I’ve always wanted to visit Berlin; amazing food, great art galleries and everyone wears black all the time (I belong here) – finally for my 30th I had the chance! I visited for a long weekend with my parents and P, we crammed a whole load in but it’s definitely somewhere I want to visit again as I left so much unexplored. Below are some of my top picks, and if I visit again (hopefully soon) I’ll keep adding.
Where to eat
Monsieur Vuong – A lively, laid back Vietnamese restaurant in Mitte. Fresh, clean flavours are a welcome change if you’ve been going heavy on the rich food. The menu changes every few days but is a mix of traditional dishes like Pho and some more experimental ones. Well priced (for central Berlin) but very busy so you might have to wait for a table!
Michelberger Hotel – Very cool hotel but also a really nice place to stop and grab some food. Although the restaurant was closed for lunch when we visited, we did get a sandwich from the bar and it was super tasty. Even if you just fancy grabbing a drink the courtyard and lounge areas are verrrrry nice places to chill.
Restaurant Pasternak – a traditional Jewish/Russian restaurant in North Berlin and maybe my favourite meal of the trip. We visited for brunch and I had the most incredible potato hash, spinach & cheese mousse with poached eggs. The coffee is also stand your spoon up strong so be prepared for a big caffeine hit.
Santa Maria – An authentic Mexican restaurant serving quick and delicious food. I went for tacos along with guc & chips, and wasn’t disappointed. Fresh and zesty, with lots of combos like spicy home cured bacon and cheese!
Factory Girl – A very cool cafe in Mitte. The breakfasts are massive & delicious (I essentially had a buffet on a plate), and the coffee is very good. What more could you want to set you up for the day?
Burgermeister – There are a few of these around Berlin and they’re pretty much carts under the railway stations but man are the burgers delicious! You q, get given a number (prepare to wait) and then savour every moment. Definitely a great low cost place (didn’t see a veggie option though) and do get the chilli cheese fries – they shouldn’t be missed.
Street food – Kebabs are a totally different ballgame in Berlin, they’re actual nice, fresh food rather than 3am post beer slop that we tend to think of. Currywurst is of course a must (sausage, chips and a ketchup/curry sauce) – the perfect accompaniment to a beer.
Waffel oder Becher – I’d hazard to say this might be some of the best ice-cream I’ve ever had. Loads of delicious flavours…peanut butter, pistachio, chocolate sorbet, spiced pumpkin cheesecake to name a few. Pop in and I promise you won’t regret it!
Where to drink
G&T Bar – Right at the top of Hotel ZOE so you get great views of the city. The bar staff are very knowledgeable and they have a whole section of German gin. It’s a bit on the pricey side so go for one at sunset for the views.
Anti War Cafe – Proper dive bar decorated in loads of interesting posters and memorabilia. Very chilled atmosphere and the cheapest beer you’ll find in central Berlin.
Restaurant Simon – Great wine list and lots of outdoor sitting to watch the world go by – not the cheapest but the wine is very good quality.
James Simon Park – Opposite Museum Island and includes a strip of bars next to the river with 100s of deckchairs outside. Perfect if the weather is nice enough and even better when the happy hour is on – we found ourselves here most evenings!
What to do
Berlin Wall – We visited the two separate sites. The mural trail is great to visit to see lots of different artist interpretations, and the memorial gives more background and history. Both are free and would def recommending going to.
Reichstag – I have to admit I didn’t have massively high expectations for this but it was great. You’re taken to the top of the building which has fab views alone but also can walk up the glass dome which has a guided audio tour of the city – perfect if you’re getting your bearings. Entrance is free but you do have to book at least a week in advance.
Mauerpark Flea Market – On Sundays and is a must. Huge and a fab mix of crafts, vintage & food – be prepared to kick yourself about baggage restrictions. It’s a short walk from Restaurant Pasternak so good to combine for pre market fuel or a post market rest.
Berlinische Galerie – My favourite gallery we visited – a beautiful building and a great permanent collection along with exhibits.
Street Art Walk – We did this from the Berlinische Galerie to Burgermeister (the Kreuzberg murals walk) and is a great way to see some of the famed art in the city. There’s loads of self guiding trails online but why wouldn’t you want to do one that finishes with burgers??
Top tip – Get an ABC Travel Card that let’s you hop on and off trains, trams and tubes. It goes to and from the airports (around a 45 mins train) so you’ll make your money back on airport transport alone.