I am very fortunate as I get to travel to many new cities/countries every year as part of my job. However, this means that I have little to no time to actually see the place. I also love looking for cheap weekend breaks, and sometimes you can get Ryanair one-way fares that are less than the cost of a sandwich and coffee at Pret! However, these flights are not always at the most convenient times, and you get very little time in the city. When I went to Berlin, I got a £16 return deal, though I had to fly in very early on Saturday morning, and fly back to London early on Sunday. However, I felt this worked very well for me, as I had a full day and night in an exciting, new city, and also had a full day at home for laundry and other weekend chores in preparation for the working week.
Berlin is Europe’s cool kid; with its booming nightlife and quirkiness, it has become a creative hub. With a turbulent past and an exciting future ahead, this city is a great place to experience the buzzing European scene. As soon as I landed in Berlin, I made my way to the Berlin Wall memorial in Bernauer Strasse. The memorial site holds the last piece of the Berlin wall, and has some very touching stories of escape and real people afflicted by the division. Running along the grounds are big iron rods that show the location of the original wall. Seeing the graffiti-filled remains of the original wall that stood there presents a poignant moment as your reflect on the city’s brutal past.
Berlin’s food trend has really picked up in recent years, and it has several hip cafes focusing on modern, healthy food. I decided to have brunch at Chipps which has a relaxed and casual setting serving up brunch staples like Eggs Benedict, and of course Bratwurst! Currywurst is another German sausage variation served with spicy curry powder and sauce which is an extremely popular street food option in Berlin.
After brunch, I walked around the city and saw some of the major sites such as the Brandenburg Gate, Fernsehturm de Berlín (TV Tower), Checkpoint Charlie, French Cathedral, Berlin Cathedral, Neue Kirche and the Konzerthaus. I finished the day with a lovely dinner at the romantic Der goldene Hahn, which is a rustic Italian restaurant. The restaurant was illuminated by candles on every table and had a daily, changing chalkboard menu in Italian and an exhaustive wine list which was explained by the very friendly and knowledgeable owner. The food was classic and flavourful, and a great way to end my day in this vibrant city.