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Berlin is such a vibrant city – I found it a bit like London in it’s diversity. You really need a week to explore, but if you’re only passing through, or want a plan for your first 24 hours in Berlin, here are some tips:
12 Midday – Eat a currywurst. It doesn’t really matter where or how, there are a million* currywurst vans around Berlin (* this may be an overstatement). This dish is made up of a grilled bratwurst served with an odd but delicious curry ketchup!
1pm – Visit the Berlin Wall Memorial (Bernauer Straße) – this amazing exhibition tells the personal stories of those who lived through the era of the Berlin Wall, it includes the history of it’s making and to when it fell. From the roof viewing platform you can look down onto a preserved section of the wall – a sad and brutally stark reminder of the tumultuous history of the city.
3pm – You’ll likely feel very heavy-hearted after this visit, so you’ll need some distraction and fun! It’s time to take a stroll over to Berliner Fernsehturm (Panoramastraße) – this 1960s TV tower is a lovely part of the Berlin skyline – you can also go up it to a viewing platform or the revolving restaurant, for great views of the city.
4pm – If you have the energy, I highly recommend a visit to the Neues Museum (Bodestraße 1-3, Museum Island). Most people go to the Pergamon, but the Neues shows the super old Egyptian artwork and pre-historic archaeology – fascinating!
If you don’t have the concentration to visit a museum, how about hopping on a river cruise along the Spree instead? There are a number of operators along near Museum Island, most have bars on board, and allow you a good view of the city if you don’t have enough time to explore each area independently.
6pm – Take a walk west on the north bank of the Spree river, and take in a drink at either the Strandbar Mitte in Monbijoupark, with it’s fabulous outdoor dance floor; or further along, at Meisterschueler (Friedrichstraße) for a tasty mint julep at a trendy gallery / bar.
8pm – Continue to walk west until you reach Schiffbauerdamm, where restaurants spill out onto the street and you can sit under canopies by the Spree supping on fine beers and eating delicious prix fixe menus! Eat dinner like royalty – stat!
10pm – If you get sick of Schiffbauerdamm, which I doubt you will, you can head over the river to Windhorst (Dorotheenstraße), a bar that serves great cocktails in a laid back atmosphere with tunes played on vinyl!
*** Fall into bed at an undisclosed hour ***
9am – Get yourself to the fabulous Gasthaus Krombach (Meinekestraße 4) off Kurfürstendamm for breakfast. This classic German pub does incredible beers and schnitzel in the evenings, but fab coffee and breakfasts in the morning too (I recommend both).
10am – You can’t visit Berlin without paying homage to the nineteenth century design movement Bauhaus, started by Walter Gropius in 1919. Head to the Bauhaus Design Museum (Klingelhöferstraße 14) to see the amazing collection and how this school of architecture, design and art has influenced common household items.
12 Midday – Jump on the U train to Brandenburg Gate – stand beneath it looking down Straße des 17. Juni, a street of exceptional symmetry and aesthetic pleasure, and eat another currywurst. You know you want to.
Then weep at the fact that 24 hours clearly isn’t long enough in the amazing city of Berlin.
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All photos © Hannah Henderson and may not be used without permission (sharing this blog post is fine, though!). Images shot with a Canon DSLR T31 Rebel + Canon EF Lens 50mm 1:1.8 STM; and an iPhone6s.
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