Tuesday, 12 January 2016

See the City | Berlin 2016

With one of my New Year's resolutions being to travel as much as possible in 2016, I set out for Berlin, Germany with my best friends. I have always wanted to visit Berlin, with it's saturation of street art, incomparable nightlife and rich history and culture.

Travel & Accomodation
We flew from Dublin to Schonfeld and then took a slew of trains, buses and taxis to reach all of our destinations. The public transport system in Berlin is multi-faceted as the city is so spread out but for the majority of our trips we used UBER or Taxi Berlin to travel to nightclubs and museums.
We stayed in an AirBnb on Paul-Robeson Straße, in a district which is known for its vegan and organic stores and restaurants. The apartment itself was gorgeous, with high ceilings and a cozy atmosphere. 
 (image: Airbnb)

Food & Drink | Brunch & Nightclubs
As ladies who love to brunch, and the help of recommendations from some natives we found a few amazing places to eat in Berlin. On arrival from the airport we went straight to Roamers on Pannierstraße, a tiny rustic cafe with the most Tumblr-esque aesthetic I have ever seen. The decor was an absolute dream with hanging plants and knick-knacks adorning the walls and the vibe was friendly and intimate as the place was tiny and barely seated twenty people.

(Image: Sasha Kharchenko) 

 The food was absolutely delicious and there were vegetarian options aplenty. I opted to start my day with the poached eggs but Ashley from the Style Scruple went for the pancakes which would be my reccomendation.
On our second day we visited Beakers for brunch, situated on Dunckerstraße which was a 10 minute scenic walk from our apartment. The decor was biker-chic and the ambiance was warm with candle light being the main source of illumination and the cutest dog loping from table to table.
 I went for the scrambled eggs, which were accompanied by some cheeses, fresh breads and a pomegranite salad. 
 Our food took close to an hour to arrive but it was well worth the  wait, everything was fresh, perfectly seasoned and delicious. It was also here in Beakers that I had the best soy latte of my life. Apologies for the poor camera work, candle light isnt my photographic forte and I was dying to eat after the long wait.

On our third and fourth days we took our hangover club to Spree-Gold, the most un-chain like chain of contemporary German cafes I have ever seen. The place featured typical Berlin style interiors with exposed piping and abstract light features. 

The food was amazing, ranging from all kinds of loaded omelettes, pancakes and paleo plates to pastas, super-food salads and granola's. 

Spree-Gold is a self service cafe, and so after you order you are given a little pager which alerts you when you food is ready, prompting you to go and collect it from the kitchen counter.
 The juices and smoothie shakes from Spree-Gold were even better than the food, with the fruits being squeezed in front of you. The price was reasonably inexpensive, especially considering the amount and quality of the food you received. 
While in Berlin, we also visited some of the clubs in Berlins in-famous clubbing scene. We went to Kitty Chengs,an intimate tiny club with a townhouse vibe, which strongly reminded me of Dublin, The Matrix which was a huge seven roomed dance club,complete with glow stick dispensers and dance cages and finally the infamous Tresor, which totally encapsulated what I thought the Berlin club scene would be.

Tresor is and underground (literally sub-terrain) club where unfortunately photography is not aloud but it is my top recommendation for a trip to Berlin. Prepare for miles of strobe lit tunnels, thick smoke and a post-apocolytptic rave feel.
(Ashley McDonnell from The Style Scruple and I at The Matrix Berlin)

Berlin by day
During the day we visited a variety of tourist attractions. On Friday we visited the Jewish History Museum, which was one of the most intense and sub-mersive curative experiences I have ever had.

 The museum consists of two buildings, one baroque style old building which houses the cafe and welcome area, and The Libeskind building where the interactive main exhibits such as the Axes, "the three axes symbolize three paths of Jewish life in Germany – continuity in German history, emigration from Germany, and the Holocaust", and the outdoor exhibits such . as the Garden of Exile and Tower of the Holocaust. 

 We also ventured to the unmissable Berlin Wall, both by day and night at the East Side Gallery area. We walked along the river taking in the historic monument and the art, both street and professional, that it hosts. 

We also went to the amazing Flea Market at Mauer Park. It took us a while to find the stalls as we slipped our way across the ungritted paths but once we arrived we discovered a maze of stalls featuring mostly vintage clothes (make sure to haggle your prices!), delicious foods, art and a variety of knick knacks.

 I picked up a huge warm vintage coat for my trip to Krakow in a few weeks and a canvas bag which I will feature in a blog post very soon.

On our way to the airport on Monday afternoon we stopped off at the DDR museum, located right opposite the river from the Berlin Cathedral. 

The DDR Museum offers highly interactive installations about Communist Germany, including a vintage car you can sit in and "drive" around pre-war Berlin and a house you can walk into which is decked out in the decor of the time where you can sit down and watch news bulletins or nose around the kitchen cupboards. You can also learn the popular dances of the time, live in a spy's jail cell, read about careers and beauty treatments of the time or look at installations about the German punk movement and the nudist movement of the time.

A trip to Germany wouldn't have been complete without sampling the famous Currywurst from a street stall. As a vegetarian I had to live vicariously through my friend Sarah as she tried the classic dish which was met with enthusiastic aplomb. 
Overall my trip to Berlin was amazing, it was one of my favorite city breaks of all time as when you walked down any street there was something interesting to see, whether it was a park, statue or graffiti on a front door.
(Hat -Primark,Jumper -River Island,Jeans -Topshop,Longline Coat -F21,Outer Coat -ASOS) 

My friends and I visited for four days,and coupled with going out every night we did not get to see everything we would have wanted to see such as Checkpoint Charlie. I will definitely be visiting Berlin again in the future to further explore the city and to enjoy many more brunches, nights at Tresor and the industrial and bauhaus architecture. 

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