I booked a city break to Berlin back in November last year as a Birthday/Christmas present for my boyfriend. We went for 3 nights and 4 days at the end of January – it was very cold and made Northern Ireland seem warm! Berlin is a city full of history, with plenty to see and do, I would recommend it to anyone as a European city break ? This blog will outline who we flew with, where we stayed and what we got up to during our stay.
Day 1 – Traveling to Berlin, Our Hotel & Lasagne
We flew direct from Dublin with Ryanair to Berlin Schönefeld Airport and stayed at the Novum Select Hotel Berlin The Wall. The hotel is only a couple of stops on the train from the airport and located beside Checkpoint Charlie at the Berlin Wall, the Topography of Terror and the Welt balloon. The hotel is four star, affordable, very modern and the rooms are fab! I got the best deal for the hotel on lastminute.com.
We arrived in Berlin in the evening, so by the time we arrived at the hotel we decided to grab dinner nearby at a busy looking Italian called Sotto Sopra – the lasagne was yum!
Day 2 – Walking Tour, Flea Market & Badfish
The only thing I had planned ahead of coming to Berlin was our walking tour with ‘Original Berlin Tours’. I thought it would be the best way to see the sights, hear a bit of history and find our way around the city. So we got up early on the Sunday morning, grabbed breakfast to go from Einstein Kaffee across the street from the hotel and got a taxi to our meeting point for the walking tour at One80 Hostel in Alexanderplatz for 10am.
I could not recommend the walking tour enough! We covered so much ground in 3 hours, seen so many sights and learnt a lot from our fab guide Paul (who just happened to be from Wexford, Ireland ☘). Some of the features we covered included:
- Television Tower
- The Berliner Dom
- Neue Wache Memorial
- Book Burning Memorial at Bebelplatz
- Checkpoint Charlie
- Remaining Berlin Wall
- Hitler’s Bunker
- The Memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe
- The Reichstag
- Brandenburg Gate
The walking tour is free, you just tip your guide at the end of the tour. Paul also gave us some great bar and restaurant recommendations.
As it was a Sunday, our walking tour guide recommended we should go to the flea market on Bernauer Straße. There was a great buzz around the place, with stalls of bric-à-brac, old vinyl, rails of shearling coats and denim jackets, street food, beer on tap and glühwein!
We ended the day at a bar called Badfish for Angry Hour (aka happy hour), a NYC neighbourhood style bar, which had a load of great whiskey, craft beer, old fashioned cocktails a jukebox and Mario Brothers on Nintendo. Definitely worth a visit!
Day 3 – East Side Gallery, Burgermeister & Cocktails
We took ourselves off to the East Side Gallery, a must see in Berlin! The East Side Gallery is 1.3km section of the Berlin Wall, which is now a International memorial for freedom that consists of paintings from artists across the world.
We then had lunch at Burgermeister, another recommendation from our walking tour guide. Probably one of the best burgers I have ever had!
We made reservations at NENI a rooftop restaurant in the 25Hours Hotel behind Bikini Berlin (definitely worth a visit). The restaurant is stunning and the food it great. After dinner we went for cocktails in Monkey Bar, which is next door to NENI and looks over Berlin Zoo. We drank Mai Tais and watched the snow fall that night. If I was to recommend a cocktail at Monkey Bar, go for the Jungle Flake!
We love finding hidden gems for cocktails, so after conferring with the BarChick app we found a speakeasy cocktail bar nearby called The Green Door, the drinks here are UNREAL!!! Did I mention it is one of the world’s best bars?!
Day 4 – Victory Column, Tiergarten & Currywurst
Snow was well and truly on the ground for our last day! We started the day off with breakfast at West Berlin, a great cafe close to our hotel and Checkpoint Charlie. We spent the morning and afternoon walking through Tiergarten and visiting the Victory Column.
Our trip to Berlin wouldn’t have been complete without trying currywurst, so we went to Curry 36 in Mehringdamm. It was good but I can’t say I could eat a lot of it.
You can’t go to Berlin without getting some black and white snaps in a Photoautomat booth, which are located throughout the city ?
When travelling in Berlin, be sure you are purchasing the correct train tickets during your stay, unfortunately we didn’t read all the information at the kiosks and got fined – the undercover ticket checkers take no excuses, even if it was an honest mistake.
I would definitely go back to Berlin, I think it would be amazing in the summer. Something that was so surreal, was being able to drink a bottle of beer while walking down the street!
If you are heading to Berlin, have a fab time and safe travels.