Thanks to the Groene Meisjes and also a lot of vegan related articles, Berlin was on top of my travel bucket list. I booked the beginning of this year and finally the time was there. First I was going alone, but as my mum and sister really liked to explore Berlin too, we made it a girls only trip. I was there one day earlier, Sunday the 10th, but they were joining me the next day.
I was so busy with work and my blog before I was going, that I didn’t really realize I was actually going. So I packed, very unlike me, last-minute and suddenly I was omw to Berlin. I had a good flight and headed straight from Shönefeld airport to our AirBnB. Which was quite an adventure on its own. I had to find the key in a keylock somewhere outside the building. Then climb 8 stairs (good work out!) before I found out the key to the apartment wasn’t working. I sat down for 10 minutes (partly to catch my breath, haha!) and texted the owner. When he didn’t respond I decided to try the key again. It looked like it was so stuck, but then suddenly it turned around and I was able to open the door. Yes! It felt like solving the last part of a puzzle. When the door opened there was a big weed smell coming my way. I’m Dutch, so I’m used to some, but this was quite a lot. It made me laugh as I felt this was going to be 1 big adventure! Shortly after, the owner texted me back to tell me the key was tricky (ya I got that) and that he was going to change the sheets in the afternoon. Oh and 2 minutes later he came out if his room, wasted and stoned, on his way to the bathroom. He apologised and it made me laugh even more. I sat down for a while and charged my phone before I was heading out again. It was hot (30+ C) and my tummy felt a bit upset, but the adrenaline made me walk from Alexanderplatz all the way to the Sony Center at Potsdamer Platz. A lovely walk, passing the famous Berliner Fernsehturm (the tv tower), the beautiful Berliner Dom (cathedral), the Altes museum, a nice market at Unter den Linden, Brandenburger Tor, Reichstag and crossing the Tiergarten park. As my energy wasn’t the way it normally is I walked slowly, took my time and made sure to stop a few times. It was actually rather lovely. It always gives me such a great feeling to be in a new city, by myself, reflecting on everything what happened lately, being in the now and looking at all the different people around me. When I arrived at the Sony Centre, after laying down in the park for a while, I was totally exhausted. I chose to eat a burger in one of the restaurants there, called ‘Corroboree’. It was an Australian restaurant with a few vegan options. It’s a very big restaurant and because the weather was so nice, everybody was sitting outside, but there is also the possibility to sit inside and you can even sit up stairs. The burger itself was ok, but the salad could have been so much better. Big pieces of raw white onion is not really my thing.
I still had to think of a way to watch the Euro Cup finals and whilst eating my burger I saw that the cinema offered Live Football. And it turned out to be free, so I got a ticket straight away. I still had 2 hours before it started, but really didn’t have any energy left to do something. Thank God there was an amazing Starbucks there. I got a nice cold bottle of water and collapsed on a chair, with my feet up and sat there for 2 hours, watching the people walk by. It was very enjoyable.
A bit before 21:00 I made my way over to the cinema and I was very excited. Watching the finals in the cinema! Even though I supported Portugal since the beginning, I decided to support France as, I had to admit, they deserved it more. I was the only one who was by myself and the only girl. I had a lot of looks my way and I could hear all the guys thinking ‘What is she doing here by herself?!’. It was quite hilarious, but no way I was going to miss the finals. After half an hour I caught myself supporting Portugal anyway and I was very happy they won in the end. Yay!! The only thing what concerned me was that I had to go back to the AirBnB, via a very dark, dodgy station and it was past midnight. I must admit, I’ve felt a lot safer before and I was very happy when I finally was back in the building and closed the door behind me. It was 1:00 and I was so tired, so I slept very deeply.
