I’ve wanted to visit Berlin FOREVER, so last month when my boyfriend had a work thing there, we packed up and headed over for the weekend. It’s one of the most excitingly creative and cultural places I’ve ever been. Which is hard to believe considering the city has only been united for just over a quarter of a century; it seems like the wall came down and people have really taken advantage of the freedom. From the quirky street styles, live music venues spilling into the streets and the uh-mazing art, it’s completely inspirational.
I loved the rife art scene, especially the more unconventional exhibitions like Sammlung Boros. The exhibit is set in an old WWII bunker, displaying works from the likes of Ai WeiWei. There are tons of other different projects to take advantage of too, from touring outdoor cinema clubs (check out Mobile Kino it looks awesome) to getting snap happy in the many street side photo booths.
In all honesty, I thought we were maniacs for visiting in November but we were pleasantly surprised by the weather. Layers, as predicted were definitely needed but even though it was chilly, the sun was shining the whole time. That said, holy hell, is it cold on a night. Bitterly cold, actually, so layer up guys!
We stayed in Mitte, the heart of Berlin, overflowing with historical monuments and museums. It’s a beautiful place and great for the major touristy sights but each district has something unique to offer and is well worth delving into. We spent a lot of time in the borough of Kreuzberg, which has a real bohemian vibe. Apparently during the divide immigrants, hippies and squatters settled there but these days the district has created a unique identity with shed loads of cool bars and buildings that act as a canvas for local street artists.
Overall, I absolutely loved the city’s laid back, free spirited vibe and the super friendly people. I totally get why so many creatives choose to settle in Berlin. Now, whilst I plot my return, you can read on to find out what to do and see and where to sleep (or not) in the German Capital.

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Where to Stay

We stayed at the Titanic Deluxe, a marbled thing of beauty! The hotel also had it’s own jazz bar and adjoining steak house – but more on food in a later post.
Located: in Central Mitte
Price: around £90 per night

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Alternative accommodation

AirBnb have tons of places to choose from in Berlin, dependent on price and location. Here are a few of my favourite spaces:
£37 per night – Beautiful 50sqm Heart of Berlin
£52 per night – Canal Flat / Apartment with bikes
£82 per night – Loft of Angels
£83 per night – Mitte Designer Flat with 2 xBIKES!

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Things to do:

Hire bikes: cycling is a great way to explore and it’s a bonus that Berlin is super flat and bike friendly // we hired ours from the hotel for €15 per bike for the entire day.
River cruise: Sail down the River Spree and take in the sights of modern Berlin’s futuristic architecture. Price: €20 per person.
Photo booth fun: photo booths are a huge craze in Berlin and you’ll find them dotted all over.
Bus tour: drive through the sights of the city in only a few hours. Tickets allow you to hop on and off wherever you want to explore. Price: €20 per person.
Museums: you could spend weeks strolling the countless galleries;

Museum Island encompasses five of the major museums: Altes / Neues / Alte Nationalgalerie / Bode / Pergamon.

Don’t miss Topography of Terror situated on the site where the headquarters of the Gestapo and the SS once stood – the museum documents the rise of the secret police between 1933 to 1945.

The Berlin Wall Memorial and Check Point Charlie Museum are both really interesting and within walking distance of each other.

Iconic landmarks:
The Berlin Wall
Brandenburg Gate
Dinner at the top of TV tower
Book tickets for the Berlin Philharmonic
Visit the beautiful Berlin cathedral
Walk along the Holocaust memorial
Markets:

Find some vintage treasures at the Sunday flea market held in Mauerpark.
Flea market at Straße des 17. Juni 106 in Charlottenburg.
At Christmas Alexanderplatz plays host to a Christmas market selling Bratwurst, gingerbread and mulled wine.

You can read about where to eat and drink in Berlin here.

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The buildings in the background were the Nazi Gestapo/SS  headquarters    IMG_8499 (3)
Checkpoint Charlie IMG_8474 (2)  IMG_8203 (2)IMG_8221 (2)
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Holocaust War MemorialIMG_8278 (2)IMG_8312 (2)IMG_8331 (2)

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You must visit Chocolate house Fassbender & Rausch Chocolatiers at Gendarmenmarkt. They have made the most incredible chocolate sculptures including the Brandenburg gate (below).

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3 replies on “City guide: Berlin

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