For the next stop on our European adventure (if you missed the others, check out Paris and Belgium), Jason really wanted to go to Berlin to see the street art, experience the music scene and (of course) taste the beer. I’d been hearing some great stuff about the art community, so I was pretty excited to check it out too.
Berlin is just a quick flight from Belgium. However, we almost missed our flight because our train was moved to another track, but we couldn’t understand the announcement over the loud speaker. As such, we got on the wrong train and traveled 30 minutes in the wrong direction before a nice couple told us we were headed away from the airport, not toward it….remember to always leave lots of extra time for travel if you don’t speak the language!
Once we arrived in Berlin, we were welcomed by a much more modern and international city (especially compared to Ghent!) While on the train from the airport to our first hotel, we met a couple from Amsterdam who told us that Berlin is considered by many to be the cultural center of Europe where many fashion and music trends begin. We loved walking around and exploring the different areas of the city, trying lots of delicious food, spotting rad street art and drinking some more beer. :)
Fave Memory. Our first night in Berlin was the last night of Octoberfest. Even though Octoberfest is much bigger in southern Germany, we did stumble upon a big tent in the middle of Berlin (Alexanderplatz to be exact) with lots of beer, roasted nuts, singing and lots of sausages. So we ordered huge beers – Jason was so proud that his German classes in high school paid off! They thought he was a local :) and then sat down with locals of all ages to drink, sing and dance. Such a fun day and it was pretty amazing to see people of all ages hanging out together and having such a fun time!
Foodie Pick. We were pretty surprised to find such a variety of great food here – we had great Indian, Vietnamese, Asian, Tapas, and of course German! You have to try the currywurst when you are in Berlin. Currywurst is sausage with ketchup and curry sauce – it didn’t sound that good to us, but we quickly learned that it’s super delicious! We still dream of our meal at Monsieur Vuong, a Vietnamese restaurant in Mitte – the chicken curry there was to die for… Also loved the food and outdoor patio at Pan Asia. And of course the beer! Lots of great options. I even found grapefruit beer one night – so yum! (poster of currywurst above from here)
Don’t Miss all the street art! If you love street art and the culture that surrounds it, Berlin is for you, there is lots + lots here. We had fun spotting some of our favorite artists. Lots of great art in the Mitte area where we stayed our first two nights. We also wandered around the East Side Gallery where you can still see parts of the Berlin Wall. The East Side Gallery is an international memorial for freedom. It’s a 1.3 km long section of the Berlin Wall that offers 105 paintings by a collection of international artists. The paintings at the East Side Gallery document the time of change and express the euphoria and great hopes for a better and free future for all people of the world.
Thanks again to Katie at Ever After Honeymoons for the help with our lodging. We actually ended up staying at two places – we wanted to check out two areas of the city :). First we stayed at The Weinmeister in Mitte. Loved it here. Mitte and The Weinmeister are great for the couple that loves more urban, edgy vibes. The hotel commissioned artists to tag graffiti around the hotel and even on the entrance wall. The design is modern and funky – check out the huge bed in the middle of the room! Instead of a TV, each room has a large iMac to serve as both a TV and a computer. Mitte is a great area with lots of fun shops + restaurants – probably our favorite area of Berlin.
Then we took the subway across town to Potsdammer Platz and spent our last two nights at the Ritz-Carlton Berlin. Totally different type of hotel from The Weinmeister, but we loved it just as much! I would recommend the Ritz-Carlton Berlin for couples that love to be pampered and want a great bar close by – right in the lobby of the hotel actually :). They had a great breakfast buffet and the The Curtain Club bar was one of our favorites. The bartender at The Curtain Club creates some pretty amazing drinks. He offers the special scent drink, where you choose your favorite scent from a box of about 15 and he then creates a drink just for you based on your favorite scent – pretty fun! Since we were celebrating our anniversary the day we were there, we arrived back to our room to find champagne and a bed of rose petals. We had a really great stay here and would recommend this hotel also for honeymooners. It’s also very central to most of Berlin.
Above is a photo of Jason and his new friend, the Beefeater from The Curtain Club. Every Wednesday – Sunday the Beefeater performs a ceremony at 6:00 PM to signal the opening of the bar and kicks off happy hour for all of the guests.
We really loved our time in Berlin. Lots of street art, good food and drinks. If you love visting New York City, I think you’d love checking out Berlin. Who else has been to Berlin? Do you have any tips or spots of interest to share? I’d love to hear them. Check back in the new year as we’ll be sharing our two stops in Italy next!
all photos by green wedding shoes with the exception of the exterior Ritz-Carlton photo courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton