We got to go on a whirlwind trip to Berlin and it was brilliant! Obviously the beer was flowing and we indulged in some pretty fantastic cocktails too. Berlin is a big city and although the transport is great (we were told this many, many times before we traveled there) we wish we had longer to explore (already planning our return). We squeezed in as much of the local cuisine as possible and planned our sightseeing itinerary quite well. After arriving in the late afternoon we checked into the Wyndham Excelsior in the west of the city, where we were delighted to find a balcony attached to our bright, clean and well decorated suite. The hotel was well located just a 300m walk from the Zoologischer Garten train station and a 72hr train pass was a good buy as we hopped on and off trains to get around the city. On our first night we decided to spend some time in the hotel area of Tiergarten. First things first… food.
Yes its Currywurst and yes it tastes good. Cheap and cheerful, the perfect snack for us wandering tourists.
Next stop was the Monkey Bar which sits at the top of the 25hr Hotel Bikini Berlin with a 360′ roof top terrace and only a short stroll from our hotel. We sipped cocktails on the terrace taking in views of the west of the city (you can see down into the zoo during daylight) before going inside to relax in the sleek bright lounge area, that has a trendy bohemian vibe with its open plan design and an array of cushions. We were directed up to the top by a welcoming employee and arrived up to friendly bar staff. We liked the water saving tips in the bathroom too.
In Tiergarten you can also check out the city zoo and The Bikini Mall, which is a new concept shopping mall containing many small pop-up style but permanent shops. If you don’t have time to go into the zoo then grab a coffee or fresh juice from the Funk You cafe inside the Bikini mall where you can sit and watch the monkeys through the floor to ceiling window.
We were so happy to come across a shop on the second level of the mall selling young designers clothes and furniture. Showcasing new talent in a commercial complex and creating an inviting and intriguing space is a great way to help promote and encourage the progress of creativity into commercial products. We hope this becomes a common sight on our travels and at home. LNFA.
We spent some time in the vibrant area of Mitte and top of our list of things to do was to go up the Berliner Fernsehturm tower, at 368m in height its pretty impressive. We sipped Pina coladas at 203m and they were delicious and we were probably delirious from the steep lift ride up (we could see up the lift shaft). The view from the top was fantastic and we spotted Primark within minutes! (you never know when you might need it).
If we had more time we would have stayed for dinner, the restaurant ‘sphere’ does a 360 turn in one hour!
We were lucky to have beautiful weather in Berlin, we even got to wear our sunglasses! Walking around the Mitte area was no chore in the glorious sunshine and we refueled with an Iced Mocha from the Starbucks at the impressive Brandenburg Gate. Built as symbol of peace the Brandenburg Gate became a symbol of division during the cold war because it was so close to the east – west border. The Berlin Wall fell in 1989 `and the Gate is now symbolic to the unity of the city.
The Jewish memorial is just a few minutes walk from the gate, also known as the Holocaust memorial or Field of Stelae. It is a maze like design consisting of 2,711 columns of concrete in a grid formation, you can also visit the exhibition in the information centre under the Field of Stelae free of charge.
We walked to Checkpoint Charlie from the Field of Stelae but if you are not keen on walking and don’t have the sun on your back you may want to take the train. The most famous border crossing, Checkpoint Charlie was where armed forces were registered before crossing the border and where diplomats and journalists, granted a one day visa, entered into east Berlin. The historical site now tells the stories of the escape attempts of east Berliner’s who tried and failed to cross the border into the west, willing to risk their lives for their freedom.
Just five minutes walk from the checkpoint there is a section left standing of the Berlin wall on We didn’t make it to the other tourist areas where sections of the wall are still standing but it is definitely on our to do list when we return.
We had just enough time to make our way to the 24hr bar ‘AM to PM’, and can vouch for their cocktail making skills. It has swinging chairs outside, a smoker friendly bar inside and a dance floor or downstairs. The atmosphere is relaxed (it was around 11pm) and the staff are attentive. If you don’t want your night to end and you are in the Hakescher Market area you can spend it in here.
We want to return as soon as possible and next time… we want to rave!