I would have never imagined it is such a pleasant city. And cool at the same time. Berlin was high on our bucket list for some time now. Our friends liked the city; we have a friend who lives there, and we knew from our experience in other German cities that we won’t be disappointed.
We promised our friend in Berlin a visit a long time ago and finally, last weekend, the time had come. With the last Tuesday being a national holiday, cheap plane tickets and a good weather forecast, we knew it was the time to pack our bags and go. In the past, we have visited Hamburg, Bremen, Munich, and Cologne. And we knew we could look forward to good food. We love typical German baked goods like bread rolls, pretzels, and whole grain bread but we were blown away by the number of great restaurants and cafes we saw and visited.
Are you thinking about visiting Berlin? Go! Are you already planning your trip? Check out these places. We loved them.
What to do and see
Brandenburg Gate and Tiergarten
The first thing most people imagine when they think about Berlin is probably the Brandenburg Gate. This historically significant landmark lays in the middle of the city, and it’s a must see. Right next to it, is the Tiergarten, a large urban park and a perfect place to escape from the noise, bustle, and summer heat.
East Side Gallery
This international memorial of freedom is a cool place to visit. More than one-kilometer long, open-air gallery that displays paintings from more than hundred artists. The paintings are painted on a section of the Berlin Wall.
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
This memorial was one of the strongest experiences from Berlin. We only visited the outside part, a mazelike structure made of concrete blocks, but there is also museum underneath.
Berlin Wall Memorial
This memorial was my favorite place even though it’s sad to walk on the street where the Berlin Wall was built. There are a few spots where the newspaper articles, pictures, and stories describing the situation and construction of the Berlin Wall are displayed. Especially personal stories with pictures of families who fled their homes, risking their lives will leave you speechless. There’s a visitor’s center with a tower overlooking the area and preserved section of the wall and a watchtower.
Potsdamer Platz and Mall of Berlin
If you are in a mood for shopping the Mall of Berlin is a great place. The mall is near the Potsdamer Platz, and it has two parts – The West Side and The East Side.
The best-known crossing point between the East Berlin and West Berlin. This place witnessed many attempts to flee from East Berlin, prisoner’s swaps between Soviets and Americans and you might have seen it featured in many movies( e.g., The Bridge of Spies).
Where to eat
Father Carpenter Coffee Brewers
Father Carpenter was hands down, my favorite cafe in Berlin. One morning we had a huge breakfast here. We tried avocado sandwiches, muesli, and banana bread and it was all deliciously prepared and beautifully presented.
THE BARN Café
A small neighborhood cafe, perfect for a short coffee break. I believe there are several Barn cafes in Berlin.
This healthy lifestyle promoting cafe is a calming spot with great smoothies. It’s a cafe, shop, and sports studio. They serve nutritious plant-based breakfast, lunches, and snacks here.
Fancy a dessert? Then this is the place. You can find this family-run chocolate store and cafe next to the Gendarmenmarkt.
The Digital Eatery
A cafe, co-working space, and bistro in one, located on the most prominent street in Berlin, Unter den Linden. If you’re in need of a break, coffee refill or a quick bite, stop here. We loved the Digital Eatery for its design, sandwiches, comfy sofas, and a rather quiet atmosphere.
We stopped at this small cafe near Moritz Platz just for a little while and had just some drinks, but the cafe also serves lunches and has a tempting selection of cakes.
This small Syrian restaurant in Mitte neighborhood is not exactly my type of restaurant, but it was our friend’s recommendation. I’m glad we went there because the food was great. They serve rather big portions, at low prices, and you’ll have a view to the kitchen.
Which city or place pleasantly surprised you on your travels?