At the beginning of February we spent a few days in Berlin child free thanks to my wonderful in-laws. It was a special christmas treat for us to get away and it was definitely much-needed. I would love to say it was very relaxing but it was go go go from the start but we didn’t mind as it was great to see the city in all its glory.
We stayed at the Leonardo Royal hotel in Alexanderplatz and the hotel was fantastic in both location, comfort and dining choice as we had a delicious breakfast there each morning and a fabulous evening meal. The surrounding area of Alexanderplatz in the east of the city is a wonderful location to base yourself with lovely restaurants and plenty of high street shops all based in a square around the main train station.
On our first morning there we went on a free walking tour via Original Berlin Tours which lasted 3 hours in total. We visited the main tourist attraction including
You are able to apply for free tickets to visit the Dome at the top of the building which we then done on Sunday and it was one of the highlights of the trip as the views where spectacular. You are able to apply for tickets here.
The Berliner Dom
Remaining Berlin Wall
The Brandenburg Gate
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
We also visited Checkpoint Charlie, the Opera House, the University, Hitlers bunker and heard numerous accounts of the history of the areas in which we visited. It was definitely the best way to see the city. It was absolutely freezing though and as the morning went on the snow appeared but thankfully it wasnt all that heavy.
After the walking tour I honoured my vows by being the best wife ever and went to a football match Chris was keen to see…I know mega brownie points to me! I actually really enjoyed it and it was wonderful to see the Olympic stadium even if it did mean I had to drink hot chocolate to stop myself from freezing to death!
If are you planing to visit berlin anytime soon some of the recommendations I would suggest are
- Nikolai Quarter – This little area within Alexanderplatz which gives a really good feel of real Berlin. There are cobble streets, quaint shops, a beautiful church and some coffee shops.
- DDR Museum – We went here on Sunday and trust me as I wouldn’t be the biggest history fan but this museum was really fun. It shows how things were in Eastern Germany during the war and explore the history in an interactive way.
Three places we had dinner at which we all fantastic include
- Hifbrau Wirtshaus – When I think of eating in Berlin this is exactly the place I would think of. I had half a roast chicken and Chris had pig knuckle (urg!) both where a big hit as was the litre of beer to go with it!
- Las Malvinas Steakhouse – This was just around the corner from our hotel and I only came across it when I looked at the location of the hotel on google maps. After seeing great reviews on Tripadvisor we thought it was too close tp pass up. The steaks were fantastic and for a sunday evening the place was extremely busy.
- Vapiano – This is a unique restaurant as upon arrival you are given an electronic card which you then use at the different eating station to order. This card is then given to the cashier on the way out and you pay for what has been loaded to it. It was primarily Italian food so we had lovely breads with pizzas and some wine. It was also relatively cheap which was surprising as it was located in a very touristy area.
We had a fab few days and I would definitely recommend the city even if history isn’t your thing…just dont plan shopping on a sunday as everywhere is closed…much to the delight of my husband! 🙂