To Hull (& Europe) and Back: Part II

Don’t forget to read Parts I and III.

Day 4 – Dunkerque and Ypres

It’s only an hour’s drive to Dunkerque this morning where 2015 marks the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Dunkerque and Operation Dynamo and between 21 and 25 May, a number of events will be taking part to commemorate this historic marker.  Visit the War Memorial Museum for just €4 pp and learn about the Battle and evacuation of over 300,000 allied soldiers during Operation Dynamo.

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Sanctuary Wood, Ypres. Photo by Amanda Slater.

Make your way to Ypres, only a 45 minute journey away, and head straight to an early lunch at Den Olifant.  There is much to do in Ypres but we recommend the Grand Tour of Flanders which lasts for 4 hours and starts at 1pm costing €38 pp.  The tour gives a very real insight into Ypres 1914-1918 and you will visit a number of battlegrounds and the trenches, a deeply thought provoking experience.

Spend the night in Ypres at the Albion Hotel or Hotel Ariane (also great for food).

Day 5 – Lille

It’s a short drive to Lille this morning before having the remainder of the day to explore.  Try Tradi’Balade, a tour of the city in a 2CV, great for Bond fans and lovers of classic cars.  From €28 pp for an hour’s tour, this may be the perfect way to begin your stay in Lille before venturing out into the city on foot.  Head to the Grand Square, where the old stock exchange (Vieille Bourse) is located and admire the buildings and then stop at one of the many cafes around the Square for lunch.

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Vieille Bourse.  Photo by Yann Caradec.

Take a closer look at the Vieille Bourse and sneak a peak at its courtyard (free entry Tuesday afternoon until Sunday) and pop inside to its flea market where you could well pick up a bargain.  Also, every Sunday evening from July to September between 7-10pm, you can enjoy watching the Tango being performed here.

Spend the next 2 nights at either the modern Hotel Barrière Lille just 15 minutes from the centre or choose the beautifully historic L’Hermitage Gantois just 5 minutes from the centre, previously used as a hospital.

Day 6 – Lille

If you enjoy modern art and don’t mind a drive out of the city, make your way to Musee d’Art Moderne which has displays both inside and out, not too dissimilar to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.  It’s open most of the year (but for 1 January, 1 May and 25 December) from Tuesday to Sunday 9am until 7pm and costs from €7 per adult.  We like the ‘Objets Perdus’…..a centrepiece which forms a map of France from lost objects; a rather lovely juxtaposition.

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Musee d’Art Moderne.  Photo by Olivier Bacquet.

If you are with younger travellers, spend the afternoon at Parc Zoologique which opens again on 2 May and has no entry fee.  A municipal park, similar to that in Amiens, Lille’s Parc Zoo is home to a plethora of animals you wouldn’t expect in the city including monkeys, rhino and tapirs.

Dine out at Le Potager des Demoiselles Cote Bistro, a cosy little restaurant which serves great wine, meals and desserts.  It’s a drive out of the centre and so if you’re feeling more inclined to relax at a restaurant which is central, try Autour de Vous which has been impressing food critics, locals and tourists and for something a little different, head to Delassic for a cheese and wine night.  Watch out for special evenings where you can taste 9 cheeses, 4 wines and finish with a dessert for €40 pp.

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Lille. Photo by Craig Morey.

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To Hull (& Europe) and Back: Part I

This 10 night itinerary covering six cities in Europe begins in Hull and takes you over to Zeebrugge, returning via Rotterdam.  With Zeebrugge being such a wonderful gateway to Europe, the options are endless and so this itinerary is just one of the many adventures you could have.

Day 1 – Crossing the North Sea

The ferry from Hull to Zeebrugge leaves in the evening and so you can sleep on through the night ready for your city break adventure.  If you can, upgrade to the Club room which offers far more comfort.  If you don’t want to pay the price in advance, always check on the day immediately when boarding just in case there are any rooms available in Club…..you may get a steal!

