A city with a fascinating yet troubled past, Berlin is a place to immerse yourself in history and culture and explore museums and galleries. Though as I found on my recent trip, there’s also plenty of opportunity to indulge yourself in the capital of Germany. Here are my top ten luxurious things to do in Berlin.
1. Stay in a luxurious hotel
With its marble clad public rooms, Biedermeier furniture and glittering chandeliers, Regent Berlin is pure, classic, old-fashioned luxury. One of the most luxurious hotels in Berlin, there’s also a two-Michelin star restaurant on site, a glamorous bar and a relaxing spa.
2. Shopping at Quartier 206
Located a stone’s throw from Regent Berlin, Quartier 206 is one the most exclusive shopping locations in Berlin.
The stunning architecture of the shopping centre alone, makes it a fabulous place to shop but it is also home to labels such as Paul Davis, Wolford, Gant and Bally. During my visit I also explored some of the fantastic artisan food brands available at Quartier 206.
Einstein Kafee was fundamental to introducing the Viennese coffee culture to Berlin and now coffee shops can be found throughout Germany. So much care is taken in the preparation of the beans and they are prepared by hand in Einstein’s roasting house and delivered fresh to the shop.
I learnt exactly how cold press juice is made at Los Angeles Cold Press, a place founded by two sisters who bought the Los Angeles healthy juicing concept to Berlin.
Finally I checked out beeftub, a company that has created an indoor barbecue so there’s no disturbing smoke. They do this by cooking beef in a bath tub using a sous vide method. The food I tried here is incredibly hearty and full of flavour, perfect to refuel during shopping. I didn’t get time to visit myself but a trip to luxurious department store, KaDeWe was also recommended to me.
3. Discover The Christmas Markets
My trip to Berlin was actually my first ever time discovering European Christmas markets but I think it’s going to become an annual tradition! WeihnachtsZauber at the Gendarmenmarkt (Christmas Magic at Gendarmenmarkt) was quite literally opposite Regent Berlin and one of the most popular Christmas markets in Berlin.
Peaked white tents sit against a back drop of German landmarks such as Deutscher Dom, Französischer Dom, the Konzerthaus and there’s festive music to entertain you as you explore the food and souvenirs on offer with a glass of mulled wine in hand.
I was concerned that the market would be a little touristy but I loved the warm feeling of walking around this gorgeous mini-Christmas village. As well as tents selling traditional Christmas fare such as hot chestnuts, waffles and gingerbread, there are glass blowers, candle makers, jewellers, milliners and other handicrafts.
4. Eat Traditional Food
After a cold morning thoroughly exploring the city I couldn’t imagine anything better than some traditional hearty food to boost my energy. We stopped off at Röter Jager to sample the German / Austrian menu.
The cute interior looks like an alpine lodge and the menu uses all fresh and local products.
Potato soup for starters and roast duck leg for main course, really hit the spot after a cold and busy morning.
5. Cocktails at Soho House Berlin
When I signed up for Soho House I chose the Every House option that allows me access to all the international members club. If you have membership or know someone who does, I’d definitely recommend visiting Soho House Berlin. There’s a cinema, a restaurant and a club bar to stop for a glass of bubbly.
But best of all the rooftop floor has a bistro restaurant with indoor seating and a terrace leading out to a rooftop pool!
Ok, so despite the fact the pool is heated, I wasn’t quite brave enough to take a dip but I did admire the gorgeous sunset over the Berlin skyline. If you’re not a member, non-members can also the visit the club’s Italian restaurant, Cecconi’s. Though I didn’t go, I’m a big fan of the London and Miami branches so it’s definitely worth taking a look.
6. Discover Fine Dining Restaurants
There’s no shortage of fine dining restaurants in Berlin, one of the top being two-Michelin starred Fischers Fritz located in the Regent Berlin. But I was fortunate enough to try rising star, Eins Unter Nell, a restaurant with Michelin aspirations. With a name meaning ‘One Floor Below’ the restaurant is all about exploring ingredients from underground but also from fields and forest.
With a focus on ingredients, the interior is fairly simple but I loved clean lines and simple Skandi-style.
With vgetables are at the heart of the menu and not so much meat and fish, I’m not sure everyone will be quite on board with the concept but I loved the presentation and the lightness of ingredients. Plus the hospitality of the owners was just perfection, something that would definitely be expected as the restaurant is the project of three former employees of two-Michelin starred Berlin-based restaurant, Reinstoff.
Be prepared that not everything is as it seems at Eins Unter Nell and this dessert that looks like chocolate is actually a much healthier sweet beetroot pudding.
7. Enjoy Afternoon Tea
Looking for a quintessential British afternoon tea in Berlin? Regent Berlin is the place. With over 40 different types of tea and advice from a Tea Master Gold, you can’t go wrong.
Expect traditional sandwiches, scones and cakes from afternoon tea at this luxury hotel. Check out other luxurious hotels such as Hotel Adlon, Hotel De Rome and Ritz Carlton Berlin for other fine tea offerings.
8. Shop in beautiful design stores
Berlin is home to so many beautiful design and concept stores.
As I was only in the city a short while, it’s difficult for me to put together guide but this one from hipshops is very comprehensive and covers some of the beautiful interiors, bookshops, and fashion stores that I popped into. For smaller and more unique shops check out Hackescher Markt, a labyrinth of eight courtyards with gorgeous specialised shops, cafes, bars and restaurants.
9. Discover the History and Glamour of the Hotel Adlon
The gorgeous Hotel Adlon Kempinski is one of the most famous in the city and it has history that reflects the tumultuous past of Berlin. Lorenz Adlon convinced Kaiser Wilhelm that Germany needed a luxury hotel that would compete with London and Paris. Built in 1907 it became a very important social centre for the German glitteratti and one of the most famous in the world. Though the hotel survived World War II, it was destroyed by an accidental fire in 1945 it was left in ruins until it was reconstructed and reopened in 1997. It’s now home to a two Michelin star restaurant, a restaurant of International cuisine and an Asian-inspired restaurant.
10. Enjoy incredible Art
Berlin was famously described as ‘poor but sexy’ by Mayor Klaus Wowereit, a city that may not have beauty but makes up for that in character. Famous galleries and museums house famous master pieces but personally I preferred admiring the street art that can be found in many places around the city. The art at Rosenthaler Staβe and the East Side Gallery are some fantastic examples….
…but you can also see little motifs, drawing and graffiti adorning buildings throughout the city.
Have you been to Berlin? Do you have any recommendations?
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