Three days in Berlin…

I was delighted to win Think Global Recruitment’s free flights to Europe and set about deciding where to jet off to for a break. Work had been pretty crazy for a few weeks in the lead up so I was looking for a city to relax and enjoy some time off. A lot of my friends have been to Berlin recently and all had come back with great reviews so I decided this was the city for me. The team at Think Global Recruitment arranged all my travel and even threw in some spending money. Before I knew it, I had swapped long hours of frustration at my computer screen for a
truly fascinating city to explore! The biggest piece of advice I could give about visiting Berlin would be to do your research. Some familiarity with the public transport map makes moving around
very easy. The city has some amazing, yet unassuming, bars and restaurants that we would easily have walked passed had we not read about them beforehand.
When we arrived in Berlin Schönefeld Airport (SXF) we both bought 72-hour Berlin WelcomeCards (ABC). These gave us unlimited free access to all public transport around the city. Berlin’s public transport is superb. The U-Bahn (underground rail), S-Bahn (over-ground rail) trams and buses connect every corner of the city. The cards also gave us some nice discounts in museums and restaurants.
We made our way to our Airbnb in Mitte using a mix of the S-Bahn and the U-Bahn and found our host waiting at the door. Mitte is a good central location to stay and isn’t far from any of the main sites. That night we went to the Freidrichstr station and found a place to eat. When we came out we noticed some guys heading through a gate which looked like it lead to private property. However we recognised the Crackers logo beside it from our research. We went in, through a pretty dingy alleyway (and the back kitchen!) to find a really cool and swanky cocktail bar.
On the way back to our apartment we went looking for another cocktail bar, Reingold. Google maps had directed us to what looked like an apartment block, with no sign of a bar at all except a doorbell on the wall. We went for it, pressed it, and two minutes later the barman had opened the huge steel door to let us into this amazing bar. It suddenly became very clear what my friends had mentioned about some really nice places being easy to miss!
We started our second day with the New Berlin free walking tour which started at the Brandenburg Gate Starbucks at 10:00am. This lasted 2.5 hours and was a great way to get a sense of where the city’s main attractions were located such as the Reichstag, the Holocaust memorial, Checkpoint Charlie and the Topography of Terror. After lunch we went back to do some of these museums.
That night we headed for Hackescher Markt. There were an array of restaurants to suit all tastes and prices were very reasonable. We stumbled across another bar we’d heard of, Rivabar and spent the night sampling their finest concoctions.
On Saturday we started with the alternative walking tour which began at the TVTower at 11:00am. This was a really good tour and there was no crossover with our previous one. It covered Berlin’s street art and quirky side. Afterwards, we went down to East Side Gallery before heading back to Hackescher Markt for lunch. We went to Yosoy Tapas Bar and loved it. Hackescher Markt is definitely my recommendation for food, we went back there again for dinner and drinks in the bars around there.
Our flight home was at 6:00pm so we left our apartment and went to Alexanderplatz where we left our bags in one of the many pay-per-use lockers. We went to the DDR Museum before heading back to the Reichstag Building and Brandenburg Gate. We didn’t have time to cover the Reichstag dome but that looked pretty cool. Be prepared though, as the queue for tickets is really long.
For lunch we went back to Yosoy and were delighted to find out that Sunday is all-you-can-eat tapas for under €10! Needless to say we spent a lot of time there enjoying the great food and wine before heading to the airport.
Berlin is a great city and I’d highly recommend it to everyone. There’s a lot to see and do so if you’re time there is short, some research and planning is key. Be prepared for the cold, temperatures were similar to Dublin but it felt much colder. There’s plenty of sights, museums and activities to suit all tastes and the restaurants and bars are superb. These, along with the city’s amazing public transport and general good vibe make it a very appealing option to live and work for a time. Berlin should be definitely be considered by anyone looking for a move abroad and indeed added to everyone’s bucket list!
John won his flights on a ‘refer a friend’ scheme that we ran prior to our Worldwide Presentation in Dublin earlier this year.  If you are training for your CA qualification or have recently obtained it and would be interested in attending one of our events to hear about locations all over the world or want to know more about the prizes that Think Global Recruitment has on offer, get in touch with Emma: