What better way to celebrate my boyfriends 21st Birthday…
Since I met Jeremy, he has always said he would love to visit Berlin. So as a surprise for his 21st birthday, I booked this trip!
I planned it in secret, he only found out on his birthday at the weekend!
He had to open 21 birthday presents from me… some were random but towards the end I started to give him clues! First a German Beer, then a VW t-shirt followed by hop on hop of bus tickets, hotel confirmation and flight tickets!
I’m usually rubbish at surprises, so am so pleased that I managed to pull this one off!
Today really wasn’t much of a success!😔 If you follow me on Instagram you would have seen that we were delayed by 4 hours!!
I was so disappointed as we only had 3 days booked and today we wasted most of the day in Bristol airport rather than exploring Berlin!
To make thing worse…Whilst waiting at Bristol airport I got an email saying that a pipe had burst in our hotel room so we would have to stay in their sister hotel.
At this point I just burst into tears as everything that I had planned had gone wrong!
After a very long wait it was time to board our flight. We were suppose to take off at 13:25, but as you can see.. we didn’t take off until 17:25 😩
By the time we got through boarder control, on a train and into the city centre it was gone 10pm!
On a more positive note, we were absolutely blown away when we arrived at our hotel! Our original hotel called Lux 11 had more than made up for the inconvenience. They smoothly transferred us to the sister hotel called the Weinmeister and also upgraded us to a larger room and paid for our breakfast!
Our room was perfect, I originally picked Lux 11 for its fancy bathroom and boutique style but Weinmeister’s facilities were just as good! The bed was amazing, the sheets even glowed in the dark!
After checking into the hotel, we headed out for dinner at Hackescher Markt. We ate outdoors at the Restauration 1840. Jeremy tried the famous local dish called Curry Wurst and I had Pumpkin Gnocchi. Of course we had to wash it all down with a couple of Berlin Beers! I tried something new and had mine mixed with raspberry juice, it tasted just like a cocktail!
After that we decided to head back to the hotel and relax in the bath, ready for a packed day of sightseeing tomorrow!
Today is our only full day, so we woke up bright and early to make the most of it! We enjoyed our free breakfast at the hotel and set off at about 9:30 local time!
I had paid for the City sightseeing bus in advance so from the hotel we walked straight to our closest stop (stop 7 on the traditions route).
Despite being at stop 7, we decided to pass stops 8, 9 and 10 as we wanted to do these later. Our priority was to get to stop 11 where we would be closest to the Holocaust Memorial and Visitor centre, The Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag.
We spent quite a lot of time at this stop as there was so much to see, and we wanted to give these sights the time they deserved! The Brandenburg Gate was truly beautiful as was the Reichstag.
The Holocaust Memorial on the other hand was in stark contrast to the other bright and beautiful sights. The 2,700 concrete blocks stood bleak and grey, I felt desperately sad whilst walking through here, thinking about the 6,000,000 Jewish lives that had been lost.
Underneath the memorial lies the visitor centre, the queue for this was over an hour long, so we decided we would come back later!
From here we were only a short walk from the Topology of Terror Museum so that’s where we headed next.
Here we saw the remains of the SS headquarters which now lie next to the remains of the Berlin Wall. It was free entry to go into the neighbouring museum. Here we got to see and read about the terrifying things that happened in Berlin between 1933 and 1945!
We spent around 45 minutes here as there was a lot of information. Jeremy and I both have an interest in WW2 and Hitler’s rise to power. For me it comes from studying it in GCSE history!
Close to the Topology of Terrors Museum is Checkpoint Charlie! So we decided to walk again, rather than take the bus which would be 1 stop!
We got a quick glimpse of Checkpoint Charlie before getting distracted by the crepe stand! By this time it had gone lunchtime so we decided to take a break and have a crepe. I chose a crepe with Kinda Chocolate and Jeremy had Nutella in his! They were very good value and tasted delicious!
From there we paid €3.50 each to go into the Checkpoint Charlie Black box museum. I really enjoyed this museum! There were tv’s and cinema viewing screens where they showed real footage and educated us on what had happened at that time! For that price it’s a must see when in Berlin!
