Ok I didn’t do any dancing myself, but I grabbed a beer from the shack and sat and watched the couples dance as the sun set over the Spree river in the centre of Berlin. This was my first night here after arriving from Amsterdam on my 40th birthday European trip.
After watching the dancing (cover photo) I spent the evening wandering around and ended up near Alexanderplatz, where I had a few beers under the Fernsehturm, the 368 meter tall television tower. I then headed back to my hotel – a modern place called Titanic Chaussee near the main station that was about a half hour walk from Alexanderplatz.
While at Alexanderplatz I noticed a sign for bike tours of the city. This seemed like a good way to get my bearings the next morning, so I headed over and joined a tour run by Fat Tire Tours. The tour lasted a few hours and included a stop for lunch at the open air café in the middle of the Tiergarten.
It turned out to be a great decision – Berlin is huge and cycling was a fun and time-efficient way to see all the main sights. The weather was good, very little of the tour was on main roads and the group was a diverse mix, of families, couples and singles of varied ages and nationalities.
We ticked off all the headline sights such as the Brandenburg gate and Checkpoint Charlie – our guide providing us with lots of historical and fun facts, and allowing us time to walk around each landmark at our leisure.
Lunch at the Tiergarten was also great – the park is lush, green and HUGE and a very pleasant place to cycle round. We parked up our bikes and swapped travel stories while enjoying a beer and a hot-dog in the beer garden. At the end of the tour I had a drink with a couple of fellow bikers and a meal near Alexanderplatz again.
The down side for me with Berlin for a solo traveller was that there seemed to be few pubs, just bars where you were seated at tables rather than on stools at the bar – not great for striking up a conversation. I’d definitely go back as there’s so much to see – and I feel that there were large parts of Berlin I missed out on (I could have done with knowing someone with local knowledge) – but perhaps next time I’ll go with a group of friends.
The next morning it was onto Prague.