28th June to 2nd July 2012
“An Exciting Destination”
Gordon Clements had done over 30 year’s service with The Group (“TG”) and wanted to celebrate with a City Break. Stuart Middleton and I had both previously worked for TG so the offer to join him was readily accepted and after due discussion on a number of Cities Berlin was the city we all agreed on. After much hotel research we settled on the Park Inn by Radisson Berlin, Alexanderplatzlt (4*) right in the centre of the city and it turned out a great place to stay.
The number of days you spend on holiday in a particular place needs to be carefully thought about and to me it is essential that you do some research on what you want to do, sightseeing, where to stay and the choice of restaurants and other attractions. I was charged with this research and the Agenda (not cast in stone) is an addendum to this overview, thus ensuring we had options for an active day, every day.
Views on the City and our activities
We found Berlin just a magic city and we all had a wonderful time in all that we did and saw.
We enjoyed good short flights from Manchester to Berlin Schoenefeld Airport and used the Airport train on both occasions which was fast and efficient taking us into Alexanderplatzlt where our hotel was located. The weather was also good which permitted us to go sightseeing/carry out activities each day. We opted to purchase the Berlin Pass which we found to be of good value but before purchasing this make sure you are able to take advantage of what it offers.
The highlight for us was the Fat Tire Bike Tour of the city. Our brief half day to Potsdam was enjoyable but if you go you do need a whole day there. Visiting The Berliner Dom (the dramatic Cathedral) and going onto the rooftop was fascinating with spectacular views across the city. We made a couple of visits to Checkpoint Charlie, saw the remains of the Berlin Wall, visited Hitler’s Bunker and paid our respects at the Jewish Memorial. On a sunny afternoon we enjoyed a cruise on the River Spree.
We ate out for breakfast each morning and tried out the cafes detailed in the Agenda and found these very good. We ate at a variety of restaurants and in particular found Monsieur Vuong (Vietnamese) Alte Schonhauser Strasse 46, 10119 Berlin-Mitte, a busy and enjoyable restaurant.
I would recommend a visit to the city if you have not been and I am happy to answer any questions you may have.
28th June to 2nd July 2012 (4 nights)
“An Exciting Destination”
Berlin is seen as a City of surprises and contrasts – of old and new, of east and west, of city and countryside. It is the capital of Europe’s most powerful country and is one of the most dynamic cities in Europe. This exuberant and exciting City is perhaps best covered from a central location which will have good transport links (tube, city rail, bus & tram) thus maximizing our ability to see its main attractions. With this in mind we have settled after much research for the Park Inn by Radisson Berlin, AlexanderplatzIt (4*). Berlin is a City perhaps beyond our imagination as to diversity. It is a 24-hour city, and you’ll never be short of something to do. The variety of bars and restaurants is one of the city’s great strengths and its legendary, pretty much non-stop, nightlife is another.
On any holiday you go on it is important that you have an Agenda for what you want to do and achieve. It is of course flexible.
These have been put in place with Easy Jet at a cost of £332.78 (£110.93 each).
We have looked into this and we can gain the pass ahead of arriving in Berlin so it makes sense we purchase it for the savings involved and the great convenience. E225.35 (£62.66 each). http://www.berlinpass.com/berlin-attractions/index.html
We want to maximize our sightseeing time in the City and this listing seeks to identify key attractions.
- Unter den Linden – premier boulevard
- Brandenburg Gate
- Unesco - Museum Island (excellent collection of museums and galleries – Pergamon (No 1 attraction), Altes, Bode, Neues and Alte Nationalgalerie)
- Interior of the Sony Centre
- Fernsehturn - Panoramastrasse 1A – eastern bloc relic has the best views over the city
· Holocaust Memorial by architect Peter Eisenman
- Arched bridge and The Berliner Dom (Cathedral) over the East Berlin canal
· The Wall
· Checkpoint Charlie
- The Reichstag – Platz der Republik
· Trendy Hackescher Market Area
· Chamisso Quarter
· Jewish Memorial
· Victoria Park. Victoria is the highest elevation of Berlin, affording a most magnificent 360 degree views overlooking the entire City
- Go on a bike tour round the city - http://fattirebiketours.com/berlin/tours/berlin-city-bike-tour www.stadtentwicklung.berlin.de & www.bikesberlin.com
· Boat cruise on River Spree. Four operators offer circular tours, usually lasting 3/4hrs but passengers can hop on and off at landing stages en route
· Tiergarten – Berlin’s answer to Central Park
- Day trip – Potsdam, (30mins on S-Bahn) location of Frederick the Great’s palace and gardens. Rent a bike to see round the area. http://fattirebiketours.com/berlin/tours/potsdam-bike-tour Potsdam is Berlin’s Versailles. Sanssouci – a landscaped park is a must. Hollandisches Viertel or Dutch Quarter is the most attractive part.
· Peruse the flea markets (Trodelmarkt am Arkonaplatz Sun 10am- 4pm - is one of the best.)
· Prenzlauer Berg – well balanced mix of cafes, better restaurants and late-night nightlife
· Stasi Museum
· Olympic Stadium
· Schloss Charlottenburg
· Anne Frank Centre
· Segway Tour - http://citysegwaytours.com/berlin/tours/berlin-segway-tour Segway telephone number: +49 30 24 04 79 91, or from inside Germany: 030 24 04 79 91
Eating in Berlin’s restaurants is inexpensive by international standards. A 15% service charge is added. Italian, Greek, Turkish (Kreuzberg) and Asian restaurants provide the best bargains while traditional German places tend to be pricey and their food served is heavy and old-fashioned – dumplings, roast pork, sauerkraut and the like. Wines mainly white but a good red is Spatburgunder – similar to Pinot Noir.
- Chai Yo Thai, Number 1 on Trip In Kreuzberg area
95A Skalitzer Strasse, Berlin, Germany 030 6951 5260
- Das Original Vietnamese No 3 on Trip In Geisbergstrasse 12/ Ecke Ansbacher Str., 10777 Berlin, Germany 030 - 23 62 60 90
- Fassbender-Rausch - Café style but serves dinners, and ranked 4 on Trip
Charlottenstrasse 60, Berlin, Germany 30 20 45 84 43
- Marjellchen - Top rated German restaurant and rated 6th of over 1400 on Trip in Berlin
Mommsenstrasse 9, 10629 Berlin, Germany 030-8832676.
Microbreweries and beer gardens
The house beers in these places are generally top quality. Beer gardens are popular particularly along the shores of the city’s lakes in Kopenick and Zehlendorf.
- Brauhaus Georgbrau – Spreeufer 4
- Brauhaus Mitte – Karl-Liebknecht-Str 13 (all the trappings of a Bavarian Beer Hall)