What I did and saw:
Berlin Wall (East Side) Gallery-
Part of the infamous Berlin Wall still stands as a reminder of the past. It has become a popular place for graffiti artists, and there are some interesting works there. It is definitely worth checking out when visiting Berlin.
Sandemans Free Walking Tour-
As I have mentioned in previous posts, free walking tours are a great way to see a new city. They provide good context and some good recommendations when visiting a city.
Set on an island in the Spree River that runs through the city of Berlin, Museum Island houses some great museums, such as the Neues Museum. They offer single museum passes as well as whole island passes. I only had a day there, and I could have spent much longer there.
Topography of Terror-
Berlin has a number of free museums with the goal of educating people about the past, and the Topography of Terror museum is one of these. The hope is that through this education, we will keep from repeating past mistakes and atrocities.
Berlin, like many other German cities, has some great Christmas Markets. While some of them had closed for the season before I got there, some were still open, and they were great to visit.
Where I ate and drank:
I visited the Schlesisches Tor Burgermeister location underneath a train bridge. The unassuming place served me the best hamburger I have ever eaten. The burger, bread, and toppings are all high quality. There could be a wait during peak times, but when I was there they worked through the line relatively quickly.
Bone Berlin and Kaffee 9 (Markthalle Neun)-
Markthalle Neun is a great food market, with most of the places serving food to eat on site, but a few places selling ingredients to cook with back home. Bone Berlin serves great food for good prices. I tried the shakshuka, curry, and french toast (all with German twists to them). Located right by Bone Berlin in Markthalle Neun, Kaffee 9 serves up some really good craft coffee, with filter and espresso options.
Annelies is a great breakfast cafe. They serve good coffee and great food with excellent service (and a cool name too).
Mustafa’s Gemuse Kebap and Curry 36-
After hearing from multiple sources that Mustafa’s had amazing kebabs, I thought it was worth a try. However, there was a massive wait in line. While waiting in line I ate some curry wurst from nearby Curry 36. The curry wurst was good, but I preferred the curry wurst I had at Typisch (see below). Also, the kebab from Mustafa’s was very good, but not worth the wait in my opinion.
Typisch is a solid plane that I stopped at on my Sandemans walking tour. The curry wurst I had there was the my favorite curry wurst in Berlin.
Buck and Breck-
Hidden behind an unassuming store front, Buck and Breck is a cool, laid back speakeasy that serves high quality drinks.
Brewdog Berlin Mitte and Mikkeller-
While neither of them were started in Berlin, both Brewdog and Mikkeller have outposts in Berlin. They serve excellent craft beer and good food. The Jule Mælk I had at the Brewdog in Berlin is still one of the most delicious things I have ever tasted in my life.
The best cup of coffee I had in Berlin was at the Barn. The award winning serves up some good food options in addition to their excellent coffee.
Where I stayed:
Plus Berlin was a very nice play to stay. They even have a pool and sauna, but unfortunately I was unable to use them. They are only open from 10am-10pm everyday, and I usually would leave before 10am and not get back to the hostel until after 10pm.
How I got around:
I walked a good amount in Berlin to see the sites, but because it is such a large city, I also used the train to get around the city.
My favorite thing:
It was nice to be in Berlin during the festive Christmas season, the museums were interesting, and the food I ate was great. However, my favorite thing was the Jule Mælk I had at Brewdog.
My least favorite thing:
Due to the fact that Berlin is in a way two cities, it covers a very large area. Many sites and restaurants are very spaced out, and it can take a long time to get from place to place.
For next time:
As I said above, Berlin is a massive city, so there are still many things I want to do and try there. There are a couple more museums I would like to check out and quite a few more craft coffee places I would like to try.
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