Guide: 48 Hours in Berlin

02.05.16

Words

Catherine Frawley

Photography

Catherine Frawley

Our food editor Catherine didn’t need much convincing to head to Berlin on her recent city break. Whilst searching for her next European destination, time and again Berlin kept getting a mention, hailed as creative, interesting, full of artists, with good coffee and the promise of the best cinnamon rolls ever:

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To cram in as much as possible in our 2 days we hopped on the 109 bus directly from the airport going straight to the Charlottenburg Palace. Our travel card (which we bought at the airport) gives unlimited access on all public transport, plus discount to lots of museums and attractions including the Charlottenburg Palace.

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The beautiful pink & green ballroom is truly impressive but the quieter more refined staircases and simple rooms were also a pleasure. Destroyed in the war, the palace was re-built, with some of the rooms seemingly, overwhelmingly over decorated but nonetheless interesting and worth the visit.

 

A 10 minute walk away is one of the two branches of Goldhahn und Sampson in Berlin. A bookshop, cookery school, grocers (selling it seems only the most beautiful of packaged goods) and kitchen utensils. We browsed, we shopped we stopped for a coffee.

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For dinner, we made it to Muse. A very cool place, great interior, thoughtful, well laid out, with an interesting mix of art and furniture, it felt relaxed and effortless. The owners started out as supperclub hosts and the popularity and demand for their exclusive home cooked dinners grew so much they ended up opening this restaurant. They still run supperclubs and you can find out when they are if you sign up for their mailing list. We went for the burgers, served on a skillet with all your components served separately for you to stack your own burger.

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Our only full day in Berlin was Sunday, so at 8am we were first in the queue at Zeit for Brut (Time for Bread) shortly after I took my images, the place was full, with a queue out the door. These truly were the best cinnamon rolls ever, we tried a classic, cherry & white chocolate and walnut, all were divine. They were soft with an outer crunch, gooey, flavoursome and a very generous size but I think the classic was my favourite.

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By starting the day so early it meant we got to visit two flea markets, the first being Mauerpark, the biggest and most popular (we are told), they had everything from vintage crockery to typewriters, furniture and pretty much everything in between.

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Just outside the entrance, is one of the many Photo Automat (Photobooths) dotted around the city. For just €2 a go, it’s worth the giggle and the wait, for the old style black and white strip of images, pure nostalgia and a great memento of our trip.

The second market we visited was Arkonaplatz Flea Market smaller, more compact concentrating more on vintage finds, lots and lots of neon letters and old printer type lettering and smaller furniture.

 

If you are still not satisfied with the vintage purchases on offer in these markets we fell in love with pretty much everything in Soul Objects a little shop on Prenzlauer Allee. Particularly the 1950s fridge, complete with the original in built egg timer, used as for display but everything in the shop is for sale.

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Our late afternoon plans of visiting Tempelhofer, an abandoned airport that is now being used by Berliners as a 386-hectare public park, were postponed as unfortunately the rain came. We had also hoped to visit another outdoor space, Prinzessinnengarten, that had just re-opened to the public after the winter months. It’s a community garden created from reclaimed wasteland that had been neglected for over 50 years. They sell the fruit and veg they grow in their café and restaurant. Both are definitely on the ‘next time’ list.

 

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On our last morning we managed to squeeze in a last breakfast at House of Small Wonder. It has the prettiest staircase we’ve ever seen and it leads up to a really cute breakfast and brunch spot. I’ll confess I got the Matcha Coffee because it was green, so whilst incredibly pretty, I found out Matcha is really not for me! Other coffees are available…

 

Where we stayed

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After trawling Airbnb and not being able to find something available for our dates this turned out to be a blessing, as we had the most brilliant stay at Soho House Berlin. The interiors are impeccable, perfectly suiting the space. Furniture, art, accessories are all thoughtfully handpicked and sourced and effortlessly slip into the spot they are put.

 

Editor’s Note: Soho House Berlin is much more affordable than it’s London counterpart when I went, I too stayed in an amazing room for less than £180).

 

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The downstairs lobby is worth a visit to the left is a funky cocktail bar to the right you enter their huge Concept Store, which is a gently winding space that begins with a huge plant installation and leads to a coffee shop, a shelved area stacked with art books, clothing and accessories racks, sofas and tables to eat or work and finally ending up at their restaurant.

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Our room, if you know the Soho House philosophy has everything you could want, from hair straighteners and a nespresso machine to things you didn’t even know you wanted, like a record player (we played all the records), a bath at the foot of your bed and a huge selection of Cowshed products for you to try and test.

And we could not have been more ideally located, a short walk to Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg and easy access to the trains and trams.

 

We would also recommend: The Michelberger Hotel (try the insanely good buffet breakfast) and Huettenpalast (you can sleep in a super cute airstream or caravan in Kreuzberg).

Add to your list: Clärchens Ballhaus | Burgermeister | Schwarze Traube | East Side Gallery | White Trash.

 

Top Tips

Getting Around
Walking is a really easy way to see the city, it’s not too big. However as mentioned above the buses and trains are efficient, purchasing a travel card for the amount of days you are there will save you money.
Time Zone
Berlin is GMT +1
Currency
Euros, generally most things are cheaper than the UK.

 

Be sure to discover more of our travels by checking the hashtag #BettyVoyage on Instagram.

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