Fancy a family weekend in Berlin? Our Guest Blogger Lynda Higgs shares with us tips & tricks for a lovely city-break.
Vibrant, fascinating, energetic, complex and alluring, Berlin is the best of Germany and yet uniquely itself. We visited the German capital in late October, a good time to avoid the freezing winter temperatures and the summer tourist crowds. Rich with culture and history, yet very much of the 21st Century, Berlin is a complex and diverse city, both in terms of its architecture and its people. Even though we had an all-too-short 3 night visit we found it easy to tour the must-see sights whilst finding plenty to keep an easily bored 8 year old, my daughter, entertained and fed. We stayed at the Sana Berlin Hotel, not far from the famous Kurfürstendamm shopping district, the Zoo and the Blue Church and well located for transport links.
Starting the day with breakfast in the revolving Telecafé restaurant (207m above Berlin in the Fernsehturm, near Alexanderplatz) is definitely worth the ticket price as you can enjoy a 360° view of the entire city at a leisurely pace whilst planning the rest of your day. With the lure of a visit to the Aquarium and Legoland Discovery Centre (Sony Centre, Potsdamer Platz) we managed to convince said child to enjoy the many sights of Berlin and pronounced that “Berlin rocks!” – which it does!
From the strangely beautiful Blue Church with its still-ruined tower to the imposing Brandenburg Gate and nearby Reichstag, via the thought-provoking Holocaust Memorial, down Unter den Linden (a building site at the time of our visit) to the infamous Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin is easy to explore and worth the effort of doing so by foot (I would observe here that whilst Checkpoint Charlie is worth the visit, the East-West contrast of Berlin is less obvious in 2013 than it might have been 10 years ago).
Getting around Berlin is very simple, from the easy-to-use U-bahn and many public buses to the many (if pricey) bicycle rickshaws. We walked a fair bit, but our top tip is to get the 100 bus and grab yourself a seat at the front of the top deck – cheaper than the City Tour bus and a great way to see many of Berlin’s sights. No visit to Berlin is complete without enjoying the variety of food on offer; from the ubiquitous “wurst mit pommes” to the many Turkish restaurants, you are spoiled for choice. Definitely worth the visit is the fabulous chocolaterie Fassbender & Rausch and for typically German, i.e. Bavarian, food and beer we loved the Augustiner Braeu.
Words & Pics by Lynda Higgs
For more of my images of Berlin visit http://lyndahiggsphotography.weebly.com