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8 Jan

Berlin City Guide

We all love a city break and Berlin is an extremely popular (and affordable) spot.

In August, we had the most amazing three days in Berlin, exploring the history, taking in the culture and enjoying the nightlife. Below is a list of some of our favourite bars, restaurants and tips for anyone looking to spend a few days in the city.

It’s super easy to get from Berlin Airport to the town centre – trains are cheap and frequent, as they are around the city too! Most spots are spread out so I’d definitely recommend jumping on a train or bus to get around.

We were lucky enough to arrive to gorgeous sunshine, so we headed down to the Badeschiff Arena (on the Spree); this is a HUGE outdoor swimming pool with incredible views, a beach, deck chairs and really good music. It’s well worth a visit and surrounded by really cool street food spots, we stopped for a snack at Bite Club – which had really good food and was on an outdoor deck.

Also close to Badeschiff is Club Der Visionare – I can’t recommend this place enough! It’s a really cool, all wooden bar that is open 24/7, playing great music. Hidden away on the canal, the venue has a gorgeous sun terrace where live artists perform and they have the best Sunday afternoon parties. There’s also a pizza bar upstairs selling super delicious slices, so it’s a winner.

Not far from the Spree is Burgermeister, you’ll spot it a mile away because the queue here is always MASSIVE. Located in an old toilet block beneath the ancient tracks of the subway, the burgers are famous for being so tasty!

When it comes to the clubs, everyone knows it can be a struggle for tourists to get into certain venues. We didn’t even try Berghain – as my partner tried in the past and was turned away. We went to Watergate instead, which was incredible.

What they say about wearing black, not drinking in the queue and standing in small groups is true. We were the only ones who seemed to have been aware of this and the groups behind us and in front all got turned away. It was only like 10 euros to get in, the music was amazing (it was a Cocoon night) and the outside area is perfect for listening to the music and watching the sun come up.

On the second day, we walked to House of Small Wonder for a late breakfast; the brunch menu here is amazing and the venue is so gorgeous. We then ventured to the East Side Gallery, the Brandenburg Gate and the Jewish Memorial. All must visits, but the memorial really is a place of contemplation and remembrance – not a photo opp!

Museum Island (by the Spree) is a gorgeous area – with all of the museums, of course. Alte Munze was my favourite, they had a nineties Berlin exhibition on which was super interesting. You then walk along the water from here to Monbijou Park, there are some cool lunch spots here and they all have deck chairs and music outside!

One of our favourite spots on the trip was Prater Garten, close to the Berlin Wall. It’s Berlin’s oldest beer garden, a gorgeous outdoor spot surrounded by Chestnut Trees where you can buy massive, local beers. The road it’s on is full of tiny but really swanky little bars that are worth popping into; we liked Becketts Kopf – it opens at 8pm and there’s no sign up, just a neon picture of Becketts head and a buzzer on the door.

Checkpoint Charlie is good to go and see, there’s a museum next to it with loads of history and a piece of the Berlin Wall. Next to this, there’s a little beach and street food area called Charlie’s Beach which was super fun! Another bar worth a mention (especially if you visit in the summer) is Deck5 – it’s on top of an old multi-story car park but they’ve built a beach up there.

We went for food at Tausend, a really cool restaurant and bar on the waterfront where you’re not allowed to take pictures.

For our last morning we went for breakfast at Shan’s Bistro, the food really was delicious and it’s right next to the French Cathedral. They do an afternoon tea style breakfast platter that I’d definitely recommend.

We then headed to Berlin Zoo, which is huge! There’s also a hotel next to it called 25 Hours, they have an amazing rooftop bar and restaurant called NENI that has incredible views of the animals.

Lastly, we went for dinner at Gendarmerie Restaurant, as it was super close to our hotel. The staff here are so lovely, we chatted to them loads and they recommended some great dishes for us.

Jess MacDonald
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