Berlin, a city that is praised by many – yet I never managed to make it there before the summer of 2016. (I know, it took me a while to actually write this post). I’m glad my girlfriends and I decided to go on a semi-impromptu roadtrip here for the weekend – and even though we only had two full days here, we all felt like we saw and did so much. Since Berlin is so big, it’s probably better to focus on a certain area instead of running around like a crazy person trying to do and see it all (spoiler alert: you can’t). We stayed in a hip neighborhood called Friedrichshain, which was the perfect base for us. In case you’re planning to go there yourself, or you’re simply wondering what you can do in two days – I hope this small city guide will help you a bit further.
On the first day, there was exploring.
Been there, saw that: Memorial of the murdered Jews – Brandenburger Tor – Reichstaggebäude – stroll on Unter den Linden – Berliner Dom – TV tower – area Hackeshen Höfe – lunch @ Father Carpenter – go for a walk and explore the area around Kastanienallee – Prater Garten – RAW-Gelände by night
You can’t go to Berlin and not see the some of the main tourist spots, right? We decided to tackle those on our first day, starting with the Memorial of the murdered Jews. I’m sure you’ve seen these concrete blocks popping up on your Instagram before, since they’re quite a popular photo spot. Thinking about what this memorial stands for is something that turns my mood rather dark – but it’s necessary to stand still and remember. When you go to Berlin, part of the experience is understanding more about what happened here, not even that long ago. In any case, you’ll be confronted with it in more than one when you’re exploring this city.
Not far from the Memorial is the Brandenburger Tor and the very impressive Reichstaggebäude, make sure to at least walk by those because they’re worth seeing in real life. From here, you can walk in the direction of Alexanderplatz via the big avenue Unter den Linden. You’ll come across several of points of interests on the avenue, such as the Berliner Dom – Berlin’s stunning cathedral. When you’re taking a picture of this beautiful building, the famous TV tower can easily make an appearance in it too. After a bit of touristing around, we decided to skip Alexanderplatz and head to Hackeshen Höfe instead – an area with a colorful mix of shops, cafés and a little market. All that walking made us hungry – about time to fuel up with avocado toast (what else?) at Father Carpenter.
After lunch we headed to Kastanienallee, supposedly one of the hippest streets in Berlin. Considering the amount of fun places to eat, pretty interior shops, and the presence of the well-known Prater Garten, I guess it’s pretty deserving of that title. The vibe at Prater Garten was absolutely superb (the setting sun and green surroundings certainly only improved that fact) – so I’d recommend this as a must-try when in Berlin! After drinks here, and some delicious Thai dinner not far away, we decided to head back and check out RAW-Gelände. This is a large “site” that can basically be defined as a big going out area at night, and fun spot to hang out during the day. You can find different clubs, bars and biergartens here – and the ability to party until the sun comes up.
On the second day, there was teledisco and awesome food.
The “rise and shine” moment might have taken a little longer on Sunday thanks to the night before, but nonetheless I was still super excited to try out the food at Silo Coffee – and it certainly lived up to the expectations! Fresh, quality products and good coffee, yes please. Since it was Sunday, and it’s Berlin, there was a vintage market right around the corner so we strolled around here for a bit as well, digesting the delicious food we just devoured. On our way to the East Side Gallery we made a little stop at RAW-Gelände, to see what it was like during the day. As it turns out, it’s also a perfect spot to spend your Sunday! You can have coffee with friends in nice surroundings, do some shopping or sing karaoke with your friends in a teledisco. Fun!
From here on out, you can walk to the East Side Gallery – a piece of the Berlin Wall covered in street art. Also a must see, even though the barricades in front of it are a bit of a bummer. The remainder of our Sunday was spent chilling at Tempelhof, a former airport turned park and enjoying the view over the city at rooftop bar Klünkerkranich. We took things a bit slower that evening since we were leaving early the next day, but we did end up having dinner at an absolutely lovely spot called Ein Laden where I had the best homemade spinach ravioli of my life. (I admit that most of my life revolves around food).
Favorites of the day? The food at Silo Coffee & Ein Laden and hanging out at Klünkerkranich.
Berlin has a thing for haloumi, avocado and poached eggs.
(Which happen to be three of my favorite things, ever)
People walk around with a bottle of beer like it’s water.
(From men in suits to hipsters on the subway).
There are photo boots all over the city.
(Perfect for when you’re discovering Berlin with your girlfriends. Funny pictures guaranteed.)
Hipsters aren’t as hipster as you would think.
(I’d expected them to be super “hipster-polished”, but people come off way more edgy and alternative in Berlin.)
There’s plenty of green, street art and social activism wherever you look.
(Parks, graffiti and slogans galore.)