My friends and I booked a trip to Berlin way in advance (I am always last-minute to book my trips) and I actually forgot we were going until a week before flying. As we booked a group booking, there was no confirmation in my inbox, so it was sort of a pleasant surprise when I remembered. (Similar to finding a £20 in an old handbag that you forgot about).
We flew with Ryanair and sadly, we all had separated seats, as part of their money making ways. They entice people to pay extra costs to chose their seats. The flight from Luton airport took roughly two hours, and we flew directly into Berlin. Not bad
We stayed in the area called Albrechtstraße. The nearest station which was a five-minute walk from us was Friedrichstraße, in the Mitte district of Berlin. We booked the apartment on Bookings.com and the price and location was excellent. It’s easy to get to popular attractions such as Unter den Linden boulevard, the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag by tube.
I must add that the bed was the most comfortable I’ve ever slept in! We did most of our travelling around via tube, it is super easy and cost-effective (we paid nothing as there are no gates, however ticket machines are there just in case). The App called Citymapper is great to use to show you the different routes you can take, including walking.
WHAT TO DO
We visited the Brandenburg Gate, a very popular site in Berlin. Today this building is a symbol of the history of Europe and Germany, and also of peace and Unity. It was commissioned by Frederick William II of Prussia and was built between 1788 and 1791. It was extremely busy (and cold) as there was a parade going on during our visit in January. It is free to visit the gate, and easy to get to via tube.
Another must see is the Berlin Wall. The wall has many parts and we visited the Wall Museum East Side Gallery. The wall is filled with amazing paintings which is lovely to walk along and admire. It has more than three million visitors per year and is also free. Along the way there are souvenir shops where you can purchase small parts of the wall for a good price. The broken off bits of the wall can be framed or used as a memory in your home. Each painting has meaningful and controversial messages. You can also find the work of Banksy here- the anonymous English graffiti artist.
A great highlight to the trip was visiting the Berlin Memorial Ground. The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe also known as the Holocaust Memorial has 2711 slabs which are arranged in a grid pattern and set in rows. They differ in their heights and widths and begin on the outside and gradually get taller the further in you go. The architecture is amazing! It was designed by a man called Peter Eisenman. Here, you can find the names of approximately 3 million Jews that were so sadly victims of the Holocaust. It is free to come here, however there is a small charge to visit the underground museum, which is named the place of information.
The ground was built in 2003 and took a year to build. 60 years after the war, in 2005, it was opened to the public and I would definitely recommend visiting.
Please be warned that photos taken here will be scrutinised by the public. I realised this shortly after my friend posted a photo onto her Facebook, so be warned. Undeniably, this is a place to show respect and photos here are not encouraged. If, like us, you would like to take a photo here for a memory, do so for your own personal use as many people may feel upset or offended.
BARS AND RESTURANTES
We tried out many places from German food, to Indian, to Italian to fast food. If you are a burger lover, you must try out Burgermeister.
I believe there are two in Berlin, but we went to the one in Kreuzberg. It is a small hut with a limited seating area. Around ten people can sit inside and ten people outside (the seats are more like a bike U rack.) Due to its popularity, queues and long but it is worth the wait! Best burger in Berlin hands down, with sides of chilli cheesy fries etc.
We had a tasty Indian at Bombay Spice, the food was surprisingly good and they had a good selection of wines and cocktails. We ended the evening with flaming shots on the house. The price was unbelievable, we ate and drank like Queens/Kings for just £15 each when we converted it. SUPER!
One of my favourites was the Italian restaurant called Boccondivino. Super authentic, with no menus. The service from the waiter was great, explaining the menu for us and being very attentive. I ordered the Parmesan Truffle tagliatelle which was cooked in a big wheel of parmesan, set alight which melted the cheese which was then mixed in with the pasta, then finished off with grated truffle. It was delicious and fascinating to watch. I had great responses to the video I posted on my Instagram. Click this link to watch
You can’t come to Berlin and not try Currywurst – a fast food dish which is sausage that is steamed then fried and covered in a ketchup curry sauce. Other German dishes we tried were meatballs, soup and German cheese. It’s not my favourite cuisine, everything tasted the same without much flavour.
Due to the little time spent there we didn’t have time to try out two places I heard good reviews on. Sky Kitchen & Sky bar – a vegetarian restaurant with a sky bar which offers a spectacular views and stunning decor. Open Monday to Sunday.
Grace- a modern and stylish restaurant with great food and drink, a nice place to dress up for the evening. We missed this as it is closed on Sunday’s.
Bars stay open till late and Berlin has a wide variety of nightlife. Known for its techno raves and underground parties, there is also a chilled out option if that’s not your thing. A club we visited was called House of Weekend. It has an outdoor terrace and two large rooms that play a variety of music. The view from the terrace was lovely, and I guess it will be even better in warmer weather.
Overall the trip was a great weekend away with friends with memories that will last a lifetime. There is never a dull moment with us, we have been best friends for thirteen years and counting. Many more adventures to come.