My trip got off to a great start when I woke up two hours before my flight because my alarm didn’t go off! Luckily there was no traffic and I breezed through security despite being searched (joys of a carry-on) but my heart was in my stomach the whole time. I was more excited than nervous about my first solo trip abroad, although my main concern was not having anyone take my pictures. It wasn’t until I landed in Berlin and ordered an Uber that it finally hit me. Fuck I’m in a new country all by myself!
Day One: Sightseeing in Berlin
First order of business was sheet masking to hydrate my skin post-flight (a beauty junkie is always prepared) before heading to brunch. Geist im Glas is a cosy brunch spot by day and intimate bar by night. I ate the most delicious banana pancakes with a fresh mint tea on the side. They have a great range of brunch-themed cocktails and fresh juices/teas, perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Sundays are made for art galleries and brunch, so I headed to the Urban Nation museum for contemporary art. Despite being famous for street art, nothing prepares you for just how much there is and in every single corner of the city. You’ll find see entire buildings, alleyways, doors and even bathrooms covered in art. I took so many pictures before I even arrived at the museum!
The quality and variety of artwork on display at Urban Nation is incredible. I highly recommend visiting if you’re into contemporary art; entry is free but the museum is closed on Mondays.
Next up was the East Side Gallery (a former section of the Berlin Wall) and Brandenburg Gate before going to Curry Mitte to try their infamous Currywurst. Currywurst is essentially seasoned sausage and chips (fries) with ketchup and/or mayo, sounds simple but tastes so good!
I explored the Mitte area before going for dinner at Good Friends Chinese Restaurant, known as the best Chinese restaurant in town. I struggled to pick a dish from the extensive menu but eventually chose a speciality dish which didn’t disappoint. The food is good, the service is personable and they serve Hennesey XO so you can’t go wrong!
Day Two: Endless foodie adventures
A quick Google ‘near me’ search led to breakfast at A Never Ending Love Story, a cute little breakfast spot with a gorgeous pink interior. While the aesthetics drew me in, the pancake menu sealed the deal. My banana with dulce de leche pancake wasn’t as good as Geist im Glas, but tasty nonetheless.
I spent the day shopping and exploring a few other neighbourhoods, the weather was gorgeous so I was happy to walk around and soak up the sun. I love shopping in Europe because it’s so much more peaceful! Mitte is home to all the well-known European clothing brands as well as cool independent boutiques.
For lunch, I ventured over to Kreuzberg to try Rosa Caleta Jamaican & European fusion restaurant. Kreuzberg is definitely my least favourite neighbourhood in Berlin, it’s supposed to be ‘hip’ and cool but it’s just a bit TOO edgy for me. Even by Berlin’s standards, it has a lot of graffiti. I guess I’ve become accustomed to London’s glossy and gentrified the hipster areas which lack true authenticity. There’s no shortage of cool places to eat though, so I’m sure I’ll eat my words at some point.
My greedy ass was still hungry after eating the Brown Stew Chicken and Rice at Rosa Caleta so I headed straight to Angry Chicken for Korean Fried Chicken for lunch part deux! The So So Angry Chicken (six wings in a spicy sauce) were amazing. It’s worth noting how affordable food is in Berlin, I don’t recall spending more than €23 on a meal.
I couldn’t leave without having at least one dessert, so it was back to my favourite neighbourhood Mitte for a pastry at Alpenstück Bäckerei. I had two, because what’s better than one dessert? Two!
Day Three: Last moments in Berlin
After lounging in bed until checkout, I squeezed in some (more) quick shopping before lunch. By now I was so familiar with the city I knew how to get to the S-Bahn and had my head buried in my phone as if I was in London!
My final meal in Berlin was by far my favourite. I ate steamed shrimp dumplings and fried rice noodles with chicken (a Taiwanese speciality) at Lon Men’s Noodle House in Charlottenburg. When the interior is humble and the food presentation is simple, you know the food is good! My only regret is not going sooner so I could have eaten here multiple times. I’d definitely explore more restaurants on Kantstraße when I next visit.
With an hour to spare I hunted down Paper + Tea which ironically is next door to A Never Ending Love Story where I previously went for breakfast! The store is absolutely adorable and the staff are lovely. I was greeted with a cold tea blend and smile. It’s heaven for tea lovers as they have every kind of tea you can imagine (white, green, black etc) both loose and in teabags, as well as stationary and tea making accessories. I really wanted the vodka tea-infusion kit but I was travelling with a carry-on. Luckily they gave me instructions on how to DIY so I can create my own. Now it was really time to go home.
Travelling solo is such a great experience! I can’t say it’s better or worse than going with friends, just different. You’ll learn to navigate and figure things out a lot quicker on your own and it’s also cool to go at your own pace and be flexible.
Things I noticed about Berlin
- It’s a very green city with lots of trees and greens spaces even in the city centre.
- Fresh tea and juices are widely available. I got my life each time I was served fresh lemon with ginger or a fresh mint tea.
- Even the bathrooms contain some form of art: by the sink, inside the cubicle — a gamechanger for bathroom selfies!
- It’s super easy to navigate. Between walking and using the S-Bahn and U-Bahn, I explored about four neighbourhoods in one day.
- Everybody cycles. Everywhere.
- The architecture changes drastically from one neighbourhood to next. Some streets remind me of Paris while others give me a New York vibe.
Overall I’d really recommend Berlin as a great weekend destination for foodies and art lovers.
I stayed at the Quentin Boutique Hotel in Charlottenburg. You can enjoy £15 off your next stay anywhere in the world using my Booking.com referral link.