48 Hours in Berlin
29th May, 2019
DAY ONE - SATURDAY
Be up with the lark for granola pancakes and a chai latte at the
rustic and relaxed Le Bon near the Kreuzberg and Neukölln
neighbourhoods. Self-proclaimed as being the one stop shop for
'Brunch, Lunch & Booze', this cosy café has transformed comfort
food into a work of art. Open Tuesday - Sunday, the granola
pancakes plate is €8,20.
After breakfast, jump on the M41 bus and take in some of the city's landmarks during the 30-minute ride to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews. The imposing site, close to the triumphant, neoclassical Brandenburg Gate, comprises 2711 concrete blocks that are laid out in a grid formation. A place of contemplation, remembrance and warning. Open Tuesday - Sunday, free admission.
A short walk will take you to the neo-renaissance Reichstag building. The edifice housed the German Empire until 1933 and bears silent witness to the city's turbulent past. It is perhaps the city's most iconic landmark and welcomes visitors into its dazzling dome viewpoint. Open daily, free admission.
Pick up a pretzel for lunch while walking the circumference of parkland to the entrance of the iconic 175-year old Zoo Berlin. It attracts over 3,000,000 visitors every year and, with around 20,000 animals from over 1,300 species, is considered one of the most comprehensive menageries in the world. Open daily, an adult's ticket is €15,50.
In keeping with the animal-theme, hop over to Monkey Bar, a trendy spot just a 1-minute walk from the zoo. Based on the 10th floor of the super-stylish 25hours Hotel, you can sip a sundowner on the terrace overlooking the monkeys' enclosure before dining on Israeli-Oriental cuisine at the rooftop restaurant, NENI. Open daily, the 'Best of NENI' set menu is €39 per person.
DAY TWO - SUNDAY
Wake up and smell the coffee! Smashed avocado on sourdough and a
cappuccino at Distrikt
Coffee is a quaffable, scoff-able way to start the day! This
hipster haven offers simple food served with soul. Open daily,
sourdough stacked high with avocado and feta is €7,50.
A 25-minute walk north-east across the city will take you to Mauerpark, an area which, at the time Berlin was divided, was the border strip of the Berlin Wall. Every Sunday, the public park transforms into a popular flea market, with largely private dealers selling second-hand clothing, accessories, furniture and vintage wares, and food and drink trucks. There are even afternoon Karaoke performances… They say that 'if the legendary Berlin attitude can ever be found at home, then it's in the Mauerpark on Sundays'. Open every Sunday from 9am, free admission.
When you've shopped 'til you've dropped, jump on the U-Bahn and head to Markthalle Neun, the beating heart of the city's food scene. The indoor market hall, which first opened in 1891 and survived World War II, is jam-packed with street food vendors serving up local artisans (and international delicacies if you're still in town on 'Street Food Thursday') and Heidenpeters craft beer from the on-site brewery. Open daily, free admission.
After lunch, stroll along the river to the Badeschiff, a floating swimming pool onboard a harboured barge, surrounded by urban beach. With a panoramic view of the river Spree and the Oberbaumbrücke, the open-air lido and its surrounding recreational area is the perfect spot to while away the afternoon. Check out a video here. Open daily, an adult's ticket is €6,50.
If you're not quite ready to hit the hay, head over to Holzmarkt 25, a creative playground on the banks of the Spree. Enjoy the home-brewed beer, pizza and live entertainment, and dance the night away at neighbouring nightclub Kater Blau. Open daily, admission fees apply.
Bowie once said "Berlin, the greatest cultural extravaganza
that one could imagine" and we couldn't agree more. Its
exciting blend of culture is rooted in its unique past, one which
has shaped the city into a European powerhouse.
Every day there are changes made to the city and every visit will bring a new experience. Anything goes here.