Berlin Graffiti Tour as an impressive alternative to traditional city tours of Berlin. The Berlin sights with Alternative Berlin Tours once differently experience and sneak through the backyards of Berlin with strange house entrances and staircases full of graffiti. Some Berlin Graffiti are super famous and well known in the scene. For others, Berlin graffiti provides a cool background for TikTok or Instagram. I’ll show you my impressions of the Berlin Graffiti while I’m still waiting for Steve Booker….
Steve Booker on his way from the north pole to the south pole without cash #poletopole
As a blogger, you’re used to always being on the go – always a new city, new people, and in the long run, new friends and acquaintances. Constantly adapting to different influences is a given and also just paying with EURO has made traveling in Europe easier for me. For me, in the last two or three years, there were primarily euros, US dollars and Swiss francs in my wallet. For a stay in Stockholm a few months ago, I once resolved to travel completely without cash – but does it work?
One has become accustomed to having a credit card in one’s wallet and it is natural to use this card. In Sweden, cashless payment was absolutely no problem anymore, you were rather looked at a bit “disturbed” if someone still had coins out. Every amount is paid with the card, but is it even easier? The only means of payment a smartphone and the PayPal app, the flights, hotels and transfers all pay with the PayPal app?
From my own experience it was clear to me that some things would have to work, just many hotels or booking portals, as well as airlines, rail and cabs (eg with MyTaxi) allow payment with PayPal – but how is it in the city? In New York, I probably would have immediately said that should work, in London and Stockholm probably as well – but a challenge from #PoleToPole?
Starting in Spitsbergen in the very north with very wintry temperatures, lots of ice and snow, via Moscow to Berlin, then Paris, Barcelona, Cape Town in South Africa and finally to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in Argentina. Can you really pay everywhere with PayPal, book your trips and get from north to south within a few days?
Under the hashtag #PoleToPole you can see the PayPal supported trip of Steve Booker and at the end you will find both on my blog and YouTube channel, as well as Steve in his social media once again a summary and the conclusion, whether it really works and what to do if the souvenir seller only accepts cash.
Berlin Graffiti and Streetart Highlights
For the Berlin part of Steve Booker’s trip I came to Berlin especially and wanted to find out for myself if it works out and to support Steve if it should not work out with PayPal.
After the day in Moscow, Steve and his photographer arrived in Berlin in the morning and we first arranged to meet at the café “The Barn” in Schönhauser Allee. A special place, on one side the roastery, the coffee beans in big bags and on the other side the urban chic of Berlin with small stools, a long wooden counter and countless coffee specialties.
These are always moments I enjoy when I am in Berlin. A store interior, as it is often only possible in Berlin, London or New York. Here you sit together, can talk and get to know each other. For me the first now real experience as it was Moscow and before that in Spitsbergen and I would have gladly exchanged. The untouched nature of Spitsbergen, the cold and especially the incredible photo motifs. A dream starting point for the trip and Moscow also had some great moments and especially views of the city. A dream!
Leaving the cafe for me the first impression – you can pay not only with credit card or cash, but simply with your smartphone and with PayPal. Just request the bill and say you want to pay with PayPal and seconds later the amount is confirmed and transmitted. It’s really easy and I’ll have to take a closer look at that later today.
Berlin Graffiti experience with an insider of the scene
For Berlin was available with the graffiti expert Ben from “Alternative Berlin Tours” a local guide, who not only with his open nature, immediately provided a good mood, but also has an incredible expertise on the countless Berlin Graffiti in the capital and knows many stories behind the images.
Even though I had already seen some Berlin Graffiti on my various Instagram tours, the various backyards, as well as the Berlin Graffiti off the mainstream, were a perfect contrast.
As a guest of the Berlin Graffiti Tour, you immediately start to be guided and recognize more and more often in the streetscape and on house walls images that you have not seen before. After a lunch in a former hospital at the “3 Sisters” in the Kunstquartier Bethanien in Kreuzberg, the team was joined by a TV crew who wanted to accompany us for the next few hours and show how Steve makes his journey from PoleToPole and which areas and graffiti I show him in Berlin.
For me again an interesting experience to stand once again in front of a big TV camera and give interviews as well as have some scenes reshot again and again and all that for a short report, but it’s just always incredibly fun.
Ben as a Berlin Graffiti Tourguide has always managed with the casual way to impart an incredible amount of knowledge and to draw attention to small details that you might not have otherwise noticed as a viewer.
Deliberate color gradients, XXL graffiti on houses, which were created in 90 minutes Berlin Graffiti Tour and again and again a “cork man” what decorates the street signs of Berlin and is even tolerated by the regulatory agency.
So resulted for Steve and me countless photo motifs by the Berlin Graffiti and also many new impressions of the capital. One runs now simply with even more “open” eyes by the city (and looks also twice whether around the corner not again already the television camera waits).
Of course, the world-famous Berlin Graffiti Astronaut (or cosmonaut) by Victor Ash could not be missing, which in the evening hours additionally holds a flag in his hands. Through a lighting on the opposite side of the street, a moving flag is thrown on the wall and it looks as if this is held by the astronaut in his hand. I definitely need to take another look at this graffiti in the evening hours.
To conclude the great Berlin Graffiti Tour, Steve and I decided to walk along the East Side Gallery and the Oberbaumbrücke. There, after unknown and partly illegally created Berlin Graffiti in Kreuzberg, now once again the well-known images, such as the brotherly kiss of Honecker and Brezhnev by Dmitri Wrubel.
Always a great place for photos and memories and for Steve the opportunity to buy a souvenir from Berlin and take away from his #PoleToPole Challenge. However, the merchant was not yet ready and modern set up for tourists, so the only choice was – cash or cash. How good that I was there as a companion and Steve could help out, otherwise there would have been no souvenir or the Challenge would have been lost.
Traveling as a blogger without cash – last resort
Steve offered me directly the refund via PayPal.me and asked me to just tell him my PayPal.me address, as he has been doing with friends for a few weeks and also did in Moscow or Spitsbergen. No matter whether for a birthday together collect, fast still the cab journey divide or the dinner split.
What I have read so far only briefly from the media in September was also new territory for me. I knew it so far always, if one would like to send money or had to request money, that one had to register for it in the PayPal app and a little awkwardly, then email address etc. enter.
With PayPal.me it has become much easier (and I have used it several times since the tour). Once you have created the general address for it, you can always share the URL with friends or family, share it in chat on WhatsApp, Skype or email.
For me it was a nice and new experience and a big advantage is, you don’t have to cumbersomely fill out a bank transfer afterwards, enter the long IBAN and BIC codes, but simply have your own PayPal address. Making the friends at the end of a great day at home again on the payment, always leaves a slight aftertaste – so you can handle it directly “live” in conversation and immediately.
For me, the day with Steve was thus not only very interesting with great graffiti and great experiences from Moscow – but also a trace instructive. With me at least now also the desire grew to go in the next years once to Spitzbergen or to climb on the highest viewpoints of Moscow. Whether I then also find a friend or follower on the spot, who pays for me the souvenirs, I will then report to you in the future perhaps once.
For Berlin, Steve has completed the challenge and how it now continues in Paris, Barcelona, South Africa and Argentina, I will then report to you in the second part. For me in any case a great event and an interesting challenge and maybe I will do something similar… but then of course on high heels… 🙂