Berlin has been a destination that I’ve wanted to visit for a while.
There’s not been a reason as to why I’ve never been, but I definitely haven’t been proactive enough to get a trip booked before recently. I’ve always heard such positive reviews about the city and been told time and time again “you must go!”. Fortunately for me I was invited on a trip to Berlin in April and the invite seemed too good to turn down.
As someone who works in events and is constantly talking about travel, I’m very aware that Europe is a very hard sell. Personally, I don’t understand why as I think some of the world’s most spectacular destinations are only two to three hours away from London. We really are spoilt for choice and yet, Europe never seems good enough.
I arrived in Berlin with a very open mind. I had heard so many positive things I didn’t want to get carried away with other people’s opinions. (I do have to add in here that when I arrived in Berlin I was greeted with glorious sunshine. Instantly the city felt ten times better!) The short taxi ride through the city to my hotel was filled with colourful buildings and oodles of hustle & bustle of business workers and tourists and. There was an excitable buzzy feel which made me feel very comfortable. I initially thought that Berlin was a slightly odd mix between London and Paris, but that soon changed. With more sightseeing, observing and learning I realised that Berlin has its own personal and very appealing identity.
I was lucky enough to be guided around the city by professionals. Professionals who had lived, breathed and grown in Berlin their whole lives. There wasn’t one “must see” monument, museum, restaurant or hotel that I missed out so I really did get to experience the very best of Berlin. However, if you’re off to Berlin on a long weekend with family or friends and no Berlin professionals – then fear not! Although Berlin is pretty big, like London, it’s very easy to direct yourself around the city. You’ll be pleased to hear that all of the essential areas are perfectly placed and very close to each other. You can easily navigate yourself around by bike, foot or the very speedy public transport channels.
So, what did I get up to I hear you ask…
Well, instead of doing a day-by-day diary entry of everything I did in Berlin, I have summarised my top 10 highlights, tips and must see features of this amazing city instead:
- Hire bikes and go exploring! It’s the easiest and most enjoyable way to see the city
- Stay, visit or eat at the 25 hours hotel & the famous NENI restaurant. The hotel has really quirky bedrooms that overlook the Zoo!
- You have to go to the Monkey Bar (it’s linked to the 25 hours hotel) as it is the most amazing rooftop bar with incredible city views. Make sure you get there early however as the crowds and queues grow very quickly
- Spend the morning at Holzmarket. Have fresh coffee & pastries under the sun overlooking the river. Look at the amazing tape art on the buildings and have a peep into the creative studios. Alternatively come here in the evening for dinner and some vibey late night/early morning parties
- Visit ‘Trabi world’ and hire Trabants cars to cruise around the city (prepare for a bit of a bumpy ride)
- Checkout Checkpoint Charlie (tip: this is about 1 minutes walk from Trabi World)
- Stroll through the idyllic Hackesche Höfe and sample some homemade ice cream on route
- Make sure you visit the Holocaust Memorial & Berlin Wall Memorial. It’s quite poignant and emotional but really is worth seeing and experiencing – you’ll regret it if you don’t go
- Visit the Brandenburg Gate and make sure you get a selfie
- And finally, DO NOT LEAVE Berlin before you’ve had a Currywurst!
There really is something for everyone during a city break to Berlin. You can delve into the city’s huge history and cultural sights, party like none is watching in a city that never sleeps or just lose yourself in the uber cool, bohemian feeling destination by just wandering on a leisurely afternoon. The opportunities really are endless, and I highly recommend you organise a trip sooner rather than later – I really don’t think you’ll regret it.