where I stayed, where I ate and what I did...
As you may notice I've had to change the "where we stayed.." to "where I stayed.." and that's because I did my first ever solo trip and what a perfect city for me to experience it. Of course I was scared and of course I panicked when I arrived but after I got through the first three lonely beers watching the sunset I felt fine and at ease. I'm so glad I did it and I'm going to do it again for sure.
Berlin was more beautiful than I imagined, the streets hold a lot of history and character and each neighbourhood reminded me of another city, weird but nice. On the walk from Klunkerkranich to Burrito Baby it was dark out but I walked some back streets and they reminded me of night time in Mexico City. Walking around the Nowkoelln Flowmarkt along the Landwehr Canal in the sunshine reminded me of Amsterdam.
This guide is a little different from the previous, so I stayed at Generator Hostel Mitte. It's a great fun hostel and I met some really lovely people! I didn't photograph it only because I suspect people have heard of the Generator Hostel chain? If not and you're planning to travel solo I would recommend it. I was a little torn between this hostel and The Cat's Pajamas Hostel but I went for the one with a bar and more activities. The first morning I took part in the free walking tour, great way to meet other solo travellers in a city!
Eat/Drink - Bonanza Coffee
On my first day I was lucky enough to meet up with Lily Wolf (In A Pavilion) she showed me this super lovely coffee and cake spot right near the flea market at Mauerpark. I love meeting long term internet followers in real life, it never seems to go badly. Enjoying getting more insight to each others lives over coffee. I guess you always realise as well that not everything is how it seems over social media. This place was super busy and perfect for people watching (one of my favourite things).
Eat - Burrito Baby
I'm not vegan or vegetarian but my golly what a beautiful burrito! I went for the 'Hot Mama' they had ran out of rice (I got there close to midnight to be fair) so I got some guac instead and I didn't mind at all. The service was great, because it's a small place I guess you get extra care.
Eat - House Of Small Wonder
The most photographed staircase on Instagram? quite possibly! This restaurant was one of the most recommended to me and it was so close to my hostel so of course had to check it out. The interior is every Instagrammers (plant lovers) dream basically, a very photogenic and chilled out restaurant. Unfortunately we had to save ourselves some room for our dinner so decided to have something little, I was of course fancying eggs and their organic scrambled eggs with parmesan, milk and thyme sounded delicious (they were!).
Eat - Burgermeister
Another one that was highly recommended was Burgermeister, ask anyone who has ever been to Berlin and they will tell you to go here at least once (mind you I wish I went twice!) My sister is a vegetarian and swears the tofu burger is the best burger ever, so it's vegetarian friendly too! However I went for the classic cheeseburger and fries but there's a lot more exciting things on the menu, I'm just a plain jane. It may have been better than Dip n Flip in London... and that's saying something.
Eat/drink - Populus Coffee
Met up with Lily again and she took me to another little gem, what a sweet little coffee shop. Very lucky to have someone who lives in Berlin to show me around really! I found that I drank a lot of iced coffee on my trip, the weather was glorious so it kind of made sense. Come here to rest your feet, be served by lovely people and enjoy an iced flat white.
Eat - Brammibal's Donuts
Again I'm not vegan but these vegan donuts.... I was spoilt for choice honestly it took me awhile to decide. I wish I came out with more than one because I'm a sucker for a good donut, I went for the Earl Grey Lemon glazed flavour and I was not disappointed.
Eat - Zola
Lily recommended I try out Zola which was luckily across from the Nowkoelln Flowmarkt where we were strolling and chatting over coffee and donuts and I am so glad I listened to her. My hungover self needed this pizza more than I knew. This meal was actually quite a special one, it was my first enjoyable solo meal. I sat down then got up to wander around and photograph as it wasn't that busy (just after lunchtime), I then sat back down and got out my book and read until my pizza arrived. I got a tomato and basil and of course put a lot of chilli oil over it. Eating alone meant I was able to stop when I got a little full, I stopped for almost 20 minutes and then came back to it. You know how hard it is to eat on a hangover sometimes! I was also enjoying resting my legs to be honest. What a wonderful pizza joint, with wonderful understanding waitresses.
Eat - Distrikt Coffee
On our last day myself and my new friend Mary from Chicago decided we had to find a really good brunch to set us up for our last day of exploring and we actually did find a really really good brunch spot. We both went for the same dish, poached eggs on sourdough with avocado, burnt tomatoes and pumpkin seeds (which of course inspired me). Best brunch I had eaten in awhile, mmm.
Eat - District Mot
This place! I don't think I've ever eaten at anywhere quite like it, it literally felt like I was back in Thailand. The restaurant is super quirky and colourful, lots of outside seating too and although I was there on such a warm day I still opted to sit inside merely because of the interiors. I went for the 1-800-HOT-BAO-BLING burger (beef patty, sriracha bun, egg yolk garlic mayo, caramelised fish sauce, roasted peanuts, papaya salad, pickled red onion, thai basil, pineapple and crispy tofu skin) It was a burger of dreams! The only downside to this place was the grumpy waiters (sorry if you was actually having a really rubbish day).
Eat/drink - Five Elephant
More cake and coffee (I wish I tried some cakes actually, next time). Such a good place to quench my coffee thirst and rest my tired legs, and after following these guys on Instagram for months I had to go in person! The guys here were super friendly and smiley which made my heart warmer for Berlin!
Eat - Oak + Ice
I was super lucky with the weather in Berlin, I was actually expecting it to be super cold back when I booked my flight but luckily it turned out to be super warm! We ventured to get ice cream and it was worth it! I got two scoops, one apple pie and one salted caramel. The lady who was working at the time was really lovely and we had a long conversation about travelling and working abroad, you get talking to strangers more when you're alone. It's nice!
Drink - Freya Fuchs
A guy from our hostel took us all the way to Wedding to this bar and it was so good, busy and cosy. We spent hours getting to know one another, drinking beers and downing shots of "Berliner Luft" (a delicious peppermint shot).
Drink - Klunkerkranich
On top of a shopping centre carpark (a popular thing nowadays) is this awesome rooftop bar overlooking Berlin. There's two things I would recommend about this place... everyone seemed to be in groups/with another human so it's probably more enjoyable that way and make sure you go for sunset. I was alone here, I drank beers whilst sitting watching the sunset. I don't regret the fact I was alone, I still enjoyed it but I felt a little lonely watching everyone laughing with their friends.
Do - Reichstag Dome
I may have mentioned this before but one of my all time favourite things to do on a trip is view a city from a great height, luckily you can view Berlin from a great height and for free! We booked our tickets the day before for a 8.30am slot (mistake but I wasn't planning on the hangover). It was pretty great and we had sunshine and fog which I wasn't disheartened about.
Do - East Side Gallery
Obviously you must do this on a first time visit to Berlin. This reminded me of Isle of Dogs ^
Do - Tiergarten
The oldest park in the city and well a very beautiful park at that. I took a 40 minute stroll through here to find breakfast at the end of it. Whilst the breakfast wasn't anything to talk about I'm glad I got to see the park!
Do - Photobooth
Another Berlin must-do! Yes I got a strip of just myself, vain? I don't care!
One of the first things I went out to see in Berlin as I arrived on a Sunday. This place was so lively, I could smell tasty food, everyone seemed to be smiling and having a great time. So many stalls selling really cool things too!
Shop - Do You Read Me?
Could have spent hours in this book store!
Shop - RSVP
A really pretty stationary shop.