Earlier this month, I spent a Weekend in Berlin as my first City Break of 2018. I had never visited Germany before and honestly, didn’t really now what we were going to do. I was a tad nervous as I hadn’t visited a non-English speaking country in a while and we hadn’t planned what we wanted to see beforehand.
We arrived in Berlin around 6pm and picked up our Berlin Welcome Cards from the airport. This gave us unlimited use on public transport and so many discounts on tourist attractions.
We were staying in Charlottenburg, which was about an hour on the train from the airport. You can walk onto public transport without a ticket but if an inspector gets on the train and you don’t have a ticket, you’ll be hit with a pretty hefty fine.
Once we got to our hotel, we dropped our bags and went out to explore the area. There were still Christmas markets going so we had a Bratwurst and revelled in the Christmas lights.
After a quick Breakfast, we made our way to Brandenburg Tor for the spectacular Brandenburg Gate and had a walk around the embassies. We then went to the Memorial of the Murdered Jews which is equally eerie and harrowing.
Mid-morning, we went to the Berlin Story Bunker which has a few exhibitions, we chose the Hitler: How Could It Happen? Exhibition. It was a self guided tour in a real Bunker (which was so creepy) and it told the story of Hitler. From his upbringing and character to how the German people could be influenced by his views. It was incredibly interesting although did show some pretty horrific scenes from the War.
We then walked to Checkpoint Charlie which is where we got on the Bus Tour. I’m such a fan of the Bus Tour in a city, you learn so much, see things that you want to see but don’t necessarily have the time to guide yourself there and see things you didn’t know you wanted to see.
Early evening, got off the bus at Alexanderplatz and walked to the Anne Frank Zentrum which is another exhibition. It’s relatively small but pack with information through different mediums. It was cheap to get in and we felt it went with the theme of our day.
For Dinner, we went to the Europa Centre which was in same area as our hotel. We picked a restaurant called Tiffany’s which was pretty nice. We noticed was that you seat yourself in restaurants, rather than waiting to be seated which we found awkward as we were never sure.
Saturday Morning started off with the TV Tower to see the most spectacular views of the city from the viewing platform. You have to either book tickets or be there super early or you will be waiting a while to get in.
We then hopped on the Bus Tour again except the other Tour which was more of an artsy, lifestyle tour. The main feature (and the part I was most excited about) was the East Side Gallery. What was once the Berlin Wall is now 1.3km of murals and incredible art. The blogger in me was thinking about those shots and clearly I wasn’t the only one.
We hopped back on the bus ready to do the full tour and about ten minutes in, the bus had to stop because of a car accident ahead. The delay was going to be more than an hour so cut our losses and headed back to Alexanderplatz.
Alexanderplatz comes with a three floor Primark and my friends wanted to go in. Think of Oxford Street Primark, on Christmas Eve… it was worse. People were shouting, pushing there was absolutely no order. The staffs were aggressive to customers and as a Brit, who loves rules and order it was a blooming nightmare.
We then went for a wander around the Mall of Berlin which is a spectacular building but the shops weren’t up to much (I was not in a shopping mood because we only had hand luggage for the flight). There was a Zara Home and a H&M Home but I couldn’t buy anything so what was the point?
For Dinner, We chose an Italian restaurant next to our hotel called Ristorante Luardi. From the moment we stepped in the door, the staff were incredible and food was outstanding. If you only take one thing from this post, let it be this restaurant.
We were up early on the Sunday morning and headed straight for the Airport. I had a great weekend and felt like I learned so much, about Berlin but about World War II also.
The City is clean, we felt safe and found it Tourist friendly. I would’ve liked to spend a bit more time getting to know the German Culture. My only issue was the amount of drunk people, particularly on public transport. We found them quite aggressive, which is scary without it being in another language and there were no guards on the train.
I love a City Break and I’m so happy to have ticked this off my list but hopefully I’ll be back!