Rêveuse City Guide: Top 5 Places in Berlin, Germany

Rêveuse City Guide: Top 5 Places in Berlin, Germany


Berlin was never really on the forefront of my travel list, but when a friend who was staying in Germany invited me over during the Christmas period, I knew I couldn't decline the offer! After researching into the places I wanted to visit, I realised that I had more things to do than what my travel duration allowed for (which ultimately means I have to visit Berlin again one day, no complaints from me!). Berlin, like London, is a cosmopolitan city that I always imagined to be filled with hip young cafes with an artsy sort of vibe around the city, and whilst I did witness this impression in real life, Berlin is also a place where you can take the time to learn something new. History had never been my forte in school, but after this trip I really felt the need to read more about some of the historical moments that has happened in Berlin, as well as Germany as a whole. Aside from the museums, galleries and food sites, Berlin also has great points of natural scenery that blends into the built environment which I had never really thought about. The River Spree runs right through the City, with great views overlooking it as you walk towards the museum quarter island. 

As mentioned, I visited during the Christmas period and I honestly recommend going during this time. Although it was slightly cold, this was soon forgotten about when the view of fairy lights and smell of traditional German sausages and mulled wine were within our peripherals. Christmas markets are probably one of the most famous things to come from Germany and it's definitely something you have to experience. Below we have highlighted some places that we really enjoy and some tips of enjoying what the city has to offer!

5 PLACES TO EXPLORE IN BERLIN

REICHSTAG. This site will most likely already be on your list of places to go, but we felt the need to mention it again. The Reichstag has a long history behind it and now houses the meeting place of the Bundestag (Federal Assembly). A large glass 360 dome was added to the architecture by none other than Sir Norman Foster (whose accomplishments include The Gherkin in London and Apple Park in California), which made the tourist attraction of the place soar. With a set amount of free tickets every day, the Reichstag is open to the public where you can choose to queue on the day and watch the number of tickets go down (quite exciting trying to keep your fingers crossed for your time slot) or you can pre-book it in advance online. I was fortunate enough to visit the dome in the morning and afternoon where both offered quite differing experiences. The day time allowed you to have a proper view of the city, whilst the night time was just as beautiful, with the open dome giving you direct view of the stars above. 

MARKTHALLE NEUN. This indoor market houses some delicious fresh produce such as fish, meat and fruit and veg. There are also stalls that sell household goods such as a Japanese inspired ceramics stall. On this particular day, it was raining, so the Market wasn't as busy as we had expected, but I'm sure during the summer and on the weekend it would be filled with tourists and locals alike. When I travel, I also enjoy taking photobooth photos and we were excited to find a black and white photo automat tucked away in the corner here!

TOPOGRAPHY OF TERROR. A trip to Berlin cannot be complete without experiencing one of their many museums or galleries. Highlighting the museum of Topography of Terror, we spent a good few hours roaming around the space and reading all the personal saddening stories behind the lives of individuals and prisoners during Hitlers reign. This truly eye opening visit was one of many that we experienced, with many more interesting sites such as Checkpoint Charlie that you should also check out on your way.

BIKINI BERLIN. Bikini Berlin is a shopping complex that is located just a short walk away from Berlin Zoo. It houses some amazing independent and well known boutiques, restaurants and even an exhibition space that are carefully curated. During the Christmas season there is also a Christmas market located conveniently opposite it, making the area an upcoming urban and fun hub. We're hoping the next time we have the opportunity to stay in Berlin that we do it at the 25Hours Hotel which looks as if it has the most eclectic, quirky yet comfortable vibe!

BERLIN CATHEDRAL. Berlin Cathedral is located on museum island and is immediately noticeable from it's green topped domed roofs. In photos, the scale of the site doesn't do it justice as it has a strong, dominating presence. Even if you aren't religious or able to get inside, we definitely recommend passing by, as the architecture itself is truly mesmerising.


OTHER MENTIONS

ALEXANDERPLATZ TOWER. Although I didn't have time to go inside to experience the 360 degree moving views within the towering spherical building, just being within close vicinity to is well worth your time. The iconic tower that looks like a ball stuck in a needle, is a TV tower and is the tallest building within Germany. Even though it may sway from side to side (don't make this put you off from going!) it is even safe in bad weather. However, if you choose to go to it's viewing platform, you can also experience their restaurant where you'll have the added bonus of amazing views across Berlin!

CHARLOTTENBURG CHRISTMAS MARKET. If you're planning on travelling during the Christmas season, make sure to check out Charlottenburg Christmas Market. A lively market that is located in front of the lit up palace. You'll find the usual German christmas market finds such as Currywurst (a delicious sausage covered in a tomato sauce), Stollen (a loaf filled with dried fruit), raclette (grilled melted cheese that has been sliced off the cheese wheel onto a piece of bread or potatoes) as well as my ultimate favourite, Schmalzkuchen (fried dough, coated in icing sugar). You can also find little objects, making it the perfect place to find your christmas gifts!

PLACES TO EAT

BEETS AND ROOTS. Traditional German food can sometimes feel quite heavy, so if you enjoy eating healthy food, we really recommend Beets and Roots. We managed to stumble across this hip eatery decorated in neon pink lighting and marble tiles as we were making our way towards the Reichstag. The food consists of bowls of healthy goodness with a worldly modern fusion such as their Korean bowl, Indian bowl or Mexican bowl. It's also a nice place if you just want to chill and people watch.

HOUSE OF SMALL WONDER. I was enticed to visit this eatery by Mary after she described it as an indoor plant paradise with a fusion of western of Japanese food, so I decided to head off and see it for myself. As you enter, the aesthetically pleasing interior will surround you, with plants that hang from the spiral staircase and all over the window sill. The brunch was as delicious as I had expected, where I ordered the onigiri set and an iced earl grey tea to top it off. I would definitely come back for their dinner menu just for the ambiance and aesthetic of the place!

MONKEY BAR. I was looking for a place that would end my trip on a high note, which is when I clicked onto the pages of Monkey Bar. Situated opposite the Berlin Zoo, you can take the elevator up where you'll be greeted by dim candle lights and the warm ambiance of groups deep in conversation. On one side is their restaurant and the other is the bar, giving you the option of also having dinner there. With views across the Zoo and an outdoor terrace, the Monkey Bar also provides delicious cocktails where you can just relax and take in the busy City.


TIPS ON TRAVELLING IN BERLIN
  • I personally didn't expect Berlin to be as spaced out and big as it was (googlemaps can be deceiving!). Make sure you plan out your days efficiently with the sites you intend to see all within a specific area, so you don't spend most of your day travelling.
  • As mentioned, we recommend booking your tickets to go inside the Reichstag dome online, unless you don't mind waiting in queue to get your tickets. Don't forget to bring your passport or any form of ID as they are very strict with security! 
  • Don't just spend your time within the tourist spots of Berlin! We really recommend seeing different neighbourhoods as you gage the melting pot of different cultures living in an area. We love to walk to get to our destinations and that's how we manage to always stumble on great finds. Don't be shy to really get off the beaten track!

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