Tuesday, September 20th, 2016
I went to Berlin for a couple of days and I couldn’t resist sharing with you the ultimate Berlin travel guide. I did some research before I visited Berlin and found some cool places on different websites, on Instagram or they were recommendations from friends. I thought that all the places I visited were absolutely amazing. You won’t regret checking these places out when you’re going to travel to Berlin.
Believe me, it won’t be the last time I come to this city. In fact, I want to move there. It’s a bit odd because I used to live in Berlin when I was a child but that’s such a long time ago. Berlin has changed so much and it’s one of my favourite cities in the world now. It’s super chilled out and there are so many places to discover, it never gets boring. I do think it’s a bit like East London, just bigger (PS: I love East London).
I hope you’ll enjoy this ultimate Berlin travel guide! Do let me know if you know of any other cool places in Berlin!
House of Small Wonders is open during the day and serves breakfast and lunch. I just loved the entrance of this place. It does look like a small wonder, doesn’t it? It’s a very relaxed café. I would say it’s definitely worth a visit (hello, Instagram!) but I do have to mention that I wasn’t too impressed with their menu. It was basic food for quite a bit of money.
Open: Monday – Sunday 9am – 5pm
Address: Johannisstraße 20, 10117 Berlin
I found this place randomly when I was looking for a breakfast place in Berlin-Mitte, close to our Airbnb flat. Zimt und Zucker is right next to the river Spree and has indoor and outdoor seats. The food and the atmosphere were amazing! I have tried many different types of breakfast but I still think German breakfast is the best (okay, I’m biased). The bread is always so fresh and healthy and you have so much on your plate to choose from. I highly recommend this cute restaurant!
Open: Monday – Sunday 9:30am – 9pm
Address: Schiffbauerdamm 12, 10117 Berlin
Surprise! This Japanese restaurant is in the same building as House of Small Wonders. If I’m not mistaken it’s run by the same people but it looks very different. Zenkichi is located in the basement and it’s a little oasis. It’s so zen in there, you don’t even feel you’re in a big city. It was empty at the reception so I asked if it’s even open. Ops, I had no idea that it was a labyrinth with little cubes where people enjoyed their dinner. We chose to taste everything from their menu and it was an excellent choice. Absolutely yummy and a reasonable price for the quality of food.
Open: Monday – Sunday 12am–12pm & 6pm–12am
Address: Johannisstraße 20, 10117 Berlin
This is really one of the best restaurants in town and probably a cuisine you don’t eat every day. Neni Restaurant is founded by a mother and her 4 sons (read more here). The food is influenced by a mix of Persian, Moroccan, Spanish and Israeli. I went there with my parents and we chose Balagan style which means ‘wonderful chaos’. It was absolutely delicious! This place is best with a couple of people to share the dishes.
Open: Monday – Sunday 12am – 11pm
Address: Budapester Str. 40, 10787 Berlin
The Monkey Bar is right next to Neni on the same floor. We basically had dinner first and then enjoyed some cocktails at the Monkey Bar with a view over the zoo. It’s a great atmosphere. The only downside is the waiting time for your cocktails. Bring a lot of patience with you because it can take a while. They might even forget your order if you ordered at the bar.
Open: Monday – Sunday 12pm – 2am
Address: Budapester Str. 40, 10787 Berlin
I really loved this place. It’s a bit hard to find because it’s on top of a car park (not so fancy) but once you get in you don’t remember that you’re actually in a car park. We had to queue for a while but I don’t think it’ll be that crowded in October. Klunkerkranich is quite a quirky place. At the night we visited, they played Hip Hop performed by puppets. It was an interesting concept. I highly recommend this place and hope it’ll be there every year.
Open in October: Wed, Thu, Fri 4pm – 1:30am and Sat, Sun 12pm – 1:30am with a market
Address: Neukölln Arcaden, Karl-Marx-Straße 66, 12043 Berlin
I think I wrote down this place in my little Berlin notebook but at the end, it was destiny to come here because we just found it without looking for it. It is a very quiet place in Berlin Tiergarten next to a little lake (hence the name). You can chill with beer or wine and some traditional German food at Café am Neuen See. If it’s not too expensive for you, you can also be super romantic and rent a boat. It looks crowded but I didn’t have the feeling it was touristy.
