72 hours in Berlin

So I’m just about getting back into the swing of things after my trip to Berlin. To be honest it’s taking a little longer than I thought it would!

And this post is on the long side so make a cup of tea and get settled.

We had a fantastic time. There is so much to see and do in Berlin that we’ve all come away saying we want to go back.

I travelled to Berlin with three of my girlfriends. The ones you’ve known for at least ten years (in one case 30 years!) and was so good to create memories with them again.

Here’s the run down of what we did and what I’d recommend.

weekend in berlin what to do free walking tour mini review

After finding our Airbnb (more about that in a future post) we were booked on a Free Walking Tour of Berlin. The idea being to orientate ourselves in the city at a price to suit all our budgets.

The concept is with these free walking tours is that you pay at the end what you think it’s been worth, and what your guide deserves.

This makes the tour guide really give their all on the tours, especially as they don’t earn a salary from this job- it’s purely the tips they make their living from. Our guide was an American named George (who’d been a Berlin resident for nine years) and he was excellent. His passion and knowledge of Berlin really came through on the tour, parts of which I found extremely moving.

berlin free activity walking tour historical tour

After the tour we were hungry and very thirsty so we asked George the best way to get to a place called Monkey Bar (which one of you lovely readers had suggested), if the name doesn’t give it away, it overlooks the monkey enclosure at Berlin Zoo. We hopped on the tube and on exiting we went about ten minutes of going in the wrong direction, before finally finding 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin which is where the Monkey bar is situated.

panoramic view berlin hotel bikini berlin monkey bar neni restaurant travel blogger review and recommendations

We didn’t realise but there is also a restaurant called Neni in the hotel on the same floor so we headed there first for some much needed food. Neni was stunning- fantastic interiors and a brilliant menu, which was really reasonable in price too.

bohemian greenhouse restaurant in berlin modern interiors

The restaurant and bar both have stunning 360 views across the zoo and beyond and I’d really recommend you pay a visit if you are in Berlin at some point in the future. The portions are large and there is a good nod to vegan dishes in the menu too, which I’m happy to say was the case in most places we visited over the weekend.

We loved this place and would go back in an instant- if only to work through that menu whilst watching the monkeys.

after dinner at NENI in berlin 25hours hotels

We wandered through to the Monkey bar after our meal and although we were very tired (early flights) it was brilliant to get a couple of drinks under our belts and enjoy the uber cool vibes of this bar.

monkey bar essential things to do in berlin weekend break

As some of you may know I do love (and am pretty damn good) at research. This Berlin trip was no exception. I knew we were staying away from the usual tourist spots- so I wanted to see what was around our area.

One of the best things in Moabit is the Markthalle, and the AMAZING all you can eat Brunch that is on offer there.

For just under 17 euros you get a glass of Prosecco, then unlimited coffees, teas and juices and a mind blowing choice of food on offer.

From on-demand freshly cooked bacon, eggs and sausages, to cured meats, smoked salmon, salads, cheeses, fruit, yogurts- basically loads. There’s also things like potato gratin and fish and chips- all included. And you can keep going until you are full.

stunning brunch in old fashioned market hall in moabit berlin

I was too busy stuffing my face to take any photos of the food but what also was so lovely about this Brunch venue is the sense of community here. You could see local Berliners enjoying time with their friends and family. A large central group even broke into song at one point.

I honestly think we were the only tourists there, which in a city like Berlin is a rare occurrence.

If you want great food, really great food, to set you up for the whole day ahead and to see and feel the Berlin behind the tourism and the “hipsters” then go here. Please! You wont regret it. We thought we’d be stopping for about an hour but in fact spent three hours here. We loved it.

bear and baby street art berlin east side gallery

Other suggestions

  • David Bowie’s apartment ~ this was a bit of a pilgrimage for us. There are tours in Berlin that are specifically about Bowie but we wanted to pay our respects in private. So we sought out Hauptstrasse 155 ourselves. There’s not a lot to see, a small tribute in the doorway, but it was a good feeling to go there.
  • Lee Miller exhibition ~ this was a temporary exhibition at Martin Gropius Bau, a huge 18th century building which houses modern art. A brilliant photographer, trailblazing for women in a male dominated world. It covered her surrealism works and the images she took during WW2, many of which weren’t published at the time as they were seen as depicting the war “too realistically” (is that even possible?) anyway it’s fair to say they were dramatic and emotive.
  • East Side Gallery ~ the shot of the bear and baby above is taken right opposite the East Side gallery (graffiti and street art are widespread in Berlin). A place where 1.3km of the Berlin Wall still stands. On the wall graffiti artists from around the world have painted images onto the wall, depicting hope and and change. Relating to the fall of the wall and the reuniting of East and West Berlin.
  • Photoautomat ~ these are old photobooths- the strip photos. They are a lot of fun for a couple of Euros and dotted around the city. Great for capturing memories of your trip.

