Thirty six hours in Berlin is not enough. Initially when I planned our Fall European tour I had us staying in Berlin for four nights. Berlin was the second stop, on our six country tour. I love a plan…but I’ll break a plan, and that’ s exactly what we did. We decided to stay an extra two nights in Stockholm, our first stop, so we had to cut our time in Berlin.
So, what do you do when you only have 1.5 days in a city? The first thing you do is stay in a centrally located hotel. Next, you hit the ground running, immediately visiting as many of the “main” sites as possible.
Our hotel was located in Potsdamer Platz. An area that has been born again. In the 1920s and 30s this was one of the busiest squares in Europe. However, the allied bombings during World War II put an end to that, destroying 80% of the area. It became a no-mans land with the building of the Berlin wall. However, it was born again in the early 1990s and is once again one of Europe’s busiest squares. That’s one of the things that stood out to me right away about Berlin, it is a modern city, there isn’t that “old city center’ that you find in most major European cities.
Our first day in Berlin we checked out the major sites, Brandenberg Gate at Pariser Platz, the Holocaust Memorial, Checkpoint Charlie, the former site of the Führer Bunker, and the Topography of Terror.
The next day we jumped on a hop-on/hop-off Big Bus tour. I love a Big Bus tour. You get to see the sites, and it helps gives you a lay of the land. Also, since it was pouring down raining, the bus tour allowed us to stay relatively dry.
We decided to hop-off on Kurfürstendamm, one of the most famous avenues in Berlin. This street is lined with cafes, restaurants, boutiques, and designer stores. We strolled along this street window shopping, and we enjoyed lunch at a Thai restaurant, and the food was delicious. Later that evening we went to a Vegan restaurant that was in this same area. This restaurant, La Mano Verde, is one of the best Vegan restaurants that I’ve ever eaten at. The risotto (Risotto Melange de Champignons) is the best risotto that I’ve ever had. Seriously! And, you better get the Triple Chocolate Fudge!! I’m salivating right now just writing about it. If you get to Berlin, whether you’re a Vegan or not, check out this restaurant.
When we left Berlin, we were both regretting that we didn’t have more time. It really is a shame, but it was time to move on to Prague. What would I do different next time? I’d stay in a different area, maybe the Mitte or Ku’damm. Though Potsdamer Platz is centrally located, it was a tad bit too touristy for me. Which means the food options weren’t that great. The next thing I’d do differently is stay at least 4 days as I had originally planned. 🙂