Me and dear other half had a lovely trip to Berlin in October as our first getaway together! ^^ We just missed Oktoberfest but still plenty to go and see and do. We’ve both wanted to travel a bit more especially as before we got together we were limited on where we went to so why not get out and explore now! So here is my review of Berlin 😀
We decided it was best to do a Friday – Monday trip. We chose Berlin after watching Richard Ayoade’s Travel Man: 48 Hours In Berlin. I am pretty sure we spent hours and hours on Expedia. The other half likes to call himself a Trip Advisor Snob haha, no less than 4.5/5 so clearly I had my work cut out trying to find a hotel that would be decent enough and yet not splashing out. Oh and on top of that make sure we can keep it low with the flight costs. Normally the cheapest flights tend to happen either at stupid o’clock in the morning or late at night so you arrive when the city sleeps. We didn’t want either of these as too early and you can’t check in and too late and you lose a day. Luckily the next cheapest was with British Airways from London Heathrow – Berlin Tegel & return from Berlin Tegel to London City Airport.
Departure – LHR 11:45 – TXL 14:40
Arrival – TXL – 11:35 – LCY 12:20
Our hotel for the trip was Steigenberger Hotel Am Kanzleramt with a Superior Room which is just a 30 second walk from Berlin Hauptbahnhof (very useful place but Ill explain more later!)
Flight + Hotel for 2 people = £488.96
Our hotel room:
Features: Heating and air con, rainfall shower head, free WiFi, coffee maker, kettle, minibar, soundproof rooms, daily housekeeping, free bathroom amenities, TV with premium channels (though every channel is all in German), blackout curtains, ironing board & iron on request, hair dryer, bathrobes.
Our stay was a room only board but if we wanted breakfast it would cost 25 Euro per person. Personally I would advise not to pay for the breakfast and just eat out, especially as the hauptbahnhof is so big (almost like a mini shopping mall) with plenty of food services you have a wider choice and would be much cheaper.
Before you go to Berlin I really really recommend a Welcome Card found on this website here:
The welcome card is your travel card for the city for ALL yes ALL methods of public transport. Prices vary for how long you want to be there. As well you can get a book (we picked it up from the counter at the airport) which gives you discounts to attractions and restaurants!
After a bit of confusion when we arrived we found out you don’t need to scan or show a ticket for any transport, just hop on board! Though beware any at expected time ticket inspectors can appear and if you don’t have a ticket you will be fined and trust me its not a light fine.
So our general plan is:
Day One: Have a mooch around, get used to the public transport
Day Two: Visit attractions and limo ride festival of lights
Day Three: Visit East Side Gallery, do room escape and visit any last minute places
Day Four: Pack and leave
The transport system can be confusing at first hence why we got that our of the way. Being by the hauptbahnhof (Berlin Central Station) is extremely handy due to the amount off links there are. The trains are so quiet yet so quick we where in places in minutes. Make sure you know what stops are near your attractions/restaurants! October time is cold and did rain a small amount to make sure to wrap up! If you love history then this is the place for you! There is still plenty of Berlin Wall to see, especially East Side Gallery is over 1 km of Wall long. Anywhere that the wall used to stand is signified by a line of bricks in the streets and roads so show the original line. If you are a couple visiting I would definitely find one of the Photoautomat booths. They take classic b&w pictures in a photobooth which costs 2 euros per strip of photos (contains 4 photos a strip) and you can get really cute photos with each other but beware there is no timer so get into your poses quickly!
Although we missed Oktoberfest you have to go to the Festival of Lights! Various buildings and land marks are light up with the most beautiful designs and animations. Each year they are different and it is a competition for the best designs. There are various ways to go visit, maybe by yourself or you can go as part of a guided tour but we decided to go all out and have a limo…to ourselves 😉 Beverly Cars had a fantastic service and when they messed up our booking they kindly gave us a bottle of Prosecco for free! The driver was informative and we got unlimited photo stops which caught beautiful memories. Cost 240 for 2 hours which though is expensive is a set price so the more people you have the cheaper it is per person! Here are some shots!
These places I would definitely recommend to go to while you stay in Berlin:
Exit – Live Escape Game Nearest Station: KlosterStraBe
Our first time doing an escape game. We did it as a pair (which was a fun test for our relationship 😉 ) and we survived! If you like puzzles and want to try something interactive then this is the place for you!! 59 Euro for 2 people. Game time is 66 minutes long. Oh and we got our complimentary you did it photo!
Mesiterstueck – Restaurant Nearest Station: Hausvogteiplatz
Wanting to try traditional German food? Well look no further. Slightly pricey but worth it. This is the place to get your Bratwurst cravings sorted.
Ritter Sport Chocolate – Shop & Cafe
Even though there was another chocolate shop around the corner which had richer tasting chocolate this shop was much cheaper and was more to our taste. The variety of chocolate around is unreal and some limited edition chocolate packs were 0.79 euro each! The cafe I have to recommend! The hot chocolates are to die for! The chocolate monster even said this was the best hot chocolate he ever had! We also had a typical breakfast consisting of eggs, ham, cheese and bread. (Note: you can use your Welcome Card discount here)
I would love to go back one day! Next time I would definitely go visit some museums, try a few more restaurants and go up the TV Tower. Sadly by the time we wanted to go up the tower it was too foggy. I would happily stay at the same hotel again. Fantastic service and such great quality for the price. Ill leave you with some other photos we took on the trip.
Berlin. What a place.