Saturday, 18 June 2016

Interrail Destination 3 - Berlin!

View from the Fernsehturm tower.
Arriving in Berlin after a 6 and a half hour train journey from Amsterdam was bliss. Our train unfortunately had to stop at one stop before it was meant to terminate because of a fault on the line, so we ended up getting very very lost. A €120 fine, 2 trains and a tram later, we finally made it to our Air BnB in Friedrichshain.

Favourite parts: 

#1 going up Fernsehturm tower (TV tower).
#2 Cafe am neuen see.
#3 Zoo.
#4 Aqua Dom. 

This post is going to be quite brief, as we managed to see most of the sights on the first day we were there, then on the second we went to the zoo
! But any ways.. After a bit of a rocky start to Berlin and realising that their tram/metro/bus systems are extremely confusing we decided to make an extremely detailed itinerary of what we were planning to do for the next few days to make sure we wouldn't get lost!

One thing to make sure you do in Berlin, is carry change. Train station and tram station ticket machines only take change, no card or notes so this can be a massive pain at times, and also a lot of places charge you to go for the toilet (even some restaurants!) who also only accept coins. 

Berlin is so easily accessible by foot, and this is where we went wrong. We assumed that you couldn't walk from place to place because there was so many modes of transport, but if you get off at Brandenburg Tor you can literally walk to the majority of monuments. We got the train to Potsdamer Platz, got off, got lost, wandered round, had lunch (currywurst!!!) and then got back on and went one stop to Brandenburg Tor and then from there explored. The Brandenburg gate is a stones throw away from this station and then Reichstag and the memorial of the murdered Jews of Europe are about a 2 minute maximum walk away from there. All of these sights are a definite must see if you're in Berlin, and are all free entry and some even offer tours! (Apparently the Reichstag tour is good, and the view from up the top is amazing!)

Brandenburg gate.


Memorial of the Murdered Jews of Europe.

We then headed to Alexanderplatz where there's high street shops and lots going on! Whilst we were here there was an African market going on which sold all sorts of food, clothing, furniture and more! This is also where we got more Curry wurst, (Wills favourite!) which is a Berlin speciality dish made of a
Sliced Sausage with ketchup and curry powder, it's not too bad actually!  From around here you can walk to Frenshum tower, Berlin dom (cathedral) and the aquarium! We decided to visit the aquarium here, it was definitely a spontaneous idea, but not a bad one! We did end up going round it in about 25 minutes (mainly because we couldn't read the signs as they were in German haha!). But we had fun In the mirrored maze and after going through it about 5 times decided we were both getting very confused! The last thing we did in the aquarium was the Aqua Dom, This is a HUGE lift which goes up inside a fish tank for you to see all the little fishes! This was probably the coolest part of the aquarium and I actually really enjoyed this! I probably wouldn't recommend going here if you're under the age of 10 as it definitely is only for children really but whatever floats your boat! 

In the Aqua Dom.

When we woke up the next day we headed straight to the east side gallery where there's remains of the Berlin Wall, we didn't walk the whole way as the majority of it was covered in scaffolding. After having a look round we then jumped on the metro from Warschauer station (nearest to east side gallery), to Zoologischer Garten, 
where the zoo is! 

Remains of the Berlin Wall.

We loooooved the zoo! It was HUGE! It took us a good 4 hours to go around it and we also managed to see some animal feedings! If you're in Berlin I'd 100% recommend going here, as it's a fun day to spend my the sun and it's also In a really nice destination. After the zoo we walked through Tiergarten park which was looovely!

Zoo grub.

Whilst walking through Tiergarten park we came across Cafe am neuen see. This is a cute little cafe by a river where you can rent out boats, eat food and drink alcohol (what could be better?). There's 2 restaurants around Lake Nuen see, one of them being more of a posh sit down dinner place and the other one being the cafe we went to. They sold deeeelicious pizza's which were stonebaked (the only way to have a pizza), sweet treats like cakes and things  and then there was a bar!

Ammazing Pizza!
From there we wandered around to make our way back to get the train to Alexanderplatz. The rest of the park was really lovely, definitely worth a visit too if you're there! I can imagine it being a really lovely picnic destination! On our way back we walked past Victory Collumn and took a few shots!

Victory Column.
Once we got to Alexanderplatz, we headed straight for the Fernsehturm tower. We knew we wanted to go up there straight away so brought tickets which were €13. The elevator takes 40 seconds to take you up to the highest point In the whole of Germany and the view is amazing! This is must see!!! We chilled up there at the bar for a few drinks, they offer cocktails, wine, beers, soft drinks and more! We both especially liked their flavoured beers! After drinks we went back down the elevator, brought some souvenirs from the shop downstairs and then headed to the cathedral just around the corner.

Crushed it.

We didn't actually end up going inside this as it was closed when we got there (it was probably too late in the day) but this cathedral is breathtaking! It's probably one of the prettiest and most overwhelming buildings I've seen In a while! I also love the way you can just sit on the grass outside it and chill!

That was the last thing we did in Berlin before heading back home to catch our early morning train to Prague!

Pretty Berlin at night.

Things to avoid: 

#1 Public transport- If you can. It's quite confusing and they don't really have anyone on the platforms to ask for help! Also ALWAYS make sure you validate your ticket, as even if you buy a ticket, if you don't validate it (get it stamped on a yellow machine) it's deemed invalid so you'll get fined like we did- and they're very strict! 

#2  There are some dodgy parts of Berlin - just like there are anywhere I suppose but I would avoid walking alone or In small groups at night, especially if you don't know the area! I'd recommend just just jumping In a cab.

See you next time to talk about Prague! 

Annie 🌻


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