Brace yourselves, this is going to be a big'un! The final instalment in all my posts from our lovely trip to Berlin. City guides have become a bit of thing for me recently, and I am so excited to share yet another city I love with you all. Those of you who have watched this week's vlog will have had a sneak peek at some of these spots already, but today I am popping all the info you need in one spot, and I hope you can return to this post for reference if you find yourself in Berlin. I would very much reccomend the city, it has so many incredible aspects; steeped in history, good shopping, amazing food.. and it's all relatively cheap!
As you all know, Mum and I went to Berlin to meet with Zalando - but we had a fair bit of free time too, so we explored all the spots the lovely Zalando team recommended. So I am going to be sharing the sights we saw, the food we ate, and the shops we went in. Lets goooooo!
It would be shame to visit Berlin and not take in some of the history there. I think it's a part of history the majority of us find interesting, and that we all know something about too. I had visited Berlin once before on a school History trip, where we had explored all areas of the city - from Checkpoint Charlie, to Hitler's bunker. This time Mum and I were more selective and went to two spots; the Topography of Terror, and the Jewish Museum.
1. The Topography of Terror
This (free) museum focuses on the history of the Nazi party, from rise to power, right through to the trails in the recent years. It is incredibly informative, and a very simple museum. It is based in the area of Berlin which was the heart of the Nazi regime, and also alongside one of the longest remaining stretches of the Berlin wall. Inside, the museum is very simple. Just a series of boards, packed with images and text. If you want to read every single word there, then take a whole afternoon for your visit. If (like me), your attention span can't handle that, then just reading the summaries of each board gives you a much more concise sense of the history - doing it that way took Mum and I just under an hour.
Address: Niederkirchnerstraße 8, 10963 Berlin
2. The Jewish Museum
This was incredible and an absolute must visit in the city. Designed by Daniel Libeskind, the museum is mostly experiential, and is by far the most moved I have ever felt at any site relating to jewish history, and more specifically the Holocaust (including Auschwitz, another school trip location). The museum consists of a series of corridors, which display items owned by jewish families along with a short history of that family/individual. There are then three main spaces; the Garden of Exile, The Memory Void and the Holocaust Tower. The Holocaust Tower is a relatively small, but very tall, dark room where one small beam of daylight shines through. For me, standing in the middle of the room and looking up towards the light made me feel as though the room was shrinking, and was quite a claustrophobic experience. The Garden of Exile is the outdoor section of the museum, and consists of several tall concrete box, all at a slight angle. Standing in the middle makes you feel as though they are all going to topple onto you, again, it's a relatively uncomfortable experience created by such subtle means. Finally, the Memory Void. Within which is an exhibition, Fallen Leaves, consisting of countless metal faces laid across the floor of another tall and angular concrete room. You are meant to go and walk across the faces, so if you are greeted by a group of people stood at the edge, don't be afraid to be the one to walk into the space - it's the whole idea. The faces make loud, echoing, clanking noises as you walk across them. The best way I can describe the feeling it evokes is like walking over a grave, and the feeling of guilt it brings... but on mass. This is intensified by the noises, reinforcing the feeling you are disturbing people. It really was amazing, and incredibly effective, a must must must visit.
Address: Lindenstraße 9-14, 10969 Berlin
Ok, less of the heavy stuff, and onto the food! I have two specific recommendations and one general one, so let's start there.
1. Ice cream
Now, perhaps this was just me, but when I think of ice cream, Germany doesn't spring to mind as the place to get the best! How wrong I was! There are ice cream shops all over the city, with some incredible flavours like 'Grandma's Apple Pie'! We had two while we were there and they were both incredibleeee.
This has to be a pretty predictable recommendation for Berlin, but it really with worth all the hype. It is located underneath the U-Bahn tracks, in an old public toilet. A really fancy one though, so it's all good! The burgers are seriously good, but be prepared to eat standing up, as it's super popular.
Address: Oberbaumstraße 8, 10997 Berlin
3. Silo Coffee
We loved it so much here, we went twice! You'll find it in Friedrichshain, a location I would recommend in general for a mooch about and some lovely shopping. Silo Coffee is essentially the ultimate brunch spot. The coffee was amazing, and, wait for this... they did the best avocado on toast I have ever had!! Need I say any more?!
Address: Gabriel-Max-Straße 4, 10245 Berlin
I think I would have a funny turn if i went on a city break and didn't go shopping. It's just my fave thing ever, as you all know! And there were two spots that really stood out:
1. The Corner
Head here for a bit of fancy schmancy shopping. They have a really well curated selection of designers; from Celine, to Gianvito Rossi, it was essentially all my dreams come true! The staff were wonderful too, and coaxed me in to making a little purchase!
Address: Französische Straße 40, 10117
2. Voo Store
So many of you guys recommended this spot, and you were all right when you said I would love it. It is a must visit for minimal designers, and a good price range too. They also have a cafe in there that serves some seriously good coffee too.
Address: Oranienstraße 24, 10999 Berlin
And finally, our hotel. The very cool, and affordable Michelberger hotel. Located in Kreuzberg, it's right next to the East Side Gallery (the longest remaining stretch of Berlin Wall). The staff in there were seriously lovely, and they have a bar which is a very popular spot in the city. The rooms were pretty crazy too, ours was all gold!! Like literally, gold walls, gold floors, gold everything!! In a nutshell, it's a great location (Berlin has quite a sprawling feel, so wherever you stay you will probably find you do a lot of walking or using the U-Bahn), and a perfect spot to lay your head in a busy city break.
Address: 40, Warschauer Str. 39, 10243