26 Apr 2016

72 Hours in Berlin

Long weekends away are always a good idea. They’re exhausting and of course long, but it’s amazing how much you can squeeze into 3 days in a new city.

Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel | Hungry Little Bear

Berlin is a much talked about city, with its chilled out vibe, delicious food (hello bratwurst and all the burgers!) and so much history to take in on top of it all.

So with us all in need of a holiday, we booked the cheapest flights over to Berlin, grabbed ourselves a central hotel in Checkpoint Charlie and packed our bags. Going at the end of February, the Christmas markets were long gone, but the charm was still there. 

Even if it did rain 2 out of the 3 days we were there. Thanks, Berlin.

Day 1 - Exploring Berlin 

We flew out on an eye-watering 6am flight. I am not a morning person and I’m now sworn off flights that early. Landing in Berlin, you can either buy a 72 hours transport ticket, or if like us, you’re not sure what your plan is and how often you’ll be using the subway, then get a day ticket.

It's worth noting that the subway system in Berlin is next to nothing. It's easy once you get the hang of it and is super cheap to boot. A 7 euro day ticket will take you anywhere on the ABC lines (includes the airport).

 
Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel | Hungry Little Bear
Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel | Hungry Little Bear
Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel | Hungry Little Bear
Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel | Hungry Little Bear

Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel | Hungry Little Bear

After checking into the hotel early and resisting the urge to nap, we set off to explore Berlin and soak in some sunshine. We stopped off at Gendarmenmarkt, Potsdamer Platz and Checkpoint Charlie for the standard tourist photos, picking up food as we went.

Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel blog | Hungry Little Bear

Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel blog | Hungry Little Bear
Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel blog | Hungry Little Bear
Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel blog | Hungry Little Bear
Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel blog | Hungry Little Bear

Next stop was Schloss Charlottenburg, a stunning instagram-worthy palace. It's the largest in Berlin and you can even tour the inside. Not wasting any time, we set off for a perfect first dinner in Berlin at a really lovely little italian place that doesn't judge you for looking like wet tourists. What more could you want?

Day 2 - Berlin Zoo, the Wall and Burgers


With a bit of sun creeping through the clouds, we set off for breakfast nearby at Cafe Einstein, slightly more pricey than other cafes around, and not sure if it was actually worth the hype, but the food was good. 

Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel blog | Hungry Little Bear

Berlin Zoo is a short train ride away in the Tiergarten district. I’d imagine the park would look beautiful in summer, like a mini Central Park. As luck would have it, 45 minutes in to us entering the zoo, it rains. When it rains in Berlin, it’s not like in the UK where you can take shelter for 10 minutes and it’ll pass in the time you get a drink.

No, it just rains for the rest of the day.

Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel blog | Hungry Little Bear
Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel blog | Hungry Little Bear

Berlin Zoo is the oldest zoo in Berlin, their enclosures are large (which I loved) and you feel as though you could reach across and just touch the animals. Save for the trenches separating you, we were probably about 6 ft away from a majestic elephant and one angry zebra.

Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel blog | Hungry Little Bear

The national animal of Berlin is the bear and that was by far my favourite part. You'd never guess, right? I did have the urge to burst out like Agnes and be like "IT'S SO FLUFFY".

If you get cold, like us, then you can choose to huddle up in one of the many cafes on site, or pop in the lion or monkey buildings for a bit of warmth (which we discovered at the end of the day).

Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel blog | Hungry Little Bear

With hungry stomachs, we picked up pretzels and crepes on the way over the TV tower in Alexander Platz – best decision ever. The crepes in the Alexander Platz subway station and the pretzels and bratwurst pastries in Tiergarten subway station were delicious and cheap. 70c for a pretzel that was warm, salty and all kinds of delicious and 3 euros for a Nutella crepe that I could have eaten over and over again. 

TV Tower in Alexander Platz stands at 368m high and the lift ride to the observation deck is sure to give you vertigo. In what feels like seconds, the lift reaches an altitude of 200m (!), with the observation deck sitting at 203m high. Wowza. (Note: don't look up in the lift... just don't.)

Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel blog | Hungry Little Bear

It was a murky day, so we lost a bit of view in the far distance but despite this, the 360 views were still incredible. You can get tickets on the door for 13 euros and expected wait of 30mins (on average).

That evening, our mission was to have a Burgermeister. I've heard so many great things about their food that I wasn't leaving without trying one. I was a girl on a burger mission.

Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel blog | Hungry Little Bear Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel blog | Hungry Little Bear
Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel blog | Hungry Little Bear
Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel blog | Hungry Little Bear
Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel blog | Hungry Little Bear

Just as the sun was going down, we walked along the East Side Gallery, an iconic piece of the Berlin Wall that has a mixture of street art and professional artists. Some of it was covered in fencing, which kinda killed any hope of good pictures, but it was still a highlight of the trip.

Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel blog | Hungry Little Bear

Crossing over the Oberbaum Bridge, if you're going when it's dark, it lights up the river and the bridge is something straight outta Hogwarts. Seriously.

Set in the middle of two busy streets is the infamous Burgermeister. With queuing customers out the door, it's small with only standing room inside and a few tables outside. Opting for some semblance of warmth, we huddled inside and waited for our orders.

I can highly recommend their BBQ burger. Drool. It had bacon in, so that was me sold. Sadly, no pictures of the masterpiece which I quickly devoured because it was dark and Burgermeister clearly haven't considered perfect instagram lighting yet. But they've got time until my next visit.

Our next stop was Que Pasa Mexicana nearby for cocktails. Having drank more in alcohol than I had in water that day, the strong margaritas did hit the spot for me. At 4 euros they are a bargain (strong too!) and a spot not to be missed out on if you are nearby.

Day 3 - Reichstag, the Holocaust Memorial and Gendermanmarkt

Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel blog | Hungry Little Bear

Sunday brought more rain and the inevitable flight home. It’s typical really that on our final day, we found the perfect breakfast spot. I highly recommend stopping by Thurmann Backerei and Konditorei on Friedrichstrasse for breakfast, They’re super lovely in there and patient too when you can't choose from their massive selection what to have.

Fed and hydrated, we made our way to the Topography of Terror, an indoor and outdoors museum that follows the history of Berlin and the second World War. We passed through Brandenburg Gate for some last photos before making our way across the road to the Reichstag.

Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel blog | Hungry Little Bear
Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel blog | Hungry Little Bear

Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel blog | Hungry Little Bear
Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel blog | Hungry Little Bear

The beautiful glass dome building houses parliament below and you will need to book a tour in advance. The dome has 360 views across Berlin and doesn't disappoint.

Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel blog | Hungry Little Bear
Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel blog | Hungry Little Bear
Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel blog | Hungry Little Bear
Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel blog | Hungry Little Bear
Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel blog | Hungry Little Bear
Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel blog | Hungry Little Bear
 
Our last afternoon in Berlin was spent wandering through the tall columns of the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. We then popped over to climb the French cathedral in Gendermanmarkt. The 500+ steps felt like an eternity when we started. It also made me realise how unfit I am, but it's worth it when you reach the top and see the views from the dome.

Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel blog | Hungry Little Bear
Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel blog | Hungry Little Bear
Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel blog | Hungry Little Bear

You can even pop outside and walk around the dome on a viewing platform (thanks for raining that day, Berlin) for views over Gendermanmarkt, as well as the surrounding areas.

Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel blog | Hungry Little Bear

On our walk back to the hotel, we couldn't resist Fassbender and Rausch Chocolate shop. Because it had been teasing us for the past 3 days every time we passed the door and it’s home to Berlin’s best chocolate.

Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel blog | Hungry Little Bear
Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel blog | Hungry Little Bear

Filled with so many different percentages of chocolate, from 37% all the way to 75%, cabinets covered in over a hundred variations of truffles, smaller confectionery bits from Berlin bears to little love hearts to sticks of chocolate. This place is a chocolate lovers dream. I could have bought more. But I controlled myself.

After picking a mini chocolate bear for every person I know.

Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel blog | Hungry Little Bear

It even has a cafe upstairs too, just in case you get a bit too peckish. For 3 euros you can get a bag of 20 mini chocolates in any percentage of chocolate you like, or opt for a selection box. Because why choose one when you can have them all?

Stopping nearby our hotel for dinner and a German beer, we then caught our flight home on full stomachs.

After a bumpy and delayed flight back, we got home well into the morning. I definitely regretted not booking Monday off work when my alarm went off at 7am after only 4 hours sleep. Rough didn’t even cover it.

Long Weekend in Berlin | Travel blog | Hungry Little Bear

Auf Weirdersehen, Berlin! We'll be back for snow next time and more crepes, pretzels and delicious burgers...
SHARE:

No comments

Post a Comment

Blogger Template Created by pipdig