Dear friends, after my article on the Grand Hyatt of Berlin (that you can find HERE), as I promised, this is the preview of something I hope will become a guideline about the cities I visit. I think it is useful to share with you unmissable places, and also shops, restaurants, clubs and all the attractions of a city which deserve to be visited by those, that as I do, love elegance, especially when they are travelling.
Not just a common touristic guide but my personal opinion about the city, written for you, in order to give advice and share my experience and the unmissable addresses of the places I visit.
Let’s start with:
Berlin – Must have places to see in a week-end
The iconic Brandeburg Tor: take a walk along the most famous neoclassic monument of Berlin during the afternoon or early morning and enjoy its bright view. King Frederick William II of Prussia commissioned the project, as a sign of peace, to Architect Langhans who took inspiration from the monuments of Athens. Just a few steps from the Brandenburg Gate, there are the Parliament, the Holocaust commemorative monument and the iconic Adlon Kempiski Hotel.
The authentic luxury of the Adlon Kempiski Hotel: it is perfect to have a cup of tea in a winter afternoon. Probably you will wait 10 or 15 minutes to get a table close to the famous elephants fountain. When you ask for a dessert, you will be showed not only the menu but also an amazing showcase where an elegant girl in uniform will accompany you. The Black Forest cake is delicious. I remind you that this hotel is a real institution in Berlin, in fact it was the stage where the movie Grand Hotel with Greta Garbo was shot in 1922. A shabby chick outfit would be suitable.
The classic art of Gemalde Galerie: this gallery is home to a collection of amazing classic pieces of art, a lot of them by famous Italian artists such as Raffaello, Botticelli, Pier de la Francesca, Tiziano, Canaletto, Caravaggio and many others. The audio-guide is for free, very thorough and available for many paintings.
The exhibit articulates in two parts: the main gallery and the nearby galleries. Also in the nearby galleries there are outstanding pieces of art but select accurately what you want to visit: you may spend here a whole day and it depends on how much time you have. Among the unmissable paintings, my suggestion is to have a look to those here attached.
Visit the dome of the Reichstage: it is upon reservation but this building, designed by Noman Foster architect doubtlessly deserves to be visited. The dome, made of steal and crystal, raises on the Parliament debating chamber and has a 360-degree view of the Berlin cityscape. I visited it during the evening and it was truly impressive but if you are visiting it for the first time, I suggest you to do it during the day to enjoy the beauty of the city around. A good audio-guide will help you to discover the history of the Parliament.
Get lost in the street art of East Side Gallery: over 1.3 km of wall in perfect condition, painted by artists from all over the world that celebrate the fall of the Berlin wall and its meaning. Some of the murals are very famous since they became viral on Instagram.
Walk of style in Gendarmermarkt: one of the most elegant squares of Berlin and maybe the most elegant one. Two tween churches characterized by their soaring domes, encase the Konzerthaus, an auditorium with an amazing colonnade realized by architect Schinkel.
Wonderful music to your ears at Philharmonie: a contemporary monument where you can enjoy great concerts. During the winter, the concerts season is rich of appointments. Visit the official site (http://www.verliner-philharmoniker.de/ ), it is also possible to get a guided tour of the structure without attending a concert. If you want to attend a concert, go 20/30 minutes before in order to pick up the tickets and leave your coats in the wardrobe.
Relax at the Spa of the Grand Hyatt: 800 sq.m of wellness at Club Olympus Spa & Fitness, an authentic oasis of wellness in the core of Berlin equipped with sauna, steam bath, swimming pool, hot tubs, and many cabins dedicated to cutting-edge treatments. It is possible to visit the club for a treatment or a spa day even if you are not a customer of the hotel.
Berggruen Museum: it is famous because it hosts a collection by Picasso. I didn’t visit it during my weekend in Berlin since I didn’t have enough time but for sure I will next time.
Best places to eat and drink during your weekend – Restaurants and bars guide of Berlin
For a drink: Le Provocateur – very glamour lounge bar located in the homonymous boutique hotel.
For an Asian Fusion dinner: Golden Phoenix – the restaurant of the hotel Le Provocateur became famous due to its oriental food made with local ingredients in open kitchens in a luxurious space with French style boiserie, huge scarlet red and peacock blue velvet chairs and Asian chic style porcelain dishes. Excellent selection of cocktails listed in a very singular menu inspired by old advertisements. Le Provocateur bar won the prize “Hotel bar of the Year” for the Mixology Bar Awards 2019.
Average price per dish: 18 € – Average price for a dinner including a drink: 68 € per person.
It is the perfect place for: Asian food, a cool night, make a surprise, a weekend with friends.
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
For an unforgettable sushi dinner: Vox Restaurant. Vox is a point of reference for those who love the authentic sushi and Asian food in general. The executive chef Florian Peters and the Japanese sushi master Seiji Yogami literally delighted us with an oriental style dinner based on the usage of local ingredients. The modern and luxurious restaurant is located inside the Grand Hyatt Hotel. It is characterized by huge windows looking out at the modern Marlene Dietrich square and simple and elegant linen tablecloths with small vases of graceful arthuriums.
It is a perfect place for: a special occasion, a romantic dinner, Asian food, a weekend with friends.
Average price for dish: 20 € – Average price for dinner including a glass of prosecco/ champagne: 80 € per person.
Web site: https://vox-restaurant.de/en/
Email address: email@example.com
For a break: Elephants bar located in the Adlon Kempiski Hotel. Very polished bar inside the iconic hotel. Sil brocade sofas and chairs surround the elegant bronzed and marbled elephants fountain. International customers and excellent selection of teas and infusions but also cocktails and spirits.
Average price per dish: 15€– Average price per drink: 15€.
It is the perfect place for: breaks, cool hors-d’oeuvres with friends.
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Shopping in Berlin: best places to shop in Berlin
For those who love luxury Ka De We is a mandatory stop. It is a mall in which to get lost to find yourself. It is similar to the Italian Rinascente, famous luxury brands gathered in the same place such as Prada, Valentino, Hermès. The clock and jewellery section deserves a particular attention since it hosts boutiques such as Rolex, Cartier, Bulgari, Chopard and many others.
The home section is impressive and superbly stocked. Those who like design (as I do) will find huge corners of Baccarat, Lalique, Meissen porcelain, Fornasetti, Venini and many others.
NB: Remind that it is closed on Sunday!
Bikini Berlin: Shopping mall, an alternative to Ka Da We with more niche brands and a food area that stays open late and where you can enjoy tasty hors d’oeuvres. The view over the zoo will impress you!
Kurfurstendamm: very similar to Montenapoleone street of Milan, but much longer. Find out on a map in what shops you are more interested. The giants of luxury are gathered close to Adenauer Platz (where you can go through a U-shaped street).
For a greedy memory, historical Rausch chocolate shop: It is hard to classify it as a shop, since in this amazing chocolate shop, that articulates on three floors, just a few steps from the Gendarmermarkt, you will find a huge section of high- quality chocolate, chocolate sculptures and fountains, a coffee bar and a tea room and a chocolaterie with express chocolate filled crepes.