Berlin is one of my favorite cities and I always enjoy returning to it. This was our fourth time in Berlin and the truth is that this time we came mainly to attend the ITB conference, a huge world tourism conference. We participated in this conference last year as well, details about the ITB conference. Apart from the conference, we also explored the city, because there is always something to see and do, and in addition we have been able to be in great cafes, restaurants and bars.
How to get from Schoenfeld Airport to the city center?
When we landed, we went to the WelcomeBerlin stand to collect our transport ticket which we received courtesy of Visit Berlin. The Berlin Welcome card can be purchased from the stand before leaving the airport. This is a card that reduces the costs of public transportation in the city, according to the number of days you plan to spend in the city. You can buy an ABC card that also includes the trip from the airport to the city.
Once you have this card, you only need to use it once at the machine next to the train or on the bus and from that moment just make sure the card is with you at all times, thus allowing you to travel freely by public transport.
From the airport we took the S9 train and after 9 stops we switched to the subway u3 to the area of our apartment. I recommend using Google Maps to see which public transit is best for your route. There are trains every few minutes and it’s very simple to use public transport in the city.
You can also ask at the booth you buy the ticket from which train you need to get to your hotel or apartment. You can even ask at the airport information stand and buy a ticket at it, if you do not want to purchase the ticket for multiple trips.
Where to stay in Berlin?
We decided to stay in Kreuzberg this time, a neighborhood in West Berlin which has become one of the coolest neighborhoods in the city, with a young atmosphere and many venues and cafes.
We got an Airbnb apartment (if you do not have an account on Airbnb yet, here is a discount coupon of 40 Euro on your first booking.) The apartment itself is in a great location!! There are a lot of good cafés nearby, restaurants and bars and it is close to the subway and bus station. It has a nice little balcony and is relatively cheap for the area. Its disadvantages are that it is on the fifth floor without an elevator, there is wi-fi but it barely works and it’s an attic apartment with only with a small window, so the lighting isn’t great.
On previous occasions I purchased a Sim card for 20 Euros in the Alexanderplatz area. This time we found a shop in the Kreuzberg neighborhood where we bought a Sim for 10 Euros with 4 Gb of data for a period of up to one month. Arrival instructions.
Recommendations for things to do in the city in three days
Vivid Grand Show
We love shows, and I remembered seeing an advertisement for the Vivid Grand Show in Berlin. After contacting Visit Berlin, we told them we’d love to visit this show and to our delight the Friedrichstadt-Palast theater wanted to host us at the show.
The show started at 19:30. We arrived at 18:45 to collect our tickets and enjoy the theatre a bit before the show. Collecting the tickets only took a minute, so we went to put our coats in item storage, then bought some bubbling wine to get our evening off to a good start. The theater itself is impressive and everyone were elegantly dressed. We sat with our drinks until there was a bell to enter the hall.
Our tickets were for the chairs in the center of line 12, so we saw the performance perfectly. The hall was completely full, so I recommend ordering the tickets as far in advance as possible if you have the option. The performance was divided into two parts. The first part was about an hour and then we took a 25-minute break, during which we bought salmon and pastrami canapes, then the second part lasted another hour.
It was one of the most beautiful and high quality shows we’ve ever seen. The scenery, the dancing, the singing were all super amazing and there were also some breathtaking acrobatics. I must admit that there was an entire scene I held my breathe during, because it was so challenging and super-human to me.
If you are looking for high quality entertainment this performance will definitely fit. It’s really high-quality entertainment and can compete with the shows we saw in New York and Vegas. Definitely a special experience.
One of the things we like most when traveling is going on food tours in new destinations. Food tours are a great way to see the city, eat delicious food and reach places that are usually only frequented by locals. This time we did a tour with Fork and walk Berlin tours. We contacted them through Visit Berlin.
We met the guide Dov, who is also the owner of the company, at a meeting point. With us on the tour were a family from Los Angeles and a couple from Ohio. The tour was in the east of Berlin. This area is less known to us and we did not get to visit it much before, so this was a nice way to explore a new area in the city.
The weather was a bit gloomy (with occasional rain) but the tour was so fun it did not hurt it. Each time we stopped at a small, intimate place. There were stops of local food, stops with food from different nationalities, a stop with local fine coffee, a stop at a surprising place, a beer along the way, and a delicious and decadent dessert.
Dov was charming and interesting. He told us about the culture and history of Berlin and the story about every place where we stopped. The group was very nice and each time we got to talk to someone else, and the atmosphere was light and tasty. We left the tour extremely satiated (At least I was, Roman was only full for a moment). Dov also gave us many recommendations for restaurants and bars worth visiting, as well as a recommendation for a local market that we went to after the tour.
I highly recommend doing this tour, it’s a great way to discover Berlin and also eat excellent food along the way. The tour was about four hours long.
Markthalle neun erste Market
I love markets, and somehow had never previously visited this one. I recommend coming hungry, as it has a ton of food stalls, but it’s also nice to simply wander around and have a coffee, especially when it’s raining outside. It has many local produce stalls as well, offering cheeses, sausages, beers and more. For those with small children, it also has a cute corner with wooden toys. Directions.