The next morning I took it easy, showered, got a juicy apple and half a kg of very sweet cherries at the local supermarket and ate them on my way to the main station, Hauptbahnhof, where I was going to pick up my mum and sister. They arrived perfectly on time and it was so nice to see them! We decided to have lunch first and then we headed back to our very interesting AirBnB. My mum and sister couldn’t believe the circumstances and actually wanted to find another place to sleep, but I convinced them it was just adding to the adventure and we were only sleeping there anyway. After everybody was done freshing up we headed to the Sony Center, got a Starbucks and looked at the lovely museum shop. Then we decided to go for a little walk and we did a little shopping. What made us decide to head over to Veganz, a supermarket with only vegan products. And wohw.. that was so nice! I didn’t want to leave. We should definitely get one in London too! It’s not a huge supermarket, but they have a lot of products. I stocked up on snacks, some lovely biscuits and of course.. chocolate! Both the coconut biscuits and the double chocolate biscuits are very nice. Also the white chocolate with coconut I really recommend. I haven’t tried the rest yet. Above Veganz is a vegan shoe shop called ‘Avesu’, where they sell shoes, bags and belts. Very nice! Also there is a very nice restaurant, called ‘The Bowl’, where we had dinner. They have beautiful food. We ordered: Buddha bowl, the Italian bowl and the Mexican bowl, together with some sweet potato fries (because they are sweet potato fries!) on the side. We all shared and it was very yummy! I loved the interior, with the petrol blue and the relaxed atmosphere. We did have to wait for our food for quite a while, but we had a good time in the meantime. For our dessert we picked some of the nice cakes they had downstairs at ‘Goodies’, next to the supermarket. What a lovely cafe this is, we definitely need one in London too! The cakes were amazingggg and the staff very friendly. I would have loved to come back here to try some more cakes, hehe..
The next day we had a banana bread breakfast at a little cafe called Leuchtstoff. It’s a cafe I think you wouldn’t find in London. It’s definitely Berlin style. Everything is made out of wood and there is only old vintage furniture. The banana bread and the tea were lovely and they have very nice staff too. You get your tea in a glass bottle, what looks very nice, but it’s far from practical as the bottle gets very hot and you can’t really poor it into your cup. Also not everything is vegan, but they do have a few options, also for lunch. The atmosphere is very relaxed and I liked that, so I would recommend this lovely cafe, if you happen to be around there.
After we went to Alexander Platz. We did a little shopping and went to Kaffee Einstein for a little break. I got a tea as I don’t drink coffee, but if I have to believe my mum and sister, they have the best cappuccino over here. They were totally crazy about it, so if you’re a coffee fan, go and try it! My tea was also very delicious btw. It was a lovely day again and we decided it was a good afternoon for a bus sightseeing tour. We got tickets from a lady who was very nice and helpful and got on the bus with live information. Already after 5 minutes the guy who was doing all the talking had to tell us to be more quiet, apparently we were chatting too much. Oops! I really enjoyed this bus tour and so did my mum and sis. It’s nice to see all the important things and get information about it. For me it really adds to the trip. You start to understand the city better. The only time we got out of the bus was when we were at the Berlin Wall. It was very interesting and such an important part of the city’s history. A little surreal to walk there. After getting back to Alexander Platz we agreed it was time for pizza and headed to a place called ZeroStress. They have all sorts of pizza’s here, but what I like about it, is that they have 3 vegan pizza’s to choose from. I must say it was a very interesting place. Not very big, very easy going (what you expect looking at the name), but very friendly staff and tasty pizza’s. The only thing we didn’t like so much about this place was the music. It was very loud and only techno, which is really not our thing. For ZeroStress I think the music was a bit odd.
This morning we had breakfast in my personal favourite. A lovely place called ‘New Deli Yoga’. The place is minimalistic, pure and no nonsense. They have 2 types of vegan breakfast and a lot of smoothies to choose from. So much, that is was hard to pick one. I went for a green smoothie eventually, my mum for a coffee one and my sis had a very nice banana smoothie. I ordered the vegan omelette and I was so happy I did as it was the best one I’ve ever had. It was so nice! In the back of the cafe there is a yoga studio, can it be more perfect?! The staff was so friendly and we felt very much at home here. If I ever go to Berlin again, I make sure to go here for a lovely breakfast or lunch. Great place! Very close, across the road, there is a lovely ice lolly pop store, called ‘California Pops’, where they sell amazing vegan lolly pops. I was too full from breakfast, otherwise, even though it was in the morning, I would have tried one. Next time! Around the corner is also the supermarket called ‘Bio Company’, which you can compare a little bit with the Whole Food Market. I bought a lovely hand cream from the brand Sante. This is an amazing brand I didn’t know. I have to find out if I can get it in the UK, because I love it!
