The Berlin we know is a city which has set itself free from any stereotypes. Indeed, Berlin is the exact opposite of stereotype and for that reason as soon as you land there, living fully this city is a duty to yourself.
Berlin, a full city
If you say so, it might sound extremely mundane but Berlin is a true symbol of “fullness” because -first of all- it is a prototype of a city that shaped its contradictions and grey areas into a chance of development and thinking.
Therefore, today Berlin is destination not only to visit but also to live no matter how much time you have, because Berlin the place to go to school of Europe.
What may attract you more of Berlin is its youthfulness. Berlin is a youth-friendly city that can rejuvenate itself.
The modern Berlin is freedom in continuous metamorphosis. Here worlds, adventures and becoming dimensions are made, born from past mistakes but funded by a present of rebirth. Here – as we know- the past shadow of The Wall had once stifled all hopes of life and growth. But, the remarkable piece of news is that The Wall shattered in order to become a hotbed of creativity, full of redemptions and purposes.
Berlin is not made for visiting but for living
In Berlin city you find your way through symbolic landmarks, of which the main feature is to spread an incredible energy.
That is why living in Berlin – even for a short period- it’s an experience that can be engraved in your mind and in your personal possibility of making choices.
But what makes Berlin a city more interesting than beautiful?
Berlin city without stereotypes
If you are looking for a place where you feel stimulations, where you can start build your talents and have the right boost to plan your future, the city of Berlin is the right choice. Far from the classic urban style of any other German cities (like Munich in its almost cutesy elegance), Berlin is a city full of contradictions in each road and with its past sets in stone.
If you visit the city with pop-eyed interest, turn up in the streets and then arrive to the train station of the underground, in a constant balanced of East and West, it comes out a post- modern style, which is different from our suburbs. Some buildings look brutal, of which you cannot explain to yourself the presence. And yet you feel amazed at seeing how this style is completed in a funny and perfect way with that one of neoclassical monuments, all rebuilt after the Second World War.
That tells us how Berlin was able not to destroy itself but to build a contemporary identity based on past and present that does not hide anything, neither proud nor shame.
A stroll in Berlin is a colourful emotion. You will not feel utterly happy, or fascinated or shocked. It is a sensation that you will remember and it will make you feel part of an important story: the European history.
Europe cubed: living in Berlin city
Living and visiting a city are two separate things, we know that. However, living or studying in Berlin means that you get to know its streets, monuments, buildings with their many stories.
People, who choose Berlin as city to spend time for study or work, cannot help themselves from following a path to feel themselves Berliner. That happen because Berliner’s feeling means breathe Europe more than any other place in the continent.
Berlin is your open-air school. Here, coming out from a touristy perspective is easy: you need to accept the invitation of becoming a Berliner and feeling its fullness.
Which one is the ideal path?
Let’s start at the very beginning
Mitte is the city centre, the starting and end point, because here it can be read the beginning, the present and in some cases the end in every corner.
Some instances? Read further
Feeling the past, the present and the future
The Brandenburg Gate is a monument which comes from far away and after the Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 it has become the symbol of The New United Berlin.
Now let’s shift our focus to Fernsehturm (Berlin Television Tower) in Alexander Platz: built by DDR in order to broadcast national programmes, it is now the official symbol of the city’s unity par excellence. It is really difficult not to spot its “alien” shape, bearer of a future that Berliners might expect but not fully realised yet.
But there is more. Berlin is also an open- air places to walk while going back home or to choose in a celebration day, maybe during spring or summer when the colours of these seasons are blooming.
Here we are at the Tiergarten Park, where you can see the flawless planning of the government building.
Or the Unter den Linden, the most popular avenue full of lindens, where you can stroll in the heart of the city and dive into the city and into the habits of its inhabitants.
A rarity for experts? The Humboldt University, best known for one the most influential intellectual of the last Century: Karl Marx.
An island, lots of museums, full of stories
Museums, typical places of tourist voice.
But in Berlin city is not like that. Here museums are “houses of people”, where you can read the history of Europe without omissions.
Therefore, living or studying in Berlin means visiting regularly the Museumsinsel, the Museum Island.
In few kilometres, you can enjoy:
- The Ancient Museum (Altes Museum), a trip into Etruscan, Greek and Roman worlds;
- The New Museum (Neues Museum), where you can see precious artefacts’ collections of the Egyptian era, such as the Neferiti Bust;
- The Bode Museum, where are displayed arts from Middle Ages to XVIII Century;
- The Pergamon mMseum, which hosts the Pergamon altar, discovered in Turkey in 1878
- The National Gallery, the most important museum in Germany
This extraordinary walk ends up in the untypical place par excellence: the astonishing Sony centre, in Postdamer Platz, umbrella-shaped building with a steel roof on top that can change its colours during the day.
In Berlin, people walk along the structure of The Wall, historical chapter but warning for the future; you can stroll over wide and welcoming avenues, people await evenings in order to toast together with the best quality beer in an ordinary day and no need to wait for a celebration day.
Choosing to study in Berlin, school of Europe
There are lots of capital cities available in the Erasmus programmes, but let us say that Berlin is the city that will not let you down.
Excellent universities, great public transport service, plenty of cultural events, nightlife and reasonable prices, Berlin is a true school of Europe and Pro-Europeanism.
If it is unimaginable to summarise the true essence of Berlin once and for all, however it is possible to dive into fascinating and chaotic stories of its inhabitants, women and men that you meet in their ordinary life as Europeans at the centre of the history.
Your link on Berlin
Become true European citizens in Berlin, grow up, live and study in a city that was able to change its destiny infinite times: this is its treasure.
And every day we have a lecture on Europe.