JULY 29, 2018 / EUROPE, GERMANY, TRAVELS

BERLIN COOLEST CITY IN THE WORLD?

Those of you that follow me on instagram and Facebook know of my recent trip to Berlin. It was my third time visiting this city, and this time I saw the true spirit of Berlin. Besides visiting the main tourist attractions, we also got to know the culture better, experience the night life and enjoy the Berlin life even though it was only for a few days. So, as you can guess in this post I will be talking about my trip, my recommedations for things to see, places to go to and things to do!

Berlin has been named by many newspapers and journalist as the coolest city not just in Europe but in the World. It’s not only the capital of Germany, but also of techno music, avant garde art and Europe’s party scene. It is definitely a city for young people, students and artists. Besides all this, Berlin is also a city with a turbulent history, it is a combination of old and contemporary.

Where to stay:

There are so many hotel options in Berlin, as well cute and cozy airbnb’s. During my stays I stayed at ARCOTEL Velvet which had an amazing location, it was just a 15 minute walk to Museum Island and had great public transportation connection and Living Hotel Großer Krufürst few minutes walk to Humblodt Forum. Tip: Book a hotel which is either close to the Brandeburg Gate or Alexanderplatz.

Getting around:

Berlin is very very big, but the good news is that the public transport is very well organized you can get everywhere, so the best way to get around is either by the U Bahn (which is the underground, and it is very simple to use) or the trams. You have underground and the trains every few minutes, so don’t worry if you miss one. VisitBerlin provided me with the Berlin Welcome Card (which is a ticket valid for all public transportation including trains to the airport), I highly recommend this, because it saves you so much time and it is really easy to use. Thank you VisitBerlin for this, it was a life savior!

Must see’s:

Brandenburg Tor- the iconic gate of Berlin, there isn’t much to do around it apart from taking a few photos. But it is a must when visiting Berlin, head in the afternoon as the sun sets, the gate looks amazing. Fun fact: during the Berlin wall the Brandenburg Gate didn’t belong to any side.

Reichstag- just a short walk from the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag is an impeccable architecture of old and modern. If you want to go inside (which I highly recommend) you need to book it in advance on this link and make sure to bring your passport or ID when entering the Reichstag.

The Holocaust Memorial- is such a moving place, made out of more than 2000 rectangular stones as a tribute to the Jews murdered during the war.

Museum Island- was one of my favorite parts, the majority of museums are located here as well as the Berliner Dom which has stunning architecture.

Alexander Platz and TV Tower- Alexander Platz is considered as another center of Berlin, you can find the highest building in Berlin there the TV Tower. If you fancy having a look over Berlin, than you can go to the top of the tower. However, you need to purchase tickets for that.

East Side Gallery- a bit far from central Berlin, but it is worth the visit. The east side gallery is where the famous murals and artworks done on the Berlin wall are. Here you can find the famous kiss (picture below). It takes around 30-40 minutes to walk the whole gallery and come back.

Must do’s:

Admire Berliner Dom- located in Museum Island right by the river Spree is Berliner Dom, one of the most beautiful cathedrals for me. You can enter the cathedral, but it’s not free. Even without entry you can just view the beautiful gothic architecture.

DDR Museum- okay, this is my favorite museum. It shows the life of the people that lived under to Soviet occupation during the separation of Berlin. For those of us who live/have lived in Eastern Europe is nothing new, but reminds us of our grandparents house.

Jewish Museum- one of the most visited museums in Germany, it was opened in 2001 and dedicated to the jewish people that lived in Germany before WW2. It’s an architectural masterpiece, it’s a must visit when in Berlin. Admission is free.

Get your passport stamped at Checkpoint Charlie- was the crossing between the East and the West side when the wall was up. Now, there is a replica which is a major tourist attraction and just for a few euros you can get your passport stamped.

Retail therapy at KaDeWe- abbrivation for the The Kaufhaus des Westen is a depratment store (second largest after Harrods in London). Has high end desginer boutiques, beauty, fragrance, home decor and food court.

Count how many bears you can spot- the symbol of Berlin is the bear, and all over Berlin you can spot bear statues in different designs, designed my local artists. 

Kaiser Wilhem Memorial Church- dating back from the 1890’s is this Protestant church, it was badly damaged during the bombing in WW2. The church was restored, but some of the bombing damages were left as a history mark, it’s beautiful to visit (make sure to go inside) and if you can visit it during the night time it looks amazing.

 

Where to eat/drink:

Berlin has so many restaurants, cafes, bars and beer gardens that is impossible to go through all of them in a short period of time. If you ask me Berlin has some of the best coffee shops and brunch spots I’ve been to. So here is a list of some food/drink/bar recommendations.

House of Small Wonder- cute cafe/breakfast place, with an interior which looks like a garden and extremely delicious food. Perfect for breakfast or brunch.

Cafe Cameleon- a trendy and modern vibe restaurant, they have a great selection of breakfast/brunch dishes as well as pastries. Try their pistachio carrot cake its delicious.

bRICK- probably so far my favorite brunch spot in Berlin, this tiny little restaurant has AMAZING food. Huge selection of coffees and teas. The food is superb, especially their blueberry pancakes and I loved the vibe of the place. They only accept cash so make sure to bring some with you!

 

What do you fancy love? MITTE- one of my favorite cafes, I would have gone to this place every single day for brunch, but my boyfriend would have probably be so annoyed with me. It offers a great selection of juices and smoothies, sandwiches, bagels, bowls and chia puddings. If you are into healthy food you must go.

A never ending love story- cute little pink brunch spot, large selection of drinks and brunch food. I had their avocado toast with eggs and it was great.

The greens- cute little hidden coffee shop filled with plants, makes you feel as if you are in a botanical garden.

Ampelmann Restaurant- has a beautiful view of the river Spree and the Berliner Dom and offers traditions German food. We tried out Konigsgerber Klopse (German Meatballs) with sauce and they were delicious.

Maximilians Restaurant- traditional German restaurant, where you can try German specialties, loved the vibe of the restraurant, they have a big variety of beers and the food was delicious.

Currywurst- a must eat when in Berlin, some of my favorite currywurst spots are: Konopke’s Imbiss, Curry 61 and Curry 36

Prater Biergarten- the ultimate drink in Berlin and Germany is beer. Prater Biergarten is one of the oldest beer gardens in Berlin. You can try out some local beers while sitting outside and enjoying the perfect weather.

Monkey Bar- bar on the 10th floor overlooking the Berlin zoo and Kaiser Wilhem Memorial Church. Great vibe, delicious cocktails and lively atmosphere.

Berlin is much more than mainstream tourist attractions, it’s a city with a vibrant spirit, amazing places and culture. It is a place fit for everyone. There is so much more to see and experience, that I will go there again soon.