Sorry I’ve been absent for a while! I’ve been so busy recently, but I’m planning to get some serious blogging done over the next few weeks, with the aim of hopefully writing a post a day. Since my boyfriend’s birthday is really close to mine, we decided that our main present to each other would be to go away for a few days to Berlin. We were meant to look through hotels and flights together, and book it together, but of course I ended up doing it all – turned out to be great for me because then we got to stay exactly where I wanted!
I managed to get a really good deal on the flights and hotel through Expedia, which meant that we stayed at the Eurostars Hotel Berlin. It was perfectly located right next to the Friedrichstrasse train station, the main shopping street, as well as having humongous beds and a lovely pool and sauna! I would definitely recommend staying there, even if just for the location. We were walking distance from the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag building (where the German parliament sits), the Holocaust memorials, as well as the countless museums that Berlin has to offer. A lot of the other 5* hotels that I looked were much further west, and you would definitely have to get the Metro to visit the major attractions.
Saying that, the Berlin metro definitely wasn’t something to complain about! In comparison to the tube in London it was much emptier, cleaner and more frequent. We paid 7 euro each for a day pass (£7 with the terrible exchange rate at the moment!) for an unlimited day pass, which allowed us to use the metro, bus, trams or any other form of public transport, including as far as the airport.
I can’t begin to describe all of the ‘attractions/sights’ that we visited – Berlin is a city where everywhere you look there is history. The Berlin wall only fell at the end of 1989, and it was really strange to think of how divided Berlin was not even 10 years before I was born, and well within my parents’ lifetimes. We were only in the city for four days, and we packed in the sightseeing, and there was still a lot more that we would have liked to have done!
In the pictures above are the Brandenburg gate, the memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe, the Reichstag and Schloss Charlottenburg (a beautiful palace with the most intracately decorated rooms in the Baroque style). Visiting the Berlin Wall is a definite must – there is an amazing 1.3km stretch near the Ostbahnhof which has the most incredible graffiti on it, as well as another shorter section further north with the original ‘killing strip’. There are so many museums that are all worth visiting as well, with many of them being free, such as the museum below the Holocaust memorial, the ‘Topography of Terror’ museum (which documents the work of the various Nazi police forces), the black box next to Checkpoint Charlie, to name but a few. We used the Rough Guide to Berlin as a guidebook, which had really good recommendations on what to prioritise visiting (and what to miss!), as well as restaurant and cafe recommendations.
One of my favourite things that we did however was visiting the various Christmas markets that Berlin hosts in the Christmas season. There were so many stalls selling beautiful carvings, sheepskin rugs and slippers, not to mention hundreds of types of salami and cheeses! We ate lots of Wurst (hotdogs) and drank lots of Glühwein (mulled wine) – I have an unhealthy obsession with both!
I think thats all for now, I’m sorry its such a brief summary but its impossible to describe everything we did in a single blogpost! I hope you’re having a fantastic day 🙂 xx