Traveling is all about experience, about engaging our senses and enjoying life as it is. Some call it mindful travelling, others simply celebration of life. Either way, when I travel, I make sure to let myself experience every situation that presents itself.
For a long time I thought traveling and mindfulness cannot go hand in hand. You cannot go wandering around in an unknown place without having a plan or reservation, can you? Turns out, it all comes to being fully present and aware of your experiences (throughout your travels). And that my friend, brings the most joy from traveling (or at least to me).
Best Things to experience in Berlin (Mindful Traveling)
Dine alongside the River Coast
There are numerous cozy restaurants along the Spree, near the Old Town, that will surely satisfy a hungry gut. Just make sure you go a bit early, as the area is a popular dining place amongst locals and tourists. Most restaurants and café’s offer blankets as it gets chilly at night (even during summer).
Traveler’s Essentials: A cosy, everyday cardigan can save the night (this one is a good basic that goes with almost anything – in gray).
Enjoy the Sunset: East Side Gallery
From emotional barrier to cultural attraction, the East Side Gallery offers unique glimpse into historical reality. There you can enjoy fine street art, displayed on the remaining ruins of the Berlin Wall, buzzing tourists taking photos and locals
Mindful: If you want a less crowded experience, sit on the side of the Wall facing the River and enjoy the sunset (it’s gorgeous in summer!).
Have a walk around the Berlin Old town (Berlin Altstadt)
Cozy and petite, the old town streets of Berlin offer a different look into the typical face of the German capital. It reminds me of a small, snuggly German town with lots of flowers, antique shops and nice cafés. It’s also a gathering point for some of the bike tours (see available tours here).
Visit the Berlin Wall Museum
If you do not soak history while in Berlin, one may say you have never visited the German capital. A good place to start is the Berlin Wall Museum. Expect to see old photographs and historical reminders of life during the War.
Mindful (and to cheer you up): Right on the other side of the street, there is a small ice cream truck that offers a taste-full glimpse into ice cream flavor Berliners used to enjoy in the olden days. I highly recommend giving it a try (by taking small, mindful bites of course).
Treat yourself a picnic in front of the Reichstag’s building
In front of the German parliament building (Reichstagsgebäude), there is a nice, large, grassy moan that locals (and tourists) use for an evening chat or picnics. You will see people with bikes and picnic blankets. If you do not have any of those on hand, a good old cardigan will do the trick. Just make sure you take a snack with, otherwise it wouldn’t be a picnic, would it.
Hop on the train to Potsdam
If you want to explore how smaller towns in Germany function, be sure to check out Potsdam. It is around 30 min. away by train. If you already plan on getting the Berlin Welcome Card (for Zones A,B, C) you can literally hop onto every possible train/ Bahn as Potsdam is in C Zone (brilliant, I know).
A good place to start is the famous Sanssouci Palace. Entrance is paid and if you go around the opening hours, you’ll be one of the first on the line. And the line gets crowded, especially in summer.
Mindful: And if you get to visit Potsdam in summer, do not miss the local blueberries being sold on the pavement (city’s Central Street). They might be pricey, but are damn delicious (mindfulness, remember?)