Day 1: Me and my boyfriend woke up at 5 AM to take the train to the bus that would take us to Berlin. To get to Germany, we took a ferry to Rostock.
After the ferry ride, the bus took us to our hotel in Alexanderplatz. We arrived in the afternoon, so we walked around to find a place to eat lunch. Not too far from our hotel was a huge abandoned building that looked very out of place. I later found out that it was the Haus der Statistik for the DDR. Across the street from the Haus der Statistik was this building with a mural around it. Further from our hotel was a large shopping district which was where we decided to eat at Burger King. There were so many people there and it so was chaotic. Afterwards we went to several shops and walked around in one of the shopping centers called Alexa. We then went back to our room to rest before dinner. My boyfriend warned me that all of the TV shows were dubbed, but I did not believe him until I turned on the TV and saw that American shows like The Big Bang Theory were in German. Oh well. The view from our balcony was decent though. We could see Fernsehturm/the TV tower. We ate dinner at Madami Mom’s Vietnamese Kitchen. The service was slow, but the food was so good. I ordered soy chicken with rice and vegetables in a chili sauce. My boyfriend ordered duck with rice and vegetables in a mango curry sauce, and we both loved our dishes. I would have taken a picture of our meal, but there was poor lighting in the restaurant. We then stopped at a supermarket called Kaiser’s to pick up some cold drinks and snacks. I absolutely loved shopping there because they had a whole vegan/vegetarian section and I wished Danish grocery stores had that. After picking up a few snacks, we returned to the hotel and ended our day.
We ate breakfast at the hotel. It was not too exciting because the only food I could eat was buns with cheese and yogurt with fruit. After breakfast we went to Fernsehturm. The weather was not the best, but it was still enjoyable.The wait was really short to get into the tower, but it was a bit crowded at the top.
After returning from the top, the lines to the elevator and to purchase tickets were so long and I was glad we went when we did. We then went back to the hotel to figure out our next plans, and we decided to go to the zoo! We took the subway (U-Bahn) there. I have only been on a subway once before in Copenhagen so it was pretty exciting. Numerous stops later we arrived at the zoo. We visited the aquarium first. The aquarium had various fish, reptiles, amphibians, and insects.
We ate a light lunch at the café in the aquarium, which included a croissant filled with cheese and a muffin. After lunch, we visited the rest of the zoo. The zoo and the animal enclosures were absolutely beautiful!
The zoo was so large and took several hours to see all of the animals, but it was not that crowded for this reason. We then left to go to the subway. On the way back we saw a church that was falling apart. I later found out it was the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. After we returned to Alexanderplatz we ate dinner at Vapiano. The restaurant had an unusual way of ordering because we stood in a queue then gave the chef our order and watched him cook our food. I ordered pasta with mushrooms and a tea with pomegranate while my boyfriend ordered cabonara. The food was delicious and the restaurant had a great view of the Fernsehturm. After dinner we returned to hotel and called it a day.
We ate breakfast at the hotel again then took the subway to Potsdamer Platz. We visited the Brandenburger Tor/Brandenburg Gate, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, the Reichstag, and the Anhalter Bahnhof, and we saw various statues.
We then took the subway to Sophie-Charlotte-Platz to visit the Schloss Charlottenburg/Charlottenburg Palace. Before seeing the palace, we stopped for lunch at an Italian restaurant called Trattoria Toscana. I ordered the antipasto which included various vegetables and mozzarella cheese, and my boyfriend ordered a pizza. The food was delicious, and the weather was perfect for eating outside. After lunch we walked to the palace. My boyfriend decided to go back to the hotel while I toured the palace. The palace was huge and the rooms were intricate.
A separate building outside the palace called the Neuer Pavillon/New Pavilion had several furnished rooms while the rest of the rooms were filled with paintings and sculptures. Further from the palace was the mausoleum where Queen Louise, King Friedrich Wilhelm III, Kaiser Wilhelm I, and Queen Augusta are buried.The garden surrounding the palace was huge and extended way beyond the palace.
Once back at Alexanderplatz I went back to the hotel where my boyfriend was. We ate a late dinner at Linosa. I ordered spaghetti with pesto and my boyfriend ordered salmon. The food was pretty good, but the service was very slow. After dinner we returned to the hotel and watched BBC before turning in for the night.
Today was our last day in Berlin. The bus was picking us up at 3 PM, and we did not have any plans. After eating breakfast at the hotel, we walked around Alexanderplatz. We saw the ruins of Franziskaner-Klosterkirche.
We headed back towards the hotel as the bus was picking us up soon. On the way back we passed by this fountain with Poseidon.We ate lunch at a little bakery by the hotel called Agon Backstube. I had a tomato bread and pastry, and my boyfriend had a pizza slice.
The bus arrived shortly after we finished eating, and we headed towards the ferry. While on the ferry, we were able to watch the sunset.At around 11 PM, the bus dropped us off at the train station. We finally arrived back in Roskilde around 12 AM. Once we returned to the apartment, we were exhausted from our trip and went to sleep.
If you do decide to visit Berlin, I have some tips based on my experience there.
- It is not necessary to know German because hotel staff, restaurant workers, ticket sellers, and most Germans can speak English. If they do start speaking German to you all you need to say is say “I speak English”
- Germany uses euros, so I recommend having €50-€100 euros on you depending on what your plans for the day are
- If you spend all of your euros, you can use the ATM at a bank even when the bank is closed at night or on the weekend
- For transportation, I recommend looking at a map of Berlin that includes subway/train routes to see what is nearby and routes you can take to places you want to visit. I walked to places that were nearby in Alexanderplatz, and I used the subway (U-Bahn) to get around to further places like the zoo, Potsdamer Platz, and the palace. The subway is fairly cheap at €2,70 per trip per person, but if you are traveling a lot I recommend purchasing a day ticket which is €7 and good for all trips that day
- Trains and buses are also an option, but I did not take any of those while I was in Berlin
- You can take a sightseeing bus around Berlin and hop on/off when you want, but I think that is better if you do not know where you would like to visit in Berlin
- I have seen a lot of bike rentals that are €12 a day
- I do not recommend driving your own car because the city can get crowded and parking can be expensive
- Avoid taxis because they can be expensive and they often drive dangerously by cutting off other cars and turning from lanes that go straight (thus cutting off even more cars)
- Food is pretty good wherever you go, and it only depends on what type of food you want (German, Italian, Asian, café, steakhouse, etc.)
- You can use Google maps to see what restaurants are nearby and the menus and ratings for them
- When you are going out to eat, have euros with you as some smaller restaurants do not accept credit cards
- Breakfast was included with the hotel room. Lunch was around €10, and dinner was around €25, which included a meal and drink for both me and my boyfriend
- You can also visit a grocery store for food and snacks. I went to Kaiser’s, and they are one of the best grocery stores I have ever been too
- I recommend getting to tourist attractions that have queues like Fernsehturm early. I only had to wait 10 minutes when I went around 10 AM, but later in the afternoon the wait is around 1 and a half hours
- Most stores are closed on Sunday, so do not plan on going shopping on Sunday. However, museums, tourist attractions, cafés, and restaurants are open
- Most people you meet are friendly, but avoid people asking you to sign a petition (the one me and my boyfriend were constantly asked to sign was to open a center for the disabled and deaf). It is a scam because the charity does not exist, and when you are distracted they will steal your money, wallet, purse, or bag