Weekends away are simply the best, especially when they are in Berlin.
If you like biking, street art, good food, music, and exploring a diversity of cultures, then Berlin is the city for you!
If you live in Europe or at least experience a cold Winter, then you may encounter what is known as the “Winter Blues”. And while a sunny trip to Africa or the Carribean is an incredible way to break the spell, not everyone has the cash or the vacation time off. Our suggestion is to break your regular weekend routine with a quick city trip to Berlin!
Living in Amsterdam during Winter is enchanting but it can certainly get chilly… and rain a lot. So, we were in serious need of a change of scenery from the drab grey sky of the Netherlands.
We woke up at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning (yes, a Friday evening flight would be more practical) and off we flew on our KLM flight.
These are our top tips on how to get the most out of a long weekend:
Berlin Wall, West Berlin.
Getaway tip 1: Uber vs public transport.
A lot of the time, using Uber is more affordable than you might realize. When you only have 48-hours in a city, you don’t want to spend precious time getting from the airport to your accommodation. Do your research, weigh up your options, but consider your time carefully.
Getaway tip 2: book accommodation that is central to what you want to see.
Finding a spot to stay is always a deliberate process for us. Before embarking on any adventures together, we always discuss what we would both like to see beforehand. There’s no need to stick to a rigid plan, be relaxed about it, however, this will help you when deciding on accommodation. This trip, we chose to stay in Berlin Mitte (Middle), at Catalonia Berlin Mitte. This funky hotel had everything you might need for a weekend away: a comfortable private room with ensuite, centrally located, and lovely staff. We found them to be very reasonably priced and would recommend this hotel to anyone for a weekend away.
Getaway tip 3: pin all of your must-sees on Google Maps.
Not everyone is aware, but Google Maps actually works offline. Ok, not quite the same as when you have an internet connection, but you can still track your positioning. This can come in super handy, as paying for cellphone data when travelling is expensive! So long as someone in your travel crew can read a map, this is the surest way to navigate.
Getaway tip 4: bike to all of the best bits.
We came across Donkey Bike a while back and were very pleasantly surprised by their service during our stay in Berlin. This bike sharing concept is super affordable and the bicycles are kept in great condition. All you need to do is download the app, reserve bikes closest to you, pay online via the app and off you go! Donkey Bikes come well equipt with front and back lights, adjustable seating, hand brakes, and a great cellphone holder (so that you can cycle with both hands on the steering). Biking in Berlin was a wonderful experience for us, especially coming from Amsterdam, the city renowned for bikes. Berlin’s streets are wide and flat, therefore easy to navigate as a newbie. There are not many cyclists in the city and vehicles are exceptionally cautious and polite with cyclists in this city.
Getaway tip 5: enjoy eating and the art!
Art and food are two of our favourite things, and luckily for us, Berlin has them in abundance.
To say that the street art in this city is incredible would be an understatement. There are the most amazing, poignant and beautiful pieces of street art on almost every corner. Berlin wouldn’t be Berlin without these monumental pieces, scaling the sides of 12-story buildings. Our advice is to hop on your bikes and just head out into the city, you will be impressed by what you see.
The initial reason why we decided to plan a trip to Berlin was to see German musician, Christian Löffler playing live in concert at the Volksbühne Berlin. Berlin is also famous for its nightlife. So if you get the chance to go out at night in this city, do it, you won’t be disappointed!
And last but not least, the food. This is abundant, diverse and so affordable (for a European city) that you will be very pleasantly surprised. Two places that we visited that we would highly recommend are Markthalle Neun, for a food hall-type experience, and Le Bon, for the most delicious brunch!
For more on our weekend getaway, check out the pictures below, or leave us a comment:
Try bike sharing! Bicycles are usually offered as an extra on check-in at hotels or by your accommodation host. Otherwise, there are plenty of App-based bicycle sharing options, such as DonkeyBike. Biking really is the best and most affordable way to get to all the local hotspots!
Get inspired to plan your next weekend getaway by viewing our Cityscapes Gallery.