It’s not every day your best friend turns 30, and what better excuse to go away for a few days? We decided to go somewhere that neither of us had been, and having both heard so many great things about Berlin, it was a perfect fit.
We were lucky enough to be able to stay at the Grand Hyatt, which was an absolute treat. We had breakfast included in our stay, which meant two mornings of everything we could eat from pastries and fresh fruit to cheese, meats and fish on the buffet, plus eggs or pancakes made to order. We may have even had a little mimosa one morning too!
FOOD & DRINK
Momotaro Tavern - we found this place online, it was relatively new and had great reviews. Half of their menu is dedicated to asian inspired burgers, one of which Kim ordered and was absolutely delicious. The other half of the menu consists of not-overly-complicated asian fusion style dishes. I ordered a chicken and vegetable stir fry which was also divine. We payed just over €20 for our food and a drink each in total and were very happy customers.
Dudu - another asian fusion restaurant which we found whilst walking around the Mitte region. They have a special lunch menu that offers a starter and main course for under €10, so we both went for that. They offer a wide selection of dishes ranging from curries, noodle soups and stirfrys to lots of unique sushi rolls. Everything we ate was delicious, the place itself is also very trendy and the staff were great.
Burgermeister - this one was recommended by the lovely manager of the Grand Hyatt Club Lounge who looked after us very well when we came to have a pre dinner drink (or two) both evenings. We were looking for something that the tourists wouldn’t normally find, somewhere that the cool kids would go to get a good, reasonably priced bite to eat. When we got there we thought we may be in the wrong place, but after having a look at the clientele we realised that it was the right place. It doesn’t seem like much when you walk in, but the burgers and cheap and seriously good.
Fräuline Kimchi - on our last day we decided to have a look at the street food trucks that were parked by the shopping centre near the hotel. We decided on some Korean style veggie bowls from Frauline Kimchee. They had a couple of different vegan options which you could add a fried egg to as an added extra. It was exactly what we were looking for just before leaving for the airport.
The Barn - this coffee shop was recommended to me by a good friend of mine, who’s an even bigger coffee fan than I am (and that’s pretty difficult!). We were told that it’s THE place to go for coffee in Berlin, and it didn’t disappoint. I had a simple black filter coffee which was delicious, Kim went for a hot chocolate and she said that that was amazing too.
Bohengold - the only bar we went to (I’m not going to count the TV tower, because it was such a tourist trap I can’t even believe we got sucked into going up there for a drink!). Since we weren’t in town to go out clubbing or drink ourselves silly (not this time at least) we didn’t feel the need to do any bar hopping. Bohengold was recommended by the same man who told us to go to Burgermeister. He told us that there was always a good vibe in there and that it was walking distance from the burger joint, both of which were true. We met some other people who were travelling and got into conversations about their adventures over a glass of wine.
The Grand Hyatt looked after us exceptionally well. The concierge understood exactly what sort of places we wanted to visit and sent us to all the right areas. We left the gym and spa for the last day, when we’d been on all of our tourist adventures and fancied a bit of down time before the flight. The gym is bright, airy and very well equipped. They’ve got everything there from cables, pull up bars, and free weights to the standard cardio stuff, kettle bells and even a vipr. We had lots of fun moving around in there before the most relaxing steam room, sauna and spa session. It was dreamy to say the very least. There’s also a pool and jacuzzi on the top floor with glass walls overlooking the city. We were lucky enough to catch the sunset up there one evening.
On our first day we wondered around the area in which we were staying, we walked up to the Reichstag building and along the river to take in a bit of the architecture. Everything seemed all a bit industrial then, so we knew we had to dig a bit deeper to discover some of Berlin’s secrets.
East Side Gallery - definitely one of the highlights of the trip. The East Side Gallery is an open air gallery, displaying what was once just over a kilometre stretch of the Berlin Wall. Artists have used it to paint stories, most are symbolic of the fact that walls between people never work.
Shopping in Mitte - ‘the Soho of Berlin’ is what our concierge called it, and from what we saw he wasn’t far off. We found courtyards and independent shops as well as little restaurants and coffee shops. It was nice to explore part of Berlin that wasn’t tall and industrial looking.
All in all, we had a fantastic couple of days. We were very happy to walk from place to place and take the occasional bus (which are very easy to figure out on google maps). They’ve also got Uber in Berlin which is always useful. Berlin definitely loved up to the rumours we’d heard of it being very trendy. We didn’t hit any of the big clubs this trip, but I’m told that Berghain (of course), Ritterbuske and Tresor are the ones to visit, next time.
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