vintage photobooth berlin

  • Rosenthaler Strasse ~ an area not too far from our apartment with some gorgous boutiques, vintage shops, restaurants and bars. I’d particulary recommend Nu Eat Kitchen (Asian fusion restaurant) and St. Oberholz (coffee/bar/coworking space).
  • We managed to squeeze in one Flea Market visit. More an antiques market really I’d say. Straße des 17.Juni  market, also not far from the Moabit area so we went on the morning of our last day. I was very restrained and just bought one thing, but there were some gorgeous things there- especially home decor items- ornate door handles and a huge array of vintage lighting (I’m on a self imposed lighting ban at the moment- argh!).
  • Last but by no means least is a Vegan Cafe called Geh Veg, which was right opposite our apartment. We wish we’d found this earlier, but we made up for lost time by ordering lunch, cake AND ice cream. The staff were lovely and the food was so good- also the only place I’ve ever been that has a vegan ice cream choice of around 16 flavours!! Brilliant. I’ve found them online here.

vintage chair from antiques flea market in berlin

Well done if you made it this far!!

There were so many things we missed on our visit and I’ve still a really long list of things I’d like to do in Berlin. Hopefully there will be another visit in the future.

I’ll be sharing where we stayed soon so stay tuned for that, I guarantee you’ll love it!

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19 Comments

  1. May 18, 2016 / 2:51 pm

    What a wonderful trip Sus! I’ll definitely have to visit Neni next time I’m in town, it looks fab esp. offering vegan options 🙂

    • May 18, 2016 / 8:01 pm

      Kate- you’d love it! I’m trying to find excuses to go back x

  2. May 18, 2016 / 3:57 pm

    Berlin is at the top of my list of places to visit, as I have never been to Germany. I always love seeing the food that people eat when travelling too.

    • May 18, 2016 / 8:01 pm

      Dannii you’d love it! Esp the market hall!

  3. May 18, 2016 / 5:05 pm

    Sounds like a great trip Susie. I did the free walking tour in Reykjavik earlier this year and would always recommend them too. Have to say the Monkey bar is now on my list of places to visit when I make it to Berlin. Thanks for this guide.

    • May 18, 2016 / 8:00 pm

      Aw I would go for the free tour now without hesitation. Thanks lovely!

  4. May 18, 2016 / 8:05 pm

    Love Berlin, went for 3 days back in March and I’m already planning my next trip.

    Did you get chance to see Alexanderplatz?

    • May 18, 2016 / 8:48 pm

      Stephen we saw it from the train but we didn’t actually visit. Such a great city- I cant wait to go back too!

  5. May 18, 2016 / 9:56 pm

    What a fab trip you had. I absolutely adore Berlin. It’s one of my favourite cities. I spent a good few months there whilst at Uni and one of best friends lives there so I go back when I can. A great place to add to your list for your next visit is the Buchstabenmuseum. It’s a museum of letters and is basically full of signage that has been rescued and preserved. If you like typography this place is a dream. I’ll definitely add the Markthalle to my list for my next visit. That breakfast sounds amazing.

    • May 19, 2016 / 12:44 pm

      Stacey you lucky thing having friends to visit there. Such a great city. That museum sounds right up my street thanks!

  6. May 18, 2016 / 10:40 pm

    I love the Photo Booths, such an awesome idea! and you packed in so much in 72 hours (ps I love long posts!)

    • May 19, 2016 / 12:43 pm

      Oh thanks Asma- was a bit worried this was too long!

  7. May 18, 2016 / 10:50 pm

    Wow, looks like you had a fab time! I do enjoy your travel guide posts and all the insightful photos.

    • May 19, 2016 / 12:43 pm

      Ah what a lovely compliment thanks Rachel!

  8. May 22, 2016 / 2:55 pm

    Amazing! I’ve never been to Berlin and I’m feeling inspired to go after reading your post. x

    • May 22, 2016 / 8:27 pm

      Oh I think you’d love it! Try to go for longer though as there’s so much to do!

  9. May 26, 2016 / 1:53 pm

    What a great trip, I would have loved to make a trip to the Monkey Bar too. It looks like you had a great few day away.

  10. June 1, 2016 / 3:18 pm

    Looks an amazing place. I must put this on my ever increasing travel list! 🙂

    • June 1, 2016 / 9:20 pm

      Thanks for stopping by- I have a list like that too!