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When you think of a short break in Berlin, do you think of a historical city, with lots to learn and discover? A relaxing city to enjoy the green spaces and coffee shops? Or one of the world's best cities for nightlife?
Well it's all of the above and more and I found a two night break that comes in under £250 each.
Known famously for the Berlin wall, Germany's capital city has become a bohemian destination where anything goes. My favourite, until it closed, was Knaack Klub, several floors of darkly lit, quirky rooms differing music and a karaoke bar to satisfy the need to sing. Now, there is a wealth of opportunity to enjoy Berlin for its nightlife and music scene.
How To Get There
Our flights to Berlin were with easyJet from Luton airport (I've found Luton to often be the cheaper option of all the London airports.) Booking three months in advance, the Friday afternoon flight was perfect, leaving London at 13:40 and arriving into Berlin's Schoenefeld airport at 16:30, just enough time to get into Berlin, check into the hotel and head out for a night on the town. It's rare that you are able to find such cheap flights at good times but our flight back was even better, leaving Berlin at 16:30 (meaning we still had most of the day to enjoy what else Berlin had to offer that we missed out on, on the Saturday) and arriving back into Luton at 17:25, leaving plenty of time to get back home, have dinner and get a good night's sleep before work the next day. Making sure we took hand luggage only, the flights were £79.63 each when paying by debit card. To get to the airport, the easyBus can be taken from London Victoria for £15 per person.
Schoenefeld airport has easy access to Berlin city centre by train or the S-Bahn (an intracity rail network, not to be confused with the U-Bahn which is the city's underground network, which has a number of lines that run 24 hours a day. I would recommend getting three one-day travel cards for zones ABC (this includes travel to and from the airport which works out at €21 per person and means you can travel on any method of transport within the city.
Where To Stay In Berlin
Our hotel for the weekend is the Titanic Comfort Hotel in Berlin's Mitte area. It's a quirky little hotel, just steps from the Spittelmarkt U-Bahn station and only a 10-15 minute walk from Pottsdamer Platz, a thriving business and shopping area close to the Rathaus and Alexanderplatz. The standard rooms are rather cosy but modern and perfectly liveable, each with a small desk, TV and free wifi in each room, although in Berlin, you'll only really need the room for sleeping in.
Breakfast wasn't included in our rate of £100 a night for two people sharing a standard room (£100 each for the two nights) but breakfast facilities are available at an additional cost. One thing that is important to remember about Berlin is its numerous coffee shops, ideal for the traditional 'Kaffee und Kuchen' or coffee and cakes, so it's worth heading out and getting your breakfast in the local area.
What To Do In Berlin
Cycling is an incredibly fun way to get around the city and there are a number of bike tours available. Fat Tire Bike Tours are close to the hotel at the Fernsehturm and have a number of different tours that you can enjoy. The Raw Tour: Berlin Exposed, is definitely one to recommend, to see a completely different and unusual side of Berlin that you just wouldn't expect. At €24 per adult, the tour is four and a half hours but only runs on Tuesday, Fridays and Sundays. For those who are limited by time, go for the all-in-one city bike tour which runs daily during the Summer and on select days during the winter. For more information, visit www.fattirebiketours.com.
If it's the nightlife you are visiting Berlin for, you are in for a treat. Whether it's lounging around with a glass of wine or an epic night out, Berlin has you covered. For views across the city with an open deck for star gazing, the Weekend Club, situated on the 12th floor of an office tower in Alexanderplatz, is tucked away where the average passerby wouldn't notice, but the views from the top are definitely worth it.
Watergate is another bar not to be missed for its location. Situated on the banks of the River Spree (Schlesisches Tor is the nearest U-Bahn station), Watergate offers views out over the water with parties that go right through the night. When the sun comes up, the blinds go down and the music keeps playing. It's a great atmosphere to be in, although this is definitely a club for a big night out rather than a romantic evening with the other half. For that, during the Summer, you've got to enjoy one of the city's beach bars. With the sand between your feet, a good beat in the background and a cocktail or two in the warm evening sun, the Strandbar near Hakeschermarkt is a great choice.
Enjoy A Chilled Out Berlin
Sunday is the perfect day for a leisurely stroll and enjoying the sights of Berlin. Whether it's the Brandenburg Gate, the Rathaus or Checkpoint Charlie, there is still a host of other activities and sites that you won't be able to fit in on your weekend break.