Open: Monday – Sunday from 9am
Address: Lichtensteinallee 2, 10787 Berlin
I don’t have any photos from this place because I was too hypnotised by the jazz music we listened to that night. It’s a very small and intimate place with a lot of character. I didn’t realise it was right around the corner of Klunkerkranich. We listened to Flexible Eingreiftruppe. Such amazing talents! It couldn’t get any more local. Check out their schedule; although Donau115 is a jazz bar they don’t always have jazz musicians playing and I really wanted to listen to some authentic jazz music whilst visiting Berlin.
Open: Wed – Sat 7:30pm – 3am
Address: Donaustraße 115, 12043 Berlin
Okay, I’m not listing all the festivals in Berlin now but I will tell you more about the one I have visited during my time in Berlin. In fact, it’s the only festival I’ve ever been to in Berlin but I think a festival like that could not get any better. Lollapalooza is an international festival and it took place in Berlin for the second time. My boyfriend and I initially wanted to go because he is a big Radiohead fan. But the festival was so much more than just music. There was a lot of entertainment and it even had a corner where all the kids could hang out. Seriously, life is not over when you have kids. I’d probably go to even more festivals when I have children (hint to my boyfriend).
Next Lollapalooza in Berlin: 9th & 10th September 2017
I wanted to visit much more museums and galleries but a) the weather was too amazing to spend too much time inside and b) there was just not enough time to do everything. On top of my list though was this private gallery by the Boros couple. It’s full of history and art. It was built at the end of the Second World War as a safety bunker; it was then taken by the Red Army and used as a banana storage during the Cold War and it was also the biggest techno / sex club during the 90s (PS: the founders are running now Berghain). In 2003 it was bought by the media owners Boros and renovated until 2008. Now it’s a private art gallery and the family lives on top of the bunker in a penthouse (crazy!). It’s really impressive and you can still see the history of the building inside. We were not allowed to take photos so you need to see it for yourself!
Open: Thursday 3pm- 6:30pm & Friday – Sunday 10am – 4:30pm
Address: Reinhardtstraße 20, 10117 Berlin
Berlin is a shopping paradise but unfortunately, I couldn’t explore all the places and markets due to time scarcity. I still want to introduce you to one cool shopping place: the Bikini Berlin. This shopping mall is also conveniently located in the same building as the Neni Restaurant and the Monkey Bar right next to the zoo. Bikini Berlin has a lot of individual pop-ups and cafés and I wouldn’t be able to compare it to any other traditional shopping mall. Don’t say I didn’t warn you, the shops are all amazing and I’m sure you can’t resist buying something…
Open: Monday – Saturday 9am – 9pm & Sunday 12pm – 6pm
Address: Budapester Str. 38-50, 10787 Berlin
I’m a fan of Airbnb so it was my first thought to book a place through their website. I found out later that it’s not that easy for people in Berlin to rent out their entire flat. I think they need to pay quite a bit of taxes, so it’s more common to rent out a room and that’s exactly what we did. Check out our Airbnb place here. The location was fantastic, right next to the Boros Bunker.
My boyfriend really wanted to stay one night at the Michelberger Hotel. Check out their website, it looks so cool. Whilst my boyfriend thought the Michelberger Hotel was great, I was a bit disappointed. The reception area, lobby, and the restaurant looked amazing but the rooms were so small and had nothing special in them. Some people are a fan of bathrooms with windows and I just think the bathroom should be a private zone but I do admit it’s a personal preference. In a nutshell, I thought it was a bit too expensive for what they offered. Maybe it’s because I was too impressed with the citizenM hotel in London (better price-performance ratio)…
Address: Warschauer Str. 39-40, 10243 Berlin
In general, it’s just cool to rent a bike and cruise around Berlin’s districts. There is so much to see and you can just stop at any time and chill out in a café, in a park or by the river Spree. I’m sure Berlin can be experienced very individually and differently by everyone. I can definitely recommend the districts Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg, and Prenzlauer Berg.
Last but not least, if you want to try a very traditional alcoholic drink in Berlin you must try Berliner Weisse as seen in the picture. It might sound a little weird but it’s a mix of beer and syrup; you can choose between raspberry (red) and woodruff (green) syrup.