DURATION: 2 DAYS
Berlin has transformed from a divided city to one of the most forward thinking and trendiest cities on the planet. Merging its gritty history with a diverse and accepting culture, creating a cocktail of inspiration for all that visit. Scandanavian style coffee shops, fashion bourtiques, vibrant nightlife, good food and culture are all within a weekends grasp.
Recent and more distant history are evident all around the city from wide roads and elaborate European palaces to remains of the Berlin Wall itself. We visited the memorial at Bernauer Str. to see a remaining stretch and listen with disbelief to the stories of lives of city dwellers during this period.
The Holocaust Memorial opened in the city centre sixty years after the end of the war, to represent the murdered jews of Europe. While the thought provoking collection of 2,711 "stelae" is open to interpretation, it is certainly an impressive memorial both visually and emotionally.
For brunch, head to Hausvogteiplatz where awesome European dishes await in the stylish "Chipps". Afternoon coffees at "Zeit für Brot" near Alexanderplatz. If you wish to venture across town, we recommend a pretty authentic Vietnamese restaurant "Saigon and more" , located in Geisbergstr.
Located near the very central Alexanderplatz metro station is Flowers Boardinghouse Mitte, a serviced apartment over a trendy clothes shop and surrounded by even trendier coffee shops. Excellent accommodation that certainly enhanced our trip.
Simplistic as it may seem, one of our top tips is to get in the back seat of a locally manufactured Mercedes-Benz and enjoy the German Engineering while driving through the grand streets of Berlin.
Germany is famous for the best Christmas markets - they invented them! A perfect time to visit is in the lead up to Christmas, we visited a few of varying types but Gendarmenmarkt (pictured below) was our favourite market, although the above Christmas tree in front of Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church is worth a mention. Wrap up and enjoy mulled wine, crepes, sausages, live music, handmade decorations and market crafts and novelties.
Markets start to appear on the footpaths and in squares from the last weekend of November. Tourists and locals alike float from stall to stall, market to market taking shelter from the winter air and enjoying the magic of Christmas.
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