The first day in Berlin…
The day started early because we went to Nürnberg Airport by Train and Subway. At 7:45 in the morning we were already walking to the Train-station, that early doesn’t feel like vacation.
At 11:00 exactly the our AirBerlin plane took of and we had an easy flight. Exactly on time we arrived at Berlin Tegel the largest Airport in Berlin. Soon after our arrival we stepped in the bus to the Kurfürstendamm where our hotel is nearby. After stepping from the bus we needed to walk less then 300 meter before we were at the hotel which is very close to the U-Bahn Kurfürstendamm. At first we had troubles finding the entrance from the hotel but the steel doors below are automatic doors.
Behind the door we were blown away the hotel is beautiful, the receptionist was very kind (he suggest to get breakfast somewhere else) and the room is (almost) as in the pictures.
After dropping our luggage in the room we walked to the Ku’damm and the first stop was at the KaDeWe (Kaufhaus Des Westens). A beautiful department store with everything you can imagine and more. A colleague told us to have a look at the ‘Food-department’ and we were surprised by all the unusual things.
In the meantime the clock told us it was about 15:00 and we were a bit hungry because we skipped lunch. So we decided to eat Currywurst with Fries, a typical Berlin thing.
After this small bite we left for the Sony Center at the Potsdamer Platz but before we got out of the Subway station Danielle shouted: There is a Dunkin’ Donuts! After smoothies and donuts we arrived at the Sony Center. We checked out the IMAX Theater. It was 16:30 by then and we both wanted something to drink. It was time for a nice glass of beer at Lindenbräu, Danielle had a Berliner Weiße (Wheat beer with Waldmeister Syrup) which is a typical mix for Berlin.
We decided that it was time to go back to the hotel but not before we went to a Lush Store (cosmetic store) because we have a bathtub in the hotel. And eventually we ended up at a extremely large Saturn (Electronics Store) and we had a wrap as diner at the KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken).
And now we are back in the hotel room. Danielle is enjoying a bath as I’m writing this blog. As always it’s very detailed and boring but we write it as a memory from our vacation. If someone has additional tips for things to do/visit in Berlin please leave a comment on this page, our Facebook page or send us a message on Facebook.
Fresh fish, way and plastic…
We woke up this morning and after checking the internet we knew that it rained outside. So what to do? We decided to visit an indoor attraction and we came up with Madame Tussauds. On the internet we found out that we could buy a combination ticket for Sealife & Aquadome, Madame Tussauds and the Legoland Discovery Center.
But first we planned to have a look at the Fernsehturm at the Alexanderplatz because Beatrix our Queen would visit this today. We estimate her arrival around 10:30 since it was the second thing on the program. But the visit to the Brandenburger Tor was cancelled and therefor we arrived a couple minutes too late. Not a big problem but it would have been nice to see her on an official visit in Germany.
Then we started at Sealife to see some fish. And it was better then we expected. Everything was well maintained and there where a lot of different fishes.
After the normal area we went to the AquaDom which is a 25 meter high column filled with 1 million liter of Berlin water enhanced with 33 tons of salt. This AquaDom is build inside the Radisson Blu Hotel. And before you ask what interesting about 1 million liter water: There are more then 1500 fishes from over 50 different species inside which you can see during elevator ride inside the AquaDom.
It was still raining so we took the bus towards the Brandenburger Tor because there is Madame Tussauds. In Madame Tussauds we made pictures with and from the stars. Also an wax figure of Adolf Hitler was there but it is the only wax figure in Madame Tussauds from which you may not take a picture.
After Madame Tussauds we walked to Sony Center via the Brandenburger Tor and the Holocaust Memorial. At the Sony Center we went to the Cinestar Movie Theater to get warm again (it’s less then 10°C today) and we watched ‘I’m Number Four). A great movie in a almost empty theater.
After the movie we went to the Legoland Discovery Center, this is a very small indoor version of Legoland. Inside some well known building from Berlin are rebuild from Lego Bricks and there is a 4D-Cinema and of course a small version of the Lego Factory.
