Right people. Bristol was amazing and if you missed the last few posts, here’s a recap:
Here are the previous posts that I wrote:
- 10 amazing reasons why you should visit Bristol.
- 48 hours in Bristol – 48 things to do!
- Have you ever been to Bristol – Let’s eat & drink ’till the cows come home!
- My second glorious press trip to England. Yes, I’m going to Bristol & Bath. Yippee!
In a few weeks, I’ll tell you all about my visit to the city of Bath too but for now, it’s going to be aaaaaall about Berlin.
Yes, my sweet Berlin.
My new home-town!
I’ve been living here since for ages and it never gets old. I still feel as if I’ve only just got here ‘cos it’s fresh, it’s always on the move, and new things pop up in every corner and I’ve written about some of those things such as:
- How did I land in Berlin in the first (1st) place: What the heck is Berlin all about anyway?
- This very popular post that got me hate mail and trolls. Oops!: Germany is boring!
- The post that reeeeeally started my popularity as a serious blogger: A light, a camera, and a broken arm: Action and drama at the Berlin Music Video Awards.
- One of my favourite pieces about the yummy food of Germany: 10 surprising reasons why food in Germany isn’t just grit and stodge but is pretty awesome, in my opinion!
- This piece about burlesque glamour: It’s bizarre. It’s quirky. It’s THE WYLD!
- An introduction to the international kitchen of Berlin: Go on. You know you want to. Go on. Go eat the world!
- The Fall of the Berlin Wall: 25 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Berlin, you’re my BFF!
- Berlin – Brandenburg: The astonishing rivers and lakes of Berlin and Brandenburg.
- A piece about my alternative lifestyle when I first came to live in Berlin. Yep! I lived in a huge controlled-rent apartment of €17.00 per week, with a coal oven and no bathroom. Sweeeet! If you’re looking to make a change: Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a family. Choose an alternative walking tour in Berlin!
- Get your gay groove on in one of Europe’s most LGBT/gay-friendly cities: I’m fabulous and so are you!
- OMG! I’ve been going to Berlin Fashion Week and it’s greeeeat! I was so nervous but you know what, I am honoured to be one of the chosen few: Tilda Swinton and the Last Hurrah: Berlin Fashion Week Spring / Summer 2015!
Most importantly, because of this here blog and most importantly, living in Berlin, I’ve been getting marvellous opportunities.
- I took part in a German documentary about established British people in Berlin in which I was featured as a British expat blogger about town! The rbb (the Berlin-Brandenburg TV station)TV documentary – Die rbb Reporter: Berlin – very british.
- I was invited to be on the rbb (the Berlin-Brandenburg TV station) LIVE evening TV show as a sub-presenter on a panel of British experts – Die Queen in Berlin.
- I was asked to contribute to a radio interview on Inforadio – a local radio station in Berlin. It was a radio broadcast about three (3) different types of British expats living in Berlin, of which I was one. I was also the only woman invited to participate. The production was called Briten in Berlin or Brits in Berlin. It was a
- I was interviewed by one of Europe’s largest online newspapers – The Local in Germany – in which I was interviewed about my life in Germany and how I came to make a documentary and feature on German TV – How I explained the Queen to the Germans!
- I did a small [VIDEO] interview as a representative of the Berlin Travel Massive Blogger Community at the ITB Berlin.
- I was asked to participate in a short silent independent movie made for a film school application called: “Wer will noch mal, wer hat noch nicht.”
- I even had a few lines as a British expert in the Huffington Post! As a blogger and writer that’s a huge deal : 25 Spring travel tips across Europe.
Did I even tell you that about a month ago, I was contacted by a lady from the very esteemed and respected high-brow newspaper – The Telegraph – Yes. Me!
I was astounded.
I was so shocked that I googled the lady who contacted me.
She was legit.
I’ll let you know when it’s out!
So back to Beeeeerlin!
Just because I’m a British expat, doesn’t mean that I’ve forgotten what it’s like to visit Berlin. For the very first time!
Just because I’m a British expat, doesn’t mean that I’ve forgotten what it’s like to visit Germany anew!!
Just because I’m British and England is “down the road” doesn’t mean that I don’t understand how daunting it can be if you come from countries overseas like the US, Canada, countries in Asia and even Switzerland!
It can be scary, especially if you don’t speak German.
In fact, just to prove it, I’ve been working with the VisitBerlin team and since December 4th, I’ve been going to some of my favourite places and also some new places, so that you can see for yourself.
I know that visitors would looove to spend weeks here but the reality is, a weekend is the longest that most people can manage, so next week, I’m going to write about how you can spend 48 hours in this marvellous city called Berlin.
A SHORT INTRODUCTION TO BERLIN: #bestofBerlin
I’m going to make this as brief as I can as I’m in the middle of The Best of Berlin in 48 Hours campaign so I can’t actually tell you what I’ve been doing as I haven’t finished yet! In that wise, the best thing to do is just to read on and follow me anyway. Whaddya think?!
