BERLIN

Berlin is a fantastic capital, with an unending choice of delicious food and history at your fingertips. Each neighbourhood has its own character and flair. There is Charlottenburg, with its beautiful buildings and boulevards. There is Schöneberg, with the old, now unused, Berlin Tempelhof airport, which has been used as a public park and since 2015, also functions as a emergency refugee camp.  Then there is Mitte, literally the centre of Berlin, with the Alexanderplatz and the beautiful Tiergarten park. Heading east, is former East Berlin, with a vibrant art scene and endless opportunities to go out and party! Needless to say Berlin caters to all tastes and cravings. 

 

EAT

Dolores (Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße 7). This is a Mexican burrito place, perfect for whenever you are really hungry. It's casual and easy-going. The burritos are excellent!

Barcomi Deli (Sophienstraße 21). This café serves yummy American style cakes, brownies and cookies. They also serve salads and sandwiches. My favourite thing is the location - when the weather is nice you can sit in their lovely courtyard and enjoy the sun.

Café Einstein (Kurfürstenstraße 58). This is a traditional coffee house. Super well-known in Berlin. I recommend brunch or afternoon tea and cake here!

Ständige Vertretung (Schiffbauerdamm 8). This is a politics café, frequented by tourists as well as locals. It is quintessentially German and the menu definitely reflects that. The name is based on the diplomatic mission West German had in East Germany, it not being an embassy but simply a "Ständige Vertretung." The walls are covered in memorabilia and photos of German politicians.

Borchardt (Französische Straße 47). This is very fancy. It's where the who's who of German politics dines.

Monsieur Vuong (Alte Schönhauser Straße 46). This is a hip place that serves Vietnamese food. Always busy and always great fun.

Yam Yam (Alte Schönhauser Straße 6). This place is right up the street from Monsieur Vuong and serves delicious Korean Cuisine. Small and hip. Great for lunch. Dudu (Torstr. 134). This is another fun and, like everything in Berlin, cool Asian. They also have great sushi. Perfect if you want to go for a drink in the area afterwards.

Ovest (Schlueterstr. 47). Is a great little Italian with fantastic food! Love it here!

Lutter und Wegner. Sophisticated but casual. They serve great food that everyone likes…including very yummy Wiener Schnitzel. They also have a very good selection of wine. (They have a couple of restaurants in Berlin - one at Gendarmenmarkt and another near Potsdamer Platz.)

Paris Bar (Kantstraße 152). This is Paris in Berlin. One of my favourite places in Berlin. Of course they serve delicious French food. Has an artistic, intellectual vibe and is usually frequented by said crowd.

Cookies and Cream (Behrenstraße 55). A chic and delicious take on vegetarian cuisine. The food looks like the hip decor.

An absolute must is the Curry Wurst, which is a Berlin tradition - sausage, ketchup and curry make up the three key ingredients! You can get them everywhere and anywhere in town.

SLEEP

I've been luck enough to stay at a true Berlin institution - Hotel Adlon. Famous for its rich history and because it was here that Micheal Jackson dangled little Prince Michael II out of the window, it really is a beautiful five-star hotel that has been a feature of the city since 1907. The original, which belonged to the world's most famous hotels, was much destroyed during World War II and only rebuilt following the reunification of Germany. It has since once again become a Berlin landmark.

GO

Start with the Brandenburg Gate, from where you can discover Berlin's history and cultural scene. The Holocaust Memorial is just around the corner and provides an interesting approach to a memorial as you walk through it. On the other side of the gate is the seat of the German Government, the Reichstag. The building itself has a great history, however, the glass dome and beautiful view are what make it worth a visit. Important to note that advanced booking is required.

Continue your walk over Pariser Platz and down the street Unter den Linden. The famous Adlon Hotel is nice to stop by and have a cup of tea or a drink. Off into one of the side streets is the fantastic book and music store, Dussmann, if you're looking to stock up your cultural reserves.

Berlin also has some of the world's greatest museums. One of my favourite museums is the Egyptian Museum. It was recently refurbished and beautifully done so. Also, the Pergamon Museum is fantastic! It's visually impressive and interesting for all age groups. Of course, the Check Point Charlie Museum is fascinating. It recounts how Germany was divided. It illustrates border controls and different attempts made to cross the border from East to West. The Jüdisches Museum is also very good. It has two sections. Upstairs is all about Jewish life and culture.  Downstairs is dedicated to World War Two and the Holocaust. The museum is educational and one of the best I've ever been to.

Berlin has some great shopping. I love checking out the different Flea markets, where you can find beautiful furniture, linens, porcelain, books etc. Great to wonder through on a Sunday! Another Berlin tradition is the KaDeWe (Kaufhaus des Westens), probably the city's most famous department since 1907 and Europe's largest. They have everything you could want! Very fancy shopping is at Quartier 206. Also, the Hackische Höfe are beautiful to walk through and are filled with plenty of little shops and cafes. They also have a cinema and food markets on weekends.

Berlin is famous for its clubbing scene and as such should not be missed! The most infamous club is Berghain and rightly so. Going out at Berghain has been one of the best clubbing experiences of my life. Getting in is notoriously difficult, but no dress code and no who's who guest list makes this place for everyone - you just have to try your luck!

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