Craig and I are back from a very cold 2 days in Berlin!
Where we stayed:
The EasyHotel in Mitte. This was our second stay here and I wouldn’t hesitate to go back a third time! What you compromise on room size, the location makes up for. I think it’s about a 15 minute walk to Alexanderplatz, or you’re very well linked by the U-bahn and trams just a minute from the hotel.
We actually had a slightly larger room this time- the last time we stayed here we couldn’t both get through the door at the same time as the ‘standing space’ on the other side was so tiny! The bathroom is a little partially frosted cube, so you need to be comfortable with whoever you’re sharing with. Bed was super comfy, but maybe that’s just because we’d done so much walking we’d tired ourselves out!
What we ate:
I was quite nervous about how my tummy would cope while I was away- it definitely wasn’t as placated as it is when I’m eating totally low fodmap, but was actually okay. I took peppermint oil capsules as well as the probiotics I’ve been advised to take by the nutritionist, and I think this helped too.
We headed straight from the airport to a Konnopke’s for some currywurst. We’d been here before as it’s apparently one of the best currywursts in Berlin. I’ve not eaten enough to verify, but it’s certainly very tasty! Since our flight was delayed we ended up here about 4pm I think, so we ended up not eating again that evening.
We ended up at the Hard Rock Cafe for lunch the following day. Craig really likes it there, but for me it was another quite safe option. This is actually a really nice one, you sit upstairs and can see out over the Kurfürstendamm shopping street.
We made a stop at Amorino too, it’s never too cold for my favourite sorbet!
For our second dinner we had some more currywurst at the Christmas market at the Schloss Charlottenburg. This was followed by some hot chocolate in the obligatory Christmas market mugs.
I brought some fodmap friendly muffins with me for breakfast, and some cereal bar type snacks to have throughout the day. We bought bananas for breakfast when we arrived. Not very glam, but I knew it would get my tummy off to a safe start and it’s also a way to save a wee bit of time and pennies.
What we did:
We found the city to be almost eerily quiet on the day we arrived, in light of the previous day’s attack on a Christmas market. We had a plan to fit in as much as we could but all the markets were closed on the day we arrived. We took the u-bahn and s-bahn to the Schloss Charlottenburg market to find it closed, then over to Potsdamer Platz to find the same thing. The only other people out were really tourists as well. We ended up in two shopping centres, at Potsdamer Platz and the Mall of Berlin, which wasn’t what we’d planned but at least it was warm. We walked back via the Brandenburg Gate and Unter den Linden.
The following day we headed out west to the Olympic stadium. It turned out to be closed to visitors, but it was very impressive to see from the outside and I think we might be adding this to our list of places to return to!
We then headed to Spandau- not sure if this was just us and that we were there at such a cold time of year, but I didn’t really think it was worth the visit.
Desperate for some Christmas spirit, we headed to Käthe Wohlfahrt Christmas shop on Kurfürstendamm. If you’re in Berlin and it’s not Christmas time, go here anyway for some lovely decorations.
We then started out Christmas market crawl- from Potsdamer Platz with its ice slide, to the Weihnachtszauber am Gendarmenmarkt, Schloss Charlottenburg, Alexanderplatz and the Scandinavian Saint Lucia market. I think the Schloss Charlottenburg was my favourite of these.
Our final morning we were at the Reichstag by 8:45am ready to visit the glass dome. The city was so so quiet. We’ve got these photos with hardly anyone in them, incredible for such a busy place usually!
It’s free to visit, but you do have to book in advance to go up the Reichstag building and then there are passport and security checks before you go in. I’m really glad we went up, but it was so cold that the windows were frosted over so our views over the city were a wee bit limited!
From there we walked back to the hotel where we’d left our cases in a slightly longer, more touristic route, taking in the Holocaust Memorial, Potsdamer Platz (again!), the Topographie des Terrors (we spent hours here last time, so much to read and it’s totally free), Checkpoint Charlie and the big shops with their Christmas lights on Friedrichstrasse.
I know we’ll be back to Berlin some day, as we do seem to have an ever growing list of things we want to do and see there. I’d rather spend my time leisurely while I’m away though, even if it means I see and do less than planned.
Fröhliche Weihnachten from me, wishing you all a very merry Christmas!