The second stop on our sister trip to Germany was Berlin. Again, similar to Munich we had both been here before so we took a non-traditional approach to exploring and checked out more of the food and culture scene than the traditional memorials.
For our first free afternoon we decided to walk around and see where we the wind blew us. Our hotel was really close to the Brandenburg Gate so we started at the gate and kind of went from there.
One of my favorite things to stumble across in Berlin are Stolperstein. These are placed outside a home (or where one used to be) of a Jewish person who was persecuted in WWII (as well as others persecuted for different reasons). I love the simpleness of these and how even the smallest little gold brick can make you stop and think about that horrific time in history.
For a mid afternoon drink and snack we went to a place called Monkey Bar and we LOVED it. The inside is super trendy and cute, it has amazing views and delicious cocktails (I got a specialty margarita). It’s also located right by the Berlin Zoo which is supposed to be incredible!
After some drinks we wandered back to the hotel, passing the extremely touristy checkpoint Charlie. Because this area is so popular it’s known for having pick pocketers, so make sure to watch your wallet.
After a full day of walking we headed back to the hotel to rest for a bit before going to dinner at a place our friends from Switzerland had recommended to us called Zenkichi.
This place was SO cool! It was in kind of a weird building where you would never know it was a restaurant from the street. When you walk down the stairs to the restaurant, they bring you to you little private tables where they have bamboo curtains to keep your table hidden from the others. You have a little push button to call your waiter/waitress when you need them so you are left un-bothered. We were a little thrown off that they didn’t have wine (or sushi), but it made us go out of our comfort zones and try a few new things, including their specialty Sakes.
After dinner we stopped for that much needed wine we were craving at dinner and couldn’t have and then headed back to the hotel.
The next day we headed to the Mall of Berlin before our first AirBnB experience of the trip. This place has a lot of affordable stores and places to grab food!
After a quick outfit change we grabbed a coffee and were off on a canoe adventure.
Similar to how you can book a place to stay on the AirBnB website you can also book experiences in the places you travel! The first one we signed up for was a canoe and beer garden tour. We were in a group of about 10 people, including a group of British boys, a Mom and her son from Scotland, two girls on a friend trip from the UK and a family on vacation from Colorado.
This was so much fun because we got to meet people from all over and see the city from the water which was new to me! But one thing I will say is it was actually a LOT of work. We canoed for almost 3 hours and the people in the back of our canoe were essentially dragging their paddles. Needless to say my sister and I were dying by the end and more than ready for our beer at the beer garden. Choose your partners wisely.. hahah
After the canoe fun was over, we had worked up quite an appetite and ended up at Que Pasa for some Mexican food. It was cash only, and honestly I don’t know if I’ve ever had that great of Mexican food in Europe, but we were hungry so it did the trick. We did however, make up for our mediocre meal by stopping at a specialty donuts shop across the street for dessert.
Later that night we attended a Gala for my sisters work where they recognized everyone who had won this trip and the amazing work that they had done last year. It was a great time and even BETTER when Kelly Clarkson was the entertainment for the night. I died…
The next day we did another Airbnb Experience where we hired a photographer to take my sister and I around to cool spots in the city and get some pictures of us together (and I could get a couple blog pictures as well of course).
After a few hours of shooting (which was exhausting!) we walked to Amrit for dinner. They have amazing Indian food! Highly recommend the sizzling brownie for dessert!
On our last day we were kind of drained from being away from home for almost two weeks so we took it slow. First stop was for breakfast at Steel Vintage Bikes – YUM! Then we walked to the Berlinische Galerie to check out some modern art.
On the way back to the hotel we went to the cutest coffee shop ever called White & Rose! Who could resist a pink latte and delicious cupcakes served with gold silverware….not this girl!
We ended the day (and out trip) with one more company sponsored event. They took over both hotels the winner of this trip were staying in (the Ritz Carleton and Marriott Berlin) and had lots of food, live music and fun activities. Again – Insurance guys – who knew this industry had so many amazing perks!
Until next time Germany… Thanks for stopping by everyone!