A few weeks ago, I spent a weekend in Berlin, the capital of Germany. In this post, I want to share my favorite activities and places of this trip, but there is also going to be an in depth sample itinerary later on. For now, here’s what I liked most about Berlin.
After a long and tiring day of walking, this was our last stop before heading to dinner. It felt like such a calm spot to me even though it’s right in the middle of the city. The benches are perfect for relaxing and sitting down for a bit while enjoying the view of the impressive German and French cathedrals on each side of the square.
Like the Gendarmenmarkt, the Berlin Cathedral and the Museumsinsel was one of the last stops on that day, but it’s a lovely place to have a picknick in the summer and hang out for a bit.
Place of Information at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
This is not a fun but in my opinion an important stop on your Berlin trip. To me, the underground place of information right by the impressive Holocaust Memorial was incredibly touching and honestly heartbreaking. This is why I’m including it here because I think the installations there have done a good job at conveying the tragic cruelty and I was close to tears reading goodbye letters and listening to the biographies of people killed in the holocaust. To listen to every story of every victim in the Room of Names would take about six years, seven months and 27 days, but the foundation of the memorial is still working on collecting more names and biographies. If you want to help, you can donate on their website.
A father’s heartbreaking message to to his wife and daughter.
East Side Gallery
This open air art exhibition has become one of Berlin’s main tourist attractions, but I still want to mention it since it’s definitely an interesting place to visit. Right along the river bank of the Spree in Friedrichshain, parts of the Berlin Wall have been painted by several artists and put up as a gallery for everyone to see and visit and to serve as a memorial. Take your time to enjoy the powerful art pieces, there is a lot more to take away from it than just your typical picture perfect instagram shot!
This was probably my favorite activity over all as it’s not one of the typical touristy things to do, plus it was incredibly fascinating. There are various different tours through the undergrounds of the city offered in a variety of languages (some of them are only available in German though) which you can read all about on their website. We went for Tour No. 3 through secret subway tunnels and bunkers. Our guide was very informative and I learned so many things I’d never heard about before. I can only recommend squeezing in this activity besides the main sightseeing attractions!
Get information on tours and tickets here.
I have raved about this company on instagram before so I figured I should put it up here as well. While looking for a meaningful birthday present for a very close friend whom I lived, worked and traveled with in Bolivia, I came across some South American candy I was looking for on their website. As I wasn’t going to be in Berlin for another two months at the time (within Germany you can ship anything to your house as well but since I was going to be in Berlin anyway I wanted to save myself the shipping costs) but still wanted to order the candy so they wouldn’t run out of it, I contacted the company and had the friendliest communication with their staff who were happy to keep them in the store for me for way over a month. When I went to pick them up, everything was all set to go and packaged very nicely. We ended up buying a lot more stuff because it’s one of the few places where you can get international candy for a relatively cheap price and the entire store is so cute. If you have a sweet tooth like me, it’s a must!
As we went to Berlin right before my dad’s birthday, we decided to have a nice dinner there to celebrate. One of my mom’s friends had recommended this Middle Eastern restaurant on the top floor of the Bikini Berlin building to us. From there, you have a wonderful view over the city and the animals in the Tiergarten, the huge Berlin zoo (I’m personally not a huge fan of the idea of caging wild animals so we didn’t go there), right next to it all whilst having some incredibly delicious food. The only downside is that it’s very pricey and you’ll probably want to reserve a table ahead of time, but once you arrive to the restaurant, you won’t be disappointed!
You can get a table here.
(Fun Fact: this was taken in the bathroom of the restaurant from where you have the best view haha!)
I hope some of my Berlin favorites were helpful to you if you’re planning a trip out there yourself. I can’t wait to share a full itinerary including some more restaurant and café recommendations as well as a guide for your own walking tour!
See you, Fee.
Berlin combines the culture of New York, the traffic system of Tokyo, the nature of Seattle, and the historical treasures of, well, Berlin. – Hiroshi Montomura