After the museum, we went to Checkpoint Charlie itself and took a few photos before hopping back onto the bus!
The day had started to fly by so we decided to do a whole loop of the city on the bus (1 to make sure we didn’t miss anything and 2 because we wanted to get our money’s worth out of the bus and not just end up walking everywhere)! We stayed on to see all of the stops from 5 to 13 and then back around to 4 again.
Stop 4 bought us back to the Topology of Terror Museum so we decided to take a closer look at some of the Berlin Wall remains before walking back to the holocaust museum to explore the visitor centre.
The walk wasn’t very long, but it felt it after being on our feet all day! We arrived at the Memorial at about 5pm and there was no queue at all!
It was free entry here as well so definitely check it out!
The museum consisted of 6 rooms all with a slightly different theme. One of the rooms was totally dark and projected names of people and the date that they were born as well as the date that they died. Aloud they read information about each person, where they had lived and what had happened to them before their untimely deaths! I was interested to learn that you could sit in that room for over 6.5 years listening to each persons story.
We spent about an hour at the museum, by this time the buses had stopped running so we decided to take an extended walk back to our hotel to soak in even more sights!
On our way home we passed many famous sights. Jeremy noted that we passed the hotel that Micheal Jackson famously hung his baby out of!!
In terms of historical sights, there are too many to count! Here’s a few: Berlin cathedral Church (Berliner Don), Neue Wache, Bebelplatz, ‘Museum Island’ and more!
After clocking up over 22,000 steps, I was ready to get back to the hotel to relax and think about where we wanted to go for dinner!
We were scanning tripadvisor for the best restaurants nearby and a lot of them were Asian or Mexican.. as tempted as we were, we agreed to find a traditional German Restaurant and so we did!
We ate at Sophieneck! It was 5 minutes around the corner from our hotel, and highly regarded for its German Cuisine!
I would never usually eat sausage, but as I’ve said in a few previous posts, I truly believe that food is a massive part of travelling and that I would be missing out if I didn’t try a few local dishes!
And so I went as traditional as I could with a Bratwurst sausage and potatoes with bacon, which they seem to do every where! Once again we drank a few German Beers with our meal. I even had mine mixed with coke, which sounds weird but actually tasted really nice!
After that we crashed out back at the hotel!
It’s our final day today 😩 but I can’t believe how much we have seen in such a short space of time!
We again started our day with a free breakfast courtesy of Lux 11. And from there we packed up and checked out!
First sight of the day was walking through a German market we found near the Hackescher Markt Station. It was great to see a real German Market in all its glory as in the U.K. we don’t do it as well!
After we explored the market we decided to take a train to the East side Gallery (after initially planning to walk). Once we arrived we walked the entire 1.5km length of the gallery which gave ample opportunity to appreciate the work of some very talented artists!
We stopped to take photos and look at the artwork but still managed walk it in about 40 minutes! So check it out, event if you don’t have long in Berlin!
Afterwards we headed back to Mitte, and got off at Alexanderplatz.
We bought tickets to go to the observation deck of the Fernsehturm. We benefitted from student prices so we only paid €11.20 each, a standard ticket is €14.
We sped all the way to the observation deck in a matter of seconds! My ears popped along the way of course!
It was great up there, unfortunately it was pretty overcast today so we couldn’t see as far as we would have liked, but there was a lot of information up there and it was great to map out from above all of the sights we had done yesterday!
Following that we headed to the Neptunbrunnen which is a beautiful fountain located close to the TV tower!
Sadly the time to get on our train was fast approaching so we had a last look around the shops and bought a few postcards to send to our families! And then we got on the train to the airport.
Thankfully we had a much smoother journey home and we are now safely back in Bristol.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about what we got up to in our short stay in Berlin. Due to other plans both weekends either side of our break, I couldn’t make the holiday any longer!
Although I think that this post proves that you really can do a lot in a short period of time!
As Jeremy and I work full time, we can’t have lots of long holidays.
So little breaks like these are perfect for us, they don’t use much annual leave and we get to see totally new places!
Thanks for reading
P.S. If you enjoyed this post, you can see more about my trip to Berlin and my other events travels here