My Berlin city break guide on where to stay, what to eat, and what to do, based on my short trip in the summer of 2016.
We stayed at Sana Berlin Hotel, in the Charlottenburg area. The room was spacious, clean and modern; and the staff was friendly and helpful! Another plus was the hotel was in a very convenient location, located near two train stations, making traveling around Berlin accessible and easy. The only complaint would be their wi-fi signal was terrible as we were only able to access the internet from the lobby.
Public transport is the ideal way to discover the city. So, definitely purchase a train pass for the duration of your visit. It will get you everywhere. If you’re familiar with London’s tube map, then navigating your way around Berlin will be a breeze. And of course, download Citymapper so you’re informed of any disruptions during your trip.
For breakfast or brunch, head over to Distrikt Coffee in Mitte, a Insta-worthy and aesthetically pleasing coffee shop.
Treat yourself and order their buttermilk pancakes and prepare to be amazed by the complimentary flavours of their house-made berry compote and fresh basil with their fluffy pancakes. For something savoury, order their avocado toast with beets and radish. (4/5) From here you can make your way to the remnants of the Berlin Wall on foot.
Alternatively, go to Silo Coffee in Friedrichshain, an Australian coffee shop serving classic Aussie brunch dishes. We ordered ‘The Silo’ which is an big order of pancakes, bacon and poached eggs, their shakshuka, with a cappuccino and iced latte to cool down. It was a pricey brunch, at €30 for two. (3/5)
For a pick-me-up, go to Zeit fur Brot, located in Mitte. Grab a cappuccino, along with their freshly baked in-house buttery croissants and cinnamon buns. (4/5)
A savoury snack option would be köfte sandwiches from Gel Gor Inegol Kofteci in Kreuzberg. The ultimate cheap eat – good quality, delicious meat and cheap! (4/5)
For lunch, head over to Gasthaus Kromach in Charlottenburg. It ticks all the boxes: friendly and cosy atmosphere (check), delicious large portions of traditional German food (check), and reasonable prices (check)! Recommendations include their pork schnitzel and bratwurst sausage. (4/5) Burn off the calories and make your way to the shopping district, Kurfürstendamm, and shop till you drop!
Saving best for last, for dinner make your way to Henne in Kreuzberg, home to the best fried chicken. Filled with locals, you know this is the place to be at. The menu is simple and to the point – fried chicken with side options of slaw and potato salad. (5/5) Unlike other recommendations, I suggest you make time for dinner here. Reservations are a must so remember to book in advance.
Take photos in an old Photoautomat. Whilst other cities have digital photo booths, in Berlin, you can find vintage chemical photo booths plotted around the city. Remember to have some change (€2 or so) with you, pop it in and take a series of four photos, which will be printed out in black and white. A great experience and a little something for you to bring back home with you instead of a tacky souvenir.
Have lunch at the Reistag. It offers a beautiful view of the city and you also get a free and queue-free peak of the government building.
Visit the East Side Gallery, Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie (and all the other places of historical significance).
Sample Vietnamese food! Berlin is home to a large Vietnamese community, so you’ll find an array of Vietnamese restaurants plotted around Berlin.
Spend an afternoon at Tiergarden especially if the weather is nice too!