Early mornings and I do not go well together. So when I had to get up at 3.45am for the flight to Berlin, I knew I wasn’t going to be a barrel of laughs for the journey. We made it to the airport courtesy of Dad’s taxi with plenty of time to spare for our 7.15am flight to Schönefeld. Thankfully it was a smooth flight and after landing we had a bit of a trek through the airport to the baggage carousel. As we approached the carousel, I saw our bag just come out – a quick dash and we didn’t even have to wait for our bag…score!
It’s a short walk from Schönefeld airport to the train station, and when we arrived I tried to remember a tip I’d read about which was the quickest train to Berlin city centre. Unfortunately, when presented with a choice I couldn’t remember if it was the S-Bahn or RE I wanted. The signs in the station aren’t particularly helpful, in English or German, so we settled for the first train we knew was going in the right direction. After all, a slow train is better than no train, right? The first train we saw was an S-Bahn, so quickly found ourselves a seat, which wasn’t hard as there was no one else on the train. That should have been our first clue that it was the end of the line for that train.
Realising we had a bit of time before the next train, we decided to explore and see what other trains were available. A few platforms later a RE train was due to approach, which according to our map would take us to Berlin. 20 minutes or so later and we were at Alexanderplatz – now I remembered which was the quicker train! A quick U-Bahn ride to Potsdamer Platz followed by a rookie decision to walk instead of getting the train, and we arrived at the hotel.
Although we were 4 hours before check in time, our room was already ready. Second woop of the day! Hopefully the rest of our trip would go as well as the day had so far. After a quick freshen up and less quick nap, we made our way to Checkpoint Charlie, which was just around the corner from the hotel. As we’ve been to Berlin before, we were looking to use this trip as a top-up for all we hadn’t done before.
After a bite to eat at a bakery near Checkpoint Charlie, I was feeling under the weather so popped back to the hotel for a lie down. Not ideal, as who wants to visit a city and spend the whole time sleeping? After a while, I felt a bit more perky and we decided to check out the Christmas market at Potsdamer Platz instead of traipse around a museum.
Taking the lazy option and wanting to make the most of our unlimited travel cards we caught the train to Potsdamer Platz, and followed the signs to the Sony Centre. There’s a parade of shops underground to the Sony Centre which we’d never seen before, one of which had loads of puzzles to try out, so we had to stop in there! After looking around the Sony Centre, we made our way over the road to see what the Christmas market had to offer.
There is loads on offer at Potsdamer Platz market, including a wide range of food. I’m such a fussy eater but there were even options for me. I picked up a bockwurst, while my boyfriend opted for a bratwurst – definitely the best introduction to the Berlin Christmas markets! We also grabbed some gingerbread and candied nuts before walking back to our hotel for an early night. Couldn’t wait to get started on our first full day in Berlin the next day!
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