The diversity of Berlin

Sara, 27. Dezember 2019

I believe that what makes Berlin so amazing is the history behind it. It’s easy to look at a massive park and see it as just that, a park, when in reality it’s so much more. Before visiting touristic sights, I recommend to do a little bit of research to understand the underlying significance of the sight. That way, visitors can truly appreciate the places they are seeing. Another thing I recommend for anyone visiting Berlin is going to different areas and walking around. Every area looks and feels different from the other and is accompanied by different experiences. Each area has a completely different history because the west and east divide. It’s so fascinating to see how this impact is still visible today and brings so much richness to the city. Here is a brief guide of the different neighbourhoods in Berlin:

Mitte: translates to “Middle” and is… well in the centre of Berlin. Most of the sightseeing attractions are in Mitte. This neighbourhood holds most of the chic shops and fancy restaurants.

Prenzlauer Berg: is one of the popular neighborhoods in Berlin as it survived world war 2 with many old buildings left intact. The neighborhood is also known for its healthy food scene. It has more vegan restaurants and organic food shops than anywhere else.

Friedrichshain: is the home of artists and galleries and is known to be young and industrial. The best clubs are located in this neighborhood (Berghain being one of them) and many industrial spaces and venues are available there. There is always a party happening in Friedrichshain.

Kreuzberg: is known as the area with a lot of artists, students, and immigrants. The neighborhood embraces its non-conformity and has a strong multicultural environment.

Charlottenburg: is suburban area of Berlin. It houses families and older individuals.

Wedding: is located north of Mitte and has a lot of historical buildings. A lot of immigrants live there as it an affordable area.

Neukölln: is an up and coming neighborhood. It has the best nightlife in berlin and is filled with bars and cafes. Artists are moving there resulting in many new galleries and vintage stores.



Happy New Year to Everyone!


Christmas Time in Berlin!

 Sara, 23. Dezember 2019

During this time of the year in Berlin, Christmas markets are a must visit. Below are my favourite two Christmas markets. Once there, you need to make sure to drink some Glühwein, which is the German word for Mulled wine. It is served warm and contains alcohol however, there is a non-alcoholic version of it. This drink is perfect to warm you up in the cold and it is delicious.

Gendarmenmarkt: The Gendarmenmarkt Christmas market is open from November 25 till December 31, 2019. There is a 1 euro entrance fee that is completely worth it. The market is located between three impressive buildings: The Deutsche Dom, the Konzerthaus and the Franzozische Friedrichstadtkirche. There is a gigantic Christmas tree in the middle of it and offers plenty of tasty products and daily live performances.

Weihnachtszeit at Roten Rathaus: The Christmas market at Roten Rathaus is small market located in front of the Fernsehturm in Alexanderplatz. The entrance is free of charge and the market is open from November 25 till January 6, 2020. It is one of the most famous and also oldest Christmas markets in Berlin. It contains a gigantic Ferris wheel and large ice skating-ring for a fun afternoon or evening.


The best German course in Berlin & “Relativsätze”

Sara, 20. Dezember 2019

In my German course today, I learned about the “Relativsatz”, which translates to “the relative clause”. This clause is used to give more information about the noun or the subject in a superordinate clause. In other words, the Relativsatz is a Nebensatz that gives further information about a subject or a noun in a Hauptsätze.

Hauptsätze: ich mag diese Wohnung nicht (I don’t like this apartment)

Nebensatz: meine Möbel haben darin keinen Platz (my furniture has no place there)

The Nebensatz presents further information about the object in the Hauptsätze (diese Wohnung), this in turn can become a Relativsatz.

Here is the Hauptsätze + Nebensatz  as a Relativsatz: Ich mag diese Wohnung, in der meine Möbel keinen Platz haben, nicht.

Ich mag diese Wohnung, in der (der refers to the Wohnung) meine Möbel keinen Platz haben (verb at the end of the relativsatz), nicht.


The Relativsatz is a Nebensatz that:

  • Usually comes after the word it is meant to give information on
  • A comma is used to separate the relative clause from the superordinate clause
  • The conjugated verb of the relative clause is moved to the end of the sentence
  • A relative pronoun is used to refer to the noun in the superordinate clause
  • The trick is, that you need to know whether the relative pronoun is in akkusativ, dativ or nominative form and use it accordingly.

If this sounded complicated and you didn’t understand anything, don’t worry, you’ll get there with the best German courses in Berlin.


“Ah! I understood that”

Sara, 19. Dezember 2019

Over the past 5 months I have taken extensive German classes Monday to Thursday for 3 hours. I started with level A1 and I am now entering the B1 level. In all honestly, it has been difficult to keep going. Learning the language requires having to process a lot of new information, but I am starting to get used to it in a way I never thought possible. Last week I asked a question to a random man in German, and he replied in German and I understood! I felt so much joy. It is those little moments that keep me motivated to continue learning. Those little moments when you overhear a conversation on the u-bahn and you think in your head “Ah I understood that”. Or when you read something on a billboard and directly get it. Or even when you pronounce a word with an Umlaut letter correctly (ä, ö, ü). Once you start noticing the progress you are making in your everyday life, it hits you that you are getting there and it makes all the hard work worth it. I mean who would have thought that in 5 months I would be able to ask questions to people and communicate in my day to day life in GERMAN?

