€57 – 3 Nights
The Circus Hostel is a home away from home for backpackers and independent travellers, right in the heart of Berlin. They have everything from dorm beds to penthouse studios with panoramic views of the city. You can rent a bike or Segway, and even borrow an iPad, iPod or a Laptop. You will find the hostel in Rosenthaler Platz, perfectly placed for the best sights and sounds of the city, from the museums of Mitte, the shopping and arts quarter around Hackescher Markt, trendy cafes and bars in Prenzlauer Berg, and a short U-Bahn hop from the happening neighbourhoods of Kreuzberg and Neukölln. The closest U-Bahn is literally right outside their door!
Upon arrival, go ahead and book your stay for however many nights you plan on staying and then store your bags in your room. Ask the front desk if any special events are happening this weekend, and reserve your spot for tonight’s Pub Crawl too! When you’re done, get ready to head to start walking to your first destination.
Walking Directions: Head south on Schönhauser Allee 42m, Turn right toward Kastanienallee 39m, Turn left onto Kastanienallee 900m, Continue onto Weinbergsweg, Destination will be on the left 350m
€(7) – ½ Hr
Currywurst is the culinary pride of Berlin and beloved by its citizens. It is a pork sausage, normally served in slices, covered in a spiced ketchup, with the sauces varying from place to place. The invention of currywurst is attributed to Herta Heuwer in Berlin in 1949 after she obtained ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and curry powder from British soldiers. She mixed these ingredients with other spices and poured it over grilled pork sausage. Heuwer started selling the cheap, but filling snack, at a street stand in the Charlottenburg district of Berlin where it became popular with construction workers rebuilding the devastated city. She patented her sauce, called Chillup, in 1951. At its height the stand was selling 10,000 servings per week. There is even a Currywurst museum in Berlin on Schutzenstrasse in Mitte, a short walk from Checkpoint Charlie.
Konnopke’s Imbiss, which is under the U-Bahn tracks near Eberswalder Strasse U-Bahnhof, has a reputation as one of the best in the city, though there is much debate over ‘the best Currywurst’. When you order your Currywurst you can ask for it skin on “Currywurst mit Darm” or without skin”Currywurst ohne Darm”. Apparently mit Darm is more popular in West Berlin and ohne Darm in the East. If you order it “scharf” extra cayenne powder is sprinkled on top. If you get currywurst with fries, mayonnaise is usually added.
Walking Directions: Head North towards U Eberswalder Str. About 1 min 60m, Take Subway U2 towards U Ruhleben 13 min (7 stops), Head west on Taubenstraße toward Markgrafenstraße 120m, Turn right onto Markgrafenstraße, Destination will be on the left 60m.
€Free – ½ Hr
The Gendarmenmarkt is arguably Berlin’s most magnificent square. It is best known for the architectural trio composed of the German and French cathedrals (Deutscher und Französischer Dom) and Schinkel’s Konzerthaus (concert hall) which together form one of the most stunning ensembles in Berlin. The ‘domes’ refer to the domed tower structures erected in 1785 by architect Carl von Gontard which were mainly intended to add stature and grandeur to the two buildings.The square dates back to 1700, part of King Friedrick I’s plan for Friedrickstadt, an emerging new quarter of Berlin, where the recently expelled French Protestants or Huguenots had settled following the Edict of Potsdam in 1685 which granted them asylum in the Prussian capital. The name is in fact of French origin as “Gens d ’arms” which was a Prussian regiment consisting of Huguenots soldiers.
Since its full restoration completed in 1994, the French Church (Französischer Dom) houses the Huguenot museum. In the German Dome, rebuilt in the 1980s and restored in 1996, it is possible to visit a permanent exhibition on the history of the German Parliament called “Questions of German History”. The statue of Friedrich Schiller by Reinhold Begas, set in the square’s centre in 1871, was another victim of the Nazis purges. It was returned to East Berlin in 1988 after a long exile in the other half of the city. Gendarmenmarkt is also a great place to wander around and soak in the atmosphere. Some of Berlin’s most glamorous hotels and restaurants are in this part of town. Now part of re-built Mitte, it has become a lively urban space with its frequent performances at the concert hall. A lively Christmas market and ice rink open for the entire festive season from the first of Advent to the New Year.
Walking Directions: Head west on Mohrenstraße 20m, Slight left to stay on Mohrenstraße 170m, Slight right to stay on Mohrenstraße 220m, Slight left to stay on Mohrenstraße 160m, Turn right toward An der Kolonnade 180m, Continue onto An der Kolonnade 150m, Turn right onto Gertrud-Kolmar-Straße Destination will be on the right 23m
€Free – ¼ Hr
The East Germans very kindly built apartment blocks on the former site of the Reich Chancellery and there is absolutely nothing to see, or of, the former bunker complex. Hitler was actually not the greatest fan of Berlin and during the war spent very little time here. It was however to become the place where he met his maker. As the red army closed in on his East HQ, the wolf’s lair was captured and he moved his command post to Berlin. By this time he was basically living in a fantasy world, locked up in his bunker dreaming of the final victory with imaginary armies and divisions which had ceased to exist.
The sworn vegetarian, non smoker and non drinker finally committed suicide with newly wed wife, Eva Braun and his dog Blondie on the 30th April 1945. Their bodies were then carried out of the bunker by some of his loyal servants, and burnt so that there should be no traces left. It didn’t quite work and the Russians were able to identify his body through dental records. Hitler had extremely bad teeth which also caused him lots of pain, but that is not really surprising either because he was a massive cake lover, so much so that he stopped eating proper meals to make more room for the cake.
Walking Directions: Head southwest on In den Ministergärten toward Gertrud-Kolmar-Straße 290m, Turn left onto Ebertstraße 240m, Turn right onto Potsdamer Pl, Destination will be on the left 98m