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Bruges at night. Photo by artorusrex.

Day 2 – Bruges

Arrive early into Zeebrugge and head to Bruges, a UNESCO World Heritage City, to explore the chocolate box centre.  As you will be arriving early, stop for breakfast at Prestige Patisserie where you can indulge in the Prestige breakfast which includes some very delicious pastries.  There is also a shop on site stocked full of delicious treat including breads, pastries, cakes and quiches that you may find it hard to leave without a little souvenir for later.

After breakfast head to Basilica of the Holy Blood, which looks to be a small and yet beautifully ornate church tucked away in the corner of a square.  It’s quite dark inside, giving away its 12th Century build.  It claims to have the blood of Christ in a vial which you can see between 11:30-12pm (or 2 – 4pm) and even better, if you are there in May, you can witness the procession around Bruges.  Whether religious or not, this is a lovely little church to see and entrance is free.

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Basilica of the Holy Blood.  Photo by Chris Brown.

For lunch, why not indulge in a compulsory Belgian Waffle at the Carpe-diem Tearoom.  You will then need to burn off at least part of that heavenly lunch stop and so we recommend you head to the Belfry……sadly not a golf course but gladly, a wonderful view over Bruges once you have climbed the 366 steps.

Spend the night at Martin’s Relais Oud Huis which overlooks the canal or the luxurious Grand Hotel Casselbergh.

Day 3 – Bruges

Begin your day with a trip on the canal.  Boats operate between March and November and the first trip sails at 10am.  Each boat company offers the same 30 minute tour and price (just shy of €8 pp) and so no need to shop around.

After this gentle start to the morning, it’s time to get moving and work up an appetite for your late lunch.  If you’re into your films, why not try a free 2 hour walking tour which will take you to filming locations spotted in the film ‘In Bruges’ (tours usually start at 12pm, 2:20pm and 3pm from various locations).  If you’re feeling more adventurous, try a segway tour of the city which lasts between 1 and 2 hours with prices starting from €35 pp.  For those of you who are feeling more active, skip the morning canal trip and take a cycling tour of the city which departs at 10am for 2.5 hours and costs €28 pp.  Upon your return, consider that restful canal trip before taking lunch.

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Segway on Bruges.  Photo by Michela Simoncini.

As you are in Belgium, build in a lunch stop at De Halve Mann brewery where you can enjoy 3 courses (including beer pate!) for €29 pp.  After lunch, take a tour lasting 40 minutes and be rewarded with a pint at the end, all for just €8 pp.

Make sure you stop at possibly the best chocolate shop in town, Dumon.  Set in a 400 year old brick building, you really will feel spoiled by the choice it offers.  If you have time and you really do love chocolate, visit the Chocolate Museum which will take about an hour.  If you want to take it a step further, take a workshop where you can make your own chocolates and take them home with you!

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Chocolate treats from Dumon. Photo by Cody & Maureen.

For evening drinks, we like Duvelorium for the views and for the beer, to Le Trappiste which is Bruges’ first international beer cafe.

Click to read Part II

Click HERE to read Part II

The South African Safari

There are a couple of options here when considering which areas to visit.  Kruger National Park contains a number of world renowned safari lodges and it is often the first place you think of when looking at a safari in South Africa.  If the safari is top of your list, this is the place to head to as it really is wonderful.  However, it may cost a little more if heading here after Cape Town as it will usually involve another internal flight.  It is also malarial which may not suit all travellers.

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Photo by Abspires40

The other option is to visit one of the lodges at the end of the garden route where you can see the Big Five.  You can reach these by car from Plettenberg Bay in 3 to 4 hours and you will not need to think about malarial protection here.  A couple of lodges which we have our sights set on visiting are Pumba Game Reserve and Shamwari Game Reserve.

Shamwari is probably best known for being linked with the Born Free Foundation.  At this reserve, you are put into groups of 6 to 10 people and assigned your own personal ranger who will plan a timetable with you.  In between game drives (lasting 3 to 4 hours), you have the option to sample the spa, take a game walk, visit one of the two Born Free Big Cat Sanctuaries, the Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, the Rhino awareness Centre or take a dip in the pool.

