the street life, Berlin has also a vast cultural agenda that is capable of offering many different programs to enjoy the city. There are so many museums, art galleries, bars and cafes, monuments, city guided tours, shows, concerts and theater plays… Oh man… I’ll need an entire new lifetime to benefit from everything the city has to offer.
7. ITS HISTORY
As sad and bad as it might be, Berlin’s history is very interesting. Intense, to say the least. I feel privileged to live in a city that has had such a complicated past and has striven to become what it is now. I’m not particularly interested in politics and such but I do know how Berlin’s history still influences how nowadays everything happens here. I feel that Berlin wouldn’t be Berlin — quirky, wild, free, artistic, open and accepting, peaceful… — if it wasn’t for all that happened a few years ago.
8. PUBLIC TRANSPORT
True fact: you really don’t need a car to get you around the city and that, for me who hates driving, is simply awesome. Where I come from having a personal car is still the main means of transportation, so you can understand how happy I feel living in here and being able to go wherever I want without using a car. The public transport works perfectly fine. There is the subway (s-bahn and u-bahn), there is the bus, the ground train, the tram and most importantly, you can ride your bike everywhere too! Due to those the city is very quiet and there are no constant traffic jams (usually, of course, there are always exceptions).
One of the main reasons to love Berlin is the variety of food you can have. You’ll never get bored! This has a lot to do with the city’s multicultural environment, of course. The best part is that you don’t have to go to a fancy restaurant just to try out the food from an exotic place for example. You can have a delicious meal from pretty much any country in the world, and usually for a very reasonable price too. We usually eat at home, but some meals during the weekend are reserved to try new restaurants. I think this weekend we’ll go to an Ethiopian place, who knows 😉
10. STREET MARKETS
The street markets must be one of my favorite things Berlin has to offer. There are markets everywhere, in every neighborhood, at any time of the year, especially during weekends. There are second hand markets, food markets, farmers markets, arts & crafts markets, seasonal markets… Just wander a bit and you will certainly find one to get lost in.
11. NEIGHBORHOOD LIFE
Even though Berlin is indeed a huge city, I never felt trapped like I couldn’t breath or move freely. Every time I go to London I feel a bit that way, the city is too intense for me. I always feel a lot of pressure, I can’t quite explain why. When we visited Tokyo was even worse… But not Berlin. Berlin is peaceful, quiet and it has a small town vibe, I think mostly due to its neighborhoods. The neighborhoods in Berlin feel so cozy. You can find everything you want and need for your daily life and you really don’t have to leave your neighborhood, giving the sensation that you live in a small village. The buildings are beautiful and colorful (most of them), there are trees everywhere, there’s space to walk without worrying about traffic, there are so many small shops and businesses and you don’t need to go to the mall to find what you need… It’s just perfect!
I had a lot of fun writing this post, I hope you enjoyed it! I also hope that the reasons I gave make you want to visit my city 😀 You are more than welcome! And if you already visited it, do you agree with the 11 reasons that make me love this city so much? Would you add some more? Feel free to leave a comment down bellow!