I think this is one of the most beautiful cathedrals I’ve ever seen. Its structure and turquoise domes make it very special (directions). Although it was a gloomy day and a little rainy we decided we would not give up on going to see it. When it started to rain we decided to enter the Allegretto cran cafe. A refined and prestigious cafe where we drank cappuccino and enjoyed the warmth. We waited until the rain stopped and then we went on walking around town.
In addition, there is a whole area of museums near the cathedral. Our last time in Berlin, we were at the Pergamon Museum. Due to the uniqueness of its exhibits, UNESCO decided that this museum, together with other museums on Museum island, would constitute a World Heritage Site. The museum contains a collection of antiquities from ancient times (ancient Greece and ancient Rome), a Museum of Ancient Eastern Antiquities and a museum of Islamic art. We spent a whole day in this museum and it was very fascinating. We took an audio guide and covered the museum part by part. The area of ancient Greece impressed me the most.
This is a park in the Kreuzberg neighborhood. It’s a very lovely park and also has a pretty waterfall, which unfortunately was dry this time, but I got to see it on my last visit when it was flowing and it’s a location not many tourists know about. The park itself is large and filled with greenery, while also offering a good vantage point over the city. Directions.
It’s a great place to go for a walk in or even have a picnic. By the park is a high-quality café, Café Freiraum. We had lasagna and a vegetable casserole with cheese there, and they were both delicious. They also have great looking cookies, so it’s worth a try. Directions.
Good cafés in Kreuzberg
Der Milchladen café
An intimate café with high-quality coffee, sandwiches, cakes, quiches, rice pudding and more. I had rice pudding there with apples and cinnamon, a light breakfast for those looking for nice and small for their morning, along with a coffee. On one of the days we also got a vanilla cream pastry there which was especially good. Der Milchladen. Map
Fraulein wild café
A café with some of the best bagel sandwiches I’ve ever had. I order an avocado, tomato and egg bagel there and it was delicious and filling. Additionally, the café itself is very nice and has good service. You can also sit down and work on your laptop there. They have a variety of breakfasts, as well as cakes and pastries. Fraulein wild cafe. Directions.
A café operating from morning till night and has a variety of healthy breakfasts such as oatmeal and fruitshakes. It also offers sandwiches, croissants and more. I ordered a simple yellow cheese sandwich there and a cappuccino there. Kremanski. Directions
Recommended restaurants in Kreuzberg
Local German restaurant Max und moritz
If you crave tasty local German food then this restaurant will suit you perfectly. This is a restaurant with really good dishes, which are also large and satisfying (I took half of mine as take away). Roman ordered potato and meat soup for an appetizer and a portion of pork for mains, and he said both dishes were good. I had sausages in apple sauce with potatoes which were excellent. Max und moritz.. Directions.
Amrit Indian Restaurant
At first, we thought it was a palace (the entrance and interior are very impressive and golden) but it turned out to be an Indian restaurant. I do not usually like big restaurants but this one had good reviews and we decided to try it. The prices at the restaurant are very worthwhile because the dishes also include rice and a large salad.
We ordered a vegetarian dish of Paneer cheese in a tomato and cashew sauce that was really tasty and a serving of chicken in a curry sauce that was also great. The dishes arrived within a few minutes (quite rare in Indian restaurants) but they were also very tasty, so the speed wasn’t detrimental to the flavor. In short, if you are looking for an Indian restaurant, this is a recommended restaurant. Amrit restaurant. Directions.
Mercosy Korean Restaurant
A small restaurant with six tables serving one dish of Bibimbap with various additions such as salmon or beef or pork or tofu.
This is a bowl full of sticky rice with a rich selection of stir-fried vegetables and, above it all, chili sauce. The dish is large and very satisfying. I got a bowl with salmon and Roman chose pork and we were both satisfied. Great option for anyone looking for a different and tasty dinner. Mercosy. Directions
PHO – Noodlebar Vietnamese Restaurant (Kreuzberg)
As you can see, we are fans of Asian food. It is light and usually healthy and very tasty. On one of the evenings we decided to eat Vietnamese food and found the Pho-noodles bar. This was a charming restaurant with courteous and good service. We ordered a Vietnamese roll, a salad off the specials with strips of meat and a hamburger in a steamed bun. All the dishes were delicious and we had a great time at the restaurant. PHO – Noodlebar . Directions
Yorckschlösschen, great Jazz Bar
We went to this bar with someone who was our guide in Swiss Franconia. She saw on Instagram that we were in town and suggested we meet for dinner. She got a recommendation for this bar from a friend of hers living in Berlin and it turned out to be a good one. This is a bar that has live jazz concerts. It is recommended to book a table in advance, when we arrived we were lucky there was one table available.
The show costs EUR 4 per person. We also ordered beer and wine and a portion of curry sausages with French fries and a local version of Macaroni and cheese. The music was excellent and it was a very nice evening and definitely a place that is recommended both as a place to eat and as a place to spend an evening. Bar Yorckschlösschen. Directions