I have visited Berlin a few times & I lived in Germany for 14+ years so Germany holds a very special place in my heart, the last time I previously visited Berlin almost 6 years ago and have been eager to go back for a while now. I wasn’t planning on booking a European trip but after browsing trips in the UK & realising I could go abroad for less I thought what the heck lets go to Berlin.
I got such a great deal & went from Monday – Friday flying from Liverpool to Berlin Schoenefeld (which is without doubt THE worst airport I have ever been to). We stayed at a relatively new hotel called Titanic Chaussee – they have a pool and spa facilities as well as a lovely restaurant, bar and lounge area. I would stay there again in a heartbeat. We found it very well situated for public transport and also it is walking distance to a lot of the major tourist attractions like Alexanderplatz, Checkpoint Charlie & Brandenburg Gate.
We had previously visited most of the major sites so we spent most of the trip just taking our time and exploring, walking around the side streets and popping in and out of cafes. It was beyond freezing, I know it can be cold there as we last went in March and that was bitterly cold but I thought going at the end of April we would be a little more lucky with the weather but it snowed and the temperature was -2, I just used this as an excuse to drink lots of warm drinks in cute coffee shops.
Alot of the major attractions are quite close to each other so we spent the first day walking to Alexanderplatz, Museum Island, Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag. We have been inside the Reichstag already so didn’t need to revisit but this is one spectacular building and always worth seeing. I remember when I lived in Germany I visited in 1995 and the glass dome was not finished, it looked very different.
There are quite a few streetside memorials and galleries throughout Berlin dedicated to the thousands of people who lost their lives during Nazi Germany and quite honestly the whole city has such a rich history so you will never run out of things to do. The architecture in Berlin is imposing but beautiful and so many of the buildings still have bullet holes and very visual reminders of a violent past.
Berliner Dom – This is the beautiful Berlin Cathedral and is on Museum Island
Street Art – Berlin is full of street art
Titanic Chaussee Hotel – This is the hotel lobby
Titanic Chaussee Hotel – This was our double room & I loved the pops of yellow
Memorial to the Murdered Members of the Reichstag – This is in front of the Reichstag
The Fernsehturm – This is the famous Berlin TV Tower also St Mary’s Church which is one of the oldest churches in Berlin
Rotes Rathaus – Berlin Town Hall
Humboldt University in Berlin
The Equestrian Statue of Frederick the Great
Memorial to the Sinti and Roma Victims of National Socialism
I live less than 5 miles from the beautiful harbour town of Fowey but I very rarely go there. I tend to head in the other direction but I wanted to go there for a sunset walk while it was Winter and quiet (before all the tourists descend).
I love exploring the cobbled windy streets & taking photos of the beautiful houses. One of the things I love about Fowey is the river, its beautiful and it makes me feel calm and peaceful. I like to sit looking out over the river whilst the sun sets and it’s the perfect end to the day.
Fowey has the perfect selection of shops including my favourite homeware shop Brocante, a very small but well stocked Joules boutique as well as lots of places to eat and get yummy cakes to take home. Also on this lastest visit I stumbled across this Industrial Lighting Shop which was incredible and well worth a visit. They had a huge selection of nautical and industrial reclaimed options, I have my eye on one in particular and I think I am going to pop back and treat myself to it.
We really wanted to visit our favourite place to eat in Fowey, Sams but it was closed for refurbishment (typical) so we drove to their new Diner. To my surprise they had quite a few Vegan options, including a Vegan Hot Dog (which sounded very tempting) but I opted for the Falafel Burger which came with chips and a cabbage salad. It was delicious & huge. I love an old school sesame seed bun, not these brioche buns which burgers seem to be served on nowadays.
The Diner is new and I thought it was a little cold inside and I am not 100% sure about the decor, it was a little hit & miss but the menu is good and the staff were very helpful when letting me know about their Vegan options. They also do an extensive healthy breakfast menu, so we might pop back one morning to give that a go, breakfast is my favourite meal of the day.
We are planning a day to Penzance next week and quite honestly I can’t believe we have lived in Cornwall for 18 months and haven’t visited yet. I’m really looking forward to it, if you have any recomendations for places to eat and drink in Penzance let me know.
If you didn’t catch Part 1 of my Amsterdam photo diary just click here to take a look. I only got back from my trip a month ago and it feels like forever, I need to book another trip ASAP so I have something to look forward too.
As I said in my previous post I have visited Amsterdam quite a few times now so I have managed to do most of the big tourist things like Anne Frank’s House (which is an absolute must visit!), Rijksmuseum, Museum Van Loon, Red Light District and such like. So when we visit now we just relax and enjoy the beautiful canal streets. We walk so many miles in a day just exploring all the back streets and visiting our favourite restaurants and cafe’s, of which there are so many!
One lovely cafe / shop I must recommend to you is PLUK – there is usually a wait for a table but it is well worth it because they ave the most delicious smoothies, lunches and sweet treats. You can take away if you don’t have time to sit in but its such a welcoming, instagramable space & they have a shop selling stationery and the cutest homewares, if you are able to resist buying something then you have a lot more willpower than me!
Oh & if you want somewhere really nice to go for dinner or just a few drinks then The Hoxton Hotel is pretty damn cool and the food is amazing!
Let me know where you love to visit when you’re in Amsterdam.
October saw me turn 38 and to celebrate my lovely husband took me to Amsterdam. If you have been a long time reader of my blog, then you will know we have visited Amsterdam quite a few times over the years. We just can’t help going back, its incredibly beautiful, inspiring and vibrant. I always return home feeling refreshed and with a promise to myself that I will live there one day & I am still working towards that dream (6 visits later).
Amsterdam is such a short flight from the UK and you can always get a cheap deal. I know most people associate it with Stag Parties and the Red Light District – which is a part of it and of course what is a visit without visiting the oldest part of the City. That aside there is so much more to see and do there, when people ask me for suggestions I always tell them just to explore the canals, walk, walk and walk some more. You can’t fail but to stumble across lovely independent shops (Amsterdam has very few chain shops, although more are opening each year) there is an abundance of incredible places to eat and drink and the scenery is always breathtaking. The tree lined canals, houseboats and bridges are so romantic especially at night when they’re all lit up. We have covered so many miles just wandering the streets romanticising about living in one of the crooked canal houses.
I would say seeing the city by boat is a really nice way to spend a few hours, I like to use the smaller eco boats that sit 6 – 8 people and have a local guide. You learn so much about the history of the city and about the canals themselves. Its so nice to see everything from a different perspective.
A picnic in Vondelpark is a relaxing way to spend a warm afternoon, I love to people watch in there. It’s such a mix of locals and tourists all having fun.
I could go on & on about this European gem but I know most of you have been before but if you haven’t you must visit you won’t be disappointed, I promise you that. It’s one of the most friendly, beautiful and vibrant cities I have ever visited.