Saturday, 9 July 2016

TRAVEL | Berlin

Hey Everyone! 

Now, this is a bit of a random post which was from my little 3 day mini trip to Berlin back in January. I bought this as a Christmas present for my boyfriend and it's safe to say he LOVED it!
We managed to pack in a lot in those 72 hours and arrived at Schonefeld Airport around 12.05pm on the Saturday. I had actually pre-booked the Berlin welcome card which allows you to travel within zones ABC of Berlin (a bit like a London travel card) they cost about £20 each and you can purchase them here (well recommended and 100% worth the money!). We used the transport everyday, it's SO easy and very realiable - it also saves you from booking airport transfers as it takes you directly from the airport into the city centre. 

We stayed at the Steigenberger Hotel Am Kanzleramt this was next to the main station in Berlin Hofbanhof - this hotel was in the perfect location a 2 minute walk from the train station and about a 10 minute walk from the Reichstag building. The 5* hotel had incredible customer service and the rooms where massive, they even had a spa at the top of the hotel with a lovely steam room and chill out area - we honestly had a really fantastic stay! I'm sad i have no photos to show you, but the photos on the website are exactly what it's like! 

A few (and not all...) of our favourite places where

Bradenburg Gate 
Probably after the wall one of Berlins most famous monuments and one that i wanted to check off on my list of things to see first. The gate was a symbol of Berlin and German division during the Cold War and is now a national symbol of peace and unity. The gate never closes and you can visit night or day, i would probably advise either early morning or late night as it's less crowded and you can get a better picture. 

The Reichstag Building
This internationally recognised building is the current home of the German parliament. The view from the outside is stunning, but you can even go inside and take in a 360 panoramic view of Berlin on the viewing platform and in the glass dome - unfortunately there where no remaining time slots suitable as we where only in Berlin for a short amount of time, so we didn't get to go inside. So make sure you register before you can and confirm a time slot - a colleague visited and she said it was beautiful inside. 
Berlin isn't the happiest place i have visited, however amongst it's incredibly sad history they have managed to restore some of the sad parts and create a beautiful gallery to show freedom. The East Side Gallery is an international memorial for freedom, it's 1316m long and a section of the Berlin Wall. The gallery consists of 105 paintings by different artists across the world and was painted in 1990 - even though the original paintings are still present, there has been erosion, vandalism and graffiti ruining them, so they don't all look how they should. On a positive note, they have started to restore the paintings back to their original self! 

This memorial is the central memorial site of the German division, located smack bam in the middle of the capital. This section of the Berlin Wall is the only one to be preserved in it's full depth - it was incredible to see and allowed us to see various elements of the border strip as it looked at the end of the 1980s. It's an incredibly sad and eerie to place but also fascinating, they have a memorial of beautiful photographs of people who sadly lost their lives trying to escape over the Berlin Wall. 

This is the best-known Berlin wall crossing point between the East and the West (but not the only crossing!!). The guardhouse spent nearly 30 years as the main separation between the east and the west, it acted as a way station for officials travelling from one side of the wall to the other. Although this is the original location of Checkpoint Charlie, the actual hut guardhouse is a replica, the original sits in the Allied Museum. As you can see from the pictures below, it is a slight tourist trap. 

Favourite Pit Stops 

This is by far my favourite restaurant I've ever been in on a city break. Burgers, way too many pictures of pugs.. and your OWN beer tap? Literally, please tell me what could be better! When you first arrive, you sit down and the waitress or waiter explains how it all works. You order all your food and drinks on the touch screen which you can see below (however, if you go for the beer you can just pull your own pints!) You click your number, pour and it tracks how many litres you've drunk. It was really fairly priced, everyone was super friendly and the atmosphere was fantastic. Make sure you book a table.. and i can confirm, it really was the best burger in town! 

We had been recommended the Monkey Bar next to Berlin Zoo at the top of hotel twenty five hours. Once we had got to the top, it was absolutely packed so we decided to have an early dinner across from the Monkey Bar. Lucky NENI had a table, the view was incredible and so was the food! The menu is based around sharing dishes with mediterranean influences. Being 100% honest, it wasn't the most friendliest of places and the waiter didn't really want to help us. Eventually another waiter took pity on us and we ordered. Again, the menu wasn't explained to us and most of it was in German, so we went for a safe option of fried chicken in an almond coating, sweet potatoe fries, sweet chilli sauce and some homemade pita breads with humus! Overall the food was incredible, but the service slightly let it down, however i would return! 

Bar 203
Bit of a random one, but we took the lift to the top of the TV Tower at Alexander Platz and enjoyed a few cocktails in Bar 203. The atmosphere was incredible and the view at night was beautiful..bare in mind, this is not cheap.. you have to first buy your ticket to the top and then the cocktails are pretty pricey, if you have longer and more money to burn you should check out their restaurant! However.. it was the perfect way to end our last night in Berlin! 

We had an incredible time in Berlin, and a jam packed 72 hours! Although the history is intense it was high on my bucket list! I would love to visit again in Christmas when they have the markets! 

Have you ever been to Berlin? What was your favourite part?

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  1. This sounds like an amazing whirlwind trip - you fit in SO much!

    1. It really was, when we got back i think i slept for a week! xo

  2. This was such a lovely post to read and I feel like I really got a great insight into Berlin, would definitely love to visit now! Sounds like you had a great time away and your photos are stunning x

    Beauty with charm

    1. Thank you for the really lovely comment! Glad you enjoyed xo


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