We heard a lot about Berlin, sometimes described as alive and dynamic, sometimes as cold, destroyed and without any charm… We wanted to have our own idea so we went there for a week-end!
Travelling mid-October we expected to get out scarfs and gloves, well no ! It was Indian summer, over 26 degrees all weekend. And believe me with the sun we do not live at all the same experience!
Day 1: Friedrichshain – Mitte
Leaving Paris-Charles de Gaulle in the morning, we land in the German capital around noon.
We are staying at the Motel One, in the very center, next to Alexanderplatz, known for its Fernsehturm TV tower. In addition to being ideally located, the hotel is very luxious and although the room is a little bit small, the view from 17th floor makes us quickly forget everything.
Once our luggages are dropped, we get off to explore the city.
Several options to go around the city:
- Walking… that we forget quickly considering the distance with our 1st stop, the city is very big
- Subway, but it would be a shame to lock us up with this weather
- Bike !
Berlin by bike!
Once again we chose bike. It’s the number one transport in Berlin, it’s everywhere, like the Netherlands.
You can choose between self-service bikes; unlockable via apps or simply rent it from a shop. We tested both, the simplest and the cheapest is the rental company (at least you can find your bike where it you left it!)
The rental will cost you 9 € per day. To give you an idea we have done more than 40 km in 3 days.
Now that we have a hotel, a transport, we need strength to pedal!
Lunch at Vöner:
We chose a vegetarian Kebab in the district of Friedrichshain! A choice that may seem surprising but I encourage you to make this detour. The place is really in the Berlin spirit, hip and offbeat, as for the card, a treat … We tested the yoghurt (vegan)/ herbs sauce and the peanut butter sauce, what a delight. Also do not miss the homemade fries.
By the way… besides being good it’s cheap!
Location : Boxhagener Str. 56, 10245 Berlin, Allemagne
Price : less than 20€ for 2 Kebab + fries and drinks
East Side Gallery
It is with the sun at the zenith that we discover the East Side Gallery. This piece of wall that once separated East and West Germany now extends over 1.3km and is covered with street art: 118 paintings by artists from more than 21 countries.
All these works refer directly or indirectly to this period and are especially full of pacifist messages. In 2009, part of the wall was renovated due to damage provocated by weather and vandalism.
Location : Mühlenstraße 3-100, 10243 Berlin, Allemagne
Back on our bikes we venture on the other side of the Spree (river that runs through Berlin), a neighborhood with a hybrid face that seems out of time. We discover the St. Michael Church, formerly located on the path of “the wall”. If you walk around, you can also discover the gigantic park “Engelbecken” very pleasant during long sunny days.
All important events in Berlin’s history are linked to the Brandenburg Gate, making it one of Berlin’s most famous and majestic icons. So what’s better than waiting the golden hour to photograph it?
Unfortunatly, we arrived ten minutes too late but still the place looked as magical. For the story, between 1778 and 1918, on the five entrances of the gate, the central path could only be used by members of the royal family.
Location: Pariser Platz, 10117 Berlin, Allemagne
It becomes a ritual during our travels: Mandatory stop at Brewdog bar
Even better this time because we are in the original country of the brewery! An atmosphere as usual very welcoming: good beers, good pizzas, good games, perfect to finish this first day!