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Photo by Vin Crosbie

You can also spot the Big Five at Pumba and in addition, its white lions, probably what Pumba is well known for.  This reserve also offers fishing, stargazing, archery, night safari drives, a spa and a gym.  If you haven’t got the time to stay the night, Pumba offers day safaris which include a welcome drink, 2.5 hour game drive and an evening meal.

What to see on South Africa’s Garden Route

Again, as with much of South Africa, there is so much to do along the Garden Route and you will need to carefully consider what you want to see.  We have picked just a few options to get you thinking:

Hermanus

About an hour and a half away from Cape Town, this is one of the 12 best whale watching places in the world, as recognised by the WWF.  There is a 12km cliff path which takes you along the best whale watching stretch in South Africa and probably the world.  Take a picnic and make a day of it or take a whale watching boat trip.  The best time to spot them is in the months of September to November.

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Photo by Jon Mountjoy

Oudtshoorn

This is where Meerkat Adventures is based but it’s an early start as you need to meet before sunrise to take the hike to where the meerkats will be waking up.  Tours cost about £29 per person.  Afterwards, you can then head to an Ostrich Farm, feed them by hand, learn all about them and watch an Ostrich race for about £7 per person!

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Photo by Hühnerauge

Knysna

Probably the most famous town on the Garden Route and famous for its beautiful lagoon.  It gets very busy in the high season though and so don’t expect a sleepy town!  Visit Knysna Elephant Park which cares for orphaned African Elephants.  There are various experiences and encounters you can take part in.

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Photo by Angela GS

Plettenberg Bay

A top local tourist spot due to its sandy beaches, blue waters and mountain backdrop but worth a stop.  Visit Monkeyland, the top eco-friendly attraction on route, which helps rehabilitate wild monkeys.  If you are into water sports, visit AfriCanyon which will see you navigating your way through the river shallows, jumping, zip-lining and swimming through fresh-water mountain pools.

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Photo by Diriye Amey

South African Winelands

With so many wines to taste, the red and blue wine trams have to be the best way to experience the winelands.  Head to Franschhoek where you can pick up either of these trams, both of which take you to 7 vineyards in one day allowing you to enjoy the wines without the worry of getting back to you hotel.  We would advise staying 2 nights here so you can sample at least one, if not both of these routes.  It is only 45 minutes north of Cape Town and so a day trip is possible but ensure you have a designated driver!

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Photo by Leyla.a

Each tour costs about £11 and includes two complimentary wine tastings at select wine estates.  Each tasting consists of 2 to 3 samples of wine.  There are also lots of activities that you can take part in at each estate from horseback riding, chocolate pairing, olive oil tasting, picnics, a spa experience, boules, a jungle gym, cheese platters etc.  This isn’t just about the wine, it’s about the experience.

On the blue line the first stop is Mont Rochelle, Sir Richard Branson’s estate, and the line ends with Grande Provence, an estate dating back to 1694.  The red line stops at Leopard’s Leap (we’ve tasted the wine already and it’s a favourite of ours) and also takes in Grande Provence at the end, overlapping with the blue tour.

Franschhoek is a popular place to visit not only because of the wine trams but because it is where many of the country’s best restaurants are viewed to be located including one which is deemed to be within the global top 50.  It is also a very pretty place with a very good selection of beautiful hotels.

What is there to do in Capetown?

There is so much to do in this wonderful city that you really need to spend at least 3 to 4 nights nights here to soak it all up.  We have picked just a few highlights:

Table Mountain

Table Mountain is the one of the most iconic places to visit whilst here.  You can hike to the top if you wish (set aside 5 nights!) or like most, get the cable car to the top (about £12 return).  It’s advisable to plan to do this on your first day as visibility isn’t always great and so if it is poor on day one you will have other opportunities for better views later on.  You can pre-buy tickets for a morning or afternoon (afternoon’s a little quieter) slot which means no queuing for tickets.

