berlin gate

5 Day Girls’ Trip to Berlin

In April of this year I (Chrissie) joined 9 other women on a 5-day trip to Berlin, a city I had never had the opportunity to visit. What a wonderful city full of history and culture!

This was a group trip in which each person was asked to organize a meal or activity ahead of time and then people could sign up for whichever meals/activities they wanted to join. Each person could choose where she wanted to stay, although most ended up staying at one of two hotels. We had a Google doc on which everyone could indicate the activities they wanted to organize (a meal, a tour, a bike ride etc) and then everyone signs up for the events they want to attend (so the organizer could make reservations, buy tickets, organize a guide etc.). We had a couple of Zooms ahead of time to discuss all the logistics and details.

Hotel:  Many stayed at the Hotel de Rome (got a deal many months ahead of time) and the Hotel Luc. Both had terrific locations, were walkable to Museum Island, the Brandenberg Gate and more.

We used a guide named Stephan (stalbrechtberlin@aol.com.) who was terrific. He can be arranged for any type of activity and he is amazingly knowledgable of Berlin/Germany/European history. He can also arrange transportation.

Sunday, Day 1:

Morning: Everyone arrives.

Afternoon: Recent History walking tour (with Stephan) 1-5pm.

Dinner: Katz Orange: located in an old brewery with a quaint courtyard. Recommend.

Monday, Day 2: City Tour Day

Berlin Highlights: City tour by bus 10:30-2:30. Included:

  • Reichstag Visit
  • Drive through all the main sectors of town including:
  • Jewish Quarter
  • Hackesche Hofe – Traditional Berlin courtyards
  • Bebelplatz – Memorial for the Burning of the Books
  • East Side Gallery and the wall, where it’s still up and has been painted
  • Checkpoint Charlie
  • 360 Panorama Exhibit of the Wall by Yadegar Asisi which is right next to Checkpoint Charlie (amazing exhibit – definitely worth a visit. By same artist that did the Pergamon Panorama)
  • The original wall, next to the Topography of Terror museum, which has a large timeline of the war. Some had time to visit the museum as well as the timeline that goes outside along the wall and said it was super insightful.

Ended the day’s tour at the famous KaDeWe department store that has a huge food hall on the top floor where we grabbed a late lunch.

3pm on: Free

Dinner: Bless: Modern Asian food which was busy and good (and loud!) and walking distance from hotels.

 

Tuesday, Day 3: Museum Day

Morning:

  • Pergamon Panorama. (As the Pergamon Museum is closed for the next 10 years (!) or so, we started with a visit to the panorama which is a terrific exhibit! Really worth a visit!!!!
  • We had bought the 3-day Berlin Museum Pass ahead of time. This gets you into almost every museum in the city and is super handy. Many of the museums are located on ‘Museum Island’. There are additional museums elsewhere in the city. The museums we visited amongst us included:

Lunch: Some went to the Old Jewish Quarter

2:15-5: Tour of Neue Galerie with Stephan, focusing on their amazing Eqyptian collection.

Dinner: Casual on own

Evening: Falling in Love Jean Paul Gautier Show. It’s a bit like Circe de Soleil. The second half is much better than the first (some chose to leave after the first half). Those who stayed really enjoyed it.

 

Wednesday, Day 4: Gallery Morning, Bike Tour Afternoon

Morning: Curator Tour of the Boros Collection.  This was set up ahead of time.

Lunch: Casual pizza slices at Pizza Nostra across the street from where bike tour starts.

Afternoon 2-5pm:

Bike Tour with Berlin on Bike. You can join a group tour or arrange for a private tour.

We chose the ‘graffiti/street art/alternative Berlin’ private tour and our guide Sasha was terrific! We went through a lot of the city we hadn’t seen yet. We stopped and even did one of the ‘telediscos’ where you choose a song and have a private disco inside what looks like a phone booth!  Super fun afternoon and great way to see the city. Set up ahead of time.

Evening: Some went to Cookies Cream (fancy Michelin-starred dinner) and others to Grill Royal (busy, popular steak house – pretty $$ though. For meat lovers.)

 

Thursday, Day 5: Potsdam

Stephan arranged a bus to Potsdam, an area of many castles and history.  Of the many attractions/castles, we visited:

Lunch: We had a nice lunch on the water.

Dinner: On own

Evening: Berlin Philharmonic performance. Tickets were bought far in advance.

 

Friday, Day 6: Leave Berlin

Everyone moved on to next locations (included Prague, Paris, Amsterdam, and other spots in Germany)

 

Shopping:

Our trip was not shopping focused, but below are recommendations provided to us by a number of fashionable and ‘in the know’ people.

 

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Chrissie and Joanne love discovering, curating and creating. They developed FabList as a place to share their favorite finds with you.

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Chrissie and Joanne love discovering, curating and creating. They developed FabList as a place to share their favorite finds with you.

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