I went together with Iarina to Berlin this weekend. It is a nice city and we enjoyed visiting it. We are both glad we had the chance to do this, but I can’t say we liked it that much. I also visited Munich a few times and I like it more than Berlin.
We didn’t had a lot of time to visit it so I wanted to share what we did, maybe other people will find this useful.
I found some great tickets and we flew there with Ryanair. Everything has really cheap, 32 euro in total (round trip, both of us). We arrived there on Saturday at about 1 pm and flew back to Bucharest at 7 am the next day. So we had less than 24 hours to visit Berlin.
But we got to see a lot of things and walked a little more than 25 km.
We arrived at the Berlin Schönefeld Airport and from there we took the S-Bahn to the city. You will need a ticket that covers all 3 city zones if you want to get to the city center and one ticket costs 3.4 euro. You can buy the tickets from the station (card or cash; just be aware that the machine won’t accept bills larger than 10 euro).
From the airport we took the S9 until the Bornholmer Str. station. And from there you can take either S1 or S2 and get to Brandenburger Tor station. Which is the station right next to Brandenburg Gate. The trip takes about 1 hour. There are faster ways according to Google Maps, but for me this seemed like the easiest one. Getting into the right trains and walking across the stations is pretty easy and you shouldn’t have any problems with this.
Main things we saw in Berlin
We visited them in this exact order. So you can even use these locations to draw a map on Google Maps and follow it across town.
1. Brandenburg Gate
It is really impressive and it is bigger than I thought it would be. It is one of the best-known landmarks of Germany, being built on the site of a former city gate that marked the start of the road from Berlin to the town of Brandenburg an der Havel.
2. Reichstag Building
I recommend you make a reservation in advance so you can also visit it. We didn’t so we only saw it from outside. It has a large glass dome at the very top with a 360-degree view of the surrounding Berlin cityscape.
3. Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
This is like a maze of blocks of concrete. According to Wikipedia there are 2,711 blocks. We spent about 30 minutes walking inside it and making bad jokes. Just be careful not to bump into people while inside. There is also a museum you can visit, but we skipped it due to a really long line.
We both like parks so we spent about 1.5-2 hours walking across it. There are a few monuments in the park so make sure you also check them out. I liked more Englischer Garten in Munich.
5. Potsdamer Platz
There are a few nice buildings, but not much. It was on the way to the other objectives, so we added it on the list of things to check.
6. Topography of Terror
This was the best thing we saw in Berlin. And if you are gonna check only a few places, make sure to include this one on the list. It is an outdoor and indoor history museum. It is located on the site of buildings which during the Nazi regime from 1933 to 1945 were the headquarters of the Gestapo and the SS, the principal instruments of repression during the Nazi era. I think we stayed 2 hours there reading, listening and watching things.
7. Checkpoint Charlie Museum
It is named after the famous crossing point on the Berlin Wall, and was created to document the so-called “best border security system in the world”. You can skip it if you want. It is not that impressive.
But we saw a lot of Trabants there and this was fun.
8. East Side Gallery
“An international memorial for freedom”, Wikipedia says. It is a section of the Berlin Wall, longer than 1 km and has over 100 paintings from artists all over the world.
It is kinda far from the rest of the things we saw, so be ready to walk a lot. But it is worth it, I really really liked it and it has some amazing paintings.
9. Berlin Cathedral
I think it is better to see it during the day. It was pretty late when we got there and at night it didn’t seemed very impressive. But it is nice, so if you got time make sure to check it out.
10. Museum Island
It was late when we got there so everything was closed and there weren’t a lot of people around. We anyway didn’t want to visit the museums, because we didn’t have a lot of time.
This was the final point of our trip. You will see a lot of interesting buildings and the famouse TV tower.
Where we ate in Berlin
We walked around a lot so we had to eat. I already had a few places in mind around our route and this is how it went.
Quchnia, Markgrafenstrasse 35
After we arrived in town this was our first stop. We stumbled on it while looking for another restaurant, but it was a good pick.
Food is good, the cakes are excellent!
Iarina had a cafe latte, I had a ginger tea, both were good. We ate the same thing, baked potato, with salad, chicken breast and a nice sauce. I forgot how it was called.. We usually order different things so we can try more stuff, but this place doesn’t have that many choices.
We also ate a fruit tart which was really good. Total amount spent was around 35 euro, so pretty decent for a good meal.
Madami – Mom’s Vietnamese Kitchen, Rosa-Luxemburg-Str. 3
We went here for dinner. Man .. such a good choice! The food was excellent, cheap and the place is really nice. It was probably the best vietnamese food we have eaten until now.
We spent 25 euro for two dishes and a bottle of water.
Other places on our list: Chupenga, Mohrenstraße 42; Bibi Mix, Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße 5-7; Scheers Schnitzel, Warschauer Platz 18. These were based on reviews I read and closeness to our route. Maybe we will check them next time.
All in all the trip was great, we had fun and Berlin has some must see locations. Now it is time for some sleep.