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Photo by Warren Rohner

There is a cable car to the top which takes 5 minutes and runs, weather permitting, from 8am until between 6pm and 9pm depending if you are visiting in summer or winter season.  There are also FREE guided walks at the top when you arrive.

A trip to Boulder’s Beach

If you love nature and penguins, this is a must.  An hour south of Cape Town, a beach strewn with these stunning creatures awaits you although it is not one which is open to everyone.  You have to pay an entrance fee to the beach to ensure its maintenance and protection (about £3 per adult) but you can then pick your spot and bed down for the day.  It’s great for families as it’s a calm bay and offers boardwalk treks around to Foxy beach which is best for penguin spotting.  There are 3 beaches in total and one penguin viewing area where you can spot the endangered African Penguin.

A boat trip to Robben Island

Nelson Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island for 18 of the 27 years he was incarcerated.  The island was used as a prison from the end of the 17th Century until 1996.  It is now a UNESCO site and tells a very special story.

To reach the island you must take a ferry across from Cape Town and once there, tours are run by former political prisoners from the island.  Ferries run between 9 am and 3 pm every hour and tours last about 3.5 hours.

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Photo by David Rosen.

Best Afternoon Tea in the World

Do you want to see if this is worthy?  Head to Mount Nelson (a Belmond Hotel) to discover a mouth-watering display of temptation and be wowed by the beauty of this stunning hotel.  With prices starting at just £14 per person, it’s no wonder visitors from around the globe are so gushing about this haven.

Snorkelling with Seals

This is not going to be like snorkelling in the warm Caribbean seas, this will be cold but very much worth it.  The operator which runs the tours provides fleece lined wet suits, hot chocolate, warm showers, biscuits, water and even gloves to name just a few items to ensure you have the best experience.  Tours only operate in the summer season (the UK’s winter season) and cost about £34 per person.  Just 40 minutes south of Cape Town, this 3 hour trip is usually best completed in the morning but be warned, the seals can get very playful and so you may not be in the water as much as you expect as you may get tired very quickly!

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Photo by David Stanley

The Blue Train

The Blue Train is amongst the most popular train journeys to take in the world and should be up for real consideration if visiting South Africa.  Many flights from the UK to Cape Town do have a stop in Johannesburg on route and so rather than getting the connecting flight on to Cape Town, why not consider getting the Blue Train there instead?

This 5* ‘hotel on wheels’ oozes luxury and is the perfect introduction to this country which is gloriously rich in nature, culture and charm.  Taking you on a journey through deserts and grasslands, this 27 hour train ride is by no means brief but it is exceptionally comfortable.  The train is home to up to 80 guests each trip and offers a choice of deluxe or luxury suites which look more like plush hotel rooms than suites on a train.  Luxury suites offer complimentary butler service, all have showers and baths and there is the option to have a double bed or twin configurations.  The deluxe suites are just a little smaller with most having showers but a few do have ¾ size baths so you can soak up the experience whilst racing across the countryside.  The deluxe cabins do have a limited number of double beds.

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Deluxe Suite. Photo by Simon Pielow.

Guests all receive brunch, high tea, dinner and breakfast and also have the opportunity to stop off on route at the end of day one to explore the Open Mine Museum at Kimberley.

The trains depart from Pretoria (just over half an hour north of Johannesburg Airport) at 08:30 every day and arrive into Cape Town at midday the following day.  They run on selected Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and so ensure your trip times in if you don’t want to miss it.

10 Things to do in Tenerife

  • Visit the Agromercado in Costa Adeje.  This is a farmers market where locals do their shopping.  When we visited, we were the only British there and so it’s a great way to test your Spanish!  We were self catering and so stocked up with a few things for the week and cooked some tasty meals with this delicious fresh produce.

