Weekend escape to Berlin

Mihai Simionica
Mar 17
Take the Berlin challenge to discover why this is one of the best (and most underrated) European destinations. I guarantee you'll fall in love with it in just two days ;)
Say goodbye to preconceived ideas

Before visiting the city, I would unconsciously think of it as a cold, rigid and hi-tech place, as I’m sure many people do. Once landed though, it quickly revealed itself to be one of the most playful and artsy cities I’ve ever visited.
To say I now have a crush on Berlin is an understatement, so let’s go over the places that made this happen!

City centre accommodation
Stay around Hackescher Markt or Alexanderplatz

This is a great area to have as a starting point for visiting the city – it has lovely breakfast spots (as we will see further on) as well as convenient means of transport (train, metro and bus stations), a large shopping centre and many attraction within walking distance.
Both hotels and Airbnb accommodations are easily available at fair prices. 

History, food and vintage shops

Start by taking the metro a couple of stops to Bernauer Straße station.
This used to be the last metro stop during the Cold War, right at the border between the French and the Soviet sector. As the Berlin wall ran along here, it currently houses the Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer (Berlin Wall Memorial) that marks where the wall used to be.

See the Berliner Dom

Head towards the metro/tram station to visit the Berliner Dom where for €7 you can see the cathedral, the museum, the crypt and enjoy an amazing view of the city from the dome walkway.

Sea Life Berlin

If you’re traveling with kids or are just a big fan of sea creatures, across the water you can find the AquaDom & Sea Life Berlin. Travel tip: book online and save on the price of the tickets (€11/adult and €9/child instead of €18/adult and €15/child).

Lunch on the Spree banks

At this point I’m sure you are pretty hungry and in need of a good meal.
I always make a point of trying as much local food as possible, so would recommend you walk 5 minutes to Brauhaus Georgbraeu and enjoy some hearty German cuisine and house-brewed beers (Oh, you must try the dessert!).

Nikolaikirche and street artists

After you’re done eating, walk behind the restaurant to find Nikolaikirche, a 13th century church. This is also the place where we found someone from Raubdruckerin - https://raubdruckerin.de/en/ painting a manhole cover with black ink and pressing a t-shirt to it in order to create a unique pattern.
Such an interesting printing experiment!

Evening walk to the east side
Street art meets the Berlin Wall

Now either walk, to shake off the meal, or take the metro to U-Bhf Schlesisches for the East Side Gallery and Wall museum.
The East Side Gallery is a mile-long section of the Berlin Wall (the last section standing in its original location), all covered in murals. The graffiti project is such an impressive sight and many of the artists make powerful statements through their art; one of the most well known ones is  ‘’My God, Help Me Survive This Deadly Love’’ by Dmitri Vrubel.

Brandenburg Gate at sunset
and impossible names...

On your way back to the accommodation stop by to see one of the best-known landmarks in Berlin: the Brandenburg Gate (it looks spectacular at sunset) and eat dinner in Heiligegeistkirchplatz (good luck pronouncing it :) ).

A full 360° breakfast
while seeing Berlin from above

Start your day by having a breakfast with a view at the Sphere restaurant in the Berliner Fernsehturm (Berlin TV Tower). You'll be at over 200m above the city, but that is not even the best part! The restaurant revolves a full 360° (takes about an hour) to offer you a unique, all-around view of Berlin.
Make sure to book in advance though, just to be on the safe side.

Ever walked on a runway?
Tempelhofer Feld - the largest free area in a city in the world!

You can actually look out the window while having breakfast and see the next landmark on the list, the Tempelhof Airport. You might think something’s gone wrong with this adventure if I’m sending you to the airport already, but don’t worry, this airport ceased operating in 2008 and is now a park where you can cycle, kite landboard, run or even have a barbecue.
It gets pretty windy, but it's well worth it!

What about a meter of chocolate?
Seriously, you can buy that!

When you’re done walking the runway (see what I did there?) head over to the Ritter Sport Bunte Schokowelt on Französische Straße for a decadent hot chocolate. You’re on holiday, so why not pack your bags full of chocolate as well?

Cold War throwback
Crossing into the American sector

Walk along Friedrichstraße until you reach Checkpoint Charlie, the most famous crossing point between East and West Germany. You can see a barrier and a checkpoint booth based on the original site as well as read about those who crossed or attempted to cross from East Berlin.

Get lost in Kreuzberg
Figuratively speaking, of course...

Make your way down on Friedrichstraße into the heart of Kreuzberg, an area of contrasting old and new buildings, street art and a vibrant alternative scene.

The Kreuzberg food scene
Vegans rejoice!

It’s been a few of hours since we last ate, but we're in luck since on the south side of Kreuzberg lies one of the most vibrant food scenes in Berlin, on Bergmannstraße. One thing to note is that Berlin is particularly friendly to vegans/vegetarians, so you'll be spoilt for choice.
It is quite hard to decide on a particular place, but we gave Umami a chance and we absolutely loved it! Umami is an Indo-Chinese restaurant that prides itself on ‘’mum’s cooking’’. 

Have an eclectic evening

Take an evening stroll through Treptower Park and then check out the Molecule Men statue at sunset.

Feel like clubbing?

If you'd like a night out why not try one of the nightclubs as well? There are plenty of them; some nearby examples include Wilde Renate, Watergate, Matrix Club or Club der Visionaire.

Breakfast and chill

Are you a pancakes, smoothie or scrambled-eggs person? I’m a pancakes person myself, but at SpreeGold on Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße all your breakfast dreams come true (including awesome coffee!).

Dali, Obama and high-rises 
All in Potsdamer Platz

Definitely check out Potsdamer Platz, where the architecture changes to skyscrapers and impressive hotels – it is home to the Sony Center (check out that canvas roof!) and to the Ritz-Carlton hotel (where Obama stayed during his visit).
A must see is the small, but incredible, Salvador Dali gallery, featuring posters, drawings and sculptures which reveal a side of the artist you hardly get to see in other collections.

Bike around Tiergarten Park
Literally, a forest in the middle of the city

Right next door lies Tiergarten park, ancient hunting grounds now turned public park, which hosts the Victory column (commemorating the victory in the Prussian-Danish war).
It is well worth renting some bikes to ride around the park as you have plenty of space to go around.

Take the craziest city tour
Wacky racers style

Hands down, one of the craziest, funniest and most exciting ways to see the city with your friends and family! Go for it and I guarantee you'll never forget your Berlin adventure ;)

Heading back...

Enjoy your last meal of the trip at Café am Neuen See before making your way back to the airport.
You can sit on the side of the lake enjoying a cold beer and a stone baked pizza...or a grilled wurst should you want to end on a German note.

Enjoyed your trip?

Berlin has a lot to offer in every season and we know these two days spent here barely begin to scratch the surface. But they definitely planted a seed, blown away all preconceived ideas  and made me fall in love with Berlin.

Now build your plan from this adventure and support me in bringing you more ideas for great weekend escapes! Have a lovely trip!