So this was a little last minute adventure for us – we booked it and jumped on a plane the very next day.
If I’m bring honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect or what was going to be in store as I honestly didn’t know much about Berlin besides the war and the wall.
Getting to our hotel was easy. We jumped on a train to the nearest underground stop (spittelmarkt) and then used Google Maps (modern technology does make things a lot more accessible and easy) and it was a doddle. Our hotel was exactly what we needed and acted as a really good base throughout our trip so we would definitely recommend it if you’re ever in Berlin.
East Side Gallery
This had been recommended as a place to get the best burger in Berlin, and boy that was right! Ok, so the location is a little unusual and if I’d have known I might not have gone but it was amazing. We got 2 different burgers to share and ate them whilst chatting to people from all over the globe we devoured them and then washed them down with a refreshing beer (as we did for all dinners – when in Berlin..)
We decided to do a hop-on, hop-off bus tour as this gave us a good way of getting to all of the major sights and sounds (and my knee was playing up so it meant we could limit the walking, slightly)
Alexanderplatz has always been one of the liveliest places in Berlin, with shops, cinemas, restaurants, and many attractions within walking distance. We don’t go on holiday to shop so I must say that we are slightly underwhelmed. We did eat dinner at Vapiano – which has a very different idea of service that we have in the UK but it was intriguing.
It became the most famous crossing point between East and West Germany. In 1961, Allied guards began registering members of the American, British and French forces before trips to East Berlin and foreign tourists could find out about their stay there. Once the checkpoint was designated a crossing point for members of the Allied armed forces, a month later in October 1961 it became the scene of a tank confrontation.
The magnificent dome of the Cathedral Church is one of the main landmarks in Berlin’s cityscape – and marks the spot of the city’s most important Protestant church. With its elaborate decorative and ornamental designs, the church interior is especially worth seeing. We spent some time in Cathedral and were particularly attracted to the beautiful stained glass windows.
Berlin Television Tower
Now this needed prior booking and we booked for around dusk as we thought it would give us beautiful views – which it did! Soaring 368 metres into the sky, it is the city’s most visible landmark. But the tower on Alexanderplatz is not just (literally) a must-see sight, it is also the highest building in Europe open to the general public. And from the dizzying height of its viewing platform, you have spectacular 360-degree panoramic views out across the entire city – and beyond!
The Brandenburg Gate is one of the first stops for every visitor to Berlin! The city’s iconic landmark offers fascinating insights into the city’s history. We has a visitor guide that we read but there is also signs around this landmark if you want to read more, I highly recommend that you do!! The Brandenburg Gate is now one of the best sights in today’s Berlin as it is the only surviving historical city gate. It symbolised the division between East and West but since the fall of the wall it now symbolises a unified Germany.
Gendarmenmarkt and Kurfürstendamm
We were staying right next to this square. I think it’s the most beautiful square in the whole of Berlin! No trip to Berlin is complete without a stroll down Kurfürstendamm. Berlin’s most popular shopping boulevard is the beating heart of the western city centre.
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
The memorial was ceremonially opened in 2005. Eisenman (the architect) placed 2711 concrete slabs of different heights. The memorial is on a slight slope and its wave-like form is different wherever you stand – although I must be honest I was unaware that the slope had been man made at the time. The uneven concrete floor did however give me a feeling of uncertainty and the whole memorial gave me space to confront the topic in your own personal way. This creates a place of remembrance, but not with the usual means – this did however annoy me slightly. I saw lots of people posing with the concrete slabs. Laughing, smiling, walking on the slabs and even posing provocatively. Usually this wouldn’t both me but this is a memorial for people that were murdered and I didn’t sit well with me.
We decided not to go into this building, mainly due to time restraints. We did however walk around the outside of the building and spent some time sitting on the grounds in-front of this very impressive political building.
I love a trip to the zoo! Especially, Whipsnade and Woburn safari parks. The animals looked well cared for and they were very easy to spot, I couldn’t help thinking that this was because of the size of the enclosures. However, this could be because I tend to go to safari parks so the set up is very different as Berlin Zoo is in the middle of the city.
We hit the jackpot when we visited here. We just went to have a walk around and a football match had just started. We grabbed tickets and watched a game – we were right in with the action and enjoyed soaking up the atmosphere!
We completely loved out quick trip in Berlin and felt that we managed to cram a lot in! We would recommend it was a city and say that 4 days is enough to fit everything in if you are happy to have busy days and use lots of public transport that is very efficient!
What is your favourite landmark in Berlin?
Where would you recommend for our next European city break? (We’ve done Rome and Paris)
– Happy travelling x