by Hannah Corkhill 21/12/2017
So, if you haven’t already guessed, I recently took a trip to Berlin with my fam after briefly visiting with work; and oh my, what a city. We wanted to go at winter not only for all the culture and visiting the tourist attractions, the notorious Christmas markets were the one thing we wanted to go for (and the Glühwein). Something I didn’t realise before was how big the city actually is and there are so many places to visit, it is such a task trying to visit everywhere in such a small amount of time and you have to plan literally Every. Last. Bit. I wanted to put a little travel guide together, check out my favourite places in the city and where you should visit.
Where we stayed; We wanted to keep the cost down and although we do like staying somewhere nice, we weren’t going to go all out on costs for a hotel/apartment because on a city break we found that you’re never really spending much time in there. We found a place that was extremely reasonable and a place that my mum has stayed in before in Amsterdam, it is the Menninger hostel which is actually more of a hotel and my mum when it comes to places to stay is slightly hard to please (oops) so I trusted her decision that this even though it was labelled a hostel, it was just what we needed. Bed and breakfast, clean with plenty of space and comfortable beds (which is needed after a long day in the city). There are 5 of these hotels in Berlin, one being Adjacent to Berlin Hauptbahnhof railway station, which is where we stayed. We booked via Booking.com.
Getting about the city; There are many ways to get about the city but unless you’ve got plenty of money to spare and enjoy sitting in traffic, you can guarantee that it will not be in style. We travelled mainly via the trains which are unbelievably cheap (like €4.85 for a day pass cheap). They, at first are confusing and need a day to really get use to the lines but after that, you’ll have it down to a fine art. We got a taxi to a couple of places because of the weather but the traffic slows you down and the cost of traveling about in them every day wouldn’t be worth it (especially if you’re planning on doing some shopping, see below).
Like with any city break, walking is another huge factor to take into consideration and is really the only way to get about, unless you want to hire a bike for the day which is cheap too! Also we bought a ticket for the hop on- hop off bus where we travelled to a lot of the tourist destinations (see the most popular ones below) then genrally have all the tourist destinations on their tours you can visit their website HERE.
Christmas Markets; There are so many Christmas markets around Berlin and some are better than others, we were able to visit the couple of main ones as well as the smaller ones.
Youll be giving yourself a real Christmas experience visiting just one of these markets and at the same time, grab yourself a Glühwein and some candied almonds.
Gendarmenmarkt (my favourite) – 27 November – 31 December, 11AM-10PM daily
Potsdamer Platz- 3 November – 31 December , 10AM-10PM daily
Alexanderplatz- 27 November – 26 December 2017 (ice rink and party house to 31 December), 10AM-10PM daily
Gedächtniskirche in Charlottenburg (my second favourite) – 27 November – 7 January,
Sun-Thu 11:00AM – 9PM
Fri & Sat 11AM – 10PM daily
Places to eat; We ate breakfast in the hotel and then dinner we grabbed a quick sandwich from the café (you have to try German bread, its unreal!) the sandwiches are like no other and we definitely don’t have them as fresh here in the UK. But because we were out and about so much in the day time it was only dinner we real had in mind to sit and realx and obviously we wanted to go to some nice places. Some of the best are…
Neni restaurant – (try the monkey bar next door (visited) , with a view over the zoo and the rest of he city its an amzing place to sit and have a vodka or too and the vibe at night is amazing) There are plenty of other beaut resturants and bars around this area along with the Gedächtniskirche Christmas markets and Kurfürstendamm shopping strip.
La Maison De L’entrecote (visited) – a classy restaurant with the best caesar salad and a cute bar and seating area. Near Alexanderplatz.
L’Osteria Bikini Berlin (visited) – Next to the Neni restaurant and moneky bar, this Italian resturant does the biggest pizzas and the best pasta.
Grill Royal – Known for it’s steak, this place is overlooking the Spree river.
Sphere restaurant – Revolving restaurant in the Berlin TV tower, it does fine dining with a view.
Shopping experience; If youre going to Berlin and love a good shop, you have to visit the Mall Of Berlin which is near Postdamer Platz, it has so many shops but if youre wanting to have a real all day/ night shopping experience (the kind I love), then you must go to Kurfürstendamm which runs 2.2 miles long filled with high street and designer shops and is just across from the Berlin zoo and also surrounded by some amazing restaurants and cafes for whenever you need a break.
Best Tourist spots;
Berlin wall (which is all over the city however you can go to the berlin wall memorial park which has an an incredible view from a balcony of the both East and West and the guards watch house, some of which is still intact.
Check point Charlie
Memorial of the Jews
East side gallery
Mall of Berlin ( not even a tourist spot really but of course, you’ve got to shop a little bit )
Bombed out church
The government bulding
Tier Garden park
Berlin Victory Column
Travel in style ;
Wrap up warm and take an umbrella if youre going this time of year!
Don’t stress when it comes to the trains.
If youre a tea lover then take your own tea bags.
Don’t spend more than you need to on travel
Grab yourself a city map
& Always plan!
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