We’ve just come back from our trip to Berlin, four days full of history, art, culture and food. It’s so true that the more you travel, the more you want to travel, so we’re planning the next travels. Meanwhile, here we are to give you some advices about this beautiful city.
WHAT TO SEE
• Brandenburg Gate
Brandenrbug Gate is undoubtedly one of the most important monument of Berlin, symbol of the city that has been reunited after the fall of the wall in 1989. From Brandenburg Gate, walking down avenue “Unter den Linden”, you can easily reach the famous Museum Island. Along the boulevard, you can also find the German Historical Museum and the well-known Hotel Adlon
• East Side Gallery
The East Side Gallery is a real open-air art gallery, a huge part of the wall located in that part of the city that once was known as East Berlin. This area of the wall is characterized by various and beautiful graffiti made by artists from all over the world. Among these, one of the most important mural is the one that depicts the fraternal kiss between Honecker and Brezhnev, the president of East Germany and the president of the Soviet Union
• Museum Island
The Museum Island is one of the most famous museum complexes in the world, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Among the five museums that make up the island (Altes Museum, Neues Museum, Alte Nationalgalerie, Pergamon Museum and Bode Museum), we decided to visit the one dedicated to archeology, the famous Pergamon Museum. Unfortunately, the Pergamon Altar, the most important work of the museum, is under restoration, so we have decided to postpone our visit (a good reason to come back to Berlin, are we right?)
• Checkpoint Charlie
Checkpoint Charlie is the symbol of the division between East Berlin and West Berlin, marking the passage from the Soviet district of Mitte to the American district of Kreuzberg. Nowadays, nothing remains of the original construction, the wooden building has been replaced by a more modern one, as well as the signs that marked the passage between the two borders. If you are in the area, we recommend to walk down Friedrichstraße and reach the Theodor Wolff Park. Here, you can admire a beautiful mural depicting a giant colorful elephant
• German Historical Museum
The Deutsches Historisches Museum is located along the avenue Unter den Linden. The museum is structured in chronological order, from the Middle Ages to the reunification of Germany after the fall of the wall. If you are interested in undestanding the history of this country, this is the perfect museum for doing it. The ticket costs €8 (€6 for Berlin Welcome Card holders)
• Potsdamer Platz
Potsdamer Platz is the symbol of the new Berlin, abandoned during the division of the city and reborn after its reunification. The square has been divided into three areas: the first one reserved for Daimler-Benz, the construction of which was entrusted to Renzo Piano, the second one assigned to Sony and the third one to the Besheim Center
• Berlin Zoological Garden
The Berlin Zoological Garden is an oasis among the monuments of the city. Founded in 1844, the Zoologischer Garten is the Germany’s oldest zoo, home for more than 15000 animals, including pandas, white wolves and polar bears. The zoo is open 365 days a year, while the cost of tickets varies from €15,50 to €21, depending on whether you decide to visit only the zoo or even the aquarium. With the Berlin Welcome Card you can get a 25% discount on admission
The Reichstag building is the house of the German parliament. If you are in Berlin, you should visit the dome to admire the city from above. At the entrance, you will receive an audioguide, available in all the languages, which will follow you along the entire path. The visit, which can only be booked online, is free. Our recommendation is to book it in advance, so you can find a place for the time you prefer
• Holocaust Memorial
The Memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe was built to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust. The Memorial, located a few steps from the Brandenburg Gate, is made up of 2711 rectangular steles of variable height. The gray color gives a sense of coldness and solitude that pervades the visitors during the walk inside it. Unfortunately, lots of tourists use the memorial as a photo set, without thinking about the real message the memorial wants to transmit
• Alexander Platz
Alexander Platz is one of the most famous squares in Berlin, considered the true center of the city. Among the attractions of the square, the most important ones are undoubtedly the Urania Weltzeituhr, a great clock that shows the time around the world, and the Fountain of International Friendship. Behind the square stands the TV Tower, the tallest building of Berlin. The tower can be visited by purchasing a ticket that costs €16,50, but with the Berlin Welcome Card you can get a 25% discount on admission
WHERE TO EAT
• The Barn
The Barn, one of the most famous roastery in Europe, is present in Berlin in six different locations. We have been in the one at Auguststrasse, in the Mitte district, the first to be opened in 2010. The location, almost completely made of wood, is small but very nice. The menu is varied, both the one of cafeteria and the one of pastry
• House of Small Wonder
Entering the House of Small Wonder seems to enter in an enchanted world. At the entrance, you come across a large staircase that leads to the upper floor. Inside the local, the plants are almost everywhere, making the environment warm and comfortable. Be patient if you decide to try this place at the weekend, teh waiting time is really long. Although this, we can admit we had the best espresso of Berlin
• Oliv Cafe
Oliv Cafe is a small bar in the Mitte district, not far from Alexanderplatz. The café is very cute, especially for the presence of a large wooden table that can be shared among the guests, above which there is a led with the quote “You Make Me Love”. We recommend it especially for the espresso
• Data Kitchen
Forget paper menus and orders written in pen, at Data Kitchen you can only order on the website or through the application. You open the app, select the time and choose everything you want. Once the order is ready, it’ll be put in a shelf next to the wall which will light up showing your name. By unlocking the door with your smartphone, you’ll be able to pick up your meal. Data Kitchen isn’t just appearance, the food is so delicious!
