My Europe Trip! | Berlin

Wednesday, August 26, 2015



DAY 1
It was time to head to Berlin from Amsterdam! We took a 6 hour train ride from AMS Centraal Station to Berlin Hauptbahnhof (which is the main train station in Berlin). I really dislike long train rides (or flights for that matter) as I'm usually uncomfortable in small spaces for long periods of time! Anyway, when we finally arrived at Berlin, we were pretty much exhausted. And starving. When am I not starving though??

We booked a hotel near the Stadmitte metro station - Winters Hotel Berlin Mitte (one of those large chain hotels in Berlin) and the room was fantastic! I do find that standard of living in Berlin is generally lower than most European countries - which is great for broke travellers like myself. 

Since it was already evening, we decided to head to Alexanderplatz for dinner. Little did I know, there is a huuuuge Primark opened there (it wasn't there before when I visited 2 years ago). I got excited. Of course, how could you not? There were also these men carrying a portable griller filled with delicious hotdogs (with small baguette buns) which they would serve with mustard and ketchup. I call them my sausage men and these delicious hotdogs only cost 1.50 Euros each. I believe I got 4 during my trip. Too good. Great especially if you're always hungry like moi. 

Look at the mustard smiley!
At the open square at Alexanderplatz, there is a market where you can get tons of different foods as well. There is of course the famous currywurst, pretzels, pasta, beer and even chinese food. 

One thing I highly recommend to try would be the Crispy Duck Noodles from Asia Gourmet (a store along the metro station, nearer the Alexa shopping mall. This would change your life. The duck is deep fried, crispy and delicious and it is served with a ton of fried noodles along with a sauce of your choice. This ain't healthy, I'm warning you but oh-so-good. I need it now.


Another must-go-to in Alexanderplatz would be the DM drugstore. People, get yourself some P2 Pure Colour lipsticks. I ain't kidding - these lipsticks are of really amazing quality. They are creamy and moisturising, they last real long on the lips and the pigmentation is a killer. Best part, they are only 1.95 Euros each. Now P2 is a brand that is exclusive to DM drugstores so grab em' if you see em'!


Then the tragedy happened - I took out my camera as I wanted to snap a photo of the Rotes Rathaus (which is the town hall of Berlin). However, my lens kept going in and out repeatedly, and it didn't stop for a while! Turns out, my lens decided to die on me! It didn't even have any warning signs as I snapped the photo of the TV tower literally 5 minutes before. WHYYYYYY. I was devastated. This was only the 4th day of my month long trip and my camera decided to give up. 

So: Photos from now on ain't gonna be of great quality. 

The Berlin TV tower. The last snap before my Olympus bidded goodbye. 
DAY 2

Depressed from the lost of my camera, I woke up feeling pretty shitty. But life goes on.

We headed to the Berlin Wall Memorial where you could see the remnants of the wall as well as periodic additions to further strengthen the wall's security. There were also boards informing the history of the wall as well as stories on people who tried to escape.






Then we travelled to the East Side Gallery where 1.3km of the Berlin wall remains. It is now filled with paintings from artists all over the world and the works of art are really incredible!



Since the weather was so hot, I got myself some banana ice cream, cus why not?

This was 1.20 Euros!
Starving as per usual, so we headed to Vapiano's for lunch! I love Vapi's as they literally make your pasta right infront of you. Love that concept! Fresh and piping hot! Price range is pretty affordable as well. I got mine at 8.90 Euros, and the portion is pretty large.

I got the Estiva! 


Full from all that pasta goodness, we decided to visit the Charlottenburg Palace and its gardens. Being broke, we decided not to enter the palace as it was 12 Euros for admission and it was closing in an hour's time. However, if you circle around and head to the back of the palace, you get free access to the beautiful gardens!




Please ignore my finger :(
Last sightseeing stop of the day was the Soviet War Memorial at Treptower Park. It was slightly difficult to find and we almost gave up as we were searching for it in the park area itself. This memorial is on the other side, cross the road and enter via the large arc.






Dinner was amazing! Not your typical fancy meal but I got a beef burrito from one of the underground shops in Alexanderplatz metro station (you will pass it if you have to walk to get to the U2 train platform). For 4 euros, you get tons of beef, melted cheese, beans, vegetables and rice. So good. I can't remember the name and I didn't managed to capture a photo as I devoured it the moment I got it. This was the best burrito I had in my entire Europe trip - and I've had a few. Go get yourself some. And you're welcome.


This is really not the best photo - but I had to show ya. 

DAY 3

Woke up bright and early for our free walking tour by SANDEMANs New Europe. Of course, nothing is free and you'll have to tip the guide at the end of the tour - but it is worth it. The walking tour is one of the best ways to see and experience the city in a short period of time, so during the course of the month-long trip, I think we did at least 5 walking tours with this company!



