Berlin can stake a genuine claim to be to Europe what New York is for America. A vibrant city with ever-changing designs, drinking in diversity to spit out creativity. Fashion, film, food - there is always something going on.
I adore the boutique hotels in the city. I would steer away from classic big brands in Berlin so I could taste the vibes of this grunge-y, funky and cool metropol.
Upon arrival at the Hotel Zoo, one can’t help but notice the attention to all the details and perfection, paired with the efforts of their staff, it’s hard to beat. Rooms are spacious, daring in color with creative purple velvet sofas mixed in with fun palettes of ruby red. I felt like a rockstar for a couple of days, especially when I entered the elevator “photo shoot” - an animation replicating a red carpet entrance with photographers trying to catch a perfect shot. It's fun to witness playful designs throughout their rooms and open lounge spaces.
Classic luxury hotels include Rocco Forte or Adlon Hotel that are perfectly situated at a walking distance to quaint shops, churches and cobblestone paths that lead you to small markets or museums.
The Ellington is walking distance to KaDeWe and an architectural icon since 1920. Try the wine vault next to their cigar lounge for a fun sip of “Grüner Veltliner” with cheese.
Borchardt is by far one of my favorite lunch spots. Since 1895 it's been the authoritative Berlin kitchen, offering a fancy atmosphere with a relaxed vibe, it still strives to achieve a harmonious blend of pleasure, style and entertainment. In a modern adaption their very own classic recipes celebrate a german-french fusion cuisine. From the largest Wiener Schnitzel I have ever seen to delicious freshwater river fish the food is the best of the classics. Located in Gendarmenmarket, stroll across to Ritter Sport chocolate store and create your own custom chocolate with toppings. A perfect gift! There are so many cool spots and boutiques here.
Alternatively, the Grill Royal hosts many foodies, celebs, and locals so it's better to reserve ahead of time. When your taxi drops you at the top of the bridge, be sure to walk down the steps along the river to enter this hidden gem for the best steak & seafood. I loved the grilled shrimp by the pound served in a hot crock pot with garlic bread. The whole cabbage salad served in a bowl with its tasty simple citrus juice dressing is a must try too!
If you like Art, I highly recommend stopping by Penzlauer Berg. Local artists and vendors display their craftsmanship in statues, jewellery, and paintings. The surrounding area is a fun bohemian area to discover quaint coffee shops.
If you prefer history, take time out for Castle Charlottenburg, Berlin’s largest and most magnificent palace. Completed in 1699, it was initially known as Lietzenburg Palace. Destroyed in the Second World War and rebuilt.
Wannsee is a locality in the southwestern of Berlin borough, a famous bathing centre offering beach chair rentals and water slides .
Consisting of two lakes, Big and Little Wannsee, it’s approximately a 40 Minute drive from “Mitte” or the centre of town.
"KaDeWe" is a unique department store made for scavengers. As you enter this huge well-organized building similar to London's Harrods, the trick is not to be distracted by all the classic brands of exclusive casual designers, perfumeries, or mini Boutiques. To accompany your shopping, try out some of the world foods on offer on the top floor. Raclette from Switzerland, fresh pasta from Italy, Fresh French coffee and Dim Sum and a well-stocked gluten-free dedicated section,You don’t even have to get up to order! Tea time and cake are taken seriously in Germany, in fact, it’s a tradition. I found strawberry Pop Tarts imported from the USA and a decaf Sri-Lankan tea. I recommend renowned Berlin Currywurst too!
By Natalie Lefevre
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