- Get yourself over here: Pretty much every scheduled, budget and no-frills airline comes through Berlin. One day, we’re actually going to be an international hub but that’s another story….!
As of now, we have two (2) airports namely Tegel Airport in the West of Berlin and Schönefeld Airport in the East of Berlin. Tegel is my favourite as it’s fantastically small and you’re in and out in a matter of minutes and there’s also a TXL Airport Express bus! However, if you’re short on pennies then the budget / obscure-name / package holiday airlines fly into Schönefeld and there’s an Airport Express train that gets punters into the city. As of now, the airport is still small but queues are long, and seats are limited, so get ready to sit on the floor!
- If you’re taking the train which I love, then Berlin’s main train station is called Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Berlin Hbf). Depending on whether you’re coming from Western or Eastern Europe, you can also get into the other train stations such as Berlin Südkreuz, Berlin Ostkreuz, Alexanderplatz or Berlin Zoologischer Garten.
- If you’re taking the coach-bus, you’ll most likely come in via the Zentraler Omnibusbahnhof or ZOB and then have to use the train to get into the city. You’ll need to go to the ICC /Messe Nord train station. For more info about transport around Berlin, read my post right here. Oh, and don’t forget to buy and validate your ticket!
- Find yourself a place to stay: I live here so I’m reluctant to recommend anywhere that I’ve not slept in myself, but if you’re a hotel establishment and want me to check out your premises, then you know where to find me!
- If you’re a tourist or visitor, go to any respectable hotel or hostel, of which we have plenty. It’s Berlin and we’re a budget-friendly city so none of them will necessarily break the bank, and will even give you back some change for a couple more beers lol!
I mean, YOLO right!!
- If you’re in a small group, family or just prefer your personal space than many apartments are for rent. The Berlin government is trying to clamp down on illegal sub-letting so just to be on the safe side, make sure that the place is legit.
Thinking of legit, there is one place that I can recommend as I used it to house my brother and his kids and our young son, a few years ago! My brother is my favourite sibling and we’re extremely close so I even went to each and every apartment just to ensure that it met my expectations. They are very, very popular as children are free. Yes free! A fully functioning kitchen is also included and the bedroom-apartments are in the gentrified residential area of Prenzlauerberg! It’s called Pension Marie. It’s not a luxury apartment, and somewhat basic, but it’s right in the middle of the tourist district and did I say? If you have children, they are completely and utterly free of charge!
And there are many more like them. Do your research and if you’re happy, book weeeeeell ahead!
- Think of things to do. You’re in Berlin so don’t be shy. There’s plenty to do for every age and from every walk of life. I’ll be writing all about that next week so either check out some of the posts that I’ve written above or check out the webpage of Visit Berlin. They’re great people and really helpful.
- Get yourself a Visit Berlin Welcome Card: You know how I like to use citycards myself as you can see when I visited Amsterdam, when I visited Tallinn and even when I visited Bristol & Bath. They are absolutely essential for London and even though I live in Berlin, the Berlin Welcome card afforded me some discounts at places to eat and some of the more popular tourist attractions AND if you book online, there is none or very little queuing. I’m British, I don’t mind, but if it’s something that you would rather not do, then book ahead.
The Berlin WelcomeCard also includes public transport and discounts between 25 – 50% at more than 200 tourist attractions. It comes with a practical guide with an overview of all the discounts possible, a map of Berlin and Potsdam and a plan of Berlin’s local public transport system. You can also download an App.
The Berlin WelcomeCard can also be issued and sold by the VisitBerlin shops which can be found at all six Berlin Tourist Information Offices. It can also be purchased at public transport ticket machines operated by the Underground (BVG) and mainline / urban train stations (S-Bahn), at the airports, in many hotels & hostels or simply by booking online.
- Eat & drink to your heart’s content at the very lovely locally-inspired German Christmas Market. That very fine model of German traditional-ness. I always enjoy the warmth and feeling of centuries gone by!
The old blacksmith and his iron-tools and hammer, the man with a twirly moustache and in Berlin’s case – organic grilled sausage, grilled pork, salt-crusted pretzels, historic craft beer and home-made glühwein (mulled wine) tippled with a swig of Amaretto Italian liqueur or clotted cream (!) and served by a well-dressed urban hipster!
Oh yes, indeed.
That’s it for now.
This post is not sponsored and even though I received a complimentary Berlin WelcomeCard to try out, all the wonderful opinions about the city of Berlin are my very own!
I have so much to share with you so next week I’ll be writing about how to explore Berlin in just 48 hours.
If you have any questions about Berlin, don’t be shy, I’m an expert! I’m not called The British Berliner for nothing, let me know!
December is cooling down!
Watch this space!
Have you ever been to Berlin? What do you think of my #bestofBerlin introduction tips? Any other suggestions?
See you in Berlin.