Berlin is a unique city, for starters it’s covered in graffiti and home to a past rich in dark history. The grim areas are not hidden away from view, but rather act as a constant reminder and recognition of the events that the Capital of Germany holds within its walls. It’s gritty, quirky and a little rough around the edges – but it is beautiful in its own special way.
I recently spent a few days in Berlin with a good friend, neither of us had travelled to this city before so had no idea of what to expect. We hired a great little AirBnB (my accommodation of choice, always. You can pretend for a few days that you might be a local) but there are plenty of lovely hotels available too. If you want to be situated close to the main attractions stay near Alexanderplatz, or in Mitte, both are close enough to the action without too many tourists. We stayed in Mitte which a beautiful local area – think tiny streets with cafes, restaurants and bars lining the sidewalk. This area has an upmarket but artsy vibe, so you feel safe and secure to explore.
We didn’t intend to spend the weekend pampering ourselves, I don’t think that is the first thing that comes to mind when you decide to go to Berlin – you go for the history, the art, the cool bars and the infamous nightlife, right? Yes, of course, but as we discovered Berlin is a full of places to indulge – and after a hard day of “tourist-ing” around the city, we couldn’t help ourselves.
For a night of culinary delights we booked a dinner at Cecconi’s Berlin, a lush restaurant in the exclusive ‘members only’ club, Soho House (don’t worry, you don’t need to purchase a $3000 p/a membership to visit the restaurant). With houses scattered across the globe this one did not disappoint! Settle into one of the decadent red leather armchairs for a pre-dinner beverage or prop yourself up on a stool at the marble bar – you will have a perfect view of the bartenders passionately shaking and stirring up delicious cocktails.
The next day, we took our time to wake up slowly and made our way to Farther Carpenter for a caffeine hit to perk us up (we may have indulged in a few cocktails at the bar after dinner) before we made our way to yoga. With hundreds of yoga studios dotted in and around the centre of Berlin we chose Spirit Yoga Berlin for a few reasons:
1. The studio offers a beautiful morning flow class. Located on the upper level the class overlooks a garden terrace through floor to ceiling windows. The studio space is flooded with soft morning light making the experience a serene and peaceful break from the outside hustle and bustle.
2. Located within walking distance of Mitte we could stop in for a traditional breakfast at one of the many cute-as-a-button cafes on the way home.
Whether you’re looking for history, great nightlife or a city break, Berlin is the perfect European weekend escape.
• For the best coffee head to Distrikt Coffee
• For the best brunch go to any of the cafes in Kruezburg, super trendy with lots of alternative options.
• For the best wein (wine) and charcuterie visit Engelberg – hot tip, they also do a great pretzel.
• For a deluxe dinner – If you have more than one night in the Berlin, visit Pauly Saal for a picture perfect dinner setting– offering only set menu’s (starting from 69 euro per person), the interior alone is worth the visit.
• For the best day spa spend an afternoon at the Guerlain Spa located in the Waldorf Astoria Berlin. Spanning an impressive 11,000 sq ft space, this is a ‘beauty universe’.
• For the most luxury hotel stay book a night at Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin. Arguably Berlin’s most glamorous hotel guests can expect a nostalgic atmosphere, dining options at two-Michelin-starred restaurant and room with views overlooking the Brandenburg Gate.
For some healthy eats that cater for the gluten free try:
- Eis-Voh Shop – a truly gluten free bakery that offers a fabulous selection of homemade breads and cakes.
- Let It Be – a vegan friendly CRÊPERIE, head here for generous servings of delicious desserts.
- Simply Keto – low carb, gluten free cakes and cookies, perfect for afternoon tea!
- The Bowl – clean eating at its best!A great spot for cold-pressed juice and smoothies, they currently offer the only completely gluten-free and lactose-free brunch in Berlin.
- Sauvage – delicious burgers and brunch, the best paleo restaurant option!