A week ago James and I headed to Berlin, Germany. I had a meeting Monday and Tuesday for work, and we decided to take advantage of the weekend before.
We landed in Berlin around 10 a.m. and made it through customs in record time (love German efficiency!). We headed to our first hotel – Movenpick – which was close to the metro system and a fairly central location. Because it was early, we left our bags with the front desk and headed out into the sunshine for some much needed coffee.
First up was Companion Coffee which is located inside of Voo, a super hipster store. Afterwards, we continued on to what I thought was a brunch reservation at Markthalle. Here’s a pro tip: there are more than one Markthalle which I’m going to guess roughly translate to Market. However, Markthalle Neun, the location we ended up in, did not disappoint. We walked around the food stalls until landing on one for huevos rancheros (German style mind you, it came with steak) and french toast.
Fed and caffeinated, we headed over to the East Side Gallery, which boasts an outdoor art exhibit featuring part of the Berlin wall that has been consumed by grafitti, paintings and mixed medium master pieces.
Our poor jet lagged brains though still had one more activity for the day. We had booked a tour of the Reichstag dome. I highly recommend doing this if you find yourself in Berlin. It’s free, and it offers a very cool view of the city, plus helps you orient without having to take a 3+ hour walking tour. You can do so here: https://www.bundestag.de/en/visittheBundestag/dome/registration/245686
For dinner, we were originally supposed to go to VOLT but after realizing how long it would take us to get there, we opted to eat at the hotel restaurant and then fall fast asleep.
The next hotel we stay at was the Melia Berlin, which is in the one part of the city that felt like a city and not a giant Brooklyn. After we checked in (early check in for members!) we headed to Bonanza Coffee House (YES GO!) and walked around the Mauerpark flea market which is super funky and definitely worth the visit (it’s also across the street from coffee). We strolled the lanes, and bought a fig sausage to eat with lunch.
Lunch was a quick picnic of the aforementioned sausage, a soft cheese, bread and fruit. Afterwards we headed to our tour with Underground Berlin to explore the bunkers built during the Cold War. This tour was fantastic and I highly recommend it. We learned a lot in the 90 minutes we toured this network of underground city.
Following, we headed to the Jewish Memorial Museum. Unfortunately the top two levels were under construction, but we spent about two hours taking the rest in. Definitely a somber and emotional experience. I do highly recommend getting the audio tour because a large portion of this museum is in the architecture and something you might miss without the narration. Audio tours were an additional three euros (and you can probably share since they are like speaker phones).
For dinner that evening, we headed to Kantine Kohlmann, a recommendation from a friend. Oh wow, this place was so good. They have a small plates section of their menu that is like German tapas, and then regular portioned entrees. We had patatas bravas, beet tartare and scallops to start. I had salmon for my main and James braved the weiner schnitzel. We strolled back to a nearby train station enjoying the sun set on a succesful two days in Berlin.
The remainder of our time in Berlin we both worked. And while we are definitely tired, it was 100% worth it.