Welcome back to Part Two of my Berlin Travel Diary – You can read Part One here if you haven’t already. Day Two in the city started with a quick Starbucks as we headed back to the Brandenburg Gate for some more photos. We then caught the U-Bahn to Checkpoint Charlie. Although it’s not the original border house (you can view that in the museum), the original site has a replica. Checkpoint Charlie was the crossing point between East and West Berlin and just around the corner is an original piece of the Berlin Wall. It’s pretty surreal to see the wall in person as it’s such a significant part of Berlin’s history.
We actually paid a visit to the Topography of Terror which was free admission and just nearby to the wall. The museum is actually built on the site of the SS and The Gestapo and the permanent exhibition is a must visit if you’re in the city. It’s not an easy visit but so important to be informed about a difficult time in history. The museum is laid out really well with so much information everywhere and I felt like I’d learnt a lot in the short 3o minutes or so that we had spent there.
All of the places I ate in Berlin will be in an upcoming Food & Drink Diary, we tried to visit quite a few famous local spots. One of them being Burgermeister which is a small burger joint in some old train station toilets. I’m not even joking. It seems that it truly was the place to be. It’s only a very small place and it was incredibly busy!
Just across the water was the East Side Gallery which was somewhere I was desperate to visit on this trip. The East Side Gallery is part of the Berlin Wall which has different pieces of graffiti and artwork along. It’s pretty amazing to see all the art, we ended up taking hundreds of photos here and spending most of the afternoon walking along the wall. We did want to go check out some other things in the area but it was absolutely freezing so we decided to head to our next hotel on the west side of Berlin.
For the next night, we were staying at the 25 Hours Bikini Berlin Hotel next to the Berlin Zoo. It was a pretty amazing hotel. We even had a hammock in our room overlooking the zoo, I’ll be doing a full review very soon. If you’ve been following me a long time, I do love visiting different Hard Rock Café’s around the world. In fact, I collect the T-Shirts so that’s where we ended up for food before checking out the Monkey Bar in our hotel which is one of the most talked about places in the city.
Our last full day started with a spot of shopping. Just around the corner was the Kaufhaus De Westens which is in fact, Europe’s Largest Department Store. Before this trip, I had no idea that this is where it was, I always thought it was Harrods or Selfridges in London. The department store was pretty spectacular but it had nothing on my London favourites! There was an incredible food hall on the top floor which we ended up finding a cafe to have a drink in and just people watch.
With the amazing location of our hotel, it would have been rude not to have visited the Berlin Zoo. We also got a discount with our Welcome to Berlin Cards to entry was around 15 euro’s each. Due to the freezing weather, I didn’t think we would end up seeing a lot of animals as they would be tucked away but there was lot’s of indoor parts to the zoo too. We had a really great day at the zoo and came really up close to some Giant Pandas which was an incredible experience, saw Orangutans, Giraffes, Elephants, Penguins and a lot more.
Our final stop on our Berlin Adventure was visiting the DDR Museum which is located right by the Berlin Cathedral. The museum came highly recommended for being a fun, interactive experience which explores life in former East Germany. It was a really fun museum where you could really immerse yourself in the 70s. I’m not going to lie, I was absolutely shattered after exploring Berlin for three days. I think we managed to cover a lot of ground. Our final night was spent in our Motel One at Alexanderplatz eating yummy pizza and chocolate fudge cake from Vapiano.
I don’t think I fell in love with Berlin as much as I know other people did. However, I’m so glad that I’ve visited the city which has been such a major part of European history.
Have you ever been to Berlin before? Where was your favourite place? Do you want to visit Berlin?