When you think of Germany your first thought is most likely Oktoberfest and Munich. Or if you are a Christmas fanatic you may think of Nuremberg well because they have the best Christmas markets during the season! Hopefully by the end of this blog post when you hear Germany you will think of Berlin automatically instead.
Berlin is known for the famous Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie and nightlife. What it is also known for is its meadows and countryside which unfortunately I didn’t get to visit but it just gives me another reason to go back now!
How to get to Berlin
For this trip my friends and I travelled from Gatwick airport in London. Our flight was very early in the morning therefore we had to get an Uber at 3am just to get to the airport. After passing security we took naps until our gate was called. We flew Easyjet and this was one of the longest flights of all my traveling while in London. I can’t say how the flight was because I slept the whole way. You can also look on Trainline for trains to Berlin if you are coming from other destinations!
Where to stay in Berlin
around Europe and they are well worth staying at. We stayed in an ensuite apartment and it was literally like an actual apartment I was more than happy with it. To add on to the amazing room there was also a rooftop bar and coffee shop connected to the main lobby which is so adorable and bohemian chic. I would stay here again anytime!
What to do in Berlin
Day 1: After our not so pleasant Uber ride experience from the airport we got to our hostel earlier than we could check in. There was some confusion with our room arrangements so always double check the room arrangements when booking through Hostelworld. The manager was so nice and it was easily figured out and we were able to drop our bags off until check in at 2 p.m. We were famished from our early morning travels. We decided to eat at a Thai/sushi restaurant which I cannot remember the name of but it was right near Checkpoint
Charlie. We did some shopping to kill more time after eating along with visiting Checkpoint Charlie and exploring the area around it. After being tourists we took the U-Bahn (subway) back to Wombats to check in, when we got to our room we all unpacked and took much needed naps. Once we woke up we were again hungry so we went to this diner like burger place and I’m not even going to give you the name because it was not worth it. The only thing this place had going for it was the cocktails during happy hour. Although we wanted to go out to the clubs we also just wanted a good nights rest so thats what we did instead.
Day 2: Let me just say we had the coldest rainiest weekend. We woke up to rain and bitter cold each day we were there, so dress warm in November. Waking up early I headed to the rooftop bar for breakfast, with a slim selection it still did the trick and woke me up. Today we planned a visit with a tour company to go to the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. Political prisoners such as the soviets and along with jews were kept here from 1936 until May of 1945, although from what I understood from our guide is that this was a work focused concentration camp it is estimated a 30-35,000 lost their lives at this camp. Walking through the camp you get a bone chilling feeling and touring it in the weather we did made the experience even more heart wrenching. This was something I will never forget and I truly encourage anyone to visit this historic site.
Nightlife: After warming up back at the hostel and refusing to sit in the room all night I took it upon myself to get some drinks at the rooftop bar the ‘Wombar.’ What i’ve learned from my travels is always make friends with the bartender! I believe I tried every shot on the menu the most interesting was the monkey brain shot, try it if you ever go! Also get a Hemmingway sour! the best drink ever!
Day 3: For our final day in Berlin we had to wake up early to checkout but left our bags at the front desk while we did some more exploring. We had tickets to go to the Berlin TV Tower which was a really cool experience but my favorite part was that we were luckily enough to eat breakfast at the top! We ate breakfast while the whole top spun slowly showing you the whole city, it was such a clear morning that it was such an awesome site. The food wasn’t worth it but the views were. Since we still had time to kill until we had to leave for the airport I went to walk in the Nikoverli area seeing all the museums along the way. It was a Sunday so not many shops were open but I did some shopping in the ones that were and I stumbled across a tiny four stand Christmas market. Once the shopping and sightseeing was done we all met back at the hostel and relaxed until we were ready to head to the airport. While heading to the airport we passed the East Side Gallery. This is a part of the Berlin wall only still standing and street artist took it upon themselves to graffiti it with beautiful artwork.
This was my last trip during my time studying abroad in London and I’m so happy it was because it was the most relaxed one. I did not list all the sites I saw because there are many in Berlin it is chuck full of history and landmarks, I chose to share my favorites. Plan ahead when it comes to Berlin and call ahead to make reservations at restaurants. I believe Berlin is full of history and once you see it all theres nothing to go back for. One day I hope to make it back to Berlin but to experience the countryside!
I had a great trip overall I do wish we planned better because we missed the Christmas markets by ONE day! TIP: if you don’t want to miss out like we did book your trip for the last weekend in November!