Berlin – probably the best place to choose in Europe if you have 48 hours to spare. But I might be bias considering I am German and I got married there too!
But I don’t think it will take much convincing to agree with me…
Berlin is a fun, young and quirky city and at the same time full of history, knowledge, politics and, most important of all, lovely food from all over the world.
The German capital can be what you want it to be: if you are after a cheap trip, a trip filled with history and culture or a decadent, luxury weekend away – you choose and Berlin will provide.
Our trip started Friday morning at Berlin Schoenefeld where we arrived after a quick 1.5 hour flight from London Stansted.
Both Schoenefeld and Tegel are easy accessible via public transport and I would recommend opting for the ‘Berlin Welcome Card’ which is priced between 20-23 Euro and will get you around the city and nearby areas for 48 hours. The Berlin under- and overground system is easy to use and you will quickly get your head around it.
The first stop was our hotel, where we dropped our bags. We opted for the ‘NHow Berlin’, which is also the hotel we stayed at when we got married in Berlin. It is music themed and very quirky hotel. Have a look for yourself:
After we dropped our stuff it was time to hit the town. Because we have been in Berlin a few times before, we skipped all the cultural/historical sites, as we have seen them on our previous trips. But if you want to save a few steps, why not explore the city via a boat on the Spree River?
There are plenty of companies offering city tours on the Spree with various docking points through-out the city. We hopped on near the Berlin Cathedral just opposite the DDR Museum and opted for a 1.5 hour tour. This tour took you past all major sites through the Museum-Island to the government district and back. The perfect way to explore the city.
Following WW2 Germany as well as Berlin got divided and you can find plenty of museums and sites that discuss this topic, most famous of all the East Side Gallery.
While in that area you should take some time and explore the quirky neighborhoods Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain, connected by the famous Oberbaumbruecke.
Kreuzberg is filled with street art and graffiti, famous venues and bars as well the amazing Markhalle Neun that converts into a huge food street market every Thursday! You can find every cuisine imaginable from Korean to Dutch and Brazilian to Italian, everyone’s taste buds are catered for! Some tough decisions to be made…
As the day drew to a close and we already had a long day behind us due to an early start, we opted for some drinks at the hotel and an early night.
The next day we set off to do some more walking around town and no trip to Berlin is complete without the obligatory picture by the Brandenburger Gate. So here is ours:
We took it easy and just continued strolling through the city, taking in the hustle and bustle. We walked down ‘Unter den Linden’, past the Opera House, Neue Wache and History Museum towards Berlin Cathedral. If you are nearby the Brandenburger Gate make also sure to visit the Jewish Memorial, a place of contemplation and remembrance.
Following so much walking we had to make a quick pit-stop. And what better way than a stop at one of the many beer gardens Berlin has to offer.
But bretzel and a beer don’t keep you full for long so we opted for a sit down lunch at ‘Yumcha Heroes’, an amazing place for homemade Chinese dumplings. The restaurant had an feature wall, which lets you watch the chefs prepare the dumplings – yum!
For a quick lunch you can also try one of the many Doner Kebabs in Berlin or a quick Currywurst. Most famous being Curry 36, which is also right next to Mustafa’s Gemüsekebap.
The last day was spend at the Soviet War Memorial at Treptower Park. The architecture of the memorial is breathtaking and you can easily spend an hour or so walking around and admiring it.
Make sure to also explore the many other parks Berlin has on offer. Berlin is a city that likes to spend it’s time outside. Whether it’s a picnic in the park or simply a drink with friends at many of Berlin’s cafes and bars.
And if you have some more time, why not venture out of the city. The surrounding areas include many lakes and forest that offer the perfect opportunity to take a break from the city and enjoy nature.
I am sure this wasn’t our last trip to this vibrant city. Tschuss for now Berlin – we will be back!