To mark Sweeda’s Birthday, her husband, best friend Meg from Australia and I decided to surprise her with a girly city break. Meg suggested Berlin and I had never been so thought why not. I wanted to book a hotel in a great location with easy access to restaurants and attractions. I came across the Park Plaza Hotel Wallstreet Berlin Mitte which is a 4-star hotel in the heart of Berlin and has received a very good rating on Trip Advisor.
Our flight was from Heathrow so we stopped off at La Salle‘s for breakfast. Sweeda went for the Smashed Avocado on Brioche and I chose Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon which was divine. We received a quick and friendly service. The flight only took an hour and 45 minutes.
When searching online for things to do I came across the Berlin Welcome Card. The card allows you to have access to free use of public transport, access to more than 30 attractions in Berlin, a trip on the hop on hop off bus tour and 50% discount offers on other attractions. They have several packages but we opted for the 4-day pass for 125 Euros. Once we went through passport control we headed to the Information Desk to purchase the Welcome Card.
The journey to the hotel was straight forward. Sweeda found the route on a journey planner app called Rome2rio which is great and easy to use. We jumped on the bus and then a train and was in the hotel within 45 minutes. I felt nervous as Meg was already in the hotel room and Sweeda had no clue she had flown over from Australia to surprise her. Meg and I were talking via Facebook messenger so I updated her when we arrived. Sweeda and I checked in and went to the room; the suspense was killing me. I opened our room door and Sweeda walked in wondering why someone was in our room as Meg’s back was facing the door. When Meg turned around Sweeda realised who it was and was shocked. I was so happy as I wasn’t sure if she was suspicious of my plans.
In the evening, we decided to go for a meal at Upside Down Bar and Restaurant which was a 2-minute walk from the hotel. I opted for Steak with Mac and Cheese as a side dish. The steak was cooked to perfection and the mac and cheese wasn’t made in the traditional way but done the job as I was starving. After dinner, Sweeda and I decided to go for cocktails. Meg was tired so she went back to the room. I searched for bars on Google and came across Geist im Glas, we then went on a hunt to find it. One train and 20 minutes later we arrived at the bar. It was quite small, with dim lighting and a chilled out vibe. It felt like it was a secret bar that not many people knew about. The bar was quiet with a few tables filled with couples. It was a cash-only bar so if you want to check it out make sure you have cash. We enjoyed our cocktail and made a move as it was getting late.
Pergamon Museum and Brandenburg Gate
We decided to check out the Museum Island. The first stop was the Pergamon Museum. The collections included Greek and Roman art as well as reconstructions of Babylon. There is so much history to learn. The pieces give you an idea of what it was like to live in that era which was a completely different world to which we live in today.
After exploring a variety of museums, we came across the Brandenburg Gate which was packed with tourists capturing photos. We took a seat on the pavement to give our feet a rest as we had been walking all day.
We wanted to try the traditional food so found a German Resturant. I chose the meatballs and mash potato. The portion size looked small but was very deceiving as I was full once I finished. The meatballs had a subtle but distinctive flavour which went well with the fluffy mash. We decided to check out the nightlife and went to a rooftop bar called Klunkerkranich. The bar was located on the rooftop of a car park. It wasn’t the easiest place to find but we eventually located it. The bar was smoky and dark. It was packed with what looked like teenagers but they could’ve been in their early twenties. We stayed for a couple of drinks then decided to have a photoshoot in the car park as you do (or maybe only we do that).
East Side Gallery – Berlin Wall
The next day, we visited the famous Berlin Wall which divided Berlin from 1961 to 1989 and went on for more than 87 miles. The East Side Gallery was full of eye-capturing artwork created by talented artists from all over the world.
Another surprise for Sweeda was taking her to see Janelle Monae in concert. It was such a great experience to go to a concert abroad. The crowd was very versatile with a mixture of people in their 20s-30s to people aged 50+. The concert was fantastic. Janelle Monae is such a talented musician and I don’t think she gets the recognition she desires. If you don’t know who she is, check her out here. I have posted 2 short video clicks from the concert below.
Hop on Hop off Bus Tour and Potsdam City Tour
The Welcome Card offered a free Hop on Hop off Bus Tour so we took the opportunity to explore. The route had 19 stops including Checkpoint Charlie, Brandenburg Gate and Charlottenburg Palace. Throughout the tour, we listened to the history of Berlin.
Once we arrived in Potsdam, we wanted to try authentic German food and came across a cute restaurant in Potsdam. We all went for the Currywurst which was a frankfurter in curry sauce paired with mash potato. The food was delicious. The sausage was full of herby flavours and there was a little kick from the horseradish.
For the last day, we went for a delicious Italian meal not too far from the hotel. We ended the evening with cocktails with a view at the TV Tower. The photos are not brilliant but give you an idea of the view. I chose the Strawberry Daiquiri cocktail which was sweet and refreshing.
Sweeda and I’s flight was booked for 10.15 so we woke up, had breakfast and left for the airport. Meg was leaving later so she had more time to rest in the room.
Overall, the trip was wonderful with the Janelle Monae Concert being the icing on the cake. When we booked, I didn’t know what to expect but I have been pleasantly surprised. If you want to go to a city with friendly locals, attractions to visit and delicious food, then Berlin is the place to see. Sweeda was surprised and I’m hoping the trip made her birthday memorable.
I hope you enjoyed. Please follow my blog to keep up to date with my latest posts. Until next time.