To be honest, this post is so incredibly long over-due but I still want to write about it. It is now officially February. I have less than a week (!!) till I’m in another country for a few weeks, so now really is the time to get this post up and running!
FYI – I went to Berlin in mid-September. Although it’s definitely not in the moment anymore for the things that I’m about to write, I really would recommend Berlin. It was overall an unforgettable experience. 🙂
We spent five days in Berlin. The first day when we arrived seemed quite long since there were delays on the train track towards the city centre from the airport. We were waiting for a good half-hour to forty minutes. Afterwards, it was probably a good forty minute journey overall to reach the hotel which I think is quite standard.
TIP: If you decide to buy 2/3/4 day passes at the airport for the train and underground, make sure you stamp the tickets at the machine by the train stop. This stamps the official date and time, and validates your ticket.
Admittedly, we were worried on our first night. When we went out for an evening walk after dinner (where we ate at a sushi restaurant nearby – I know, not German but later!), it seemed so quiet; but now in retrospect, I think you just have to be at the right location if you are looking for a lively night out. After all, there is a reason for why Berlin is known for its rock scene.
If anything, Berlin is so not like any other main cities that we have explored thus far and it was only just the beginning…
The Next Morning
A day never starts right without breakfast! I only learnt of this a few years ago and now I can’t not have it.
We basically had breakfast at the same place for most of our stay because it was only around the corner from our hotel and we really liked it.
🔺 Bonjour Café
- Not pictured, but for the breakfast on the left, it comes with bread!
- Pictured right, is a vegetarian baguette which they heat up.
- This café was always busy so it’s definitely a hit with the locals. Staff are very friendly.
- To my delight, Café Latte is also available!
TIP: It goes without saying, but you will definitely want to plan your route per day. Some cities such as Rome is good for wandering since it is quite compact and artful but not Berlin – Berlin is BIG. It doesn’t strike me as being super touristy either and since much of the city was bombed during World War II, a lot of it has been re-built. There are tourist attractions but not the typical kind, so do your research and find some places that are popular with the locals!
🔺 Schloss-Charlottenburg (Charlottenburg Palace)
🔺 Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church
🔺 Aquarium Berlin
This next place, I really recommend going if you’re ever in Berlin! I have personally never been to an aquarium before. There is also a zoo right next to it but collectively, we were more interested in seeing some sea life; and I have to say that the variety is vast – there’s lots to see! From memory, the ticket price was reasonable. I think it was about 11 euros per adult.
🔺 TV Tower
After quite a busy morning and afternoon, we had some lunch at a nearby Chinese buffet and restaurant. There wasn’t too much choice at the area we were in (or maybe we just had no idea) but we couldn’t care less since we were hungry! The other choices were pretty much fast food which we were not fussed on.
We then headed back to the hotel I believe, to have a bit of a rest, before coming back out for a walk. We took the tube to Alexanderplatz which I guess is like how King’s Cross is to London? (With all the overground trains that take you into further parts outside Berlin.)
By Alexanderplatz, is where you will find the TV Tower, which is the tallest structure in all of Germany. We wanted to book dinner up there but unfortunately it was fully booked so I’d advise early booking if you really wanted to explore it! The sphere rotates. 🙂
We ordered and shared altogether:
- Norwegian tuna pasta
- ham and pineapple pizza
- a meatless salad
We sat outside and like Rome, they had those heaters they’d set up for all the customers so that it wouldn’t be too cold. The atmosphere was very good since it was quite a busy night. We also got to try out some German beer – authentic and smooth!
After a successful dinner, we walked back to the hotel which was probably about a 30-40 minutes walk. We really go all out with the walking when we travel!
We came across a Christmas themed shop nearby so I had to take some pictures of the window:
I imagine Berlin to be super festive and eventful if you go around Christmas time since its infamous for its Christmas markets at that time of year!
Our first full eventful day in Berlin was wonderful. Before we went back to the hotel, we quickly went to grab some German beer from a local shop to enjoy on our hotel balcony!
I am unsure as to how much of the Berlin Series I will get done before I head off to Hong Kong…I doubt it will be all of it but I will try to get at least another post going! I don’t plan on taking my laptop with me but who knows, maybe I will change my mind? We’ll see.
Anyhow, thanks for following and see you soon!
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