Sometimes at the end of a long day, I become unable to speak in one coherent way. Since I speak French with my parents, Arabic with my grandparents, English with my friends and German in my daily life I start to sound comme this le soir when ich bin fatiguee. That’s just one sentence with a mix of languages that describes perfectly what goes on in my brain at the end of a long day!


More than Schnitzel

Sara, 18. Dezember 2019

When it comes to food, Berlin really has it all. Whether you are vegetarian, vegan, a meat lover, you love brunch, lunch, street food, dinner, you like a nice evening wine, or some good beer… you will find it all. Needless to say that one should try the traditional currywurst and the late night döner kebab (some places even have vegan and vegetarian options). I compiled a list of my favorite locations when it comes to food.

Markthalle Neun: Markthalle Neun is an indoor market with international food vendors and shops. They occasionally host community events there.

Simon Dach Straße: This is a street famous for its wide range of restaurants. The cuisines are varied and there are many vegan options to satisfy everyone’s cravings. 

Burgermeister: If you are looking for the best burger in the world, look no more. After waiting in a long line, you will taste greatness. Burgermeister’s original location under the bridge at Schlesisches Tor is the perfect Berliner experience.

19 grams: 19 grams is a café that offers amazing coffee and amazing food. They have a location in Friedrichshain, one in Kreuzberg and two in Mitte. The atmosphere is always friendly and enjoyable and I guarantee you, you will be going there more than once.

Schnitzelei: The best schnitzel I have had in Berlin was at Schnitzelei. The restaurant is beautiful, the atmosphere is extremely enjoyable and the food is exquisite. They also have vegetarian and gluten free options. It’s so good you need to make sure to reserve beforehand to get a table.


Favourite places in Berlin!

Sara, 17. Dezember 2019

The whole city is amazing in my eyes but if I had to narrow it down to sights, I would say that there are enough attractions to meet anyone’s interests. Below is a list of my favourite places and what to expect

East Side Gallery: The East Side Gallery is an open-air gallery that consists of murals painted on a 1,316m long remnant of the real Berlin Wall. I recommend going on a day with good weather as the gallery is outdoor. Since it runs along the canal, it is nice to relax after the walk and enjoy a beer.

Memorial of the Murdered Jews: The Memorial of the Murdered Jews is my favourite sight in Berlin. It was designed in memory of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust by the architect Peter Eisenman and the engineer Buro Happold. The site is made of 2711 grey concrete rectangular blocks, placed horizontally and differing in length vertically, making reference to coffins. They are arranged in a rectilinear way, with long narrow alleys in between them for people to wander in.  

Brandenburg Gate: The Brandenburg Gate is situated very close to the Memorial of the Murdered Jews and to the Reichtag. The gate is an 18th-century neoclassical  monument that holds significant historical importance. It is surrounded by many coffee shops and a platz where one can enjoy a little walk around

Museum Island: If you are interested in art, I recommend going to Museum Island. The island contains 5 museums that suit different tastes: Pergamonmuseum (Pergamon Museum), Bode-Museum, Neues Museum (New Museum), Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery) and Altes Museum (Old Museum)

Templehofer Feld: The Tempelhof airport was built at the beginning of the 1920s and closed in 2008. Ever since, it has become a park with a 6km cycling, skating and jogging trail as well as a huge BBQ area, a dog-walking field and a picnic area. It is great for a chill afternoon under the sun.

Mauer park: Mauerpark means “Wall Park” in German and refers to the former part of the Berlin Wall that was the Death Strip. Every Sunday there’s a flea market at the park with a crowd of tourists and Berliners looking for secondhand clothes and vintage items. There are also music shows and sport shows happening around the park. It is a great way to spend your Sunday.

Tiergarten: The Tiergarten is Berlin’s most popular inner-city park. The park welcomes bikers, joggers, families and is 210 hectares big. It is one of the largest urban gardens of Germany and is perfect for a nice walk and a picnic on a nice day. There is also a beer garden in the park called Café am Neuen See which is perfect for a good time with some friends.



Meeting new friends at the best German school in Berlin

Sara, 16. Dezember 2019

Moving to a new city without knowing the language and without knowing anyone is really tough. It is easy to feel lonely, hold up in your apartment, afraid to get out of your comfort zone. In the best German school in Berlin I met many people that had moved to Berlin, each for a different reason with a unique story that brought them there. Whether it was for work, friends or family we all had the language barrier in common. This made it easier to connect with one another and to become closer. Throughout the months, I made many good friends. Some left after a month, some I gradually saw less often and others I am still in regular contact with today.

