Gendarmenmarkt Sign, Berlin
Berlin*

Berlin | The Wall, Christmas markets and shopping!

With only 3 days to actually spend in Berlin, we wanted to get as much done as possible on our second day. It started with leftover gingerbread from yesterday for breakfast, before heading to Checkpoint Charlie. The plan was to head for the museum, but on the way we saw a huge sign saying PANORAMA. I’d read something about this, so we decided to check it out. And I’m so glad we did because it gave us the experience of standing at the wall and seeing the difference between the two sides. Detour over, we finally made it to the Checkpoint Charlie museum after a bite for lunch.

Checkpoint Charlie
Checkpoint Charlie

Although we’ve been to Checkpoint Charlie before, we didn’t have the chance to visit the museum, so Berlin 2.0 was our chance! The place totally didn’t feel like a museum, and we could have been totally overwhelmed because of the here amount of writing, but that was only because everything was written in 4 languages. It was great to read how people got involved with the divide of the city and trying to bring people from the East to the West. After a few hours in the museum, we jumped on the U-Bahn to Alexanderplatz. The Christmas markets there have grown so much since we last visited, so we spent a good while perusing the many stalls, watching kids struggle to ice skate even with the penguin aides and managed to fit a bit of shopping in too.

As we made our way back to the station, my boyfriend and I were trying to guess the time. I said 5.37 and when he pulled out his phone to check the time…IT WAS 5.37!! I’ve never managed to get anywhere close before, let alone to the minute! He’s convinced I saw a clock, but I don’t care – it’s my own personal win!

Being in Berlin at Christmas time seems like the perfect opportunity to get different Christmas presents for people. So we wandered down the back roads by Alexanderplatz until we came to a woodwork shop we’d previously found by accident. Unfortunately we found no suitable pressies for the wood turners of my family, so we continued on to the next U-Bahn station. As we walked along the cobbled streets, we came across a smaller Christmas ‘market’ of about 6 stalls. There were fires burning, a small stage and a film showing on a screen surrounded by sofas. It was a quiet, subdued affair that seemed more like a locals version.Gendarmenmarkt Sign, Berlin

We eventually found a station and made our way to Gendarmenmarkt, which is considered by some to be the best Christmas market in Germany. I beg to differ, but we paid our €1 entry fee and made the rounds of the stalls before calling it a day and heading back to Potsdamer market to grab some dinner on the way to the hotel. Another day in Berlin done, but we had plans for our next day so settled in for an early night.

Check out our first day in Berlin here, and day 3 here.

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