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Weekend Wanderer: Berlin

In the first of a new series of blog posts, Steven Gyford looks at the perfect holiday destinations that you can tick off in a weekend alone without missing a thing! And with the welcoming sight of Easter weekend looming on our calendars, what better time to start?

Our first Weekend Wanderer destination is a challenging one, the famous city of Berlin.

Germany's capital is certainly a daunting prospect to 'complete' in a weekend, given the enormity of the place and the history of it. Given that, you're certainly going to need some help along the way. Most importantly, your own two feet. 

Before you start to imagine yourself running through the streets of the Grey City as if it were the Berlin Marathon, think again, for I am referring to your new best friend: a bicycle. Running daily from 11am, you can cover all of the city's major landmarks in a single day. 

Most tours will take you to the sights you would never want to miss like Checkpoint Charlie and, of course, Brandenburg Gate. However, you can also experience the cultural heritage that exists on Museum Island; learn more about the history of the war at Hitler's Bunker and the Luftwaffe Ministry and see the spectacular Victory Column, a symbol of victory by the Prussian Army. 

Berlin Wall

Obviously, no tour of Berlin would be complete without riding alongside the remains of the Berlin Wall, still standing and decorated with glorious and meaningful works of art on both sides. Along the way, you'll also see one of the last remaining watchtowers, overlooking no man's land throwing you back in time to a country divided.

Most tours even include a stopover at a traditional German beer garden, a perfect chance to sample the delights of a Weissbeer accompanied by a Currywurst - an absolute must before you leave!

Already you've familiarised yourself with the streets of the capital and ticked off most of the sights, all in less than a day!

However, to see the remaining areas of Berlin (or to scout ahead in the morning prior to your bike excursion), you'll want to head up to the top of the Fernsehturm (or TV Tower) for a stunning panoramic view of Berlin in all of it's glory. At over 200m high, you could see as far as 40km away on a clear day and you can even grab a bite to eat in the revolving restaurant while you do! Be sure to round off your first day with a true taste of Berlin nightlife, Kastanienallee is a good starting point, with bars and restaurants a plenty for you to mix with the locals.
Fernsehtum
 
 
Your second (and final) day in Berlin is the prime opportunity for you to fulfil your own personal desires from the weekend. One solid option would be a trip to the KaDeWe department store, the perfect place to satisfy your urge to shop. The centre is home to a vast number of well-known brands and market stalls, so there's something for everybody to enjoy. Head over in late November for the fantastic shopping opportunities at the local Christmas markets too!

Alternatively, experience the sporting side of the city, with two stand-out options. For the football fans amongst you, a trip to the Olympiastadion is a no-brainer, take a tour of the ground and it's surroundings or, even better, enjoy a beer in the stands cheering on Hertha Berlin. 

For those wanting something a little different from the world of sport, Berlin's O2 arena plays host to the Eisbears, the local ice hockey team. A great way to spend the afternoon, games provide a carnival atmosphere to accompany a truly gripping sporting occasion. 

Fleet-footed tourists will also make time to see the Charlottenburg Palace and the ever-popular Museum of Technology before heading back home, though even if you miss these spots you'll still feel satisfied that Berlin has well and truly been ticked off your to-do list!

Have a weekend wander yourself, flights and deals here.
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