Berlin: One of my favourite City Breaks

I went to Berlin from 27 February to 01 March 2020 where the perception of coronavirus was rapidly changing from “a minor media hyped inconvenience” to “worldwide pandemic status”. I travelled with my younger sister, Apinya. It was our last trip abroad before the world closed it’s doors to international travel for most of 2020.

Berlin became a city that I truly loved and one of my favourite city breaks of all-time. Having survived through the Second World War and Cold War, Berlin is known as one of the most international and tolerant cities in the world. The atmophere of the city felt like one of my favourite musicals, School of Rock, namely these lyrics:

“Break the rules, ignore the signs
And color way outside the lines
Go off the script, do what you like
There’s been one solution
Since the world began
Don’t just sit and take it
Stick it to the man

There are food markets with every cuisine you can imagine (Vegan themed of course!), 1UP; a Graffiti Crew who pull off bold stunts for illegal street art and there is even a giant penis sculpture after leftist newspaper Taz won damages against Bild (a newspaper described as notorious for its mix of gossip, inflammatory language, and sensationalism).

Would the UK ever do this to the Daily Mail? Probably not.

I had 3 days in Berlin and this blog post details the top highlights of what we got up to on our last city break before covid19.

1) Have a Currywurst

A classic street-food snack for approximately €4 with very spicy ketchup!

2) Visit the East End Gallery – Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall! 1.3km of history and art along a open-air art gallery on the banks of the Spree in Friedrichshain, free to access, poignant and expressive

3) Thursday Night International Food Market

Street Food Thursday at Markthalle Neun, known as the mother of all street food events in Berlin. I had ice-cream Mochi, Vegan Nepalese momos, Japanese pancake and a Chimney cake!

4) Free panoramic city view of Berlin

The roof terrace and dome of the Reichstag Building offers spectacular views of the parliamentary district and Berlin’s sights. PS you need to book online via this link here.

5) Check-point Charlie

Checkpoint Charlie (or “Checkpoint C”) was the name given by the Western Allies to the best-known Berlin Wall crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War (1947–1991). It was just a photo-stop, but we popped by as it was a 5minute walk from our hotel.

6) Holocaust Memorial

South of the Brandenburg Gate is Berlin’s Holocaust Memorial, with its 2711 gray concrete slabs. It is known as the memorial of murdered Jews. Its openness and abstractness give you space to confront the topic in your own personal way.

7) Alternative Berlin Walking Tours

Graffiti Walking Tour with Alternative Berlin

I did the “Real Berlin Experience” Tour which was only 16€ for 3 hours

8) YAAM by the River

Where London has river-side developments of unaffordable flats, Berlin has YAAM (Young African Art Market). It is a Riverside beach club with basketball & volleyball courts, a bar plus live concerts & music from DJs.

9) Urban Nation – A free Graffiti Museum

Free Museum for Urban Contemporary Art – Urban Nation!

10) Explore Berlin by Foot

 

Berlin is a very walkable city and we covered most of the main sights on foot. It was a great way to get a real taste of the city (we walked approximately between 7-10 miles on each day).

Trip Tips

• We stayed at LebensQuelle Hotel which was situated right in Berlin’s City centre, the hotel was really competitively priced at £55 per night with a full breakfast each morning (It wasn’t fancy but it was a comfy bed with a tasty breakfast).

• I’d highly recommend a meal at Yarok, delicious Syrian food in Berlin with colourful salads and delectable dips.

• I would describe Berlin Story Bunker as one of the most interesting and engaging museums I have ever visited. Definitely include it in a Berlin itinerary if you can.

• Don’t forget to pay a visit to Berlin’s Treehouse. Built by scrap material by Osman Kalin and in defiance to Berlin Wall and war politics surrounding him.

• We flew to Berlin with Ryanair. BEWARE the trains to/from the city. My sister and I thought the train was just a 10 minute ride away from the city, hence leaving it quite late. On Sundays, the trains only ran every 45 mins! We had a tense journey back but made it back just in time :).

• If you have any questions, feel free to comment here and I’ll be happy to help.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s