Recommendations are the most reliable ways of finding out the best things to do in each city, and after a recommendation from a friend we booked a Fat Tire Bike Tour. We chose to book the Berlin Wall and Cold War Tour because it included most of the sites that we wanted to see whilst in Berlin. Unfortunately it was raining during our tour, but it was only our tour guide, a trainee tour guide and us, which made it fun and relaxed. During the tour we saw Alexanderplatz, Bebelplatz (the site of the infamous book burning), Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin Wall, Hitler’s Bunker, Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag and Museum Island – there is also a stop for lunch. The guides were great and adapted the tour to fit our needs, even though the weather was horrible we were definitely glad we did the tour! This is a great way to start your time in Berlin, as it gives a fantastic overview of the city.
Our tour guide from our Fat Tire Bike Tour advised us that the Topography of Terror is one of her favourite museums in Berlin, so make this your next stop. The Topography of Terror is situated on the grounds that were the headquarters of the Secret State Police, and exhibits documents and information regarding the crimes the SS committed throughout Europe; it makes for fascinating reading. As it was still raining, we decided to venture to the DDR Museum, which is an interactive museum, which shows what it was like to live in East Germany during the Cold War period. If you have the time, try to visit both of these museums as each allows for a different take on Berlin’s history.
Blogs are a great way to find the hottest restaurant and foodie experiences, so when I was planning a trip to Berlin I headed straight to the Department of Wandering. Rachel is an Australian travel blogger who was living in Berlin (she has recently moved) and I noticed that she recommend The Bird. The Bird is a burger place in Berlin that gets a lot of good reviews, and it’s understandable why. We hadn’t booked a table but we arrived quite late and we were advised that they could give us a table in 30 mins; we headed to a nearby bar for a drink whilst we waited. The interior in The Bird is very American and relaxed, but because it’s popular there is a good buzz, it will make for a very enjoyable first dinner in Berlin.
End your evening in The Pub – Mopse Trinken Bier, which is a fun bar where customers sit at a table and can pull their own pints. One of my favourite parts, aside from the atmosphere, is that there is a screen, which looks like a football league table and indicates which table has poured the most.
Luckily our guide from the previous day had mentioned the view from the Reichstag Dome, so we looked it up and managed to book a slot for the morning. This is definitely worth doing because the building itself is beautiful, but the Dome hosts brilliant views of all around Berlin. There is an audio guide that you can listen to whilst you make your way to the top, which ensures that you don’t miss any sights or information!
After the Reichstag Dome, make your way to the East Side Gallery. Here you will find a section of the Berlin Wall that has been turned into an outdoor art gallery. There are a variety of different murals, with some designs being better than others, but due to damages, fences have been erected around the most famous part of the wall.
If you want to experience as much of Berlin’s food culture as possible, what better place to visit than KaDeWe? KaDeWe is a huge department store that has a food court with a large selection of food products, as well as restaurants. It’s great for buying something to takeaway for later, or for enjoying a sit down lunch. Currywurst was something else that I wanted to try whilst in Berlin, and Curry 36 seemed like the perfect place to grab one. It’s a popular place, but it doesn’t take too long to get served. I did enjoy the dish but it wasn’t my favourite food from Berlin.
I was recommended Sisaket through the Lonely Planet Thorn Tree Forum and is where I would recommend spending your final evening in Berlin. Again, we didn’t make a reservation but it’s pretty big inside, so we had no issues getting a table. It was reasonably quiet, which meant that the atmosphere wasn’t as good as it could have been, but the food was fantastic and the prices were surprisingly cheap. We shared the chicken satay to start and then I indulged on the Thai Red Curry; I thoroughly enjoyed both of these dishes! Make sure to grab one, or a few, last beers on your way back to your accommodation.