The walking tour starts at the Starbucks near Brandenburg Gate. When we got there, the hoards of tourists have not arrived yet, so we quickly took the opportunity to snap a photo with the gate! At the strike of 10am, tour buses arrived and the hoards came. It happened so quick, I was amazed. (You know how in Left 4 Dead and a hoard of zombies just arrive from nowhere? It was pretty much like that hahaha.)



After the walking tour (it took about 3 hours), we headed to the Topography of Terror, which is a museum which talks about the SS, propaganda and history of the site itself (which was used by the Nazis during the Nazi period). Here on display were images portraying the progression of Nazi occupation and their reign.

Next, we moved onto Musuem island where 5 different musuems are located. We wanted to enter the Neues Musuem but decide not to as we were broke. I know, tragic. The architecture of the buildings always leaves me in awe, and that was good enough for me.







One building which I highly recommend seeing is the Reichstag. The majestic size and built really leaves an impression! Especially with bright blue skies, the view here makes you feel like you just stepped into a history textbook.




There are many memorials in Berlin as this city has a rich history. There is a another Soviet Army Memorial in Berlin (besides the one we went to yesterday) and this is at Tiergarden. This memorial is not a large as the one in Treptower Park, so if you're short of time, I would recommend dropping by the Treptower one.

Of course, there is the memorial to the Murdered Jews in Europe. During the walking tour, my guide told us that this is the proper name for this area, rather than the Holocaust memorial as this commemorates all the Jews that were murdered in Europe alongside those brutally murdered during the Holocaust.  There is no proper written interpretation for these stone pillars, and what you see and gather from that was the effect that the architect was going for. One interesting interpretation is that the stone pillars make up a bar graph showing the number of Jews being murdered per year (gradually increasing during the Nazi rule and then decreasing after).




Had my first ever pork knuckle for dinner! We plopped ourselves down at the Nanteck Altberliner Restaurant as it was near the Brandenburg Gate. To be honest, it tasted like ham and was nothing special. It wasn't super crispy either, which was disappointing. We also tried the smoked pork with liver sausage.

Pork Knuckle 13 Euros
Smoked Pork (behind) 11.50 Euros
DAY 4

Today we decided to head to Sachsenhausen memorial and musuem, which was originally a concentration camp in the past. It was terribly cold (could be due to the lack of buildings to shield us from the wind).

We booked a tour with Sandemans for this, so we had a guide to explain the history of this site (which was incredibly useful as we got to learn so much more than just reading the guides in the musuems). I highly recommend booking a tour if you're interested in coming here. We paid 15 Euros for the tour. Nevertheless, this place is definitely a must-see.




These were originally the crematoriums.


Did you know that the Volkswagen Beetle was designed by Adolf Hitler? 



Headed back to Berlin after 4 hours and realised that all retail shops were closed on Sundays. Had intense shopping plans so was pretty disappointed! Cafes and restaurants are open, so you guessed it, we decided to eat our way through the day.

A definite stop if you're a chocolate lover would be the Rittersport flagship shop and cafe. The hot chocolate here is really good! There are tons of flavours here (which are not easily found elsewhere) and prices are 0.75 euros for the large square! You can also create your own rittersport chocolate! Here is the address for those of you itching to google map it:  Französische Strasse 24 10117 Berlin. 

Another amazing chocolate shop (which I actually prefer over Rittersport) would be Fassbender-Rausch. This shop has sooo many different kinds of chocolates, you would be spoilt for choice. There is also a cafe on the second floor, if you're craving some chocolate cakes and hot chocolate. You also get to see sculptures of the famous Berlin architectures made fully of chocolate (below)! 




My best meal ever (throughout my entire month in Europe) happened this very night. Trip Advisor did us no wrong. We decided to try out this cafe which had good reviews for the famous pork schnitzel. THIS WAS AMAZING. Somehow, everything on the plate was just delicious. The fried potatoes with bacon was crazy good. Eggs (being eggs) was yummy too. Best part has to be the schnitzel of course. Crispy on the outside but the pork was juicy and tender on the inside. I usually steer clear from pork chops or cutlets as pork can get overly dry when overcooked. Not this. I wanted a second plate so bad, but your gurl couldn't do it. Mostly because I was broke.

Pork schnitzel and beer for only 12.50 Euros! Not the best picture, but trust me on this. 


Overall, I enjoyed my stay in Berlin thoroughly. The food was great and not too expensive, people were friendly and the buildings here show a mix of its rich history along with its modern developments! The environment was great and everything was easily accessible via public transport. This has taken over Prague to be my favourite country in Europe! I have to come back soon.

So onto our next stop, Prague!

Till then, XO.

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