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  • Loro Parque is a conservation park in the usually cooler part of the island, Puerto de la Cruz, and is great for all ages and particularly good for families.  There is an option at the beginning to upgrade (you can go behind the scenes, have lunch included, a guided tour and reserved seating to allow for the best views) and we recommend you do.  It’s such a huge park and by doing this, we felt we made the most of our time there.

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  • Candelaria is a lovely place to wander around.  The Basilica of Candelaria is quite impressive and if you venture up the hill, you can take a lovely photo of the square.  Another good thing about this place is that it has great ice-cream shops!

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  • Mount Tiede is something not to miss.  The journey there is quite long but there are lots of pretty villages to stop at along the way and pine forests which are heavily and beautifully scented.  You can take a cable car almost to the top and so make sure you bring a cardigan or something warmer with you as you really feel the temperature drop.  You can climb the final 200m but will need a permit which you can get online in advance for free.

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  • Possibly the best water park in Europe, Siam Park is great for families, couples and groups.  Some of the hotels include entry within their price and so if you’re into your water parks, this may be something to consider.
  • The Pyramids at Guimar is an historical site with a small garden of poisonous plants to look at!  Uniquely, this is one of the very few places on the planet where you can witness a double sunset behind twin peaks.

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  • La Oratava is on the way to Loro Parque and we managed to see this town and the Parque in one day.  The main attraction is Casa de los Balcones but there are also some beautiful gardens and again, some very pretty streets to wander.

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  • We ventured away from the tourists to Poris de Abona and sampled fine tapas and very inexpensive wine whilst looking out to sea.  We picked a place right on the seafront at the very far end, almost hidden away.  It was so tiny with just a handful of tables (pictured).

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  • Tenerife is known for its dolphin watching trips and so make sure you hop on board when you’re there.
  • There are also lots of Watersports on offer for the more active holidaymakers from jet skiing, parascending, paddle surfing, flyboarding and of course….the banana boat!

Malta: The City Break

Many people think of Malta and think of a week or two long holiday but we love Malta for a city break.  We spent 3 nights and 2.5 days on the island discovering just some of its jewels and look forward to returning again soon.

Where to stay

  • Best boutiqueValentina, St Julians Bay

What to do and how to get there

If you don’t fancy driving, the Hop on/off bus is an easy option.  Just remember to pick up a timetable and note the departure times.  There are North and South tours and on some days, these are combined and so check with your hotel or with the tour company to see which tour is running.  We took the combined tour on day 1 and took in Valletta, Mdina and a tour of the island.  On day 2 we took the South tour and saw the 3 Cities and Marsaxlokk.  You can save money if you buy the 2 day tour and so have a think about what you would like to achieve before you buy:

Valletta

  • St John’s Cathedral – The most stunning cathedral we have ever visited.  Every inch has been decorated with a thoughtful touch and no picture can do it justice.  Take the free audio guide and be absorbed in the beauty of this cathedral.

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  • Wander the historic streets – They undulate, they are characterful and they host a fine mix of eateries and great opportunities for shopping.

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  • Lower Barrakka Gardens – Situated towards the far end of Valletta, you can start at the Waterfront and ascend to the Upper Barrakka Gardens via the Barrakka lift in just 25 seconds which saves those muscles for later on!  From here, it’s a lovely walk to the Lower Barrakka Gardens where you will find a tree planted in April 2012 to mark the 70th anniversary of the award of the George Cross to Malta by King George VI for its bravery in the Second World War.

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Mdina

  • Wander the historic streets – Mdina is like a maze.  Around every corner there is a beautiful building, a stunning old wooden door, pretty flowers climbing the walls or a quirky shop selling Maltese produce.  It’s a fun maze to get lost in and explore, eventually winding your way to the viewing point out towards the sea.

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  • St Paul’s Cathedral – Make your way through the narrow streets and you will find that they open up into a large square where the sheer size of the cathedral will leave you with a wow moment, its size having a greater impact due to the small avenues you have just been travelling through.  You may notice the clocks on the outside give you different times.  It was thought that this would confuse the devil who may attempt to attend mass and sway people from the right path if he could be sure of the right time for mass!

