Once a city divided, Berlin now stands as one of Europe’s leading hubs of culture, entrepreneurship, and technology. It is the only city in the world to have both it’s divisive and free-movement ideologies written into the architecture - truly a sight to behold. Its distinctive, out-of-the ordinary feeling is what has drawn many of us here at Knomo to choose the city as a destination to escape London life. Here, we give our guide to 48 hours in Berlin: from where to find the best working coffee spots to where to swim by moonlight.
How to get there
When going to Berlin you have two main options: train or flying. Each, if booked enough in advance are cost-friendly. However, with only 48 hours, flying is certainly the best option, taking on average only 1 hour 55 minutes from London. From the airport, hop on the airport express train which takes 30-45 minutes, depending on where you need to get within the city.
Where to stay
Don’t be put off by the name, 25hours Hotel Bikini is the place to stay if you’re looking for a hotel which caters to your every need: from an in house bakery with free WiFi to a full spa and rooftop bar. Located in City West, an area full of art and buzzy bars, it is a great base to explore the city. The 1950’s high-rise has been transformed by designer Werner Aisslinger into a sleek modern space of distressed wood, exposed brick, and playful pops of colour. But it still retains a feeling of home with cosy hammocks and plenty of comfortable lounging areas.
Must see sights
Dedicated to exhibiting art from Berlin, the gallery takes you on a journey through the city’s modern artistic history. Its stark block exterior is matched by its clinical white walls, illuminating the great works they hold. The exhibitions are ever changing, but the main rooms are open to the public all year round. Whether you’re a seasoned gallery explorer or are just looking for a place to spend spare time, this is a space to lose yourself in.
There are just some things which you will only have the opportunity to experience one, and this is one of them. Translating as ‘the bathing ship’ this public pool is moored in the harbour section of the River Spree. In the day, the pool is open for swimming, bathing, and kicking back. But if you don’t fancy a dip, visit after dark for sunset drinks or check out their listings of parties and live music on the water.
Where to refuel
Berlin is fast-becoming a foodie heaven, taking the lead in the development of modern European cooking. Panama is new to Berlin’s scene but is pushing itself to the forefront of the cities’ ‘must eat’ destinations. Naming itself a ‘contemporary food lab’, it prides itself on its inventive takes on local cuisine in shareable small plate form. Pair your plates with an expertly-crafted cocktail with some unusual ingredients which tantalize the palette. Its breezy interior with white washed walls and stunning art installations makes for the perfect setting to spend a lingering evening.
Of course, we all need a place to have a moment to reflect, relax, and, at times, knuckle down to some work. Bonanza Coffee is one such place. Claiming that their “idea of roasting is the opposite of what is commonly regarded as the way to roast coffee.” they bring a whole new level of attention to detail to coffee making. Their flagship roastery cafe is a place which you can immerse yourself in their unique concept, but also a place to work and focus. Whether you need a place for a swift business meeting or somewhere to close yourself away from the world to work, Bonanza fits the bill.
Berlin is a city which reflects and encapsulates our Live Free motto wholeheartedly. Free of oppression and any creative bounds, it invites all to explore and to pursue the lives that they choose — and we most certainly love to take it up on its offer.