Exploring Berlin: Virtual Tour Week and a Giveaway

This is about Berlin, chunky quotes, something new we’re trying this week, and a few giveaways to tie it all together.

Berlin. A city we love, a city we’ve chosen as a base. As we dig into Berlin and meet others who’ve done the same, we learn a little bit more about the city through them — its layers of history, humanity, creativity, and culture.

Berlin Photos

This week we’re undertaking something a little different to bring more of this to light. We’ll be enlisting the help of Berlin friends and experts to help — on what we’re calling a Virtual Tour of Berlin.

Berlin: One City, Multiple Perspectives

Berlin Wall, East Side Gallery - Friedrichshain, Berlin
East Side Gallery, street art along the Berlin Wall.

How would you describe Berlin? Not an easy task. So we asked several Berliner friends and experts on Berlin to share with us their view on Berlin and what makes it the city that it is. Here are a few:

History’s eternal problem child, Berlin refuses to grow up and be respectable.” – Ben Perry, long-time Berlin resident and friend

———

“Berlin’s obvious attractions include abundant space, a spirit of tolerance, a relatively low population, an excellent cycling network and public transport links, easy access to a countryside dominated by forests and lakes, and a commercial infrastructure that’s largely independent. But its more complex and nuanced aspects – the stories and characters, the dark history and unexpected delights of its interzones and edgelands – are best discovered via patient exploration and home-made sandwiches.” – Paul Sullivan, founder of Slow Travel Berlin

———

As the fall of the Berlin Wall acts as Year Zero for the city, it is much younger than other European capitals. Because of this, it feels more open to strangers and strange ideas, and the creatives here are less competitive and more collaborative. This makes it a great place to work in a creative field or in tech, or to distinguish yourself as a blogger. Moving here is the best thing I ever did.” – James Glazebrook, co-founder of überlin

———

“Berlin, Berlin: There’s this special energy in Berlin—so much potential, so much history and so many interesting people doing interesting things. The Berliners (not the donuts, but the people who live here—international or not) are making Berlin what it is today…and what it has been in the past.” – Adam Groffman, Travels of Adam

———

“Berlin is like a hole. You sink deeper and deeper and you can’t get out.”

“Is it a good hole or a bad hole?”

“Oh, it’s a good hole, the best hole in the world.”Veroniki Alexopulos, a long-term Berlin resident from Finland

———

Berlin. Full of juxtaposition, this rebellious, orderly, outspoken, lively, relaxed, historic, innovative, green (in summer), grey (in winter), urban island in the East of Germany and the heart of Europe is a magnet for international artists, creatives, techies, beauties, tourists, history buffs and partiers – and truly the city that never sleeps.” – Luci Westphal from Moving Postcard

A Virtual Tour of Berlin

And so we’re very excited to share our Berlin during a “Virtual Tour of Berlin” on Google Plus this week. Tapping into the inimitable pace and vibe of the city, we’ll examine a few aspects of the Berlin experience: life, architecture, art, food, neighborhoods, sights, history, and the urban and green spaces that define its streets.

Eyeing a new set of wheels. How far can she go? #trabant #Berlin
Trabant adventures in Berlin

In addition to sharing some of our favorite places in Berlin, we’ll also explore a few new parts of the city (for us). All week we’ll share our experiences and post photos and local tips on the G Adventures Traveling Community.

  • Street food tour in Kreuzberg highlighting our favorite Berlin cheap eats.
  • Canoe tour of Berlin with Berlin on Bike.
  • Street art tour and workshop with Alternative Berlin.
  • Walking tour of Kreuzberg, one of our favorite neighborhoods, with Context Travel.
  • Museum and exhibition visits, from the Curry Wurst Museum to antiquities at the Pergamon Museum. Big thanks to visitBerlin for providing us with Berlin WelcomeCards and Museum Cards.
Sailing into a Berlin sunset
Sailing into a Berlin sunset

We invite you to explore Berlin with us! RSVP here for the event. Connect with us on Google Plus. Share your own Berlin photos and stories on the Traveling Community.

