Category Archives: Germany

How to spend a flight layover in Düsseldorf, Germany

A layover in Düsseldorf, Germany gives visitors plenty to do both inside and outside the airport. As the third largest airport in Germany, the Düsseldorf airport is a hub that provides great access to the nearby city.

I had a solo layover in the city on my way to Iceland and fortunately enjoyed fantastic weather. Düsseldorf surprised me with the range of things to do, all crammed into a relatively small space – the city has a population of just 593,682 people (2013). Read on for my tips for making the most of a layover in Düsseldorf. Continue reading How to spend a flight layover in Düsseldorf, Germany

Mixed impressions at Alexanderplatz Apartments, Berlin

In August I visited Berlin with several friends for a chance to explore the city in warmer weather, particularly as my previous visit to the city had been during a much colder season!

Having booked the Hotel Amano for the first part of my stay, we then shifted to Alexanderplatz Apartments as we needed somewhere central, reasonably priced and suitable to accommodate the group. Continue reading Mixed impressions at Alexanderplatz Apartments, Berlin

An all-round treat at Hotel Amano, Berlin

Opened in 2009, the Hotel Amano is a fully serviced affordable apartment-style hotel  consisting of 163 rooms that offer stylish and high quality furnishings, not just in the rooms but across the full breadth of the hotel. Every last detail is carefully thought out.

Features of the hotel include bicycle hire at a very reasonable 12 euros per day, pedestrian navigation systems and iPod docking systems for in-room listening.  The hotel also has a popular roof terrace (where you can get a great view of Berlin whilst enjoying the open-air structure) and bar that really comes to life in the evenings. The appropriately named Amano Bar is where the art of cocktails has been truly mastered. Continue reading An all-round treat at Hotel Amano, Berlin

It’s a wrap! Travel tips for Berlin, Germany #byExpedia

Last week was ‘Visit Berlin Week’ on the Ad-lib Traveller blog. As a result of a competition hosted by Expedia I was fortunate to spend a week exploring a city that I grew to love.

During my time there I explored so many places, from the concentration camp at Sachsenhausen to  the restaurant and shopping district around Mitte, to bars and entertainment and alternative nightlife at the Liquidrom. It was an insightful, fun-filled experience and one that filled me with memories to last a lifetime. Continue reading It’s a wrap! Travel tips for Berlin, Germany #byExpedia

Buck and Breck cocktail bar, Berlin #byExpedia

Recommended by Lollie from Berlinagenten: Gastro-Rallye, we visited Buck and Breck on our first evening in Berlin. She had described it to us as a “small but unique bar with fantastic and friendly staff“. Her information couldn’t have been more accurate.

Known as one of the world’s best bars, this cosy, one-room bar is home to one of the best that I have encountered. Buck and Breck is perfectly located in Mitte, just a short walk from Rosenthaler-Platz. It’s not obvious to find at all and depends upon you precisely locating the doorbell and shop fascia that overlooks Brunnenstrasse 177 – no mean feat as the shop fron that conceals the bar is often changed. Continue reading Buck and Breck cocktail bar, Berlin #byExpedia

Part 4: Dining in the Dark and more in Berlin #byExpedia

The journey to Berlin succeeded in meeting my expectations and proved to be a complete eye opener. The final leg of the trip gave me a chance to explore parts of the city such as Checkpoint Charlie, a local street market and the famous Sky Bar, before closing with a final meal at Nocti Vagus – a completely unique dining experience.

On the final day, I headed to Checkpoint Charlie which was close to the Eurostars Hotel on Friedrichstrasse in Mitte. This point marks the checkpoint that was referred to during the Cold War for people passing between East and West Berlin. It is also the point where Soviet and American tanks faced each other during the Berlin Crisis of 1961. The site was designated as the single crossing point for foreigners and members of the Allied forces as they were not allowed to use the other checkpoints issued for foreigners. Today the point stands a reminder of the divide that once existed.
Continue reading Part 4: Dining in the Dark and more in Berlin #byExpedia

Part 3: Taking in the history of Sachsenhausen #byExpedia

Our third day in Berlin saw us gather with a small group totalling five people, meeting at 10am for our next tour with a difference. We were off to visit Sachsenhausen. The Sachsenhausen Camp was most prominently used during the second world war as part of Hitler’s regime. It also served as the model camp during the Holocaust, used to structure the other concentration camps – this being one of the first to be formed.

After an introduction to David – who has been a tour guide in Berlin for over three years – it was clear that he was insightful and keen to share his knowledge. He’s clearly dedicated to the history of Germany having devoted his degree and PHD towards the subject. Continue reading Part 3: Taking in the history of Sachsenhausen #byExpedia

Street Art and an Alternative City tour in Berlin #byExpedia

SONY DSCSONY DSCAs part of a successful entry in a competition arranged by Expedia, I won a trip to Berlin for five fun-filled days. The element of my entry had focussed around the alternative side of the city. Street art, liberalism and an open culture that I couldn’t wait to experience.

With this in mind, I opted to take part in the Sandeman’s New Europe Tour, one that promised to show the unique identity of West Berlin that has developed during nearly 40 years behind the Iron Curtain. This part of Berlin has been a magnet for non-conformists embracing the non-judgemental, progressive attitude that allows them to live in the alternative underground scene.

Having pre-confirmed the date and time for commencing the tour, we met the tour group outside of the Old Post Office at Oranienburger Strasse. Our guide introduced herself to the group as Grace, and after brief introductions from around the rest of the group (which drew attendees from around the world), it was clear that this was already a great representative mix of the people that Berlin attracts. Continue reading Street Art and an Alternative City tour in Berlin #byExpedia

Part 2: Sealife & acrobatics in Berlin #byExpedia

After the previous fun-filled evening, the following day in Berlin proved to be as exciting as the first, giving us a chance to take in more of the city. Highlights from the itinerary are featured below.

Aquadom (Sealife Centre)

After leaving Eurostars Hotel, we headed to Alexander Platz, a short stroll from the Aquadom, which would be our first stop off for the morning. With it being January, it was very quiet giving us a great chance to take in the sea life undisturbed. We enjoyed creatures from sharks to sting ray, crabs to starfish. Like many such centres, they are typically aimed at families with younger children to provide an educational experience, but we had a great time Continue reading Part 2: Sealife & acrobatics in Berlin #byExpedia

Part 1: A naked sauna and celebrity-inspired food tour in Berlin

Following the Expedia Bloggers’ competition, I was thrilled to win a trip to Berlin and couldn’t wait to start checking out the city. We had a full itinerary that would see us explore alternative activities for five days before returning to London.

Upon arrival at Berlin Tegel Airport, we were picked up by our driver Alex, a warm and friendly character that was happy to chat and discuss the city and his recommendations for things to do. Upon arrival at Eurostars Hotel Berlin, we checked in, got our bearings and then set out to meet our guide from Berlinagenten: Gastro-Rallye Hip East – Unique Foodie Private Walking Tour in Berlin for an insight to the hidden treasures of Berlin. Continue reading Part 1: A naked sauna and celebrity-inspired food tour in Berlin