(For English translation scroll down a bit) Vor hundert Jahren…
I am not making a big secret out it: Berlin is not the prettiest city! But it has its own little charm. What I love about the city is that it is so vibrant, energetic. Actually so different to other German cities – it is really an inspiring place and it makes me want to come back as much as possible.
If you come here you might realize that Berlin is a city with many different facets. It has a rich history and on one hand there is the government quarter where decision for the country are being made, it is a city where many different cultures come to getter, then there is arty Berlin, graffiti, small independent cafés and so much things to do.
My favorite time to visit is definitely summer when the streets are full of people enjoying the warm evenings with a beer in their hand. But I wouldn’t mind to come back again in winter and move from coffee place to coffee place in search for the best cappuccino while reading a good book.
Together with some friends who live in Berlin I made a collection of recommendations on what to do in the city:
1. Where to sleep
I got the chance to get to know the circus themed 25hours Hotel in Vienna before. During my stay in Berlin I was able to get to know the 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin. It is the perfect hotel for the urban jet setter and diverse as the city itself. Here fun design meets comfort and once you arrive back in the hotel after a day out in the city you can truly unwind here.
I like the fact that each hotel of the chain has its own unique touch and the theme can be found throughout the hotel.
The rooms are perfect for people who want to soak up the atmosphere of a big city in their accommodation. Half of the rooms that all come in different sizes are jungle rooms that look outo the ape house and the elephant enclosures. From the hammock in the room, my personal highlight (!), I had the perfect view over the Berlin Zoo. The remaining rooms go by the name of urban and offer a view of the cityscape. Perfectly situated between the Berlin Zoo and the Breitscheidplatz the 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin makes the perfect starting point for your trip whether it is business or leisure. One great thing about the hotel is that they offer a free mini and bicycle rental to their guest which gives you the chance to explore the city on wheels at no extra cost.
The hotels bar and restaurant are very poplar not only with guest but also with Berlin locals who love to come here for an afterwork drink or some delicious food. The NENI Berlin offers a culinary mosaic of dishes from all over the world. You can enjoy the varied cuisine and a great view offer the city in this cozy restaurant. Breakfast is also served here in the morning and was divine. No wishes were left open and I even found the classic at the buffet: the Berliner currywurst.
2. Best of Sightseeing
Berlin has so much to offer so it is hard to do everything during one visit. Of course you don’t want to visit the most popular ones like the Berlin Dome, the Brandenburger Gate, the Governmental District, head up to the Reichstag for a great view over the city and wander through the Monument of the Murdered Jews of Europe.
3. Spend the day at Mauerpark on a Sunday
One of my favorite thing to do in Berlin is visit the Mauerpark on a Sunday. There you can check out a lovely flea market full of little treasures, eat well and it is also nice to do people watching. The karaoke session which is hosted there as well is a very popular event also. Listen to the songs or if you are brave enough try it yourself and perform your favorite song. The crowd is always fun and cheering.
5. Eat cheap and very well
Berlin is a paradise for foodies. Thanks to so many different nationalities who live in the city, there is nothing you won’t find. Having so many options around, the restaurants really have to stand out and provide the best food and service to an unbeatable price. Having a starter, a main and a drink for less than 10 Euros is definitely possible.
Try some Berlin classics like the Currywurst and the Döner, that apparently was even invented in this city, or have food from all over the world.
I am revealing you now where you can have the best Burger in Berlin.
The Burgermeister at Schlesisches Tor is located underneath a railway aqueduct in a former public toilet house. ALL burgers are incredible, but if you are going to eat unhealthy then opt for the max.: Order the “Burger aller Klassen” which comes with double beef, bacon and cheese and then also get the chili cheese fries on the side.
My other Top 10 Places to eat in Berlin are going to be on the blog soon.
6. Enjoy life and take it easy
We Germans are famous all over the world for being efficient and hard working. Life in Berlin goes at a slower pace. People here like to take it a little bit more easy and enjoy life. Luckily the city offers a lot of great spots to hang out.
For example come to the East Side Gallery. Here by the waterfront you can relax with a cold beer, listen to people who play guitar and watch the sunset over the city. In Berlin you will always find a convenient store, a so called “Spätie” where you can buy some drinks and snacks all night long.
Another great place to visit, especially on the weekend, is Tempelhofer Feld. The former area of the Tempelhofer airport was turned into an urban park where people come to have picnics or a BBQ with friends. On the former runway you can skateboard, run or ride a bicycle.
One time there were talks that the area is going to be sold to an investor but after big protest, the people of Berlin where able to keep their hang out spot.
Especially in the summer a very popular place to escape the heat is the Wannsee. It is easy to reach by public transport and just thirty minutes outside the city. Refresh in the lake or rent a boat there.
7. Relax in the Tiergarten
Berlin’s largest park was once used as a hunting ground for the elite in the 18th and 19th century. It is situated between the Brandenburger Gate and the Berlin Zoo and is the green heart of the city. It really does feel like a green island and once you enter the park it is very easy to forget that you are actually in a big city.
A great thing to do is to rent a small boat and paddle over the lake and enjoy the surrounding nature. The Biergarten and restaurant there is always buzzing with life and offer a nice, relaxed atmosphere to end the day.
8. Enjoy some of the best nightlife Europe has to offer
Berlin is world famous for its nightlife, clubs and DJs. There is no place as diverse when it comes to nightlife and you can find everything here from pubs housed in ruins to chic beach bars.
When visiting Berlin, a night out is a must. If you are a techno fan you might want to try to get into THE club in Berlin “Berghain”. The bouncers are known to be super strict and the parties supposed to be legendary. The club opens on a Friday night and doesn’t close until Monday afternoon.
Other cool clubs are King Kong, Weekend and Kaffee Burger in Mitte. More edgy are the areas of Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain and Prenzlauer Berg. Check out Club Maria and Spindler& Klatt. Tresor and Watergate are also two big names you will hear when asking for recommendations.
9. Take a boat ride over the Spree
Discover Berlin from the water. A great way to see the city from a different perspective is by doing a boat cruise over the Spree. The boat usually passes all the main attractions of the city and different cruises are available like a dinner cruise, a guided cruis or a romantic evening cruise.
10. Enjoy the best view over the city
Head up to the Berlin TV Tower for an incredible view over the city and all its historic buildings especially at the time of sunrise or sunset.
If you want to have a great view and take photos where the iconic tower is in the picture than I can recommend to head up to the sky terrace of the Park Inn Hotel on Alexanderplatz. Make sure to check the opening hours before getting there. The view is great and if you dare you could even do base jumping there.
Hope with those recommendations you will enjoy spending time in Berlin as much as I do.
If you have anything to add to the list please leave a comment.