25 – 27 November 2016 As much as I do hate winter, Christmas is probably my favourite time of year. I love the food, I love the festiveness and I love the markets. Until a couple of weeks ago, the only time I had been to actual German markets was back in 2004 when I was 13. I went on a school trip to the markets in Aachen and Cologne and they were amazing. They were so cute and festive. Since then, I’ve frequented multiple German-esque Christmas markets in England. My university town of Nottingham has a small one every year and London is rife with them. There’s the big Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park – complete with both expensive fairground rides and a free German-style Christmas Market – and ones on the South Bank and by the Tate Modern – and they’re just the ones that I have personally been to.
27 November 2016 On our second morning in Berlin, my Dad and I learnt from our mistakes the day before. We were planning on hitting up more Christmas markets today and this time we knew not to load up on breakfast before we went. We were going to want food there. So, after a yoghurt and some OJ, we headed out into the cold in the direction of Alexanderplatz.
26 November 2016 In the morning, we were up, out and on our way to Weyers – our usual breakfast haunt. They do an incredible continental breakfast for 2 people that could easily feed more. We had breads, jams, multiple types of cheese and cured meats and some salmon. It was delicious and definitely defeated us. Weyers 1 – Us 0.
25th November 2016 My fifth trip to Berlin started the same as many other trips do with budget airlines: delayed. There I was, sitting at Stansted, having stocked up on magazines and meatballs from Leon, expecting my gate to imminently appear on the departure boards, only to find that the estimated departure time for my 7.30pm flight had been changed to 8.30pm. Obviously no explanations were given until I was finally on the plane where I heard a muffled announcement from the pilot saying something about how the plane had already made a lot of journeys that day. I guess it was tired or something.
24 April 2016 The morning of my third and final morning in Berlin started in the exact same way as the previous two – with breakfast at Weyers. Perhaps I should have been more adventurous but when you find something good, why mess with it? And considering the fact that I am not a morning person (in fact, I am barely a person before caffeine) so this is not the time of day to throw in a curveball. Besides I did at least try something new on the menu everyday. This time, my Dad and I split the breakfast for two, which consisted of a selection of meats, cheeses and breads, as well as some salmon, horseradish sauce and a few pieces of fruit.
23 April 2016 The weather wasn’t quite as nice as my Dad and I emerged for our second day in Berlin. We started the morning just as we had the one before – with a trip to Weyers for breakfast. This time, I went for the scrambled eggs with mushrooms, ham and onions. It was fine but not as good as the eggs and bacon I had on my first trip. The onions were a bit much. Still I left feeling very full and appreciated the walk over to Berlin’s zoological garden – which was where today’s activity was taking place.
21-22 April 2016 Having caught a flight after work on a Thursday night from London, I didn’t arrive in Berlin at 10.30ish. Since I then had to queue through passport control (as there were only two people on duty), it wasn’t until 11.15pm that I actually caught the X7 bus to Rudow U Bahn station and from there took a relatively long train ride over to Wilmersdorf. By the time I actually go to where I wanted to go to, I was hungry and most places were closed but after two years I was finally back in Berlin so I couldn’t have cared less.
Berlin is easily one of my favourite cities in the world. There’s so much good food and so many great and interesting bars. It’s also a good city to be in both if you’re a backpacker on a budget and if you want to treat yourself. I must admit, during my summer in the city, the main thing I did was eat so this guide will mainly focus on that but since many of these places also do good drinks, that really is a win win.
As far as I’m concerned, you just cannot beat a good stew. Not only can it taste insanely good, if done right, but it’s filling and comforting. All in all, it’s basically the perfect meal. Thankfully, many countries seem to agree with that conclusion so when I’m out and about in a new place, looking for traditional eats, I can always justify a stew.
I’d heard mixed reviews about Dusseldorf before I actually went there. It didn’t seem to be much of a tourist destination and my friends who had been there for work-related reasons had said that it was quite industrial and they weren’t big fans. My experience of Dusseldorf was quite different. I found some beautiful areas and met some great people. Apparently, the city is a great base from which to visit other places in the state of Nordrhein-Westfalen, due to its handy train links. I didn’t get the chance to take advantage of that but the city had enough to keep me occupied. I’ll admit that Dusseldorf may not be the ultimate holiday destination, but if you’re looking for stop-offs on a Europe trip or for a destination for a weekend break it is definitely a city you shouldn’t under-estimate.