Why go to Berlin? Lot of reasons… politic and war history, lot of museums, multi culti, low budget destination, great nightlife, shopping… too many reasons and you never will get disappointed by Berlin, on the river Spree. Visited Berlin in juin 2010 for the first time… in a extremely hot weather… .December 2015, made a second visit…. A bit colder, so perfect to get into some museums
When I am traveling and explore new destinations, always try to do some free walking tour… the concept ‘you pay what you want’, guided by locals and patriots:). In Berlin, took the “Alternative Berlin Tour” and was a great way to start my Berlin trip. There is not a strict program of the alternative tour, just depends on the guide and their experience and knowledge. The alternative guide:) took our group to the Kreuzberg Borough and explained how Kreuzberg became world famous:anarchists, artists,punks, Turkish community, squats, street-art and other subcultures. One of the locations we checked out was the Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, located on the Mariannenplatz. The huge building was before a hospital and after 1970 turned into a exhibition spot for different kinds of art,offer space for theater dance and more. Kunstraum is open daily from 11.00 till 19.00 and free admission. Take the U-Bahn and get off on Kotbusser Tor.
Next to the Kunstraum, you’ll notice the giant St.-Thomas Church and we continued this way…. to see the Treehouse At The Wall or also known as Das Baumhaus An Der Mauer. 1983 Osman Kalin, A Turkish immigrant, decided to create a garden and a small house… constructed by trash and scrap around a big tree…. After the fall of The Berlin Wall in 1989 Osman builded a second floor on his treehouse but still without water gas and electricity:). This area is situated in the middle of East and West Germany, called ‘No Mans Land’. Before it was definitely a ‘hidden gem’ of Berlin… but it seems nowadays that Osman’s Baumhaus became a kind of touristic attraction… And Osman? He is still sitting outside and enjoy how the people hear the history of house telled by free walking tour guides:).
After seeing Osman’s his Baumhaus we continued our tour to the next stop. On the Schillingbrucke is the Black YAAM community: Young African Art Market. Excellent place to see, feel and taste the Afro and Caribbean culture… . YAAM is known for their street food, small sport tournaments or contests,different workshops, always in a for a party with different musicstyles, shake your hips! Easily u can spend an hour to explore this site… . After this chillaxstop at Yaam, time for a bit of world history because the East Side Gallery is very close. The 1.3km long part of the Berlin Wall is a international memorial for freedom. Take your time to check all the politic and peace graffiti.
When leaving the East Side Gallery, catched the U-Bahn on Ostbahnhog and get off on the Hackescher Markt , a cosy square with many restaurants, and a an art and handcraft market. From the Hackescher Markt heading to the Hackescher hofe, and its full with nice boutiques,art galleries and be careful… don’t get lost in the Hackescher Hofe:). After the tour I came back here to check out a small memorial to , called ‘Stille Helden’ (Silent Heroes,who supported persecuted Jews during the Nazi Dictatorship). Is a free admission memorial, daily open from 10 till 18h.
The “Alternative Berlin Free Walking Tour” confirmed again how nice is this form of exploring a city… hear some city legends, explore the less known spots telling by passionated guides.
Some other pictures