Google Hangout on Air with Berlin Experts – August 22, 1PM EST

On Thursday, August 22 we’ll be hosting a Google Hangout on Air at 1PM EST/10AM PST (7PM Berlin time) to talk even more about Berlin and answer any questions you might have about visiting or living in this city. We’ve asked Berlin residents and experts Adam Groffman from Travels of Adam, James Glazebrook, co-founder of überlin, Giulia Pines and Natalie Holmes from Slow Travel Berlin to share their expertise on, experience in and love of Berlin with all of us.

So let us know your questions on Berlin! Ask them in the Virtual Tour Event, on Twitter with #gadvBerlin, or in the comments below.

Berlin Giveaway

We realize that we’re a bit nutty about Berlin, but we’re not the only ones. A couple of our partners were also excited about this week and offered prizes so that you, our readers, could enjoy some of the same sort of experiences we are having this week.

Berlin prizes include:

How to enter? It’s easy! Answer: what’s the first thing you want to do when you get to Berlin?

Just leave a comment below. Tweet us @umarket and use the hashtag #gadvBerlin. Leave a comment on the Google Plus Virtual Tour of Berlin Event page. Or, sign up for our newsletter.

Just be sure to submit your entry by Monday, August 26, 2013. Viel Glück!

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Comments

  1. says

    This sounds really kool! I already tweeted it and I think something like this should be done more often. Never been to Berlin though and know little about it. Would be nice learning more for different perspectives.

  2. says

    I dream of moving to Berlin! I hope to do so after our rtw travels next year. I’ve always been fascinated by the city and this year finally going to have the chance to visit! Will be spending a week there over new year’s, cannot wait! The first thing I want to do when I get to Berlin is to check out some of the great street art I’ve seen so many photos of.

  3. Caro says

    The first thing I want to do when I get to Berlin is walk. Through the parks, along the streets, to explore the sights and sounds…

  4. says

    I am actually coming to Berlin on vacation in a couple weeks! I am looking forward to eating my way through all the doner, falafel, and other Turkish and Middle Eastern food in Kreuzburg. :)

  5. Donna Moore says

    I’m counting the days yntil i arrive in Berlin on September 11th. The first thing I want to do is re-familiarise myself with the city by going for a long walk, maybe hopping on a Strassenbahn, before stopping off and enjoying a good meal. I love the distinct personalities of each of Berlin’s districts. There is something new and exciting around every corner.

  6. says

    “What’s the first thing you want to do when you get to Berlin?” I love the food in Kreuzberg, so I’d head straight to there and begin to eat my way through the neighborhood.

  7. says

    “What’s the first thing you want to do when you get to Berlin?” I want to go back to the Berlin Wall and take more photos! they visit the Baulhause and swing a bit

  8. says

    Berlin gets more interesting to me as the years pass. I have heard nothing but great things about the city. I will have to find out more for myself one day!

  9. says

    Great quotes! Like the first one in particular. I remember that David Bowie once called Berlin the greatest cultural extravaganza that one could imagine..I would love to visit one day, see for myself if it really is such a pulsing and exciting city as they say. All that iconic history around you must be pretty inspiring. Can´t really imagine standing in front of the remains of the Berlin Wall..that would be surreal!

  10. says

    Berlin really does have a great buzz about it and, in my view, it’s a fantastic place to travel to and hang out. I think one of the good things about spending time in Berlin is that it has lots to experience but it doesn’t cost anything like as much as many other European cities. Just walking in the city is one of my favourite ways of experiencing Berlin and the East Side Gallery is a ‘must see’ remnant of the infamous wall.

  11. says

    Thanks very much for this exciting post on Berlin, Audrey!
    Unfortunately I missed the date – but as I’ve been living in Berlin sense 1998, I have had a couple of opportunities to sightsee this city, that were important towns of two countries still 25 years ago.
    It’s good to know that you enjoy B.!

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