I would think that the vast majority of Danes have been to Berlin at least once in their lives. Either on a study trip in high school or perhaps on a weekend trip with your girlfriend or boyfriend, where the program has been shopping, sightseeing and good food. Perhaps you have visited Berlin in connection with something completely different? I myself finally made it past Berlin for the first time in April, when I had invited my little sister to a concert in the city. Here we had a few wildly pleasant days, where we got to experience all the traditional attractions that you now have to see on a city break in Berlin. We got to see the Brandenburg Gate, walked along the East Side Gallery, shopped in the shops around Alexanderplatz, remembered the many victims at the Holocaust memorial, and then we got to enjoy the sun’s rays in the green Tierpark.
But what should you do if you have already visited Berlin’s main attractions? My #CityBreakGermany trip through Germany in October started out with 24 hours in precisely fascinating Berlin. Instead of revisiting the popular attractions that we all know so well, we ended up using our 24 hours to experience a slightly more unconventional side of the city that you rarely read about in numerous blogs and guidebooks. These 24 hours still stand as some of the most memorable on my trip through Germany, precisely because I was completely surprised by all the facets that the city has. That’s why here you get my slightly alternative guide to your 24 hours in Berlin – exactly as I myself spent my 24 hours in the city.
At 12:00 | Lunch at HOLY FLAT!
Start the day by replenishing your energy reserves. Berlin is pure slaraffenland if you are looking for green and healthy dishes. Yes, in fact, it can actually be a bit confusing to find your way around all the eateries that specialize in either vegetarian, plant-based, organic or vegan food. My recommendation goes out to HOLY FLAT! on Eberswalder Straße. A multitude of green bowls and wraps with inspiration from Middle Eastern, Central and South American cuisine are served here. And then everything is vegetarian or vegan.
( HOLY FLAT! , Eberswalder Straße 22, 10437 Berlin)
Do you need an extra energy boost in the form of a shot of caffeine? Fortunately, you will find Berlin’s best cup of coffee just around the corner. Bonanza Coffee Roasters really care about coffee, and they are picky about every single cup of coffee that is poured – regardless of whether you prefer your coffee as espresso, americano, or whether you want it with or without milk. If you are in Berlin at the weekend, you can conveniently drop by Mauerpark, where a flea market is held every Sunday.
( Bonanza Coffee Heroes , Oderberger Straße 35, 10435 Berlin)
At 14:30 | Bike tour through Wedding with Berlin on Bike
Then it’s time for some sightseeing. Berlin is a little too big a city to get around on foot if you only have 24 hours. Therefore, it is preferable to get around on two wheels, which is fortunately very easy, as the city is reasonably flat. If you are interested in experiencing a slightly more unconventional side of a big city, I often think that you get more out of taking part in a guided tour, rather than getting around on your own. In this way, you get around to corners of the city that you rarely find information about in guidebooks, while at the same time you get a bit of background history about the area.
During my 24 hours in Berlin, I took part in a 3-hour guided tour with Berlin on Bike . Starting in the old brewery building, Kulturbrauerei, where Berlin on Bike is based, we got around to pretty much every imaginable nook and cranny of the Wedding area – an area that I have never heard of until now. On the three-hour trip, we got to experience everything from beautiful art nouveau architecture and creative areas to interesting street art and the nicest green areas with a slightly gloomy history. But you will have to wait to hear about which places exactly we passed on this bike trip through Wedding in another post. Because this (to me) unknown area really hides many hidden gems!
At 18:00 | Dinner at Osmans Töchter
After three hours on the bike, you’re probably a little hungry. Park the bike at Berlin on Bike and walk around the corner where you will find the Turkish restaurant, Osmans Töchter. Back home in Denmark, I often think that Turkish restaurants don’t really dare to serve anything other than pizza or kebab. And it’s a bit of a shame, when Turkish cuisine is so much more than that. Friends Lale and Arzu thought that was also the case in Berlin. Therefore, in 2012, they chose to open the city’s only restaurant, where authentic Turkish food is served with a modern twist. Here, in the coziest setting, you can taste a multitude of colorful dishes served as meze, i.e. where the small dishes are shared with everyone at the table. Many of the dishes are both vegetarian and vegan, but dishes with meat and fish are also served. What they all have in common is that they are made with fresh and tasty ingredients and herbs.
( Osmans Töchter , Pappelallee 15, 10437 Berlin)
At 20:30 | Drinks and accommodation at the Maritim Hotel
As the evening draws to a close, it’s time to return to your hotel. During my 24-hour stay in Berlin, I stayed at the Maritim Hotel, located near Potsdamerplatz. This large hotel offers over 500 rooms, two restaurants, a spa area with pool and a rather impressive lobby with a giant chandelier. The rooms are simply and stylishly furnished with wall-to-wall carpet and warm wooden details, as you often see in conference hotels like this one. Not a style I usually lean towards myself, but for just a day in the city, I now think it’s a formidable choice. If you are looking for a really luxurious hotel night on your trip to Berlin, Maritim Hotel also has a good handful of pretty wild suites. I had the pleasure of peeking into several of them during my stay and almost lost them on the way out.
If you’re not quite ready to see quilts, you can skip past the hotel’s quite cozy bar. Here you will find a large selection of drinks, wines and whatever else you might be in the mood for before you are ready to retire.
You can see prices and availability for Maritim Hotel right here .
At 10:00 | Visit Funkhaus Berlin
The last few hours in Berlin will be spent a little outside the city center. The course must be set towards Funkhaus Berlin . From the outside, this group of buildings doesn’t immediately look like much, but if you go inside, you can go on a bit of a journey through time. In its time, the Funkhaus was used by the GDR to broadcast messages for radio and TV. Instead of razing the place to the ground after the fall of the wall, they chose to use the premises as a sound studio. In fact, it is one of the world’s largest sound studios, which Rammstein, Depeche Mode, Sting and the Black Eyed Peas, among others, have used to record music. Many of the rooms from the GDR eraone has stood completely untouched since they were abandoned after the fall of the Wall with shelves full of Stalin’s books and radio equipment used for espionage. Other rooms have been stripped of the typical communist wallpaper and varnished wooden floor, and are today used for, among other things, concerts, events, recording and teaching of music and film students. A truly fascinating visit which is not only worthy of a recommendation, but which I think I will dedicate a whole post to in the near future.
At 12:00 | Lunch at Milchbar
Then your 24 hours in Berlin are coming to an end. But before you leave town, you can just grab a bite to eat. In the area that houses the Funkhaus, you will find a small handful of cozy eateries that you can visit on your trip out here. Our choice fell on Milchbar, which has existed since 1956. Milchbar is, as the name suggests, a former so-called milk bar, which is probably most reminiscent of the milkshake bars that were seen especially in the USA in the 60s. Although milkshakes are no longer served here, the retro look is preserved with dark wood paneling on the walls and generally the same old style as you see in Funkhaus. On the board you will find dishes such as ham schnitzel, currywurst with or without meat, as well as today’s pasta dish and salad. I myself got a lasagna, which is guaranteed to be better elsewhere. However, my fellow travelers ordered the ham schnitzel, which they judged to be the best they had ever tasted. That recommendation is then passed on.
( Milchbar , Nalepastraße 18, 12459 Berlin)