We stayed for four nights with an AirBnB host in Friedrichshain and flew fairly cheaply with easyJet. I was surprised by easyJet, as they've reduced the size of their seats which has resulted in much more leg room i.e. GOOD TIMES. It was our second AirBnB experience and while the apartment was beautiful, we did get woken up by our 'lively' host when he arrived back at 5.30am and chose to play really loud German rap one morning.
So that was great. (Seriously though, AirBnB is the bomb.)
Here are some of my favourite pictures and highlights of our trip.
This was my uniform for most of the trip; a massive coat, big scarf (not pictured) and trainers. Sightseeing is all about the comfort for me, it just isn't practical to walk all day in anything other than trainers, as much as I would like to look all 'city'. I'm currently building my trainer collection so I have a bit more choice when gallivanting about.
The first day was sunny enough for us to sit outside to eat. I opted for a Deutsch classic; meatballs, potato salad and mustard. Lecker!
The holocaust memorial was definitely a sobering experience but also quite weird since people found themselves playing hide and seek between the blocks. It didn't feel right, considering what the memorial stands for but it's definitely a stark sculpture with a distinct presence.
Earlier in the day we had booked a slot to go to the top of the Reichstag (you have to book but it is free, I would recommend booking online to avoid the queue.) The glass dome on top was designed by English architect, Norman Foster and it is a really incredible piece of design. Even without the dome, you get amazing views across Berlin from the roof of the building, so it's definitely a place I would recommend visiting, especially as it's free.
That evening we had drinks in a bar not too far from where we were staying. I can't remember the name of it but I had a very strong cocktail named 'Hemingway' and I was pleased because it had cherries in.
Of course, when in Germany, you're expected to drink massive glasses of beer but I really hate beer so stuck with my literary-named girl drink.
The next day was hella cold and we woke up late wanting lunch. We had read about Burgermeister doing the best burgers in Berlin so we made a trip to the ex-toilet (yes, really, that's what the teeny building used to be) and got tucked in to one of the best burgers I've ever had. No joke. I would never joke about burgers. The chips weren't anything to write home about but the burger was, by far, the Ryan Gosling of burgers.
We battled a seriously bitter cold wind to check out the East Side Gallery. The art is wonderful and a really great way to preserve a big part of the Berlin wall.
Come dinner time and after a lot of walking, we needed something super tasty. Just down the road from our apartment was Pizza Meyman. From the outside it looked like a standard place to grab a slice of (or a whole) pizza but it turned out to be one of the best takeaways we've ever had.
After some botched GCSE German sprechen we accidentally ended up with bruschetta as well but thank God we did, it was LUSH.
In the morning we headed to MauerPark with the promise of one of Berlin's best flea markets. Unfortunately it was so cold and windy again there were hardly any stands there. So we ended up drowning our sorrows at Curry 36 with some damn fine currywurst.
That night we got local with some drinking on the U-Bahn and then takeaway noodles in Alexanderplatz station. You may not think too much of train station food but these noodles were actually really good.
After our slap up meal, we made our way to Potsdamer Platz for some more drinkies. We left at around 1am and discovered that on Sunday's the transport system isn't actually 24 hours.
We walked about four miles that night and got home at 3am... yep.
On our last day we wanted to pay a visit to the Stasi Museum which is a fascinating place, revealing all the secrets of the former East Berlin secret police - well worth a visit. Part of the museum has been left exactly as it was found (which is what the random retro phone picture is about.)
Yet again, after our educational trip we were feeling peckish and had burgers on the mind again. We dragged ourselves, wearily, across town to Schiller Burger where we enjoyed very good burgers but not quite as legendary as Burgermeister. Schiller Burger's redeeming feature, however, was definitely their sweet potato fries. Those bad boys were so, SO good, they're worth the trip alone.
We still had a bit of sightseeing to do before catching our flight that evening and the first stop after lunch was Charlottenburg Palace. After a pic-stop we carried on to KaDeWe (the grand department store) but I was much more taken by the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church which is one of the very few and rare reminders of WWII in Berlin.
Our last chance to eat before our flight came in the form of apple strudel and hot chocolate in Cafe Einstein. Despite appearances, I wasn't blown away by this cafe and if I return to Berlin I will definitely continue seeking out 'the best' apfelstrudel.
I enjoyed Berlin (mostly for the food) but found the lack of physical history to be very strange. Berlin was completely flattened during the second world war, so the buildings are all very modern and I missed the historical aspect of a European city that I obviously usually get from the architecture. The weather was also a bit of a bummer, so I'm sure Berlin during the summer (such a poet) would be a really lovely place to visit. There is so much going on and the whole city had a very artsy feel to it.
Dare I say... hipster?