• Shiso Burger
Shiso Burger is maybe one of the most famous Asian burger of the city. We’ve been in the one in Auguststrasse. The idea was to try their famous “Shiso Burger” but unfortunately, that day it was finished, so we opted for the classic Hamburger with Angus meat. All came with lots of french fries and edamame. Don’t miss it!
If you want breakfast 24/7, Benedict is the perfect place for you. The menu ranges from bagels to omelettes, from eggs benedict to pancakes. The only problem is the waiting time. We’ve been there on Sunday and we have waited more than 40 minutes to sit down and order. Well, look at photos, it was worth it!
Dudu is a Vietnamese restaurant with Japanese and Latin American influences, present in Berlin with two different locations. We ate at the one in the Mitte district. The atmosphere of the restaurant is very friendly, mainly due to the fact that the tables are made to be shared among guests
Since we’re Italian, we could certainly not miss the aperitif. Although it’s not a typical German tradition, here are three locations we suggest you:
• Bar Milano
Bar Milano is quite small and characterized by soft lights. The cocktails, whose price ranges from 7 to 12 euros, are good and served with a small plate of finger food. If these aren’t enough, you can also order cold cuts and/or cheeses (€15/€20)
• La Premiata Ditta
Premiata Ditta, like Bar Milano, is a small Italian bar in the Mitte area. Here, there are no finger food, when you order drinks you can take some food at the buffet
• Monkey Bar
Monkey Bar is located on the tenth floor of the 25Hours Hotel Bikini, just a few steps from the zoo. Choose a cocktail and enjoy the city view below
• Zen Restaurant
Zen Restautant is a Japanese restaurant located in the Charlottenburg district. The classic sushi is prepared in a modern way, by using fresh ingredients. The quality/price ratio is really good
• VOLT Restaurant
VOLT is located in the district of Kreuzberg, in an old industrial building dating back to the 1920s. In addition to a really small à la carte menu, the restaurant offers the opportunity to opt for a five-course proposal for €79 or a vegetarian one at €69. Unlike the food menu, the wine list is very huge
• Katz Orange
Katz Orange is a restaurant located in a old and majestic building dating back to 1893. The menu is huge, divided in appetizers and main courses, but the most important dish of the restaurant is undoubtedly the pork cooked for 12 hours at low temperature. If you book at Katz Orange, you cannot miss this speciality. We have no doubt that is the best one we tried in Berlin!
• Buck and Breck
Buck and Breck is definitely one of the best bars in Berlin, by mainly considered one of the best 50 in the world. Buck and Breck is not the usual bar. In order to enter, you have to ring a bell even if you notice the word “closed” inside. The bar has only one table that can accommodate up to 14 guests. You can enter only if there are still places available. Once you enter, the rules are very simple: you cannot use the phone, you cannot take pictures and you can pay exclusively in cash. The cocktails, prepared right in front of you, are really amazing!
HOW TO MOVE
Berlin is a very wide city, so the attractions are very far from each other and it’s unthinkable not to use public transport to get around. Fortunately, the Berlin transport system is very efficient, which allows to move from one point to another very quickly. The city’s public transport is structured as following:
The city is divided into three different areas: A, B and C, which are the center of Berlin where you can find the major attractions, the suburbs and the area that goes beyond the city, including Potsdam and Shönefeld airport. The single ticket is valid for 2 hours and costs €2,30. If you are in Berlin for a few days, we suggest you to buy the Berlin Welcome Card. This card allows you to move freely on all the public transport. Tickets are divided into: 48 hours, 72 hours, 4 days, 5 days and 6 days. Since we stayed in the German capital for 4 days, we decided to buy the card for the ABC areas valid for the entire period of our stay a cost of €37. In addition, if you are a holder of the Berlin Welcome Card, you can take advantage of several discounts for the city’s major attractions. We recommend you to visit the website for more information.