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3 Cities

  • Beautiful boats – Take a stroll to see the Grand Harbour Marina, Vittoriosa.  You will see an array of boats you could only dream of owning or even sailing on.

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  • Gardjola Gardens – A reasonable walk from Vittoriosa over a bridge and right at the end of Senglea but worth the walk for the views across to Valletta.

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  • St Lawrence’s Church – a stunning church right next to the hop on/off bus and so no excuses not to take a quick peek!

Marsaxlokk

  • This is a pretty place to wander and there is a market every day where you can stock up on local honey, figs, biscuits and nougat (as well as some very touristy souvenirs).  Even better, if you visit on a Sunday morning you will be treated to its main market.  You will see hundreds of beautifully and brightly decorated boats here, fisherman mending their nets and repainting their boats.  It’s a lovely brief stop or take a little longer and have lunch here.

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On our last day we visited the Catacombs in Rabat and took a local bus.  It took about an hour and 15 minutes to get to Rabat from St Julians Bay.  On our return the speedier bus which was timetabled did not show and so we had to wait 40 minutes for the slow bus which then took an hour and a half to get back to St Julians due to traffic and so do plan well and allow for the unexpected.

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Hire a car and see more!  The Maltese drive on the left making it much less daunting.  You can get around the island far more quickly by car and see what we did on our hop on/off bus plus a few more attractions which we’re saving for next time including the Blue Grotto, the Tarxien Temples and the Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples.

You could also try a day trip to Gozo (or even a few nights in Malta followed by a couple in Gozo) and snorkelling around Comino Island.

Where to eat

  • For ice-creamL’Accademia Café in Valletta – a VERY large scoop of delicious ice-cream for just 1.65 Euros!

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  • For fishZeri’s Restaurant in Paceville.  We had a starter of octopus, calamari and fishcakes, a main of red snapper, brown meagre and seabass all with potatoes and vegetables, a bottle of wine and water and a dessert each of Chocolate melt in the middle pudding with Bailey’s cream for 60 Euros each with a nice tip included.
  • Lunch stopThe Three Sisters, Marsaxlokk.  Run by……yes…..three sisters……with most fish served having been caught by their husbands……terribly romantic we know!  A sense of community draws you in to eat at this perfect lunch spot overlooking the harbour which bobs away with brightly coloured boats.

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Our Rough Notes: 2 Nights in Berlin

To us Berlin is about history.  It’s also about other things….club culture for example…..but that’s another blog.  We have focused on a short city break taking in some famous sights and hopefully a ready-to-go guide for anyone thinking of visiting.  Berlin is a great city break because it’s not too far away, most sights are free and if your German isn’t up to standard, you will still be able to get around….in a very efficient fashion!

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Our Top Tips 

  • Get yourself a Berlin Welcome Card which covers your transportation in either zones A & B or A, B & C for 48 or 72 hours.  It makes life so much easier when hopping on and off public transport and saves you money not only on the transport but also on entry fees in shops and restaurants.  When you get your ticket you will need to validate this (yellow machines on buses and near the ticket machines in U-Bahn stations).
  • If flying into Schönefeld, get the X171 or X7 to Rudow U-Bahn (about 10 minutes in duration) and then you can get to your hotel from there – it makes it a very cheap transfer and the public transport is so reliable and frequent.
  • When flying back, make sure you top up on water before the airport as the water there is expensive!  It was about 4.5 Euros for a bottle that cost £1 in WH Smiths at Stansted!  Duty free for spirits is excellent though.

Things to do

We managed to pack a lot in to our 2 night stay.  We caught a 06:30 flight from Stansted to Berlin on Monday and arrived at our hotel at 11am.  On our return just 2 days later, we left our hotel at just after 14:00 for our 17:05 flight home.  We managed to see everything listed below and we have listed everything in the order we did it to show you what is possible in such a short visit.

