The Christmas Season is quickly approaching and I can hardly wait! I just love everything about it: the mulled wine, the Christmas carols, the festive spirit and the cosy fires. Last year, I enjoyed my first ever real European Christmas Market, I’d been to Christmas markets here in the UK but trust me, they’re nothing compared to the real thing.
We were in Berlin from 20th-23rd December 2016 and it was a truly magical few days! In preparation for this years christmas season I thought I’d tell you all about it!
None of us had ever been to Berlin before so this trip was just as much about exploring the incredible city as it was about Christmas Markets! Each day, we’d find a cute spot for breakfast, hit up some tourist sights and once the sun set we’d head for the markets.
Berlin is a city full of interesting history and culture. From WWII to the Berlin Wall, there is so much to discover. Gorgeous architecture lines the streets and this city beautifully mixes old and new. Here are a few of the top sights to see whilst you’re there!
A walk along the longest remaining stretch of the Berlin wall is an absolute must! It is actually known as the East Side Gallery due to the gorgeous pieces of artwork adorning each section. There a pieces dedicated to remembrance, hope, peace and human rights – its all quite inspirational.
Checkpoint Charlie felt like a ‘must-see’ when considering things to do in Berlin. It served such an important role in WWII that it seemed wrong not to see it! I had been told not to bother with the museum, so we didn’t and to be honest I’m not sure the checkpoint was worth the effort to get to! Its been turned into a tourist trap and the McDonalds next door rather takes away from the ambience. Take it or leave it.
The Berliner Dom is Berlin’s Cathedral and it is stunning both inside and out! It sits on the edge of the river and opposite the gorgeous lustgarden. We paid €7 to go into the cathedral, crypt and dome and it was so worth it!! From the magnificent royal tombs in the crypt to the gorgeous views from up top, this place was just magnificent.
Another spot we particularly enjoyed was Schloss Charlottenburg – a beautiful Rococo Palace in the suburbs of Berlin, easy to get to by train. The building itself is impressive and it sits within stunning parklands. We paid €17 for entry to the palace and outbuildings and they wanted another €3 to take photos. To be honest, the interior wasn’t worth that amount of money and many of the outbuildings were closed. The grounds and exterior were the best bit and they were absolutely free!
The Holocaust Memorial in the centre of the city is well worth a visit. Get lost in the maze of concrete blocks and take a moment to remember the lives lost. There are also a number of holocaust museums in the city which I personally didn’t visit but may be of interest to some!
The Brandenburg Gate is magnificent. Well worth a visit although you’ll stumble across it anyway! Its not far the Reichstag which is just as stunning. You can go up into the glass dome of the Reichstag for views of the city and a sneak peak into the countries parliament – make sure you pre-book your tickets for this!
The city is full to the brim of charming little cafe’s and restaurants and it has a very open and clean feel to it! It is an absolutely gorgeous city it every way and I loved exploring it! Museum Island is also stunning and the Jewish Quarter, Alexanderplatz and the Kaiser-Wilhem Church are also well worth visiting!
Last, but most definitely not least are the Christmas Markets!! Berlin is full of them. The entire city was buzzing with festive spirit, you could just feel it in the air. I’ll delve into the christmas markets in more depth in another post as there are so many to choose to from and too much to say!!