We stayed two nights in Berlin and what more can we say – we loved it!
Berlin is a city of contrast, from the modern glass buildings in the west to the historical sites of the east, it really does have that fascinating mix of old and new. The city is divided into several districts, each with its own charm and character that soon becomes distinctive when exploring. Although Berlin is a vast expansive city we found it extremely easy to get around, especially with the super-efficient underground system which was our main method of transport for the trip.
We thought we would start our trip off by finding our bearings and what better way that on the official hop-on-hop-off tour bus, which took us to all the fantastic sights of Berlin. We went at night and it was by far the best experience, seeing the Brandenburg Gate all lit up was just beautiful (as you can see from our picture).
If you’re looking for Berlin’s top attractions, our recommended top must see’s are the Berlin Wall, Brandenburg Gate and Checkpoint Charlie. We won’t tell you much about them, as we’ll leave the exploring up to you!
We will however tell you about Gendarmenmarkt, one of the most beautiful squares in Europe, making it the ideal spot for a quick coffee (and cake) or a casual dinner to take in the atmosphere and admire the picturesque setting. Here you can see the stunning Schauspielhaus (Concert Hall) framed on either side by churches. While we were there the whole square was being gradually transformed into their annual Christmas Market display, we could only imagine how stunning it must look when finished. Possibly made even more beautiful by the stunning 5-star Hotel de Rome situated just near here, with its preserved historic features yet luxury modern interior, it really is one for the bucket list!
If it’s shopping your after you’ll be spoiled for choice in Berlin, top designer boutiques such as Louis Vuitton, Valentino and Maxmara can all be found along Kurfurstendamm, situated next to one of our favourite hotels – the Swissotel, right in the heart of all the best shops. In between all that designer (window) shopping we were feeling peckish and stumbled across a great little lunch stop, Cafe Bliebtreu, serving traditional German food at reasonable prices, located just off Kurfurstendamm. The newly opened Mall of Berlin (LP12) is another great shopping hot spot with over 270 high street stores from Zara to H&M, great for quickly picking up something to new to wear.
Finally food: On our last night we stumbled across a fabulous traditional restaurant called the Augustiner Brau Gendarmenmarkt, the atmosphere was lively and the food was delicious! A must try is the Pork Knuckle and if you have room after the Apple Strudel is a great choice – a tried and tested recommendation from us!
If it’s nightlife you’re after head to the vibrant Kreuzberg area. We were regularly getting recommended this area by the locals for its quirky nightlife and artistic feel, often being compared to Camden Town in London – great for trendy bars, hip clubs and plenty of culture.
Overall Berlin is a city full of history yet has the feeling of being somewhere new and exciting, with great attractions and leisurely activities it makes a fantastic city and it’s no wonder why its one of our top selling city break destinations!