Since it was to early for diner we went to the Hackischer Markt so Danielle could see an Ampelmännchen-shop. This shop is a place where you can buy al kind of souvenirs with Ampelmännchen logo. Ampelmännchen means Little Traffic Light Man in English and it is one of the few symbols left from former East-Germany.
After this very busy day we decided to eat somewhere near our hotel and ended up at Vapiano’s an Italian self-service restaurant.
Today was exhausting but we travelled with the Public Transport (Train, Subway, Lightrail and Bus) almost the whole day. The system in Berlin is probably one of the best in the world.
We woke up early today because of a text-message from a colleague of Sander (thanks Daniel). Then Danielle looked outside to check the weather (great tip Dieter) and it was pouring rain. That made us decided to make it a lazy morning.
At 10:30 we walked in the direction of the nearest train-station where we picked the train to to the Friedrichstraße for a breakfast. After the breakfast we wandered in the direction of Galleria la Fayette but before we got there we where interested in the amount of police cars, motorcycles and police officers on the street. Soon we found out that the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) was having a meeting in Berlin.
Galleria la Fayette was interesting to see but we didn’t bought a thing. After this shopping trip we decided that we’d like to have something tiny to eat for lunch. Anja, a colleague of Sander and born and raised in Berlin, gav us the tip to visit a place for delicious cupcakes. So we went and after 30 minutes we found the place with some support from the maps app on the iPhone.
After these delicious cupcakes we went to Alexanderplatz to have a look at the world clock. After this brief visit we went on the Sony Center for a movie! This time we watched The King’s Speech. A great movie again. I think we should visit the movie theater’s more often in Nürnberg as well.
After the movie it was time for diner and we decided to search a nice place at the Ku’damm. We ended up at El Dorado, a spanish steakhouse. End at this moment we are enjoying a cocktail in the hotel lounge.
And we are sorry but due to the bad weather we didn’t make pictures with our normal camera. I promise to make some extra tomorrow!
Sunny day in the past…
As promised we made some pictures today! We ended up with 187 pictures from which some are available in the photo section of the site.
Just after 10:00 we left the hotel to visit Checkpoint Charlie at the ‘Kochstraße’. It was still cloudy but soon the clouds disappeared and the sun was there. We had a coffee at the Starbucks near Checkpoint Charlie before we took the subway towards the East Side Gallery.
The East Side Gallery is the longest part of the Berlin Wall which is still standing. It has a length of 1316 meter and is painted by artist from all over the world. Some amazing pieces of artwork you see there.
We decided to walk by the wall and even further to the Fernsehturm (Yes, I did walk 3,6 km without a break). Since it was to busy at the Fernsehturm we decided to order tickets online for another day.
We both had appetite and went for a lunch at Corroboree, an Australian Restaurant inside the Sony Center. Danielle ordered Blackened Salmon and I ordered the mix-plate with Kangaroo, Crocodile and Blackened chicken. It was delicious. For dessert Danielle went for the ‘The Death by Chocolate’ which was delicious.
After lunch we decided to visit the Holocaust Memorial. We walked through the monument and visit the museum below. Although we learned and heard a lot about what happened during World War II, it was a very impressive visit. The most important thing you see directly at the entrance:
We went on to the Brandenburger Tor but it was too busy and too cloudy to make beautiful pictures. Also parts of the streets where blocked and a lot of policemen where on the streets, this had to do with the NATO Congress about Libya.
We wandered over the ‘Unter den Linden’ towards the Friedrichstraße. Then we had a little bit of Sushi before we went back to our hotel.
Potsdam was our main visit this day and around 10:00 we where on our way to train-station Zoologischer Garten. It was very busy in the train and we wondered why. Just before 11:00 we arrived at Potsdam main-station and there we learned that there was a Tulip festival in the Dutch Quarter.
So that’s what we wanted to see. We didn’t expect much but when we arrived there was a festival based on the dutch culture. You could get typical dutch food and drinks on the market and almost everybody was Dutch from origin. This was a nice surprise for us.
