Travel Diaries; Berlin
Being half German, I have visited Germany a lot. I also lived in Hamburg for 6 months when I first left school. I had managed to visit Berlin a couple of times then, however this being in Winter… where the temperature reaches -20 degreesC, it’s hard to fully enjoy and embrace what the city has to offer. Therefore, I was so excited to plan a trip to Berlin with my mum this summer! Also, hearing that the city has rapidly become the vegan capital of Europe made me even more thrilled. There is something special about European cities; how people friendly they are, always filled with bustling vibrant energy and I love that you are able to walk and take public transport easy and efficiently. After this trip, Berlin has become one of my favourite cities I have visited.
WHERE WE STAYED
We stayed at Hotel Amano, which was right in the centre of the city next to the Hauptbahnhof (central train station). This was perfect for walking around and easy access to the metro if places were too far to walk. The hotel was nice and modern, had a great breakfast buffet of fresh fruit, granola and a wide selection of delicious bread and jams. If there was something Germans knew, it was bread!! There was a rooftop bar with a great view over the city. This hotel was a great value for money.
WHAT WE DID
On the first day, we visited the Reichstag - the houses of parliament. There is a beautiful glass dome built on top. You can walk up the dome and get an audio tour of the entire city. It has the best views of Berlin and you can really get a good feel of the city and its history. It is free to go up, you just have to book a spot in advance.
From here, the main historical sites are all in walking distance; The Brandenburger gate, The Holocaust memorial site and much more. It's fascinating to walk around and take in all the history, whilst some being quite difficult to learn about. The Wall photo museum is a great place for this, it explains all the history with the Berlin Wall dividing the east and west through photos, audio and video. You can also climb to the top and get a great picture of what the Berlin Wall really looked like.
One of the most famous parts of the wall would be the East Side Gallery and Checkpoint Charlie, where various artists have displayed different graffiti and art along the wall.
Taking a walk around Kreuzberg is fun, where you can spot a lot of amazing graffiti art, vintage shops and cool cafes.
On Sunday’s the City is flooding with flea markets. Filled with antiques, bargains and lots of weird and wonderful nicknacks. It’s a great place to find that second-hand bargain, or simply browse all the old antique stalls. We visited the one in Mauerpark, which is huge! You may only get through half of it! But there are lots of yummy food and drink vendors to keep you energised.
Tempelhof airport which is in the south-central Berlin borough of Tempelhof-Schöneberg ceased operating in 2008 and opened its space to the public to use as a park. It’s amazing...with small community gardens growing vegetables and beautiful flowers. People using the old runways for running, dancing, acrobatics, biking or simply enjoying a beer in the sunshine. It’s a great spot to chill for the afternoon away from the bustling city.
WHERE WE ATE
Before leaving, I had done a lot of research into all the vegan eateries, I wanted to hit all the best spots in our 4 days there. I was a little overwhelmed as there was just so much more than I had expected. But, I think it’s safe to say we made the most of it and will definitely be returning to visit the rest.
Here were my top pics throughout our 4 days exploring this glorious City.
Brammibal’s doughnuts - I have to mention this place first, as it was that good! Not at all healthy but definitely worth the calories. As the title suggests, this place sells a wide variety of vegan doughnuts, some seriously interesting flavours! We also had a bagel which was super delicious and an Iced Matcha to cool us down from the summer heat.
Con Tho - Berlin is bursting with vegan/vegetarian Vietnamese restaurants. This place was in between Kreuzberg and Neuköln and was so delightful. I had the Vietnamese pancake with spring rolls and dumplings. Everything was amazing, and like nothing, I had eaten before.
1990 Vegan living - This is another vegan Vietnamese that we went to and thoroughly enjoyed. Their soul soothing soups are a taste sensation.
Goura Pakora - An Indian fusion vegan restaurant with the tastiest Dosas I have ever had. Located in the trendy part of town; Friedrichshain.
No Milk Today - A cute vegan cafe located in Kreuzberg serving salads, cakes and bagels. We shared the bagel and a special quiche which were both delicious.
Jivamukti - This yoga centre / vegan cafe has 2 locations; one in the centre and one is Prenzlauerberg. Great for a morning yoga class to stretch after all that walking, and then a delicious breakfast or lunch after. We shared 2 of the sandwiches which were so tasty and a salad! I especially loved that they served glass straws in their juices!!
Kopps - This restaurant is a little on the pricier side with more of a vegan fine dining etiquette. We went on Sunday, where they serve a vegan brunch buffet. Definitely go on an empty stomach so you can get your money's worth. They had a huge selection of foods ranging from pancakes, fruit, chia pudding, tofu scramble, fresh bread and salads.
The Bowl - Located in Kreuzberg and right above an all vegan supermarket - Veganz. There is a more fast food/takeaway bistro downstairs, and then a sit-down restaurant upstairs. We chose upstairs to take a seat and do some people watching over the busy streets. We came here for breakfast and had 2 superfood bowls which were satisfying after all the bread we had been indulging over.
Süße Sünde - Located in Prenzlauerberg on a beautiful street, this small gelato shop offered around 3-4 vegan options. I had the chocolate and raspberry which were incredible!