As mentioned in my Perfect Berlin Weekend Itinerary, the Urban Art Tour by Alternative Berlin is a serious must do while you’re here. I never regretted it. After about two years of living in Berlin, I decided to try it out and went on a tour as a birthday present for a good friend — he loves photography, so it seemed like a nice opportunity. Even though we knew most of these places, it was absolutely incredible seeing the city with someone else’s eyes. Someone, by the way, who knows much more about the urban art displayed so frequently throughout the city. Someone who will show you things you’d have never noticed and explains to you the background of the city. Like a puzzle, you’ll find yourself putting the pieces of Berlin together.
The historical tidbits, the urban legends, the most popular squats and even random locations you’ve never seen: many things are included in the tour. No, I do not get paid to recommend it, I just think that this is the perfect approach to Berlin. Other cities are best discovered in their classical parts, architecture and history; but Berlin, if you ask me, is best consumed when old, rotten, dirty and illegal (besides, the classical parts are all covered by the usual guides. Grab a Lonely Planet and head out to educate yourself about everything historical in Berlin, there’s much knowledge to gain). If anything, the locations and the stories, mixed with the tragic and bizarre past of Germany, formed the freedom of art that Berlin stands for today.
Do yourself a favor, take the tour if you’re new in town. It starts daily at 11 AM and 1 PM at the Starbucks Alexanderplatz (right below the Fernsehturm). The tour is free, but a tip is expected (and please be generous if you can and if you liked it). Here are some impressions from our little trip.
By the way, I’m absolutely up for another round (it was snowy and cold the last time and I have a better camera now) while it’s warm, so if anyone wants to join me: let’s roll.