I went to Berlin with a university friend of mine, we often travel together and get on very well as travel buddies.
Hotel – Tryp
We stayed at the 4* Tryp Berlin Mitte Hotel for three nights:
We were very happy with this hotel. It was really nice, decent room and nice staff. Also a decent breakfast. There wasn’t anything too exciting near us but there was a main street, Oranienburger Str., with a lot of bars and restaurants just ten minutes walk away. There is free wi-fi as long as you get the code from reception.
On the first night, we had a wander around for dinner and ended up in the Chinese restaurant practically next to the hotel. I liked their pina coladas and my ‘Singapore duck’ dish was also very tasty. However, near the end of our meal we spotted a little mouse in the restaurant. I’m sure this would freak most people out, but I thought it was really cute (given I’d already eaten my dinner). We even had a laugh about it with some other people dining at the next table. It was quite a little inquisitive mouse, quite happy to run around even though there were lots of people around and it was cool to watch it jump up the stairs. I liked that little Berlin mouse, adapting to life in the city. That is life! But I wouldn’t eat at that restaurant again.
We went to check out a panoramic view of Berlin. It was cool:
Actually, what was really cool was hot chocolate and cake at the cafe. My black forest gateau was delicious.
We joined the Sandeman FREE walking tour where you tip the guide at the end:
I really enjoyed this. We’d passed a whole bunch of big grey blocks and had no idea what it was – it was great to know that this was a memorial, it made a world of different to know what it represented. The tour guide showed us a lot of things and told us a lot about the history or Berlin, the wall, the embassies, the horses on top of that gate, the now car park above Hitler’s bunker… and the hotel where Michael Jackson famously dangled his new born baby from the balcony!
That evening we decided to have dinner at the Adlon Hotel restaurant, so we could dine at the same hotel where MJ stayed:
The restaurant was elegant. The art kind of annoyed me – I could have done some of those paintings myself. And better. And the food wasn’t really anything special, it was very bland – we both agreed on that. I had the veal. However, it was a relatively fancy dinner in a fancy hotel at a very reasonable price compared to London. Please don’t order any bottled water though, that came to 12 euros!!!
OK, we did go to a museum, but I can’t remember which one it was right now. It was walking distance from the hotel, some kind of art… I was glad I got free passes from work!
We went on a boat tour that was really cool. The walking tour was actually a lot of very sad history about the war, Hitler and the Berlin wall. It made me feel like Berlin was a very sad place. The boat tour showed the pretty and modern side of Berlin. There’s something about boat tours – that’s usually when I actually ‘feel’ like I’m in a different city, as a lot of European cities ‘feel’ like London to me! They also gave us a little Berlin guide book that was useful.
After the boat tour, we stopped at one of the bars along the river for a drink. A friend had recommended a lager with a shot of something red or green. I’m sure it has a proper name… it was good.
We had dinner on Oraninburger Str. at a restaurant/bar that was recommended to us during the walking tour. Also very handily near the meeting point for the pub crawl we were going to. The food was really good, we were really impressed by the potato soup which was surprisingly delicious. It had some yummy sausage in it… it was so good that I can barely remember my main. I think it was goulash.
We joined the Sandeman pub crawl:
There is a 12 euros fee – we booked it online. The guides take you to a number of bars with either some free drinks included or drinks offers, and it includes entry to a club at the end of the night – you even get to skip the queue. Hooray!
We had a really great night out and hung out mainly with an American guy and a girl we got chatting to, both travelling alone separately. I was particularly impressed with the girl for travelling alone across Europe alone for two months and loving it. We partied together until about 5 am.
I loved that we could take the train home. It’s great that clubs go on until 6am onwards and there is public transport to get home. It’s a shame this is not the case in London! We were pretty hungover and tired the next day, which was also the day we left. We decide to go back for some potato soup for brunch.
Overall, I really enjoyed this trip and I would go back to Berlin as there’s plenty to do and the night scene is great. I’m not a big fan of history or politics in general, but it was really interesting to learn about it all. Berlin is still changing and finding itself – there was a lot refurbishment going on and I like that they were honest and upfront about Berlin’s history and the sadness for everything that had happened.