A weekend in Berlin
Last year Helen wrote and published travel articles on Global Graduates while working as a Student Brand Ambassador for the FCO. She is now on an Internship abroad in Prague, and shares her top tips for a weekend trip to Berlin.
Berlin is a creative, cultural city with many diverse attractions and a rich history. On a recent weekend away to Berlin whilst interning in Prague, I visited this wonderful city for the first time and was not disappointed.
I’ve compiled a list of must-see places in Berlin, including the best places to eat, drink and stay.
1. Places to visit
Brandenburg Gate is an iconic statue in Berlin, which makes the city instantly recognisable. Its grand, impressive structure has a rich history behind it and is a monument you should visit if you would like a classic Berlin Instagram photo!
East Side Gallery was once part of the Berlin wall, which has now been made into the longest-open air gallery in the world. Not only is it bright, creative and portrays impressive art work, but the freedom it symbolises shows the complex history behind this artwork. It’s a great place to visit if you’re a lover of art or history, or if you just want to see something different and creative!
Topography of Terrors is a museum which portrays Nazi history and the terror they caused. This exhibition has a creative timeline which shows the journey and crimes of the SS from 1933 all the way through to 1945 and also includes information about post-WWII. The layout of this exhibition makes it easy to follow and understand, and not only has detailed wall text and images, but interactive videos where you can watch original footage and learn more about this particular period of time. It really gives you an insight into both Germany and Berlin’s history and is well worth a visit.
The Holocaust Memorial consists of 2,711 concrete slabs, which are arranged in a grid pattern on a sloping field. The individual concrete pieces are arranged in rows and intend to create a sense of confusion and disorientation when walking through them. This powerful memorial gives you a real sense of how many Jewish lives were lost and gives a further insight into Germany’s history.
RAW Flea Market is a small, but quirky flea market, full of character and unique stalls. From clothes to jewellery to one of Berlin’s many old, but fun black and white photo booths, this flea market is a must-see. It may be smaller than some of Berlin’s other flea markets, but it’s still well-known none the less and its size gives it the feeling of a specialised, tailored and authentic flea market.
Boxhagener Platz is a much bigger flea market than RAW, but still gives you the feeling of a proper flea market. This market truly has something for everybody, from clothes stall, to books, to china tea cups. Not only is there lots to browse or buy, but there are musicians dotted around so you can enjoy music whilst sauntering round the stall.
2. Where’s a great place to eat?
Located just outside of the RAW flea markets, there’s a quirky little restaurant called Kültürzeit. If it’s a sunny day you can sit in the outside seating area and if not there’s still plenty of room inside. The food menu is wide and varied, ranging from brunch options, to pasta and pizza to delicious desserts. They also offer an unlimited hot and cold buffet option where you can get various pastas, cous cous, salads, scrambled eggs, breakfast options and dessert all in one! It costs around 9 euros but has plenty of choice is served fresh and is extremely tasty! This place is a great pit-stop from the flea markets at any time of day, so if you’re looking for a relaxed, cool vibe with delicious food, this is definitely a place to go!
3. Where to drink?
Located just over the bridge from East Side Gallery in the Kreuzberg area of Berlin, there are many cosy, popular bars. If you fancy relaxing in an atmospheric, busy bar in the heart of Berlin then Kreuzberg is definitely an area to visit.
4. Where to stay?
If you’re on a budget, but don’t want to compromise luxury then Plus Hostel is the place to go. Yes, it’s still a hostel and has shared dorms, but it has its own restaurant/bar, pool and sauna and you can even choose en-suite rooms. This hostel is colourful, quirky, has a wide influx of travellers and even arranges weekly yoga classes and trips to the flea markets. Plus Hostel is more like a hotel, but friendlier on the purse-strings! You even get a free shot from the bar on arrival- what more could you want?
5. Transport to and from Prague
If by any chance you’re travelling from the Czech Republic to Berlin, there are some great, budget-friendly options. You can go by train or plane, but the coach also provides a great, efficient service. Flixbus is spacious and comfortable with leather seats, heating/air-con and reading lights. Even if you decide last minute you want a trip to Berlin you can grab a ticket on the day for just £22 one way! Student Agency/Regio Jet also provides a great service, with inbuilt television screens, free hot drinks and an onboard customer assistant. Even when booking only a week in advance, you can grab a ticket for just £17 one way.