Berlin has always been on my bucket list. So, when I opened my presents on Christmas day and found a 2017 diary I was surprised to see it fall open on some dates. The flight times to Berlin were scrawled inside, and I counted down the weeks until it was time for us to climb onto the plane! I had no idea what to expect, other than a whole load of street art. Fancy seeing what we got up to? Read on to find my Berlin travel notes…
Day 1: The downpour and weird ballrooms
We arrived and had a little drama with the Airbnb! The landlord had a flood in her apartment, but before long we were soon settled in a more central apartment within a ten minute walk of the action. With the rigmarole of getting into our accommodation, we’d lost most of the afternoon so dinner and drinks were on our mind! We freshened up and headed out in search of something substantial and a stiff drink.
After looking in some of the ‘off the beaten track’ pub guides, we’d earmarked Clärchen´s Ballroom as somewhere we wanted to experience. It’s apparently a bit of an institution. In 1913 Fritz Bühler and his wife Clärchen opened “Bühler´s Ballroom” but “Clärchen´s Ballroom” is now a dance hall with restaurant in the centre. We set off, eager to experience the weirdness but the heavens decided to open. I’m not talking a light drizzle here. Serious downpour hammered down on us, and so when we finally found the ballroom, we were almost wetting ourselves laughing – wringing out our clothes and our hair!
The ballroom was so bizarre – a real blast from the past with a huge wooden stage, an old school disco ball slowly turning, and a older few couples swirling each other around to the music which was drifting out of the speakers. Nevertheless we grabbed a table and ordered something from the traditional German menu. The food filled our bellies and we braved the rain again, settling on a local bar and sinking a whole load of alcoholic beverages before heading home and drifting off in minutes!
Day 2: Hungover bike rides and Bavarian beer houses
Col had done his research, so much to my dismay we braved the cold and headed into town; before I knew it I was plonking my (very hungover) body onto a bike. Let me assure you, it’s definitely a tour for all abilities, as I’m pretty certain it was four (maybe more) years since I’ve had my ass in the saddle of a bike (and I was extremely hungover) but I managed to negotiate the streets of Berlin unscathed.
Fat Tire Bike Tours were our hosts, and showed us round all the major landmarks in the city. We even stopped off with the rest of the group for lunch in a little cafe hidden away amongst the trees of Tiergarten, which was a really nice touch. The price of the tour was really reasonable and we felt like it was a great way to see the city in the short amount of time we had. Interested? You can check out more about the different Fat Tire Bike Tours here.
After we’d been back to the apartment to wash the day away, we went out for some dinner! We had previously checked out the various bars and restaurants and had identified one secret bar we wanted to go to in the evening, but it was so well hidden and were starting to get hangry, so we ‘fell’ into a Bavarian beer house for meat and beers. After a day of cycling round in the cool air – it’s safe to say the cosy wooden walls, delicious food and copious pints left us pink cheeked and ready for a good night’s sleep!
Day 3: The world’s best breakfast and street art searching
Col and I were super sad that we’d got to the final day of our trip, and planned to cram as much walking as we could in, so we were eager for a hearty breakfast. We’d spotted the Rose Garden the day before, so escaped the chilly streets for a breakfast of mashed avocado, salty bacon and dribbly eggs. Just what we needed! This kept us stuffed whilst we walked for miles. We must have covered at least half of the city, with the Street Art Berlin app (link here) keeping us on track – it essentially shows you your location on the map, just like Google maps, but with the nearest street art spots highlighted. I’d definitely recommend downloading it as it takes you on an exciting adventure off the beaten track, plus it finds the best street art for you!
We’d kept Katz Orange reserved for our final night. It had great reviews and the outside of the restaurant was so beautiful when we’d walked past previously. The evening was a fantastic way to end our trip – with one wonderful breath taking meal and a whole load of lovely conversation. I’d definitely recommend checking it out.
Have you been to Berlin? Where’s your favourite city break?