A little over 2 days later and finally got all my photos uploaded! We filled up my whole memory card this trip so a little over 2000 photos plus pictures from my phone.
I took the train from Hamburg to Berlin and I think the trip was about 2 hours. The train is very comfortable and I definitely prefer that to flying. Mai was meeting me in Berlin but her flight wouldn’t be arriving until 9pm so I went to the hotel to rest, get settled and wait for her. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Berlin Alexanderplatz, which was within walking distance of most of the sites and close to a few different metro lines. Holiday Inn Express hotels also have free breakfast in the morning so we were able to fill up before heading off for the day.
I was expecting Mai to get to the hotel at about 10pm so I went down to the lobby and waited for her…and waited and waited. She didn’t have any cell service and got lost on the way there and what should have taken 11 minutes ended up taking over 40. I got pretty worried but it all worked out at the end (and i never let her out of my sight again for the rest of the trip haha). After she got in, we went out to have dinner and explore. We ended up walking along the East Side Gallery back to the hotel.
The next day was a long one. It rained in the morning so that meant museum day! Museum Island has 5 different museums and the Cathedral. You can get a ticket for each museum or a pass that allows you entrance to all the different museums. If you end up buying the pass, just go look for the museum with the shortest line because the popular museums can have long waits to buy tickets. We visited 3 of the museums – the Alte Nationalgalerie, Neues Museum, and Pergamon Museum. The Pergamon Museum was definitely the most popular. We went there last and by that time they had sold out of tickets for the day but since we had the day pass, we were allowed entry.
We also had a reservation to go to the dome of the Reichstag building. I made the reservation about a month in advance and tried to make another one the week before in case of bad weather but all the appointments were booked, so you should definitely try to reserve as early as you can. The Reichstag building is located by the Brandenburg Gate (pictured above) and Großer Tiergarten, Berlin’s largest park.
The next day we ventured out a bit further to go see Charlottenburg Palace. We left early in the morning so we could get in right when they opened. The palace and grounds are very large and we spent a good amount of time wandering around, taking photos and enjoying the great weather.
After this we went to see the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. The memorial, also known as the Holocaust Memorial, consists of 2711 concrete slabs of varying height arranged in a grid pattern. There’s also a visitor’s center underneath with some information on the Holocaust victims.
On our last day we didn’t do as much since we were pretty tired and we had an early flight the next morning. Our first stop was the Berlin Wall Memorial. The monument commemorates the Berlin Wall and those who died there. There is quite a lot to read there and to be honest I didn’t know much about the wall so it was very interesting! After that we went to the Topography of Terror to learn about Nazis (where we did even more reading) and lastly to Checkpoint Charlie, the crossing point between East and West Berlin during the Cold War.
We also did a lot of eating while in Berlin. There’s only one restaurant that I really, really recommend and that is Da Da Falafel. It was probably one of the best places we ate at the whole trip. We also went to get currywurst and kebabs one day. And of course we went to McDonalds to see what their local offering was. I don’t have a picture but they have a chili cheese mcdouble that was SO GOOD. I honestly cannot remember what day we ate what so here are the photos.
The next day we were flying to Budapest on a super early flight so we had to leave really, really early for the airport. Getting to the airport was an adventure and we had to run to catch our train while running on just a few hours of sleep but it was worth it because my favorite part of summer vacation coming up on my next post!