I have been enamored of Germany ever since exploring the vast country for the first time many years ago. Their progressive energy, the dedication to forward thinking engineering and artistry, the storybook architecture of their charming mountain towns… it’s enough to temp a girl to relocate immediately.
For my first trip to Berlin I was expecting to find a city along these lines but was pleasantly surprised to discover a metropolis so vivacious that it couldn't fit within any parameter so neatly. Wandering around each day, the world seemed to be fast-forwarding at a speed that could hardly be translated into language. The non-stop energy, crowded U-Bahn rides, more art galleries than one could count and a truly mesmerizing assortment of inhabitants. I was worried that it would become overwhelming, but the perpetual movement was comforting in an inexplicable way.
I’ve listed my favorite experiences and places to eat, drink and visit from our time in Berlin. If you have any of your own recommendations for my next trip, please let me know. I’m already dreaming of my return.
Where to Eat:
The Devil’s Kitchen and Bar: After walking around all day my travel companion and I were drained and decided to eat at a little restaurant near our hotel. Little did we know we were walking into one of the best meals of our entire lives. The grilled eggplant and homemade hummus are out of this world.
Cocolo Ramen: As a self-proclaimed ramen aficionado I am always on the hunt for new spots. I tried a number of ramen joints while in town, but this little one was by far the best and most centrally located in the Mitte area. (cash only)
Café Anna Blume: While the Germans aren’t quite as up on their brunching as some, this little spot in a charming residential section of Berlin serves up a decadent spread every weekend. Warning: not vegetarian friendly.
Where to Drink:
Mein Haus Am See: The nightclub energy is present all day long and creates a lively mix of daytime revelers and laptop-wielding freelancers under it's enormous disco ball.
Bar Babette: An extension of the art gallery above, this little bar offers a quiet space to relax and enjoy a drink or two. It’s not particularly flashy, but their lemon lime margarita is not to be missed.
O Tannenbaum: If it’s kitsch you’re after, then this year-round Christmas themed bar is probably right up your alley. An odd sensation but a pretty accurate representation of that slightly alcoholic feeling that surrounds the holidays.
What to See:
Do You Read Me?!: One of the most extensive collections of magazines I’ve ever seen under one roof. They offer nearly every fashion, cooking, academic and athletic journal out there.
Tiergarten: The expansive park is a welcome respite from the bustling city if only to take few moments to quietly prepare yourself for your next beer. People are very free here to go for a bike ride, sunbathe topless, or enjoy a drink at one of the park’s bars.
BerlineOnBike: If you’re in a rush, why not explore the city on wheels? There are a number of tour companies available, but the one that we choose was well managed and affordable. Just make sure to call ahead as they tend to sell out of the English-speaking ones quickly.
Reichstag: A breathtaking government building, which has been restored to reflect the reunification of East and West Berlin in the early ‘90s. The dome offers magnificent 360-degrees of Berlin as well as serving as a symbolic offering of parliament by allowing viewers to see their inner workings.