Berlin – a weekend guide

And we’re off!! After two months of being in the UK, with only a trip to the Peak District under our belts, we were able to head back across the channel to Europe! This time we were off to Germany – the land of schnitzel’s, Currywurst and stein’s!

With only one visit to Germany in our travel history, we were both really excited to visit another German city. After a trip to beautiful Cologne back in 2016, this time we decided to head 350 miles east to the capital city, Berlin.

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Berlin has been on our travel bucket list for a few years now. Although we wanted to visit during our 2016 Europe trip, it just wasn’t feasible… three years later we finally got round to booking a weekend break! The trip was short but sweet, it provided us with a fab insight into some of the amazing sights and activities on offer.


Transport

IMG_6002A flight to Berlin only takes around 1hr30 from London, so it’s perfect for a 48 / 72 hour getaway. The majority of lowcost airlines fly to the German capital and flights can be booked for as little as £20pp each way! There are LOADS of flight times throughout the day so it’s a suitable destination for all, from those who want comfortable day flights, to those who don’t mind landing late!!

We landed at Berlin Schönefeld airport which is perfect for accessing the city centre. There is a direct train (around 30mins), costing around 3 euros pp, that takes you straight to Berlin Central Station (Hauptbahnhof) with stops at other major stations including Alexanderplatz on the way! The train is definitely the cheapest and most efficient way of travel from the airport to the city centre! 

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You can also get to Berlin by train or car (depending on how brave you’re feeling!!). The train will take you approximately 10 hours, via the Eurostar to Brussels and then other trains from there to Berlin, and driving will be slightly longer but allows for you to stop off wherever you fancy en route! Driving is definitely something we’d consider if we’d had a little more time on our hands!


Accommodation

There are plenty of options for accommodation in the city centre. We stayed in an aparthotel near Berlin Mitte. This was a great location for us, but not great for those who don’t like walking too much. Our Aparthotel was located a 10 minute walk from Berlin Hauptbahnhof. It was in pretty close proximity to the Berlin Wall memorial and the Reichstag, although expect a slightly longer walk to Alexanderplatz, Brandenburg gate and other famous sights.

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The aparthotel itself was lovely, we always enjoy staying somewhere that has a kitchenette, whether that’s an airbnb or aparthotel – the freedom a kitchen provides is fantastic especially for those travelling on a budget!

Tip: if you want to save costs on eating out, book an airbnb with a kitchen or an hotel room with a kitchenette! It’s so much cheaper to visit a local supermarket and pick up bits for breakfast, lunch and even dinner!!

Don’t forget to shop around for accommodation. We always find that staying in the most touristy areas, or close to a major sight is going to automatically make the accommodation price go up, so if you’re happy to walk or know the city has good transport links, stay slightly further out (i.e. in a business district) and you’ll be much more likely to get better deals!!

When we were looking, we found loads of different airbnbs and hotels available across Berlin, just do your research and you should always find somewhere perfect for you, your/family needs and your budget!


Things to do

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Berlin is renowned for it’s history and historical sights. Marcus previously visited the German capital on a school trip and, now, as a History graduate is VERY interested in revisiting all Berlins famous landmarks. We made it round most of the traditional sights during our visit, plus a few extras including a boat trip! Whilst lots of the things to do in Berlin are based around it’s history, make sure to check out some of the lovely cafes and bars, especially those along the river Spree, if the weather is nice, it’s great to sit out and have some coffee (and cake!).

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Here’s an insight into what we got up to and what we’d recommend:

  • Brandenburg Gate
  • Alexanderplatz (we didn’t go up the television tower because the queue was SO long)
  • Berlin Wall Memorial – make sure to check out the viewing tower, it’s free and you can see the original layout of the wall from above (very interesting!)
  • Checkpoint Charlie
  • Reichstag (be sure to book well in advance if you want to go inside the Reichstag and the dome)
  • River cruise – these are around 1hr long and cost between 11 and 15 euros each. It’s a great way to see the city and in summer the boats are all open top!
  • Holocaust memorial

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Whilst we’re aware there is so much more to do, we were only there for just over 48 hours and couldn’t fit anything else in! We do often find that just by walking around these cities, you see so much more than if you take the metro everywhere!

If you do get a chance to visit Berlin, keep your eyes peeled for all the amazing street art – whilst there are a few street art must sees, there is loads just jotted randomly around the city!


What’s next

For those who are regulars to our blog and instagram, you’ll be more than aware that April has been a jam packed month for us so far, moving into a new house has been a huge occupier of our time (and money…) and so travel has been put on the back burner for a little while, just whilst we get settled!

We do have our annual Tenerife trip booked in at the beginning of June, which we are both so excited for, but until then we have lots of house bits to be getting on with – blog posts to follow – along with the usual spring excitement of Easter (4 day weekend woohooooo) and my (Char’s) grandads 90th!

We can’t wait to share with you more on the house and will hopefully be creating some backdated videos from our trips across the past 18 months, so keep your eyes peeled!

Adios for now,

Love Char & Mar xxx

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