HOTEL IN BERLIN
Berlin is pretty spread out so there is no real “central” location because you no doubt will need to get a metro / taxi to see the different areas.
The question for me therefore was whether to stay East or West. After speaking to a couple of people, the overwhelming answer was to stay in East in the Kreuzberg area.
I chose the 3 star hotel Hotel Ludwig van Beethoven for its proximity to the metro (Hermanplatz) and the nightlife in East Berlin.
Perfectly good 3 star hotel with free wifi and breakfast for only around £30per person per night. There is a lovely terrace area for eating breakfast or having a drink, the staff were friendly and the location was good – overall an enjoyable stay.
There is a direct bus from Schönefeld Airport to Hermannplatz or a taxi is around 20-25 Euros.
THINGS TO DO IN BERLIN
Below is an idea of what to do in Berlin for a weekend city break!
Free Walking Tour
I do love a walking tour, especially a free one. My preferred choice is always Sandemans tours (all over Europe) – just look for the red umbrella by the Brandenburg Gate. The tours run every day at 10, 10.30, 11, 11.30, 2 and 4, which shows how popular they are.
They try to keep the tours to around 15-20 people (give or take) and you get to see and learn about the following:
- Brandenburg Gate
- Site of Hitler’s bunker
- Holocaust Memorial
- Checkpoint Charlie
- The Berlin Wall
- TV Tower
- Pariser Platz
- Luftwaffe HQ
Just tip at the end what you feel it is worth – we normally tip 10 euros for a couple: http://www.neweuropetours.eu/berlin/en/home
Wander around the Holocaust Memorial
Although you get some time on the walking tour to explore the memorial, I took some extra time after to wander around further and then had some lunch nearby.
Free roof top dome visit at the Reichstag building
If you book in advance, you can order tickets for to access the roof top dome at the wonderful Reichstag building for free! Do bring ID, as they check. Beautiful building with lovely views of Berlin. The alternative is to pay for the views from the Sky Tower.
East Side Gallery
This was one of my favourite parts of Berlin. The East Side Gallery is part of the remains of the Berlin Wall where artists have drawn various paintings and graffiti. Around 1 KM long right by the river, it definitely resembles the quirkier side of East London!
Just walk down looking at all of the different artists (front and back) and sit by the river for a drink.
Abandoned airport: Berlin Tempelhof
As I stayed in Kreuzberg, I decided to visit the abandoned airport, Berlin Tempelhof. On my walk to the airport, I stumbled across Görlitzer Park, which randomly has a children’s farm right in the middle! A large park which warrants a cycle bike if you can hire one.
This led us to Berlin Tempelhof which is one of Europe’s most iconic pre-World War II airports which sat abandoned for years after its closure in 2008. Now it is Berlin’s largest park which is used for all sorts of activities, including skating, music events, pop up bars, jogging, biking and more!
Lovely area in the heart of Kreuzberg with everything from restaurants, bars, museums, garden and shops. Great to just wander through and explore.
This beautiful park is based in Kreuzberg where you can climb high for beautiful views over Berlin and gorgeous waterfalls. Take your own drinks and food to the park or visit the beer garden, Biergarten Golgatha.
Main train station here at Alexanderplatz and also a more touristy area for shopping and drinking. We had a couple of lovely drinks at a large beer garden people watching and there were also some cute market stalls selling a variety of gifts.