Berlin is truly a city that owns a part of my heart. This Summer I visited the vibrant German capital with my boyfriend, for a few days of city adventure! Berlin took me by surprise, I didn’t know what I was expecting however it completely over-ruled any expectations that I did have! The city is absolutely massive and each part of the city has its own wonders and secrets, I thought I would share my Berlin city guide, to let you know some tips and tricks for getting around the city with ease and some exciting places to eat, visit and soak up the culture of Berlin!
TRAVELING THROUGH THE CITY
Berlin has an outstanding public transport system, I know that visiting a new city may result in you wanting to take taxi’s in order to avoid getting lost however I think when visiting a new city, you should attempt to live like a local and go all out in terms of how you get around the city! Berlin has over ground trains, underground trains, trams, buses and bikes. Getting around wasn’t hard at all! We purchased a ‘Berlin Welcome Card’ which varies in price, depending on how long you want the ticket to be valid for, however we purchased ones that lasted our entire journey!
The Welcome Cards entitle you for travel on both the above and over ground trains and trams (basically areas A, B & C) so travel is absolute bliss, if you get lost you can simply jump on another train or tram, they come every 5-8 minutes, so if you miss one you’re never going to be waiting a ridiculous amount of time for another one. We where traveling from the west side to the east side of he city in around 20 minutes, which is incredible! The transport in Berlin really puts the transport in the UK to shame, the trains and trams where always dot on time, not even a second late!
THE TYPICAL TOURIST SPOTS
Even though you’re in a new city, and surely you’re wanting to live like a local and somewhat blend in, you’re daft if you don’t visit the typical tourist spots – They’re hot spots for a reason! Berlin is a city that played a very big part within the second world war. Mostly because it’s the German capital and was home to Hitler throughout a large part of that period. It was a heavily bombed city and the majority of the city has now been up cycled and is now the home of both traditional architecture and modern architecture. Here are some of the classic tourist spots that I recommend you visit!
THE BRANDENBURG GATE
The Brandenburg Gate is probably one of the most popular landmarks in Berlin. It’s located in the west part of Berlin in Mitte. The gate has over 200 years of History, however me and my boyfriend knew it mostly because of WW2 as this was an area in which Adolf Hitler would hold a lot of his public speeches. Walking through the gate is somewhat haunting, especially when you think that Adolf Hitler would have walked under it at some point – Scary, I know! The gate itself is truly beautiful and if you’re like me and a sucker for architecture, this is a must visit!
Location : Pariser Platz, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Checkpoint Charlie is another historical Berlin landmark. Checkpoint Charlie is one of the well known crossing points from the West of Berlin to the East of Berlin throughout the Cold War, when Berlin was split entirely by the infamous Berlin Wall. This general area of the city is a bit of a tourist hot spot, there’s a lot of advertisements for museums and city tours. I personally find all of that a bit too much so just seeing the checkpoint was enough for me! With it being a super-tourist area, people were paying to have their photos taken with the guards at the checkpoint – So this is something you can do it you fancy it!
Location : Friedrichstraße 43-45, 10117 Berlin, Germany
THE MEMORIAL OF THE MURDERED JEWS OF EUROPE
The Memorial Of The Murdered Jews of Europe, also known as the Holocaust Memorial, is a very unusual and eerie memorial dedicated to the Jewish, who lost their lives during the Holocaust. The memorial is a very interesting place to visit, most memorials I’ve visited are usually a statue or plaque dedicated to those who suffered, however this is so unique and really tugs at the heart strings. The memorial is basically a good mile or so long and wide, consisting of alternating concrete slabs. As you walk through the memorial, there’s a real sense of confusion (I got lost a lot of times) You feel almost disorientated and swollen up by these massive concrete slabs, which for me personally, sort of represents just how the Jewish must have felt at this traumatic time. This memorial is a must visit if you’re in Berlin!
