When it comes to city breaks, Berlin pretty much has something for everyone.
Be you a culture vulture, foodie, history buff or party animal, Berlin can check each and every one of those off quite easily. There’s fascinating history – the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie and so on and then on the opposite side of the spectrum, there’s also a vibrant club scene, amazing street art and some seriously tasty German sausage…eh um (minds out of the gutters people!)
So whether you’re looking for a lazy afternoon wondering round the historical district of Mitte or a pub-crawl venturing into the East Side, Berlin has it all! It’s a lot cheaper than some of its neighbouring European countries (the beer is often the same price as water – GET IN!!)
So after a fabulous few days, here’s my top tips… go ahead, grab a cuppa (and perhaps a biscuit too) get comfy – it’s a long one!
So first things first – where to stay? Craig and I were kindly invited to stay right in the centre of Mitte at the wonderful Regent Berlin Hotel.
It’s honestly one of the most beautiful hotels I’ve ever stayed in.
‘Ranked among the top hotels by both leisure and business
travellers, Regent Berlin caters to every conceivable need or desire
within an environment of quiet sophistication.’
Situated on Charlottenstraße in Berlin’s historic Mitte district with
unrivalled views of Gendarmenmarkt Square, Regent Berlin is just a short
stroll from all the best sights and experiences the city has to offer.
The hotel was pure opulence from the
moment we walked into the lobby. The room was bright and beautifully
decorated and the view – well, when the curtains were first
opened, Craig and I quiet literally squealed with excitement. It was stunning! But don’t just take my
word for it…
We stayed in one of the Deluxe rooms which combined beautiful luxurious textiles and iconic Biedermeier furniture with
modern amenitie. The Hotel staff were beyond helpful and anything we needed they’d be there to help with within seconds. The bed, I can honestly say was the the most comfortable bed both myself and Craig have ever slept in! Honestly, some mornings it was a real struggle to get to breakfast. As for my favourite… the bath of course! Oh what a bath it was, I treated myself to a bubble bath, champagne in hand to celebrate our trip, like you do.
Each morning we stayed at the hotel we were invited down to a complimentary breakfast. A feast of every breakfast dish imaginable. Cereal, pastries, fruit, yoghurt and yummy freshly cooked eggs and omelette’s complimented with suages and bacon.
Next up, where to go! Now Berlin is huge. I didn’t quite realise how many different areas there actually are until arriving there. Having only visited for a quick trip we didn’t manage to fit everything in but we certainly tried our best.
My number one tip for anyone planning to visit would be to book onto one of the many free walking tours Berlin has to offer. We went on the ‘Original Walking Tour’ of Mitte (with a seriously dreamy tour guide – Lewis… I mean seriously, he’s potentially my future husband.)
It was a personal highlight of mine, in the 3 hours of walking so much was covered. The Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag,
Holocaust Memorial, Luftwaffe HQ, Checkpoint Charlie, Unter Den Linden
(Humboldt University), The site of the Nazi book burning,
Gendarmenmarkt, and lots more. All the guides have vast historical and cultural knowledge and answer all the questions you have and even suggest other places to visit whilst in Berlin.
Before leaving for Berlin one of the most recommended places that so many people told us about was Berlin’s government building, the Reichstag and it is certainly worth the trip.
The roof terrace and dome of the Reichstag Building is stunning, it is open to members of the public although make sure to book and take your passport, as security is tight. The glass dome itself offers spectacular views of the parliamentary
and government district as well as all of Berlin’s major sights.
Whilst walking the dome there is an audio guide (definitely worth getting) which takes 20 minutes, your personal audio guide to the dome shares
with you all the most important facts about the Reichstag Building and
its surroundings, the German Bundestag, the work of Parliament, and the
sights you can see during your 230-metre-long ascent and descent.The audio guides are
available in eleven languages: German, English, French, Spanish,
Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Turkish, Dutch and Chinese as well as special audioguides available for children and for people with
For street art and alternative culture head to the Kreuzbery district. The art scene in Berlin is truly alive and fully thriving. Graffiti and street art covers the entire city whether its graffiti, stickers, stencils or mural paintings. Kreuzbery has been the heart of street art since the time of the Berlin Wall and is now the hipster and cultural centre of the city.
Now when it comes to travelling, the most important thing on my agenda each and every time is FOOD! Before any trip I always try to research the ‘go-to eats’ in order to get the best foodie recommendations. So first up to check out was Burgermeister. This was possibly the most recommended place on our list, with every blog and travel guide on Berlin mentioning it so we had to check it out. It’s low key, chilled and pretty much a German equivalent to Five Guys/Shake Shack (but better.) I went for the double cheese burger with dirty chilli cheese fries…drool.
The next stop on our culinary adventure was the small Currywurst vendor Witty’s rated as one of the best Currywurst stalls in Berlin on Tripadvisor. We wanted to have a traditional German dish and this was the perfect option. Currywurst with thickly cut fries topped with a tomato/curry flavoured sauce. I’d definitely hit this one up for a feel of the real Berliner experience.
The last stop took us to the wonderful Neni and Monkey Bar. Again a place that came highly recommended both for it’s amazing views over the Berlin Zoo as well as the the tasty food and drink. Situated on the top floor of the Hotel Bikini, the bar and separate restaurant provide a gorgeous view of the city. In the summer time you can see the monkeys playing in the zoo grounds below, however it was thick snow when we visited and so the monkeys were keeping warm inside, nevertheless the view was still breathtaking.
Monkey Bar had a really cool, contemporary vibe to it with people chilling, drinking everything from tea to cocktails. The drinks menu is extensive and has something to suit all. It was the perfect place to sit back and relax whilst watching the sun go down.
As for Neni – the restaurant, similarly to Monkey Bar the views are beautiful. The restaurant had a botanical garden theme and was surrounded with fresh flowers and lavish plants making the place feel bright and fresh. The food was Delicious as both Craig and I tucked into chicken, pork, sweet potato fries and freshly baked bread. I would recommend both of these places as it’s perfect to spend an early evening be it with friends, family or for a romantic date.
So there we have it, a little look into what we got up to during our 72 hours in Berlin and hopefully a useful guide if you decide to pop along yourself anytime soon. These are just a handful of thousands of awesome things you can get up to whilst there so be sure to check out other blogs and travel guides as there really is so much of Berlin to see!
I really hope you enjoyed it and do let me know if you’re going to visit Berlin anytime soon! I’d love to see what it’s like in the summer too, I imagine it’s a completely different place in the hotter months with the parties probably heading onto the street. Overall it really was a great (if not freezing) trip, I can’t wait for my next!