Berlin - Solo Travel
Traveling alone has always been on my to-do list and I’d consider this my first proper solo travel. I have done it before in 2012 when I went to Amsterdam but I was only there by myself for one day and met up with my cousin the following day.
Some people may find it daunting and scary to travel on their own especially in a place they have never been before. Quite honestly, I am someone who enjoys doing things on their own, be it going to the gym, shopping, eating out etc, so traveling solo is my idea of heaven!
It has always been my plan to visit Berlin, mainly because it is Europe’s vegan capital city. I mean why would I not visit a city where I wouldn’t have to worry about finding restaurants/cafes that cater for vegans? It also happens that the weekend I visited, Berlin is having their Vegan Summer Festival 2018. Jackpot! I have a separate blog post where I talked about vegan guide in Berlin - click here.
On the other hand, There are also other things to do in Berlin and if you are particularly interested in Jewish history, you’d be interested to visit the city.
Also, for some reason, I find most European cities are very much alike especially with the architecture, historical buildings and even road layouts.
People in Berlin are also pretty friendly and kind. I find that no one at the cafes hates you because you don't speak German/local language. Trust me, I have visited places where they wouldn't even try and speak to you if you don't know their language! (Ahem ahem) I also came across someone who told me that I was waiting at the wrong side of the road for my bus. I must've looked really lost and confused lol
Some of the advantages of Traveling Alone - these are things I have learned during my short solo trip to Berlin.
- Planning your itinerary with only yourself to consider or to not plan anything at all and just go with the flow. QUE SERA SERA
- Choosing a restaurant to eat at without having to worry about whether the other person would like it there or not. It felt like I was doing a food crawl!
- Waking up at anytime you like and going home at anytime you like. During my stay, I have woken up at 5am everyday to visit the popular areas before it gets swamped by tourists and I didn't go home until after 8pm, so I was literally outside for more than 12 hours! It is the best thing ever! I probably won't be able to do this if I am with someone.
- As above, I was able to explore on my own schedule according to my preferences. No compromises! No dramas! No time wasted! I mean, don't get me wrong, traveling with friends or family is also a good thing but sometimes being alone is just as good or even better.
- Walking endlessly and even ending up in the same place you’ve already been to several times. From what my apple watch has recorded, I basically did over 25,000 steps every day!
- Visiting areas/places/museums that you would find interesting but the other person would not.
- Getting lost and relying on yourself to find a way out of it. For me this is good as it helps me to become even more independent and to push myself out of my comfort zone.
- It forces you to know yourself more. A lot of people say this and I always wonder what they meant. Now I know. And trust me, you’ll find out too when you do solo travel.
- Not having to worry about someone else blaming you or you blaming them every time something didn’t go as planned. Things happen. Shit happens. You learn from it, you forget about it and you move on.
- Changing plans the last minute and not having to discuss it with someone else. I had to leave my Airbnb after 1 day and stayed at a shared female only dormitory during the rest of trip. Oh the things I've experienced!
- Meeting new people. Although it’s not what I originally intended to do, it just happens that I’ve met few people who were also traveling alone and it is quite interesting to know their story.
- Getting to experience contentment, fulfilment and real happiness.
- It is like getting a tattoo, once you had one done, you will want more. I am looking into doing another solo travel somewhere else very soon. It is addicting! I love it!
- In summary, basically doing whatever you like and whenever you like! YOLO!
- The only regret I have - I should've done it earlier! But hey! It's never too late to do anything right?
Photo Diaries Below!
Please note, all these photos are taken by myself using my Olympus EPL-7, with 17mm lens.
It is fairly easy to go around Berlin and you won't need a car at all. You can easily move from one place to another by bus, subway, tram or bike. I bought a 72-hour Berlin Welcome Card from this website which I highly recommend as it is cheap and convenient. It gives you unlimited access to public transportation for 3 days and also discounted prices to Berlin attractions.
My airbnb was located in Kreuzkölln (border Kreuzberg / Neukölln). It was only a few minutes away from Alexanderplatz. The bus stop was only few steps away from the house which was really convenient and the house was also very close to lots of shops and a big park!
The hostel I stayed in was a last minute booking I made at Booking.com - my go to website for booking travel accommodations. It is called 2A hostel. I am so glad that I was able to find a cheap accommodation at such short notice because all the hotels were either fully booked or the prices were through the roof! The room I stayed at was a shared female-only room which I didn't really mind as I was out most of the day. The hostel is right next to the train station. It was clean, comfortable, close to amenities, cafes, restaurants and is conveniently located in Neukölln which is only a 10-minute train to Alexanderplatz. I wouldn't mind staying in this hostel again the next time I visit Berlin but would choose a private room rather than a shared-room just so I can have a little bit more privacy.
Overall, Berlin is amazing and it will be one of those cities that I wouldn't mind visiting again!