Location : Cora-Berliner-Straße 1, 10117 Berlin, Germany
THE EAST SIDE GALLERY
The East Side Gallery was by far my favourite tourist attraction! The Berlin wall genuinely fascinates me, the whole History of Berlin does! The city has gone through a truly traumatic past however in present day, the city is vibrant, lively and just simply amazing! I think that the East Side Gallery truly represents this new persona that Berlin now has! It takes a heart breaking piece of history and makes it colourful, interesting and artistic! The East Side Gallery is completely outdoors, so If it’s a nice day it’s just so relaxing to walk along the wall and appreciate the street art!
Location : Mühlenstraße, 10243 Berlin, Germany
WHERE TO EAT
Food is obviously why you’re reading this. Prior to visiting Berlin I completely avoided searching for places to eat, I wanted to decided it on the day that we were there, and I wanted to avoid and restaurants located in populated tourist areas, you know because I like to eat my food, not my money! I think we really found some amazing places to eat whilst we were in Berlin, every single places we went brought me great sadness, as I knew when I returned home they wouldn’t be there!
SANTA MARIA EAST SIDE
Santa Maria is a Mexican restaurant located on the East Side of Berlin, which is sort of the ‘hip’ area of Berlin, if you will. We visited here on our first evening because all I wanted was a Burrito! One the evening that we went, the restaurant has a deal for a select menu of Margaritas for 4€ which is incredible! Unfortunately I don’t have any photographs of our food or the restaurant, I was basically too hungry and just wanted to eat it as soon as it was laid out in front of me, a sad excuse of a blogger, I know. This is a brilliant place to eat if you want a traditional Mexican meal and a cheeky cocktail on a budget!
Location : Krossener Str. 18, 10245 Berlin, Germany
THE HOUSE OF SMALL WONDER
The House Of Small Wonder wins all the awards of the most aesthetically pleasing cafe I’ve ever been in, you feel as though you’re in a fairytale greenhouse! We came here for Brunch and was genuinely so impressed by everything. The food was a modern Japanese/Mexican fusion, which admittedly does sound a bit random for brunch. However I had a Mexican salad with fried, egg, salsa and avocado and the freshest freshly squeezed orange juice I’ve ever had – It was simply delicious! The cafe is a short 10 minute walk from one of the main shopping areas in Berlin, so you can have a delightful brunch and then do a spot of shopping – The perfect start to anyones day!
Location : Johannisstraße 20, 10117 Berlin, Germany
We couldn’t have visited this place on a better day, the sun was shining, we had fresh orange juice and of course… pancakes! I absolutely love little Cafes like this, that are just so simplistic however their food is simply amazing! We went for breakfast and I just felt so relaxed and at home sat outside scoffing my face with the most delicious pancakes! The cafe serves sandwiches and coffee’s throughout the rest of the day, I really wish we had the chance to try it for lunch however I know when I come back to Berlin at some point, we will be making another visit!
Location : Bergstraße 68, 10115 Berlin, Germany
Bürgermeister was the one place that I had planned a visit to prior to arriving in Berlin! Burgermeister is obviously popular with both tourists and locals as we waited about 15 minutes in the cue to be served, however it was more than worth it! Burgermiester is more of a Kiosk than a cafe, it’s located outdoors under a railway, it’s truly a unique dining experience however the concept of it is just amazing, especially on a summers day! The menu has a far amount of choice, you can also get fries (we got cheese fries, they were also incredible) It’s another amazing place to visit if you’re on a budget, there’s something for everyone whether you’re a tofu loving veggie burger kind of gal or a lover of the classic cheeseburger you won’t be disappointed! I’m even going to make the claim that this was THE best burger I’ve ever eaten, there you go i said it!
Location : Oberbaumstraße 8, 10997 Berlin, Germany
When in Berlin, it’s only right to become a little snap-happy so I thought to finish of the city guide I’d share some photo’s that I took whilst I was there as pictures speak a thousand words! I truly loved every minute of my Berlin trip, after an hour of being there I just felt so content and me and my boyfriend both said that we could live there with ease! Everyone was so friendly and down to earth!
I hope any of you who may have a serious case of wanderlust find this post helpful on with any future travel plans you may have!