EUROPE

Berlin

Joe had to go to Germany for work, and I had always wanted to visit Berlin, so we figured I would tag along and we would combine work and play. This was a week long trip but it was divided in two by Joe’s days at work. Therefore, we had 4 days in Berlin, the equivalent of our usual long weekend standby trips.

DAY 1 :
We flew from Montreal to Frankfurt. It wasn’t complicated, Joe had a confirmed seat up front, I was seating in the back for an eventful flight where a passenger lost consciousness and it turned out I was the only doctor on board. Once we made it to Frankfurt, the plan was to fly to Berlin. As per usual standby adventures, that didn’t happen. Instead, we rented a car (got upgraded to a convertible!) and drove to our final destination.
The first thing we did was eat (obviously!)
We grabbed a classic curry wurst on the way to our hotel, a Berlin classic!
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After settling in to our room, we headed out for dinner with one of our friend who was in town for a conference! We picked Hasir, a Turkish restaurant in Kreuzberg. We spent the evening catching up and eating delicious food.
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Afterwards, we stumbled upon the perfect spot to end our first night in Berlin, Café Luzia, serving delicious drinks to locals and tourists alike.
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DAY 2
Because our friend was headed back home that same night, we wanted to get a quick glimpse of the city.
We started off with a free walking tour (Sandman’s New Europe tours are usually great, led by young and energetic guides who work for tip) It was a great history review, which is essential for a city like Berlin with a heavy past.
We walked by many monuments and beautiful buildings.
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Brandenburg Gate
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Brandenburg Gate
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The Memorial of the murdered jews

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There’s a museum underneath the memorial which we visited on our last day in Berlin and it’s definitely worth a visit!
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wall
The Remnants of the Wall
Also next to the Remnants of the Wall is an excellent museum, The Topography Of Terror. The exhibitions reviews in depth the crimes committed by the Third Reich throughout Europe.
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After the tour, we walked by the Berliner Dom and crossed the river to the James Simon Park where we grabbed a beer and updated our friend about all the gossip she had missed in Montreal.
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Well rested, we headed to the East Side Gallery, an open-air gallery, which consists of murals painted on remnants of the Berlin Wall.
Before saying goodbye, we grabbed a burger at Burgermeister – a burger joint located underneath railway – hands down the best burger we’ve had in a while. It’s worth the wait, trust us!
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Late at night, we visited the Reichstag Dome. The parliament offers free visits of its dome from 8 am to midnight, by reservation only. Book ahead online, and don’t forget to bring your passport!
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There is a free audio tour which points out different buildings you see from the top. The visit was nice, but we recommend you visit during the day because with reflection of the lights it’s hard to see which building the audioguide is talking about.
DAY 3
The previous day was a busy one, so we took it easy on day 3.
We woke up late and went for brunch at the Store Kitchen, a hipster and trendy boutique restaurant on the ground floor of the SOHO house.
The food was amazing and a great start to our day.
We then hopped on the tube to get to Potsdamer Platz where a lot of new projects are developing. We walked around and spotted the last remaining watchtower. Joe even went up the narrow latter to check out the little space from where guards would watch the border.
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sony center
Sony Center
Then, we walked to Tiergarten, which is probably the equivalent of Central Park. There’s a beer garden in there, but it was closed as we were pretty near the end of Fall. We went up the Victory Memorial and had a beautiful view over the city. The colours of Fall made it spectacular.
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DAY 4
Our last day before Joe headed out to work, we had another great brunch, this time at Commonground, in an another gorgeous boutique Hotel. It was absolutely delicious.
We then took the afternoon to walk along the Berlin Wall Memorial – an absolute must do! They have done such a great job with this open-air exhibition. Markers are set along where the wall used to stand and different informative panels help you take a peak into history and relive some of the most important and darkest moments of that period. It gives you a glimpse of what life was like for these families who were separated by a wall for so many years.
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The visitor center is also a museum and is well worth a stop (we went to end at the end of our walk, but it would make sense to check it out at the beginning of your visit)
We finished our day off with an early dinner at Muse, where we had a perfect autumnal themed meal.
There are so many things to see while in Berlin, and most of them are free. Give yourself enough time to visit the exhibits that interest you, and if possible, spread it out, because it is all very interesting, but also very dramatic. It is strange to see people go along with their daily lives amid all these constant reminders of the Holocaust and of the Berlin Wall era. It helps us never forget the past but also makes you realize how lucky most of us are to be living freely.
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Berlin was definitely a coup de coeur.