Waking up to messages on all of your social media accounts asking you to delete a harmless photo of a place you posted earlier isn’t the best way to start the day, is it? But there are certain places in Berlin that have a strict no photo policy! So much that they monitor all social media every day only with the suspicion that people have posted a photo of their place! I encountered a no photo policy in diverse places ranging from museums (which is not uncommon, yet still annoying) to bars and nightclubs (!)! If one thing bothers me a lot when I travel is when I’m not allowed to use my camera and make memories!
Annoyance level 9/10!
Things that make up for it: Great ambiance in most places and camera battery lasting longer!
One thing I’ll remember from my time in Berlin will be the endless walks and laughters along the way! My friends and I defeated the cold and walked so much and did as much as we could and still managed to not do everything we wanted, as we kept discovering things along the way. And on every step of the way, jokes and beautiful memories! And you realise this is true when you have to go back to your room at night to realise you haven’t connected to the internet all day! But no matter how much you wanna seize the day and enjoy every moment, the internet’s been invented for practical reasons, too. So, naturally, there were moments that we needed more information on transportation options, directions, details about places we thought are worth visiting while on the road, word translations etc and in most places there was no free internet! Or if there were, it would not work, it would be too slow (which felt like it doesn’t work) or it would be for very limited time. Obviously I did not die, but if more options to connect were available, the life of everyone visiting Berlin would be easier and less annoying!
Annoyance level: 7/10!
Things that make up for it: Pretty much everything’s very well signposted, people are friendly and everyone speaks English more or less. And yes! There’s less distractions to socialising with friends or strangers!
Talking about practicalities, imagine you visited a place (in Western Europe especially) and you did not have enough cash on you. This can happen because you’re not used to carrying a lot of cash on you anyway, as most transactions can be made using a credit or a debit card. Or because when you were going to the airport you were planning to visit India and not Germany and you were carrying rupees and no euros! 😀 One of the joys of flying on standby, but that’s another story! So, a common occurrence in Berlin is that a lot of places don’t accept card payments! Make sure you have enough cash on you or be prepared to do the dishes!
Annoyance level 7/10!
Things that make up for it: None that I can think of! Unless you’re really old school and hate using cards! In which case you might as well be happy with trading goods instead of using cash! But this won’t help much in Berlin!
One thing I can’t stand anywhere in the world is people smoking in closed spaces! Smoking seems to be tolerated almost everywhere. From the tiniest bars to the train stations! I’ve seen people smoking in designated areas on the train platforms elsewhere in Germany, but I even saw people smoking in train stations (U-Bahn and S-Bahn stations) in Berlin! But not on the platform! 🙂 And what’s worse is that in some of those places there were “No smoking” signs! That’s something I definitely wasn’t expecting to see before visiting!
Annoyance level 10/10!
Things that make up for it: Nothing!
Did I enjoy my time in Berlin? Big YES!!! Despite these 4 annoying things, I loved my time there and I’m already planning another visit in the near future! I miss the good food and the plethora of vegetarian options, the variety of bars and entertainment (from decadent venues to the opera house) and all the quirky shops, galleries and breakfast places!