20 Hours in Berlin
I was in London last month (February). At the weekend I felt bored by the prospect of staying there. I sometimes love London, but it's best in the summer. I decided to leave late night Friday after various meetings/drinks and go to Berlin. I hadn't been to Berlin since I was 5.
A great thing about Europe - or maybe just modern life - is how easy it is to just show up at the airport, get on a plane and a few hours later be somewhere else.
Berlin was freezing and snowing when I arrived in the early morning. I had a list of touristy things I wanted to do alone before my friends who live there woke up mid afternoon and dragged me to Berghain.
This is my list:
I enjoyed everything and was done by 2pm. I am very fast and good a keeping to a schedule. I am not interested in spending a lot of time staring at any one thing. The trick to seeing a city in half a day on virtually no sleep is to not eat, keep drinking coffee, and stay in motion. The one place I went that I would maybe skip is Fernsehturm (the TV tower). It was cool to see from the ground but waiting to go up in it (and the view from the top) were very meh.
Berlin, like most cities, is not going to be that fun unless you know someone who lives there. My favorite moments being there were when I was with my friends. We went for a long walk through an abandoned air field and a few different neighborhoods and parks that I couldn't point out on a map. And to a dinner party. And to various clubs (that I couldn't name - even if I wanted to).
I realize this probably sounds very much like some elitist bullshit -- if you didn't grow up like me attending private international schools and have friends all over the world, life must be, like, hard for you. But I have some suggestions which I hope don't sound too patronizing. If you're a couple stay at Soho House in Berlin and do kitschy weird stuff together like the KitKat club. Talk to your concierge about where to eat. If you're alone and you're ok with dating apps try downloading tinder in advance of your trip, change your location to Berlin -- start talking to some people before you get there. If you're feeling adventurous meet them, if you aren't steal their suggestions of things to do.
At 5am, after dancing all night, I took a taxi to the airport. I flew back to London and met my friends for breakfast. I wanted to die I was so exhausted.