Last month, I found myself business traveling through Europe and had the chance to take a quick trip for fun to Berlin. I’d been dying to check this city out and was determined to make the most of my 48 hours there. Here’s my guide to Berlin.
Since I was only going to be in Berlin for a short time, it was really important that I pick a place that offered a great location and an even better experience. The Michelberger Hotel offers both of those things. Located in the eastern part of the city, there’s a train station right across the street and a second one just around the corner from there. It’s also a short walk from a bustling entertainment district.
Most importantly, the hotel is a total hipster haven and everything is Instagramable. A certain indie rock band was even checking in at the same time as me, but I ain’t no TMZ. Aside from trendy interior design, the hotel also leaves quirky notes around your room reminding you to lock the door or informing you about what time you can get breakfast at.
Eating is one of my favorite things to do, just ask my jeans. In all seriousness, I was excited to try the Berlin food scene, especially anything that could be considered Modern German. For lunch, I hit up the trendy deli Mogg & Melzer. This restaurant is easy to miss since there’s not an obvious sign on the street. It’s inside a building that also houses the Kennedy museum.
For my last night, I really wanted to treat myself to a nice dinner so I headed to Lokal. They were pretty booked for the night but I was able to snag a spot at the bar. The menu’s only available in German but the staff was super helpful and translated it for me.
Aside from eating, drinking is typically a major part of my vacations. Maybe it was because I took this trip alone but I rarely drank in Berlin. I set out with a list of trendy watering holes and skipped each one. But if you’re in the area, or staying there, the Michelberger Hotel’s bar is excellent. I actually ended each night with one of their speciality cocktails. My absolute favorite was the Rosemary Bourbon Sour made with lime and maple cinnamon syrup.
Berlin has an insane amount of museums. It’s overwhelming if you’re in town for a short time. Also, be aware that unlike the US where museums tend to be closed on Mondays, museums in Berlin are closed on Tuesdays. I was in town for a Tuesday and Wednesday. After trudging around to closed museums, I made it to the Jewish Museum which was open. It’s huge and contains so many thought-provoking pieces and moving installations.
After I’d given up on getting into museums on this trip, I happened onto the KW Institute for Contemporary Art on Wednesday afternoon. Their current exhibit, Fire and Forget. On Violence, is a collection of work that examines the conventional ideas about war and weapons. I saw plenty of interesting pieces you can find on my Instagram.
If you know anything about me, you know I love graffiti and street art. Berlin is covered in the stuff. If you’re a fan, check out East Side Gallery, which is a huge section of the Berlin wall covered in artwork. It makes for wonderful photo ops. There are also plenty of famous sites that are easy to check off your list. My favorites were the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church and the Fernsehturm Berlin, also known as the TV Tower.
If you’re looking for a great shopping strip, you’ll definitely want to check out Breitscheidplatz which contains tons of larger stores. I was most excited by the abundance of neighborhood boutique shops. One of my favorites was Feinspitz, where I picked up some adorable gifts for my pup.
Visiting Berlin was an absolute pleasure and I only wish I had more time to explore the city. If you’ve ever been, please let me know your favorites in the comments below!