Berlin – The winter edition
This January Eunan and myself decided to join our friends Orla and Aiden for a trip to Berlin. We got our flights for £40 return and our hotel for £200 (£100 Each).
We flew with Ryanair, yes very cheap but not worth it. Would rather have paid 50 extra for a different company to not have the hassle of having to check in a hang luggage bag..
We had to pay £20 each anyway to have a normal sized hand luggage. We just thought it was far too much hassle for what it was worth.
We stayed in the Leonardo Hotel Berlin Mitte, which the location was fab! Walking distance to most places. The train station was literally across the road so was very handy to get to and from the airport, and different locations that were farther away. It was €3.40 for a single ticket to the hotel from Airport.
After checking in we walked to The Barn, Aiden and Orla are big coffee enthusiasts so there was a few coffee shops to be visited. I had a beetroot Latte, essentially a conventional latte made using pink beetroot milk. The barn would be one of the most popular independent coffee shops in the world.
After our chill coffees we decided to walk around the area and ended up finding the Berlin Ice bar Angiyok. It was interesting and as you can guess very very cold lol. Our cocktails literally turned into slushies with the -10 degrees. Real cool ice sculptures and few games to play. It was something I’ve wanted to try to see what it was like but I wouldn’t be rushing back as it was far to cold for me.
Our place for food for the night was The Pub, Eunan and I had been before but we wanted to bring Aiden and Orla for experience of being able to pour your own beer at your table. However, with being Gluten free there wasn’t much food choices for me other than Chicken Wings and Chips but everyone else got fully loaded burgers that looked amazing. For the amount of Beer that went to waste it wasn’t that expensive.
Next to our hotel was an Irish bar called Murphy’s, and we obviously had to go in for a nightcap. It was Karaoke night, although it seemed like everyone was taking it very seriously so Orla and I decided to have a bit of craic and get the bar going. I am Tone deaf so you can imagine how horrific the singing was but it was good craic and ended up getting more people to get up than just the one table.
The next day we did all the touristy stuff, as Eunan and I had already done them and done the tours, we just showed Aiden and Orla around and told them a bit of history of each touristy place.
Brandburg Gate – The Famous Gate of Berlin
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
We then decided to get the train towards Kreuzberg where Bonanza Coffee (and a host of other cool independent places) is situated. It was a handling to find as it was literally in a courtyard of a housing estate. Very interesting place though. They all enjoyed their coffees and I got the hot chocolate, which tasted like cocoa yoghurt. Very weird and not particularly that appealing to me, however I get the alternative sentiment of trying g something new in their drinks. You could see the coffee roasting behind the counter where all the magic was happening. Aiden was so buzzing lol had to buy a bag of coffee.
From here we were in was walking distance to the East side gallery. This was our next stop for our touristy tour for the day. The East side gallery is one of my favourite parts of history in Berlin. It shows a time of change and expresses the great hopes for a better, freer future.
Across from the wall we spotted a Mexican sit in and thought to try it out. Tip for Gluten free people I have found getting Mexican when abroad is the safest option as the tacos and bowls should mostly/all be gluten free. Tacos are made from corn flour, well should be so easy opinion. The Mexican was called Chupenga, it was such a nice lunch we all loved it a lot! Especially for its location it was fab for just wanting something quick and easy.
After food we went back to the hotel to freshen up etc and had found a Pizza Restaurant online which seemed to be no.1 for gluten free in Berlin so it was our best opinion for a nice dinner. It was called Simela finest Food. The pizza was delicious and was quite cosy and romantic.
We stopped off at the Windhorst after dinner for a few cocktails. This was meant to be one of the best bars in Berlin for cocktails. You can see why, as they had such strange but really nice flavours. Some of the drinks we had contained really interesting flavours combinations, must check this out if you like that sort of thing. It was roughly €10 for a cocktail which was the average price in Berlin. It had a dark but cosy atmosphere.
The next morning we walked to The house of Small Wonder, we spotted it on Instagram and thought we would try it out. Real cute for the pics with the funky spiral stairs although not worth the wait for food and the food in general. My idea was to get the pic and leave which would have been the best idea, as we had to wait for an hour for a table to then have bad service, and well, weird food. The menu wasn’t the best especially with only one gluten free opinion of Gratin potatoes. It was far to hipster for my liking. No Wi-Fi and no Card machine. Still got a good pic for the gram though.
We walked to the Museum Island after food. It was raining so just did a quick look at the buildings. Eunan and myself did a tour of the cathedral before, the view from the top is amazing but it was to miserable of a day to go visit it and walk around the top of the cathedral with it pouring down.
Eunan and I didn’t do the Berliner Fernsehturm (The TV Tower) last time, so wanted to do it this time. You can buy your tickets online or else in the tower. They also have student discount at €13.60 I think instead of €16. We were told we would have to wait for an hour so went out and got a drink and came back.
I thought the tower was worth the money. Being up 200metres in the sky getting to see all of berlin. They also had a bar upstairs so we got a few drinks and enjoyed the view. There is also a restaurant in the tower, which turns around so you can see all sides of the city from just sitting enjoying your dinner. Real cool but very expensive.
Since Mexican was the best shout for me so I found one near Alexanderplatz called Dolores. The trip advisor reviews were all very positive so seemed fab. It was definitely worth it maybe not for a dinner but for lunch as it was a very chill/takeaway type of place. The food was full of flavor and tasted so fresh. I would definitely recommend for lunch.
Eunan googled a few funky bars to visits and he came across Scotch and Sofa. Kind of out of the way in a small community like area but was worth it. Jazz music playing and had the theme of a speak easy. I loved it such good vibes but very chill. The cocktails tasted strong but really nice. Place was also packed so that was a good sign.
Our flight was at 1:30pm so we had to be at the airport for half 11. As everyone had a few drinks the night before there was no early risers that morning so we didn’t do anything that morning other than go to the train station.
Berlin in January; I was expecting Snow but the weather was just cold and rainy. So I would recommend bringing warm clothes and an umbrella. I would also maybe recommend to go in December as the Christmas markets are meant to be unreal.
Berlin is a city you could go 100 times and still find new places to visit every time. There is so much history of the city and so many funky places to go to.
For a cheap weekend break I would recommend for sure. There is something for everyone here.
Til next time Frans Travels x