Most people spend December going mad with some last minute Christmas shopping, finishing up with work and prepping for the big day. However I like to think I’ve been busy enough to deserve a mini city break (the absolute cheek) during the mist of it all. From 18th-21st December I spent four glorious days in Germany’s capital, Berlin. It was a joint Christmas present that my man friend and I decided to plan.
I wanted to share a mini travel guide for the city attractions if any of you are planning or interested in visiting the city. Of course, it is huge so I would definitely recommend pre planning locations, landmarks and shopping destinations before you fly.
Obviously the most iconic tourist attraction is the breathtaking Brandenburg Gate. It was by far my most favourite place to be and each and every night I went back for more. It is a beautiful landmark no matter what time of day it is but it comes to life in the evening. The atmosphere around it is incredible, if you enjoy people watching then this is the place to be.
The Berlin Wall is another location worth visiting. With its famous history and circumstances surrounding it, to see the murals and notes left definitely leave an impact. I particularly loved the ‘Peace Now’ graffiti art, a symbolic message for all. At over 1,000 feet high, the Fernsehturm can be seen from every corner of the city. A restaurant, television and observation tower it’s worth visiting as it sits directly over the famous Christmas Markets at Alexanderplatz.
Now onto the infamous Christmas Markets, the main reason we decided on Berlin for our Winter break. By far my favourite afternoon spent browsing the sixty handcrafted stalls that carried glorious food, beautiful Christmas decor and fabulous cashmere scarves. An outdoor ice staking rink and fun fair was on hand as well as a pony ride stable for young children. I of course indulged in a mouthwatering white chocolate pear which was incredible. I also made sure to purchase some beautiful handmade candles to incorporate a little culture into my home.
Like any city, there is always a wide variety of shopping available. I went to Berlin knowing exactly what brands I wanted to purchase, KIKO and Zoeva being the main ones. I actually didn’t buy any clothes which is shocking, it was very much a make up trip. My main port of call was the enormous Mall of Berlin (their most famous and it’s spilt into two huge buildings it’s so big, just like Macy’s) as I had seen Kathleenlights rave about these single KIKO shadows in a recent video so I knew I had to have them. Berlin has their own version of Sephora named Douglas which carried all of the brands that we can’t purchase here. I of course spent everyday browsing the products and they also had a huge NYX concession which I was absolutely loving. The malls were incredible (Alexa Centre is another great one) the amount of stores available was a little over whelming but the fabulous decor made it heavenly to walk around. Directly outside the centres were mini Christmas Markets that sold jewellery and knitwear that again were handmade if you fancied a more relaxing spree.
Food & Drinks:
For me the only downside to travelling is how picky I can be when it comes to food. I could go a full day without eating (which is incredibly stupid) but my stomach can’t handle the food. Their infamous hot dogs are too much for me (the man friend loved them) so I basically lived off Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts. We did however branch out with some Hard Rock Cafe. A universal diner that made things that little bit easier for me. I just love that place, I’ve been to the New York, Krakow and Dublin ones so naturally I had to visit it in Berlin. Of course the delicious cocktails helped the meal go down nicely. The markets are a great place to sample fresh food for those of you who aren’t fussy. Also, Berlin has a huge variety of restaurants to try if you enjoy much more of a fine dining experience. I had no problem sampling the alcohol, the good old Prosecco came in handy and during our market experience I sipped on the odd glass of mulled wine. When in Berlin and all that jazz!
We decided to take a break from the markets and city hussle by spending the day at Berlin Zoo & Aquarium. I’m such a big kid when it comes to these kind of activities. I get so excited and overwhelmed running around to see each of the animals. A great bonus is that the Zoo leaflets provide feeding times for each animal which is an incredible experience to witness. Watching the Lions, Tigers and Hippopotamuses enjoying their grub was something I will never forget. I’ve always grown up watching animal documentaries so I’m a huge geek at heart, the Gorillas were so beautiful to sit and watch. How they interact with others and the crowd was pretty hilarious. I could go on forever talking about this but if you are going to Berlin I would definitely recommend going whether you have children or not.
Hope you enjoyed my travel guide. If any of you are planning on going then feel free to contact me or leave a comment if you want to know more. Of course, I would always recommend visiting during the festive season as it is just such a magical experience but the city is a beautiful place so any time of year wouod be perfect. See you all in my next post.