Me and my gorgeous friend Hannah visited the land of Berlin a few weeks ago, both for the first time. We had been planning to go away together for quite some time and when a deal popped up on Groupon for Berlin, we couldn’t pass on it. So on Saturday the 28th of November we met at Dublin Airport T1 and were ready to go! Our little 4 day trip was the perfect break from study and work and we did lots of touristy stuff aswell as one night out that resulted in us taking it is easy for the rest of the trip! Here’s our four days in Berlin.
Being well and truly in the depths of Winter and we were fully prepared for the cold. With only carry on cases, packing for weather that was going to be around 2°C wasn’t easy, but we managed! I think I might do a post on how to pack for winter weather with only a carry on as luggage! Anyway, as we were arriving the pilot informed us that it was 0°C on the ground, and we were ready to embrace the cold. I will say that it wasn’t as bad as we expected and we enjoyed the change (when we were wrapped up really well). We managed to find our hotel after a bus and a train ride away and enjoyed the scenery along the way.
We stayed in the Ku’ damm 101 Hotel which was on Kurfürstendamm 101. We figured we were in quite a ‘posh’ part of town as this street we were staying on hosted many establishments from restaurants to designer boutiques. This huge strip included Chanel, Michael Kors, Gucci etc. you name it and that designer was on our street. We thoroughly enjoyed doing a bit of window shopping every time we passed the impressive displays. And by window shopping I mean that we longingly gazed into the stores while passing by on the bus, only every dreaming of stepping foot in there. Anyway, it was still pleasant to be staying on such a lovely street!
Our hotel was equally as beautiful and also extremely Christmasy (in a very cool way). At the entrance to the hotel there were two massive Christmas trees all lit up with lots of lights. Inside they had loads of cute little mini trees, all dotted around reception. The reception was ultra chic and there was always very cool tunes playing while we were waiting to speak to the receptionists. It turned out that we were always waiting quite long to speak to someone, they were majorly understaffed. I felt so sorry for whoever was behind the desk on their own because we never saw more than one member of staff at a time. On the first night there was no bar (and no ice) and no room service because everyone was apparently sick. We didn’t mind except to find out that they didn’t do room service a breakfast time. We were slightly disappointed because we were looking forward to that little luxury, but again it didn’t effect our trip, we just drank in bed instead!The room was cool, the bed was very comfortable and we had floor to ceiling window door which looked out on to the street. The bathroom had great selfie light and most importantly a huge power shower. We were more than delighted to be there, there was lots to do close-by, the transport was on the door step. It was the perfect base for us.
The food was hands down the best part of the trip. It was definitely one of my prime motives for travelling over and it did not disappoint. There were so many options for us where we were, almost everywhere there were restaurants, cafes, food stalls, shops and markets; it was fab! Above you can see that we went to Francucci’s on our first night, which was a few minutes from our hotel. We definitely over indulged with lots of yummy bread, salads , pizza and a bottle of wine that was possibly too easy to drink. We were in our element. Of course we were absolutely stuffed afterwards and vowed not to eat so much the next time. That didn’t happen.
Our food highlight was definitely this little gem of a café that we came across on one of our mornings there called Cappuccino. There wasn’t a hint of English anywhere on the menus and so we just went with something that the waiter was vaguely able to describe. And weren’t we glad that we did? This amazing display of food came out along with 2 glasses of prosecco. We could barely finish it but it was absolutely amazing. We assumed we would be paying a lot for it because it was just so beautiful, but it was only €21 for the lot! We were beyond happy, and almost went back the next day for more. Highly recommend!
Sites of Berlin
It was very festive over there with lots of Christmas activities to do. We opted for a really cute Christmas Market on our second night. We had the obligatory crepes with mulled wine and it was all very enjoyable. There was music and lots of very happy people, eating and browsing around the stalls like ourselves. It was a lovely way to spend the evening.
Unfortunately when we went in search of a bar of any description it started to lash rain and we were in the completely wrong place. We couldn’t help but laugh at the absolute disaster that was our planning skills. Things ended up better for us when we stuck to intial plans, wandering off and getting random trains to random places never had a positive outcome. This did not stop us from having a wonderful time, it just meant we went home to bed, very wet and tired from trying to figure out the city. Next time I think we will plan better, and Google Maps was our life line over there, thank God for our phones.
On our third day we wanted to do all the touristy stuff, and we got around quite a bit. Unfortunately our timing wasn’t the best and a lot of things were closed but none the less we saw some beautiful sites. Brandenburg Gate was probably the most impressive one, it really is quite beautiful. On the other side, on Pariser Platz there was a huge memorial full of flowers, candles, ornaments and messages out of respect for the Paris attacks. It seemed to go on forever and was really warming to look at. A lovely surprise to find while exploring Berlin.
Just around the corner we saw the Jewish Memorial. I didn’t know it existed and it was amazing to see. From a distance it looked like the blocks were similar enough in size and spread over a small amount of space. But when you walked among them they grew taller and taller and it turned into this maze like structure which was really moving. Our interpretation of the blocks were that the sheer size and amount of them represented the amount of people killed in the Holocaust. It was really amazing to walk through it, it was so big!
On our last day we just had a relaxing last few hours around the city. We were more than excited about getting Dunkin Donuts for some reason! I guess it was to follow form from the few gluttonous days that we had. And that donut ladies and gents, was the last time I ate gluten (kind of!).
Yes after my binge eating weekend in Berlin I decided to give up gluten-y foods and I feel so much better. I will be writing about this soon and how much it has affected me! Anyway our last few moments in Berlin were fantastic until we got in a panic about missing our flight. We ran through the airport, passing by some really nice shops and cafés just because we thought our plane was about to take off. Turns out we had to wait about 45 minutes in some queue, so our running was all for nothing. Moral of the story here people, when the screen says ‘boarding’ it doesn’t always mean you have to sprint through the airport. A fantastic trip had by all, and a special thank you to my gorgeous friend Hannah for being my camera’s focal point for most of the trip.