Lifestyle, Photography, Travel
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Berlin Travel Diary | Day 1

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

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Mum sitting at the hotel reception, being cute and reading a German newspaper even though she knows zero German. Fake it till you make it, right?

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)

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It was a very cloudy and gloomy day but for what its worth, it didn’t rain, and the temperature wasn’t too hot or cold – it was average. This is the entrance to buy tickets to explore the palace.

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I have been to French and Italian museums and palaces. I am not sure how to explain the German style but I definitely saw gold as a re-occuring theme and room in particular was so beautiful!

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This is one of the few historical places that has been retained in Berlin after the bombings that destroyed much of the city.

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Now we’re talking! This one is my favourite room in the palace if you can call it as such!

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Now looking at it, I think I over-edited this photo. However, I really wanted to emphasise on the gold decoration! Just stunning. I have a friend who loves gold so she would love this photo, haha.

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As we came back out, we got a much better view of the palace from the other side. The green and gold seems to be the statement colours for German royal architecture. What do you think?

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Onto the next destination by foot! I enjoy this artsy composition so when I saw the opportunity, I took a photo whilst we were waiting to cross the road~

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We were looking for toilets so we went into this building, thinking it was something special. 😝 I still don’t know what it is but from a random exploration, it seems like a town hall/local council? Anyway, we did find some toilets inside. 😂😂

🔺 Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

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We walked past this church which had obviously been destroyed but is still standing. I googled it recently and found out the name. My wild guess was correct – it was destroyed during the World War II bombings. Quite amazing that it is still retained to this day though, isn’t it?

🔺 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.

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There’s some goldfish by the entrance before you officially go approach all the aquariums.

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This is only a small selection of the types of fish that we saw, in an environment that you’d imagine sea life to be. 

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In particular, I love this background!

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I mean, I know it’s their job anyway but the staff have done such a good job at keeping the aquariums – each one of them, so clean! The environment for each is really quite different too and if you love colour like me, you’ll be happy for a full hour. 🙂

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A tropical sea jungle? 😝

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I’m not quite sure what type of fish this is but I took a picture because it was smiling!

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Above everything else at the aquarium, my favourite part was probably the jellyfish. So pretty!

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I’ve always found it fascinating how jellyfish can create their own light. Also – excuse my reflection, haha. I took a lot of videos of the jellyfish moving which I will probably share on my Instagram at some point.

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Some neon-looking plants?

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I have no idea what plants these are. They look like a cross between mushroom and a cotton plant. They also remind me of those plants that you pick up as a kid, and blow. Do you know which I mean? 🙈

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As well as the aquarium itself, there is an upstairs part that leads you to see all the insects and amphibians, again in an appropriate habitat for that species. I believe there’s a part where you see some alligators too however I didn’t take a picture of those. Oh well! Here are some lizards instead. 😎

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That’s a long lizard!

🔺 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. 🙂

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Alexanderplatz is also a bit of a shopping district. It’s not really the place I would suggest to go though if you really want to go shopping in Berlin. It’s better that you go to the bigger shopping malls for more choice and luxury!

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There are some trams located right in front of Alexanderplatz, as you come out hence the tram lines. Again, I saw an opportunity to take an artsy photo so I did!

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We didn’t actually go up the TV Tower, so I have no idea on admission prices or if there was even a queue to just go up to see scenery? We weren’t too bothered by this anyhow. As much as I enjoyed Berlin, it doesn’t strike me as a place that’s famous for its city night lights.

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If you walk out a bit more, you will come across some historical buildings. I don’t know what these buildings are but one appears to be a church or cathedral.

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After about an hour of walking, exploring and a little shopping, we decided it was about time for some dinner! No German food yet (soon, I promise) but we came across a nice looking Italian restaurant, not far from Alexanderplatz.

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:

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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!

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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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5 Comments

  1. Love all your pictures and your mum is so cute! I’ve only been to Berlin once when I was 6 months old (but that still counts, right? haha) and I’d love to go this year. Great post x

  2. This looks like an amazing trip! I am hoping to go to Berlin in the fall, I have not been since I was a kid. The first ceiling image you have of the Schloss-Charlottenburg is absolutely stunning, I have not quite seen a color palette like that in a Baroque structure before!

  3. We were considering Berlin for our stop over when we go to Poland in this year, but we decided to save it for another trip instead. We might do a Germany-dedicated trip (I’ve been to Frankfurt only).
    I love visiting aquariums! I had no idea Berlin’s was so well done! I’ll be sure to add it to my list for our future trip.
    Ha, that TV Tower looks a lot like our Toronto CN Tower, doesn’t it:

    Have a safe flight to Hong Kong!!! ❤

  4. Berlin looks amazing! Germany is on my bucket list. One thing I’m so envious of you living in the UK is that travelling to other countries within Europe is so easy and so CHEAP. There are so many history-rich countries to explore!

    I LOVE visiting castles and seeing the opulent decor, although to be honest, they largely look similar to me and my untrained eye. All of the gold trim and painted ceilings are just breathtaking, though. I can only imagine what it would have been like to be surrounded by that every day!

    My husband and I visit aquariums in almost every city we’ve been to, LOL. The one in Berlin looks really nice, and so colourful! I could just sit there and stare at floating jellyfish all day…

    You must be leaving for HK soon (if you haven’t already left). Safe travels and can’t wait to hear all about your trip when you get back!

  5. Pingback: Berlin Travel Diary – Potsdam | Day 2 | Hoi Yin Li

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