Day 1

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The museum sets the scene for the Berlin Wall – it summarises the war and then details what happened after, mainly focusing on the divide, and looks at the escape methods used.  The museum contains lots of information (too much in all honesty) but allow about 1.5 – 2 hours.

Cost – 9.30 Euros per person (this is with a discount for having the Welcome Card).

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There are exhibitions inside and outside.  We loved the outside exhibition which mainly looks at the rise of Nazism and what happened when the party came into power.  The inside exhibition repeats this a little but has interesting boards on the Nuremburg Trials and other historical happenings such as the death marches.  Again, a little too much information inside; allow about 2 hours and if running short of time and the weather is good, just see the outside.

Cost – free.

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One of the least busy and best views in the city!  Located on Potsdamer platz (red brick building).

Cost – 7 Euros per person – the Welcome Card allows for a discount if you get the ticket to the top and guide – it’s normally 6.5 Euros just for the ticket to the top.

Not far from Brandenburg Gate and now just a little information board on the site which is now a car park (at the top of the street “In den Ministergärten”).

Cost – free

Day 2

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This is adjacent to the Brandenburg Gate and it well worth a visit.  You will either love it or hate it.  We loved it but we like our modern art and we can see the symbolic nature of its position and formality.

Cost – free

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Symbolic of German Unity since the wall came down in 1989.  Stop here for a quick picture and to learn more about the history of this grand gateway.

Cost – free

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The home of Germany’s Parliament.  You can stop for a quick picture or if you pre-book, you can visit the roof terrace and glass dome.

Cost – free

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One of the best museums in Berlin.  It tells the story of the divide between East and West with real life accounts in the station which allowed limited passage between the two sides.

Cost – free

  • Chocolate shops

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Fassbender & Rausch (if only for the chocolate sculptures and displays – luxury chocolate at great prices) AND Ritter Sport (you can create your own chocolate and it’s quite cheap to buy and tastes very good) – both not far away from Unter den Linden which is where you can find the Brandenburg Gate.

Cost – it depends on how much you like your chocolate!

A pretty square with lovely buildings and cafes for drinks just off Unter den Linden and by Fassbender & Rausch.

Cost – free if just browsing

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Book burning square just off Under den Linden.  There is a plaque to see and it’s on the way to the Berliner Dom and so worth a stop.

Cost – free

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The great cathedral with stunning views inside and you can ascend to the walkway at the top (which eventually takes you outside) for some wonderful views.

Cost – 5 Euros per person with the Welcome Card.

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This is a huge site and we only managed sections A and B which easily took an hour and a half to do.  You can see what the death zone would have looked like, the chapel of reconciliation, more information on the war and the divide and a memorial of those who lost their lives as a result of the wall.  We got transport from Berliner Dom to here.

Cost – free

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A symbol of freedom and the largest remaining section of standing wall covered in art work on the East Side (never permitted until after 1989).  It’s lovely to just walk along and enjoy the messages behind the art.  We got the U-Bahn from Berlin Wall Memorial to here.

Cost – free

Day 3

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A bombed church which sits between 2 new sections, much like Coventry Cathedral, and it has a memorial from Coventry there too uniting the two cities.

Cost – free

From Kaiser Wilhem Memorial Church, it’s a 20-25 minute walk, partly through Tiergarten park.  The Victory Column is in the middle of a busy road but you can access it by a subway.

Cost – free to view but if you want to go up the victory column it’s 3 Euros per person

A bit like Selfridges but with a better food court!

Cost – free to browse!

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If you don’t fancy packing as much in and want just a selection from the above, try:

  1.  Palace of Tears
  2. Jewish Memorial
  3. Topography of Terror (outside)
  4. Berliner Dom
  5. Panoramapunkt
  6. Berlin Wall Memorial
  7. East Side Gallery

If you want the tick list…….add the Brandenburg Gate and Reichstag of course!