Do you have a travel bug and can’t stay in one place for too long? I certainly have that. I need to escape even if it’s just for a moment. This time I decided to visit my friends and spontaneously went to Berlin for a weekend.

I’m lucky enough to know people who work and live in Berlin and are willing to let me stay at their place. So I had the accomodation sorted for free. Actually, when I was chatting to Agata and Wiktor, who’ve lived in Berlin for over six months now, about coming over, it turned out my other good friend, known as Sznel, is coming to visit as well. Great! We’ve been in Berlin together before and it has been great, so it’s about time to do it all over again 🙂



As far as the travel goes, Sznel, as the more organized one, got herself a plane ticket weeks ago. I didn’t. And when I finally checked the prices I was not amused. So I decided to go oldschool and buy tickets for an overnight bus (it used to be Polski Bus, now it’s Flixbus). I paid about 25 euros for my back-and-forth trip. I was leaving on a friday evening (11 pm) which gave me perfect oportunity to go out drinking beforehand. I met up with my friends, ate good food and had some coctails at The Cool Cat restaurant and then got on a bus where I slept all the way through.


It’s cold outside!

March is still winter so it has to be cold. It’s not pleasent to walk around in freezing cold, so we planned the trip around restaurants, art galleries and other “interior activities”. Fortunatelly Agata is a great guide. She collects alternative guide books about trendy spots in the city, and knows Instagram better than anyone. So she had plenty of great places to recommend. We started off in a trendy bookshop called Do you read me?! where I found a few books I will definitely be coming back for.



We started our foodie adventures at District Mot, a Vietnamese restaurant where Agata already ate so she knew exactly what to recommend. Plus she and Wiktor traveled across Vietnam last year, so they’re experts in the Vietnamese cuisine department. I took Agata’s advice and ordered Bun cha which was amazing, aromatic and really filling. Meat was served with a bowl of noodles as well as tons of herbs. Sznel, the vegetarian in our group, asn’t as lucky. A green tofu burger that she ordered turned out to be cold and a little bland.



So the food part of our trip started off really well for me. And I must admit it was even better as we went along our journey around the city. We ate amazing pizza and drunk well-deserved aperol spritz at Stranero restaurant close to my hosts’ house. We tried vegan donuts with “bacon” at Brammibal’s Donuts located in the district of Kreuzberg that were better than I could have ever imagined. But the undisputed winner in our little  foodie contest was the restaurant called ORA.



The interiors of ORA restaurant are themselves a reason for visiting it. There used to be a traditional farmacy here which was skillfully transformed into a trendy restaurant. The ceilings are high and the furniture definitely has some history.. There are tons of tiny bottles used to store medicine back in the day, as well as old library-like shelves in the other room. The atmosphere is amazing and the food is even better. We visited ORA at breakfast time so we all ordered sourdough that they make themselves. It was served with steamed kale, walnuts, blue cheese and a perfectly cooked poached egg. One important piece of information is that you definitely need to make a reservation. Restaurants in Berlin are always full of people and it’s near impossible to get a table without booking it beforehand.


Department of Culture and Entertainment

Ok, but eating is not all we’ve been doing for two days. We’ve also been drinking 😉 To do that in style we went to a really cool rooftop bar. Klunkerkranich is located on top of a shopping center. You have to get to the top floor, walk through the parking lot and you arrive at a window where you have to pay a small entrance fee. The reason for that is it’s not only a bar but a modern art gallery of sort as well. There’re various weird exhibits such as giant silver dog statue that looks as if it was made out of balloons. The view is spectacular as well. You can see the entire Berlin panorama from up there. I highly recommend going there for a sunset.



I didn’t really plan this trip. I knew Agata will have some great recommendations for us. But there was one place I really wanted to visit – Helmut Newton Foundation. Helmut Newton is one of my favourite photographers but I never had opportunity to see his works in person. In the gallery there are not only his photos but also some personal artefacts as well as temporary exhibitions of different artists. This time it was Guy Bourdin, among others, whose works I also admire. You can see his photo collages until 13th of May. The tickets are 10 euros, but in my opinion it’s definitely worth spending it.



After all the cultural experiences we needed some entertainment so we went to an interactive Museum of Computer Games (Computerspiele). It’s a really interesting place where you can learn a lot about the history of gaming, take a look at how the industry has changed, and how old gaming consoles looked like. But what’s more fun is that you can play a lot of games a well. There’s an entire room dedicated to retro arcade games (kind of like Pinball Station in Warsaw), there’s a giant joystick for playing Pacman using your entire body, there’s even something called Painstation where actual physical pain is at stake (I didn’t have the guts to try this one). The entrance fee varies depending on the day of the week as well as an hour. We paid 9 euros, which is the most important option, but I don’t regret spending the money.


In the summertime…

Overall I had a great time in Berlin. I ate a lot of tasty food, saw some inspiring photos, played some retro games, visited numerous trendy spots and had fun with my friends. The underlying narrative however was “in the summer it will be even better”. Berlin is way more alive when the sun is shining and it’s warm outside. There’re more possibilities, outdoor parties and cool spots. So I’ll definitely have to come back to check out the “summer side of the city”. I’ll keep you posted.



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