4 Days away
Me and J
By British Airways
Stayed at the Westin Grand – This hotel was fine, but I definitely would not stay there again. Central location but nothing going on near by and a very corporate interior.
The gist of it:
We went to Berlin months ago, but I made the mistake of not finishing this post for ages and not taking notes at the time. So it’s going to be a short one.
I feel like we spent our four days in Berlin walking. The city is huge and not very crowded, in a nice way. J and I also like to walk, so walk we did! Berlin feels very different to any other European city I have visited. The 20th century was not kind to Berlin and as a result a lot of it is very modern. I enjoyed that. Berlin even at times reminded me of America.
Berlin’s history also feels very contemporary. The marks of the World Wars and Cold War are there to be seen. I would highly recommend the Holocaust memorial (pictures below). Unfortunately we did not make it see a lot of the Cold War monuments/museums I wanted to visit because they are somewhat outside of the city. One piece of advice we got was to be careful planning our days. Many of the monuments/museums can leave you very sad and too much sadness can weigh on a tourist.
We also had a great time exploring Berlin’s neighborhoods, shops and restaurants. We had great meals at Katz Orange and Monsieur Vuong. I would recommend both. East Berlin has a lot of great Vietnamese restaurants, unsurprisingly. I also did a lot of shopping and bought Birkenstocks (so cheap in Germany!), a dress from APC (French I know but I love it), and some jewelry from TomShot (great for inexpensive unique jewelry).
Unbeknownst to us we booked to go to Berlin on a weekend where galleries all across the city were open. We had a great time exploring and pretending to shop for art. If you are going and you like modern art, definitely book tickets for Sammlung Boros.
What I read and watched:
In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson (highly recommend)
The Lives of Others – I re-watched this movie before going to Berlin and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
I would definitely stay in Alexanderplatz or Friedrichshain. I also really wanted to go to Das Lokal but did not book a table far enough in advance. The Reichstag tour was highly recommended (by everyone) but we did not give ourselves enough time to book tickets. We also did not really explore Berlin’s infamous nightlife…. So lots of reasons to come back.
The Holocaust Memorial