We at Mapiful want to introduce you to our new monthly episodes of Mapiful Travel Guides where we share our favorite spots of places to travel. To start-off, we get lost in the hometown of one of our own; Berlin.
As I am a big foodie, a large focus will be on Restaurants and Bars as well as cool shops and my favorite places to visit when I am back home.
Berlin is a rather large city which means walking from one place to another can be difficult. However, there is an excellent public transport system in place as well as loads of opportunities to rent bikes. Depending on how long your stay is, the Berlin Welcome Card or the tickets valid for an entire day (Tageskarte) are the cheapest options. Usually the AB region is sufficient if you do not plan on leaving Berlin.
Staying in Berlin:
There are a large amount of AirBnB’s available as well as relatively cheap hostels and hotels. You can find anything from the really fancy Hotel De Rome (where the A-listers stay during the Berlin Film Festival) or the new Waldorf Astoria over the stylish nhow Hotel or the hipster bohème palace Soho House Berlin.
Breakfast is available in most places and Germans love to eat a large and often savory breakfast. Some of my personal favourites include:
- Café Bilderbuch in Schöneberg
- Suicide Sue in Prenzlauer Berg
- Café Fleury in Mitte
- House of small Wonder in Mitte (very Instagrammable)
- Barini in Kreuzberg
- Ora in Kreuzberg
- Tirrée in Moabit
- Manzini in Wilmersdorf
Berlin has amazingly cheap lunch options which stretch from classic street food to restaurants.
Check out for example the Schwarze Heidi for Southern German/ Swiss comfort food or Kanaan for vegetarian Middle Eastern deliciousness. The Chicken Vegetable Döner Mustafa’s at Mehringdamm is a classic by now as well as the Habibi falafel. Most supermarkets also offer warm food. Traditional German food can also be found in the historic Nikolaiviertel.
Berlin has a very rich food culture, and some of the best Döner and Falafels out there (my personal opinion of course :))
- Markthalle 9 (depends on the days though)
- Hasir (For Döner but also great Turkish food)
- Habibi in Schöneberg
- Schiller Burger
- Witwe Bolte (for the best crispy chicken in town, family favourite)
- Café Restaurant Jolesch
- The Standard (easily one of the best pizzas in town)
- Kimchi Princess
Once your stomach is filled with a delicious meal, it is time to explore the many bars of Berlin. And trust me, Stockholm taught me how amazing it is to be able to drink all night without being completely broke and living off potatoes for the rest of the month. So Berlin is amazing for sitting until the early morning hours since most bars close when the last customers leave. It also allows you to be spontaneous during the entire week, which is a great thing.
Anyways, here are some bars tested and tried by me and friends
- Bar Milano
- Monkey Bar
- Die Schware Traube
- Café Cinema
- Schwarze Café
- Strassenbräu Berlin
- Kaschk Bier Bar
- Trude, Ruth & Goldammer
- Klunkerkranich (especially great in the Summer)
- Haubentaucher (especially great in the Summer)
However, Berlin is huge so there are an incredible amount of bars that are amazing, especially in Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain, Schöneberg, Prenzlauer Berg, Neukölln, Wedding, Pankow, Mitte, Wilmersdorf
Places to see:
Whenever I am home, I want to relax and visit places that I connect with my childhood and teenage years. Below are some of my favourite spare time activities or things to see. Obviously these depend on the weather and I am also aware that the concept of Zoos and Aquariums are not appealing to everyone but I enjoy learning about wildlife.
- Waldschlösschen Grunewald (the entire forest of Grunewald is beautiful and worth a visit)
- Tiergarten incl. Café am See (you can even rent small boats in the summer to paddle on the artificial lake, also it’s such a nice park to walk in during the summer)
- Zoo Berlin + Aquarium
- Tierpark Berlin
- Volksbuehne (theater and concert venue)
- Holocaust Memorial (always impressive but please be respectful on site)
- Deutscher Bundestag (beautiful view from the glas dome)
- Neue Nationalgalerie (amazing exhibitions)
- Alte Nationalgalerie (classic paintings and scultures)
- Altes Museum (home to the famous Nefertiti Bust)
- Pergamonmuseum (they have a real temple in there, it is truly impressive)
- Martin-Gropius-Bau (cannot remember having been disappointed by an exhibition there)
- Helmut Newton Foundation (Photography museum that hosts many modern photographers such as David La Chapelle etc.)
- Berlinische Galerie (German art mainly)
- Bauhaus Museum
- The Jewish Museum
- Naturkundemuseum (some of the biggest Dinosaur bones in the world and just overall amazing)
A lot of the more traditional museums can be found on the so-called Museumsinsel, which is a good start when looking at the list above.
Plenty of really nice shops can be found around Kastanienalle or Rosenthaler Platz or around Savignyplatz (especially antiquities).
Also, in case you are visiting Berlin around December, you absolutely have to visit one of our famous Christmas Markets.
Some of my personal favorites are:
- Schloss Charlottenburg Weihnachtsmarkt
- Weihnachtsmarkt am Gendarmenmarkt
While there, make sure to try some of the delicacies such as the Mulled Wine (Gluehwein), game meat or roasted almonds. Germans also take their Christmas decorations very seriously with handcrafted wooden figures to be found at the Markets.
We hope this gives you tips and inspiration on what to do when in Berlin, especially in the colder seasons.
Let us know if you have tried any of the mentioned places and what your thoughts are on them on here.