This afternoon we wanted to visit 2 museums, the Pergamon Museum and the Altes museum, but the queues were so long. At least a 2 hour wait. And neither of us can stand for so long, so we decided to sit down in the middle of all the museums, enjoy the weather, the buildings, the classical music from street musicians in the background, the people and each other. I do have to admit I was a little upset I wasn’t going to see the inside of these beautiful museums as I love visiting museums a lot. But I know my back and neck wouldn’t like the hours of standing still and the pain I would have experienced from that would have ruined the time inside anyway.
In the evening we wanted to go for another italian restaurant, called ‘Sfizy Veg’, where they apparently have 100 different vegan pizza’s (I needed to see this with my own eyes) and also other Italian dishes. Only when we got there it happened to be closed that day. When we walked a little further we bumped into a lovely little restaurant called ‘Let It Be’. What made me feel happy that the other one was closed, because otherwise we’d never discovered this and never ate the amazing burgers they had over there. Another very nice place for today.
For dessert we wanted to get some vegan donuts at a place called ‘Brammibal’s’, but it turned out that they recently changed their closing time from 19:00 to 20:00 and of course it was 19:10. A shame, as it looked really nice.
This was our last morning. We took it easy this morning, but then we decided to try ‘Brammibal’s’ again. This time it was open and we each chose 4 donuts (I had: cinnamon, salted-caramel-hazelnut, maple-bacon-coconut and a peanut butter-chocolate). This is a lovely place btw, I really liked it. The interior is very simple and nice, perfect to enjoy lunch or a donut. It was very funny to find out, after we made the most silly jokes, that one of the staff members was Dutch and he was understanding everything we were saying. Oops.. Haha! I was so lucky, because when we were there an amazing, huge, most beautiful, blue merle Great Dane walked in. I was instantly in love. Took a thousand pictures and cuddled her untill she and her owner left. What a lovely last highlight of this trip! We also ordered a take away bagel, we ate at Kaffee Einstein when we were at the station. The bagel was amazing!! The best bagel I’ve ever had. (The donuts were for when I got home that evening. I was very excited to try them, but unfortunately they were very dry and I didn’t like them. Maybe I should have eaten them straight away, but then I still think they would have been a bit dry.)
Then it was time to say our goodbye’s and my mum and sister left. Because there was a train going straight to the airport and my bag was too heavy to carry around for much longer, I decided to go to the airport even though I would be a few hours early. It made it a relaxed day and my journey went well.
Overall I think Berlin really has 2 sides. There is this beautiful city, with a lot of history, breathtaking historic buildings, amazing vegan food options and the freedom you can feel everywhere. But Berlin is also very poor. There are a lot (!) of homeless people, it can be very smelly (especially in the underground), a lot of buildings seem to be forgotten and you see a lot of cranes, fences and scaffoldings everywhere. And apart from a few very friendly people (especially in the restaurants/cafe’s) it looks like people can’t smile and the English is very 50/50, what came to me as a surprise.
I did enjoy my time in Berlin and I’m sure I’ll go back one day. There a lot of people who absolutely love Berlin and I do understand why. Just for me personally it wasn’t my kind of city perse, what made me appreciate my beautiful London. I do recommend to go and visit this interesting city as it was a lovely experience and the food was absolutely great!
Corroboree Sony Center, Bellevuestraße 5
Veganz Warschauer Str. 33
Avesu Warschauer Str. 33
The Bowl Warschauer Str. 33
Goodies Warschauer Str. 33
Leuchtstoff Siegfriedstraße 19
Kaffee Einstein Alexanderstraße 3 (there are quite a lot of these cafe’s around Berlin)
Zero Stress Colbestraße 3
New Deli Yoga Falckensteinstraße 37
California Pops Falckensteinstraße 4
Bio Company Skalitzer Str. 71-72 (there are more Bio Company’s around Berlin)
Sfizy Veg Treptower Str. 95
Let it Be Treptower Str. 90
Brammibal’s Maybachufer 8
So if you find yourself in Berlin, you’re sure of a list of lovely cafe and restaurants. Let me know if you know one or more of these lovely hotspots and definitely let me know if you’re deciding to go! You can show me by using #PlanetManel on Instagram or by leaving a comment below. Thank you! X