A Short Trip To Berlin: Part 1

Brandenburg Gate Berlin
If you've been following me on social media you'll probably know I was a very lucky girl this Christmas. Josh treated me to a short trip to Berlin as my Christmas present, so at the beginning of January we headed off for 4 days in beautiful, but cold Berlin. After filling a big suitcase, going over my weight limit and packing 5 different scarves, of which I wore 3, we were ready to go. A 3am wake up call was not how I wanted to start the trip though, although it was nice to see Manchester all lit up, and the sun rise in the sky.

Flying to Berlin Easy Jet

Short Stay in Berlin

We eventually arrived and navigated our way to the hotel thanks to the pretty great train and underground system in Berlin, and our hotel was lovely, the boy really had done well. Right next to an underground station and just off one of the main shopping streets in Berlin,  the room was stylish and the bed was the comfiest bed I've ever slept in. The only slightly awkward thing was the bathroom door being less than soundproof, meaning loud singing or putting the shower on during certain toilet trips was needed. I love him, he loves me, but no one wants to hear another person shitting, no matter how much you love them! 

After a quick refresh for me, and nap for Josh we headed out to have a bit of an explore, we decided we just wanted to walk around the area rather than head out for anything specific. Our first stop was the KaDeWe the biggest department store in Berlin, and it was amazing, it had a whole floor selling food, vegetables, chocolates, meat and bread. It also had bars selling meals and drinks or coffee I loved wandering around just looking, even though it was pretty expensive I made Josh promise we could come back! 

After grabbing some expensive amazing lunch in the restaurant upstairs we headed back out into the freezing cold and stumbled upon Berlin Zoo. When we found out it was only 10  euros each we figured we'd have a look and check out the animals. As zoos go it was nothing special, and although some of the animals seemed happy, some parts of the zoo got me quite upset. The big cats were kept in really small inside enclosures with concrete floors and they were constantly pacing back and forth, to me they just looked unhappy, one of the lionesses looked me straight in the eye and I could have cried. We left pretty quickly after that. I do love these two photos though. 

Berlin Zoo

Berlin Zoo

By the time we'd finished in the Zoo it had got dark and a bit rainy. From the Zoo we'd seen the Victory Column all lit up so we decided to go have a gander, and it was really pretty, like the Arc De Triomphe in Paris, the Victory Column sits in the middle of a roundabout and you go through an underground tunnel to get across. It's definitely something I'd recommend seeing at night as it's a lot prettier all lit up.

Totally shattered from a long day we headed back to the hotel, got changed and headed out for dinner, there was a little Italian restaurant close to where we were staying so we decided to just go there as we were so tired. It turned out the be a chain called Vapiano, and it was honestly amazing, the food was cooked in front of you and was so cheap but tasted great! Me and Josh both agreed that his Carbonara was the best we've ever had. I'd definitely recommend checking it out. I think there is one in London! 

Berlin Victory Column

Our first full day in Berlin was probably the coldest day we had, and we spent the day walking around, in fact we probably walked about 10 miles! The first stop on our list was the Brandenburg Gate, and we decided that rather than get the underground we would walk through the Tiergarten as it led all the way from where we were staying to the gate. It was huge but also lovely, and I can imagine it being a great place during summer. 

Short Stay in Berlin

Berlin Tiergarten

Brandenburg Gate Berlin

Brandenburg Gate Berlin

The Brandenburg Gate is definitely impressive and one of my favourite places in Berlin, it's always filled with people but theres lots going on, there was also some big information boards up that told you a bit about the History of WW2, which we mostly knew but it was good to read about it while in Berlin. Especially because our next stop, just around the corner was the Jewish Memorial. 

If you ever go to Berlin this is something that is definitely on my list of places to go, I like that there is no explanation and you can take what you want from the memorial. Walking through the rows and rows of growing columns you start to feel a bit enclosed and lost, both me and Josh found it really interesting and it made us think. It's so important not to forget the past, and a memorial like this will always be there as a reminder of all the people who lost their lives. 

Jewish Memorial Berlin

Jewish Memorial Berlin

The next place on our list was Checkpoint Charlie, but while walking there we found ourselves at the Topography of Terror, a free museum on the grounds of what was the SS Headquarters. This museum is probably top of my list of things to do in Berlin, the museum mainly focuses on the history of the SS, but there is so much information to read, but also so many photos I'd never seen before, some that shocked me (a photo of people being hanged), and also some about things I'd never known had happened during that time. We didn't have enough time to fully read everything, but it was a great museum, and for free, we couldn't have asked for more!

SS Topography of Terror Museum Berlin

Checkpoint Charlie Berlin

Checkpoint Charlie Berlin

Checkpoint Charlie is a famous check point between what was East & West Berlin, now it's just a small hut in the middle of the road, more of a tourist attraction than a historical sight to be honest. I found the information boards more interesting than the checkpoint as I got to read about the history of the wall, and the stories of people who tried to cross from the East side to the West. It's crazy to think how recently the wall still stood, there are still remnants of the wall across the city, and you can follow the path the wall took if you want. 

We decided to head back down to the central area, which meant walking down Friedrichstrasse, a pretty great shopping street, but I restrained and saved my spending until the last day! Josh and myself are big fans of just wandering around and exploring what we find, so we made our way down towards Alexanderplatz, along the Unter Den Linden a road surrounded by beautiful buildings, a lot you can tell are newer buildings rebuilt to look as they had prior to being bombed, however there were also older buildings. 

Museum Island was around this area so we decided to take a look at all the buildings, we're not massive Museum fans so we didn't go in any, but they're all amazing just to look at from the outside, the Berliner Dom was one of these beautiful buildings, it sits just on the edge of the river and is so impressive. 

