I arrived in Berlin on a Sunday and this started my love affair with the Best Kept Secret City in Europe.
I’m kicking off my Awesome Berlin Series with my experience:
- Exploring Alexanderplatz Marketplace,
- Getting lost in U-Bhan (underground train),
- Attending a Catholic Filipino Sunday Mass in Bayernallee, and
- Experiencing the Hipster Flea Market at Mauerpark every Sunday.
Here’s a photo essay of my Sunday first impression of Germany…
ALEXANDERPLATZ, also simply known as ALEX, is the transit hub and shopping center in Berlin located in the Mitte District in former East Germany.
The square (platz) was named in honor of Alexander I, Tsar of Russia, on his visit to Berlin in 1805. This was also the location of the biggest demonstration–about one million people–against the GDR regime, before the fall of the Berlin Wall. (source: www.berlin.de)
I love the Berlin culture of focusing on Quality of Life–that’s why the establishments close early at night (around 7-8pm) and aren’t open on Sundays.
Everyone just relaxes, goes out on a bike, or hangs out in the park or square.
You can hang out in Alexanderplatz to watch a street comedy show for free.
The World Time Clock built in 1969 is a popular meeting place in the square.
At the back is the iconic Fernsehturm (Berlin TV Tower) or Alex Tower, which is one of the prominent symbols of Berlin. Check out the cool trisikad.
Don’t miss the opportunity to eat their iconic street food and a Berlin invention, the Currywurst (€3).
Grilled pork German sausage topped with ketchup and curry powder.
Check out these interactive challenges…
Another popular meeting place is the Brunnen der Völkerfreundschaft (Fountain of Friendship amongst Peoples) near Galeria Mall (where you can get the best Rimowa deals in town).
Some people prefer to shop at Primark for the best value fashion shopping in Berlin.
Water Ball activities for the kids.
Another popular attraction for the kids are the trampolines…
…while the adults bungee jump from the top of Park Inn.
Even if you don’t understand German, actions speak louder than words in this comedy show.
Freshly squeezed orange juice–available everywhere in Berlin!
LOST IN U-BHAN
U-Bhan stands for Underground Train, and I got lost the first time I tried it.
There are no ticket booths. It operates on an honesty system with random checking. The Germans figured out that the most efficient way to operate a train system is to eliminate the gates.
First, you need to know which line you need to take. I’m taking the U2 red line from Alexander Platz (A section) to get to the Neu-Westend (B-section).
I selected a single ticket for the A-B section, which costs €2.40 one way.
(TIP: It’s best to get a multi-day ticket during your trip to save on cost. You can also use it for the buses.)
You have to validate your ticket before you can use it for the first time.
The train arrives on time and the last station is usually indicated. Take the Ruhleben U2 line to get to Neu-West End.
The Filipino Mass is every Sunday at 3pm, so make sure you allot 30 minutes for travel time from Alexanderplatz.
Most places in Berlin are not airconditioned since summer is too short and they experience longer winters.
The Neu-Westend area is one of the posh, rich neighborhoods in Berlin.
3PM FILIPINO MASS @ HOLY SPIRIT CHURCH, BAYERNALEE
It’s a few minutes walk to the Church of the Holy Ghost along Bayernallee 28.
The praying of the rosary, novena, and stations of the cross start at 3.00pm and the celebration of the Holy Mass is at 3.30pm for the Philippine Community in Berlin.
There’s a little salo-salo after the mass. It’s a great venue to get to know your kababayans in Berlin.
For more info, visit http://filipinos-in-berlin.de/
MAUERPARK FLEA MARKET
Follow the people walking or riding bikes towards Mauerpark in the Prenzlauer Berg district.
(Tip: Don’t walk on the designated bike lane.)
Mauerpark transforms into one of Berlin’s best-loved flea markets, located along Bernauer Strasse every Sunday.
You can go and have your own picnic here.
…and cool music in an al fresco setting.
You can also get some cool toys, second-hand stuff, and Berlin artwork.
Have some Dünnes Pizzabrot (thin pizza bread)…
Check out these old iron stuff and other “junk”.
Dreamcatchers and other hip accessories.
Beers €2.50 and Hipster Drinks €2.00.
There’s karaoke at Mauerpark every Sunday afternoon in the Amphitheater (just missed it).
As you go up Mauer Hill, you get to see a view of the park and the flea market.
A 30m piece of the Berlin Wall monument in Mauerpark with cool graffiti art.
Friedrich Ludwig Jahn Sportpark Stadium beside Mauerpark.
Watch the solo dance performances…
…and the reggae and techno bands.
BERLIN MAUERPARK FLOHMARKT
Bernauer Strasse 63-64
Phone: 0176 29 25 00 21
For more info visit: http://www.mauerparkmarkt.de/
AWESOME BERLIN – The Best Kept Secret City of Europe Series:
- BERLIN: 10 Most Awesome Experiences for First Timers in Berlin!
- BERLIN: The Fall of the Berlin Wall–25th Year Anniversary! @VisitBerlin
- SUNDAYS IN BERLIN: Alexanderplatz, Bayernallee Filipino Mass, Mauerpark Flea Market & Lost in U-Bahn! (First Impressions of Germany)
- BERLIN BUNDESTAG: Käfer Breakfast at the Rooftop of the Reichstag Building!
- BERLIN: An Awesome Underground Supper Clubbing Experience in Berlin! @SupperClubbing
- BERLIN: Meeting SupperClub Founder at Hüttenpalast Caravan-Hotel in Hipster-District of Neukölln
- BERLIN: Hasir + Doner Kebab – The Best Turkish Food Outside of Turkey! @BarbaraWoolsey
- BERLIN: Meeting The Filipina Diplomatic Wife in Berlin over Berlin Chocolates @DiplomaticWife
- BERLIN: What I Learned from Berlin’s Best Bloggers at Max und Moritz Old Berlin Tavern?
- BERLIN: TEUFELSBERG – Abandoned Cold War-era Spy Station on top of the Devil’s Mountain!
- BERLIN: Markthalle Neun Street Food Market Thursdays @BerlinFood
- BERLIN: White Trash Fast Food – “Exotic food just like Mama used to make!”
- BERLIN: The TIM RAUE Experience – Best Chef in Berlin? (A Review)
- BERLIN: Motel One Berlin-Alexanderplatz (A Review)
- GERMAN VISA MANILA: How to Apply for Schengen Visa in the German Embassy in Manila?
Live an Awesome Life,
Disclosure: Our Berlin Trip was courtesy of the Foreign Ministry as part of the Blogger Visitors Program of the Federal Republic of Germany. I wrote this article with my own biases, opinions, and insights. Read Our Awesome Planet Complete Disclosure Policy here.
P.S. Meet the Southeast Asian Bloggers delegation and our guide, Matthias, from Goethe Institut during our Berlin adventure.
4 thoughts on “SUNDAY IN BERLIN: My First Impressions of Germany @VisitBerlin”
i always wondered what the real berlin and berliners looked like, but never had the chance to go,
thanks for this blog, my curiosity has been satisfied.
it seems that people all over the world are basically the same, and that berliners are very similar to the people in manila, who just want to live their lives in peace.
Berlin is the most beautiful European City for me 🙂 Enjoy !
Very nice post. I just came across your blog and needed to say that I’ve truly enjoyed searching your blogs. After all I will be subscribing to your feed my partner and i hope you are writing again in the near future!
Cool pics! While you there visit Berlin’s zoo – biggest zoo in the world!