There is a long and a short version of this.
The short version is that Insiders Berlin is a guide that helps visitors find the best no-nonsense advice on where to eat and stay and what to do in Berlin.
The longer version is that Insiders Berlin started as a a bit of a hobby to record some amazing places and to share them with friends after we came to Berlin for work for a few years. Two things happened. The first is that we absolutely fell in love with the city and felt like we wanted a deeper connection to the city. The second is that someone Insiders Berlin gained traction and before we knew it more than 100 people a day were visiting the blog, often looking for the most basic of information, such as how to get from the airport to the city. So as the readership grew, the blog grew.
The next likely step will be for us to involve our friends, turning Insiders Berlin from a little family hobby into a collective project. We hope you find it useful. If you do please let us know. We’d also be really grateful if you could Google + us, or Facebook Like us, or tweet us.
Why we love Berlin
It is two decades since the fall of the wall and Berlin is still trying to find its place in the world. Walk down one street and it is an impressive European capital city. The Reichstag’s splendour and the gorgeous walk down Unter den Linden to the Brandenburg gate or the revitalized shopping district that runs down Friedrichstrasse to Checkpoint Charlie gives you a sense that this is a capital that has regained its confidence. After years of division and isolation, Berlin now holds its head high among other European cities.
Yet around every corner is also a sense that Berlin is a city like no other. From the gay pride flag that flies above the town hall, or the edging vibe and culture with thousands of artists, musicians and poets from around the world making Berlin their home to the city’s underground dance and music scene you know that this is also a city unsure of where its heart lies.
If you take a weekend break or longer holiday in most parts of Europe such as Paris or London, you will often have the feeling of immense history but also stagnation. Yet if you visit Berlin you’ll understand why that say that: “every city has its history, Berlin has too much”. By that many talk only of the dark past of Berlin. But the city is more than that. Like a multi-layered dessert, the deeper you dig the richer the taste, for Berlin has its history but also its rebirth, over and over again. From the devastation of the Second World War emerged two very different Berlins. Many think that the capitalist version triumphed. And while freedom and liberty certainly reigned, it is not clear which version of the city actually rules – if any. For there is a deeply rebellious side to Berlin that pops up in unexpected ways. And it is this tussle over identity that makes Berlin one of the most exiting and creative cities in Europe.
If you’re just planning a weekend getaway or a longer Berlin holiday I hope that this free Berlin guide helps you find your way round and fall in love with this city that has stolen our hearts.