Berliner Dom Berlin

Short Stay In Berlin

Berliner Dom Berlin

That night we decided to eat at The Hard Rock Cafe, as I'd never been to one before and Josh is a big music fan and wanted to see what memorabilia they had, and I am very glad we went here. The food was so yummy, huge portions but it tasted so good, they also do amazing cocktails, I could have drank 10 of them! We headed back to the hotel feeling pretty tired after a long day walking, I ran a bath and we relaxed for the rest of the evening before heading to bed. 

Another post of the next two days is up, so you can read that here. Sorry this post was so long, but I wanted to recap everything as I love reading my travel posts back and remembering what I did. What would be your top thing to do in Berlin? If you've got any travel posts please link them, I love reading them! 

30 comments

  1. Oh wow, Berlin looks incredible! I've been to Germany once before but never into the city, isn't the architecture so beautiful! When i was over there i got cheap thrills by the fact that once you're finished with your empty plastic bottles, if you had them over to a local shop, they will give you a small amount of euros back! how exciting! xx

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  2. What a lovely present! I'd love to visit Berlin one day, I'll keep your recommendations in mind :)
    www.stylesunrise.co.uk
    x

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  3. Yayyyy Berlin post!! Such lovely photos and you've made me even more excited for next month :) the part about the bathroom made me giggle! And it's a shame about the zoo :( Will definitely check out the Topography of Terror museum and the big department store though!

    Looking forward to the next two :)

    Hazel xx

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  4. These photos are just so super lovely. Looks like you had an amazing time! Berlin is so incredibly interesting, so many wonderful things to explore and of course lots of photo opportunities. x

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  5. Beautiful pictures, it looks like a wonderful place. I've always wanted to go to Germany (and to be fair I did technically go in the summer but I didn't get to see any of it), I'd love to see the forests and go castle hunting.

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  6. Berlin looks fascinating. Your pictures are amazing! Everything you showed seemed so interesting, it's good to have an idea to what to see there besides the typical yet historical wall. Loved it! xx

    Crissy | My Cup Of Tea

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  7. Emma you're just making me want to go back to Berlin asap! It's such a wonderful city! Can't wait for your next post!

    Rhianna | robowecop

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  8. Looks amazing!! Just followed your blog, love it!!

    My bloglovin is https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/jadeluxe-13200387
    xx

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  9. Sounds like you had an amazing time hun! Berlin really is an amazing place to visit. I went with the college and we packed so much into the week it was unreal. We did a lot of the historic tours, we even visited one of the camps Hitler had set up and that was an incredibly emotional day. Looking forward to seeing what else you got up to :) I'd love to visit again but in the summer time!

    Hannah x | hannatalks

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  10. Beautiful photos, I'd love to visit Berlin!


    www.saltandchic.com

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  11. Looks like you had a lovely time! I've never been to Berlin before. However I've been to Vapiano! There's one behind Topshop Oxford Circus in London and their pizzas are incredible! x


    http://www.curiouser-and-curiouser.co.uk

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  12. Just stumbled on your blog via Ally in Blunderland's tweet. I've never been to Berlin but it looks amazing. I think I'd find the Topography of Terror museum fascinating too. The memorial columns look really moving.

    I think just wandering around new places is the best way to explore and find different things. I feel you learn more about the place by doing that and getting away from some of the touristy areas.

    Debbie x

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  13. It was incredible! I loved the architecture, so much variety and history. I never knew about that thing with the plastic bottles! Such a good idea though. x

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  14. I'd definitely recommend it if you ever get the chance :) x

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  15. You're gonna have the best time!!! And haha it's true though, no one wants to hear that, was slightly awkward. Can't wait to hear all about your trip! xx

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  16. Thank you, we really did have an amazing time. It is definitely a really interesting city to explore. Lots to see! x

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  17. Thank you. :) I'd love to see more of Germany and more of Berlin, theres never enough time to see everything! Ooh castle hunting sounds fun! x

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  18. It's a brilliant city, and thank you :) Theres so much to do there that's not to do with the wall, you've just got to have an explore. x

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  19. It was amazing :D I'd love to have visited one of the camps but we just didn't have enough time, but I can imagine it being really emotional. I'd love to visit in summer as well, reckon it would be really beautiful. x

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  20. Thank you, i'd definitely recommend it if you ever get the chance. x

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  21. Oooh I'll have to check it out next time I'm in london and see how it measures up, we were so impressed in Berlin! x

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  22. Hiii, welcome to my blog haha! The museum was really interesting, and the columns definitely make you stop and think. I love to just wander and explore, you're definitely right about getting away from touristy areas, you really get more of a feel for the city that way. x

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  23. This looks like it was an amazing trip! So jealous of this already! It looks like such a wonderful city and those photo's are beautiful hun!


    Soph x sophierebeccaa.blogspot.co.uk

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  24. Aw thank you :) I desperately need it cut though. I'd definitely recommend going, and it would probably be better in summer or spring at least when it isn't so freezing! x

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  25. How nice is your hair! It looks and sounds like you had a lovely time, I'd love to go to Berlin but I think I'd go in summer so I could walk around and be warm :) I don't know much about the history of Berlin so I'd definitely look into that beforehand :)

    India / Touchscreens & Beautyqueens

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  26. It was amazing, I had an awesome time. Josh took the photos so I can't really take credit for how nice they are! :P x

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  27. Wow, it looks like you had fun! I love The Hard Rock Cafe, I haven't been in so long (oh, and I'm loving your hat - it's such a pretty colour!)


    Rachael at broomfie.blogspot.com

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  28. It was awesome thanks :D And yeah I loved the Hard Rock Cafe, the portions were insane! And I am in love with this hat haha.
    Emma x

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  29. Wow Berlin looks gorgeous! I'd love to go one day. That zoo does sound a bit worrying though :/

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