For lunch we went to the Freundschaftsinsel which an Island in Potsdam. After relaxing in the sun we decided to take the train back to Berlin to visit a original Dutch Snackbar which is located near the Ostkreuz train-station. We had Dutch Fries with a ‘Frikandel Speciaal’ and a ‘Broodje Kroket’. All typical dutch snacks.
After this somewhat early diner we went to the hotel to relax and give our feet some time to recover. At 20:00 we went out again to make some night pictures of the Brandenburger Tor.
After the pictures at the Brandenburger Tor we ended up in the Sony Center where we had some cocktails and somewhere after midnight we arrived back in the hotel.
Flying in Berlin…
Before we did anything else we made a reservation at the Bird a New York Style Steakhouse for tonight. And afterwards we went out to have a late breakfast at the Starbucks.
After our late breakfast we took the Subway in the direction of the ‘Platz der Luftbrücke’ where is the Monument for the 78 Victims of the Airlift, all victims because of accidents.
From there we walked in the direction of the former Airport Tempelhof which is now used as a public park. The park is in use for a lot of different activities (kite flying, running, inline skating, biking, etc.) and since it’s a huge area nobody disturbs each other.
On the way back to the hotel we checked out the World Clock at the Alexanderplatz. Then it as time to change our shorts for jeans because we expected it to cool down in the evening hours.
We decided to have a drink in the lobby from the hotel and soon it was time to leave towards The Bird. It was 25 minutes subway ride and then we needed to walk another 10 minutes according to google maps. It was easy to find and I guess it was a good thing to reserve upfront. The dishes were overloaded with fries and a delicious burger. For sure the best we’ve eaten in Europe and I think it comes on the 1st place together with some burgers we had in the USA during our first visit in 2008.
Berlin from the top…
Today we left the hotel earlier then on the other days. The reason was the nice weather and the planned visit to the ‘Fernsehturm’. The ‘Fernsehturm’ is one of the 31 great towers in the world and has a height of 368 meter. At 203.78 meter you can overlook Berlin.
But before you enter the tower you need to buy a ticket. To get a ticket we waited in line for an hour to learn that we needed to wait another hour and 30 minutes. We spend this time visiting a Alexa a modern mall with 180 shops.
Then it was finally time for the elevator ride to the top of Berlin. The view was amazing. For Danielle this was her first tower visit, I’ve been to the CN Tower in Toronto in 2005 (553 meter with an observation deck at 447 meter). The first time you visit such a tower is amazing and the 2nd is still special but not as good as the first visit.
After the ‘Fernsehturm’ we went to the ‘Siegessäule’ (Victory Monument) which is a monument build in 1864. Unfortunately the observation deck wasn’t open due to a refurbishment.
From the ‘Siegessäule’ we walked back over the ‘Straße des 17. Juni’ to have a look at the ‘Reichstags Building’ which is the meeting place from the German parliament (Bundestag). During the walk we saw some other interesting monument like the Soviet War Memorial
Then it was possible to check in for our flight from tomorrow evening. We checked in and are seated on row 1. After printing the boarding-passes in the hotel we went for diner at De Molen (Dutch Snackbar) to eat typical Dutch snacks.
The last day…
On all good things comes an end. The last day we spend walking in the sun across the Ku’damm where we also visited some shops. It was a nice way to end our visit to Berlin. In the evening we flew back with AirBerlin in a Boeing 737. We got the opportunity to sit frontrow during our check-inn. So we where bot excited about extra legroom but there was a wall just in front of us. Not a real problem since the flight only took 45 minutes.
The overall trip was great we’ve seen a lot of history and there is still a lot to be seen. So I think we will come back to Berlin in the future. Maybe not for 8 days but a long weekend will do. It’s hard to say what we’d like the most since there was a lot like Potsdam, The Bird, Dunkin’ Donuts, Fernsehturm, Ku’damm, KaDeWe and not to forget the outstanding public transportation system.
As the most of you know we both use FourSquare a location based social network which we’ve used throughout Berlin during our trip. I’d like to share a map with you where you can see the places we’ve visit:
We both hope you’ve enjoyed following is and we thank you for leaving comments during our trip on this website, facebook and twitter.