Earlier on in the month I was able to take a short trip to Berlin! A friend had recently moved there and I wanted the opportunity to visit her next year, but I found some cheap flights and a December trip was soon on the cards!
I hadn’t been to Berlin before but had heard very positive reports from everyone I know who had visited. One colleague of mine actually lived in Berlin before the wall came down in 1989 and had to cross a checkpoint to get to work.
I was gifted with perfect weather – crisp but cold blue skies every day. It was great for doing loads of walking around the city.
With my friend working one of the days, I had a day to familiarise myself with some of the major sights. A great way to do this was the Sandemans Walking Tour.
We spent almost three hours covering the ground and sights between the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, and the Holocaust memorial amongst other things.
On the Saturday we took ourselves on a little self-guided walking tour of Prenzlauer Berg, where one section of the Berlin Wall had been immortalised in various street art, photos and exhibits along the path.
We walked along to the Berlin Wall Memorial where there is a 60 metre long section of the wall, preserved as it was back in the 1980s. Through this gap in the fencing you can just about glimpse the sandy ground and the lower part of the wall sections. There is a memorial centre where you can go up to an observation tower to get a fuller view.
On a slightly more happy note, Berlin is a fab city to spot other architectural sights. Both in the Museum Island quarter and throughout the quieter neighbourhoods there are towers and churches, and grand university buildings to admire.
Of course though Berlin has had to be rebuilt in parts, so it’s a city that contrasts the traditional and modern.
As well as all of those contrasts, there was also the art of the neighbourhoods that you would only find by walking around.
Of course, a major draw in December were the Christmas markets. We went to three (out of the sixty) that were open during December and they were all so lovely to visit, with a steaming mug of gluhwein in hand.
Of course eating out in Berlin has to be done and i think my favourite meal was at Zula Hummus Cafe, in Prenzlauer Berg
Katie ttok me to Einer-dieser-Tage – a very cute cafe just around the corner where we partook in Saturday brunch waffles.
And we got our fix of German cuisine (huge portions of schnitzel and berliner meatballs, complete with potatoes and beetroot) too!
Finally, feast your eyes on all this street art!
Have I whetted your appetite for Berlin?