As some of you may know from Instagram, I recently returned from a trip to Berlin to visit my sister (she moved there temporarily in February!) with my mom and dad. I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect- when I thought of Berlin before I went, graffiti and nightclubs danced through my head. To be honest, it’s not a place that was high on my list to visit, but I’m SO happy my sister decided to move there and, in turn, that I got to experience the city! I loved it so much that I knew I had to write up a Berlin travel guide for you guys! If you’re planning to go to Berlin, take a look at my favourite places around the city!
Berlin has to be one of the most interesting German cities, with lots of places to explore, history to take in and beauty to marvel in. It’s always great to explore a city with someone who lives there. My sister has great taste, so she brought us to some really amazing spots. Her and her friend Annika are living in Kreuzberg, which is one of the nicest areas in Berlin! We definitely lucked out that we got to stay with them!
Take a look at our favourite places to eat, the best cafes and things to do with this Berlin travel guide!
7 Cool Places to Eat in Berlin
Umami was my absolute favourite place we ate! We went there twice and the food is delicious. Umami serves up asian fusion dishes made with fresh ingredients, plus an amazing cocktail list (I got the Jasmine Fizz both times I was there and it was SO good!).
Both times we went we got the family style sharing options (meat and vegetarian) and that was the perfect amount for a group of 5! We got a great range of dishes, from spring rolls to chicken curry, a tofu stir fry, dumpling soup and more! There are a few locations (we went to the one in Kreuzberg), so if you can get to one, I highly recommend it!
2. Shiso Burger
Shiso Burger was another awesome spot. It’s blends burgers with asian cuisine for burgers that are unique and extremely tasty. We went for lunch one day and I got the veggie burger with tofu, grilled eggplant, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion and ketchup. My mom and sister both got the “bulgogi burger” made with Korean chilli base and teriyaki sauce and I believe my dad got the classic hamburger.
We also got fries, sweet potato fries, edamame and kimchi as our sides! Everything was delicious and I can’t recommend this place enough!
Open for dinner on Thursday nights, Markthalle Neun is a must-visit in Berlin. This magical market is full of food and drink vendors serving up dishes from all over the world.
From Asian to Italian to German, Tibetan, and so much more, you can stuff your face with any type of food you like! There are also wine bars and you can get beer and cocktails at many of the vendors as well. There’s a bunch of communal seating available, so be ready to get cozy with others!
Mustafas isn’t a restaurant, it’s a food truck in Kreuzeberg that serves the most incredible donair. It oozes flavour and is a really popular spot. Located on the left side of Meringdamm when you emerge from the U-Bahn station, you don’t want to miss this place! Be prepared to wait in line- it’s well worth it, and you can grab a beer and currywurst (a German favourite) to enjoy while you wait.
5. La Lucha
My sister brought us to La Lucha for our first dinner in Berlin and we absolutely loved it! It’s a Mexican restaurant that serves up all the classics, from tacos to guacamole and ceviche to antojitos. We got a bunch of different tacos to share, and my dad got a delicious fish dish. It’s a fun place to eat with bright, colourful decor, and tasty Mexican cuisine.
We stopped at Transit for an afternoon snack and everything we got was extremely tasty. It’s a Thai and Indonesian restaurant that offers everything from green papaya salad to dumplings, calamari, curry, rice noodles, grilled chicken skewers and so much more. Their menu mostly consists of small bowls, but they have some larger dishes as well. It’s the perfect place for a midday snack or a full-on meal!
KaDeWe is kind of like a Harrod’s. It’s Berlin’s iconic department store with a grande delicatessen court located on the 6th floor. With over 30 food bars offering everything from fried chicken to oysters to German fare and burgers, there’s a wide range of eats to choose from! There are also desserts, chocolates and candy bars you can browse for a treat!
3 Best Cafes in Berlin
This list is by no means exhaustive. We didn’t go to many cafes (in the mornings we went to a little market a few blocks from my sister to get croissants and coffees!), so I’m sure I’m leaving a ton out, but these are three we did go to and they were all AMAZING, so I really wanted to share them with you!
We went to Fine Bagels on our final day in Berlin. My sister used to live in the Friedrichshain area so she wanted to take us there, and I’m so happy she did! They had amazing bagel sandwiches and I loved the vibe. It’s part bookstore, part coffee shop, with lots of seating.
The bagels are traditional New York style bagels that are boiled and baked fresh every day! Me, my mom and sister all got the “Meshka III” with cream cheese, lox, red onions and capers, and my dad got the “Hummus III” with homemade hummus, tomato and avocado. A bagel with lox is one of my favourite sandwiches and it did not disappoint!
If I lived in Berlin, I could see myself going here quite frequently, buying a book and reading while drinking a tea or latte and eating a delicious bagel!
We stopped at Hallesches Haus on our way home one day and I was obsessed with it! It’s completely my style and I would go there to do work everyday if I could! It’s part general store, part cafe/restaurant. It’s a huge gorgeous space with an outdoor area too. We got Aperol spritz (as usual) and enjoyed the cozy atmosphere.
I got an iced coffee to-go at Father Carpenter, but would have loved to stay! I loved the decor inside and they have a great outdoor space to sit in. Their sandwiches also looked amazing- I wish I got to try one!
6 Things to Do in Berlin
1. East Gallery
The East Gallery is a memorial of the Berlin wall. It’s the longest open-air gallery in the world, situated along the banks of the Spree in Friedrichshain. The gallery is filled with paintings by 118 artists from 21 countries. It’s a top tourist site, so be prepared for a lot of people, but it’s a definite must-visit!
2. Brandenburg Gate
The Brandenburg Gate is an 18th century neo-classical monument in Berlin and one of the city’s most famous landmarks. It once symbolized Berlin’s Cold War division into East and West, but has since turned into a symbol of unity after the fall of the wall. It’s one of the first stops for every visitor who goes to Berlin!
3. Checkpoint Charlie
Checkpoint Charlie is the former border crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin. The barrier and checkpoint booth, flag and sandbags are all based on the original site and it’s a landmark you should definitely see if you’re in Berlin!
4. German History Museum
If you’re in Berlin, you have to take a trip to the German History Museum. Germany has a very important history, and something I really appreciated is they don’t try to hide anything. They’re very open with everything that happened and really want people to learn about their history and how they’ve evolved. The museum takes you through 2,000 years of German history and it’s definitely important to walk through and read about.
5. Klunker Kranish
Klunker Kranish is a really cool rooftop beer garden with whimsical decorations and gorgeous views of the city. We went there for drinks one night and it was tons of fun. There’s a few indoor bars and dance floors with DJs, but there’s plenty of seating outside to enjoy some drinks with friends!
6. Tempelhof Feld
The former Tempelhof airport is now a public park and it’s a hot spot in Berlin. First of all, it’s so cool to see the former runway, which is now a six kilometre cycling, skating and jogging trail with a BBQ area and a huge picnic area. It’s a great place to hang out or just walk around!
I also booked a photographer through Airbnb Experiences, just like I did in Hong Kong. Here are some of my favourite shots that really highlight the beauty of Berlin!
There you have it- my Berlin travel guide! If you’re planning to take a trip to Berlin, these are my top 16 things to do in Berlin! Have you been to Berlin? Anything else you would add to this guide? I may be heading back there in a few months, so I’m all ears!