For years, I’ve been hearing countless friends rave about Berlin and of course, when I went to Germany a few years back I only had time to visit one city and I opted for Munich. While Munich quickly became one of my favorite cities, I always had this urge to see what all this Berlin fuss was about. It only took me a few seconds after stepping off my train from Frankfurt to understand why everyone relates to this global city.
One aspect that resonates with me is the unique alternative scene in Berlin that is almost incomparable to other cities. With impressive street art and wall paintings covering nearly every building, I felt inspiration brimming wherever I turned. Seeing the East Side Gallery (former Berlin Wall) was such a surreal experience for me and shows just how much Berliners appreciate art in all its forms.
Another element of local life in Berlin is bike culture. For most people, biking is simply a form of transportation taking you from point A to point B but in Berlin, it’s a way of life. From old, vintage bikes to brightly spray-painted rides, each one has a vibrant personality of its own, and naturally, also reflects that of the owner. It’s also the premier way to see the real Berlin and also a cheaper mode of transport. Just remember to lock your bike securely.
As if my few days in Berlin couldn’t get any more thrilling, my lifestyle guide Henrik surprised me by taking me to the ic! berlin offices and warehouse to make my own pair of glasses. While this seemed like a strange activity, I went along with it and surprisingly had a blast filing down their no-screws frames. After a lot of hard work and a little bit to drink, I was offered to take home a real pair of my own. Not a bad souvenir I’d say!
Bio: Megan Eileen McDonough is a freelance travel and fashion writer based in New York City. She also runs Bohemian Trails, a travel blog covering global art, culture and off the beaten path destinations for the avant-garde traveler. Her travels have taken her to South America, Europe, Mexico and Egypt. Megan previously worked for a fashion agency in London and later for an international record label in New York.