I recently went back to one of my favourite countries in Europe, Germany, for a city break in Berlin. I think it was Berlin, anyway – with a temperature of 33 degrees every day, Jet2 might as well have flown us into the bloody sun. Maybe that’s why they played Jess Glynne’s Hold My Hand about 11,000 times during the flight, because they knew we had to prepare each other for getting fried to a crisp at the end of it by the European heatwave. (I probably yell it about 11,000 times every flight anyway, due to my low-key yet relentless fear of flying causing me to grab the hand of whoever is sat next to me).
ANYWAY. We flew out on Monday and came back on Friday, giving us 3 full days to play with. Here’s what we did with 72 hours in Berlin:
Visit the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag building
We got up on our first day and headed into Berlin to visit the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag building – nice and early(ish) in an attempt to beat the peak of the tourist crowds and the midday heat. (We didn’t manage either). This is a really good place to start your visit in Berlin as it’s close to lots of sights, plus it looked like lots of free city tours started here. We walked past a Sandemans tour that was just about to start, and if we hadn’t been literally about to set on fire we would have joined it.
Stop for lunch at Berlin Pavilion cafe
After a couple of hours strolling around in the sun we were starting to feel very tired and groggy from the heat – I was a walking freckle at this point – so we stopped for some lunch at Berlin Pavilion, a little self service style cafe a short walk away from the Reichstag. It had food, plenty of shade, and beer – so I was happy with it. 10/10.
Visit Berlin Cathedral
After lunch we made our way to Berlin Cathedral. It was way too hot to walk up it, but I imagine you’d get some bloody amazing views if you went all the way to the top.
Grab dinner in Hackescher Markt
We rounded off our first day by grabbing some dinner at Hackescher Markt, a busy square full of shops and restaurants and bars etc etc. There’s a mix of fancy and budget places to eat, but we went for budget because what sort of MANIAC would say no to pasta and wine for less than €10?
Walk along the East Side Gallery
We started off our second day by heading down to the East Side Gallery for a walk along the arty murals painted onto the remnants of the Berlin Wall. It wasn’t as busy as the last time I went, probably because most of the tourists in Germany had melted by this point.
Head to Checkpoint Charlie
After that we made our way to Checkpoint Charlie. (I should point out, there was absolutely no logic or thought put into the order in which we saw things on this trip. So if it seems like we’ve seen everything in a very inefficient and time-wasting way, that’s why. My brain doesn’t work when it’s hot, it just turns into a giant freckle.)
We spent some time reading the many boards and displays along the road next to Checkpoint Charlie explaining its history before stopping at the McDonald’s right next to it for some authentic German cuisine.
Get some currywurst
While we were there I decided I should actually get some proper German cuisine so right after our McDonald’s trip I went over the road to get some currywurst. I completely forgot to take a photo of it for my blog, though, because 1) I was hungry and 2) I’m a terrible millennial. Was I even born in the ’90s?
Explore your local area
During our trip to Berlin we stayed in an Airbnb for the first time ever in an apartment in Prenzlauer Berg. This lovely little neighbourhood had lots of streets to walk down with shops and bars and parks, so we spent the whole of our last day having a wander round it. (We also couldn’t face the thought of too much movement going back into the city. Have I mentioned it was quite hot?)