What made it easier to make friends were the events that Deutsch Akademie organised. Each month, they hosted open events in different locations to help students discover new spots and to enable them to meet new people from different classes. At those events, everyone was friendly and easy to talk to. Making friends in class is a great way to have someone to discover the city with and have someone to practice the language with. Another thing that I found helpful to meet new people, were Facebook groups for expats. Those groups are full of like-minded people who want to hang-out in new spots and discover new things. 

Experiences from the best German school in Berlin

Sara, 13. Dezember 2019

Why is DeutschAkademie the best German school in Berlin? I like best that the classes are small and the teachers really pay attention to each student’s progress and the obstacles that they might be facing. This enabled me to work on my weaknesses and get the proper attention with topics that I struggled with. Since different teachers have different teaching methods that might not suit all students, Deutsch Akademie is ready to change your class and meet your needs to make your learning experience as smooth as possible. Their customer service is exceptional as they value each student’s experience and are always working on surveys to get feedback and improve.  

Another thing I really like about Deutsch Akademie is the study rooms that they have available for students and the free help that they offer there. I am unable to study at home or in a coffee shop as I always get distracted by small things. Whenever I went to Deutsch Akademie’s study rooms, I found myself in a quiet place where I could focus and get work done. The best thing about studying there, is that there are people ready to help you if you need extra explanation with something. I believe that this aspect of Deutsch Akademie is extremely important as it enables students to feel at ease and to feel supported. Let’s not lie to ourselves, the German language is extremely hard and complicated and some grammatical rules are so hard to grasp because they don’t exist in other languages… Instead of beating yourself over or looking online through German websites hoping to find the explanation you need, you can get an experienced person to explain it to you in a minute!

Berlin – where history becomes alive

Sara, 11. Dezember 2019

Berlin… what an electric city. I had learned a great deal about the dark chapters of its history in school but never thought I would be moving there. In parts of Berlin, one can still see the bullet holes and the aftermath of the wars. Parts of the wall that divided berlin for 30 years are still there, covered with colours for people to see. There are war memorials, museums, galleries and parks, all commemorating Berlin’s history. In what city can you walk through a park where a death strip used to be? (Mauer Park). In what city can you party to techno music, in a 27-year-old underground nightclub that served as a protest against violence with a mix of confusion and euphoria, all that to celebrate freedom? (Tresor).

A crazy thing I learned about Berlin was the abundance of parks and greenery in the city. There are so many green spaces in the city, ranging from small to gigantic parks for people to relax and enjoy the fresh air. Berlin is rated among the greenest cities in Europe. Tiergarten is a 210 hectares inner city park, located in the middle of the city. Templehof Feld is a former airport that is now a 355 hectares open space park, welcoming people to relax, bike, skate, walk their dogs. It is the largest inner-city open space in the world and is absolutely stunning. You can also visit Mauer Park on Sundays and enjoy good music, walk around the flea market and get yourself some yummy food. Being a public park, its name translates to “Wall Park” referring to the former part of the Berlin wall and the death strip. The park is located at the former west and east border.

There is always something happening in the city, from art events, to nightclub parties, there is something for every taste. The only downside is that berlin is so big that it always takes minimum 30 minutes to get from point A to point B. However, the public transport system is straight forward, most of the time reliable, it is safe and affordable. It also runs all night long on the weekends making it easier to go out and have a good time without worrying about how to get home. Berlin is full of life and possibilities, it never ceases to surprise you.

Reasons for the best German classes in Berlin!

Sara, 09. Dezember 2019

Since Berlin is an expat friendly city with a melting pot of cultures and languages, I didn’t find it difficult to settle there at the beginning even though I didn’t know the language. I was able to get my groceries, order coffee, pass by the bank, register for classes etc. However, things started to change when I started facing technical issues like contacting customer service for my internet problems, changing my cell phone plan, receiving paperwork to fill in… because Berlin has a very bureaucratic system, everything you do requires paperwork, receiving letters and taking appointments. Google translate does the trick for basic things but the more complicated it gets, the harder it is to keep up. With time, I started facing more everyday issues and knew I would always need to depend on a friend if I did not learn the language for myself.

As I was looking for the best German classes in Berlin, a friend recommended Deutsch Akademie. She had taken courses there the year before and seemed very pleased with the results. Comparing it to my other options, I found that the location was great (in the centre of Berlin, with connections to every part of the city), the classes were small (10 people maximum) allowing for great individual focus from the teacher, and the classes were very affordable. The Akademie also offered different timings and different intensities for each class. This was a good aspect as I could choose what fit my schedule best. I decided to go with the intensive course: 3 hours a day, 4 days a week because I wanted to finish fast and I had time in the morning. From Hallo, Wie geht es dir, to Entchuldigung, posters on the street caught my attention and I tried to understand and remember the words. Little did I know, 5 months later I would be in level B1 able to initiate small talk in German!