So i took a journey back in time with my previous post relating to Amsterdam but i’m bringing us back to the present with this one.
April marked the beginning of this years adventures abroad and the first on the list was Berlin, Germany.
It was a 4 day trip in which we stayed in a budget hotel with the bare minimum – we purposely chose to do this; firstly as its cheap and secondly as we didn’t want to be wasting any unnecessary time in accommodation. We went with easyHotel, again booked through our go to website, booking.com. This couldn’t have been situated in a better location, it was a 10-15 walk away from Alexanderplatz, a main tourist area, and had a tram stop at the end of the road. It was also nestled in between an array of cafes which were perfect for breakfast (i’ll elaborate on that later).
Upon arrival at Berlin Tegal airport we popped to the tourist office to pick up relevant leaflets and purchase the Berlin Welcome Card; i’d done a bit of research on this before we went as i’m slightly OCD when it comes to planning. Now, there are 2 options available for this Welcome Card, the ‘basic’ and the ‘all inclusive’. The website explains the difference; Berlin Welcome Card. We went with the basic option which offers unlimited public transport travel (this literally includes everything: trams, busses, trains) and an assortment of discounts on attractions, sightseeing tours, food etc. this is all highlighted in the booklet they provide. At only 35.50 each for the full 4 days this turned out to be extremely handy.
We got to the hotel, checked in and set off on our wanders to locate everything. The first place we stumbled upon was the Bode Museum which certainly produced some lovely photos both in and out. We also went to museum island to admire the exterior of some beautiful buildings.
You may or may not be aware of a wonderous food that goes by the name of ‘Currywurst’ and is a traditional food eaten in Germany, particularly Berlin – it is everywhere! Of course we had to give it a go and it did not disappoint. It is made of sausage, tomato sauce, curry powder and voila.
Next stop – beer.
Time to try out one of those cafes i mentioned previously. The first one we went for was St.Oberholz where we indulged in lattes, warm croissants and pain au chocolat. Perfect start to any day.
After fueling time to get down to the exploring.
First on our tourist attraction list was the Church of Saint Mary:
Followed by the TV Tower (Berliner Fernsehturm) – the observation deck and bar stands at 203m above Berlin offering fantastic views of Berlin and of course an ice cold beer.
We have a bit of a self tradition when we go on our travels and that’s making use of the hop on hop off bus tours; its the easiest way to gain sight of all the wonders of the place you are visiting whilst getting some background knowledge in at the same time. We went for a 2 day pass for Berlin as there are 3 routes available – this came at a cost of 30 Euros each which turned out to be reasonable given the amount we saw and the length of the tour. City Sightseeing.
Amongst many other things this showed us the Berlin wall itself; where we got off the bus for a proper look.
After completing the red route it brought us to our next occasion; a German beer in a German market with an open fire. So i always thought the German market they erect in Bristol each Christmas was pretty cool but it doesn’t compare to the real deal!
As i said i like to do my research before i venture to places and i came across the Reichstag which is a massive dome on top of a parliament building; for a visit to this magnificent building you do have to register – this can be done in advance online or they do have a cabin near the building where you can do it. I would bear in mind that there were large queues to register on the day so i would recommend booking online.
Following this was the Brandenburg Gate – considered to be Berlins most important landmark. It is HUGE! and overlooks a reconstruction of the Avenue des Champs-Elysees in Paris.
After a busy day of sightseeing it was time for dinner and cocktails – Jam ended up a bit jolly from his copious amounts of ‘Swimming pools’.
Of course started with breakfast, this time at the Commonground. Now this really is a place to boast about; the decor is original and quirky and the food and drinks were AMAZING! Went for lattes and French toast with toppings – Jam bacon and maple, myself blueberry mascarpone, raspberry coulis and white chocolate shavings. This really was a morning treat.
The green and purple routes today!
Green took us in to Potsdam were there was another little market that had beer and currywurst – result! as well as loads of shops and the Emperor William Memorial Church.
A quick change on to the purple took us round the outskirts of Berlin and we were able to stop at the Bell tower which overlooks the Olympic Stadium – even if it was a gloomy day this provided great views of the stadium and surrounding area. We then got to drive through the Olympic campus.
We decided to hop off at Gendarmenmarkt which was a cluster of massive picturesque buildings; one of which we were able to go in and look around. Rather than get back on the bus we went for a wander to see what else we could find and get some dinner somewhere.
We ended up at a lovely little diner that served the most gigantic burgers and sandwiches, washed down nicely with a desperado, or 2, or 5.
By this point the sun was coming back out for the end of the day and there was the Berlin Cathedral round the corner – this made for a great photo opportunity (our previous attempts had turned out slightly grey under the clouds).
The last day 😦
After yesterdays glorious breakfast we had to go back to the commonground for round 2. Again we had lattes – which jam described as the same as Australia (a proper coffee).
Next on the menu was two Poached Organic Eggs on Sironi Sourdough Toast with Avocado Smash, Slow Roasted Tomatoes, Salsa Verde and Bacon or Mushrooms which did not fail to impress. Why cant England do breakfasts like this?
Having already covered pretty much the whole of Berlin day four gave us the opportunity to visit the National History Museum – having never been to the London version it was a must do on my list and was great fun.
Next stop was finale cocktails ft. Jams new fringe?
Tips: the weather in Berlin is strange and changes literally by the hour. one minute its sunny the next it was snowing so make sure you have clothes for all. Comfy footwear is a must and watch our for trams when crossing roads.
To summarise; Berlin is definitely up there in my top 3 so far. It was so easy to explore and it has such a variety of things to see/do/eat/drink. I would highly recommend it if you’re looking for some city break inspiration.