When I woke up on the day I was supposed to do my Alternative Berlin tour, the forecast was rain, rain and more rain. And the day after wasn’t looking any better. This tour had come highly recommend from one of my coolest friends and the internet, so I knew I had to suck it up. The Alternative Berlin tour departs at 11am and 1pm daily. It’s a three-hour walking tour, so be prepared! The tour is free, but that being said, you are expected to tip. (trust me, you’ll want to!)
Our tour guide was a super knowledgeable guy with a thick Scottish accent (no complaints here!). We started off at the Berlin Wall gallery and explored both East and West Berlin. Our tour guide took us to cultural hubs, unique spaces and of course, we got to see lots of graffiti.
We heard to story and saw YAAM, a Jamaican cultural center and man made beach in the summer months. We saw a small piece of land that an early immigrant claimed as his own. We saw a bridge where every summer, East meets West and has a huge food fight. The bridge actually shuts down for this event! We learned about the small engraved golden squares that can be seen in some neighbourhoods mixed in with the cobblestones. (It shows you were a Jewish person lived or worked before the Holocaust) We learned about graffiti artists and our last stop was a courtyard that was filled with graffiti, and gets changed almost daily. (I was tempted to add my own art!)
The tour was engaging, and super interesting. Even though it was pouring rain (and I hate rain) I stuck around because it was just so awesome. We did get one break for lunch (I had a falafel). Our guide was also there to offer us tips and encouraged us to ask him any questions and was able to make recommendations. I give this tour a 9 out of 10. It’s a must do if you are into art, interesting spaces and getting to know a city.